The Equalizer: Major League Soccer, say hello to Zlatan

Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s late arrival to the MLS — it’s been a move more than three years in the making — took just over 48 hours to reverberate around the U.S. sports landscape. He flew into LA on a Thursday, participated in a light training session that drew more press than a newborn panda at the zoo on Friday and, after […]

The Equalizer: The CCL and the CONCACAF myth

While the UEFA Champions League (UCL) quarterfinals took center stage last week, MLS and Liga MX — Mexico’s top league — duked it out in the CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) first-leg semifinals to determine North and Central American supremacy. Toronto FC’s historic 3–1 semifinal home win against Club America on Tuesday was only the second […]

NASL’s prolonged battle with U.S. Soccer

Tuesday was a sad day for U.S. Soccer. The North American Soccer League (NASL) announced it is cancelling the 2018 season, after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit denied the NASL’s appeal for an injunction that would temporarily reinstate its Div. II league status — which the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) revoked in September — for 2018. […]

The Equalizer: Who’s who in the USSF presidential election?

The Equalizer is back for another semester of U.S. Soccer coverage, where I’ll be giving airtime to stories and issues plaguing both the men’s and women’s game on and off the field. Without further ado, here is a look at a presidential race that could shape U.S. Soccer’s destiny for years. Fans and pundits alike […]

The Equalizer: What we can be thankful for

U.S. men’s soccer has been under considerable criticism lately. Ever since we didn’t qualify for the 2018 World Cup, soccer fans, pundits and writers like myself have explored every problem under the sun that our sport faces. But it’s Thanksgiving season, and it’s time we appreciate what we have. Soccer has come a long way […]

The Equalizer: Pay-to-play is the symptom, not the problem

When Brazilian phenom Neymar was 15 years old, he was making almost $2,800 a month at Santos FC. Outside of the United States, young international soccer players are paid for their labor once they make well-known youth clubs because they are treated as investments. If and when they are sold to professional teams later in their teenage […]

The Equalizer: Shattering the glass ceiling in US soccer

FC Cincinnati’s fans have a right to feel like their team is spinning its wheels in the mud. Although it averages over 20,000 fans a game and consistently reaches the United Soccer League (USL) playoffs, it can never compete with the top professional teams in the U.S. What’s the incentive to invest if there’s a glass […]

The Equalizer: Is MLS anticompetitive?

Major League Soccer (MLS) commissioner Don Garber in 2014 announced that he wanted the league “to become one of the top leagues in the world by 2022.” It was an ambitious goal in 2014, and in 2017, the MLS still appears far off the mark. Ironically, the very structure of the MLS conflicts with this short term goal. […]

The Equalizer: Where US Men’s soccer stands today

United States Men’s Soccer fans walking away from Red Bull Arena on the night of Sept. 1 had only one thought on their minds: how is this team going to qualify for the 2018 World Cup? Costa Rica, playing in its usual 5–4–1, outfought and outplayed a supposedly “superior” U.S. team to the tune of 2–0. […]

Inside the MLS | 21st season of Major League Soccer kicks off Sunday

It was the type of drama befitting a major sports league. The Portland Timbers’ 2-1 title-winning victory away against Columbus Crew SC at Mapfre Stadium at the end of last season won the Timbers their first league title. The Timbers, the quintessential hipster team (think Portlandia with soccer), brought their workmanlike ethic and star players […]