Written by Will Parchman

Footballer-George-Best-sh-001

Soccer’s produced a handful of crazies over the years. A fantastic new infographic from soccer blog The Stonk codifies them in the best way possible. From Robin Friday’s snooker tirade to Felipe Melo’s stomp on Arjen Robben (let’s be honest, we’ll forgive him that), we’ve got it all here. Read on.

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Written by Will Parchman

LAFC

MLS worked over Chivas USA’s carcass like a gun-wielding trainer rapidly attending to a track horse that’d just broken its leg around the second turn. Just a week after MLS commissioner Don Garber officially dropped the hammer on the Chivas USA franchise, including any accrued history, we have LA2.

Or, for now, Los Angeles Football Club. Welcome to the party, LAFC. Here’s what we know so far.

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Written by Bill Reno

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You may know Bill Reno from his good work charting the progression of American goalkeepers over at EverybodySoccer.com. Today, Reno shifts his focus to the realm of high school soccer with twin interviews with Coppell (Dallas, Texas) boys head coach Chad Rakestraw and 2014 Texas Gatorade Player of the Year Chris Madden.

In their interview, Rakestraw and Madden touch on the efficacy of high school soccer and the Development Academy, splitting time between the Dallas Cup and playoff games, managing expectation on one of the most talented high school teams in the nation and more. Have a read. Very interesting stuff.

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Written by Will Parchman

porter

Since the mid-aughts, Akron’s been churning out quality soccer players at an incredible rate. If Akron under Ken Lolla was a regional power and nationally respectable, Akron under Caleb Porter was an out-and-out machine. Since Porter took over in 2005, the Zips have produced nine first round MLS draft picks and a handful of undrafted stars in the making. Even Porter made it to the pros.

So what would an Akron Best XI look like if you plucked out players who’ve played in the system?

As it turns out, pretty insane.

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Written by Will Parchman

The late aughts were an interesting time in our soccer history. They signified both a time when slapping Darude’s Sandstorm onto a highlight package wasn’t considered a sin against humanity, and when Steve Zakuani was among the most coveted young players in the States.

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Written by Will Parchman

sena

We here at the 91st Minute are into goal votes. We do our weekly College GotW, which then spills into our goal of the year competition that Rutgers’ Rachel Cole won last year. But we like pro votes as well, and MLS’ goal of the year competition is in full swing. Ever since Eric Hassli was so ignominiously robbed of his rightful award in 2011, we’re on the justice crusade. And it’s time again to fire it up so we can tell you who to vote for.

MLS does this thing in four groups in the first round en route to whittling down the contestants to an eventual one. Let’s go through each one and I’ll tell you which goal to submit. If you disagree, take a soft minute and you’ll quickly see it my way. This is how the world works, generally (this is where we lean on the Full House laugh track).

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Written by Will Parchman

hamid

The idea of a “best” performance in soccer is by nature subjective. Some will see certain aspects as more desirable than others. Pure goal-scoring output without consideration for the surrounding swirl of motion, for instance, which is why you won’t see Bradley Wright-Phillips on this list, but why you will see Thierry Henry. All things that contribute to my own personal esthetic filtered through performance.

So here we are. My 10 best individual 90-minute bursts of brilliance during the 2014 regular season. Let’s get cracking.

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Written by Will Parchman

If we’re honest with ourselves, we’re all fans of sports docs. The latent popularity of ESPN’s 30-for-30 series aside, the documentary art form is perfect for cataloging and promoting sports stories from far and wide, both positive and negative. With soccer’s growing popularity in this country, we’re seeing that happen with increasing frequency inside our own borders.

This series is proof. A group of Marquette college of communications students recently put together a three-part series delving into the Marquette men’s program. It’s a behind-the-scenes look at a college program you don’t normally get, and it should appeal to fans of just about any program.

Except maybe UW-Milwaukee fans. Maybe not those guys.

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Written by J.R. Eskilson

ucsb

The rivalry between Cal Poly and UCSB is on. It’s on like a below average comedy on Wednesday night on CBS.

Hundreds of Cal Poly students lined up on Monday morning to get a ticket for Sunday’s game against UCSB at Spanos Stadium. It’s the return leg of the clash after the first installment ended in a 2-2 draw last weekend.

The Mustangs and Gauchos met for the first time this season on Saturday in front of 14,345 fans at Harder Stadium. It was the fifth largest on-campus crowd in NCAA soccer history.

Sunday’s rematch might be the hottest ticket in San Luis Obispo history. The capacity at Spanos Stadium is 11,075 and the #BlueGreen rivalry game has sold out before.

While neither team is currently ranked, both teams are fighting for a spot in the Big West Conference tournament and need a result for the game. The importance of the game drew out fans from all over who then took to social media to share the joy of standing in line on a beautiful California day.

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Written by Will Parchman

Conference battles are grinding down to the nub, which means every golazo is dipped in a sheen of added importance this time of year. And boy do we have a couple big ones for you this week for our last College Goal of the Week vote in October.

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