Author Archives: Will Parchman

Written by Will Parchman

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There’s something of a great migration currently taking place among American youth prospects. Where England was once the de facto point of disembarkation for the best and brightest young Americans looking abroad, Germany’s spent the last two years usurping that title.

For as long as most of us can remember, southwest London club Fulham was the nexus of that English-American fusion. Now it certainly looks as though Schalke is taking that title and running with it.

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Written by Will Parchman

nigeria

The Nigerian full national team has always been a roundly talented if somewhat forgettable side on the international scene. They routinely show well in African competition and then wilt in World Cups. But even if the results aren’t always there, the individual talent is undeniable.

Part of that has to do with the frankly absurd success of Nigeria’s YNT sides, the Eaglets (yes I know, but it’s the actual name). The U20 side has been African champion seven times – including 2015 – has advanced out of its World Cup group every year since 1987. That includes runner-up finishes twice, including in 2005.

But the U17 team is the real cash cow. And they’ve been that way forever.

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Written by Will Parchman

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Women’s soccer officially kicked off the Rio Olympics on Wednesday, and while the U.S. surveys the scene from atop its multi-colored red, white and blue throne, the rest of the world cues up its challenge.

Canada and Australia played their opener on Wednesday, and Canada’s starting lineup featured a number of college grads. Included in that list is Janine Beckie, who put the finishing touches on a Texas Tech career last fall without parallel. Notably, she scored 57 seconds into her first ever Tech match to spark a career in which she left Lubbock the career leader in almost every scoring category.

Well, Beckie’s a pro now, and she did it again.

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Written by Will Parchman

bedoyy

Poor Chicago Fire. Poor, systematically damned Chicago Fire.

Alejandro Bedoya signed for the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday, bringing an end to his time in France and lending more emotional gravitas to the notion that Earnie Stewart Knows What He’s Doing. Bedoya is not flashy, but his work rate is impossible and if you’ll excuse the hyperbole, he is a Cesc Fabregas type in a league that can use them.

And yet somehow the Fire are involved. The Fire are somehow always involved.

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Written by Will Parchman

mnu

In the 91st minute of a 1-1 midseason NASL game, you might expect a couple mindlessly dumped long balls, some frantic chops at a loose ball in the box and some noticeably loud grunts. It is never the prettiest moment of the match. Imagine the hot dog stand outside a bar emptying its patrons onto the blacktop at 2 a.m. The rush is real.

Minnesota United wants you to know that it doesn’t have to be thus. You, too, can play real soccer. And at any time.

Minnesota United’s match on Saturday against Rayo OKC was knotted at 1-1 as stoppage time arrived, and in lieu of going over the top, United just decided to thread through a 29-pass build-up that touched all 11 players.

Important: they scored at the end of this sequence.

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Written by Will Parchman

160730 U19 MNT Starting XI

The U.S. U19s are currently at the COTIF Tournament in Valencia, Spain. It’s a U20 event, meaning the Americans are (quite rightly) playing up in age against a few of the world’s top YNT sides.

The roster echoed recently appointed U19 coach Brad Friedel’s insistence on individual quality. From Isaiah Young to Weston McKennie to Marlon Fossey, there’s an unusual surfeit of technical talent here. At least more than we’re typically used to.

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Written by Will Parchman

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On an individual club basis, MLS has a dubious history handing the reins to foreign ownership. We have precious few examples on which to base our account, but the Chivas USA disaster was unarguably the biggest trash fire in the league’s history.

Chivas USA did not fold, as experiments in Miami or Tampa did, in the midst of shuddering contractions while the league fought for its survival. When the shoddy port of the Mexican version shut its doors for good in 2013, MLS was financially strong and serially adding franchises, not subtracting them. Chivas USA was simply that poorly run, that disastrously marketed, that bad.

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Written by Will Parchman

fiyah

The Chicago Fire are in turbulent waters right now. They haven’t made the playoffs out of a largely watered down Eastern Conference since 2011, they haven’t won a road game since 2014 and they’ve been in the conference cellar for the better part of a year. After finishing 2015 as the worst team in MLS (and it wasn’t particularly close, points-wise), they’re angling for the honor again in 2016. They currently have the fewest points in the league.

On top of all that, club GM Nelson Rodriguez was forced to address the sparse crowd before last weekend’s home match against the New York Red Bulls over egregious use of That Certain Chant.

So things have been better.

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Written by Will Parchman

blake

Remember when the Philly Union drafted Andre Blake, maybe the most pro-ready keeper out of college in a decade, and stashed him on the bench for the first 23 league games of his pro career? And then, after a 90-minute teaser, sat him for another 35?

Yeah. Those were strange, unfulfilled days.

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Written by Will Parchman

fcd

The US Youth Soccer National Championships is currently having its day in Frisco. The championship bringing together the best of US Youth Soccer’s denizens is a hot-spot for undiscovered gems, quietly operating under the shadow of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy and the ECNL.

In the midst of the clangor of battle, the U18 girls division entered its final group day on Thursday with plenty to be determined. The top two teams in each of the two groups in Frisco would then funnel into a final four knockout stage, but first those teams had to position themselves on Thursday.

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