Written by Will Parchman

While we in the U.S. have largely been consumed with CONCACAF’s U20 World Cup qualifying campaign this month, which the U.S. has largely shuffled through without much of a flourish, CONMEBOL is holding its own World Cup entry exam in Uruguay.

Earlier this month, Brazil took six points from its three group games to advance to the final stage, and three of those points came in a 2-0 win over Venezuela, which finished at the bottom of the group. Fluminense’s Kenedy, one of the most promising youth talents in South America, scored this decisive goal in the 72nd, and holy crap was it decisive. Am I a bit surprised this shot didn’t burn a hole through the net, leave a conical sonic boom in its wake and spontaneously deafen thousands of people? Yes. Yes I am.

Funny story. Kenedy was named after JFK’s brother Robert, hence Kenedy’s first name (Robert). There’s also a Brazilian on this U20 squad named Malcom named after, you guessed it, Malcolm X.

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Written by Will Parchman

linsyyyy

However you feel about Jurgen Klinsmann as a Great Pontificator of the Lofty, he’s continually chased formational trends since he took over as USMNT’s head man. When he took over in 2011, he espoused the 4-3-3 that Barcelona had made so popular through its roughshod trampling of Europe’s best teams. In fact, he was so interested in using it that his first foray into the Hex in 2013, a disastrous 2-1 loss to Honduras, featured a 4-3-3 with three holding midfielders.

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Written by Will Parchman

unholy

Below is the new USMNT jersey. Supposedly. Leaks being what they are, and all.

(That photo up top, if you’re curious, is the greatest monstrosity of all time and utterly unrelated to anything. I think it was born from the aftermath of the San Zusi incident, but who knows. It may have actually been the Golden Fleece sought by Jason and his Argonauts three millennia ago.)

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Billy Haisley is rigged

Written by Will Parchman

laughs

Billy Haisley has fast become the internet’s Great MLS Agitator. He once tried to actively convince you to not watch MLS. An unabashed critic of the league’s steps, Haisley’s written time and time again about how the league knowingly defrauds its fans through a rules set it tilts toward a handful of Haves. Which, somehow, is unlike any other league structure in the world. We’ll get to that in a bit.

On Monday, Haisley released his Magnum Opus, his shining monument to MLS hatred. Entitled “MLS Is Putting The Fix In For Toronto FC, Right Before Our Eyes,” Haisley asserts MLS is totally rigged. Like a mayoral election in Chicago in the 30′s. Rigged.

So let’s look into the article to examine, point-by-point, just what in the hell he’s talking about. Quick note: if his grand point gives you an innate desire to reach for the tinfoil hat, he’s done his job.

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Written by Will Parchman

Adidas’ new commercial is here, and as the internet’s preeminent Soccer Commercial Weirdo, I’m on the case. Judging only by its glossy veneer, this is a fun ad campaign. It may not stack up against the greats, but it has its place in the pantheon. It’s well put together. It’s humorous. It obliquely addresses Luis Suarez’s penchant for biting people. And who’s to say what motivates world class athletes? A nice Shoulder of Chiellini? Why not.

But I have an issue with the deeper pathos this campaign is meant to inspire.

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Written by Will Parchman

breit

The NSCAA Convention is good for a lot of things. Absorbing the miniature nation-state that is the convention floor every year is among them. This year, for me anyway, the pinnacle was getting to sit down with former Bayern Munich legend Paul Breitner, who scored for West Germany in the triumphant final of the 1974 World Cup. I once ran into a goalpost during a rec game, so we’ll call it even.

Breitner’s currently an advisor and brand ambassador for Bayern, which means he travels the world and parses Bayern’s massive operation into edible bites for the masses. As far as I was concerned, a chance to talk with Breitner was a chance to talk development. Not like Germany just won the World Cup or anything on the back of a comically massive development initiative.

Late last year, Bayern announced a “youth partnership” with northeastern development program GPS just three months after opening their New York City office. That was their first official foray into the American soccer market, and the initiative only figures to grow. But the end goal (or even short-term purpose) of it was notably murky. So what are Bayern’s plans for development in America? How do they plan to go about it?

Without further ado, my sit-down with Breitner.

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Written by Will Parchman

daft

A chunk of the TopDrawerSoccer.com team (Will and Travis) join Philly.com for a pre-during-and-post-Draft chat on the names and numbers you need to know for the 2015 MLS SuperDraft. Follow along live.

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Written by Will Parchman

mixxxxxx

When Mix Diskerud was named to the 2014 U.S. World Cup roster, there was a general level of expectation that Jurgen Klinsmann expected him to be a creator off the bench. Not that Mix had ever shown that natural No. 10 propensity on the international level, but it felt right. He has the build of a No. 10. Some of his touches make him look like one. But he’s not. At least not on a national team level.

Despite the 10 jersey he was gifted for Brazil, Mix has never looked all that comfortable pulling the strings for the USMNT. He’s looked good in spurts – tidy, clean, industrious – but never really displayed the creative flair most expected. And given that the vast, sprawling mass of us haven’t seen much of anything from his days on the Norwegian club circuit, it’s more or less all we have to bank on.

Not for long. Mix is bringing his ungodly Yankees hat collection back to the source.

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Written by Travis Clark

aguilarHistorically, San Francisco is one of the most successful men’s soccer programs in the NCAA annals, winners of six national titles.

But the last one came in 1980, and the program hasn’t won the WCC since 2008. However, things could be changing, and players like Miguel Aguilar could be one of the reasons why things are trending up.

The Sacramento native recently wrapped up his college career last fall and was invited to the MLS Combine, hopeful of boosting his draft stock. Reports suggest he has managed to do that, as he scored in Sunday’s action and is looking like a dynamic option who will be available in Thursday’ MLS draft.

TDS recently caught up with Aguilar while he was down in Florida for the combine.

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Written by Will Parchman

uni

Guys. What if Star Wars was really about soccer? Can you imagine? Yes? You can? Well. I didn’t anticipate that answer.

But let’s pretend you can’t imagine, and in that case these jerseys will blow your mind. Designed by Nerea Palacios, aka my new best friend, you’ve got Princess Leia, Chewy, Han Solo, DARTH VADER, and also, DARTH VADER. Feast thine eyes, which have seen the coming of the glory of the Lucas.

R2D2

Picture 1 of 10

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