Written by Will Parchman

usa

The U.S. has never enjoyed a U20 World Cup experience quite like 2015. The Americans were hardly a dominant force in their five-match run in New Zealand, notably needing a 56th minute goal from Emerson Hyndman to squeak by lowly Myanmar 2-1 and finishing group play with an embarrassing 3-0 loss to the Ukraine that could’ve been even worse.

But the highs were more satisfying. The U.S. smashed host New Zealand 4-0 and, in one of the bigger wins in U.S. YNT history (believe it or not), a Rubio Rubin lightning strike of a goal pushed them past Colombia and into the quarterfinals for just the third time since the tourney went to 24 teams in 1997.

Behind its titanium shield defense, the U.S. frustrated Serbia into a penalty shootout, where it fell inches short of advancing. Serbia won the entire tournament. Coach Veljko Paunovic parlayed that into a head coaching gig with the Chicago Fire. The U.S. went home.

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Written by Will Parchman

Ben-Lederman

Madrid fell silent this week.

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Written by Will Parchman

8-13-PHI-bedoya

It’s hard to know where to start here. But start we must. This is important for reasons beyond the pale.

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Is the USMNT turning a corner?

Written by Will Parchman

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If the moment is lost to the crackled, yellowing pages of lore, it would be no great surprise. There is little national fanfare about a single blow in a rout, a raindrop in a sea as the flood fell.

There were already three goals on the board by the time the movement pushed deep into Trinidad & Tobago territory, and the Soca Warriors were broken by the American onslaught after half. A flurry of rabbit punches to the solar plexus. So in the 71st minute, by the time the stretched T&T defense pulled back into its own third, its nose was already trickling blood.

The whole thing started simply enough, Sacha Kljestan finding Jozy Altidore flayed to the left with a free patch of grass just outside the box. But the needlework was intricate, Altidore one-touching a pass in for the implacable Christian Pulisic, whose shot caromed off the keeper, whose rebound fell to Paul Arriola, whose clean-up job found the back of the net.

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Written by Will Parchman

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Shaq Moore’s 2015 gradually turned from a sprawling, picture-frame landscape to a frenetic Jackson Pollock in doomed colors.

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Written by Will Parchman

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The TDS College Goal of the Week competition is back, and rocking the vote never felt so satisfying.

This week we’ve got four goals again, meaning we’ve ostensibly expanded the vote by one this year. You guys have scored far too many golazos to risk missing out on a live one. So. We’re bigger and better. And we didn’t let it go to waste this week.

Of our four goals this week, a whopping half of them were overtime match winners in stunning form from long range. The other two? Just as impressive. You’ll have your work cut out this week.

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Written by Will Parchman

bobby-wood-hamburg-debut-goal

There is plenty to criticize about Jurgen Klinsmann’s USMNT roster selections and, more pointedly, about his lineup selections. But if we are to praise Klinsmann’s better attributes, then the panoramic scope of his lens is perhaps his greatest. He’s practically lit beacons back to his camps from every corner of his known world, inviting sons of American servicemen overseas, players with forgotten ties and some we never knew existed.

In this way Klinsmann has helped craft Bobby Wood into a new creation. Something, if we’re honest, loosely resembling himself. And it is suddenly paying in cataclysmic dividends in Germany.

Wood’s summer move to Hamburg gave us its first tangible return last weekend when he scored on his debut in a 1-1 draw with Ingolstadt. After a vote, the strike just won Bundesliga’s Matchday 1 Goal of the Week. This only required a single touch to set. With his head.

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The NASL is in trouble (again)

Written by Will Parchman

okc

The field came up from the ground in the dark.

The trucks rolled up to Yukon High School in the deepening black of night, and the men set to work. The artificial turf pallets came up one at a time, 40 in sum, and were whisked away in the thick, hot silence of a central Oklahoma summer. When club officials awoke to find 45 percent of their turf panels missing, they filed a police report.

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Written by Will Parchman

hynd

When Emerson Hyndman joined Fulham’s academy in 2011, there was a visible ladder to Premier League minutes. That dissipated into shimmering mist when Fulham was relegated to the Championship in 2014. Since then, Hyndman’s Premier League view’s been notably obscured.

That seemed to change this summer, when Hyndman moved to Premier League relegation candidates Bournemouth. They’d scraped through in 2015-16 to avoid relegation, and the American international could hardly have found a better situation in which to wrangle minutes. Manchester City this was not.

Well. Maybe not so much after all.

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Written by Will Parchman

klins

The more Joachim Löw pored over his options, the more his problems danced like demons on the periphery.

The German camp at the 2012 Euros had been more fractious than most knew, a giant rift pulling the Dortmund and Bayern players apart at the seams. Germany suffered for it in the end, winning three quiet one-goal games in the group phase, dispatching Greece in the quarters and then bowing out to Italy in the semifinals.

In the two years between 2012 and the World Cup, Löw operated like a coach-cum-armchair psychologist. He pulled in players as mediators between the fire of the two warring Bundesliga factions, and by the time 2014 rolled around he was still unsure of his purchase. German soccer is not without its egos, and Löw was tasked with juggling the most fragile of them all at once.

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