Written by Will Parchman

LAG

The U.S. Open Cup roped in MLS teams this week, and we inevitably get an upset or two in the offing.

Tuesday was not, however, one of those days. The fourth round of the USOC got off to a relatively normal start, but we did have a couple close shaves. Real Salt Lake trailed Wilmington 2-0 and needed penalties to leg out a win. And a 10-man LA Galaxy was taken into extra time with a 1-1 game against fourth-tier UPSL side La Maquina. This goal from Dave Romney saved them. They ultimately scored twice more and won 4-1.

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Written by Will Parchman

inal

There has always been a measure of carefully attuned bluster to Jurgen Klinsmann’s national team approach on a personnel level. As though he was conducting a symphony no one but himself could hear.

He has deployed Michael Bradley in advanced roles because reasons, and he has used Alejandro Bedoya as a defensive midfielder because other reasons, and he has played Jermaine Jones as a center back because reasons you could not fathom, peasant.

Klinsmann isn’t a tinkerer in the sense that all national team coaches are tinkerers. Bob Bradley and Bruce Arena hardly rotated their starting lineups less, which is a product of national team call-ins and matchup scenarios and everything else. National team coaches move in players like moveable parts in an attuned assembly line, the gears clacking into place one after the other.

That was never Klinsmann’s issue, more or less. Everyone tries new pieces to a degree. The problem was re-configuring the entire assembly line between call-ins. So when the old gears rotated back into use, the machine was producing different products and the gear teeth didn’t align. Nothing really ran, except in fitful, rasping gasps.

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Written by Will Parchman

Wales v Slovakia - EURO 2016 - Group B

Present circumstances considered (form, club, man-bun status), Gareth Bale would be the best English player in a generation, the best since Paul Gascoigne and maybe stretching even further back than that.

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Written by Will Parchman

fcd

We’re not telling you anything you (probably) don’t already know here, but the FC Dallas academy might just be the best of its ilk in the entire country.

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Written by Travis Clark

modric

The first three days of the 2016 European Championship proved at least one thing: teams will score goals in France.

Given the expanded nature of the tournament, which moved from 16 to 24 teams this year, the four best third-place teams will stay alive to the second round. Some voiced that could cause the goals to dry up, as teams sit back, absorb pressure and hope that is enough to advance.

Through the first three days of action, while goals haven’t been flooding in, there were some sensational strikes over the weekend.

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Written by Travis Clark

When Gatorade High School National Player of the Year Lucas Mendes opted to play high school soccer for the first time as a senior, part of the reason he cited was to bring a state championship to Washington Lee, his high school in Arlington, Va.

On Saturday, Mendes and his team accomplished that dream, defeating First Colonial 3-1 to capture the 6A VHSL championship.

After teammate Maycol Nunez scored twice in the first half (pushing his own total to 27 on the season), Mendes, a University of Virginia recruit for 2016, helped put icing on the cake in flashy fashion.

His rabona created a chance for Andrew Kamian, who saw his shot saved, before Benhur Gebretensaie cleaned up for the insurance goal.

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Written by Will Parchman

Guatemala v United States - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifer

Hype didn’t kill Freddy Adu’s career. In the end, Freddy Adu killed Freddy Adu’s career.

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Written by Will Parchman

carleton2

As you might’ve heard, a big thing happened today in the revolving and somewhat daunting world of the #PlayYourKids movement.

Atlanta United signed Andrew Carleton. They really did it.

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Written by Will Parchman

switch

Ever since it came out with its famed The Cage video series back in the era of Crespo and Cannavaro and Totti (almost forgot – one of those is still playing), Nike’s more or less owned the market on cool sponsored pre-event videos.

Their hammerlock on the art reached its zenith between 2008-2010, when Nike released two unbelievable pieces in pretty rapid succession. Before the 2008 Euros, they dropped their ‘Take It To The Next Level” vid, a Guy Richie-directed project that takes viewers through a first-person journey from nobody to Arsenal to the Dutch national team.

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Written by Will Parchman

1376169_630x354

There was always something slightly off balance about John Brooks. He’d filter into USMNT camps from the relative dark of the Bundesliga, and he was the visage of a prototypical cornerstone center back without having the gravitas behind it.

Brooks was always fine. But rarely more than that.

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