Written by Will Parchman

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Emerson Hyndman arrived at Fulham in 2011 riding the great crest of the American-English soccer wave. To say nothing of the American youth boots already on the ground in Albion, the seismic NBC Premier League deal was only a year off, an agreement that gave Americans readier access to every one of the league’s games than even the average Englishman.

Hyndman’s signing was quiet, far more so than the relative trumpets that heralded Brian McBride and Clint Dempsey’s signatures for the Cottager senior team. It was a speculative deal in more than a few ways, Hyndman latching on with Fulham’s youth apparatus to see if he had the stern stuff required for the Premier League’s rocky paces.

At the time, five years ago, the English youth ladder still looked like the grand final destination for America’s best and brightest bristling to test themselves abroad. It was England, after all. The culture, the language, the prestige-limned clubs — that particular transition made more sense than anything. If you had a choice, or even if you were actively attempting to direct your steps abroad, you went to England.

A lot can happen in five years.

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Written by Will Parchman

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If perception is reality – it is – and people are generally lazy in forming those perceptions – they are – then MLS has an All-Star problem. A fairly sizeable one, in fact.

Most hard, angular opinions melt in the lamplight glow of experience, and in this we have the fundamental issue of politics. You can say anything to a braying audience from a dais, but to sit in a fresh Syrian immigrant’s living room and say the same toneless inanities is something else. People, or at least those people worth acknowledging, simply wouldn’t do it. You’d listen to their plight, their struggle, and experience their tears and drink their tea and soak in their hospitality and suddenly your world is a slate gray where once it was white and black.

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Written by Will Parchman

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Player tunnels in Germany are A Thing. In most of the soccer old world, the connective tunnel between the locker rooms and the field are a utilitarian thing. They are a means of locomotion, to transport you from one place to another. Considering many of the old European stadiums are 100+ years old – and player tunnels are of relatively little consequence besides – architects focus on other endeavors.

Not in Germany, friends. Not in glorious new Germany.

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Written by Will Parchman

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Another member of the 2013-15 U17 World Cup cycle just signed a pro deal in lieu of turning to college soccer.

LA Galaxy Homegrown Hugo Arellano, the American captain at that most prestigious of youth tournaments, just signed for LA Galaxy II.

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Written by Will Parchman

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Before Sunday, the Timbers had thrashed about wildly in the darkness without Diego Valeri.

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Written by Will Parchman

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Wrangling over contract value in the pale light of the MLS salary dump tends to be a futile exercise, one in which I have admittedly engaged in the past. In the MLS-driven context that all things are generally Unknowable – allocation decisions and Discovery claims and Homegrown alterations and whatever else – the MLSPU salary release is a genuinely fresh gust of transparency in the stagnant desert of back room news.

It is hard not to smother it in coverage like a starving man might devour so many plates of meat, however overcooked.

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Written by Will Parchman

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We’ve known for some time that Argentine soccer is on fire, and that general practices for MLS GMs behoove those chiefs to reel in South American talent anyway. The best MLS clubs in the modern era were built on this.

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Written by Will Parchman

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I first met Oscar Pareja in 2013, during his final rickety carousel ride of a season with the Colorado Rapids. His project in Colorado had never really gotten off the ground for a variety of reasons, many of them systemic, but Pareja was buoyant still.

The Rapids had just beaten the Vancouver Whitecaps 2-0 to cap a nine-match unbeaten streak that preceded a sharp decline at the end of the season. But in the interim they were surprisingly good, too good really for the talent available at Pareja’s disposal. And in their 2-0 win Deshorn Brown, a young 22-year-old forward Pareja helped establish, scored the ultimate winner.

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Written by Will Parchman

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In the construct of American youth soccer, there are few players hotter in the moment than FC Dallas’s Weston McKennie. And he might not be FC Dallas’s for much longer.

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Written by Will Parchman

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Just two weeks after Argentina failed to win the Copa America in part because Best Player In The Universe Leo Messi skied a penalty, professional abdominal salesman Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal won the Euro against every odd that ever existed.

Portugal is fine, really, but this was hardly the 2004 side in the midst of its Golden Generation that failed against Greece in the final. It was full of steel and too much youth and a sulking Cristiano Ronaldo who wanted nothing more than to step out of a shadow Messi’s been casting for at least five years.

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