Written by Will Parchman


Landon Donovan is retiring at the end of the season. Whenever that happens to be. And it seems as though nobody really wants this to happen except Donovan himself. Thanks to LA’s impossibly dominant 5-0 demolition of RSL at the StubHub on Sunday night, he’s got at least two games left, either in LA and Seattle or LA and Dallas.

But the real story was how rampant and invested Donovan looked on Sunday night after failing to register either a goal or an assist in any of his previous four games. Retirement tours are fickle, and they can sap motivation, but at the very least Donovan is still pouring it on. We’ll see how he does in the Western finals when he faces a defense that doesn’t look like shredded cheese.

In any case, here are all three of Donovan’s goals from Sunday. Enjoy the sunset.

Tags:  , , , | Leave a comment
Written by Will Parchman


MLS is a unique league. With its panoply of rules, adherence to a strict salary cap and reliance on a massive and unkempt scouting pool, coaching in this league takes a unique personality set. It also creates a unique divide between those coaches who’ve had previous experience with the league before taking their first head coaching gig in its ranks, and those who have not.

So what are the differences between coaches with prior MLS experience (either as an assistant or a player) and those hired cold from outside the league’s ranks? Is MLS a different league for those initially unfamiliar with its vast switchboard of rules and requirements? Let’s have a look.

Here’s a list of every head coach in league history and the years in which they served split into two categories: those who’d had previous MLS experience and those who had not. Let’s see what we can find. Notable: this does not include coaches who operated exclusively under the interim tag.

Tags:  , | 2 Comments
Written by Will Parchman


Orlando City unveiled its jerseys for its maiden MLS voyage in 2015, and they’re pretty alright. Nothing fancy, certainly. Some slight variation in the purple, with darker hoops vining themselves around lighter ones. There’s some gold. That’s pretty OK. Kaka’s up there. So that’s cool, I guess.

It’s not exactly a splash, but that’s not always what you want with kits. They’re solid. They’re purple. Players will wear them in the midst of athletic contests. So… cool.

Tags:  , , | Leave a comment
Written by Will Parchman


We start here. November, 2014, MLS Playoffs.

And now we go back to the beginning.

Tags:  , | Leave a comment
Written by Will Parchman


MLS worked over Chivas USA’s carcass like a gun-wielding trainer rapidly attending to a track horse that’d just broken its leg around the second turn. Just a week after MLS commissioner Don Garber officially dropped the hammer on the Chivas USA franchise, including any accrued history, we have LA2.

Or, for now, Los Angeles Football Club. Welcome to the party, LAFC. Here’s what we know so far.

Tags:  , , | 2 Comments
Written by Will Parchman

The late aughts were an interesting time in our soccer history. They signified both a time when slapping Darude’s Sandstorm onto a highlight package wasn’t considered a sin against humanity, and when Steve Zakuani was among the most coveted young players in the States.

Tags:  , , | Leave a comment
Written by Will Parchman


The idea of a “best” performance in soccer is by nature subjective. Some will see certain aspects as more desirable than others. Pure goal-scoring output without consideration for the surrounding swirl of motion, for instance, which is why you won’t see Bradley Wright-Phillips on this list, but why you will see Thierry Henry. All things that contribute to my own personal esthetic filtered through performance.

So here we are. My 10 best individual 90-minute bursts of brilliance during the 2014 regular season. Let’s get cracking.

Tags:  | Leave a comment
Written by Will Parchman


We will miss Landon Donovan. Probably more than we know.

As we eulogize Donovan’s professional playing career in videos and words and deeds and Tweets and posters and laurels and wreaths, we do so in the midst of sporadic moments of emotion that bubble up quickly and recede in quiet.

Donovan did this to us.

“The face of a soccer generation.” He was the first and likely last of his ilk. No one before or since has presided over the game in America during such exponential rise in popularity, and it doesn’t particularly matter if a more gifted player comes along down the line, as he most assuredly will. He wasn’t Donovan. He wasn’t there. For the committed souls who pushed into the dawn in 2002, for The Beckham Experiment, for the best U17 World Cup the U.S. has ever seen and Algeria and the Chastain bra and all of it.

Tags:  , , | 1 Comment
Written by Will Parchman


Every so often your senses defy you. In the world of U.S. soccer, Wednesday was one of those days.

The announcement that MLS commish Don Garber was preparing to hold a flash press conference on Wednesday afternoon lit through the soccer world like lightning. It was unexpected, and its genesis was hard to miss. What it produced was probably the most astonishing teleconference in the history of U.S. soccer. And not in a particularly good way.

Let’s back up. The USMNT was in Florida this past week for a pair of friendlies. and Jurgen Klinsmann had some choice words on the moves Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley made in coming home. You can read Brian Straus’ entire story here, but the part that seemed to so incense Don Garber is probably this.

Tags:  , | 9 Comments
Written by Will Parchman


SEATTLE – A panel of nine sat spread shoulder-to-shoulder Tuesday on a dais inside a pavilion at the Chihuly Gardens, an ornate snake of red glass flowers clinging to the ceiling crawling above their heads. They were gathered to announce the Seattle Sounders’ “unprecedented event,” and it was hardly surprising that men like Sigi Schmid and Adrian Hanauer were among their number. The announcement of a Sounders USL PRO franchise, after all, was a hardly contained rumor.

But there was also a group joining them who became significant soon after the press conference began. Representatives of the Sounders’ major supporters’ groups joined the team’s administrators, and it soon became obvious why. The announcement of the Sounders’ USL PRO franchise came first, the Sounders 2 beginning operation in 2015 as a standalone franchise under the Sounders’ developmental umbrella. Between Schmid and Hanauer was Andrew Opatkiewicz, a fitting visual considering the day’s ensuing events.

What came next was a surprise. The Sounders opened up 20 percent ownership of the new USL PRO franchise to the fans through a new organization called the Sounders Community Trust. The details of the trust are still filtering out – fans can buy in and have a voting stake in the club’s decisions – but the announcement was met with rapturous applause inside the pavilion Tuesday when it came down. Unsurprisingly, it was wildly popular among the Sounders faithful.

The establishment of a USL PRO franchise certainly wasn’t unprecedented. In fact, the Sounders’ Cascadia rivals in Portland announced their USL PRO venture, called T2, earlier in the day. But to have this level of fan ownership at any level in a soccer franchise in America?

Unprecedented indeed.

Tags:  , , | Leave a comment