Written by Will Parchman

You may remember this fun video from June in which then-RSL-AZ academy member Trevor Hyman gave you a first-person view of the Casa Grande, Ariz. home where RSL’s training setup resides. It was a lot of fun.

Call this the senior team equivalent. You get to see how the pros train from a first-person perspective. As always, the GoPro carries the day.

 

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Written by Will Parchman

nelsen

If nothing else, Ryan Nelsen proved in 2013 that he was a pragmatist.

With a handful of blunt instruments at his disposal and not much in the way of bite, he mostly operated out of a comfortably bland 4-4-2 with a decidedly defensive mindset. Bread and butter stuff from the Kiwi. When life hands you a cheese grater to cut through a barbed wire fence, you fix up a grim visage, settle in for the long night ahead and start grating.

In Alex Olshansky’s final Tempo Free Table of the 2013 season, his findings bore out TFC’s frustrating possessive ethos. TFC tried to wrestle possession as much as possible, but they were tremendously profligate with their touches. Despite having more possessions per game than all but two teams, they were able to string together more passes than just one, the midfield-averse Chicago Fire.

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Written by Will Parchman

The annual Kicking + Screening Soccer Film Festival is gathering its films, which means the respective trailers are beginning to pop up here and there. This one, titled Muerte o Gloria: The Rise fo the American Soccer Fan, looks especially good. The story of the D.C. United fan is essentially the story of the MLS fan from the beginning, and this one digs back into the roots of MLS’ supporters groups culture.

 

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Written by Will Parchman

clint

In 2012, Tim Cahill played in 12 regular season matches for the New York Red Bulls, racked up 1,080 minutes on the field and scored one goal. By most accounts, his initial transfer-shortened MLS season was underwhelming. He often struggled to get involved and entered the 2012-2013 offseason with uncertainty clipping at his heels. Would NYRB’s latest DP be another mild disappointment? The following season was a mystery.

In 2013, Clint Dempsey played in nine regular season matches for the Seattle Sounders, put in a grand total of 651 minutes in an MLS uniform and scored one goal. By most objective measures, Dempsey’s initial blast of MLS air was a bit stale. Unlike Cahill, his form hadn’t suffered in the EPL on the eve of his transfer, and monstrous expectation had been heaped on his shoulders after his historic and somewhat controversial transfer.

Now, Dempsey is mired in an offseason much like the one Cahill had last year. Big player, grand expectations and a sudden and immediate need to meet them.

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Written by Will Parchman

Over here, it’s easy digest TFC’s exuberance over landing former Spurs striker Jermain Defoe. He’s still got plenty of good years left in his legs, and he could have easily extended his stay in the EPL with another team. But Drake and YOLO and whatnot, so MLS it is.

Anyway, Spurs manager Tim Sherwood seems pretty sad about all this. Maybe we should get him something?

 

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Written by Will Parchman

shipppp

In another world, Harry Shipp might’ve been one of the first players off the board in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft. Luckily for the Fire, the Homegrown player will never leave the upper midwest.

The Fire announced Shipp as the team’s third Homegrown signing on Thursday after Victor Peneda and Kellen Gulley. It follows on the heels of Shipp’s national title-winning senior campaign, during which he scored 12 goals and added 10 assists for Notre Dame. Now, he’s on his way up the road to Chicago, where he spent much of his developmental career.

Here’s what he had to say about the decision.

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Written by Travis Clark

MunozNot a single player in the upcoming MLS combine brings the same kind of pedigree that UCLA midfielder Victor Munoz does to Florida.

The former Spanish youth international and Real Madrid Academy product came to the United States to play college soccer for Iona, before transferring to UCLA ahead of the 2011 season.

Now, after completing his eligibility in Westwood, the midfielder has eyes on MLS and next week’s draft. We recently caught up with the Spaniard who discussed what the last four years have been like playing in the USA.

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Written by Will Parchman

beckie

The 91st Minute is admittedly a little late on this one, but sometimes the best things simply need a little time to marinate. Or, in this case, develop some raging dreds, bra.

These are Kyle Beckerman’s engagement photos from October. They are everything you’d hope for from MLS’ No. 1 Rasta. He poses with soccer balls on the Rio Tinto turf. He languidly lounges, seeming to tousle his rock-hard dreds in one finger with a gaze toward his mate deeper than Keanu Reeves’ theology. Then he dons a strange, celestial round hat no doubt fabricated entirely out of his brain power, from the melding of Keats and a single thought of the curvature of our very planet. Kyle Beckerman is a very powerful man.

Also, he’s got this utility fishing vest on. Imagine Ms. Frizzle’s Magic School Bus, but put, like, adult things in it. That’s Kyle Beckerman’s fishing vest.

KatePappas-KyleBeckerman-river

 

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Written by Will Parchman

CAL Men's Soccer vs Maryland

MLS came out with its list of Generation adidas prospects on Thursday. The list itself wasn’t a total surprise, and the fact that MLS didn’t let Andre Blake leave North America for Europe was a tremendous get for the league. Blake is the undisputed gem of this class and could be the best keeper to emerge from the college ranks in some time.

For the most part, it was a safe if somewhat short list of names (Leo Stolz’s late decision to return to UCLA undoubtedly robbed MLS of a fifth).  The only one that looked a bit out of the box was Tshuma, who wasn’t good down the stretch this past season and will have to snap out of his sophomore slump from 2013 in a hurry. But zippy wingers are always in high demand in MLS, which clearly swayed his selection.

As always, though, there’s an intriguing clutch of players who are still waiting to hear their names called as MLS parses through the rest of their options. The league is expected to sign at least one or two more players to GA contracts in the coming days, which leaves a few players still on the block for MLS duty.

Who could those remaining players be? A few suggestions here.

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Written by The 91st

Who doesn’t love a good tifo? We at the 91st minute enjoy the lengths that fans go to salute their teams, whether it’s the fourth division or national team. This video montage takes a look at some of the best tifos 2013 had to offer.

 

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