Written by Will Parchman

DF_UAjfU0AAGM5j

We have all been sleeping dangerously on Jonathan Lewis.

When the U.S. U20 team lost its first game of World Cup qualifying earlier this year, a dire 1-0 setback against 10-man Panama, coach Tab Ramos essentially hit the reset button. Part of the recovery in the group phase was undoubtedly down to the opponents: Haiti and St. Kitts & Nevis were more speedbump than roadblock. But as part of the reshuffle, Jonathan Lewis was subbed onto the left flank as its primary driving force and suddenly it was open for business. Lewis played most of the final two group matches and the U.S. won them a combined 8-2.

Continue reading

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

GACup

The Generation adidas Cup is currently running through its paces in Frisco, which means dozens of the world’s top academies are mingling with their MLS cousins. It’s something of a bellwether tournament for MLS, especially with the likes of Real Madrid and Eintracht Frankfurt in attendance. Win games, prove you’re on the up-and-up, and on it goes.

And the returns to date have been… less than stellar.

Continue reading

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

james sands

The Homegrown Watch at NYCFC was notably delayed by the club’s decision to take a more methodical approach with its academy roll-out. NYCFC didn’t even announce its own academy until a month prior to the senior team’s MLS debut in March 2015. It finally joined the Development Academy in August 2015 – albeit at just the U14 level – well after the first team began playing its own MLS games.

Contrast this with Atlanta United’s approach, for instance, and you can understand why, entering its third MLS season, NYCFC has yet to sign a Homegrown and Atlanta United already has three. In lieu of Homegrowns, NYCFC’s basically dumped bags of allocation money on young draft picks. After dropping an unknown amount of cash to trade up to No. 1 to grab Jack Harrison in 2016 (it was probably a lot), NYCFC spent $325,000 in allocation to secure Jonathan Lewis and Kwame Awuah in a pair of draft-day trades.

Judging by Patrick Vieira’s recent statements, both in the press and on the field, the age of the NYCFC Homegrown could be rapidly approaching.

Continue reading

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

diskeruf

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.

Continue reading

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

harry

Before Jack Harrison was taken with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft, the English FA had no idea who he was.

There was a reason for that. Harrison, from the down-and-out Lancashire market town of Darwen, had a cup of coffee in the Manchester United system but left the country to attend high school in the States. He did much of his substantive developing here, between the ballyhooed Berkshire Academy in Massachusetts, time in the USYS National League and a year spent in Bobby Muuss’s possession set at Wake Forest.

Continue reading

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

091615-SOCCER-NYCFC-Frank-Lampard-Andrea-Pirlo-celebrate-goal-MM-PI.vresize.1200.675.high.72

It took Andrea Pirlo 27 matches, but he finally found the mark for NYCFC last weekend. And boy was it a very Pirlo-y encounter.

Continue reading

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

Patrick Vieira

A fish.

Giovinco scored and I saw a great fish, sounding and receding into the deep as Patrick Vieira slipped over the gunwale with his gaff glinting in the sun and then slipping from his hands. Then there was a splash and the fish had gone.

There are some battles that you have won by losing them. Let me explain what I mean.

Continue reading

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

BAD

Do you remember when David Villa made this? Because it’s terrible. Let’s all remember together.

Continue reading

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

New York City FC manager Jason Kruis on the substitutes bench before the game

As he is wont to do, Grant Wahl dropped an entire arsenal worth of bombshells Wednesday in his regular Insider column. The top item was the shifting structure of power within USSF as the fed comes to terms with Jurgen Klinsmann’s bizarrely nebulous role. Jay Berhalter is reportedly shouldering more of the technical director role. Which… OK?

That relegated the next news item to perhaps second fiddle, though its implications were no less stark. The Manchester City figureheads guiding NYCFC are strongly considering ousting head coach Jason Kreis after one season sans playoffs in favor of Patrick Vieira. You know. The Patrick Vieira.

And I quote.

Multiple sources connected to Manchester City and New York City FC say Jason Kreis’s job as the coach at NYCFC is in real danger. It’s not a done deal yet, but all signs are pointing to his replacement being Patrick Vieira, the 1998 World Cup winner and former Arsenal star who has been serving as Man City’s elite development squad manager.

Here are my thoughts on that.

Continue reading

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

Villa

Whether or not you’ve heard of The Players’ Tribune yet, it’s already carved out a significant niche in the American sports landscape. Players (and teams, by extension) are controlling more of their own narratives on their own, which is both refreshing and perilous. Refreshing in the sense that we can see things through new eyes, and perilous in the sense that it’s far too easy to control the message. PR for PR’s sake.

In David Villa’s case, the reality seems to be somewhere in between. In his most recent expose in TPT, Villa was engaging without being overbearing, real without being saccharine, and deferential without being disingenuous. It wasn’t perfect, but it certainly felt real. And that’s something in this context.

Anyway, there were some good, bad and damn hilarious quotes to emerge from Villa’s article. I encourage you to pick through it. And then come back here and we’ll enjoy the best bits together. These were my favorites.

Continue reading

Tags:  , , | Leave a comment