Written by Will Parchman

acosta

If you’re been spinning your wheels through the American soccer mud patch at all over the last few years, you’ve probably run into Steve Fenn’s data visuals at one point or another. He’s been on the leading edge of MLS statistical analysis as the league’s grown into its most modern iteration, and he just dropped a lovely piece of work on our doorstep for perusal.

As those of us who’ve spent any time cruising through the at-times confusing MLS Homegrown landscape well understand, it can be a thorny business to digest exactly how it all fits in together. Which is where Fenn’s latest visualization comes into play.

Every MLS Homegrown dropped neatly into a tidy roster package? Yes and please.

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Written by Will Parchman

mck

As you know by now if you’re an unrepentant soccer nerd like me, the Schalkemerica trio of Nick Taitague, Weston McKennie and Haji Wright are all now firmly ensconced and playing official games with the Schalke U19 team. And that’s the Schalke U19 team that currently leads its national division.

But none of them had made their first team debut yet. Which changed on Thursday.

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Written by Will Parchman

auggie

Look, I’m not going to spend a whole lot of preamble on this. There were a lot of Roman emperors. There are 22 MLS head coaches. These are those emperors as MLS head coaches. Let’s party.

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Written by Will Parchman

pulisic-assist-dortmund-champions-league

We can get a bit carried away with Hype Trains here Stateside, but Christian Pulisic’s has been deemed Safe For Travelers for close to two years now.

His form in 2016-17 with Borussia Dortmund would seem to echo those claims in spades.

WhoScored, which charts stats on just about everything in leagues the world over, recently put together its teenage Best XI in the top five leagues in Europe this season to this point. Its player rating algorithm is fairly complex (it involves 200 raw stats), but it more or less charts a player’s influence on a game. Needless to say, younger players almost invariably have less influence – blame it on the precociousness of age – and so their player ratings averages are lower than veterans across the board. Nothing surprising there.

Still, anything in the high 6′s for an 18-year-old is worthy of praise. Ever think you’d see a Best XI like this with an American in it?

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Written by Will Parchman

busio

Our boys IMG Top 150 class of 2020 is still rounding itself into a discernible shape. Most of these kids are, after all, still grinding away at the U16 level at the oldest. But it’s a good place to start if you’re looking for some of the top up-and-coming USYNT prospects, and your eyes might quickly alight on No. 5 after seeing this wicked golazo.

If you’ve never been acquainted, say hello to Sporting KC U16 maestro Gianluca Busio.

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Written by Will Parchman

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When the U.S. U20 MNT ran through 2017 World Cup qualifying with its first CONCACAF tournament title in history, Jonathan Klinsmann was largely the man between the pipes. Klinsmann started five of the U.S.’s six games in the competition, including backstopping a historic 1-0 win over Mexico and the shootout win in the finale over Honduras. Klinsmann wasn’t asked to do too much in the way of shot-stopping in Costa Rica thanks to a stifling defense in front of him, but he did manage to capture the tournament’s Golden Gloves honor.

Klinsmann was one of just four college players on the 20-man roster after completing his sophomore season at Cal in the fall. And it would appear he might not make it back to Berkeley as a junior.

As we speak, Klinsmann is in Stuttgart training with the first team for the next two and a half weeks. Considering his father and the profile he established in qualifying, this is perhaps the least surprising news we’ve heard all month.

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Written by Will Parchman

bastian

You don’t need any real experience or knowledge on any particular thing to have a deeply felt opinion on it. It helps, mainly in things like reputability and fact-based reasoning and just the general sanity of those within earshot at any given time, but modernity itself allows for this. And we allow for it, generally, by clinging to those of our own. I’ve never actually watched The Princess Bride, and yet I’ve gone through my entire adult life convinced beyond reason itself it is a tragically overrated piece of work. I have no idea how I got here.

This is more or less the story of today’s MLS. I once not too long ago had a conversation with a gentleman who argued Jason Kreis could definitively not handle the rigors of the USMNT job because he was an MLS stooge, and MLS is where goodness goes to die (my words, his mouth). When pressed, he had no idea where Kreis coached or any particular compass as to who he was. But dammit, the second you mention MLS credentials, he is garbage my son.

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Written by Will Parchman

billedwards013117_8col

MLS bids are strange, fickle things fed by blended smoothies infused with overbearing marketing blitzes, pervasive hashtag warz, outlandish stadium mock-ups, and perhaps a dash of underlying neurosis fed by a gnawing sense of overcompensation. But only a dash. Don’t want to overwhelm the flavor.

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Written by Will Parchman

rgvfc-hebpark2

If you weren’t appraised, I’m high on the Rio Grande Valley as a purveyor of Good Soccer. It’s been an overlooked hotbed for years, and the Houston Dynamo’s establishment of a USL affiliate smack in the middle of its flowing waters for the 2016 season was a quiet coup. For multiple reasons.

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Written by Will Parchman

u17

There’s something about U.S. Soccer and ground-quaking Friday afternoon news dumps. And this one was felt from coast to coast.

On Friday, U.S. Soccer officially announced its plans to bring the 18-year run of its U17 residency program in Bradenton, Fla. to a screeching halt at the end of its spring 2017 semester. The news itself had been widely rumored for years, that U.S. Soccer was beginning to grow weary of a residency program that became redundant the second it became obvious the Development Academy was here to stay. But whether it planned to actually bin the program? Nobody knew specifics.

And here they are. This from a Q&A with U20 coach Tab Ramos, who also acts as the U.S. Soccer youth technical director:

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