Author: Eric Altshule

Bob Bradley Signs to Coach USMNT Through 2014 World Cup

Reports have come out this evening confirming that Bob Bradley will stay as coach of the US Mens National Team for another four years.  Just as speculation was growing that Bradley would be out, Jurgen Klinsmann would be in, and US Soccer was going to make some significant changes before the next World Cup, it seems that everyone has chosen stability over transformation.  There are several different ways to look at this: This was the right move Bradley may not be the most charismatic character of all time, but he did well.  Under his stewardship, the US won the Gold ... Read more

Thierry Henry Is Shaping Up as the Best Designated Player in MLS History

When MLS created the Designated Player rule several seasons ago, many fans were both excited and nervous.  The benefits were obvious – it was an opportunity to retain great American players and attract great foreign players by allowing teams to offer a few salaries commensurate with the great leagues of Europe.  The concern was always about the attitude these DPs would take.  Would they really fit into a team and be willing to give their full efforts in squads that were several pegs below what they were used to?  Would these DPs be past-their-prime glory seekers after that last decent ... Read more

Why the US is a Lock to Host the 2022 World Cup (or Maybe 2018)

There is some real drama about which European country will host the next World Cup.  Both England and Russia have submitted solid bids, and FIFA is going to have to think very deeply about which country will get to host this prestigious event.  However, FIFA is awarding both the 2018 and 2022 World Cups this December, and although several countries, including South Korea, Australia and Qatar are bidding for the other slot, the US is almost a guaranteed winner.  There are several factors in the US’s favor, but as with most things about FIFA, they come down to money. Nobody ... Read more

Why Russia Could Beat England to Host 2018 World Cup

  This week The FIFA inspection committee responsible for producing the report on all the possible host countries for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups visits England.  The committee will be touring London, Manchester, Sunderland and Newcastle, inspecting stadia, looking at infrastructure, and getting charmed by David Beckham, Fabio Capello and Bobby Charlton. Many English fans consider themselves a lock for hosting 2018 World Cup.  In their view, there is no European nation that can match their stadia, infrastructure, or passion for the game.  England is the birth place for soccer, and has not hosted its greatest tournament, since 1966.  ... Read more

Landon Donovan is Going to Europe. It’s About Time.

In a post-game interview after last night’s All-Star game, Landon Donovan said “We have had transfer interest and we will have some time to think about it and see where it goes.  There is interest from a number of teams.” To be explicit, what Donovan said he is going to Europe, and it is not a matter of when (next month) but of who (Everton, Man City, Serie A or somewhere else) and at what price. Landon Donovan is, simply said, the best American soccer player of all time.  He has speed, ball skills, game vision, and a scoring touch ... Read more

The FA Fiddles as the Three Lions Burn

With a few weeks perspective after another predictable and disappointing quad-annual collapse by the latest version of England’s best-team-in-a-generation, the FA is starting to weigh in.  In article published yesterday in the Mirror, the FA revealed its new strategy – groom an English coach to take over for Fabio Capello in two years, bring a few more youngsters into the team and look at the way the Spanish national team trains. Sorry, but that just won’t do the trick.  The sad truth is that England is a long way from producing a team that approaches its fans’ overinflated expectations.  Without ... Read more

An American Soccer Culture Emerges in South Africa

Soccer has an almost magical ability to reflect a national character.  Brazil is a sensuous, musical nation, and for its national soccer team, it is not enough to simply win – they need to win with grace, style and beauty.  At the other end of the spectrum, a disciplined, efficient country like Germany has created a team that wins with ruthless well-organized proficiency.  Italians always believe that the fix is in, and a player that dives and feigns injury to get a penalty or an opponent sent off is simply a clever person navigating a corrupt world.  After a few ... Read more

Bob Bradley Did Great, but the USMNT Should Hire Someone New

After the failure of Germany 2006, nobody wanted to hire Bob Bradley for this job. It was hard to find a fan that thought he was the right man. US Soccer was desperate to hire Jurgen Klinsman. Columnist fantasized about importing some maestro from Europe or South America. When the other options failed to pan out and Bradley was hired, there was clearly an air of Miss Congeniality about his appointment. His initial contract was not even guaranteed through the 2010 World Cup. Bradley was the date we all settled on while we looked longingly across the dance floor at ... Read more