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Author Archive for Graham Ruthven

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Wayne Rooney thrust into unfamiliar role in MLS: an out-and-out goalscorer

The former England captain has had a successful start to his career with DC United as he adapts to a new approach to the game across the AtlanticIf ever there was a moment to illustrate all that is good about Wayne Rooney, it came in his one-man crash-…

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Is the US falling out of love with European clubs’ summer tours?

The International Champions Cup is still capable of attracting huge crowds in the US, but away from the marquee games, attendances were downWhatever you do, don’t call it pre-season. Meaningless games are now a thing of the past, at least according to …

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Is the US falling out of love with European clubs’ summer tours?

The International Champions Cup is still capable of attracting huge crowds in the US, but away from the marquee games, attendances were downWhatever you do, don’t call it pre-season. Meaningless games are now a thing of the past, at least according to …

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Will Jesse Marsch’s move to Europe stop the jokes about US coaches?

Coaches who start their careers in MLS have often been treated as walking punchlines in Europe. But that perception may be changingMinutes before kick off, Domènec Torrent and Chris Armas shook hands on the touchline. This, a derby match between New Yo…

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The continuing mystery of Toronto FC’s inept MLS title defence

The reigning champions are second from bottom of the Eastern Conference and problems appear to be cropping up everywhereMLS writer Matthew Doyle highlighted a moment in Toronto FC’s 2-1 defeat to New York City FC just over a week ago which shines a lig…

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Why Wayne Rooney is joining MLS’s worst club, DC United

The former England captain will find himself at a faded North American superpower. But they hope he will be the face of their climb back to the topWayne Rooney made his first visit to Washington DC earlier this month. Had he picked up a newspaper he’d …

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s stunning MLS debut is starting to look like an exception

The Swede’s LA Galaxy career is still in its infancy but his red card this week came as his new team continues to struggleIt was a moment completely and utterly befitting of the theatre that follows Zlatan Ibrahimovic wherever he struts. Video of the S…

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Is the Seattle Sounders’ era as an MLS superclub coming to an end?

The Sounders showed soccer can draw big crowds in the US. But as they’re outshone by the likes of Atlanta United, some fans fear a lack of ambitionFor years, it was the most authentic experience Major League Soccer had to offer. In many ways, they were…

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Patrick Vieira has been tipped to succeed Wenger – just how good is he?

New York City manager lacks the experience of rival contenders for the Arsenal job but he has built a solid reputation in MLS Almost as soon as he’d sat down in front of the waiting press upon his appointment as New York City FC head coach in January 2…

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TAM, GAM and trades: why MLS is the world’s most overcomplicated league

For many fans, football’s beauty lies in its simplicity. So do MLS’s sometimes arcane rules and regulations put people off?For the past four years, ESPN has conducted an anonymous survey of MLS players. There are always angles and headlines: this time …

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Why Zlatan’s move to LA Galaxy is bad for Major League Soccer

Ageing striker’s long-awaited move to US is done, but the entire enterprise feels like an unwelcome throwback for MLSIt had become the worst kept secret in soccer. This was a transfer that followed the usual course of conjecture: there was a public cou…

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Does MLS really promote flashier clubs over less glamorous ones?

Much of the league’s media coverage is generated in-house. So how much of a responsibility does it have to give equal attention to each team?There are few better in world soccer at marketing its own product than Major League Soccer. North America’s top…

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Christian Pulisic has succeeded in spite of American soccer, not because of it

The rise of maybe the best American soccer player ever, who’s been linked to Liverpool and Manchester United, doesn’t square with US Soccer’s problemsChristian Pulisic is already at one of the biggest soccer clubs in Europe. Borussia Dortmund are peren…

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Toronto FC, once the favourite punchline of MLS, aiming to have last laugh

The Canadian side go into Saturday’s MLS Cup final against the Seattle Sounders confident of becoming the team they always had the potential to beToronto FC were not so long ago Major League Soccer’s favourite punchline. Both on and off the field, they…

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David Villa to Diego Valeri: the men who will decide the MLS playoffs

The teams are decided for the post-season. But who will have the biggest say on the destination of this season’s MLS Cup?Josef Martinez (Atlanta United) Nothing in Major League Soccer is as thrilling as an Atlanta United game at their new Mercedes Benz…

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Football world watches as MLS rolls out video replays leaguewide

The system’s success in North America this season will go a long way to deciding VAR’s place in the game

FC Dallas thought they had clawed a goal back. Maxi Urruti reacted quickest to a loose ball in the box, and found the back of the net to give the Texans a lifeline against the Philadelphia Union. On any other weekend previously this season, the goal probably would have stood. FC Dallas may well have mounted a late comeback on the back of it. This weekend, however, Major League Soccer debuted its new VAR system. Urruti’s goal was its first case study.

Indeed, replays showed that Cristian Colman made contact with Philadelphia goalkeeper John McCarthy before Urruti took his shot. The decision, which took just under two minutes to be made, was ultimately the correct one. Incidents like this will become commonplace, but this one marked the start of a new era. The era in which referees finally have some help.

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Bruce Arena shows that many of USA’s best prospects are MLS based

The USMNT coach has always respected players from the domestic league, and this summer is likely to be a showcase of the talent available in MLSAmerican heroes tend to have a familiar look. Indeed, the US national team took to the field on Saturday in …

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MLS: where the standing fan is fast becoming king

Los Angeles FC are the latest team to announce standing areas for their fans, and it is a trend supporters on the other side of the Atlantic will note

Fan culture in Major League Soccer isn’t always considered to be the most authentic. That comes with the nature of the competition, in its franchised form, but that’s not to say fan culture doesn’t exist in North American soccer. This season, safe standing has become a part of that culture, with Orlando City leading the way (sometimes in very … expressive ways). Others, such as Atlanta and Minnesota United, are following their lead.

In what has quickly become typical fashion for Los Angeles FC, a much teased announcement on Saturday confirmed that MLS’s glitziest club without a team will also have a standing section of their own at their new stadium to help create “an electric and unified stadium atmosphere on match-days.” It was not an original part of the plan (although standing areas had been mooted), but LAFC presumably saw how a standing section has energised Orlando City and crowbarred it into their own blueprint.

Continue reading…

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MLS: where the standing fan is fast becoming king

Los Angeles FC are the latest team to announce standing areas for their fans, and it is a trend supporters on the other side of the Atlantic will note

Fan culture in Major League Soccer isn’t always considered to be the most authentic. That comes with the nature of the competition, in its franchised form, but that’s not to say fan culture doesn’t exist in North American soccer. This season, safe standing has become a part of that culture, with Orlando City leading the way (sometimes in very … expressive ways). Others, such as Atlanta and Minnesota United, are following their lead.

In what has quickly become typical fashion for Los Angeles FC, a much teased announcement on Saturday confirmed that MLS’s glitziest club without a team will also have a standing section of their own at their new stadium to help create “an electric and unified stadium atmosphere on match-days.” It was not an original part of the plan (although standing areas had been mooted), but LAFC presumably saw how a standing section has energised Orlando City and crowbarred it into their own blueprint.

Continue reading…

0

MLS: where the standing fan is fast becoming king

Los Angeles FC are the latest team to announce standing areas for their fans, and it is a trend supporters on the other side of the Atlantic will note

Fan culture in Major League Soccer isn’t always considered to be the most authentic. That comes with the nature of the competition, in its franchised form, but that’s not to say fan culture doesn’t exist in North American soccer. This season, safe standing has become a part of that culture, with Orlando City leading the way (sometimes in very … expressive ways). Others, such as Atlanta and Minnesota United, are following their lead.

In what has quickly become typical fashion for Los Angeles FC, a much teased announcement on Saturday confirmed that MLS’s glitziest club without a team will also have a standing section of their own at their new stadium to help create “an electric and unified stadium atmosphere on match-days.” It was not an original part of the plan (although standing areas had been mooted), but LAFC presumably saw how a standing section has energised Orlando City and crowbarred it into their own blueprint.

Continue reading…