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Author Archive for Graham Ruthven

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Why many LA Galaxy fans don’t believe David Beckham deserves a statue

The former England captain has been honoured for his time in LA. But players like Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan were far more crucial to the teamDeciding on a statue is never easy. There is the archetypal celebration statue, as demonstrated by the Th…

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How MLS and the Scottish Premiership became unexpected frenemies

Both leagues are unable to compete in financial terms against the European elite, and a mutually exploitative relationship is developingMatt Polster either made the best or the worst decision of his career in January. Not long ago he was seen as a futu…

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Is Christian Pulisic the first part of a US European invasion? Not so fast …

The new Chelsea player is the latest of a number of Americans making moves to big European clubs. But the US youth system remains fractured and fractiousOf all the tales told of the USA’s failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, the most haunting dep…

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Zack Steffen is unlikely to ever play for Man City. So why did he join them?

The goalkeeper is one of the US’s most promising players. But he’s more than likely swapping a starring role in MLS for a loan move from CityPep Guardiola knows what he likes in a goalkeeper. The Manchester City manager has changed the way football loo…

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MLS Ultras: plastic wannabes or sign of a thriving league?

Football in North America has been on a quest for authenticity for decades. It’s debatable whether hardcore fans are helping or hindering that goalWhen Major League Soccer kicked off for the first time back in 1996, European football’s Ultras culture w…

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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…