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Author Archive for Tim Froh

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‘My under-10 matches are the worst’: no end in sight to youth referee abuse

While many acknowledge that the abuse and assault of referees is endemic in American sports culture, few people seem willing to do anything about itNearly every single day, a sports official becomes the victim of verbal abuse or physical assault. This …

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‘It’s un-American’: will the government and CTE fears kill US youth football?

With evidence mounting that football damages children’s long-term health, should the state step in to protect young players?Youth tackle football is a sport in crisis. While participation rates in recent years have remained relatively steady, the broad…

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Anonymous letters and threats: How racism came to stalk US youth soccer

For players as young as eight on Idaho’s Juniors FC, the possibility of abuse when they step on the field is very real. And they are from from uniqueJeromy Tarkon, a youth soccer coach in Boise, Idaho, walked out to his car on a Sunday morning this pas…

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Not feeling the (Dallas) Burn: why MLS teams tried to sound more European

There was a time when US soccer was a storm of Rowdies and Cosmos, but now United is the name of choice. What’s going on?

Once, pro soccer in the United States firmly embraced the country’s sporting culture. Teams that came to prominence in the 1970s in the North American Soccer League (NASL) had names that wouldn’t sound out of place in the NFL: the New York Cosmos and and Tampa Bays perhaps being the most notable. Cheerleaders  roamed the sidelines, and even the foundations of the game – such as the offside rule and the draw – were changed to appeal to an audience accustomed to traditional American sports.

But over the last 15 years, Major League Soccer has evolved from a league of teams with names such as Wizards, Burn and Clash to something that sounds a lot more, well, European. There are three Uniteds (Atlanta, Minnesota and DC), two called City (New York – whose name is down to their parent club, Manchester City – and Orlando), one Real (Salt Lake) and a Sporting (Kansas City). That’s not to mention the many lower division sides who have also changed their names in recent years.

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‘They’re stealing from children’: US youth soccer’s embezzlement scourge

An army of volunteers help run the youth game in America, but a lack of professional oversight could be costing the game in the US future stars

When people discuss the problems with US youth soccer, they often point their fingers at the pay-to-play structure, which prices many players out of the game, or its lack of professional infrastructure. One thing, however, that few people discuss is embezzlement.

You don’t have to look far to find examples of the breadth of the problem. In recent years, teams as far afield as small town New Hampshire and California’s farm country have suffered financial losses in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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Cle Kooiman, the indoor soccer star who became an unlikely hero in Mexico

The big white guy from southern California was deemed the wrong fit for the skilful, technical Mexican game. But he won over the sceptics, and earned a place on USA’s World Cup roster

Not many soccer players can say that landing in Mexico’s Ciudad de Juárez was the fulfillment of a childhood dream. But then Cle Kooiman was no ordinary soccer player.

When Kooiman arrived in Juárez in 1990, he found a sprawling border town of ne million people, most of whom were looking for work in the city’s growing manufacturing industries. These were the halcyon days before Juárez became a byword for murder and drugs, back when this working-class town in the middle of the Chihuahua Desert believed it could spark a nationwide economic recovery. Its ambitions made it the perfect fit for Kooiman, a southern California native with a surfer’s sunny vibe and a chip on his shoulder wide enough to span the Rio Grande.

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Steven Beitashour: born in America but proud to play for Iran

The Toronto FC defender is one of several dual nationals called up by Iran coach Carlos Queiroz. Could it spell a multinational future for Team Melli?

The first time Steven Beitashour arrived at the Iranian national team camp, he came with a foam roller clipped to his backpack. For Beitashour’s new team-mates – most of whom played professionally in Iran’s Persian Gulf Pro League – the foam roller symbolized the changes enacted under their Portuguese coach Carlos Queiroz. All of those long sessions on the mat or in the hydrotherapy room suddenly made sense. This was how the rest of the world trained.

Related: The MLS winter loan is dying – in part because the league is so physically taxing

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The day America’s top soccer club threatened to move to Mexico

Before the start of MLS, the San Francisco Bay Blackhawks saw their best hopes in a foreign country

According to those who knew him, Dan Van Voorhis was a mass of contradictions – generous, gregarious and fun-loving one moment then stubborn, irascible and aggressive the next. But Van Voorhis, a man whose patronage of American professional soccer was years ahead of its time, was nothing if not bold.

Bold enough, in fact, that by February 1993 he was prepared to do the unthinkable. His team, the San Francisco Bay Blackhawks, would apply for guest status in the Primera División, the highest level of professional soccer in Mexico.

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The day America’s top soccer club threatened to move to Mexico

Before the start of MLS, the San Francisco Bay Blackhawks saw their best hopes in a foreign country

According to those who knew him, Dan Van Voorhis was a mass of contradictions – generous, gregarious and fun-loving one moment then stubborn, irascible and aggressive the next. But Van Voorhis, a man whose patronage of American professional soccer was years ahead of its time, was nothing if not bold.

Bold enough, in fact, that by February 1993 he was prepared to do the unthinkable. His team, the San Francisco Bay Blackhawks, would apply for guest status in the Primera División, the highest level of professional soccer in Mexico.

Continue reading…