Avid traveler. Father. Weekend hiker. I enjoy almost every sport there is football being #1. My other passion is to write historical fiction. So be on the lookout for my book. Thanks for reading!
The great debate of North American soccer enthusiasts: Promotion versus Relegation. Arguably since the early days of pro soccer the idea within the North American soccer landscape has been an ongoing debate (I’m talking specifically in reference to USA/Canada). Yet, roughly 100 years later North American soccer still does not have promotion and relegation at any level. This is made all the more curious by the fact that the pro/rel system is a system of league organization that is widely used throughout the world. Further still the fact that it is not part of MLS league makeup makes MLS one of the few first-division professional soccer leagues in the world where clubs don't have to fear of getting dropped to a lower league. But the question is why the resistance? Sports after all feed on drama and what better way to add drama than to include a tried and true method to a league looking to attract more fans. The way I see it promotion and relegation is not some monumental hurdle that can’t be overcome but one that has too many excuses as to why it can’t be accomplished.
The 2020 year is apparently the year of “the unexpected”. At least that’s what it seems like up until this point. As we are all well aware, COVID is the culprit in this widespread disruption to all phases of life with many wishing to return to “normalcy”. I’m sure the virus’s influence will not disappear when it comes to baseball as the pandemic continues to spread here in the United States. Yet, we have been blessed with good news this week; MLB and specifically Rob Manfred announced that baseball would resume on July 23rd.
Where to start? As I’m sure my readers know I have ranted and raved for years about the quality (and sometimes lack there of) of the United States National Soccer team. The far more glaring issue and the baseline of our woes is the lack of international caliber depth at our disposal. But that is only the tip of the iceberg of our present national teams ineffectiveness issues when competing against top ranked teams. The real issue has been replacing the old guard of the 2010 World Cup.
The Deby Della Madonnina, like all intercity football derby’s, it’s a tale of two halves. One Red. One Blue. Today’s match was no different than any other deby in these two teams storied history both of whom call the San Siro Stadium their home.
No one can deny that the team this year, on paper is leaps and bounds better than the year before as far as depth and new talent. The team has done amazingly well in the summer transfer period. Bringing in world talent and rising stars alike to bolster their previous years lack luster roster. Names like Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez highlight the well traveled additions to the squad. But the real genius pickups are the Stefano Sensi's and Nicolo Brella's. These players have proved themselves capable with their respective previous teams of turning a game on its head without a moments notice.
There are three key issues to look at when examining the Peruvian mining case. The first issue is the violence, conflict, frustration and poverty of created by the mining practices of certain mining companies. Their policies then create a climate of violence, conflict, poverty and frustration because they refuse to listen to the local populations demands. The second issue taking place in Peru is the increasing violations of human rights by the mining companies and their private security forces. The last issue brought is the question whether or not the industry will be viable in the future with metal prices falling.
Mexico. Costa Rica. The United States. Panama. Honduras. These are household names in terms of being perceived as the footballing powers of CONCACAF, both in terms of the regions biannual tournament (the Gold Cup) and in representing the region at the World Cup. Yet, the waves of change are being made this year by teams not even ranked within 50 positions of FIFA’S world ranking system. Maybe it’s still early to call the recent results waves, rather they are ripples across the water of what we all know as the established hierarchy of CONCACAF. Regardless, those at the top and elsewhere might want to take notice, because even the biggest waves started as ripples.
The game against Jamaica was set up to be a triumph for the US. This was supposed to be the showcase of how far the team had come since the appointment of Gregg Berhalter as head coach of the USMNT after the dismal period since the departure of Jurgen Klinsmann. Yet, the game fell flat and that’s all the commentators could seem to focus on for the full 90 minutes. As if implying that their expectations for the team were much higher. From my standpoint at the time of watching the game it seemed a little premature to have such high expectations for a team whose majority of its players don’t play together on a consistent basis and whose coach was newly appointed to the position only a few games ago. Combined with the fact that the player pool is strictly speaking weaker depth wise at every position than any generation before it. And whose best players, like many other high profile nations, were coming off of grueling overseas seasons. Some might suggest this is no excuse. That they are professionals and should be up to the challenge. True they are professionals but how many of us, the fans on the couch or in the stands, have ever played a season as long as most of their players endure? So I had to ask myself “Why did the pundits have such high expectations? And were they reasonable?” In a short word. No.