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Brandi Chastain


July 25, 2015
Taking the long view with the US National Team

CHESTER, Pa.---Let’s be clear. Results matter in sports. Coaches who don’t get results get fired. It's plain and simple. But there are different kind of results. Yes, winning the Gold Cup, appearing in the final, even winning the third place game should mean something. Same for getting to the Confederations Cup, even though it is a contrived tournament created by FIFA to further clog the calendar and extract money from fans and sponsors. But not winning those competitions (or in the case of the Confederations Cup not getting there) is not the end of the world.

July 13, 2015
What’s next for women’s soccer?

So, what’s next for women’s soccer? The United States won its first World Cup in 16 years, drawing a record TV audience for a soccer game of some 25 million, as well as a throng estimated at 200,000 for the victory parade down New York’s ”Canyon of Heroes.”

June 13, 2015
Grandstanding politicians don't help

First, a geography lesson. U.S. Soccer is headquartered in Chicago. Hope Solo, when she is not on the road keeping the U.S. Women's National Team in games, lives in Washington. The state, not the city that is domicile to our largely do-nothing congress.

June 7, 2015
Begging to differ on USWNT's opinion of itself

In one of a series of promos by Fox Sports for its upcoming Women's World Cup telecasts, U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo calls the current National Team "The strongest team in the history of the program." Solo is wrong on a couple of counts.

September 18, 2014
With bland logo, MLS is a blank slate

In unveiling a new logo on Thursday, part of the launch of a new version of a video game, Major League Soccer hopes to connect with its core audience, millennials.

July 29, 2014
Threads in soccer’s colorful tapestry

Phil Stephens never met Nancy Osserman. It’s too bad. They would have gotten along famously, if for no other reason than each provided a rather long thread in the colorful tapestry that is American soccer.

July 1, 2014
World Cup magic is in the eye of the beholder

In the end, there was no magic. At least not enough to propel the United States, whose World Cup lasted 120 minutes longer than I and many observers thought it would, any further.

May 23, 2014
What does Klinsmann’s World Cup roster say about the direction of US Soccer?

Jurgen Klinsmann made some curious decisions in selecting the United States National Team roster for the upcoming World Cup in Brazil, leading to the question, where exactly is soccer in the United States going?

November 17, 2013
MLS Expansion--Too much of a good thing?

Major League Soccer is expected to announce its 21st club next week, granting Orlando City SC a franchise to begin play in the league in 2015.

November 7, 2013
Soccer Bowl trophy brings back memories

ATLANTA—I got my glimpse of the NASL’s Soccer Bowl trophy today. It’s a nice-looking piece of hardware that either the New York Cosmos or Atlanta Silverbacks will lift on Saturday.

September 18, 2013
HBO Sports could use a soccer primer

So, HBO’s Real Sports has finally discovered soccer. After doing a one-sided hatchet job on Chivas USA a few weeks ago, the cable TV magazine show aired a downright positive piece on Seattle Sounders FC Tuesday night. Sort of.

September 10, 2013
The air is different at a big event: USA-Mexico has that feel

COLUMBUS, Ohio---Big events have a certain feel to them. Sports fans know what those events are. Sometimes they are championship games. Sometimes they are rivalry games. Red Sox-Yankees, Michigan-Ohio State. There is something in the air. It’s different. You start to feel it approaching the stadium. It grows moving through the streets or the parking lots and becomes overpowering inside the gates.

August 11, 2013
From Gold Cup win to Dempsey return, big two weeks in American soccer

U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati is fond of saying soccer’s progress in this country is evolutionary, not revolutionary, meaning there is not a single event that provides a seminal moment pointing to the sport’s success.That may be true, but the last two weeks have been an extraordinary time for the game in America.

July 20, 2013
Woosnam deserves the thanks of the game

Every soccer match in this country this weekend should have a moment of silence for Phil Woosnam, the Commissioner of the North American Soccer League, who passed away Friday at age 80.

May 27, 2013
14 is not 42

Robbie Rogers did a courageous thing by coming out, and then un-retiring, becoming on Sunday night the first openly gay male athlete to play in a game for a major professional sports team in the United States.

March 16, 2013
A tale of two cities, two stadiums and four teams

The opening of this Major League Soccer season and Rivalry Weekend has brought about an interesting challenge—catching two games involving four teams that are covered by Soccer News Net sites.

March 10, 2013
Do-over voting is wrong call for the Hall of Fame

The other day, for the second time in a little over a month, I received a ballot from the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

January 20, 2013
Michelle Akers: Simply the best

Every sport has its legends -- Babe Ruth, Jim Thorpe, Gordie Howe, Jesse Owens, Arnold Palmer, Richard Petty, Billie Jean King. Names that resonate even with non-sports fans. Even though she does not think so, Michelle Akers belongs on that list.

December 6, 2012
Greatest American team ever? Not the Galaxy.

Following the Los Angeles Galaxy’s 3-1 win over the Houston Dynamo to capture their second straight MLS Cup on Saturday, former Galaxy player and current team executive Chris Klein proclaimed the team the greatest in American soccer history. While winning back-to-back MLS Cups is impressive, the Galaxy are not even close to the best ever, by a number of measures.

December 2, 2012
A fitting exit for David Beckham

David Beckham left Major League Soccer on Saturday as he entered it – amid happy, celebratory chaos, his welcoming press conference and final hoisting of the MLS Cup trophy bookending a sometimes rocky road through the still-developing landscape of American soccer.

November 22, 2012
Is “sustainability” enough for new women’s league?

No question women’s soccer fans today are thankful that there will be a third attempt at a professional league, as announced by U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati.

October 16, 2012
Home at last

KANSAS CITY,Kan.---For as long as the United States has been playing World Cup qualifiers, it has been looking for someplace where it would truly have a home field advantage.

August 11, 2012
What’s the point? Too many meaningless games

PHILADELPHIA---Now that the travelling road show that is the “Summer of Soccer” has packed up its tent and headed home to play games that count, I say good riddance.

August 6, 2012
A true classic

In the short history of women's soccer at the world level, there have been a handful of epic games and epic performances. Monday’s Olympic semifinal match between the United States and Canada was one of the best.

July 29, 2012
All for One?

Hope Solo is probably the best women’s goalkeeper in the world. But there is something Solo is even better at than stopping opponents’ shots---stirring up controversy.

July 26, 2012
Cutting through the clutter

If you’re a soccer fan, these days you can be gorging yourself on a veritable buffet of soccer. I’m not just talking the 24/7 variety available on cable TV.

July 8, 2012
Zakuani and Mullan give us one of those moments

On Saturday night, Steve Zakuani and Brian Mullan gave us one of those moment s sports are supposed to be about.

May 30, 2012
U.S. celebrates its past, dreams about the future

LANDOVER, Md.---While those of us who have been big supporters of the Soccer Hall of Fame mourn the loss of the campus and museum in Oneonta, NY, one of the nice things about combining the annual Hall of Fame inductions with a U.S. National Team game is that it provides the opportunity to not only reminisce about the rich past of the sport, but also look at the present, and perhaps even a little ahead to the future.

April 2, 2012
Chinaglia--The real straw that stirred the drink

In the 15 years that the North American Soccer League bounced its red white and blue star-laden ball across the continent, there were many great players who played in the league. World Cup winners, international superstars and legends like Pele, George Best, Johan Cruyff, Franz Beckenbauer, Carlos Alberto and Gerd Mueller.

None dominated the league and the headlines like Giorgio Chinaglia, who died on Sunday at age 65 in Florida.

March 10, 2012
Ghost of NASL still haunts MLS

It’s not clear if, when working late at Major League's Soccer's midtown Manhattan offices, Don Garber hears the wind blowing through long abandoned soccer nets, or if he hears the eerie guttural chant of “Cos-Mos, Cos-Mos” that once cascaded down on the now demolished Giants Stadium. But it is clear the Commissioner of Major League Soccer knows there is an otherworldly presence hanging over MLS, which kicks off its 17th season Saturday with 19 teams.

January 30, 2012
A bad day for American soccer

Monday was a bad day for American soccer. And it shouldn't have been.

January 17, 2012
Indoor soccer is alive in Kansas City

Indoor soccer is alive and relatively well in Kansas City. Even if it is in a bit of a time warp. But hey, that's always been part of the beauty of indoor soccer. Turn out the lights, pump smoke on the field, blare 80s disco music and watch guys run around on the turf like they were in a pinball machine.

January 7, 2012
Whoops, WPS misses big opportunity

Thursday afternoon in the main ballroom at the Kansas City Convention Center, Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber will step up to the podium to announce the first pick of the MLS Super Draft. Twenty-four hours later, Women’s Professional Soccer CEO Jennifer O’Sullivan will step up to a similar podium in a much smaller room at the same convention center and announce the women’s league’s first pick.

January 3, 2012
Broaden the bookshelf

Being both a devoted reader and a soccer junkie, I am usually excited when a new soccer book arrives.

November 26, 2011
Memo to US Soccer: time to step up

It’s time for U.S. Soccer to step up for women’s soccer.

September 27, 2011
KC got it right

KANSAS CITY, Kan.---With all due respect to PPL Park and Red Bull Arena, both wonderful MLS stadiums, Kansas City has raised the bar.

July 10, 2011
Indomitable Abby

It’s not always the best teams, with the best players, with the most skill, that win. Sometimes it requires guts, persistence, a little luck and a player that can pick up the team and almost singlehandedly will them to victory.

June 10, 2011
Shouldn’t all-star event be a showcase?

Of all the major sports leagues, and I will include Major League Soccer here, MLS is the only one that has a habit of devaluing its own all-star game.

May 10, 2011
Tough times for the women’s game

Seeing Brandi Chastain doing a promo for the upcoming Women’s World Cup reminded me just how much has changed in women’s soccer since that glorious summer in 1999, when the U.S. team was the darling of the entire country and Chastain wound up on the cover of Time, Newsweek and Sports Illustrated after ripping her jersey off to celebrate her championship-winning penalty kick.

March 16, 2009
Nostalgia is part of the passion for sport

Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber is under the impression that selling soccer and selling nostalgia do not necessarily go hand in hand.

December 3, 2010
Not shocked at FIFA’s decision

If FIFA had awarded the 2022 World Cup to Phoenix, Arizona, that would have been a shock. That they awarded it to Qatar, an Emirate with roughly the same population and summer climate, is not.

November 16, 2010
MLS embracing some NASL history, mis-remembering other

Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber is certainly more accepting of the North American Soccer League, its history and what the league meant to U.S. soccer and to developing soccer fans around the country than the league’s previous administration. But he still needs to get some of his facts about the league correct.

November 6, 2010
The morning after the big upset

If a world power falls and there’s no one there to cover it, does it make a noise?

September 14, 2010
Hall ballot will be interesting in 2014

In the 15 years or so that I have been on the National Soccer Hall of Fame voting panel, I can’t recall a year where we will have as many apparent “shoo-in” candidates as there will be in 2014.

August 8, 2010
To designate or not

A sellout at Toyota Park Sunday and another at Red Bull Arena next Sunday. It looks like the signing of designated players is having the desired early effect on Major League Soccer by boosting attendance for the teams signing the players.

July 30, 2010
New DP rule should be named for Beckenbauer

Another day, another designated player. It seems like everyone in Major League Soccer is getting in on the act.

June 24, 2010
No cheering in the press box, but the living room doesn’t count

There is an age-old axiom in the sports writing profession. No cheering in the press box. Fortunately, this rule does not apply to one’s couch, where a journalist is free to also be a fan.

June 19, 2010
Even for the World Cup soccer doesn’t stop

They say the world stops every four years because of the World Cup. Streets in the major capitals of the world are often deserted when the home country is playing, or fans are packed into plazas to watch games on giant screens.

May 29, 2010
For U.S. change has been for the better

PHILADELPHIA---When one reaches a certain age—and I don’t know what that age is, other than I am sure I have reached it---you have a tendency to look back at things and remember how they were and to think about how much has changed. Some remember the good old days, perhaps a little too fondly than they really were and others decry how much things have changed, usually for the worse.

April 28, 2010
Will over-expanding be a problem for MLS?

Major League Soccer has caught lightning in a bottle with its last three expansion efforts. Toronto FC continues to fill BMO Field game after game, despite the lack of much of a reason to do so from the revolving door of players on the at-long-last-grass pitch.

February 24, 2010
No buzz to spring training

There is no Freddy Adu coming into Major League Soccer this year. No David Beckham, either. There isn’t even a “will he or won’t he be back” debate or feud between Beckham and Landon Donovan. In other words, there is no buzz in the run-up to the coming MLS season.

January 7, 2010
Labor battle can hurt soccer

Labor problems have plagued every American sport for the better part of the past four decades. Baseball, football and hockey have endured and survived major work stoppages.

I am not sure Major League Soccer can.

December 5, 2009
Draw does matter to many

To read or hear certain comments in the media the last few days, you’d think no one in the United States cared about Friday’s World Cup Draw in South Africa.

Don’t tell that to the folks who gathered in Nevada Smith’s in New York or Fado’s in Philadelphia or La Huasteca and ESPN Zone in Los Angeles.

October 5, 2009
Chicago’s loss should be lesson for World Cup bid

Friday’s crushing defeat of Chicago’s bid to host the Olympics in 2016 should serve as a lesson for the United States World Cup bid committee.

July 20, 2009
Beckham: Savior or false Profit$ ?

In more than 30 years involvement in soccer, I’ve never seen anything generate as much controversy as the arrival of David Beckham for his third, albeit partial, season in Major League Soccer.

May 31, 2009
Time for a change – four ideas to improve MLS

When everyone plays for a result, we really get none.

April 27, 2009
Who hosts the World Cup should be a no-brainer

Sometime within the next year or so, one or more large loose leaf binders, videos and power point presentations will make their way from an office in New York to Zurich Switzerland. A letter in support of what those materials contain has already been sent by President Barack Obama.

March 21, 2009
MLS getting expansion right

There is an old saying, “What goes around comes around.” That is true of a lot of things, especially, it seems, in soccer expansion.

February 11, 2009
Crazy weather, fans made this special

COLUMBUS, Ohio---I've seen fire and I've seen rain. I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end.
Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter James Taylor wrote those lyrics in the 70s.
Now I’d like to add one more line.
I’ve seen everything.

February 2, 2009
Voting for Hall of Famers a tough process

Last year, when no one among “modern era” players was elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame , many of my colleagues railed about the process. There were a number of deserving candidates, but none got the required 75% of the vote from the members of the media who make up the voting panel.

January 15, 2009
MLS Draft has become a must-see event

ST.LOUIS, Mo---Back when the National Football League started opening its draft to the general public, in the late 70s, you could always count on Jets and Giants fans to show up for the event at a New York hotel. Maybe even a few fans would make the trek up from Philadelphia.

December 31, 2008
USWNT was 2008’s best overlooked story

The tv shows and sports magazines have been filled with the top stories of 2008. From the New York Giants winning the Super bowl to the Philadelphia Phillies winning the World Series. From Tiger Woods’ amazing performance in winning the U.S. Open on a bad leg to Michael Phelps and his eight Olympic Gold Medals.

October 11, 2008
Troubles? Not on this night

WASHINGTON, D.C.---No doubt this country has a lot of problems. The economy, the bailout plan, the war, the tenor of the Presidential race. Showing our patriotism and moving on to the next round of World Cup qualifying, however, do not seem to be among them.

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