Book review: How Soccer Explains the World

With a title like How Soccer Explains the World, the book projects ambitions of grand scale storytelling. For the most part, author Franklin Foer lives up to the hype. The full title is an even more grandiose How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization. A truer title might have been How the... Read more »

Book review: Sounders FC: Authentic Masterpiece

Major League Soccer is still a very young league in the general context of sports. It is trailing behind most major leagues around the world by 50-100 years of history, which is currently multiple times the length of its own existence. So when I told a friend I was reading “Sounders FC: Authentic Masterpiece: The... Read more »

Book review: The Miracle of Castel di Sangro

Plenty of weird, unexpected things happen to every team throughout the course of a season in any sport, and when an American author went to Italy to track a minor league soccer team from a small village that definitely held true. Joe McGinniss tells the story of Castel di Sangro Calcio, which managed to earn... Read more »
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Book review: Das Reboot

Any time a country wins a World Cup the trendy thing is to copy things that country and federation did in order to win. When Brazil wins it’s a focus on playing more street soccer. When Spain won everyone had to try tiki-taka and play more possession style soccer. When Germany won in 2014? Well,... Read more »

Book review: I Think Therefore I Play

In advance of the Chicago Fire season opener I decided to read I Think Therefore I Play, Andrea Pirlo’s autobiography. Pirlo, the famed Italian midfielder, is now playing for New York City FC. NYCFC is the Fire’s opponent in the season opener. I thought reading about the man’s story in his own words would be... Read more »

Book review: The Numbers Game

If you haven’t noticed, which I’m guessing you either didn’t care or you did and have continued following my work at CSNChicago.com covering the Fire anyway, I haven’t been keeping this blog updated. I took a job with Comcast SportsNet Chicago to cover the Fire. As a result, I stopped posting to this blog, but... Read more »
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MLS Cup prediction

The MLS Cup final is upon us today. Just for the sake of going on the record and getting something up on the blog I figured I’d make a prediction post. It’s Portland at Columbus. Two teams with potent offenses and defenses that have become solid at the right time. Portland is hot right now... Read more »

Decoding the MLS offseason

It’s the time of year in Major League Soccer when the offseason schedule starts humming and teams send out press releases that indicate which players they’ve kept and which they haven’t. Or at least, that’s kind of what they’re getting at. Just take a look at the Chicago Fire’s list of offseason moves released on... Read more »

Are the Chicago Fire actually a big club?

Out of all the coverage of Veljko Paunovic’s hiring, something lying just underneath the obvious storylines stood out. Paunovic chose the Fire job despite interest elsewhere, including an offer from Greek club Panathinaikos, with one site even reporting it was a near done deal earlier this month. Also, the Fire had a prestigious list (by... Read more »
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New Fire coach Paunovic is unknown, but has believers

Yesterday the Chicago Fire ended their coaching search by announcing the hiring of new coach Veljko Paunovic. Paunovic, 38, is part of a growing trend of young coaches joining MLS. This is probably a good thing given the last three MLS Coach of the Year winners were young. Caleb Porter in 2013 and Ben Olsen... Read more »