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Toxic Talk: Friend of My Enemy Edition

Welcome to Toxic Talk, where our resident hater tells you what sucks about soccer this week.

Soccerex Global Convention 2016 Day 1 Photo by Daniel Smith/Getty Images for Soccerex

One of the worst parts of politics is figuring out who you can trust and who you can’t. USMNT fans who called for Sunil Gulati’s head following the men’s failure to qualify for the World Cup were perhaps pleased to see news that Gulati likely would not seek another term, but were forced to swallow it with another newcomer in the race: one likely backed by Gulati and MLS sultan Don Garber.

Kathy Carter has been involved in soccer in the United States for decades. She herself is a former collegiate player at the University of William & Mary, and has proved her business acumen in the soccer world and beyond with marketing stints at Envision and Anschutz Entertainment Group (former owners of, like, half of MLS at one point). She would also be the only woman running for USSF president, and if elected would be the first female to run the U.S. governing body. It stands to good reason she would pay a bit more attention to the women’s game in the States, something the other candidates have been criticized for being a bit scant on.

But the support of Gulati, Garber, and Carter’s current position as Marketing President of Soccer United Marketing, the now-infamous USSF and MLS money-makers many supporters blame for stunting the growth of U.S. Soccer in favor of milking every cent out of it, is a bridge too far.

And herein lies the problem with supporting anyone in this race: just who will you sell your soul to? Someone with loads of experience but questionable ties that make it seem like you’ll just be maintaining the status quo, like Carter or current USSF vice president Carlos Cordeiro? Or an outside big on ideas but with precious little relevant experience, like Kyle Martino, Eric Wynalda, or the like? Opinions on Carter are already split, and she hasn’t even officially announced her candidacy.

If you were hoping soccer would be your little break from the hellscape that is the American political theater right now, I have bad news for you.

Boiling Points

Friendly reminder that the player that holds the record for highest transfer fee Dortmund has ever paid is Andre Schurrle. Cool cool cool.

If you let Jesse Lindgard do this to you, you have to burn down your stadium and salt the Earth where it once stood. Forget getting Wenger out; Arsenal needs an exorcism.


Benevento might be the worst team in one of the big 5 European leagues ever, but that didn’t stop them from securing their first point of the season (!) against AC Milan with a cotdamn goalkeeper header. Go on, boys.

  • Some sort of sporting event had a draw for 2018 -

Not really sure what it was. Never heard of it.

  • The week in disrespect -

Elsewhere, Juventus downed Napoli to pull the Scudetto race to a single point. Italy was just popping off in general this week.

  • Pep Guardiola is the most aggressive complimenter in the world -

You’d be forgiven for thinking Pep was doing his best Gennaro Gattuso impression here, but both he and Nathan Redmond have since confirmed that Pep was complimenting Redmond on his play and telling him he should have pressed Manchester City more, making this the weirdest positive reinforcement of the week.

Oh yeah, Man City have won 13 straight. Here’s the extremely pretty, last gasp Raheem Sterling goal that kept the streak alive.