The departure of Adam Snavely has left a massive void in our lives. I don’t for one minute think that I can fill that role or think that in any way would you enjoy it if I wanted to, but that won’t stop me from doing whatever this is. The Weekly Rekrap will bring you the soccer news and notes from the past week that you may have missed or didn’t get a chance to look at during the week. Plus, it’s going to drop on Friday when you’re at work just waiting to go home for the weekend so you might as well read it anyway. Either you’ll enjoy it or regret commenting that I should stick to sports in one of the politics articles that I wrote.
Oh, and if you’re wondering where Snaves went, well he accepted a lucrative transfer to a bigger league, no word if we’ll be getting a solidarity payment...
In any case, onto the Rekrap...
More than a game...
Soccer players from leagues across the US have committed to donate to Playing For Pride yet again in 2018.
The names include some notable ones including Meghan Klingenberg, McCall Zerboni, Sam Mewis, Becky Sauerbrunn, Brad Evans, Zack Steffen, and Michael Parkhurst. The organization is raising money for Athlete Ally to “end the structural and systemic oppression that isolates, excludes and endangers LGBTQ people in sport.” For more information about the organization and to donate, go here.
Washington, DC is finally getting an MLS team - amazing. Whatever you think about Wayne Rooney coming to MLS and trying to score goals against the likes of Kevin Ellis, Taylor Twellman WENT INNNNNNNN on DC United about their spending and general New England Revolution like approach to running a soccer team over the last 10 seasons. As DC looks to gain some momentum it is finally investing in their club and opening a stadium that isn’t a complete embarrassment to play in and has added players that people might enjoy seeing play soccer like Paul Arriola, Luciano Acosta, and Yamil Asad. It would be easy to say that adding Rooney is a completely cynical move on the part of DC after neglecting their team, the league, and fans since the start of the Designated Player era and that they haven’t tried to field a competitive or fun team to watch team while also getting into petty and pointless fights with supporters groups... And well, there’s no but to any of that - take it away Taylor:
Whoever said Donald Trump would be bad for international soccer anyway?
The club Beitar Jerusalem certainly have embraced him to the point that they are being renamed in the President of the United States of America’s honor amid the US Embassy in Israel moving to Jerusalem - meet Beitar Trump. You may be familiar with Beitar, they claim a racist and Islamophobic fanbase with ties to organized crime as profiled last year in Howler Magazine.
What am I supposed to stick to?
Coming to a television screen, er.. Facebook stream near you...
Is a new soccer TV show from the creative mind of Cristiano Ronaldo, who else? The show will follow a high school girls soccer team in New York “as the team’s melting pot line-up and winning streak invites the community to overcome deep divisions along racial, ethnic and class lines by rallying around the universal language of the beautiful game” according to Deadline. In addition, there will be plenty of teen drama featured on the show inspired by the life of Ronaldo himself as he told the website, “The story of my life has many similarities with the highs and lows the girls varsity soccer team will face in the series.” I would really be interested to hear more about his life being like a girls varsity soccer team, Ronaldo is nothing if not self-aware.
In case you missed it...
The Seattle Reign are good and fun and feature Megan Rapinoe possibly having her best season ever in the NWSL. The forward had a brace last weekend and takes on the Chicago Red Stars and last year’s NWSL golden boot winner, and 2017 Best FIFA Women’s Player snub, Sam Kerr on Saturday.
Somewhere in Florida...
A Dutch former head scout for the USMNT is plotting his next Twitter meltdown...
(you may notice a certain someone missing from that list).
That will be happening while Alexi Lalas tries to rationalize saying that he’s “all in on El Tri,” though I guess Fox’s checks will still clear. By the way, Mexico’s marketing around their team where they try to appeal to a multi-national fanbase that supports it from two countries and beyond completely trounces whatever US Soccer tries to do with ‘One Nation, One Team’. This is a great ad, but it failed to get past the Round of 16.
As far as who Americans will support because they aren’t glory hunting and have some long lost relative from the great Kingdom of Prussia or any number of other kingdoms that predate the current national borders of wherever they claim a passing cultural affinity to, Germany released their provisional roster. I was surprised to see Sami Khedira of the Vancouver Whitecaps included, but there he is.
Amazingly Costa Rica has called in a team with Keylor Navas and 35 center backs on it.
Just because the USMNT won’t be at the World Cup, it doesn’t mean we can’t pick the roster that would go, right? The US must be the only country that isn’t filled with people so seething with rage at missing the World Cup that there are entire articles devoted to what it would look like if our terrible fail team had FINISHED IN THE TOP FOUR OF THE HEX.
Just go away...
Speaking of not making the World Cup, Americans may not be hearing a lot from the players who didn’t get the monumental task of not finishing fifth or sixth in qualifying done, but they are sure hearing a lot from the people who couldn’t get the tactics or motivation right to reach the tournament. Both Jurgen Klinsmann and Bruce Arena have been on something of a media blitz over the last few months. They talked to Yahoo Sports about their unimpressive showing in the Hex - you can read it if you want, but I share the sentiment of Daniel Casey of World Soccer Talk who had a great take on Arena’s book from last week.
But then again...
Luckily since the departure of Arena and Klinsmann, the USMNT has been in good hands. Dave Sarachan is undefeated as manager and the completely reliable and not at all a bad measure of who is good in world soccer FIFA/Coca-Cola World Rankings came out and the USMNT is solidly the 24th best team in the world. The Stars and Stripes are above Costa Rica and Panama even though they’ll be at the World Cup and Costa Rica beat the US a combined 6-0 in qualifying.
Official World Cup notebook from Argentine soccer federation: “What to do to have a chance with a Russian woman.” And you wonder why women’s soccer doesn’t get much support in Argentina? https://t.co/L7Mx3LKJHF— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) May 16, 2018
Grant pretty much says it all there.
You should listen to...
We Came To Win which is covering great stories from the World Cup. Unlike most podcasts that cover great stories from the World Cup, they’re also covering stories from both the Men’s and Women’s World Cups since, unlike a lot of the soccer media, they noticed they both exist. This week they have a deep look at Hope Solo’s 2015 effort with the USWNT and all of the ups and downs in her career that brought her to that moment.
What would a soccer article be without goals? Andrija Novakovich scored a lot of them in the Dutch second division this year - two minutes and nineteen seconds worth in fact:
Check out all 22 of @AndrijaNovakov3 goals this season for Telstar! Novakovich is definitely one to watch out for come this fall as he returns to Reading after his year long loan & is in my opinion the future at the forward position for the USMNT!pic.twitter.com/WCtiSxyd9g— DMV Soccer (@DMVsoccer96) May 15, 2018
Your goal of the week winner in the NWSL from last weekend was from Christine Narin - as if there was any doubt: