Off The Ball
Ten questions that will be answered in 2015.
1. Will Warrior hire someone that can actually design a decent Liverpool kit? Or will we be left with the Ugly Christmas Sweater jokes. Continue Reading
Premier League Predictions
This weekend a new season of the Premier League season kicks off with plenty of story lines to keep us occupied over the next 10 months. Can Louis van Gaal return Manchester United to the glory days of SAF? How will Liverpool survive without Luis Suarez? Arsenal finally ended their duck last spring of missing out on silverware, but with the addition of Alexis Sanchez can they win the Premier League? Continue Reading
World Cup Final Predictions
When Argentina defeated the Netherlands on penalty kicks, ESPN announcer, Jon Champion, stated the World Cup Final would be, "Messi vs the machine". A great title, maybe even a good name for a band, but Argentina has proven this tournament their side is a lot more than Messi and his 10 buddies. Angel di Maria was a key contributor in the group stages, while Higuain and Mascherano have taken turns being the star player in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively. Germany has many parts to their machine as well - all-time leading World Cup goalscorer, Klose; a player that could break Klose's records, Thomas Muller; and the best goalkeeper in the tournament, Manuel Neuer. Just to name a few. Soccer Banter spoke to five Division I men's soccer coaches to get their analysis and predictions on Germany v. Argentina. Continue Reading
Three weeks ago the World Cup started with a bang as Brazil had to come from behind to defeat Croatia 3-1, which provided a blueprint for the tournament. Plenty of goals have been scored, European sides have been sent home, and Tim Howard and Miguel Herrera have become global icons. Attacking soccer has replaced the defensive tendencies of past competitions and now only eight countries remain to lift the trophy on July 13. Soccer Banter spoke to six men's soccer college coaches to get their analysis and predictions on the quarterfinal matches. Continue Reading
Sermanni Out, Who's Next?
Late on Sunday evening the most talked about women's soccer team in the world made quite a controversial move - removing their head coach. After defeating China 2-0 earlier in the day, Tom Sermanni was told by US Soccer president, Sunil Gulati, that the team was heading in a new direction. The news was met with much speculation including whispers of player's pressuring US Soccer into removing Sermanni. We might never know the true story of why US Soccer decided to remove a coach that was so-liked by his peers, but the next question is who will US Soccer appoint next? Soccer Banter posed this question to David Copeland-Smith and Terry Foley. Between the two of them, they came up with five different names. Copeland-Smith is the man behind Beast Mode Soccer, a technical training program for all players, from AYSO to international superstars like Alex Morgan and Landon Donovan. Foley is the President and Technical Director for FC Virginia and was previously the General Manager for the Philadelphia Independence. Continue Reading
2014 MLS Preview
After one of the busiest off-seasons in the history of the league, the 19th season of Major League Soccer kicks off this weekend. Two clubs that have been at the bottom of MLS in the past, both received major facelifts this winter. Toronto FC added Michael Bradley and Jermain Defoe, while MLS bought Chivas USA from Jorge Vergara with the idea that a new owner will rebrand the club following the 2014 season. A host of clubs hired new head coaches with Jeff Cassar having the biggest shoes to fill after New York City FC stole away Jason Kreis. With plenty of other story lines occurring as the season kicks off, Soccer Banter spoke with a few experienced Major League supporters to get their opinions on the upcoming season. The guest panel for the 2014 MLS preview includes - Jamie Clark (University of Washington Head Men's Soccer Coach), Marc Connolly (Chief Researcher & Editorial Consultant for ESPN's MLS & U. S. National Team soccer broadcasts), Eric Da Costa (Quinnipiac Univeristy Head Men's Soccer Coach), and Sam Lopes (University of New Hampshire Head Women's Soccer Coach). Continue Reading
2013 Soccer Banter in Review
Just a few more games left in Europe this weekend and then it will be a wrap on soccer in 2013. And what a year it's been. In March, Klinsmann was left for dead by his own players, but in December (and after a summer of winning) he signs a new 4-year contract. Sporting KC is crowned MLS Champion while becoming the model franchise for the league. NWSL survives year one and in a dash, added a new club for 2014. Tom Sermanni, possibly the nicest national coach in all of soccer, picked up where Pia left off, but is adding new players into the mix. The World Cup draw has been announced and it doesn't look kind for the red, white, and blue. Sir Alex retired, Mourinho returned, Messi & Ronaldo scored goals, and Bayern Munich landed Pep and are best in the world. There were plenty of other intriguing stories in 2013 and along the way, Soccer Banter tried to share a few of them. Below are the top seven viewed articles of 2013.
To Sir, With Love - Eoin O'Callaghan
Why I Love the Premier League - Gary Curneen
Q&A with Andres Deza - Brendan Faherty
Soccer Night in Newtown - Eric Da Costa
The Football Sartorialist - Allan Lewis
#SoccerParentProblems - Michael Shaw
Criticism for LeRoux Celebration Actually Sexist, Eh - Therese Smith
Extra Time with Dave Clarke
Jose Mourinho is the greatest coach of his generation and when his career is over he will be one of the most successful of all time. He may even be considered the best coach ever, but outside of Porto, Chelsea and perhaps Internazionale of Milan, Mourinho will be respected but not loved. He is his generation’s Helenio Herrera, the mastermind of Inter’s European Cup winning sides, which never waivered from catenaccio and were loathed by football fans. Continue Reading
Heaps of Credit
When Jay Heaps took over the New England Revolution in 2011 there was a lot of criticism surrounding his installment. Many believed he was favored because he played for the club (appearing in over 240 games over his nine years of service) and was seen to be underqualified because he had no prior coaching experience. At a time when the Revs needed coaching and player management stability, Heaps’ induction was highly questioned. Against expectations, Heaps has transformed the Revolution into not only an Eastern Conference powerhouse, but also a team on the brink of winning its first MLS Championship, in a league that has become more and more competitive since his arrival on the sidelines. Continue Reading
Revs vs Red Bulls
If there were any doubts surrounding the New England Revolution in the MLS playoffs, they have been quickly silenced by their 7-3 aggregate win against the Columbus Crew. The Revs looked dominate in each leg, but were going up against a weaker Crew team than they faced in the regular season. The Crew was without Frederico Higuain in the second leg which led to much less productivity up top. The Revs could be in for a rude awakening when they face New York after a very relaxed ending to the series—having a two man advantage and minimal pressure throughout the second half. It’s imperative the Revs come out strong and energetic against the Red Bulls to slow down their momentum and heavily attacking presence they’ve shown early in games. Continue Reading
Revs Run For Cup
The New England Revolution are back in the MLS playoffs for the second consecutive year. Their recent success, spurred by the likes of Lee Nguyen and Jermaine Jones, is being well recognized in New England after the Revs pulled 32,000+ fans at their final home game of the 2014 season. This statistic was the third highest attendance of a Revolution game at Gillette Stadium in team history and it comes after they already clinched their playoff spot for 2014. These figures demonstrate the feeling of something special brewing in New England as the team has been gelling at the perfect time in October and in the latter half of the season. Although already guaranteed a playoff position, Head Coach Jay Heaps didn’t shy away from playing his norm 11—a testament to the “never give up” aura the team has possessed all season long. Heap’s attributed their persistent character to the reason they have so little ties in an interview earlier last month. Continue Reading
THFC: It Can't Get Any Worse
I have been a supporter of Tottenham Hotspur for over 40 years. Like all football fans I have enjoyed many highpoints – FA Cup wins in 1981 and 1991, the UEFA Cup win in 1984, beating Chelsea to win the Carling Cup, seeing the likes of Glenn Hoddle, Paul Gascoigne, Gareth Bale, David Ginola, and Ossie Ardiles pull on the famous Lilywhite shirt and grace White Hart Lane. Continue Reading
The Football Sartorialist
On Saturday we’ll wake up to a new Premiership season: another eight months of familiarity, strangeness, coziness, cheerlessness, overwhelming wealth and sterility. It’s a nice little analog for life, which is why we keep returning. Everyone feel better? Of course. Continue Reading
College Soccer Interviews
The 2014 college soccer season is kicking off all across the country with practices, fitness tests, and team-bonding activities. During the month of August, we will share interviews with different coaches and players involved in men's and women's college soccer. Check back often as new interviews will be added daily.
August 29 - Cyle Larin - University of Connecticut Sophomore
August 14 - Daphne Corboz - Georgetown University Senior
August 12 - Neil Stafford - University of Cincinnati Head Women's Soccer Coach
August 11 - Eric Da Costa - Quinnipiac University Head Men's Soccer Coach
August 8 - Ian McIntyre - Syracuse University Head Men's Soccer Coach
August 7 - Keidane McAlpine - University of Southern California Head Women's Soccer Coach
August 6 - David DiIanni - University of Iowa Head Women's Soccer Coach
World Cup Semifinal Predictions
Europe v. South America. Soccer Banter spoke to five division I men's soccer coaches for their analysis and predictions of the World Cup semifinal matches. Continue Reading
They Think It's All Over...
Phew, so that’s over.
In fairness, I’m not convinced that the USA/Belgium game ever needed to end. It’s been my favourite match of the tournament so far, and if its final 15 minutes were still playing out in some far flung favela I’d risk the Soccerbanter riches to attend.
1st Round Impressions
I count this year’s World Cup in Brasil as my seventh. I was alive for 1982 and 1986, but those cups didn’t register because I was only just getting used to not peeing my pants regularly. The 2014 version is by far the most engrossing, entertaining World Cup I’ve experienced. I know I’m not alone in this view. To celebrate a thus far fascinating show, I submit a few impressions from the tournament’s first round. Continue Reading
World Cup Moments
Close your eyes. Think about the words...THE WORLD CUP.
What moments appear? I see those moments that are played over and over but really only needed to be seen that one time. They will forever be remembered because of what they meant...When they happened...and who created them. Continue Reading
LFC: The Final Week
You’d have thought with a season like we just had that the I Hate Liverpool column would have rolled like thunder. Alas, a range of circumstances, namely children, work and other extracurricular pursuits forced the column into the back seat of a slow-moving vehicle. My apologies.
Regardless, our editor asked for a special blow-by-blow account of the last week of the Premiership season, which I deliver below. It is, at best, a distorted recollection of inner monologue from the Crystal Palace match onward. No prizes to be won here; read on, if necessary. Continue Reading
The End of the Old Firm
Let’s get this out of the way. Rangers Football Club went into administration, was liquidated, and ceased operation in 2012. That means one of the two clubs, which made up the Old Firm of Celtic and Rangers no longer exists. Therefore, the Old Firm no longer exists. Continue Reading
If You Know Your History
In a sinister way, many Manchester United fans appear to be enjoying David Moyes' fraught beginning as manager of their club. His failure to capture a creative midfielder during the summer and appearing to have to settle for his former beau Maroune Fellaini, has seen many supporters spit venom from their soapbox towards the new coach after just four games, that's four. FOUR! Continue Reading
Quote of the Day
March 16, 2015
"We find ourselves battling, once again, at the wrong end of the table. We have therefore made the difficult decision that a change is needed."
- Ellis Short