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An American Fan's Journal (of France '98)

It Seems to Me . . . 1999
A weekly column by Robert Wagman

It Seems To Me . . .
MLS rumor mill: Is Stillitano out, but are Kirovski, Campos in?

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Thursday, December 29, 1999) -- Twas a couple nights before the year 2000 and the Major League Soccer rumor mill was churning.   Full story.

Limits on foreigners might help MLS, but will it aid U.S. soccer?

BRUSSELS, Belgium (Thursday, December 23, 1999) -- A number of readers e-mailed after I reported here from the headquarters on the European Economic Community that FIFA and UEFA were stepping up their efforts to try to limit the number of foreigners who can be on the field at one time for any professional team in Europe.   Full story.

FIFA, UEFA seeking EU waiver to greatly limit foreign players.

BRUSSELS (Monday, December 20, 1999) -- Following the European Court striking down an attempt by world soccer governing body FIFA and European governing body UEFA to limit the number of foreign players -- including European Community citizens and passport holders -- on European professional teams, the two soccer organizations are lobbying to arrange a political solution.   Full story.

MLS faces decisions that could have major impact on its future.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Wednesday, December 15, 1999) -- Major League Soccer seems to be stumbling toward something of a crossroads, perhaps without realizing it.   Full story.

U.S. depth is growing, as evidenced by California training camp.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Saturday, December 11, 1999) -- Thirteen months ago, on the eve of his first match as United States national team coach, Bruce Arena said he wanted to accomplish three things during 1999. "I want to look at quite a few players to see who might be able to help us. I want to develop a pool of about 40 players who will form the nucleus of our World Cup qualifying squad for 2002. And I want to re-instill some level of confidence in the players after what happened in France," he said.   Full story.

Winning not exactly a requirement to be hired as an MLS coach; plus additional league tales.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Thursday, December 2, 1999) -- So let me see if I understand this. Two of the most underachieving teams in Major League Soccer needed new coaches. So they obviously looked for coaches with winning records, coming from successful programs, to help them rebuild. Well, not exactly.   Full story.

MLS commissioner Garber has made enormous strides during his brief time in office.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Wednesday, November 17, 1999) -- I don't know what Major League Soccer is paying Don Garber. But whatever it is, it probably isn't enough. He has officially been MLS commissioner for a little over two months, but I personally think he has already made huge strides towards advancing the league.   Full story.

Crucial MLS playoff games in Columbus, Dallas virtually unnoticed.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Wednesday, November 10, 1999) -- As we get ready for the climatic third games in each of Major League Soccer's conference finals, I thought it might be a good time to throw out some random thoughts I have had about the league and these playoffs.   Full story.

MLS coaching carousel about to begin; will DiCicco be added to the mix?

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Thursday, November 4, 1999) -- The announcement by United States women's national team coach 's national team coach Tony DiCicco that he would not renew his contract with the U.S. Soccer Federation and coach the women in the Sydney Olympics, may end up solving several coaching questions.   Full story.

Anemic playoff attendance and potential defection of sponsors are major MLS concerns.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Thursday, October 28, 1999) -- In case you haven't noticed, there have been a few empty seats in Major League Soccer stadiums during the first round of the playoffs. In fact, to be uncharitable, fans are staying away in droves.   Full story.

All columns

  • December 29: MLS rumor mill: Is Stillitano out, but are Kirovski, Campos in?
  • December 23: Limits on foreigners might help MLS, but will it aid U.S. soccer?
  • December 20: FIFA, UEFA seeking EU waiver to greatly limit foreign players.
  • December 15: MLS faces decisions that could have major impact on its future.
  • December 11: U.S. depth is growing, as evidenced by California training camp.
  • December 2: Winning not exactly a requirement to be hired as an MLS coach; plus additional league tales.
  • November 17: MLS commissioner Garber has made enormous strides during his brief time in office.
  • November 10: Crucial MLS playoff games in Columbus, Dallas virtually unnoticed.
  • November 4: MLS coaching carousel about to begin; will DiCicco be added to the mix?
  • October 28: Anemic playoff attendance and potential defection of sponsors are major MLS concerns.
  • October 20: FIFA needs to tighten nationality loopholes.
  • October 15: Champions Cup was run for money without little regard for a fair result.
  • October 7: Bidding war starts for Stern John; Man.U. may regret not wooing Keller.
  • September 17: Rhinos’ Cup victory great for their fans, A-League; far from inspiring.
  • September 8: Conflicting messages to referees are one reason for inconsistent calls.
  • August 26: Was Grady debacle a symptom of greater ills with MLS refereeing?
  • August 17: Baicher-Jair trade raises ethical questions about MLS ownership.
  • August 11: Dear Don: Will MLS institute openness as part of its new regime?
  • August 4: The story behind Logan’s ouster.
  • July 28: New European rules could benefit MLS.
  • July 15: Final Women’s World Cup thoughts.
  • July 7: Britain toughens stance on foreign eligibility.
  • July 1: Odd timing for U.S.-Jamaica friendly.
  • June 23: The United-Galaxy clock fiasco.
  • June 8: It takes an advanced math degree to get new Champions League qualification.
  • June 1: MLS shuffles its ‘deck chairs,’ with no apparent winners or losers.
  • May 28: Poor scheduling hurts soccer’s ability to gain proper public exposure.
  • May 20: Expansion, new stadiums and ‘Hail Argentina!’
  • May 5: Does MLS have an officiating problem?
  • April 30: Is MLS shortsighted in its quest for parity at any cost?
  • April 23: Let’s change MLS scoring system.
  • April 15: Reyna finally ready for Rangers.
  • April 7: Random thoughts on this and that.
  • March 30: MLS shows improvement in Week 2.
  • March 15: So far, so good: Rating the first phase of the Bruce Arena era.
  • March 1: With Gulati gone, Harkes’ MLS return could become a complex matter.
  • February 23: Gulati’s ouster signals change in MLS winds.
  • February 16: The best six MLS rumors.
  • February 8: Is current national team better than Cup side?
  • January 31: Question marks remain or U.S. as ‘streamlined’ Germany awaits.
  • January 17: MLS can no longer afford its biggest names.
  • January 5: Highs and lows of 1998 plus some New Year’s resolutions.

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