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It Seems to Me 2001

It Seems to Me 2000

It Seems to Me 1999

It Seems to Me 1998

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

It Seems to Me . . . 2000
A weekly column by Robert Wagman

It Seems To Me . . .
Player transfer intrigue is a sign that MLS is growing in stature.

(Friday, December 29, 2000) -- Two Columbus Crew players, Jeff Cunningham and Mike Clark, did well in trials with the Alemannia Aachen, but it remains to be seen whether the German Bundesliga side is really interested in signing the pair from Major League Soccer.   Full story.

Will MLS live up to its pledge to retain best young Americans?

(WASHINGTON, D.C. (Friday, December 1, 2000) -- On numerous occasions in the past year, Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber has stated emphatically that the league believes deeply that the future of the game in the United States rests on American players performing for American audiences. Now it remains to see if the league's owners will back this promise by opening their wallets.   Full story.

American advancement was nice, but now the hard part begins.

ST. JAMES, Barbados (Thursday, November 16, 2000) -- After flirting with disaster, the United States finally found its rhythm in the final 30 minutes against a game, but tiring Barbados and accomplished its goal for the year 2000 -- advancement to the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. That was the easy part. Now things get tough.   Full story.

While MLS attendance must improve, crowds are reasonable when compared elsewhere.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Wednesday, November 8, 2000) -- While Major League Soccer attendance declined for the fourth straight season -- and there is certainly room for improvement -- MLS crowds are representative among those drawn around the world.   Full story.

Soccer-specific stadia might not be panacea MLS believes they are.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Wednesday, October 24, 2000 ) -- Ever since the Major League Soccer played its All-Star game in Columbus, Ohioís relatively new soccer-specific stadium, there has been a flurry of news stories about the need for, and the beneficial effect to MLS, of building more new, smaller stadiums such as the one in Columbus. Is MLS emphasis on this aspect misplaced?   Full story.

Should the U.S. men have done better in Summer Olympics? Did leadership fail?

(Tuesday, October 3, 2000) -- The typical story coming out of Summer Olympics in Australia was the American men were a David battling a tournament full of Goliaths. This might have been a product of the lack of faith of the team's coach and administration, and not a true assessment of the talent.   Full story.

Politics drain quality from men's Olympic field.

(Tuesday, September 12, 2000) -- World governing body FIFA's determination to keep the men's Olympic soccer tournament a secondary competition has led many star players to stay home.   Full Story.

By chance, Friedel, Victorine will strengthen U.S. menís Olympic team.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Friday, September 1, 2000) -- It appears that Fate has stepped in and made a couple of hard choices that United States Olympic menís coach Clive Charles had been reluctant to make: placing goalkeeper Brad Friedel and midfielder Sasha Victorine on the roster.   Full Story.

Charles stays loyal to his crew, ignoring the deeds of several budding young MLS stars.

WASHINGTON (Tuesday, August 15, 2000) -- There were no surprises today when United States Olympic coach Clive Charles named the 18-player roster he is taking to Australia. Basically it is the same group he has had together for the past year, ignoring the accomplishments of some of Major League Soccer's up-and-coming stars.   Full story.

Arena turns to veterans for Barbados qualifier and no room for error.

(Wednesday, August 9, 2000) -- After making do for the United States' first two World Cup qualifiers because of injuries and other commitments, coach Bruce Arena has now surrounded himself with the veterans he wants for a crucial stretch of three home matches.   Full story.

All Columns

  • December 29: Player transfer intrigue is a sign that MLS is growing in stature.
  • December 1: Will MLS live up to its pledge to retain best young Americans?
  • November 16: American advancement was nice, but now the hard part begins.
  • November 8: While MLS attendance must improve, crowds are reasonable when compared elsewhere.
  • October 26: Soccer-specific stadia might not be panacea MLS believes they are.
  • October 3: Should the U.S. men have done better in Summer Olympics? Did leadership fail?
  • September 12: Politics drain quality from men's Olympic field.
  • September 1: By chance, Friedel, Victorine will strengthen U.S. menís Olympic team.
  • August 15: Charles stays loyal to his crew, ignoring the deeds of several budding young MLS stars.
  • August 9: Arena turns to veterans for Barbados qualifier and no room for error.
  • July 26: U.S.-Costa Rica result has our readers writing.
  • July 11: Revisiting Olympic team choices and seamy side to World Cup selection.
  • July 7: FIFA president Blatter a big loser with Germany getting 2006 World Cup.
  • July 3: Euro 2000 was quite a bargain, even at $145.
  • June 26: Arena faces interesting options in picking team for Guatemala qualifier.
  • June 22: Euro 2000 has feeling of something special.
  • June 16: U.S. Nike Cup left much to be desired; it needs immediate resuscitation.
  • June 1: Arena enjoys luxury of unprecedented depth as U.S. prepares for Cup.
  • May 23: WUSA, MLS agree to cooperate, but pact is far from comprehensive.
  • May 17: Charles faces several difficult decisions for his final Olympic side.
  • May 14: How MLS bends rules, hoping against hope to help MetroStars.
  • May 9: Ajax seeks to rebuild the European way -- a wild spending spree.
  • May 4: Severe MLS headache over World Cup, Olympic scheduling conflicts is somewhat relieved.
  • April 27: With some effort, U.S. should be booking trip to Sydney Olympics.
  • April 22: Despite hostile crowd, U.S. gains driversí seat in Olympic qualifying.
  • April 18: WUSA fires opening salvo in battle with MLS for Division I sanction.
  • April 12: Galaxy's acquisition of Hernandez makes sense, but is anything but easy.
  • April 6: Ten early observations of 2000 MLS season.
  • March 30: MLS policies appear to favor parity over quality.
  • March 24: Despite surprising omissions, Charles needs to be comfortable with his Olympic roster.
  • March 17: D.C. United, Chicago, maybe Los Angeles are class of MLS 2000.
  • March 13: O'Brien, Regis helped their causes with strong efforts against Tunisia.
  • March 8: FIFA proceeding slowly toward unified calendar to decrease conflicts.
  • March 3: Conflicts abound for MLS throughout its fifth season, playoffs.
  • February 27: Gold Cup presages tough CONCACAF qualifying process for next World Cup.
  • February 24: MLS, players are no closer to settlement; trial set for Sept. 18.
  • February 19: U.S. can draw some positives from disappointing Gold Cup finish.
  • February 18: U.S. needs its fans to provide home field atmosphere?
  • February 11: MLS quality of play could sink with top players defecting for better deals.
  • February 1: U.S. womenís new contract is good, but not as good as itís made to be.
  • January 30: Thrilling win over Chile features many positives, a few negatives for U.S.
  • January 27: At $700,000, Azizi would be a bargain for the Galaxy, MLS.
  • January 26: Blatter, Johansson, once enemies, now form bond behind mutual interests.
  • January 20: OíBrien yet to gain favor with national team coaching staff.
  • January 18: Increased confidence distinguishes U.S. men under Arena following Sampson.
  • January 12: Around MLS: Sakiewicz returns to revive MetroStars.
  • January 7: U.S. Soccer dispute with World Cup champs defies easy solution.
  • January 2: MLS rumor mill: Is Stillitano out, but are Kirovski, Campos in?

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