Another busy soccer coaching season is behind me, so it’s time to dust off the ol’ soccer blog just in time for the start of the 2015 MLS season as well as the home stretches of the EPL and Champions League seasons.
I’m also still writing the occasional article for World Soccer Talk. Last week I wrote one about the human rights abuses plaguing preparations for the ludicrous Qatar 2022 World Cup. I was inspired to write about it after re-watching this excellent E:60 report by Jeremy Schapp. I saw the report when it originally aired last May but failed to act on my impulse to write about it until now.
Back on the fan front, I was very disappointed that Chelsea squandered their opportunity to advance to the Champions League quarterfinals, losing to Paris St. Germain via the frequently maddening away-goals rule. Chelsea played very poorly, so there aren’t really any excuses, however, it was one of the most poorly officiated matches (at such a high level) that I’ve ever seen. The match was a textbook example of why soccer needs to use video review. I don’t understand why purists are so set against video review. It’s simple – just limit reviewable cases to red cards (including second yellows that result in red) and calls in the box. In other words, just limit video review to decisions with the most potential to alter games.
In the aftermath of the Chelsea loss, I’ve been surprised by the widespread criticism of Chelsea players for surrounding the referee, presumably influencing his (erroneous) decision to red card Ibrahimovic. Have these critics never watched a professional soccer game before? This crowding around the ref happens in every game in every league on the planet! I’m not saying this behavior is right, just that it’s not remotely rare, and certainly not unique to Chelsea.
That’s it for this edition. Hope you’ll stop by in the coming months, as there will be lots of exciting soccer to discuss. If you haven’t yet read the award-winning Dallas ‘Til I Cry: Learning to Love Major League Soccer, I hope you’ll check it out and feel free to let me know what you think about it as I always enjoy hearing from readers.