Nathan Nipper

Dallas Texas

nipper.nathan@yahoo.com

Nathan Nipper grew up primarily in Arkansas and Dakar, Senegal.  He graduated from Ouachita Baptist University in 1999 with majors in history and communication and Regent University in 2002 with a master’s degree in communication.  He spent several years working as a television writer until 2010 when he began coaching soccer and teaching American history.  His varsity boys high school soccer team won back-to-back Texas private school state championships in 2013 and 2014.  In addition to his blog Total Football Cafe, he is a frequent contributor to World Soccer Talk.  He lives near Dallas – 4,754 miles from Stamford Bridge and 32 miles from Toyota Stadium – with his wife, daughter, and two sons.

Filtering by Tag: Major League Soccer

Total Football Cafe: Overdue Update Edition

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.

MLS is back, baby!

MLS is back, baby!

I’m excited to announce that I’m now contributing weekly fan-perspective articles for the Dallas Morning News’ soccer blog.  I’ll be chiming in there throughout the 2015 MLS season on FC Dallas and MLS topics.  Here is what I’ve come up with so far.

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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.

Not a red card.  Thirty seconds or less of video review would've kept Ibrahimovic on the field.

Not a red card.  Thirty seconds or less of video review would've kept Ibrahimovic on the field.

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.

Just remembering better Champions League times for Chelsea...

Just remembering better Champions League times for 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.

Farewell Lampard, Welcome Back Drogba!

As a Chelsea FC fan, I’m sad to see Frank Lampard depart.  Not that it was unexpected of course.  He had a more limited than usual role under Jose Mourinho last season, plus his contract was only extended one year at the end of the 2012/13 season.  Still, he’s Chelsea’s all-time leading scorer and a club legend, so it’s hard to see him go.  To me, he will always represent the prototypical Chelasean.  I just liked his style of play – a gritty, hardworking midfielder who could also score goals.

Fortunately, two factors ease this reluctant end of an era feeling regarding Lampard.  For starters, Frank’s not retiring, he’s coming to America!  He’ll be lacing up his boots for MLS’ expansion New York City FC next season.  It will be fun to see a player of his professionalism and stature complete in MLS.  Hopefully this means I’ll get to see Lamps in action up close and personal in 2015, assuming NYCFC play at FC Dallas.

Secondly, the loss of one Chelsea legend has brought the return of another… one Didier Drogba!  I’m pretty pumped about this development, for purely nostalgic reasons mind you.  I don’t expect Drogba to get many starts, but to see him run onto the Stamford Bridge pitch a few more times this season, even as a substitute, will certainly warm the heart.  And, even though Drogba is 36, teams who assume he’s over the hill do so at their own peril.  I got to be in the stadium this summer when Drogba scored a sweet, vintage goal for Ivory Coast in their World Cup tune-up match against El Salvador.  He’s not the same Drogba who won the Champions League for Chelsea a few years ago, but he’ll be good for a few more Chelsea goals this season and I can’t wait to see them.

I’m not usually one to clamor for player autographs, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to acquire Drogba’s signature when Ivory Coast were in Dallas during their pre-World Cup tour.  I had him sign my Kings of Europe book commemorating Chelsea’s Champions League title.  Little did I know then that we’d get one more victory lap season with Drogba as a Blue!

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   Drogba moments before he signed my Chelsea book, which undoubtedly inspired him to return to his beloved Blues for one more season...

Drogba moments before he signed my Chelsea book, which undoubtedly inspired him to return to his beloved Blues for one more season...