David Rudin

Author's posts

May 15

Are the days of the West’s MLS dominance over the East finished?

The Western Conference has won eight of the last 10 MLS Cups. But much of that has been to do with the power of the now declining LA Galaxy

Having just completed a 4-1 evisceration of the Seattle Sounders, the Chicago Fire – yes, that Chicago Fire – luxuriated in a little historical revisionism. Bastian Schweinsteiger’s midweek grousing about technical levels in MLS was recast as a suggestion that “forced [the Fire] to work on details.” This work, he claimed, had shown up in the match. Dax McCarty’s preseason criticism of a “culture of losing” had been a diagnosis that the incoming midfielder had promptly addressed.

Wins exist to be over-interpreted. In any league — especially one that fetishizes parity like Major League Soccer — upsets will happen. To wit, Seattle, the reigning MLS Cup champion, were indeed carved up like a stale roast at a banquet hall by one of the league’s perennial also-rans. But does it signal a shifting of power? The occasional win in league play cannot distract from the reality that only two of the last 10 MLS Cups have gone to an Eastern Conference team (one of those teams, Sporting Kansas City, now play in the West).

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2017/may/15/are-the-days-of-the-wests-mls-dominance-over-the-east-finished

Apr 17

Tim Howard is an increasingly outdated frontman for MLS

The Colorado Rapids goalkeeper remains a significant figure in American soccer culture, even if his best days are well in the past

Goalkeeping was not the Colorado Rapids’ problem this weekend. That is scant consolation regarding a match that was won by Real Salt Lake with goals in the 85th and 88th minutes, but it’s all that’s on offer. On the pitch, Colorado’s problem is still a near pathological aversion to converting chances into goals. With any semblance of competent finishing, they would have quickly dispatched RSL. Instead, the match only offered the Rapids a 90-minute reprieve from thinking about Tim Howard.

Yes, that Tim Howard. The erstwhile US goalkeeper was serving the first leg of his three-game suspension due to what the league termed “foul language directed at a fan” and “an altercation with a fan following the game” during the Rapids’ previous match against Sporting Kansas City. Video of the former incident circulated on Twitter. In typical fashion, the forensic instincts of soccer fandom took over. The exact phraseology remains up for debate, but the statement involved Howard and the fan’s mother. Make of that what you will.

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2017/apr/17/tim-howard-mls-colorado-rapids