Give it up for the Ivy League, pumping out quality articles American soccer; just yesterday, I linked to a story from a Princeton student, who related his experiences during the Summer of Soccer. Now, a Harvard writer weighs in with the first in a series of pieces on college soccer's place in the greater American soccer environment.
The writer sees the influence of the college game waning, and points to the American U-20 teams and it's makeup as an example. For many ardent soccer fans, the movement towards more professionals at that level is a good thing, and something we believe will ultimately benefit our professional league and our senior national team (something with the writer admits is probably true); the marginalization of college soccer, and the disappointment of many that it's happening, is a dividing line in the community that while unlikely to cause any debilitating splits, does color our relationships. There doesn't seem to much middle ground; either you love college soccer and see it as an important part of the American game, or you dismiss it out of hand as an impediment to the development of better players.
- More work from the college kids, and this time it's an opinion piece on why President Obama should be focusing his attention on securing the World Cup in 2018 or 2022 rather than a Chicago Olympics in 2016. I agree completely, though I fully admit it's for selfish reasons, and I'm not really convinced that the President's push for the Olympics precludes the US from getting another World Cup, or really has any bearing on the decision of FIFA. If it is an either/or proposition, I would obviously come down on the side of soccer; a nationwide event of the World Cup's caliber, and for all of the reasons the writer mentions, would ultimately bring more than the one-city, scorched-earth nature of the Olympics. But hey, I'm a sports nut, so I say bring them both on.
- The growing trend of American club ownership in Europe may not be extending its reach to Italy after all; Texas tycoon Timothy Barton's bid to buy Serie A club Bari has hit a snag, despite earlier reports that it was all but done. I'm not overly concerned about club ownership, generally, though I would be lying if I said I didn't hope that an American owner would lead to more European opportunities for our players. "A" doesn't necessarily lead to "B", however, so the collapse of Barton's Bari bid is more notable because Americans have yet to dip their toes into European waters outside of England to this point.
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