Athlete [Re]defined

Athlete [Re]defined By: Jon Townsend @jon_townsend3 “If only our best athletes played soccer…” When I see or hear this phrase my skin crawls. Why? Because these are the words of someone who “has it all figured out” regarding the American game. I’ve promised myself time and time again that I wouldn’t entertain this topic, but […]

The Disconnect of the [North] American Game

[North] American soccer is an anomaly in the most peculiar ways. For a country that has yet to produce a single world class player, it sure expects to produce world class soccer. Why? Americans, especially those involved or invested in soccer, are guilty of coveting the result without respecting the process. Translation: People actually think […]

Shattering the Broken Cycle

“You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Read up on what others have done.” To me, this means doing what the best footballing nations are doing at the grassroots level first, then addressing it at the National Team level. American soccer has this really nasty habit of believing itself infallible. Why does American soccer have to […]

The Obsession with Average

The Obsession with Average By: Jon Townsend @jon_townsend3 Having played the game since I was four and staying with it in some (or multiple) capacities ever since, I’m prepared to say the American player has an obsession with average. Part of this obsession with average is a systemic issue whereby society has granted people carte […]

A Messi Comparison

A Messi Comparison By: Jon Townsend Major League Soccer’s official website recently put together a short mash-up video asking the question, “When will MLS produce its own Messi?” The video itself, more paid promotional collateral soaked in corporate initiative-driven opinion than honest exploration, reiterated the common reasons and myths regarding the perpetual absence of an […]

Assessing College Soccer

For players growing up in the United States, the opportunity and possibility of playing for a high-profile and high-calibre university has long been the end goal. During a player’s teenage years either playing high school soccer or for a competitive club, they learn that statistics matter more than performance. Yes, for recruiting purposes, statistics supersede […]

Possession is Nine-Tenths of the Game

Possession is Nine-Tenths of the Game By: Jon Townsend  @jon_townsend3 We can look at the United States’ victory over Ghana in Natal through rose-tinted glasses and be happy with a job well done. Three points in the bag against all odds (cue Phil Collins) and on to the next game. Clint Dempsey scored a classy […]

A United Front

This article first appeared on Thesefootballtimes.net on May 23, 2014 Foreign-Born National Stars And A United Front Previously featured on the Guardian Sport Network, Jon Townsend looks at the problems of foreign-born players dominating the USMNT World Cup roster and solutions. By Jon Townsend | 23 May 2014 Fronting, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is defined as: […]

A Place to Call Home

This article first appeared on http://www.thesefootballtimes.net on April 21, 2014.  A Place to Call Home By: Jon Townsend   The sunshine, the banging of drums, and the green, blue, and white-paneled Mitre Ultimax soccer ball are images that remind of Saturday, April 6, 1996 in San Jose, California as Major League Soccer kicked off its […]

Up in the Air

Up in the Air: Is it Time to for MLS to Hit its Ceiling? Since its inception in 1996, Major League Soccer (MLS) has become a league many thought would implode in its infancy. As the 2014 season approaches, the league’s vitality is increasing while the number of teams in MLS has more than doubled. […]