Soccer turmoil, updated

Relatively few people are paying attention, but the US soccer pyramid is becoming clarified. The second-division NASL and the fourth-division NPSL are being squeezed. These two independent leagues have the most interesting independently owned teams in North America. But they are struggling.

After NASL and NPSL have been extinguished, I will probably have to find a new enthusiasm. I won’t be able to work up much excitement or interest in the bland, corporate soccer produced by MLS and its compliant partners, USL and the US Soccer Federation.

My friend Neil Morris gets a shout-out in this piece, too. He tweeted leaked press releases about our local club, the Carolina RailHawks, and its long-rumored re-brand to “North Carolina FC.”

(On a personal note, I post this in a world-weary state. I used to care so much about these topics, and right about now, I don’t care at all. I just want to read and fly airplanes.)

The tiers below MLS–and a number of the clubs that play in them–face future-altering decisions in the coming days.

Source: With lower tier of U.S. soccer on the brink, NASL and USL try to figure out future | FOX Sports

God and football trumps all

Another good piece by my favorite sportswriter at the Times. Michael Powell doesn’t really write about sports. Rather, he writes about the culture, politics, and corruption around sports. My kind of guy.

Liberty University, a Christian school that covets a higher athletic profile, looked the other way and found an athletic director who did the same.

Source: At Liberty University, All Sins at Are Forgiven on the Altar of Greed – The New York Times

Dwane Powell: Pat tries milking votes from a Durham bull – it won’t end well

As a resident of Durham, where Pat McCrory is hoping to salvage his governorship by attacking the legitimacy of 90,000+ mostly Democratic early ballots, I really appreciated this rude blast from Dwane Powell.

Incidentally, my friend JP Trostle recently helped organize a fine retrospective of Powell’s half-century-long body of work.

 

Source: Dwane Powell: Pat tries milking votes from a Durham bull – it won’t end well