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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Pulisic in the EPL, the Year that was 2018, and More

Chelsea signs Pulisic, Iran’s misogynistic soccer culture, and a look back at 2018.


Welcome back, Mane Landers! I was debating whether to take a look back at the year that was, or to focus on more current events. I decided I can do both, so as we head into 2019, let’s take a quick look at the world of soccer that we all love so much.

The Good

It finally happened. Christian Pulisic has been signed by an English Premier League club. There had been rumors that former Borussia Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp wanted him for Liverpool. Tottenham was also in the mix, but it would be Chelsea that pulled the $73 million move for the young American. As those that listen to The Mane Land PawedCast know, I’m a Liverpool supporter, and I did want him to end up with the Reds. That is my obvious bias rearing it’s head, because no matter where he ended up it’s a good thing.

The price tag is the biggest transfer fee for an American ever. Actually, over three times more than John Brooks’ transfer fee of $22 million in 2017. I can’t be certain that he’ll see the pitch right away at Stamford Bridge, but with that price tag I would be surprised if Maurizio Sarri isn’t planning on getting him some minutes. Pulisic will finish out the season at Dortmund on loan before joining the Blues over the summer. At every point along his young career, Pulisic has stepped up and handled whatever pressure or challenge has been put in his way. I fully expect him to do so as he heads to England.

The Bad

2018. The historic collapse of the Lions after a brilliant winning streak to start the season. Go back and listen to the PawedCast or read some of the articles from back then, and you’ll be amazed you had those feelings. The Pride missing the playoffs was something I would have absolutely bet against when the season started. Two coaches let go, with one yet to be replaced. Tom Sermanni seems to be doing well in New Zealand, so that’s nice for him, but as of this morning we still didn’t have a head coach for the Pride. James O’Connor might be the answer we’re looking for on the MLS side, but letting Jason Kreis go mid-season definitely affected the results. Let’s face it, that was not a fun year to be a fan of the Orlando teams. That northern team won MLS, so that was also a bit painful. Basically, I’m glad it’s over and 2018 can’t hurt us any more.

The Ugly

You can file this one under “here we go again,” as Iran has an issue regarding women and soccer. I’ve written about problems involving women and the countries that don’t like them twice before. Just a few weeks ago there were the sexual assault allegations surrounding the Afghan Women’s National Team. Back in August we had the Serie A supporters that didn’t want women in certain “sacred” parts of the stadiums. Mohammad Jafar Montazeri is an Iranian cleric and judge and the current Attorney General of Iran, and he had some very clear words regarding women soccer supporters in his country. As reported by Tzvi Kahn in an opinion piece in The Hill, Montazeri stated the following:

“Unfortunately,” the senior law enforcement official declared, “some individuals have penetrated the key institutions of the country and are about to betray the revolution and the blood of our martyrs.”

He also stated that they had a “satanic” agenda. Frankly, I think this is reprehensible. I won’t go into all the religion, politics, and history surrounding this issue, but I will say that such stances are simply wrong. The beautiful game should be for everyone.

As always, let me know your thoughts in the comment section. Disagree? Feel I missed something more important? Speak up! Vamos Orlando!