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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: End of 2019 Edition

This week we look at a wedding, VAR, and the state of the USMNT.

United States of America v Netherlands : Final - 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup France Photo by Daniela Porcelli/Getty Images

Happy New Year, Mane Landers! Well, we made it to 2020. For those of you closer to my age, it seems like it should be much more futuristic than it is. Where is my personal jetpack? Why doesn’t my briefcase fold up into my pocket, and Jane get me off this crazy thing!? If you got that joke, you’re definitely old like me. Let’s kick off the new year with my opinions on some stuff.

The Good

This was one of the easiest for me to choose since I’ve been writing this feature. The recent marriage of Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris was the Orlando Pride and United States Women’s National Team feel good event of December. The story of these two lovebirds is inspirational, and the fact that they get to work, play, and now be married to each other warms my old man heart. Do yourself a favor and go look at the many tweets from Krieger and Harris, as well as the numerous articles written about the couple and their nuptials. It bears writing again that my heartfelt congratulations go out to two of the Pride’s own on their marriage.

I think Kyle Krieger did a great job of letting us know how special it was to be there.

The Bad

VAR. No one likes it. I think in theory it could still be done right, but its current success rate leaves a lot to be desired. The English Premier League is a perfect example. While top of the table Liverpool is vilified for getting too many calls go its way, the truth of the matter is it’s not much worse or better than anyone else. Let’s face it, it takes too long, the rules as they are written are not in the spirit of what is trying to be accomplished, and it is causing more controversy than it’s fixing. I think we’ll see some adjustments after this season in the EPL, and hopefully the other leagues will learn from their mistakes.

The Ugly

I could talk about all four Orlando soccer teams missing the playoffs in 2019, but I’m going to leave that aside for now. The ugly is the state of U.S. Soccer in relation to its supporters. On Dec. 4, 2017, Sunil Gulati announced he wouldn’t run again for president of U.S. Soccer. It was hoped that going forward the organization would be more transparent and less “old boy” while listening to the supporters as it moved into the next stage of its existence.

Instead, there was secrecy surrounding the hire of Gregg Berhalter as the new USMNT coach, with his brother Jay Berhalter involved in the hiring process. I’m not saying Berhalter isn’t a good hire, but it certainly didn’t look good. Add in losses to Mexico, Canada, and others, and it wasn’t exactly a banner year for the Yanks. Supporter confidence is pretty low right now, and word from U.S. Soccer is like the meme of the dog sitting in fire saying “It’s fine.” If your customers are telling you it isn’t fine and you’re not explaining why it actually is fine with results to back it up, guess what? It’s not fine. It could all turn around in 2020, but for now things are still pretty ugly.


I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below, so get to writing!