Weekly Soccer Column: Bad boys Neymar, Clint Dempsey and Arturo Vidal bid to upstage Hope Solo in worst way

NemarcopaWho Me: Neymar protests his innocence at this year’s Copa America (Associated Press Photo).

Like it or not, athletes are role models. It’s why they get the big bucks on the field and often big bucks off it, as sponsors seek famous pitchmen to hawk their products.

But when sports stars go off the rails — the substance abuse issues of George Best and Paul Gascoigne come to mind — the results can be tragic if no one is willing to tell prodigiously talented stars with egos to match to straighten up fast for the good of their careers and lives.

This week one notable sports site suggested that the recent actions of Neymar, for example, at Copa America were merely about boys being boys.

That’s a dumb, small-minded attitude that portends trouble ahead.

Accountability has sadly been missing of late in the corrupt world of soccer off and on the field.

For more, read this week’s 100 Percent Soccer column.


By coincidence, U.S. Soccer issued a ruling on the Dempsey red card this morning:

The U.S. Open Cup Adjudication and Discipline Panel has suspended Seattle Sounders FC forward Clint Dempsey a total of six U.S. Open Cup matches or the next two years of U.S. Open Cup competition, whichever is greater. The suspension is due to his actions during the U.S. Open Cup match between Seattle Sounders FC and Portland Timbers on June 16, 2015.

In addition, Dempsey has been fined an undisclosed amount.

The panel convened Tuesday, June 23, 2015 to review the evidence gathered in regards to the incident. Mr. Dempsey waived his right to an appeal.

Due to the suspension, Dempsey cannot play in any U.S. Open Cup matches in 2016 or 2017, and possibly longer depending on the number of tournament games in which Dempsey’s team participates in those years.

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Weekly Soccer Column: In praise of the underdog ahead of the Galaxy’s U.S. Cup game against amateur club PSA Elite (streamed live here)

usopencuplogoLA Galaxy and Guam defender A.J. DeLaGarza knows all about how small nations like the one he represents can ambush the big boys on occasion.

That sort of knowledge could be valuable tonight for the Galaxy in the U.S. Open cup against amateur team PSA Elite, although there were precisely zero upsets in the round of games played Tuesday in the knockout competition.

The 7:30 p.m. game at StubHub Center includes free parking, $2 tacos from Chancho’s Tacos and $2 beer. Tickets are $10. Or, you can watch here, for free

Read more in this week’s 100 Percent Soccer column.

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Weekly Soccer Column: Copa America 2015 begins today, will American soccer fans notice?



Most of the top players and all the teams have Facebook pages providing the latest updates like this one for Mexico.

Read the 100 Percent Soccer column here and learn the best and most inexpensive way to watch Copa America 2015.

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Weekly Soccer Column: Meaningless LA Galaxy-Barcelona showcase overshadows MLS games


At the same time the Galaxy were drawing a meager 13,391 and 20,195 for their last two home MLS games against Real Salt Lake and the Houston Dynamo respectively, they were selling out the vast Rose Bowl for an exhibition game against Barcelona.


I think not. Read more in this week’s soccer column.

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Weekly Soccer Column: Ghastly LA Galaxy overshadowed by magic of Lionel Messi and other high-quality events on sports landscape

messigoalBarca Bombs Bayern: Lionel Messi and Barcelona were rampant Wednesday in all but gutting Bayern Munich’s UEFA Champions League hopes with a masterful 3-0 win over a quality opponent that left the jaws of even cynical soccer reporters dropping (Associated Press photo).

I’d like to thank Lionel Messi and Barcelona for eloquently making the case for my weekly 100 Percent Soccer column in today’s UEFA Champions League semifinal against Bayern Munich where the quality of soccer on display was quite simply stunning.

Next up later today: Lowly Real Salt lake against a LA Galaxy team nowhere near firing on all cylinders.

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