Happy Tuesday, soccer fam! It’s been a minute, and I have missed you all! Let’s get to it.

Washington Spirit launches inaugural Coaching Mentorship Program to increase opportunities for female coaches. Mentors include Angela Salem, Mami Yamaguchi, and Mike Bristol.

Colombia, Jamaica, and Morocco all went on the hunt for a spot in the World Cup quarterfinal for the first time in history. Colombia knocked out Jamaica, winning 1-0 with a second half goal by Catalina Usme and ending the Reggae Girlz’ World Cup campaign. Colombia faces England in the quarterfinal on Saturday at 6:30 am ET. Morocco faces France now and the winner faces Australia on Saturday at 3 am ET.

Read more about the inspiring Moroccan women’s team, and King Mohammed VI’s “congratulations” phone call.

England’s Lauren James saw red against Nigeria. The Lionesses won in a 4-2 shootout after a 0-0 draw sent them to extra time.

Arsenal’s Matt Turner looks set to join Nottingham Forest for a $9 million transfer fee. Turner formerly played for New England Revolution.

Suspected Italian mob member, Vincenzo La Porta, was caught after 11 years on the run. He was betrayed when he celebrated a title win for Napoli in Corfu, Greece.

BySarah Kallassy

Managing Editor

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Great to have you back–you’ve been missed! And yes, a lot has happened (DCU, USWNT, the whole soccer scene).

Personally, Spain has been the most impressive team to me so far (in the WWC).

One last thing–on the Spirits coaching mentorship program: what Kang has talked about (upgrading the support at the club level for women professionals) is critical for the US. I personally believed that the NTs of the Netherlands, England, Spain, maybe Germany have passed the US in technical ability. We still have edges but they’re better than us on the ball (first touches, close control, changing the point of attack) and have acquired more tactical nuance. And that’s because their club support is better. The NWSL needs to up its game. Longer season with more games. Maybe give clubs the equivalent of a DP slot for a foreign player that is exempt from the cap (so players like Putellas can be drawn to the US). More support and training for female coaches. More access to things like analytics and sophisticated training and physio resources.

Ryan Hunt

And less games on turf ideally.

I think that modern turf isn’t quite as bad as it used to be even five years ago, a little faster and the ball bounces differently. But the games that matter (I.e. the World Cup) won’t be on turf so it’s best to have them playing on grass as much as possible.


Don’t be so sure. FIFA forced turf for the Canadian World Cup in 2015, even for the stadia that had grad already. I wouldn’t put it was them to do that again to the Women’s side.


I’d love for there to be more crossover between the men’s and women’s coaching. The women’s teams are drawing great crowds and hopefully good money, to the point where someone should be able to get into coaching and make a start or continue a career in either league. Obviously it’s not going to be the same, but why not let the tactical evolution of MLS sides spill over into the NWSL? Soccer is soccer.

Will Nelson

I forgot to mention, but this past Saturday at Buzzard Point the Premier Rugby 7s (PR7) crowned its 2023 national champion.

PR7s is the first league with women’s and men’s teams competing under one umbrella with equal pay. The 2023 PR7s Championship aired live on FS1 and was the culmination of a season-long competition with eight franchises and 16 teams competing in 32 regular season games since June. Half of the teams from the Western Conference and half from the Eastern Conference earned a spot to compete at Audi Field. 

Source: https://www.goffrugbyreport.com/news/loggerheads-loonies-win-pr7s

Will Nelson

If anyone is interested in college rugby, here’s the list of games from this month until the playoffs next spring for D1A and NCR D1: https://www.goffrugbyreport.com/news/college-fall-schedules-d1a-and-ncr-d1

David Rusk

As could be expected, France totally dominated Morocco, winning 4-0. Nonetheless, Morocco is a model for how Third World nations can build up both men’s and women’s soccer. Well done, King.

Will Nelson

John Muller with a great piece on the youth movement in MLS for The Athletic: https://theathletic.com/4755010/2023/08/07/messi-miami-mls-dallas/

Talonesque #

Good for Turner if he gets that move. He’s good enough (and old enough) to start for a team of their caliber.


He’d better get the move. Looks like Arsenal just signed someone to take/challenge for the number 1 spot.

Talonesque #

Oh, for sure, gotta get out with Raya coming in, but Forest would be a dope landing spot

Will Nelson

Interesting article about what former US International Eddie Lewis is up to: https://theathletic.com/4759236/2023/08/08/toca-mls-nwsl-uswnt-eddie-lewis/

He’s founded and runs TOCA Soccer. A company that builds facilities for helping people of all ages work on touch and other technical soccer abilities. Its also helped players of all ages and abilities work out during the Return To Play phase of recovery. Apparently several USWNT players have made use of his facilities to include Alex Morgan and Emily Sonnet. Apparently several MLS Next youth facilities use TOCA facilities as part of training to include the Colorado Rapids and FC Dallas.

He’s built it based on how he drastically improved his own technical abilities after watching the UCLA basketball team practice.

In his view, the catalyst for an eventual career at the game’s top level was a chance encounter with the UCLA basketball team. With the soccer locker room in the basketball arena, he’d see the basketball players practising on the court and once noticed they were using smaller balls and smaller baskets.

The idea: if you can shoot a three-point shot into a smaller hoop, you’d be able to do it on a regulation-size net. So, Lewis grabbed a few tennis balls and started practising against a garage wall. If he could control a smaller ball, he’d be able to master a size-five football.

In a matter of weeks, his touch had improved significantly. He then bought a tennis ball machine, set up his own “studio” between two parking garages, and fired 1,000 balls a day to himself. He credits this for taking him from a fringe college player to an eight-year career in England, playing for Fulham, Preston North End, Leeds United and Derby County, and an 82-cap U.S. international.


Last edited 3 months ago by Will Nelson

 This is great stuff. And if I was still coaching, you’d bet that the next practice I’d issue tennis balls to everyone my team and tell them in one-week, we’ll end practice with a tennis ball juggling contest (no hands of course) and the most touches wins the frozen gatorade in my cooler.

Bryan McEachern

I did stuff with size three balls. Particularly effective when looking for effective striking, including volleys.

Brendan Cartwright

Charlotte waived Joseph Mora. That makes him a free agent, so we could sign him if we want to, and add yet another left back to the ones we’ve signed this year (Pedro Santos, Mohanad Jeahze, Eric Davis, maybe even Cristian Dajome if you squint).


Remember when Philly was nothing but goalkeepers? We could be the home of Leftbacks!

Brendan Cartwright

The Bog Witch of Buzzard Point demands the constant sacrifice of the hamstrings of left backs.

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