Complementary Medicine: Nagbe & Valeri

When the ball dropped to Darlington Nagbe, in space forty-five yards from goal with twelve minutes or so left on the clock, the midfielder was of a singular mind: he was going to run with the ball, right at the heart of the New York City defense. And so, his head up and focus dead ahead, Nagbe ran. Within seconds, five light blue shirts had swarmed him. Finding his path to the box blocked, the move looked over, but Nagbe was not ready to give it up so easily. With one final lunge, he successfully nicked the ball off the toe of a defender and into the path of a teammate. Before New York City could properly adjust to this change in dynamic, the ball had already arced over their goalkeeper who’d been wrong-footed and grounded by a crucial deflection. Nagbe had not scored the goal, nor would he be officially awarded the assist, but it’s hard to see how the deadlock would ever have been broken without him in a game that was otherwise unfolding in a wearingly familiar manner.

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Thorns FC: Silly Season In The Rose City

In Britain the soccer offseason is often referred to as the “silly season.” With no actual soccer to talk about fans’ (and the media’s) obsessions tend to flourish into wild speculation and bizarre theories about their teams, or favorite players, and coaches, tactics, or leagues.  Most of these flights of fancy are just that, and they are what makes the season, well, silly. Continue reading