Episodes

The 2017 MLS Salary Release Party  

On Tuesday, the MLS Players Union made its annual release of league-wide player salary information, which revealed that 28 players make more than a million dollars per year… and none of them play for the league’s best team, FC Dallas. Jeb Brovsky and George sit down to navel-gaze/discuss.

Then, Tim Froh joins to talk about his story in the Guardian about the lack of diversity among Major League Soccer head coaches. Froh argues that the uniformity in background fosters a sort of group-think among the men who coach MLS teams, and perhaps an ingrained hesitation to extend opportunities to people who are different. Could this be a clue as to why FC Dallas has been so successful graduating its academy players to the first team?

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Mountain of Fire and Miracles FC w/ Goldblatt  

David Goldblatt just got back from Nigeria, where he watched A LOT of soccer, including Lagos’s entry in the Nigerian top flight, Mountain of Fire and Miracles FC. He and George also talk about the Madrid vs. Munich Champions League quarterfinal and disagree about whether we should start using instant replay to officiate soccer matches. And he weighs in on the CANUSAMEX 2026 and offers a more hopeful verdict than either George or Jamil could come up with last week.

Next, George interviews Austin da Luz of North Carolina FC about his initiative Playing for Pride. He and a bunch of other professional players have pledged to donate small amounts for each match they play in order to support the Human Rights Campaign’s fight to extend equal rights to LGBQT people. You can support Playing for Pride here.

CANUSAMEX ’26 and the future of the World Cup  

Jamil Chade is a sports business journalist for O Estado de Saõ Paulo who is based in Switzerland, where he covers FIFA and the IOC. On this episode he chats with George about the internal politics that make the joint North American WC bid for 2026 likely to succeed, and what the changes it entails mean for FIFA and for the future of the World Cup.

Check out The Goalmouth, our five-minute daily morning podcast.

Do soccer stats pit quantity vs. quality?  

After Minnesota United’s Jeb Brovsky wrote about the shortcomings of statistical analysis for whatahowler.com two weeks ago, our friend Oliver Miller-Farrell emailed George and Bobby to say that while Jeb wasn't wrong, he might have been “stats-abused.” (Oliver works for Opta in New York.) So on today’s episode, Jeb and Oliver join Bobby and George to talk about how we quantify soccer and soccer players and how statistical analysis can benefit teams and fans.

This week’s episode is a co-production of Dummy and The Play.

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Arena averts Hexit  

George and Bobby discuss the U.S.’s 6–0 win over Honduras and 1–1 tie with Panama. George gives his ideal starting back four; Bobby disagrees. Is there any way to avoid a dreary game when Bradley and Jones are paired together in the midfield? And how could some of the missing players—specifically Fabian Johnson, Bobby Wood, Sacha Klejstan, Benny Feilhaber, and DeAndre Yedlin—fit into this team?

Then Jake Walerius joins to discuss American soccer culture. He says that England’s obsession with its national sport is a way for Brits to grapple with the decline of their nation’s status in the world. Baseball, football, and basketball have similar cultural heft in the United States. But American soccer fans, he argues, are still negotiating over the meaning of our own story.

This is the essay Jake wrote on the subject for fansided.com.

Meet Cyril the Swan, outlaw mascot  

Jeff Maysh wrote one of Howler’s best-loved stories, about the West Ham fan who heckled his way onto the field for his favorite team in a pre-season friendly back in 1994. Now he’s back to discuss his latest story for Howler, about an equally colorful character: Cyril the Swan and the man behind the beak. Cyril may have helped save Swansea City when it was on the brink of dropping out of professional football in the late 1990s, and his antics made him a bonafide celebrity. Then he was arrested.

Ryu Voelkel’s astonishing soccer photos  

Like the best players in the world, Ryu Voelkel sees soccer differently than most people. But unlike those players, who often struggle to describe how they do what they do, the genius of Ryu’s vision is evident in his photographs, which have been a staple in Howler since our very first issue. I spoke with him this week for our Dummy podcast and asked him to describe how he captures incredible images time after time.

Check out Ryu’s work from the latest issue in this post at whatahowler.com. You can also pick up a copy of the Spring 2017 issue to see it in print. And we currently have two of Ryu’s photos available for purchase in the Howler Art Shop, framed or unframed.

OMG Barcelona  

This week George chats with his friend Karl Taro Greenfeld, a journalist, novelist, and now TV writer (for the show Ray Donovan). They talk about yesterday’s ridiculous Barcelona-PSG match, why Karl loves LigaMX, the ascendancy of Russian hooligans, and the short story Karl wrote in the new issue of Howler.

Here is a link to George’s piece for the Washington Post on U.S. Soccer’s new anthem policy.

Dax McCarty and Clint Irwin  

Dax McCarty on his career thus far, playing with the US national team, and how he thinks the Chicago Fire can improve. Clint Irwin on almost winning MLS Cup, politics in the locker room, and prepping for the new season. We have a new Howler Book Club selection—check out whatahowler.com to learn more (hint: this one has lots of pictures).

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The Goalmouth for Wednesday, March 1  

Last year we launched The Goalmouth, a daily 5-minute podcast with all the soccer news and nonsense you need to start your day. Please enjoy today’s episode. If you’d like to subscribe, here are the links to do so using your favorite podcast service:

iTunesSoundCloudGoogle PlayStitcherRSS

Can you write about soccer without writing about politics? Should you?  

A liberal soccer journalist (George) speaks with a conservative soccer journalist (Dave Martinez, formerly of Empire of Soccer) about Bryan Curtis’s essay in The Ringer about how sports journalism has become the domain of lefties. But first, Will Parchman discusses his story about Bayer Leverkusen from the new issue of Howler and details what American teams could learn about how the club goes about scouting local talent, developing community ties, and spending limited resources.

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Jordan Morris on soccer and… personal finance  

Jordan Morris is a striker for the Seattle Sounders and the U.S. men’s national team, and he makes his Dummy debut to discuss playing for Jurgen Klinsmann and Bruce Arena, what he has learned from Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore, and whether he is maximizing MLS’s 3% match in his 401k.

Get 15% off a Howler subscription with the code ILISTEN at shop.howlermagazine.com.

The challenges of coaching in the 4th division w/ David Lindholm  

David Lindholm, who worked in the front offices of several MLS teams, was last on the podcast to discuss his essay for Howler on why the best American goalkeepers tend to be bald. Now he returns as the head coach of the NPSL’s Stockade FC of Kingston, NY, to describe the special challenges of coaching a team of aspiring amateurs. Then Edward Domain, a citizen of St. Louis, joins to discuss the particulars of St. Louis’s public financing plan for the proposed MLS stadium, which he says unfairly burdens the taxpayers of downtown St. Louis who would be better served if their money went to pay for basics such as health, safety, and transportation. (Here is his blog post that got George interested in speaking with him in the first place.)

Win a set of these Umbro x Howler kits (short shorts included) for your team.

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The story of FA Cup darling Sutton United  

George and Bobby discuss Bruce Arena’s first match back in charge of the U.S. men’s national team and the three questions that need his immediate attention. Sutton United, which plays in England’s fifth tier and trains twice a week, has beaten much bigger clubs on its way to the FA Cup’s last 16 and a home fixture (on a plastic pitch) against Arsenal. Dominic Bliss has been going to those matches and joins to tell us how Sutton keeps defeating much bigger teams.

Use the code ILISTEN to get 15% off a subscription to Howler. The new issue ships out on Monday!

Pro/rel with Peter Wilt  

George and Peter Wilt discuss his essay about pro/rel from the new issue of the mag. (You can read The Pro/Rel Manifesto here.) Then Matt Pyzdrowski, goalkeeper for Helsingborgs IF in Sweden, joins to talk about his own experience being relegated with the club in November. (He also wrote about it for Howler—you can read I Got Relegated here.)

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How we make Howler (with the Total Soccer Show!)  

This week, I was a guest the Total Soccer Show, where Daryl Grove got into the nitty gritty about how we make Howler and especially the newest issue, which we just sent to the printer! We discuss the big story on pro/rel, our package on Hard Men, and the many differences between a great story pitch and a terrible one. If you’ve ever wondered what kind of work goes into an issue of the mag, this is the episode for you.

Check out Daryl’s excellent pod the Total Soccer Show.

Save 15% on a subscription with the code ILISTEN at shop.howlermagazine.com!

Arguing about the 48-team World Cup plan  

Bobby and George disagree about whether changing to a 48-team World Cup will detract from the tournament. George asks Stefan Szymanski, co-author of Soccernomics, to explain the huge changes taking place in Chinese soccer. And in Tiki-Talka, George offers a mea goalpa.

Check out the Goalmouth and the Double Pivot, two other fine Howler podcasts. Sign up for emails about Dummy here.

Mexican soccer is huge, so why do we largely ignore it?  

Mexico’s LigaMX is the most-watched soccer league on American TV, but it receives relatively scant coverage in English-language media. Maxi Rodriguez joins to discuss. Check out Maxi’s newsletter on the subject. And sign up for our own while you’re at it!

We’re offering Howler pod listeners 15% a new subscription to the mag with the code ILISTEN. Redeem it here.

Five-a-side is the future  

I grew up in Tampa and played 11-a-side club soccer very seriously from as early as I can remember to age 18, which is also when I moved away. When I moved back last year, I started playing at a place called Cinco Soccer, which has outdoor turf fields designed for five-a-side soccer with a futsal ball. Now, I had played small-sided soccer on turf when I lived in New York, and I’ve played futsal on hardwood basketball courts in lots of places, but Cinco married these two things in a really interesting way. (Plus, it has a liquor license, so I can get a $2 beer after the game.) Today on Dummy I speak with Keith Rados, who built Cinco from scratch, about what it's like to run the place and why he thinks it has become so popular in the Tampa soccer scene.

David Peace talks Red or Dead  

This week, Dennie Wendt and David Peace discuss his masterpiece, Red or Dead—the first selection of the Howler Book Club. We’ve published several essays about the book on the website.

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Dummy is supported by Futchi. Get $20 off a Futchi Rebounder with the promo code HOWLER.

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