Rob Stone, MLS playoffs, and the year’s best goal  

Check out this incredible, injury-time equalizer bicycle kick scored by a goalkeeper.

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

Making sense of the Klinsmann era  

Simon Evans: “Jurgen Klinsmann, a lone revolutionary in conservative U.S. soccer culture

Watch the Puskas Award nominees and then vote for the that one is most embarrassing for the defending team in this week’s poll.

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Our sponsor this week is Futchi. Get $20 off a Futchi Rebounder with the promo code HOWLER.

Our Jurgen Klinsmann Problem  

Bobby and George talk about a calamitous few days for the U.S. men’s national team. What went wrong against Costa Rica. Can it be fixed? Could Bruce Arena take over? And does that open the door for Landon Donovan’s return (OMG).

Then Dennie Wendt joins to introduce Red or Dead by David Peace, the Howler Book Club’s first selection.

Buy Red or Dead
Bobby Warshaw argues that Jurgen is not fit to coach the USMNT
Dennie Wendt on loving Red or Dead
This week’s poll: is it okay to wear the jersey of a player who is younger than you are?
Our sponsor this week is Futchi. Get $20 off a Futchi set with the promo code HOWLER.

David Goldblatt’s game at the end of the world  

The phenomenon of a single away fan traveling to support his team. Mike Goodman on squad lifecycles and how the best teams manage their rosters to stay competitive every season. David Goldblatt makes an announcement and the decade of soccer since he wrote The Ball Is Round.

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

Tampa and Ottawa self-relegate to the USL  

The Tampa Bay Rowdies and Ottawa Fury announced that they would be leaving the NASL and joining the USL, a move from the U.S. second to third division. Peter Wilt comes back to explain what this means.
Take part in our annual Full Kit Wanker contest and win a jersey from SoccerPro: http://fifa.wtf/2eeCbjK
David Dilley on the way great games follow the same narrative conventions as great art: http://fifa.wtf/2eesaU0
Join the Dummy email list: http://fifa.wtf/2eM9iAq
No poll this week!

Oh my Darlington PLUS: FIFA bad guys—where are they now?  

We don’t know many of the details about why Darlington Nagbe declined to play for the U.S. national team in the last two friendlies, but Will Parchman and Bobby Warshaw join to discuss what we do know, and we try to answer the big questions: why do some players seem to love Jurgen Klinsmann while others fall out of favor and never get another chance? Is there ever a good reason to just shrug off a call-up? Bobby and Will agree that the U.S. needs a player with Nagbe’s unique abilities; what does the U.S. midfield look like for the foreseeable future without him?

This week’s poll—what is your all-time favorite soccer jersey? http://fifa.wtf/2eM70B6
Matt Pyzdrowski’s excellent piece on Marc André ter Stegen: http://fifa.wtf/2eM7bwg
Join the Dummy email list: http://fifa.wtf/2eM9iAq

***Those of you who, like George, use Pocket Casts to listen to podcasts might have seen a couple of recent episodes download multiple times this week. We are changing all of Howler’s podcasts over to a new host, and this appears to be a bug specific to Pocket Casts. We apologize for the inconvenience!***

Peter Wilt on American soccer’s next big markets  

Click here to take this week’s Dummy poll: http://fifa.wtf/2dTD4R1 In the past couple of years, we’ve seen some pretty surprising cities markets explode in frenzy of soccer love: Kansas City, Sacramento, and now Cincinnati, where more than 30,000 people showed up earlier this month for a USL playoff game. Today on Dummy, Peter Wilt looks at the demographic data and predicts what’s next. The answers may surprise you. (Omaha? Seriously?) Peter’s story for Howler: http://fifa.wtf/2dTCZfQ Over the past 30 years, Peter has launched and run several professional soccer clubs, including the Chicago Fire and Indy Eleven, and he’s known just as much for paying careful attention to the communities where he’s building loyalty and support as he is for creating winning teams—though he has done that too, most notably in Chicago with Bob Bradley.

1v1 with Alexi Lalas: “I lived the power of what a World Cup can do to an individual. It changed my life in every way.”  

This week’s poll: What is your current first choice center back pairing for the U.S. men? Give your answer here: http://fifa.wtf/2dTpgZ9 Alexi Lalas became the face of the U.S. men’s national team during a breakout period for the game in this country. His performance at the ’94 World Cup and his finely tuned public image catapulted him to stardom—and he credits his infatuation with the world of rock music for the way he was able to turn opportunity into celebrity. We discuss his many soccer jobs, from player to team executive to pundit, and why he chose to finish his college degree decades after leaving Rutgers early; his complex relationship with Bora Milutinovic, the coach of that ’94 team; what it was like to play in Italy when the Serie A was the undisputed top league in the world; what went wrong at the ’98 World Cup; and the really important stuff, like the difference between soccer and rock groupies. If you can’t stand him because he plays the provocateur on TV—and we do talk about his many Twitter haters—this interview will make you see him in a new way. And if you’re fascinated by his quintessentially American story, not to mention the lore of the the ’94 World Cup, then you absolutely cannot miss this conversation.

1v1 with Sean Johnson: “Nobody knows your story”  

It’s election season, so we talk polling. Then, 1v1 with Sean Johnson. As a teenager, the Chicago Fire and USMNT goalkeeper slept through his ODP regional tryout (oops!), and his discovery by then-U-20 coach Thomas Rongen was basically a happy accident. Johnson was a six-foot-four center playing against seven-footers in high school basketball. He won a Lamborghini for a year. And if he wasn’t a professional soccer player, he says he would be an accountant—so we try to figure out what those two professions have in common. Take George’s one-question poll: http://fifa.wtf/2dz6VjX Learn more about (and sign up for) The Goalmouth: http://fifa.wtf/2dz9qTb

Guardian of the Galácticos  

Most people know Florentino Pérez as the rich dude who likes to overspend on soccer players so his club, Real Madrid, can win lots of trophies. And that’s true, but his story and relationship with the club and the fans of Real Madrid is a lot more interesting than that. Dermot Corrigan wrote a massive profile of the two-time Madrid president for the latest issue of Howler, and he joins to discuss what drives one of the most powerful men in the world of soccer—and the whole entertainment industry, for that matter. Dummy listeners can now get 10% off a subscription to Howler Magazine (perhaps you’ve heard of it). Go to shop.howlermagazine.com and enter the code DUMMYSAVES.

1v1 with José Mourinho: “Man. United—the question is: why the last three seasons were so bad?”  

This week on Dummy we have a special guest. You might call him the most special guest we could possibly book. In fact, he might even say that about himself. José Mourinho talks about the methods he uses to revamp a club when he takes over as manager--in this case, Manchester United.

Toot toot! All aboard the Pulisic hype train!  

Everyone except Bobby, that is—in fact, he really wants George to calm down. GQ and BW discuss a U.S. national team in transition: some older faces fading away and the newer ones replacing them. IMPORTANT NOTE: Something very, very strange happened to the audio in the app we used to record this episode, and George’s side of the tape started to speed up from the 28th-minute mark. Rest assured, he's back to normal for Tiki Talka.

Amobi Okugo: the Frugal Athlete  

Portland Timbers' Amobi Okugo joins the show to talk about his one-man mission to help young athletes learn how to manage their money. Amobi, George, and Bobby also touch on the homophobic slurs directed toward Robbie Rogers recently and the Hope Solo controversy. Oh, and Bobby talks about wearing an R2D2 jersey for Harrisburg City.

Having a Gas in London  

Bristol Rovers, aka the Gas, played Chelsea in the League Cup Tuesday night. George was in London and met up with Dummy’s own Gashead, David Goldblatt, for a chat before the game. Since 2010, the Gas have been relegated twice and promoted twice. They began life as the Black Arabs (David will try to explain) and their fans yell “Arrrrgggghhh” (because pirates). Recorded on location in and around Stamford Bridge, this episode also features David’s mate and fellow Gashead Tim as well as Dom Bliss, a writer for the mag. No tiki talka this week, but stay till the end for George’s review of the mushroom soup in Stamford Bridge’s press room. ARRGGHHHGHHHH!!!!

An Important Correction  

Because sometimes we’re dummies.

Rick and Bobby Go Globetrotting  

Dummies beware! Rick Karr is back in the host’s chair after hacking into the servers at the very posh and definitely real Howler Tower. Rick is joined by Bobby Warshaw for a wide-ranging conversation on Indonesian soccer culture and the pros and cons of a European Super-league.

We Answer Your Questions About Rules, Careers, and Hairstyles  

George, Bobby, and David answer your questions—they dive right into it with a debate about desired rule changes to the sport of soccer. They then talk about what drives and motivates their respective careers. Finally, the three discuss the most important topic of all: players and their hair. After your questions, they Tiki Talka about Xavi's fantastic gesture, Alejandro Bedoya's move to MLS, and green pools at the Olympics.

The Soccer Roots of Turkey’s Coup and Crackdown  

James Dorsey joins to discuss the ways that soccer fans and administrators play a role in Turkey’s complex and tumultuous political realm. Then Sam Patterson explains why roughly 50 members of La Familia, Beitar Jerusalem’s ultra right-wing hooligan group, were taken off the streets in a recent sting operation.

1v1 with Carli Lloyd: “I’m always gonna keep fighting like an underdog”  

In Dummy’s second installment of 1v1 we bring you Carli Lloyd. You’ve probably heard of her, but here are the basics anyway: current FIFA World Player of the Year, the second person ever to score a hat trick in a World Cup final, and all around badass. Oh yeah—she was also on the cover of Howler. Twice. Somehow her Wikipedia page fails to mention that.

1v1 with Robbie Rogers: “I’ve always been an outcast”  

Robbie Rogers played for the Columbus Crew and the U.S. national team before going abroad and joining Leeds United. Soon after, he abruptly quit the game and announced that he was gay. When he came out of retirement, with the LA Galaxy, Rogers became the first and only gay male athlete in any of the the big American sports leagues. He also wrote a book about growing up with such a big secret, keeping it from family, friends, teammates, coaches—everybody. This is the first in a Dummy companion series we’re calling 1v1. The idea is to talk to some of the leading players, managers, businesspeople, journalists—and not just about the usual stuff, but to really go deep on the experiences and points of view that make them unique. In this interview, Robbie talks about what it was like in the U.S. residency program in Bradenton as a teenager—he only stayed for a little while because it was such an unwelcoming environment. He speaks about locker room culture here in the U.S. and in England. He spoke about his internship in London, where he would transform from celebrated pro soccer player in the morning to the guy who fetched the coffee in the afternoon. Rogers says he believes people think he’s stuck up when he first meets them because he’s an introvert and very shy: “I’m probably that way because I’ve been closeted for so long and I don’t trust a lot of people.” He says that he’s always felt like an outcast. All told, it’s an incredibly honest and open and enjoyable conversation. In the coming weeks and months, we’ll publish similar interviews with Carli Lloyd, Sean Johnson, Alexi Lalas, Christen Press, Paul Gardner, and others.

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