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What happened? Looking at America's worst flop

United States

Corden takes on LAFC

The Toe Poke
 By Eric Gomez

Five Mexico internationals primed to leave Europe for MLS switch

The FC crew discuss Carlos Vela's performances early on at LAFC and whether he can make the case for a spot on Mexico's World Cup squad.

MEXICO CITY -- For more than two decades now, Mexico fans have gotten used to some of their best players setting up shop in Major League Soccer. The duality of this situation has meant simultaneous pain and joy. For every family rejoicing in Chicago over Cuauhtemoc Blanco or Jorge Campos joining the squad, there was distress in Coyoacan.

In the past, however, the prevailing theme had been El Tri legends making their move to MLS well beyond their prime. It is a different story now.

The signing...

Why some MLS clubs aren't replicating New York Red Bulls' USL reserve model

The early success of the New York Red Bulls this season has brought renewed attention to the role their USL reserve side, New York Red Bulls II, has had in developing players.

In the CONCACAF Champions League, the Red Bulls used seven players who had at one point been a part of their second team. Another two reserve-team products have seen time in MLS regular-season play. In an era where spending Targeted Allocation Money on players from abroad has taken on increased importance, the Red Bulls'...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

MLS Confidential: Players polled on U.S. failure, salaries, pro/rel, overrated, underrated players

The FC crew reflect on the anonymous responses to ESPN FC's annual MLS player survey, which includes questions about VAR, promotion/relegation, the U.S. missing the World Cup and more.
Max Bretos and Herculez Gomez express shock at some of the responses for most overrated and underrated player on ESPN FC's anonymous MLS player survey during the latest Max & Herc Podcast.
Alejandro Moreno highlights the highs and lows from Week 3 in MLS, including a standout week from Ale's compatriot, Josef Martinez.

Who should be blamed for the United States' World Cup qualifying failure? Do young American players get sufficient playing time in MLS? Do you favor promotion and relegation in the league?

During preseason ahead of the 2018 campaign and on the condition of anonymity, we asked these and other hot-button questions to 104 current players in our fourth annual MLS Confidential (previous results: 201520162017.)

These players represented 22 of the league's 23 clubs -- for the second...

What happened? An inquest into America's most embarrassing flop

Clint Dempsey chats with ESPN FC's Sebastian Salazar about Seattle's goals in MLS and the CONCACAF Champions League, and the USMNT all-time scoring record.
There's no one reason why the U.S. national team failed to reach the 2018 World Cup. It's a complicated mix of issues.

This story is from the winter/spring 2018 issue of Howler, a quarterly magazine about soccer. Get 20 percent off a subscription with promo code HOWLER14 at

It was an event so disastrous that Twitter had to double it character limit just to accommodate the calls for everyone at U.S. Soccer to be fired. In the aftermath, we've read roughly 5,742 think-pieces, each trying to zero in on the one thing that could have prevented the United States men's national team from failing...

 By Jason Davis

Atlanta hops over Crew for No. 2 spot in MLS Power Rankings; NYCFC still on top

From Josef Martinez's hat trick to Chris Wondolowski closing the gap on Landon Donovan's record, relive all the goals from the third round of MLS action.
Whitecaps defender Kendall Watson was sent off early on, leaving the five stripes with plenty of opportunities to score four and bag a second straight home win.
Graham Zusi's rocket punctuated a second straight win for Kansas City, but defensive lapses kept San Jose in the high-scoring match.
Minnesota United prevailed in their home opener against the Chicago Fire courtesy of goals from Ibson and Sam Nicholson.

A look at how the teams in Major League Soccer stack up after Week 3 of the season:

1. NYCFC (no change)
NYCFC didn't look dominant at home against Orlando -- notably without David Villa in the lineup -- but did what was needed in a 2-0 win. The Pigeons are perfect, atop the East and the class of MLS so far in 2018.

2. Atlanta United (+1)
In the past two weeks, Atlanta's attack has scored seven times, with Josef Martinez responsible for four of them. The Venezuelan's hat trick on Saturday...

 By Matt Pentz

Real Salt Lake, New York Red Bulls ahead of MLS on youth curve

Besides ridiculous-sounding team names, Real Salt Lake and the New York Red Bulls would appear to have very little in common.

One is located in the media capital of the world -- well, right across the state line in Harrison, N.J., anyway -- and the other calls home one of the smallest pro sports markets in the United States. One touts natural scenery and easy access to the mountains; the other represents a city that appears to be made almost entirely out of concrete. One touts itself as family-oriented...