News in Brief: Artificial Turf, MLS Parity, U.S. Men’s Player Development, and More

by on 19 February 2018

Artificial Turf Headed for Upgrade

For years, the standard construction of artificial turf has included crumb rubber. This practice may be coming to an end, with several benefits. Superior methods can lead to a lower impact on athlete’s bodies as well as a superior playing surface.

Anthony DiCicco at Medium writes about alternatives to crumb-rubber infills for artificial turf and other advancements to traditional artificial turf construction.

Parity in MLS on the Rise

Tutul Rahman at Pro Soccer USA uses some statistics to compare MLS to other leagues in terms of parity. In addition, Rahman looks at why that parity is on the rise. There are drawbacks to the analysis, but the next question is whether or not this parity and the course of the league is a good thing.

How to Improve U.S. Men’s Player Development

There are obvious problems in U.S. Soccer. The solutions are less clear. Christian Hambleton and Michael Wheeler look at England’s Football Association and France’s Fédération Française de Football and how they differ from the USSF. Failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup has shaken U.S. Soccer, Wheeler and Hambleton look at how the U.S. could and should move forward.

Minnesota United FC Sign Bertrand Owundi Eko’o

After signing Frantz Pangop in January, the Loons have signed a second Cameroonian International in Bertrand Owundi Eko’o. Owundi is a defender who can be deputized into the midfield. At 24 years old, the former Rainbow FC player could be a “high-level defender in MLS,” according to sporting director Manny Lagos.

News Bits

Former Loon captain Aaron Pitchkolan has retired and joined Jacksonville Armada coaching staff.

Minnesota United FC have partnered with Honda in a series of commercials.

According to Alan Jacobsen, the Premier Development League is no longer affiliated with the United States of Adult Soccer Association.

Sacramento Republic FC, USL champions in 2014, are reportedly in talks with several large-scale investors.

U.S. National Team player Julie Ertz surprised Shattuck-St. Mary’s Girls’ Academy with some words of inspiration.

Tags: , , , ,