Is it Sunday yet? The slow crawl toward this weekend’s MLS conference final first legs continues — help speed things up with another edition of Good Soccer Reads.
– Ever wonder about the logistics behind USMNT friendlies? Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl has the lowdown on the “foreign diplomacy” of ironing out the locations and opponents for international exhibitions.
– Dave Zeitlin writes on MLSSoccer.com about Sierra Leone and the stigma of Ebola and the efforts of some of the league’s players to representing their country with pride in the most trying of circumstances.
– “The Forgotten Story of … Alex Jackson” by Simon Burnton for The Guardian tells the fascinating tale of the rise and fall of one of the so-called “Wembley Wizards” — the famed Scottish national team that won 5-1 in England in 1928.
– For the most informative take on former Manchester United manager David Moyes’ second chance with Real Sociedad, look no further than Sid Lowe, my go-to source for all things La Liga.
– A bit older, but in the same vein: Jonathan Wilson is worth a read no matter what he’s writing about — and it certainly varies. This story is on Barcelona’s shift in policy and how it is becoming just another super club.
– Closer to home, ESPNFC’s Jeff Carlisle documents the belief of several MLS owners (including Sounders owner and general manager Adrian Hanauer) that U.S. national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann is encouraging young players to look abroad.