The Major League Soccer offseason is now truly upon us.
MLS Cup is now firmly in the rearview, Landon Donovan still fully retired. The expansion draft has come and gone, as has Stage One of the Re-Entry Draft.
Players don’t report to train camp until the week of Jan. 19, so it’s time to give yourself a rest. Settle in with a mug of hot cocoa and dig into these Good Soccer Reads. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day will be here before you know it.
– We’re going to start with a double dose of Sid Lowe, who is on top of his game right now as The Guardian’s La Liga correspondent.
First is his take on the death of Jimmy Romero, a Spanish soccer fan killed during a fan-on-fan battle prior to Deportivo de La Coruna’s match at Atletico Madrid. It provides look at the cold response from authorities and an example of how to do advocate journalism right. A week later, Lowe followed with a breakdown of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s goalscoring feats, putting into historical context record that can easy be taken for granted.
– Speaking of hot streaks, Sports Illustrated’s Brian Straus weighed in both on the (potential) end of D.C. United’s long fight for its own soccer-specific stadium and the complex issues likely to influence the looming MLS labor negotiations.
– Jonathan Wilson previews the upcoming 2015 African Cup of Nations, where Morocco’s last-minute decision not to host is a solid metaphor for what should be an unpredictable a tournament as ever.
-For a fleeting glimpse of some warmer locales, here’s the Buenos Aries Herald’s match story as Racing Club returned to the pinnacle of Argentine soccer for the first time in 13 years.