Has there ever been a better time to be an American soccer fan?


Allow a brief digression from the usual PST Newsflow of Awesomeness (copyright: Steve Davis).

I’m sitting in a hotel room in Portland, two days before the Timbers take on the Seattle Sounders in a match that will be nationally televised on NBC. The city is stoked for the game. Timbers paraphernalia is everywhere.

Last night, I participated in a reading at a packed soccer bar. It was amazing. Copies of the debut issue of XI, a new soccer magazine, were floating around. I grabbed one. The writing is excellent. So is the simple cover (pictured above).

And then there’sHowler, which, if Matthew Doyle’s piece on American tactics is any indication, is going to be great. It’s at the printer as I type.

This is a country that can support a soccer film festival in multiple cities, including (tonight and tomorrow!) Portland. (Full disclosure: I’m part of the Kicking + Screening team.)

We have multiple television channels that continue to ramp up their coverage of the United States national team, MLS, leagues around the world, and everything in between.

The level of quality writing/reading/televising/producing/etc. about soccer grows exponentially every year. Read this awesome piece about Sporting Kansas City’s Aurélien Collin by Steve Brisendine if you want an example from today.

Was any of this possible 10 years ago? Of course not. Maybe possible in some future realm, but certainly not realistic. Now? There’s no stopping the momentum. Every now and then, take a step back to admire all the options we have now.

Okay, back to your regularly scheduled news, information, and analysis.

Miss of the season candidate as Correa whiffs for Sampdoria

GENOA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 23:  Jaoquin Correa of UC Sampdoria disappointed during the Serie A match between UC Sampdoria and AS Roma at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on September 23, 2015 in Genoa, Italy.  (Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)
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21-year-old Joaquin Correa may be young and inexperienced, but he may have grown today.

Painful growth.

The young Sampdoria attacker will not want to watch the highlights of today’s 1-1 draw with Inter Milan in Serie A play knowing he could have given his side all three points.

Could have, had he – you know – hit an open goal from less than three yards out. Spoiler alert: he didn’t.

Correa rounds Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic thanks to a fruitful rebound after his initial shot was smothered, but as he turned to face the wide open net, he scuffed his shot and it trickled embarrassingly wide.

Not much more to say about this one than try to put it behind you, Joaquin. It’s an ugly one.

Watch Live: Swansea City vs. Tottenham Hotspur (Lineups & Live Stream)

MONACO - OCTOBER 01:  Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur gestures during the UEFA Europa League group J match between AS Monaco FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Stade Louis II on October 1, 2015 in Monaco, Monaco.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
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Tottenham can go third in the table with a road win today at one of the toughest places to play in the Premier League at the moment as they visit the Liberty Stadium to take on Swansea City at 11 a.m. ET live online at NBC Sports Live Extra.

Spurs are coming off a massive win over Manchester City last weekend – their third straight victory in league play – but will be without bright new signing Hueng-min Son for the forseeable future after he suffered a foot injury in the victory. Spurs then managed a stout 1-1 draw with Monaco in Europa League play.

They are also without Danny Rose from an injury in that midweek meeting and Nabil Bentalib misses his fourth straight match due to injury, but Deli Alli is fit while Moussa Dembele makes the bench. Erik Lamela is in the starting lineup as he finds himself in fine form the last few weeks.

WATCH LIVE: Swansea City vs. Tottenham Hotspur live online at NBC Sports Live Extra

Swansea, meanwhile, have a fully fit squad eight matches into the Premier League season, and they would move into the top half of the table with a win.

Bafetimbi Gomis starts up front with four goals on the season, but he has not scored in his last three appearances, and conversely the Swans have picked up just one point over that span.


Swansea City: Fabianski, Rangel, Fernandez, Williams, Taylor, Ki, Shelvey, Ayew, Sigurdsson, Montero, Gomis.
Nordfeldt, Tabanou, Bartley, Cork, Barrow, Routledge, Eder.

Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies; Alli, Dier; Chadli, Eriksen, Lamela; Kane.
Vorm, Trippier, Wimmer, Carroll, Dembele, Townsend, Clinton.