Pitch Points has fingers crossed for 2026

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Interesting times for World Cup 2026. The process for winning the World Cup is semi-complicated (to say nothing of errors leaving Nashville-based media scrambling to fact check and get official comment on MLS items). Here is how it works, with a warning that the process appears to be pretty overwrought for no reason (the reason is helping obfuscate corruption). Here’s Morocco’s take on the matter:

I’ve been pretty surprised that this Kyle Martino point – one I’ve made before – hasn’t been a major topic of discussion: Morocco is going to bankrupt its country to build stadiums if it wins the bid. The United States, Canada, and Mexico are going to have to do some infrastructure/capital improvement work, no doubt, but already have a surplus of big stadiums available. If FIFA wants to not be an organization running countries into the ground (note: it does not want this, or to be more precise, doesn’t care whether or not it is), Morocco is not only the lesser choice, it’s an outright irresponsible one. Of course, FIFA’s only desire is “help FIFA executives get lots of cool stuff in bribes,” so here we are, world.

Also interesting times for stadium discussions. Readers here (or anyone paying attention to the soccer world) is well-aware that the majority of “move MLS stadium” talk is not done in good faith. I’m well aware that I’m preaching to the choir here, but there’s… this:

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MMLSSTMC, Inc. is not a group of people who want the MLS stadium in a different part of town: they are people (or more accurately, one person) who don’t want a stadium or soccer team at all. (Nor could I find any evidence that they’re legally incorporated in Tennessee, in case you were wondering how deep the lies run, it’s “very”). Alas, we live in an era where you can lie to the faces of the public, as long as you shame those reporting the opposite in a louder voice (and with a catchier term). Being an outright liar is a way to succeed in America in 2018, unfortunately. It’s the responsibility of the media to not fall for that lie, but as a member of the media who has watched his industry go in the tank over the past several years, well, responsibility in the press is not at an all-time high.

The other part of this particular meeting is one Metro Councilman (DeCosta Hastings) who is trying to look out for his constituents after embarrassing himself with a lack of reading comprehension – or maybe memory – at a previous council meeting. A bit of face-saving and “I’m looking out for you” PR, aided by some disingenuous people whose goal is to submarine a stadium in general, and you have a weird perfect storm of ugliness.

It’s extremely unlikely that anything jeopardizes the stadium (which has already been voted upon and approved by the council, with Hastings among the yes votes), but certainly remaining vigilant won’t harm anything.

(Meanwhile, Phoenix Rising is taking steps toward an MLS stadium of its own).

A second Pulisic in Nashville this season. Surely, you were blown away when Pittsburgh Riverhounds assistant Mark Pulisic stalked the sidelines in Nissan Stadium a couple weeks back? You’ll probably be more excited when his son is here this Summer.

Liverpool Football Club will play Borussia Dortmund this July in Nashville, Tennessee in a friendly match that will see the return of Jürgen Klopp to face his old Bundesliga club, according to a World Soccer Talk source. The match, scheduled to be part of the 2018 International Champions Cup, will be played on Sunday, July 22.

NSC is away July 21 and home (First Tennessee Park) July 25, so no potential conflicts there… wonder if it would make sense to move the Atlanta United 2 game to a field that’s already going to be set up for soccer? And find some other interesting friendlies (Just one guy out here thinkin’) to host in that stadium?

Of course, I also encourage you to read the elder Pulisic’s interview on this very site. Some really good stuff about youth development from a man who knows as well as anybody.

Black soccer culture. Incredible video from Copa90 and Black Arrow FC about black soccer culture in Atlanta.

Very cool, and an outstanding display of diversity for a club (and a supporters’ culture) that has done a great job promoting it. Hope to see more of that here in Nashville going forward.

Etc. Should the US recruit dual-nationals? Why is this phrased like a question? The answer is obviously yes. … Y’all know I’m a sucker for a little tactical talk. … NCAA starting to get closer to international rules. … I wish Detroit City FC fans didn’t suck so bad, because otherwise I’d really like the club. … ESPN-Plus launching soon. … US Soccer looking at “bio-banding” instead of birthdate age groups. Funny, I heard a lot of complaints about the change to (FIFA-compliant) calendar-year age grouping from a lot of the same people who bitch about FIFA compliance in other areas. … Michael DeGraffenreidt’s twin brother signs with a new team. … A local take on Nashville SC’s newest signing.

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