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Cover image of Dummy: Interviews with smart people about soccer

Dummy: Interviews with smart people about soccer

Howler editor George Quraishi interviews soccer journalists, managers, players, and activists. Dummy is about everything except what happened on the field last week: the business, politics, history, personalities, and social issues that touch the world’s favorite game.

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Eden Hazard, Tobin Heath, and Ryan Bailey

George and Ryan (host of the Dirty Tackle podcast and an occasional writer for the mag) are in London at a big Nike marketing event, and of the many players present—including Alexis Sanchez, Neymar, Christian Pulisic, and Marcus Rashford—they got two very short interviews with Eden Hazard and Tobin Heath. In this episode, a discussion about how commercial events like this one have come to drive so much of the soccer media, a quick look at the very funny piece Ryan wrote for the latest issue of Howler, and, of course, three minutes each with Hazard and Heath. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

31mins

8 Feb 2018

Rank #1

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USA EPIC FAIL WTF

Howler editor George Quraishi is joined by Bobby Warshaw and Cole Grossman (former player for Real Salt Lake and Stabaek) to work through the USMNT’s loss to Trinidad and failure to make the World Cup. They discuss the short- and long-term failings of the US Soccer Federation and how they could be fixed. There is some foul language in this episode. You've been warned.George’s more considered take for Quartz is here. It begins like this:“With one half of the United States on fire and the other under water, I’m trying to avoid the use of words like “catastrophe” and “disaster” to describe what is going on in the realm of American soccer right now. But the United States men’s national team failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1986, and every fan is currently coping with some degree of cognitive and emotional meltdown.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

55mins

12 Oct 2017

Rank #2

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Arena averts Hexit

George and Bobby discuss the U.S.’s 6–0 win over Honduras and 1–1 tie with Panama. George gives his ideal starting back four; Bobby disagrees. Is there any way to avoid a dreary game when Bradley and Jones are paired together in the midfield? And how could some of the missing players—specifically Fabian Johnson, Bobby Wood, Sacha Klejstan, Benny Feilhaber, and DeAndre Yedlin—fit into this team?Then Jake Walerius joins to discuss American soccer culture. He says that England’s obsession with its national sport is a way for Brits to grapple with the decline of their nation’s status in the world. Baseball, football, and basketball have similar cultural heft in the United States. But American soccer fans, he argues, are still negotiating over the meaning of our own story.This is the essay Jake wrote on the subject for fansided.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

53mins

30 Mar 2017

Rank #3

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If we had to pick the U.S. World Cup squad today

With the U.S. and Mexico taking B teams into the Gold Cup, we’re thinking that the most interesting way to watch the tournament might be as a way to project next summer’s World Cup fringe roster spots. So today, Bobby, Jeb, and George select the players they think are most likely to make the team, dividing them into three categories: locks, probablies, and maybes. They agree on 20 names, and then each chooses a different set of three players for the final spots.We want to see what you think of our choices, and who your picks would be—let us know by filling out this form: fifa.wtf/2sLJACz. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

45mins

6 Jul 2017

Rank #4

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LOL New York Times

This week in the New York Times Magazine, Jay Caspian Kang published a confused mish-mash of a story claiming, among other things, that “crowds who gather in M.L.S. stadiums and bars and sing songs inspired by groups who shove black men off subway trains and travel to foreign cities to taunt Muslim immigrants” are the reason “why so many Mexican-Americans choose not to root for the United States.” What? We’re using the occasion to speak with Simon Evans (Washington Post, Reuters), who has actual knowledge of English and Italian supporter traditions and is also familiar with the Americans trying to adopt them. He joins George and Bobby for a more informed discussion of American fan culture. Simon, who traveled to France for the knock-out rounds, also helps George convince Bobby that Euro 16 wasn’t boring.Next, Wes Burdine talks about the $700,000 transfer of Poku from NYCFC to Miami FC and what purchases like this reveal about the NASL. The country’s second division is struggling to keep pace with MLS and is now being squeezed from the USL below.In Tiki Talka, Bobby explains the phrase "penis bandit” (sorry everyone). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

54mins

14 Jul 2016

Rank #5

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Why American soccer is wealthier and whiter than other sports

On Wednesday in the Guardian, Les Carpenter published a story about the ways poor and marginalized youths are excluded from playing soccer and the implications for the professional game. Les joins Bobby, George, and Greg Howard of the New York Times, who has written extensively about race and sports. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

50mins

2 Jun 2016

Rank #6

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Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor’s Soccer Team

Today, two very emotional interviews about the prospect (possibility? probability?) that Anthony Precourt, owner of the Columbus Crew since 2013, will move the team to Austin, Texas. First, George speaks with lifelong Crew supporter Morgan Hughes. Then he discusses the possible relocation with Josh Jackson, a member of MLS to Austin.Enter our annual full kit wanker contest to win a free jersey from SoccerPro.com. Send a picture of yourself wearing the socks, shorts, and shirt of any team. You must be holding a copy of Howler and use the hashtag #fullkithowler. (Here are some of our submissions from last year.) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

48mins

20 Oct 2017

Rank #7

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CANUSAMEX ’26 and the future of the World Cup

Jamil Chade is a sports business journalist for O Estado de Saõ Paulo who is based in Switzerland, where he covers FIFA and the IOC. On this episode he chats with George about the internal politics that make the joint North American WC bid for 2026 likely to succeed, and what the changes it entails mean for FIFA and for the future of the World Cup.Check out The Goalmouth, our five-minute daily morning podcast. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

38mins

13 Apr 2017

Rank #8

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Boys to Men

Last week, George went down to the Nike Friendlies outside of Bradenton to watch the U-17 U.S. boys lose to the Netherlands by a score of five to one. More successful was the trio of interviews he conducted with people who run various aspects of the USSF’s scouting and development operation. If you want to better understand the current landscape of how our country goes about turning 12 year-old-boys into players for the senior national team, today’s episode is a great place to start. Guests are Aloys Wijnker (director of boys development academy), Tony Lepore (director of talent identification), and Nico Romeijn (director of coaching education).You can become a monthly supporter of the show here. And beginning next week, we will be launching a new segment called Ask a Dummy in which George fields questions and comments from our monthly supporters. Contribute to the show with your thoughts and questions here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

1hr 12mins

7 Dec 2017

Rank #9

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Jordan Morris on soccer and… personal finance

Jordan Morris is a striker for the Seattle Sounders and the U.S. men’s national team, and he makes his Dummy debut to discuss playing for Jurgen Klinsmann and Bruce Arena, what he has learned from Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore, and whether he is maximizing MLS’s 3% match in his 401k.Get 15% off a Howler subscription with the code ILISTEN at shop.howlermagazine.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

32mins

16 Feb 2017

Rank #10

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Why you shouldn't worry about $$ in the Prem

George thought that Kevin McCauley’s season preview for SB Nation, titled “How to Enjoy the Premier League without Worrying About the Money,” was the most provocative and enjoyable piece he’s read ahead of the new English season. So he called him up to discuss the ideas in his argument and maybe even become a convert to Kevin’s way of thinking. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

23mins

11 Aug 2017

Rank #11

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1v1 with Robbie Rogers: “I’ve always been an outcast”

Robbie Rogers played for the Columbus Crew and the U.S. national team before going abroad and joining Leeds United. Soon after, he abruptly quit the game and announced that he was gay. When he came out of retirement, with the LA Galaxy, Rogers became the first and only gay male athlete in any of the the big American sports leagues. He also wrote a book about growing up with such a big secret, keeping it from family, friends, teammates, coaches—everybody. This is the first in a Dummy companion series we’re calling 1v1. The idea is to talk to some of the leading players, managers, businesspeople, journalists—and not just about the usual stuff, but to really go deep on the experiences and points of view that make them unique. In this interview, Robbie talks about what it was like in the U.S. residency program in Bradenton as a teenager—he only stayed for a little while because it was such an unwelcoming environment. He speaks about locker room culture here in the U.S. and in England. He spoke about his internship in London, where he would transform from celebrated pro soccer player in the morning to the guy who fetched the coffee in the afternoon. Rogers says he believes people think he’s stuck up when he first meets them because he’s an introvert and very shy: “I’m probably that way because I’ve been closeted for so long and I don’t trust a lot of people.” He says that he’s always felt like an outcast. All told, it’s an incredibly honest and open and enjoyable conversation. In the coming weeks and months, we’ll publish similar interviews with Carli Lloyd, Sean Johnson, Alexi Lalas, Christen Press, Paul Gardner, and others. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

49mins

21 Jul 2016

Rank #12

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1v1 with Carli Lloyd: “I’m always gonna keep fighting like an underdog”

In Dummy’s second installment of 1v1 we bring you Carli Lloyd. You’ve probably heard of her, but here are the basics anyway: current FIFA World Player of the Year, the second person ever to score a hat trick in a World Cup final, and all around badass. Oh yeah—she was also on the cover of Howler. Twice. Somehow her Wikipedia page fails to mention that. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

47mins

28 Jul 2016

Rank #13

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Some perspective on our current “crisis”

My scheduled interview fell through, so when my dad stopped by, I made him sit down and answer my questions about how American soccer has changed since he arrived from England in the early 1970s to play college soccer and then in the old NASL. It was a nice reminder that even though we might think we’re in a moment of crisis, things actually seem quite stable and positive to someone who was around back then. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

23mins

5 Jan 2018

Rank #14

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OMG Barcelona

This week George chats with his friend Karl Taro Greenfeld, a journalist, novelist, and now TV writer (for the show Ray Donovan). They talk about yesterday’s ridiculous Barcelona-PSG match, why Karl loves LigaMX, the ascendancy of Russian hooligans, and the short story Karl wrote in the new issue of Howler.Here is a link to George’s piece for the Washington Post on U.S. Soccer’s new anthem policy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

29mins

9 Mar 2017

Rank #15

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Jimmy Conrad Reveals Possibly True USMNT Rumors

Plus: David survived France. How ’bout that Iceland!? Bobby makes his friend Kelley O’Hara deeply uncomfortable. George’s tiki-talka gets even grosser than Joachim Löw. And Dummy’s lone listener in Greenland wrote us an email. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

59mins

23 Jun 2016

Rank #16

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Possible outcomes for the the USSF election

Jason Davis spends 10 hours a week talking in public about American soccer on his Sirius radio show. Now that the field has been narrowed to eight candidates, he and George discuss what could happen, what’s likely to happen, and what they hope will happen. They also discuss what a Wynalda or Carter presidency would mean for Major League Soccer and more broadly for the future of the game in the US.We released the cover of our new issue today. You can save 15% on a subscription (or a gift) with code GIVEAHOWLER at fifa.wtf/gethowler.Support the show for as little as $3 per month and you can send in questions and comments for the new “Ask a Dummy” segment at the end of each episode. fifa.wtf/supportdummy. Thanks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

48mins

21 Dec 2017

Rank #17

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How Cristiano’s game has changed

Is it just me (George), or has Cristiano Ronaldo subtly changed the way he plays? The data, provided by our friend Oliver at OPTA, backs him up: Cristiano’s goals in the Champions League have been coming from closer and closer to the goal over the last few years. I discuss this with Jeb Brovsky, who talks about Ronaldo’s transformation from inverted winger to center forward. We also talk about the first leg of the Monaco-Juventus semifinal and what a Real Madrid-Juventus final could look like (hint: Marcelo vs. Dani Alves). Yes please.Dummy is sponsored by soccerpro.com. Use code HOWLER18 at checkout for free shipping on orders of $50 or more. You'll be helping Howler and patronizing a long-time friend of the mag. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

34mins

4 May 2017

Rank #18

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Three Candidates for USSF Prez

George speaks with three candidates for U.S. Soccer president—Paul Lapointe, Steve Gans, and Kyle Martino—and dives deep on the answers they supplied to a 13-item questionnaire that we asked all candidates to complete. (We recommend you check that out before listening, but you don’t have to.)Who the Hell Votes in the US Soccer Presidential Election? by Anthony DiCicco Please consider supporting Dummy for less than $1 per episode Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

1hr 31mins

9 Nov 2017

Rank #19

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Messi’s Retirement Backstory Plus Megan Rapinoe—What a Delightful Person

We’re having a live show with special guest Anatol Yusef! Thursday July 7th in Brooklyn. It’s an intimate venue and we can only accommodate 30 guests, so please check out shop.howlermagazine.com and get a ticket soon!Today on Dummy: Messi’s retirement and the shenanigans/crimes of the Argentine FA that may have prompted it. Ivan Lopez-Muniz lays out the backstory: Messi will probably come back because he now has the opportunity to remake the Argentine federation LeBron-style. (Argentina’s contract negotiation with Adidas also comes into it.)Then, Megan Rapinoe talks about her new role as an ambassador with Street Football World, the dumb questions people ask female athletes, how her twin sister helped her become an elite soccer player, and why there seems to be some tension between the male and female U.S. internationals over the pay question. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

54mins

30 Jun 2016

Rank #20