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Audio podcasts from the editors of Howler Magazine.




Is Coach Jake the best high school soccer coach of the last 20 years?

When Martin Jacobson became the coach of soccer team at Martin Luther King Jr. High in Manhattan just over 20 years ago, the program was a disaster. So how has he won 15 city-wide championships in that time? Actually, that's the least interesting question you can put to the recovered heroin addict, Hepatitis C survivor, and man who has taken in transformed the lives of hundreds of kids from the U.S., Africa, the Caribbean, and South America. It’s really a remarkable story—and it’s subject...

Duration: 00:26:29

Soccer as #brandedcontent

First up, Mapate Diop discusses his article on Red Bull, PSG, MLS and the phenomenon of soccer as branded content, a simultaneously simple and profound way of viewing modern soccer. Then, Michael Krumholtz on Costa Rica and Vancouver Whitecaps winger Christian Bolaños, who at 33 has enjoyed a late-career resurgence. Costa Rica plays the US tonight in an important World Cup qualifier. Subscribe to Howler with code FIFANATOR15 to save 15% AND get a free Fifanator patch!

Duration: 00:30:09

The Blackballed Striker and other tales from the week in soccer

On today’s episode, four 10-minute interviews on four stories from this week: 1. How Target’s switch from NASCAR to soccer sponsorships could help transform the American game (with Amadi Thiam) 2. Why ultras from Bayern Munich and many other Bundesliga clubs have declared “war” on the German football federation (with Travis Timmons) 3. Chelsea and England striker Eni Aluko claims she has been blackballed from international soccer after complaining about treatment by the...

Duration: 00:44:30

The pay is terrible, but at least it’s glamorous

On Tuesday, Top Drawer Soccer staff writer and Howler contributor announced that he’s leaving the industry altogether. So George called him up to talk about why he got into sportswriting, the forces that are shaping the industry, and why the lack of investment by major outlets is bad for all soccer fans.

Duration: 00:29:38

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.

Duration: 00:23:31

A look back at the Gold Cup with Brad Friedel

After the U.S. beat Jamaica to win the Gold Cup trophy, Bobby and George revisit their discussion on fringe USMNT players and who seems likely to make the 2018 World Cup roster. (Hint: Jordan Morris helped his case, Matt Hedges not so much.) Then Brad Friedel joins to discuss the Gold Cup and answer some questions specifically about the goalkeeping position—should Arena settle on a clear starter (and how did that work with Friedel and Kasey Keller?), and what sort of special challenges...

Duration: 00:41:17

George Best’s life and legacy

George Best was one of the game’s greatest players and also one of its most confounding. He had the dribbling skills to rival Leo Messi, a public image that paved the for David Beckham, and an addiction to alcohol that was allowed to go unchecked in the 1960s and ’70s and ultimately led to his early death. This week, George interviews Daniel Gordon, the director of a 30 for 30 documentary that premieres tonight on ESPN at 8:30 pm. Gordon also made the 30 for 30 about the Hillsborough...

Duration: 00:24:36

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...

Duration: 00:45:44

Goldblatt on the Garcia Report

George and David discuss the Garcia Report. Even though it contained no revelations that will stop the World Cup from taking place in Russia and Qatar, it still revealed plenty of bad behavior by soccer officials, and it provides quite a few clues about FIFA’s immediate future.

Duration: 00:34:51

Speaking with the director of “The Soccer Ball Phone”

This week, we released a short parody called “The Soccer Ball Phone” starring Sarah Silverman, Jack Black, Will Arnett, Alexi Lalas, and a few other very funny people. (We’re been promoting it pretty hard, but if you haven’t seen it, or want to ready George’s note about how it came together, go here.) This week on Dummy, George talks to Kovert Creative partner Joe Assad, who wrote and directed the short and also happens to be a new partner in Howler. We often get requests to talk about the...

Duration: 00:19:30

Bobby and George on USA vs Trinidad and Tobago

George and Bobby discuss last night’s game between the U.S. national team and Trinidad and try to answer a few questions: -Which players are emerging as Bruce Arena’s automatic picks? -Who should be playing between Altidore, Dempsey, and Wood? -Michael Bradley or Kellyn Acosta? -How will Mexico attack the U.S. back line of Yedlin, Cameron, Brooks, and Villafaña? -Why is Villafaña only getting his first caps now, at the age of 27? Bobby was running out to catch a plane to Mexico City,...

Duration: 00:34:10

They Hanged a Monkey (AUDIO FIXED)

*If you have Dummy set to autodownload, listen to this version and delete the previous one—we had a few audio issues that have now been corrected. This week, Hartlepool United unveiled a new crest, and the designer of that crest, Mick Watson, joins the pod to discuss what makes for good (and bad) soccer badge design. He also explains the grotesque reason that the club’s mascot is named H’Angus the Monkey (readers of the mag may recall that the man who played H’Angus was elected—and then...

Duration: 00:36:43

They Hanged a Monkey (AUDIO FIXED)

*If you have Dummy set to autodownload, listen to this version and delete the previous one—we had a few audio issues that have now been corrected. This week, Hartlepool United unveiled a new crest, and the designer of that crest, Mick Watson, joins the pod to discuss what makes for good (and bad) soccer badge design. He also explains the grotesque reason that the club’s mascot is named H’Angus the Monkey (readers of the mag may recall that the man who played H’Angus was elected—and then...

Duration: 00:36:43

Too excited about the US U-20s with Brian Dunseth

After a pair of matches, the US U-20s currently lead Group E at the world championship in South Korea, and they've already played their two toughest opponents. Today I speak with Brian Dunseth, who called the match for Fox Sports this morning and was himself a prominent member of the US U-20 team back in the day (many, many years ago, as in not quite before the internet but almost). We evaluate the first two games (a 3–3 draw with Ecuador and the 1–0 victory over Senegal; follow those...

Duration: 00:23:27

How FIFA became Assad’s collaborator

Steve Fainaru’s new feature for ESPN on the Syrian national team reveals how the Syrian government has targeted athletes for murder (38 soccer players and counting) and turned Team Syria into a mouthpiece in support of Bashar al-Assad. Steve joins Dummy to discuss the peril faced by players who choose to speak out and boycott the team and FIFA’s cowardly response to the crisis. You can read Steve’s story here. This week’s sponsor is SoccerPro. Save 10% on your order with the code HOWLER19.

Duration: 00:30:52

The Dirty Tackle podcast goes studs up into your eardrums

Last year, Dirty Tackle joined up with, and now the dudes have their own hilarious podcast. In this episode of Dummy, George and Dirty Tackle impresario Brooks Peck talk about why players in Europe are funnier than those in America, why covering FIFA will never be boring, and how Brooks came to own a pink Palermo jersey. Also: Does Zlatan feel empathy? Is Bastian Schweinsteiger bored? And Gigi Buffon has kind grandpa eyes, don't you think?

Duration: 00:36:58

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...

Duration: 00:35:11

The 2017 MLS Salary Release Party

On Tuesday, the MLS Players Union made its annual release of league-wide player salary information, which revealed that 28 players make more than a million dollars per year… and none of them play for the league’s best team, FC Dallas. Jeb Brovsky and George sit down to navel-gaze/discuss. Then, Tim Froh joins to talk about his story in the Guardian about the lack of diversity among Major League Soccer head coaches. Froh argues that the uniformity in background fosters a sort of...

Duration: 00:51:39

Mountain of Fire and Miracles FC w/ Goldblatt

David Goldblatt just got back from Nigeria, where he watched A LOT of soccer, including Lagos’s entry in the Nigerian top flight, Mountain of Fire and Miracles FC. He and George also talk about the Madrid vs. Munich Champions League quarterfinal and disagree about whether we should start using instant replay to officiate soccer matches. And he weighs in on the CANUSAMEX 2026 and offers a more hopeful verdict than either George or Jamil could come up with last week. Next, George interviews...

Duration: 00:48:19

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.

Duration: 00:39:56

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