Short takes

• The North Carolina Courage concluded the most dominant season in American pro soccer history in the only way that made sense, defeating Portland 3-0 to claim the National Women’s Soccer League championship. The franchise, formerly the Western New York Flash, has now won two of the past three championships, as well as two consecutive NWSL Shields (regular-season titles). We have a dynasty on our hands.


• Houston won the U.S. Open Cup this week, defeating Philadelphia to win the oldest trophy in American soccer. Not that the people of Houston, who only lightly populated the stadium, seemed to have been informed. U.S. Soccer needs to reconsider how the knockout tournament is structured because it’s clear that it’s not getting the attention that it deserves.


• I was impressed by the coordinated fan protests at German league games this week. The fans stayed silent for 20 minutes to protest the scheduling of games at inconvenient times for those who watch the games in person — good for broadcasters but bad for fans. It was a reminder that clubs provide the soccer, but fans provide the atmosphere. The combination of both is what makes broadcasters want to show the games.