Short takes

• The start of college football this week has reminded me just how similar it is to European soccer. There are five big leagues in both, the big teams in every league are competing more with each other than they are with their league, and the money — especially the television money — seems completely out of control. Perhaps college football, not American soccer, is the better candidate for European soccer-style rules, such as promotion and relegation, or a transfer system.


• U.S. Soccer’s six-month suspension of national team goalkeeper Hope Solo is ostensibly because of her sour-grapes comments about Sweden being “cowards.” Let’s be honest, though: Suspending her at the end of her career, with no major tournament upcoming, isn’t exactly a statement of principle from the governing body.


• The U.S. men’s national team has its next two World Cup qualifiers coming up — Friday against St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Sept. 6 against Trinidad and Tobago. The Americans are expected to win both games, which would put them into the final round of CONCACAF qualifying. Anything short of two wins, and the U.S. would be in danger of failing to make the final round — an unthinkable failure.