October 16th, 2014


Should top Americans play in MLS? Jurgen Klinsmann doesn't seem to think so

Jurgen Klinsmann said it will be difficult for players like Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey to maintain their previous form after moves to MLS. (Mike Lawrie, Getty Images)

It is the great debate of American soccer.

There is no doubt that in the long-term picture the U.S. men’s national team will only get better as Major League Soccer improves. The U.S. is no different than any other country in the world; it’s clear that a healthy domestic league directly impacts the quality of a national team.

At the same time, the U.S. would also benefit in the short-term by seeing its top players in the best leagues around the world.

Thus the conundrum.

In order to grow and improve, Major League Soccer needs to see the trend of top American players signing back home – Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey are the biggest examples, though Maurice Edu, Jermaine Jones and DaMarcus Beasley also signed with MLS in the last year. The hope is that those players improve the quality of play in MLS and help some younger players, like DeAndre Yedlin, Lee Nguyen, Luis Gil, to develop into top-class players who can make an impact on the national team.

But does the U.S. national program actually suffer when its top players, especially those in their prime, like Bradley, come home to play in a league that simply is not yet near the standard of the elite teams in Europe?

U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann certainly seems to think so. Speaking specificially about Bradley, who left a Champions League side in Roma to join a Toronto FC team that will miss the playoffs for an eighth-straight season, Klinsmann implied that it would be difficult for Bradley to maintain the form he showed when he was playing in Europe.

“I think he’s faced with a very, very difficult year,” Klinsmann said. “Making that decision to go from Roma, a Champions League team, to now Toronto, a team that it seems like they’re not even qualifying for the playoffs, it’s a huge disappointment. That comes along with, you adjust yourself to whatever environment you are in, so he had to adjust to the environment he’s with in Toronto, instead of maybe an environment that plays Champions League football. So he’s going through that experience now, and still coming in now the first time since the World Cup he has to prove that he hasn’t lost a bit. Obviously we will keep working and pushing, but it’s down to him and his environment to see what level he is capable to play.”

Klinsmann continued when asked if he was concerned about Bradley’s environment in Toronto.

“Concerned? I mean, there’s nothing I can do about it. I made it clear, I made it clear with Clint’s move back and his move back that it’s going to very difficult for them to keep the same level that they experienced at the places where they were. It’s just reality, it’s just being honest. I want [Jozy] to get through a bit of a difficult time at Sunderland and maybe make a big step one day to a Champions League team in Europe, because that’s where the top players in the world play. Now making the step back, I totally get it. It’s a huge financial offer, it is also connected to many other elements, and this league is getting better and stronger every year. Which we are all very proud about. And I want everybody to grow in this environment, but reality also is for both players making that step means that you are not in the same competitive environment as you were before. And so it’s not easy for Michael, and it’s not going to be easy in the future.”

So the main question is: Is it more important that MLS grows by luring the top American players back home, or that the U.S. national team grows by seeing its best players at the world’s top clubs?


The MLS Commissioner Don Garber responded to Klinsi's remarks: HERE

I think Klinsi's right as usual. And Garber is still moaning about Landycakes' exclusion from the WC squad.
cat, cloak and dagger

Pep Guardiola has admitted a desire to add Manchester United to his managerial CV

Pep Guardiola has admitted a desire to add Manchester United to his managerial CV, according to revelations in a newly released book chronicling his first season as coach at Bayern Munich.
Guardiola, the former Barcelona coach recruited by Bayern before Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement as United manager at the end of the 2012-13 season, is under contract at the Allianz Arena until the end of the 2015-16 campaign.

Collapse )
vm » veronica; yellow

Awards from this week: Iniesta wins Golden Foot, Suarez receives Golden Boot

Andrés Iniesta wins Golden Foot 2014

Andres Iniesta was named as the best over-28 football player for 2014 when he won the Golden Foot award on Monday evening.

The iconic Barcelona star is the first player from his club ever to win (OP: and the first Spanish player) the lucrative gong, which has previously been won by some of football's biggest names.

Iniesta stood on stage in Monaco and planted his feet into a pool of gold to create a mould, which will be placed in the 'Champions promenade' along Monaco's seafront.

After attending the lucrative ball with his girlfriend Anna Ortiz, the 30-year-old tweeted a thank you message for the people who voted for him.

The Golden Foot award is voted for via an online poll but can only be won once in a players' career. Previous winners of the award include Ryan Giggs and Didier Drogba.

A panel of journalists select the ten nominees every year, based on achievements on and off the football pitch.

Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo and Yaya Toure were just some of the other names nominated for the award this year, but due to their age will have other chances to win the coveted prize.

Collapse )

Who do you think should win the Golden Foot (over-28) next?