What talent? The US has two players playing key roles for mid table clubs in England (Dempsey/Holden). A player who looked good during a loan stint for amid table club (Donovan) and a player who has a key role for a mid table Budisliga club who couldn't get a game in at Villa (Bradley). That is the core for the US squad.
Originally Posted by Pagliacci
The rest of the squad are playing in MLS or in smaller leagues in Europe. Therein lies the problem. The US simply doesn't have a great talent pool of players. It honestly never will, our best athletes are not playing soccer. I think fans and media have unrealistic expectations for the US national team. Getting out of group and maybe winning a game or two in the knockout round is the best we will ever do.
Sure every now and then we'll have a year like 2002 where we have a good mix of players, have some good luck, and have players in form where the US will threaten to go far but that is our best case scenario in my opinion.
I personally think Bradley achieved basically what he could have. Sure it was time to go, most national team coaches don't last too long anyways and it was time for fresh ideas but I don't think he underachieved by any means. If anything he overachieved especially considering the Confederations Cup success.
I'm not going to get into a long winded argument with you about talent level because I agree with you. The reason I mention talent is because there IS enough talent to beat a team like Panama on home soil AND defend a 2-0 lead to Mexico to the point of not getting embarrassed and lose 4-2. In my opinion, Bradley mismanaged the talent he had, plain and simple. Do I expect the US to change overnight? Absolutely not, but hiring Klinsmann is a step in the right direction.
Originally Posted by ASUcruz
Maybe Klinsmann can implement a definitive style to American soccer because right now there is nothing.
Sure the Panama game was an embarassment but the US is gonna get upset every now and then. It's going to happen, regarding the Mexico game, that lost was inevitable. The US was giving up chances left and right before Cherendolo got hurt and frankly was fortunate to be leading 2-0. The backline in that game had a center half who plays in the Danish league and the other center half plays left back in the French League. Not exactly formidable. Could we have played more defensive? Probably but it's not like we had the personal to play those tactics anyways.
Originally Posted by Pagliacci
How exactly did he mismanage the talent he had? Could he haved played Edu more? I think so, but other than that there aren't really a ton of options in our talent pool.
Also I should stress that I do think Bradley should have been let go, was Klinnsman the best hire? Probably but everyone seems to think he is gonna change the way the US plays and how they develop players. Is that really the National Team's coaches job? What is the technical director for.
Anyone hoping for some tactical revolution under Klinnsman will be disappointed. Löw was the man behind all the tactics in 06 and there is a reason why he still head coach of the German national team. I think Klinnsman will bring a lot of energy to the team and may instill a new style of play and bring new ideas but tactics aren't his strength by any means.
Bingo. Klinnsman is a good hire in the sense that he sort of brings the best of both worlds: A foreign coach who is somewhat accomplished at the International stage (lets toss the Bayern fiasco out the window), and he's lived in the states for quite a while so he's aware of the domestic based US talent pool. A fresh manager with no biases towards players will be refreshing but the talent level isn't even remotely close for the team to consistently compete and win against the big boys, yet.
Originally Posted by ASUcruz
With that said I think there is definitely hope for the future. Guys like Chandler, Shea, Lichaj and Agudelo look like they'll be very solid contributors for a long time, their talent levels suggest that they should all be able to play in the "big" leagues in Europe. Youth players like Gil, Lletget, Gyau and Gatt bring some much needed skill (in Gil's and Lletget's case) and speed (Gyau and Gatt).
Bradley sucked. and I agree with Cruz. The fact that we don't branch out our talent is pathetic. And it partly lies on the shoulders of the MLS being a joke league. It's hard for us to "homegrow" our own talent in our own league when the MLS CBA and free agency thing is the biggest joke of the international soccer leagues. They allow now outside talent, and do not allow our own talent to go out and search for better clubs. (Think Donovan recently when he wanted to go to Man City and the MLS would not allow it)
They need to open up the free transfer market and decide to opt into the FIFA rules and regulations. FIFA, for years now, has criticized the MLS for trying to fix, or make a new system, when the old system is single handedly what made the game so competitive and exciting to watch in Europe.
Yes you can say that the free transfer market has effected the quality of competition, because the rich teams get richer and the mid level teams stay mid level....but hell...I would take a Stoke City squad over a Chicago Fire squad 9 times out of 10.
If you watch MLS it's like watching AYSO compared to club, it's long ball, and not possession. Even if we didn't opt into free market transfers...we should allow our players to branch out and not staple them to US soil. It would promote a better knowledge of the game to our young players.
I mean, Freddy Adu wasted about 4 years before going to Benefica...and he is already looking stronger, more poised on the ball..and is playing less kick and chase. As good as Donovan is, and as big as he has been to U.S. soccer...he could be even better had he stuck it out in Leverkusen. (At the time they were constant contenders in the Bundesliga.)
I just HATE how we try to americanize the system when it already is fantastic and working in Europe...I mean who's to say it would work here...who knows..
All I know is...the quality of teams in MLS sucks...there is no relegation system..they do not allow personal or corporate investments in teams...and they force teams to establish in metropolitan areas unlike Europe. I mean..the reason Stoke City sells out all their games is because tickets are cheap and that is the only thing to do in Stoke. Look what has happened in Seattle. That team is one, if not THE ONLY draw in Seattle. Seahawks and Mariners suck, they don't have a Basketball or Hockey team...Instead...they cram it down the face of people in Chicago...which already has the Cubs, White Sox, Bulls, Blackhawks, Bears. Try NOT getting shuffled to the back of the deck with those teams there.
Instead of setting up in New York...go to Albany.....or Rochester...or Syracuse. Instead of Chicago..go to Springfield.... L.A. is fine because of the Metropolitan sprawl we have...But if they want the draw..they are going to have to get away from the Chicagos and New Yorks..and start targeting the Portlands, Seattles, and San Joses of the country.
The MLS and U.S. soccer has so many issues in mentality and structure it's not even funny. And every time I see a failing of U.S. soccer it just makes me chuckle and I shake my head. There are so many changes that are obvious but for some reason we are reluctant to do it. It makes the quality of our international team suffer..and the quality of our own league suffer.
AND...I just took a look at attendance numbers. Just to reassure myself...sure enough.
San Jose is actually in the bottom 5 HOWEVER huge asterisk*** San Jose only has a 10,000 capacity stadium. They sell out every game. But they have the smallest stadium in MLS, deservedly I left them out of the "bottom 5"
what do the top 5 teams in attendance have in common aside from LA? (which I already stated, urban sprawl kind of negates the small town ideal of soccer teams..so many people are crammed in the LA Basin. Anything will get a draw)
Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, and Toronto, have minimal number of other sports teams at the same time.
Portland = Trailblazers, Timbers
Seattle = Seahawks, Sounders, Mariners
Toronto = Maple Leafs, Blue Jays, Toronto F.C.
Vancouver = Canucks, White Caps
Chicago = Bulls, Cubs, White Sox, Blackhawks, Bears, Fire
Dallas = Cowboys, Stars, Mavericks, Rangers, F.C. Dallas
Columbus..May seem like a good place with only 1 other team, the Blue Jackets. But important to remember... Columbus is about 2 hours from Cleveland, and about an Hour from Cincinnati. So within about 100-150 mile radius you have the following teams.
Columbus = Bengals, Browns, Reds, Indians, Blue Jackets, Cavaliers, Ohio State, Crew
New England (Foxsborough, 22 miles outside Boston) = Patriots, Bruins, Red Sox, Celtics, Revolution.
Colorado = Rockies, Avalanche, Nuggets, Broncos, Rapids
All of the top 5 teams, aside from LA have under 5 professional sports teams in the area. Where as the bottom 5 have 5 or more teams. I know...the markets are "supposedly" there in the bigger cities..like your New Yorks (they do get good attendance) and such...but okay MLS...how about looking at the non big cities where you are getting shuffled to the back of the sports deck..and looking more at your portlands, or Vancouvers..
Hell what if they put a ****ing team in Billings? or Milwaukee? or what about Vegas? or Sante Fe? Boise?
Places that DON'T have big or any sports teams.....I'm tellin ya..you put a 18-20,000 capacity soccer complex in Billings and those people will go nuts. I have been up there (my aunt lives up there)...they have FOUR minor league baseball teams that have all been there since the 60's-70's.
I dunno...I just look at that as opportunity rather then risk. If you are the only show in town..you're gunna either hit it HUGE or walk away investing a stadium into a community that had very little to begin with.
I agree that MLS's rules can be head scratching sometimes but you always have to remember one thing: a lot of teams in MLS have franchise viability issues. If promotion/relegation were implemented then that would end teams who already have piss poor attendances in the "top flight" that you already mentioned. MLS has a strong salary cap because teams have to be fiscally responsible, the league was bleeding money in the late 90's, a few teams were dispanded and a few others were close to it....and that was when there were only 12 teams.
Originally Posted by Jaygokings!
You seem to be re-writing history. Donovan didn't stay with Bayern Leverkusen because he sucked. He was also signed to a Leverkusen contract and was on loan to the MLS. He went to the MLS because he wanted to, he could have stayed in Germany he just couldn't hack it at the time. If Donovan wanted to play in England he could do so, he could threaten to sit out Galaxy games and they would have no choice to move him. Unfortuantly for the US, Donovan has always been hesistant to leave his comfort zone except on loan.
Originally Posted by Jaygokings!
The Manchester City rumors were nothing more than rumors. Did Donovan ever come out and say he wanted to play for City? I don't remember seeing it. He was even hesitant on going back to Everton where he had success. He has never flat out said he wants to play abroad, therein lies the problem with Donovan. Not really the MLS' fault, any American player who wants to leave can, they might have to force themselves out but it is possible.
Regarding Adu, the guy has barely played since leaving MLS and that has hurt his career. He never featured for Benefica or Monaco and has toiled away for second division Turkey teams and and Greek teams. Bringing him up in an anti-MLS post doesn't really further your point since leaving the league has hurt his career.
Unrealistic to point MLS teams in towns like Billings or Santa Fe or any of these minor league towns. Corporate dollars drive success just as much as ticket gates. There are no corporate dollars in these towns. Not to mention you have to make a team attractive to players, you really think top American players would want to play for a team in Sante Fe or Billings? They would leave to play in crappy leagues in smaller European leagues rather than even thing about playing in the MLS further hurting the American product.
Originally Posted by Jaygokings!