Name-dropping Soccer Round-Up: Hope Solo, Bruce Arena, Sigi Schmid and more

Busy day in soccer news included:

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Weekly Soccer Column: U.S. Men’s National team opens annual camp in Carson ahead of hectic 2015

The U.S. Men’s National Team, already facing a busy year, opened their annual camp in Carson Monday with two young Galaxy players on the roster for the first time, defender Oscar Sorto and striker Gyasi Zardes from Hawthorne.

I was just in awe,” Zardes told reporters Monday after his first training session of the email he received from national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann inviting him to camp. “When I was in Hawthhorne this was a dream. It’s what you dream about.”

Sorto had a similar reaction to his U.S. call-up.

Klinsmann has spoken of the importance of players like Zardes’ attacking partner on the Galaxy, Robbie Keane, and recently-signed EPL veteran Steven Gerrard and their role in grooming up and coming youngsters:

“Theyre doing a tremendous amount of work getting our players to another level. These are the guys we need in the United States to help our guys grow even faster.”

Zardes agreed:

“Robbie Keane is a phenomenal player and I’m a student of the game and I just try to learn as much as I can from the veterans like these guys who are on the national team,” he said, adding that he is looking forward to seeing Keane, who had brief spell at Liverpool, and Gerrard reunited with the Galaxy.

For more, read this week’s 100 Percent Soccer column.

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LA Galaxy duo Gyasi Zardes of Hawthorne and Angeleno Oscar Sorto named to annual U.S. National Team camp in Carson

The 28-player roster contains the usual mix of veterans (Clint Dempsey, Chris Wondolowski), youngsters (Hawthorne’s Gyasi Zardes and Galaxy defender Oscar Sorto) and even some players veteran journalists have never heard of (but there’s no room for Galaxy left back Robbie Rogers or Omar Gonzalez for that matter).

The camp runs Monday through Feb. 8 at StubHub Center and culminates with a Feb. 8 friendly against Panama in Carson (more than 10,000 tickets sold already U.S. Soccer reported today). In between the team will head to Chile for a Jan. 28 friendly.

Quotable:

“The prize in 2015 for the senior National Team is the Gold Cup, and this camp will give a lot of our players a chance to kick start their preparations for an important year,” said coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “We also get an opportunity to introduce the next wave of young players into the program, and in particular work with many of our Olympic-age guys as they build toward qualifying for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.”

Notable: Zardes, 23, scored 16 goals during the 2014 MLS regular season.

Here’s the full roster:

goalkeepers – Alex Bono (unattached), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Jon Kempin (Sporting Kansas City), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake).

defenders — Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), Christian Dean (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), Perry Kitchen (D.C. United), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy)

Midfielders – Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Mix Diskerud (out of contract), Dennis Flores (Club Leon), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United FC), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution), Marc Pelosi (Liverpool FC), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids), Brek Shea (Orlando City SC), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew)

forwards – Tesho Akindele (FC Dallas), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Julio Morales (Tepic), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (1860 Munich), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)

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Midweek Kicks: U.S. Men’s National Team to play Panama Feb. 8 in Carson and more

USMNTschedule

  • U.S. Soccer announced a schedule of seven USMNT games in the first half of 2015 including the Feb. 8 contest in Southern California and a home game against Mexico April 15 at a venue to be determined. Tickets for USA-Panama go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday. More details are here.
  • The Univision Deportes telecast of MLS Cup Sunday was watched by 678,000 viewers making it the channel’s top-rated finale to an MLS season ever. The Galaxy-New England game beat six live EPL games on NBCSN last week. When combined with the audience watching on UniMas, a combined 923,000 Spanish-language soccer fans watched the game. Another 964,000 viewers watched on ESPN, making it the third most watched MLS Cup final on the channel.
  • The Chicago Fire today signed Illinois native and former Galaxy midfielder Michael Stephens, who had played for the last year in Norway.
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Weekly Soccer Column: LA Galaxy’s Robbie Keane sits out national team duty to ready for MLS Western Conference Final Sunday against Seattle Sounders FC

Sometimes it’s actually instructive when you don’t get around posting your column until after an event occurs that is included in the column.

Which is how it went today with the U.S.-Ireland game that sent the Americans scuttling back home across the Atlantic 4-1 losers.

Frankly, we didn’t learn much from a youbng, make-shift team: the U.S. ships goals in the second half and can’t score either, although to be fair they hit the woodwork twice.

Oh, and the Galaxy’s robbie keane, if fully fit, would have ripped apart the U.S. back line of left back Timmy Chandler, right back Fabian Johnson and the due of Matt Besler and Geoff Cameron in the middle.

That’s it for this year for the USMNT: their record was 6-5-4.

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Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber slams U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann for “inexcusable” treatment of Landon Donovan, criticism of league

MLS-LogoIn an unprecedented teleconference with journalists today, MLS Commissioner Don Garber publicly nailed U.S. National Team coach Jurgen Klinsmann for not only his recent comments about Michael Bradley and MLS, but his treatment of LA Galaxy icon Landon Donovan before the World Cup last summer.

“I believe Landon should have been in Brazil,” said Garber, adding that his recent treatment for cancer prevented him from speaking out before on the issue. “His performance dictated it. … His treatment was inexcusable. I have concerns that his criticism, particularly of Michael, is following that pattern.”

Garber, who was clearly infuriated by Klinsmann’s comments and said as much. didn’t hold back in an unusually candid press conference that gave a peek into the relationships between those who hold the reins of power in MLS and U.S. soccer.

“I’m demanding that he refrain from making comments that are critical of our players and damaging to our league,” Garber said.

“Jurgen’s comments are very, very detrimental to the league, they’re detrimental to the sport of soccer in America,” Garber added. “Not only are they detrimental, they’re wrong.”

“Sending a message to any player and obviously to U.S. players that signing to Major League Soccer is not going to be good to their career or good to their form is detrimental to Major League Soccer.”

Garber said Klinsmann’s comments were “incredibly damaging” to the relationship MLS has with sponsors, fans and the signing of international players. He said he would send a “very strong” letter to U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati, but declined to say whether he would take the matter further as a board member of U.S. soccer.

What do you think? Was Klinsmann telling it like it is or was he just flat out wrong?

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Watch “Landon Donovan: Phenom”

A six-part documentary series documenting Landon Donovan’s career will be released daily through Sunday’s showdown with the Seattle Sounders by MLS and Copper Pot Pictures (makers of “Kei,” the documentary about Sierra Leone refugee Kei Kamara who moved to Lawndale) as told by the likes of Bruce Arena, Tim Cahill, Todd Dunivant, John Ellinger, Julie Foudy, Chris Klein, David Moyes, Richard Motzkin, Paul Pabst, Rob Stone, Taylor Twellman and Grant Wahl.

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Major League Soccer Sunday: Landon Donovan and LA Galaxy face FC Dallas in Texas at 4 p.m. on ESPN2

Fresh off a triumphant finale to his U.S. career, Landon Donovan and the Galaxy are in Dallas as the run-in to the MLS playoffs continues ahead of two crunch games at Seattle that will shape the playoffs.

Finally, guess who won their second straight game?

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