Striker Clint Dempsey, above, and his USMNT teammates, training Monday in Carson, are seeking a new start to the new year Sunday at StubHub Center after a string of poor results culminated in a road loss last weekend to Chile to begin a pivotal 2015 (Photos by Staff Photographer Robert Casillas).
USMNT Jurgen Klinsmann, despite being taken to task by MLS Commissioner Don Garber for his criticism of the league and how it dovetails with the aspirations of U.S. Soccer, continued Monday to point out the shortcomings of American soccer culture ahead of Sunday’s clash with Panama in Carson.
“The (foreign) teams that have peer pressure in their environment allow themselves to drop 10 or 20 percent not 30 or 40 percent; that is the difference with what we deal with in the aftermath of the World Cup,” he said. “Their club environment puts them back on their toes. … Our players are not there yet educationally or mentally to understand the dynamic so they lose their spots on their European teams or they drop 30 or 40 percent in MLS.”
— U.S. Soccer (@ussoccer) January 27, 2015
— America's Pregame (@AmericasPregame) January 27, 2015
Need a cheat sheet to keep up? Check out this week’s 100 Percent Soccer column
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) January 27, 2015
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) January 20, 2015
Just how many international quality players are really in the annual USMNT camp in Carson? Read more in this week’s 100 Percent Soccer column.
— U.S. Soccer (@ussoccer) January 13, 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.”
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.”
“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.
And current players like Robbie Rogers, an openly gay footballer. He doesn't think much about Blatter's Qatar opinion pic.twitter.com/oPWO1Z0K2l
— RemoveBlatter.com (@Remove_Blatter) December 23, 2014
South Bay native Robbie Rogers was once so in denial about his sexuality he could not admit to himself that he was gay.
That’s changed and now the LA Galaxy defender has found the courage to speak out against the kind of FIFA stupidity illustrated above by the clueless Sepp Blatter. For more, read this week’s 100 Percent Soccer column on the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in Russia and Qatar.
And happy holidays.
— KAN FOOT (@SoccerSansF) December 2, 2014
MLS Best XI
Goalkeeper – Bill Hamid (D.C. United)
Defender – Chad Marshall (Seattle Sounders FC)
Defender – Bobby Boswell (D.C. United)
Defender – Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy)
Midfielder – Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution)
Midfielder – Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy)
Midfielder – Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers)
Midfielder – Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls)
Forward – Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy)
Forward – Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls)
Forward – Obafemi Martins (Seattle Sounders FC)
— Nick Green (@LAsoccerblog) December 1, 2014
Incidentally, the Galaxy expect both A.J. DeLaGarza and Marcelo Sarvas, both subbed out Sunday with injury concerns, to be available for selection this weekend.
The Galaxy will face Chad Marshall on the Seattle back line; he was named MLS Defender of the Year today, while his Galaxy counterpart DeLaGarza was named MLS Humanitarian of the Year.
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.