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Gomez, Bradley, and Cameron respond to Sporting News story

Michael Bradley

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On Wednesday afternoon, after a closed practice, several players on the U.S. Men’s National Team spoke to the media about, among other things, their thoughts on the Sporting News article from Tuesday.

Though many players did not comment on the situation, forward Herculez Gomez, midfielder Michael Bradley, and defender Geoff Cameron all spoke on the recent media fuss about the chemistry within the national team.

Bradley, a long-time member of the U.S. team, pulled no punches, saying he was disappointed in those who criticized coach Jurgen Klinsmann to the media, instead of keeping everything in the locker room.

“You cross a line when you take those thoughts and you take your disappointments outside of the team and outside of the inner circle,” Bradley said to Reuters. “So for me, it doesn’t help anybody, it doesn’t help anything that we are trying to do this week.”

However, not all of the reactions to the report have been negative. Gomez, who has seen his place in the side stay from the Bob Bradley era to the Klinsmann era, actually welcomed the news, believing that it’s good for American soccer for stories like this to become mainstream.

“It’s funny, they’re making a bit of a hoopla about it right now. It’s almost, in a sense, cute, you know?” Gomez said to “It’s about damn time you guys took some interest and you guys started asking some tough questions. I think that shows us growing as a footballing nation, I really do.”

Cameron went a different route than Gomez and Bradley, plainly praising Klinsmann for showing the 27-year-old the confidence that every player needs to grow.

“All of us support Jurgen,” Cameron said to the Sporting News. “He’s brought a lot of things to this team and he’s helped me get to where I am today, helped me raise my game to the next level.”

What do you make of this news? What do you think of the players reactions?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I like Gomez’ response. People love drama, they love seeing one person crash and burn, it’s like crack. No surprise that the story is getting some legs.

    I think Bradley is just saying what he thinks a leader is supposed to say.

  2. Funny how most of the people here calling the players who spoke anonymously cowards are not writing under their own names.

    Straus is excellent. He got the story the only way it could be done, with anonymous sources. It’s an important story, and all the more so because it comes out now.

    Let’s hope the team and staff face the situation openly and are galvanized to play these two games in a way that we’ll all be proud of.

  3. I think the real Red Herring in this article is the fact it needed a big fat disclaimer at the top of it speaking to it’s credibility.

    The whole thing smelled foul from the beginning but that doesn’t make the article (as much of a piece of cite it may be) a bad thing for the team or the program.

    A little mud slinging will be seen by history as a good thing if our Yanks pull out (pun intended) 3, 4 or heaven help us even 6 points from the next two matches.

    Although I found the article mostly a waste of time and life, if it brings an extra ounce of toughness, urgency and grit to the game on the field for the USMNT, then who cares, it’s all part of the off-the-pitch hoopla of WCQ.

  4. Why would anyone really go with the report and criticize JK while HE’S STILL THE MANAGER? This is not the NFL, MLB, MLS, EPL where you have a contract for an amount of time and you get paid for it. This team is an honor to be apart of but you can be let loose at any moment. I don’t believe ANY of these players backing JK. Though I admire their will to stay with the team and say whatever to stay there.

  5. If Arena comes back if even on an interim basis (1 pt out of next 2 matches will see JK sent packing), who among the fanboyz can’t fathom that “MB90” will become “MBBench”? Arena will have Mandon back in his natural position of center mid and will need someone who can actually tackle to pair with Mandon and it that ain’t Mikey.

    As to JK’s selection debacle, Gooch is in the quarterfinals of the champion’s league and should have been selected, ditto for Boca. Boca played left back at last qualifier at the Azteca and repelled about a thousand Mexican attacks down that wing. As far as Gooch not getting enough matches, MB90 ain’t been starting either and that doesn’t keep him from getting caps 74 and 75 (almost as many as Messi, but it ain’t nepotism, no way).

  6. So I have been reading most of the posts today and it is great reading. Good arguments articulated well. Watching the attention turn to sniffing out the malcontents/witch hunt, I have come up with great plan. Take each player and throw them in a lake…if they float then they are a witch…and we should burn them!!!! A moment of levity…okay back to the conversation at hand.

  7. Gomez is right. This is normal in other countries where the sport is king. Controversy, or not, at least the sport is being talked about more.

  8. My leading candidates are of course the known malcontents and snubees:

    Jozy Altidore, Sacha Klejstan, Mix Diskeruud, Landon Donovan.

  9. Brian Straus is an excellent journalist and the only one who had the courage to explore and then write what no doubt other journalists were hearing being whispered in the grapevine. Brian Straus should be hailed as a hero. There is no doubt in my mind the USMNT was devolving into a dysfunctional mess and I think the meltdown created by the Sporting News story is just what the doctor ordered. Better to blow it wide open publicly for a little short-term pain than let it continue to fester and fester in secrecy. Klinsmann no doubt learned a lot this week as did the players. Now they have to recover from the pain and, if done correctly, which would include Klinsmann being forced to bring in a tactician-minded assistant, then the team will heal and will become much, much stronger than before.

    • I think Herc’s comments are interesting. “Keep it in the locker room,” seems to be neither an admission or denial of what was stated within the article.

      I like MB90 and think he deserves the captain’s armband, eventually. In this instance, I think his anger might be slightly misplaced, as I doubt the players that spoke out knew when the piece would be published. Bad timing on the part of the players seems to have little to do with this.

      Cameron doesn’t matter to me. He’s an okay player, I just feel as if he may have a conflict of interest in this matter due to his recent move abroad. I’m certain JK helped him with that, although I have nothing with which to support such an assertion.

      Subjectively, I will say that we were promised beautiful soccer and what we’ve been given is more of the same of what we had. This might be a limitation of the player pool and there may be very little JK can do about it, but he’s made his bed. At the end of the day, results matter here in America, as they do all across the world. I guess we’ll find out what’s what tomorrow evening.

  10. By the way, on a little different topic the venues for the remaining qualifiers were announced today. Panama in Seattle, Honduras in Salt Lake, Mexico in Columbus and Jamaica in Kansas City. Also announced a friendly versus Germany in DC for June 2.

  11. I do think all this drama and turmoil will galvanize the team, but at the end of the day, our problem isn’t going to be about this.. It’s gonna be that inexperienced back line. The article certainly made us forget for a minute that, holy crap, this is a terrifying set of choices on our hand.

  12. I think JK staged the whole thing as one of his motivational tactics to get the team fired up. He realized that if you want to get attention in the US you have to have tweet cred.

    Well played Klinsy! (or should I say Beiber 2.0)

  13. I agree completely with Gomez. The Sporting News did some actual reporting and not coddling like the majority of the US soccer media tends to do. Most of what you read about are articles that that fawn and praise and rarely do any in depth investigative reporting or have any real criticism. More of this is needed if the US wants to become a serious soccer nation.

  14. all this conjecture about who said what is silly.

    if you look at the issue it shouldn’t be that surprising that people are pissed.

    JK has stated many times that US players aren’t fit enough, aren’t self-reliant enough, aren’t tough enough and don’t have a thick enough skin. One could argue that all of these “shortcomings” (panning Dempsey’s achievements, being rather heartless in the way he handled Bocanegra, “overtraining” in preparation for matches, his rift with Jozy, his cool handling of the LD situation, his putting Jones and Bradley on the field without clear direction as to whose role is what) are actually all in keeping with things JK believes needs to be addressed. I’m not saying this is all part of a master plan and even if it is that I agree with it, but it’s not coming out of left field.

  15. It has been said that “it’s not what happens to you, but how you react to what happens is what counts.” One of the hallmarks of the USMNT has been to rally around the disrespect around the world for American soccer. If the guys can use this as something to rally around, and perhaps create an “Us against Them” attitude, maybe we can get back some of the mojo that we have demonstrated in the past. Working hard and playing together will make us win (some tactics will help too).

  16. I’ll bet the unnamed players quoted were Robbie Rogers, Jozy, &/or Freddie Adu (oh wait JK hasn’t calle him has he?). Or players who said negative things don’t have the balls to say it publicly now and are now out in meida saying positive things. Or I have a better idea, this was some evil genius idea of JK’s to use media to unite the team and win these next two Hex games.

    • Robbie Rogers got a lot of national team time under JK and I believe they knew each other pretty well before he even got the job. Not sure why you’d single him out.

  17. The story wouldn’t have such legs if it didn’t resonate with the unease that USMNT followers are feeling about team performances lately, particularly the Canada friendly and the Honduras game. The “undercoached and overtrained” line rings true. It’s not a stretch to see Donovan’s walkabout as the canary in the coal-mine where support of the coach is concerned. Even before his leave of absence, the number of excuses for missing USMNT games was stretching the limits of belief.

      • No, but it could have contributed to his angst level. Only Donovan can say, but watching him since his early MLS days, his level of performance has always mirrored his comfort level with his situation.

    • I agree with your 1st line. One thing to note, the Honduras match was on Bein sport so I imagine many people weren’t able to actually watch the game and DVR it and watch it again. The performance was so shockingly bad, and I think the article confirmed many fans suspicions.

  18. One issue that will stay with me for awhile is Klinnsman benching Bocanegra before the Honduras game. Bocanegra would have been the perfect match for Gonzalez. Klinnsman scattered brains on that. This is a tactical oversight and deficiency. What are his assistants advising to Klinnsman? I think Velasquez needs to go and get an assistant with a proven track record in MLS or Europe…I want to emphasize track record (experience on international level). Klinnsman himself needs to pick up some soccer formations books. Sheesh..most of us who post on this website have many more clues than Klinnsman does.

    • I’m not hating on JK for cutting ties with Boca (he’ll be 35 when WC starts). It’s just HOW he did it that strikes a nerve. Maybe a forecasted ‘send-off’ game would have brought more talk of ‘passing the torch’ versus ‘phasing out’ the one-time captain.

      • He’s not going to disappear. I guarantee he will get a well deserved and very respectful send off when the time comes.

  19. I’m beginning to get very positive feelings from all of this. I believe that there is truly some discord and dissatisfaction among the players. But in light of everything that has come out, I don’t think it suggests a team that is in trouble. I take JK’s words at face value, that these feelings are expected from a team that is in a state of flux with many new faces, roster spots up for grabs, new vision, new challenges, etc…

    I like the statements from Boca, Howard and Bradley. These are they guys who have been the leaders from the Bob Bradley era to now. Their hearts are in the right place and they are on board. I love Herc’s comments too. At least we care! It’s ok if a few guys want to vent.

  20. I love Herc right now.

    “You kids think this is bad? That’s cute.” American soccer fans just aren’t used to this kind of media hunt. Go read an English paper after an England loss. Or even better, read Marca after Barcelona loses or even better after Barcelona beats Madrid. They routinely make up stories just to cause problems.

    People have been shot and killed in South American countries for bad games. We don’t think it’s normal because we never hear it here in America.

    But Bradley is right–talk anonymously and you’re a punk.

  21. I see all this as basically good news and somewhat predictable.

    If you go back to past world cups, almost any fan could have selected the team. There were choices to be made, but not many. Now, the pool is significantly larger and thus there is more disappointment and disagreement. That shows up in player attitudes.

    Klinsmann has brought in Germans with American ties. US Soccer has worked hard to integrate the Hispanic community into the US program (witness the Under 20 Team). All of these additions make playing for the National Team that much more difficult. The corollary is more athletes disappointed and willing to talk about it.

    The issue for the US is that the we have not really produced many elite world class players. Claudio Reyna is probably it (2002 WC All Tournament Team). Donovan might have been and Dempsey (bless him) gets every ounce of production his body has to offer–but neither is elite. Lots of pretty good-good players.

    So the pool expands, but the overall performance of the team is stagnant these last 10 years. The Reyna-O’Brien midfield pairing was outstanding. We have never matched 2002.

    It is easy to make the optimistic case. The youth pool has never been brighter or broader. If this WC cycle ends in disappointment, it still doesn’t change the fact that these young players will form the backbone of a powerful US National Team. Elite players will emerge. US Soccer will progress.

  22. My biggest issue with the article was the timing of it. Why now? I’m no Klinsmann fan but the last thing our Nats need is this type of distraction at such a crucial time in Qualifying. Why not release this a few days or so after the last qualifier? I have no issues with the anonymous sources considering they may have actually come from people whom may still be in the mix for making the team and just sharing some insight. I agree with Bradley that it should stay within the team and I agree with Herculez in that it would be nice to see more pieces like this inside the general sporting scene. Hell, one could argue JK set up the entire thing to use as an additional motivational tool for the team–I wouldn’t put it past him and if so, it’s one BRAVE ASS move.
    I just wanna see us win the next 2 matches. Drama can come after the business is handled.

    • Why now? B/c Brian Strauss works at a publication that many of my friends didn’t even know it still existed. The timing was purely for self-interested reasons–to line his pockets. I noticed his Twitter feed was around 7k before the story, now it’s approaching 12k. I don’t believe him when he said he had a deadline to publish. Please? Three days before a monumental match. I’ve lost a lot of respect for this guy.

    • The marital stuff aside, the big mistake Sampson made and there were many was that he qualified with one set of players and prepared through friendlies leading up to the world cup with the same set of players then CHANGED the majority of the starters for the world cup games. “Some players, though, say the dissension may have begun with … install a new formation and a new — and less experienced — group of players on the basis of one performance: the team’s April 22 3-0 victory over Austria.” I followed the team for a few of those qualifiers, and friendlies and was in France and was just utterly shocked. I felt like Sampson reniged on a promise he made to me and wanted a refund.

    • The article conveys a seething rage and a self righteous sense of a deep injustice.
      The reason that Harkes was left off the team may also have to do with the allegations of his participating in another player’s wife’s infidelity, no?
      Some of the general comments about the change in tactics and formations and the disrespect felt by the veterans in the squad are absolutely incendiary towards Sampson and the governing bodies of US soccer a the time.
      Remember, the core of this team went down to Argentina in ’95, and made the final of the Copa America, defeating Argentina, in Buenos Aires, 3-0! They had recently beaten Brazil! This team had really great expectations, and it is clear to see from the quoted commentary that they were feeling bitterly disappointed, and terribly betrayed by their coach at the time.

      • Good post but I just wanted to clarify one thing. The US did not make it to the Copa America Final, they actually never have. They got crushed by Colombia in the third place game after beating Mexico in PKs in the quarters. That year saw a Uruguay-Brazil final.

    • Most interesting thing about that article is look who was talking to the press……….. looks like old habits may die hard.

  23. I’m with Bradley on this one. This kind of stuff needs to stay in the locker room. You have a problem with the coach go to the coach or your captain. You have a problem with another player go to that player. Man up. Hiding behind the tag of anonymous, is squirely and will eventually be found out.

    • Bingo.

      I think this article is a bigger indictment on the lack of character of some of the players, and less on the coach.

      Not to say the coach is exempt from criticism but the lack of balls by these “sources” (if true), are laughable.

      • We don’t know the context, though. I could easily see the quotes were given in a relatively innocuous interview in response to something like this – “Do you have any doubtsabout/disagreements with how JK is running the team?”

      • Interesting take considering you have no idea who the sources are. For all you know it was MB, Bocanegra, TH, and Dempsey. Heck, it could even be Landon Donovan.

      • I have no idea why you’ve provided that response to my statement.

        I don’t care who the players are…they lack the stones to be a man about stating how they feel. That’s a lack of character in my book, whatever your last name is.

      • Ed,

        You miss the point. Old School is right. My point was all about if you have something to say be a man and say it face to face behind closed doors. Context of leading questions or not doesn’t play into it.

      • But you specifically mentioned Bradley, my point is that it’s possible that Bradley himself was one of the sources. Basically you agree with Bradley’s STATEMENT, but we don’t know for sure if he could be one of the sources.

      • There seems to be an unhealthy obsession with testicles on this board lately. What makes any of you ball focused individuals think that none of these players confronted JK face to face? If you read the article, you’d understand that JK is well aware of these issues and agrees with pretty much everything. He just doesn’t consider them important or feels the players must handle them on their own without the aid of the manager. Therefore, I’m not sure how genitalia keeps popping up unless you just like talking about them. Hey, whatever floats your boat.

      • “There seems to be an unhealthy obsession with testicles on this board lately”

        To be honest, I think it’s a bit odd you’re taking note of this to begin with.

  24. The last time there was criticism of the coach like this, the team showed up and had a mighty game under ol’ Bob Bradley. I hope that happens again for the upcoming games.

    • Actually it does matter. We finally beat Mexico at their house, but the talent gap was by far the worse I’ve seen it. Even worse than the Gold Cup final defeat. Ugly soccer is not sustainable, especially in a WC setting.

    • I’m with you there. If you read some of Straus’s follow up tweets after the article was released, I kind of trust him more that the sources are solid and the sentiments are shared by a lot of the team. These statements all seem like clever forms of damage control

      • Damage control and common sense. You have to protect your spot, esepcailly if you remember how JK reacted to Josy’s criticism.

    • Yes! Like you, I was a reporter at one point. I’ve watched sources tell me one thing on background and then say something else publicly. Par for the course. And it wouldn’t surprise me if it was one of the German contingent that brought up the cliques.

    • I think player sources for the article come in three categories: 1) players who talked directly to the reporter. 2) players who talked with associates (the 11 non-player sources) knowing that the information would be relayed to Straus. 3) Players who might have been griping to friends or familie members or club teammates and coaches not realizing that their comments would be relayed to Straus (somehow through the 11 non-player sources).

      I do agree that highly possible that some people now making public comments are no doubt trying to cover their tracks while others have probably already bowed down on hands and knees before Kaiser Klinsmann and confessed their transgression and begged him for mercy. The big quesrtion: Will he grant it or not? 🙂

  25. I’m hoping this actually serves to unify and motivate the team. We have a chance to thrash CR tomorrow and make a statement. I think it’ll be a wide open, especially as the game goes on. And I like Jozy’s chances to bust out of his USMNT slump. Let’s do this.

  26. First of all, I don’t find it that alarming that 11 players disagree with Klinnsman’s approach. Out of those 11 how many had personal gripes regarding their playing time? How many just disagreed with his methods, but felt overall that it was positive? As with any news story, the journalist picks and chooses which quotes to use. And when you’re using anonymous sources, it’s difficult to tell which source is saying what. Maybe all the quotes came from 2 or 3 players, but he actually talked to 11. Maybe some of the quotes that were used belonged to a source who also had good things to say about other aspects of the Klinnsman regime.

    Secondly, Klinnsman is trying to shake things up. He’s going to step on people’s toes in the process. I’m not saying I agree or disagree with how he’s going about because I don’t really know how he’s going about it other than quotes which have been made public anonymously. You’ve got to break a few eggs to make an omelet.

    Lastly, I think this whole article will actually galvanize the team to greater results. We always play better when we’re the “underdog.”

    • I’d just point out that it wasn’t 11 players who disagree with JK’s approach. It was 11 players who were interviewed for the article. For all we know, the really attacking stuff may have come from 1 or 2 players. It’s tough to tell how seriously to take the Straus article, but I’m glad to see the team’s leaders step up and handle the fallout correctly. It could turn into a unifying event.

      • And it wasn’t even necessarily all from players. There were also 11 sources simply described as “individuals with ties to the US national team or its members.”

        For all we know, the most damning comments came from 1 or 2 players and were corroborated by associates of those same players.

      • Quote: “22 individuals with ties to the U.S. national team or its members—including 11 current players based in MLS or abroad.”

        Even the article’s disclaimer is ambiguous. For all we know, it could be 11 current players in MLS who are/were TEAMMATES of anyone comprising the current squad. So no current USMNT players could be represented.

      • I think the real Red Herring in this article is the fact it needed a big fat disclaimer at the top of it speaking to it’s credibility.

        The whole thing smelled foul from the beginning but that doesn’t make the article (as much of a piece of cite it may be) a bad thing for the team or the program.

        A little mud slinging will be seen by history as a good thing if our Yanks pull out (pun intended) 3, 4 or heaven help us even 6 points from the next two matches.

        Although I found the article mostly a waste of time and life, if it brings an extra ounce of toughness, urgency and grit to the game on the field for the USMNT, then who cares, it’s all part of the off-the-pitch hoopla of WCQ.

  27. I really don’t see any benefit to making these issues public. I’m with M. Bradley on this. It should be kept in-house and dealt with there. players should bring concers to their captain and he should being them to Klinsy. Who should then address them with the team. end of story. You have to believe this will build a rift between the Classy Players and the “Mouthy 11”.

    • Exactly.

      A bunch of fringe players on the outs of the USMNT player pool.

      Add Feilhaber too. Haha.

      Odds are that if we ever find out who these players were, we won’t care.

      Especially if the USMNT beats Costa Rica and has a good showing in Mexico.

      • Don’t forget Zimmerman. He was the loudest voice a year or so ago damning the use of the Dule Nationalist players.

  28. I don’t see it as a big deal either unless we knew who those players are/were that went to the media. Then , possibly, a big deal until then Play On.

  29. I think I am with Kool Herc on this one, winning cures all. The Klinsmen story would be status quo for most other main stream American sports medias. The fact it made such a big splash with the us soccer community was more of a result of lack of exposure to such stories than actual content. A “dysfunctional locker room” is probably a lot more typical than we think, it happens all the time when perceived expectations to not come to fruition. A win against Costa Rica and a good showing in Azteca will lay all this to rest.

    • From one colin in the ATX to another colin in the ATX, i concur. Any attention is good for US soccer. I think people inside need to keep inside, regarding the article. I have always felt that the media never really pushed klinsmen or the players, so I hope they use and channel this for the betterment of the program

  30. Why does this comment from Gomez get ignored:

    “Look, I’m not going to tell you that every team I’ve been on is perfect, because it’s not the case, not at all,” he said. “But where I have been, and we’ve been successful, things have been kept in-house. And there’s always something to be said for that. But I think we learn from this …”

    He’s saying the exactly same thing as Bradley here.

    Have to wonder what the 11 players who anonymously commented are thinking at this point. Will be interesting to find out in the future who they were. As to the former US-MNT players who commented, I have a lot easier time believing it’s someone like Alexi Lalas than someone like Brian McBride, which says a lot right there as well.

    • It’s not just 11 players, Eugene. There were 22 anonymous sources, including 11 players and also 11 people who “have reliable relationships with players, coaches and executives.” In other words 11 players as direct sources and an undetermined number of players who were indirectly supplying information through the 11 non-player sources, possibly some of them even unknowingly. But what is clear is that this mutiny has blown up the faces of the mutineers and Klinismann is the big winner.

      • Hey after the honduras game EVERYONE was pissed. Plus there are lots of folks in US soccer that have tons to gain if JK fails–chief amobg them many of the old guard who believe that we don;’t need to change all that much and do do so is “un-american”. Finding 22 people who are ready to vent those feeling under the condition of anonymity was probably the easy part.

      • hey, PD. I agree that most likely some Klinsmann enemies were among the sources, and it just wasn’t players dissatisfied with the coach. So let me rephrase that. This whole attempt to bring down Klinsmann has blown up in the faces of the mutineers and the Klinsmann haters and Klinsmann is the big winner and now stronger than ever (assuming that his team fights their hearts our for him Friday and Tuesday which I think is going to happen).

        As a genius on the board said the other day: 6 points forgives all, 4 points forgives most, 3 points buys him time, 1 point buys him less time, 0 points spells trouble. (although I would say 1 point does not buy time, maybe 2 points)

  31. I’m with Herc. All these Arsenal USMNT in Crisis articles does mean that people are paying attention, and are beginning to care.

    • Herculez’s response is so much more grown up than Michael B’s. Gomez shows he has perspective and a sense of humor, whereas Bradley shows he needs to grow up when it comes to media scrutiny. Perhaps this shows the character flaw that kept Klinsmann from naming Bradley captain? Come to think of it, if Herculez were a regular first-11 player, he wouldn’t make a bad captain, would he?

      • Ridiculous. MB criticized the players who spoke anonymously, not the article. MB’s had his run in with the media in the past but you’re really grasping at straws there.

      • Still, Bradley needs to grow up. He lashed out when the news media criticized his dad, and he’s lashing out now. Whether it’s against the story or the anonymous sources, it’s silly. Herculez shows how it’s done — with grace.

      • I disagree. I think he is lashing out at the players and maybe even the type of reporting. But this is not immaturity. This is a leader stepping up and being counted. “SHut up unless you want to same in the locker room or to the coach.”

        I like it.

      • Remember after Egypt in the confederations cup?

        “All the fµcking experts in America, everybody who thinks they know about soccer, they can all look at the score tonight and let’s see what they have to say now. Nobody has any respect for what we do, for what goes on on the inside, so let them all talk now.”

      • goosh, its hard to believe that those comments are almost four years old now. time flies doesnt it?

      • I disagree. When players start communicating through the press they lose control of the message. Things can get much worse. MB is right to say he wants it handled in house. I think that is a mature thing to say.

      • By the way I like Herc and think he could be a good captain. I just think MB makes more sense long term.

  32. Gomez comments are interesting to say the least. There is clearly a wide gulf between the drama-filled tabloids in countries where national teams are the #1 story in sports and the USMNT where for the most part the pre and post-game columns are glass half-full, blunted criticism when the team underachieves. But the quote about asking tough questions seems to be taking a shot at the media coverig the team. As a member of the media covering the USMNT, mhat do you think about them, Ives?

    • 1) Despite your surety as to the facts, I don’t think the captain’s position has been settled on yet. Perhaps Klinsmann wants to discuss it with Boca or some other players first.
      2) Benching the captain one match and naming the permanent captain the next isn’t the way to capture the locker room.

      Not naming the permanent captain has been the one smart thing JK has done so far.

      • If MB is healthy he is on the field, no matter who we play and what formation.
        He is also smart, understands the game, and works his ass off.
        Who would you pick for captain if not MB?

      • Personally? MB90, no doubt. But it’s not really what I was arguing. My point was more it’s a poor move to “move on”, as it were, when the issue of Boca’s captaincy has not officially been resolved.

        Resolution, in my humble opinion and as I’ve stated before in other threads, would have been Klinsmann bringing Boca in for a talk, irrespective of any training going on, and saying, “You’re too old/broken down/soft/whatever to do this any more, let’s start the transition process. Who are your top three to take the mantle of leadership?”

        This would’ve been a little better than benching el capitan and subsequently dropping him from the roster. Sure, it might make him look cold and hard, but it’s not winning him any friends, either. For better or worse, Boca has been a well-regarded cog in the United States setup since Klinsmann was sniffing around the fringes of the coaching job.

        Anyway, I just read an ESPN article that may nullify both our arguments. Correct me if I’m wrong, but is ESPN saying that Dempsey will be the captain from here on out?

        Klinsmann said he had chosen 30-year-old Dempsey to succeed defender Carlos Bocanegra, citing Dempsey’s clutch goal-scoring prowess as one key reason he chose him for squad captain.”

        I don’t know the context in which the word “succeed” is being used here.

      • I understand your point, but it is not like he went directly from Boca to Dempsey. He has been using Jones and Howard also. I think he is using the position of captain as some kind of reward or test or for motivation. With all the questions right now I do not think it wise for Klinsmann to be spreading the role of captain around (others may disagree). Personally I think if he had asked Boca and explained it as you said, Boca would have picked MB and helped in the transfer process. Things might be much better.

  33. do my eyes deceive me or is this whole “anti Klinsmann” mood actually receiving media attention in the USA? seems like tons of people are discussing this

    • You’re right.

      Furthermore, it appears a lot of fans and countless athletes are coming out in defense of JK and appear to be calling out the lack of professionalism by the journalist.

      • A journalist who’s routinely negative, citing countless anonymous sources in an intentionally divisive article days before incredibly important matches?

        I’ve seen that type of “journalism” and it’s normally written by someone employed at TMZ or any general gossip magazine.

      • There are both negative and positive opinions in the article. Anonymous sources are common in journalism and not unprofessional, though there are pros and cons which have been thoroughly discussed in comments the last couple days here. As far as timing goes, the author said it ran when he was done writing it. Believe him or not but heaven forfend a newspaper would publish something at at time that would get some attention. That’s the business.

        George Orwell once said something like it’s only journalism if someone doesn’t want to see it in print; the rest is public relations. I guess this qualified based on the hullaballoo it caused.

      • To based your entire article on the back of these anonymous sources is nothing more than gossip fodder.

        There’s a reason we’ve never talked about this journalist or Sporting News before. Look no further.

        Then again, I don’t buy Us! Magazine either.

      • No sense in reiterating how what you are saying is untrue, but to cut to the chase, do you have any information that anything in the article is false? It sounds like you just resent that anyone would publish anything with any negative info about the team, and that SN is scurrilous because it did that and as a result may get some attention/clicks/revenue. How do you think Ives pays the bills here? Publishing writing that people want to read. Maybe soccer journalism should be reduced to Yay! and +1?

      • Resent is too strong of a word.

        I simply don’t “respect” anyone who calls themselves a journalist and uses this amount of anonymous sources in a story that’s this divisive.

        Anything beyond that in assuming I want nothing written negative is ridiculous and couldn’t be farther from the truth.

        The “journalist” citing cowards anonymously that are likely fringe players is a joke and what I have an issue with.

        According to my sources, anonymous as they may be, everything he said is untrue.

        There. I’m a Sporting News journalist.

      • No JG, we need more of those 50’s style stories, which talk about how everybody is, golly gee, just so swell, and lets all the fans know that everything is great

      • JG, the burden of proof should be on the journalist, but with anonymous sources, it is basically just an evaluation of their credibility. Unfortunately most journalists dont truly care about that anymore, they are more interested in getting their name sent around.

      • The journalist, by dint of the fact that they publish something, are standing by its veracity. No doubt he showed his notes to his editor or at least went through all the anonymous stuff. What you are basically saying is that no one should use anonymous sources, which is quite frankly absurd. People want to shoot the messenger here.

      • Well, not really. JG, you asked if the other commenter had proof that anything the jounalist wrote was false. What I was saying is that the journalist has failed to provide any credible evidence that whay he wrote was true. I can’t go back to anyone quoted in the article and ask them if they actually said those things, so there is no way to prove it. Remember all those no/no loans that got us into so much trouble? It’s the same thing. By telling journalists its OK to use nothing but anon. sources, you are asking them to lie to you. Anon.sources are fine, but you should have some other credible evidence, and non-anonymous sources as well to support the anon. source.

      • DC, he spoke to 11 sources on the team, four on the record and seven anonymously, and they all reiterated the same themes. This fact confirms the claims in the article, which are simply that there’s resentment on the team regarding tactics and chemistry. Shocking. To boot, even Klinsmann did not dispute their veracity saying “These comments are just normal to me,” which indicates he may have been aware of these sentiments already. So either Straus made all this up, presented it to Klinsmann as a fait accompli and then wrote the whole thing up as fact; or the sources said what Straus claims they said. Take your pick.

      • DCUWRA, I’m confused what you mean when you say that the journalist failed to provide proof. Any story you read, where someone is quoted, named or not, you basically have to take the writers word that the quote is accurate.

        But if you want proof, you have it. Nobody has come out and disputed that anything in the story is invented, nobody has said that anything quoted anonymously didn’t come from the mouth of a source close to the team. The reactions are that what was said shouldn’t have been said, not that they weren’t said.

        The questions I have, which can’t be answered by the story are what was the motivation behind the negative quotes. Did they come from players deemed important, or did they come from fringe players who are bitter that they’re not playing. That’s how you have to frame the story from a reader’s standpoint, how significant is it, which can’t really be determined if you don’t know who said what. It would obviously have much different meaning if the quotes came from players like Dempsey and Bradley than if they came from Gooch and Lichaj.

      • Why would anyone in their right mind criticize a journalist for not revealing their sources? An interview with a person is one thing, but getting information from people who don’t want to reveal their identities to protect themselves is what uncovering the truth requires at times. Haven’t you people ever heard of the journalistic rule that YOU DON’T REVEAL YOUR SOURCES!?! That is so that you protect them. It’s what anonymity in the news is about. Geez, you think some people would actually take some time to brush up on some facts first.

      • I’m actually not familiar with him, I don’t often go to the Sporting News, so I can’t speak to any general negative slant he might have, but I don’t see how putting this story out now is “unprofessional”. Putting aside whether the story is fair or overly slanted, as that’s a different story, if he were to get a story and didn’t go with it once he thought it was ready, that would be unprofessional. Are reporters of any genre supposed to wait to publish a story until it’s most convenient for those it involves? If a reporter gets a big story on a presidential candidate during election season, should he or she wait until after the election?

      • gah, meant to say whether or not the story is fair or slanted is a different CONVERSATION, not story. If only I didn’t have to work, and I could concentrate more when commenting on soccer articles.

      • There has been a lot of talk about the timing of an article.
        Let me tell you, as a longtime reporter and editor, you run stories when more people are likely to read them.
        Usually that means as soon as possible, because there is competition.
        But when it is an investigative piece or an in-depth piece you often save it for production when it will have the most impact, when the most people will read it.
        As a reporter you want more people to read your work. As an editor you have a responsibility to see that your reporter’s work is put in people’s hands at a time when they are most likely to read it.
        The timing of this article was absolutely perfect from a journalistic point of view. The reporter and editor at Sporting News have absolutely no responsibility to the success or failure of the team on the field, there job is to tell great stories and get more people reading their stories. Period.

      • It won’t change your mind, jg, because your minds appears to be closed on the subject. There is zero wrong with publishing the story now, if it has merit. Which it appears to.

      • This appears to me almost like investigative reporting. Unless there is something unethical or criminal or a conspiracy involved I cannot understand this approach. If one player says something about the coach we have an article. Otherwise we have an investigation. Why/Of the 11 players interviewed none of the four that would give their name seemed to collaborate the general conclusion that the article suggests. My take on this story is “I don’t care what you call me just spell my name and the name of Sports Illustrated right”. I will never take this dude seriously even with all the lectures about the appropriate role of “journalists”

      • Completely agree. The Straus article was pure yellow journalism; a hatchet-job filled no-name sources.

      • …and what exactly did you learn from this gossip piece “Seriously?”.

        Is there discontent? Have events been tumultuous? Does the squad appear to be struggling? Are players unhappy about different lineups?

        All of these generalities, shouldn’t come as a shock, unless you haven’t been paying attention.

        There was no journalism here. This was merely someone trying to get their name out there. Ironic, due to his inability to provide any other names.

      • All I can say is, if you had any reading comprehension abilities, you’d understand what I said. I gained a little bit of information about how some players feel about the coaches. As I said, since I don’t know who said it, it makes it more difficult know how significant it is, but it’s a bit more information that I’ll add to my bigger picture of the team. I’d rather have information, which I can then judge the merits of, than have someone like you in control only releasing what you think people should hear.

        Perhaps you want to live in a world where no information from anonymous sources was ever reported, but that world would be pretty dire. Not only would we literally never get anything but puff pieces about teams or the occasional rant from an emotional player which he’ll later apologize for, but we would also never know what’s going on in our government either. Yeah, that sounds great.

      • OK, I somewhat regret my “if you had any reading comprehension abilities” comment, as it was a bit more uncivil than I like to be. It was my emotional response to your implication that it wouldn’t have been possible for any person – or as I took your meaning, any intelligent person – to learn anything from that article, so I replied in kind.

      • are you saying that any story that uses anonymous sources and portrays something or someone in a negative light is not journalism, or is it just something about this story that makes it so laughable to you?

      • You can take issue with the timing of the article, and whether or not it will act as a distraction for the team, but you can’t really argue about the articles contents.

        The players who’ve spoken out on record about the issue have more of a problem with their teammates taking the issue out of the locker room than anything the writer had to say. As others have mentioned before (which I agree with as someone with a degree in journalism), you write/release articles when people will read them. It’s a principle called TIMELINESS. If he’d released the article at the beginning of Klinsmann’s becoming coach, no one would have cared because they would have assumed that it was too early to make judgments about his abilities/techniques. Time has passed and we’re nearing the World Cup, and now people are worried and concerned.

        No one cares about articles about the Super Bowl in March. It’s the same principle.

      • I don’t know how more clear I can be on why I disagree with this style of journalism.

        If this was merely a brief report or quick tidbit on something a journalist was working on, I think I’d understand it more.

        However, given the length, levity and timing of this article, it just comes off like trash when it’s built on the backs of anonymous sources.

      • Well, I don’t know what you mean by levity regarding the article, it didn’t strike me as humorous or lighthearted, nor do I understand why a story based on anonymous sources can’t be longer than whatever arbitrary length you’ve set. I agree that the fact that the sources aren’t willing to go on the record, as in give their names, regarding their statements does hurt their statements credibility in some respect, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be reported at all.

        It’s stated outright that the sources are anonymous, and readers should therefore take that into account when reading it. I’d say people should be skeptical of every thing they hear and read, and their skepticism should be based in large part on the source of the information. I am highly skeptical of much of what’s in that story, and the motives of why such things might have been said, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think it should have been printed, that to me is laughable.

        It’s not a black and white world, just because someone’s name is on something doesn’t mean it’s 100% true, nor because it’s anonymous should one think it’s 100% false. In the end, I’d rather have this information, to take from it what I can, than to have someone like you suppress it because it doesn’t fit your personal standard.

      • Must not have read herc’s comments. He praised Straus for actually having balls and asking tough questions. This article is the greatest thing ever for the team. Puts the USMNT in the national conversation, and galvanizes the squad before a huge match.

      • Hahahaha. “…greatest thing ever…” You’ve got to be joking….right? If you are serious, you should certainly consider the weight of such a comment. Accuracy with words people, it is paramount!

      • I think it works to JK’s favor, with a vast majority backing the coach over a bunch of spoiled overpaid prima donnas. back to a little “Don’t Tread on Me” pride forcing them to gel/work together. the only ones I feel sorry for will be Costa Rica — the media hype doesn’t hurt either

      • Herc’s comments are really interesting. I wasn’t at all looking at it that way but its a great point. If you look at the big footballing nations, harsh criticism is a part of everyday life in the sport. Learn how to deal with it


      • During my playing days, I have to admit that adversity caused better performances.
        Sounds crazy but that was my experience with it but I’m as old as dirt so I might have forgotten alot. One thing I will make a bet on. That article will increase TV ratings.

      • Joe thanks for being the word police but maybe you should be the grammar police. Ed seems to be paraphrasing what Herc said…perhaps he should have used quotation marks to help make it more clear. His point is that Herc is in a league where people “live and die”(Joe I am exaggerating for effect) soccer. I am certain the Mexican reporters are a bit more intrusive and hard hitting with their questions and the nation follows the game very closely…if you don’t believe me go to a Mexico Vs USA in Houston and count the fans(80/20 Meixco maybe 85/15..nothing like having a home game without the advantage). So having some one write a piece that brings the team into the national conversation with a mild “Roar or even a meow” (Joe think onomatopoetically this time) actually good for the sport and cute in comparison to rabid soccer culture in Mexico. Obviously it’s content isn’t that helpful in it’s timing for the up coming qualifiers. I’ll go one more step and say that this article doesn’t get printed or get any attention if the US had won in Honduras. It certainly didn’t get printed after the win in Italy, Mexico or after the 5 – 0 drubbing of Scotland. Strauss waited until the most opportune moment to drop the article. Before you get to the computer to write your reply…yes I know those were friendlies and have little meaning especially when it comes WQC. But you have to admit they were satisfying moments for the team. I don’t remember any derogatory comments after those games or back biting about those “evil”(Joe, think sarcastic or even sardonic if you like) “Germericans”…do you?

      • LOL….Curva yeah you are probably right those numbers were given by the announcers to make it seem better for the viewing public.

      • I read Herc’s complete comments somewhere else and his comment is more about the exposure of national team soccer in this country, he sees that as a growth since he plays in Mexico and he knows very well how the media treats soccer and he is happy that soccer is finally getting the exposure it truly deserves, his comment has no inside on the stories content, real or not.

      • It’s a provocative piece with even more provocative timing, by an author and a publication who may have been driven in part by the urge to elevate their status. Neither Straus nor Sporting News were widely known as soccer sources before this article. They have now dealt themselves a hand at the table.

        IMO the article gets in its own way. If he’d backed off the atmospherics (he can’t just write the piece he has to set the scene, and in doing so harps on a Boca decision that is not his strongest point….in fact many of us agree with Klinsi’s choice if not how it was handled) and editorialism (his opinion about why the US is not playing well, his opinion about how Honduras went), and just quoted players or transcribed their ideas and complaints, it would have been a stronger piece. The parts that everyone tends to find interesting are the player quotes like the 30/70 ratio of last minute changes, the claim of being overtrained and undercoached, etc. That’s what I want to hear, is the players in their own voice describing the scene.

        But then, it’s worth asking if part of the reason it was as dramatic an article as it was, was to provoke.

        Ditto the unattributed quotes, if he wants this explosive piece I think that’s his tradeoff. After Jozy none or few would confront JK directly. But if no one is on the record it becomes immediately political, who is the source, what is their background and bias, etc.

        I don’t think it was unprofessional, I just think it was somewhat sensational and tabloid. And while he claims to be trying to help the team and coach the timing is more like a kneecap job or a setup for I told you so after the weekend. But then if he sat on this story until after the weekend, for when it might be less problematic, it might also have been overrun by the facts, depending how it went. We win, it reads stale, we lose, everyone’s on the bandwagon and he’s less provocative.

      • I don’t think it was unprofessional, I just think it was somewhat sensational and tabloid.

        To me, those are inherently the same.

      • Very ‘tabloid’ as you put it. I don’t have a problem with Strauss not giving up sources or writing a exposing something negative behind the scenes. That being said, he didn’t expose anything. What happened with the Nats lost under Arena or Bradley? Did every player like the coach or every one of their teammates? Were there cliques then? Strauss makes it sound like this is something new…Bradley said himself that this happens in every locker room in the world.

      • I don’t necessary agree with everything here; however, I find this to be far and away a more well-articulated critique of the Sporting News piece than the OP’s.

      • Actually, Bradley doesn’t mention the journalists at all, he says he’s disappointed with the players who anonymously brought it out of the locker room. I couldn’t agree with him more.

      • Adding on to that, I would also argue that most of the comments here are misguided in the placing of blame on the journalist. Journalists have been doing this sort of article for a very long time. And with this sort of topic, anonymous sources are not uncommon. Don’t kill the messenger. Again, the players who yapped are the real ones to blame.

      • from Bradley…

        “It doesn’t help anybody or anything we’re trying to do this week,” Bradley said. “When you play on a team you have a chance every day to give everything you have, and part of that means having the [guts] to say things to guys to their face, and having the [guts] to say things in front of the team. I think in those ways, that this is really disappointing that in a week as important as this … that you’d have something like that happen.”

      • I feel it’s almost getting to the point where you can guess who the sources were…..if MB, Cameron, Boca, Timmy, and Herc all spoke up in support and the German players werent the guys to speak that takes out Jones, Williams, Johnson and Chandler…..then you are only left with a few regulars and some MLS fringe guys…..

      • Sure, but if you were one of the sources, wouldn’t be a terrible idea to speak out against it now.

        Straus isn’t going to say anything and I’m sure everyone on the team and JK are doing the same math you are.

      • Except the players speaking with the media and Mr. Straus become inseperable at some point, flip sides of the same coin. They speak and he transcribes and publishes. If this was Twitter or blog you ditch the middleman, but the outlet here was the press and that only works if someone writes it up.

        But I think he’s most upset by the internal discipline situation and may not want to open the second media front by questioning the press aspect. Just from what I’ve seen on here, if you talk substance people want to talk, but if you start getting into whether the press should have published it, you wander into quasi-free speech issues, the notion that even ill-time tabloid journalism has a right to publish short of defamation, etc.

        So maybe don’t even go there, what he wants is the ducks back in a row.

        Doesn’t mean he necessarily likes the media role, though.

      • Also, he is in a bad spot in terms of addressing any coaching criticism because of who his dad is and the fact he was replaced by the incumbent. Can of worms I doubt he’d open for anyone other than pop privately.

        Plus, he’s part of the core for this and the next cycle that will lead the team. Dempsey might have gotten the armband, and I don’t know if Bradley has that ambition, but even if he doesn’t, he’s probably stepping into the old guard role.

    • Was anyone really shocked by this article? Our chemistry has been lacking, and JK’s philosophy is the cause. Now, does that mean JK is wrong? Of course not. It will take time for the current crop of players to perform at a high level outside their comfort zone. I just hope that this high level is a step above their existing one. I will only consider JK’s tenure a failure if we fail to qualify for the WC.

      • One thing to bear in mind is that the dual nationals were being mainstreamed beginning before the last World Cup, and only the last few actually came in under Klinsi. Remember Castillo and Jones made their switch before the Cup and this missed out due to performance and injury respectively. Chandler I think played for Bradley too. [Heck, Lichaj had a Bradley call.] That dynamic was already developing pre-Klinsi.

        Now, I felt like the SN article was suggesting social separation and professional mulligans. But IMO the players who speak German might be struggling to socially integrate for basic language reasons, and I think Klinsi’s pecking order and favoritism don’t really line up with the Germans alone. he just has his idea of the team and his favorites and they get more chances to mess up. People said the same thing about Bradley and certain people. I didn’t see any nationalism in it, it’s just “teacher’s pet.” You fight that with most ever coach because we all have different ideas, and in Klinsi’s case I think he’s pretty stubborn about their execution, even in the face of criticism.

    • If the media you’re talking about is soccer related then yes. It’s march madness, the general media is consumed with that…for good reason


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