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The SBI Show: Episode 34 (Talking the USMNT roster, MLS Week 12, and more)

Jurgen Klinsmann


The U.S. Men’s National Team roster announced on Thursday created plenty of buzz among U.S. fans, not only for the players who were on it, but for the one big name missing from the list.

Episode 34 of The SBI Show focuses on the U.S. roster, and we break down the selections, Donovan’s absence, and we project the lineup most likely to be on the field for June’s important World Cup qualifiers.

Co-host Garrett Cleverly and I also discuss MLS Week 12, David Beckham’s retirement, and more.

Give the show a listen after the jump:

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What do you think of Episode 34? Agree or disagree with our take on the USMNT squad? Think our MLS picks are off the mark? Recognize the intro song?

Share your thoughts below.



  1. This is late but… Bangkok is a fine city. You don’t have to go to the red light district or go to Khaosan road to Backpacker central. The problem is… its a city. All cities in the modern world are ultimately the same.

    Next time you go to Thailand. Go to an Island(Ko Mak), scuba dive, eat spicy food, and Avoid westerners.

  2. Does anyone here (Ives?) know if there is a way to subscribe to and/or download episodes of this podcast? I poked around the comments for the first episode back in January, and Ives said then that they were working on it, but it seems not possible still. Any help would be greatly appreciated, because streaming it to my phone is not an option. Thanks in advance.

    • Best way to do it is is to subscribe via iTunes (assuming you have an iPhone) or STitcher. I believe believe one of those should download to your phone. I download via the podcast app on my iPhone.

  3. I cannot understand how everybody cannot understand Klinnsman’s and the USMNT position on LD. I think that it is a refusal to understand JK.

    I have no doubt that a healthy LD is part of the USMNT plan in the future. If a player turns down several invites by a coach, and then takes a vacation while the team must play some difficult qualifiers, that player should not expect to be called up again. Fortunately for LD, and USA supporters, he is not an average player, and is likely part of the plan going forward, unless he turns down another call-up.

  4. I think Landon’s short break to spend time with his family and regain his love for the game was good for him and his game. His teammates say he’s happy now. He was seriously considering retirement and thankfully he’s no longer hinting at it. Happy Landon would be a plus in camp. I’m surprised that Jürgen the Guru doesn’t agree with that.

    • I am reading between the lines, Fredo, and I sort of get that impression also. I think what Klinsmann is conveniently failing to acknowledge, and also some USMNT fans, is that Donovan did not snub call-ups in February and March. He was not called up. In other words, it is not a case of a player who putting in regular club time who gets a call-up and declines. Donovan’s battery, after running on the soccer field 12 years of non-stop at a very high energetic level that we should be thankful for, decided he needed a break to recharge. Not just a break from the national team, but the club team. Bruce Arena was not happy about it, but he understood and accepted it and has welcomed back Donovan with open arms. Strange that stubborn bossman Klinsmann cannot do the same.

      • Biff, what’s strange is you trying to compare Arena’s situation with Donovan to Klinsmann’s. Arena has no choice but to accept it. Donovan’s a Galaxy DP under a guaranteed contract. He’s a big part of the team that Arena can’t afford to ignore. Klinsmann has a player pool he can turn to for alternatives.

        Also, Arena obviously has a much longer relationship with Donovan than Klinsmann does, so it’s not exactly tough to understand why he’d have more leeway with Donovan than Klinsmann does.

        Your semantics on called up or not called up are pretty funny too. Donovan publicly announced he was staying away from the game until late March. How is that NOT him taking himself out of the USMNT picture? That’s a bit ridiculous and a heck of a stretch to try and paint your pro-Donovan picture.

        Donovan will be fine. He’ll play well for LA, get back in the picture and be back on the team soon. If he’s destroying MLS all summer and STILL gets ignored then you can get on the soap box. One way or the other, you might want to offer more to our comments section than a steady stream of anti-Klinsmann rantings.

  5. On Donovan (or anybody else on the US squad)-

    Nobody deserves an automatic call-up on the WC qualifying team, any coach will say you have to earn it. And Donovan since coming back, has not at all earned it if you have at all watched him since his return. I mean come on, back to back PK misses, let alone poor performance all the way around (factoring out philly game on weds). Mentally Donovan is there 100%, but phisically i just don’t see it..

    At this point Donovan realizes his extended vacation probably wasn’t the best idea, nothing anyone can do about it now. I do expect not making the squad to motivate Donovan to work that much harder, regain his form and i expect he will join the team down the road..

    • Absolutely right, Jemas. Great post. Donovan should be earning it like Shea, Parkhurst and Daniel Williams and a few others on this current roster.

  6. My guess? Someone gets injured in camp, as always happens. JK calls in LD. JK made his point. LD is supersub. Win-win!?!?

    • I hope you are right. This is possible. But I continue to have a nagging feeling that Klinsmann might, I repeat, might, have made up his mind that Donovan will never receive another invite, but, obviously, cannot come right out and say it, but instead gives this double-standard list of reasons why did not call in Donovan and then a second list of wishy-washy prerequisites that Donovan has to fulfill to get another call-up, knowing full well that he will never call him in. Jogi Low did that Michael Ballack, publicly saying the door was open when it was clear the door was shut and, indeed, Ballack never got called back.

      • I hope I’m right too. And I hope you’re wrong. (No offense!) Seriously though, how can he keep LD off long-term? If JK had the players the Germany has to choose from picking splinters out of their butts, maybe. We simply don’t have another player that brings what he has to the game when he’s in form. Even aside from the goals, I think he’s our best passer.

  7. Love the show, I wait for it every Monday and Friday. I think I actually prefer it without guests though. It’s nice to hear Tim Howard and Jozy Altidore interviews, but I feel they take up too much of the time on the show.

  8. I see both sides of the Donovan debate. I do.
    But is this not the same team that lost to Jamaica in Jamaica last round of qualifying?
    Wouldn’t it be nice to at least have Landon on the bench?
    I agree that the recent snub could (and hopefully will) reinvigorate and further motivate Donovan – but at what cost?
    After this round, we have three very difficult games ahead of us in the fall.

  9. Landon isn’t going to “waltz back into the team” we aren’t going to ” hand the keys to our qualifying fate”…no need for the hyperbole. the whole emotion argument is lost on me. People want him because he is currently one of our better options and potentially our best option in attack. Simple as that.
    Inviting him to camp isn’t welcoming him back with open arms and handing him a commemorative award like Ives makes it sound, which is so convenient for his argument. He comes to camp and works his butt off, gets back interacting with the group, plays well AND THEN and only then do we consider playing him. If he doesn’t do those things then he can sit on the bench. How does that not send the same lesson you are talking about? You say there is no reason we shouldn’t beat the teams we are about to play….That is true, but as we know soccer is an unpredictable game. We should plan for the worst case scenario not the best case scenario.

    • Did you hear the part about how the fact that Landon knows his place is in jeopardy has lit a fire under his a**? So don’t we want him to be a much greater factor in the long term (WC) than a so-so factor right now? He clearly needs more external psychological motivation than other players, so I think this is a good way to get through to him.

      And I know what you’ll say – that our other options are not as good as Donovan even in his current form. Maybe yes, maybe no, but they can get it done and have shown that – and they weren’t pondering leaving the game all together just a few months ago.

    • Tonto,

      You are missing the point. The team and JK isn’t really interested I having him come into camp and grovel however amusing LD haters may find that. Someone mentioned that if LD was in camp Zusi and Corona would feel more pressure to perform.
      I doubt that. Joe Benny and Graham are not morons. They know what kind of microscope they are under and how they have to push it every play whether Landon is physically present or not.

      JK and the team are interested in whether LD can he do for them what Robbie Keane does for the Galaxy. With Keane the Galaxy offense is suddenly a completely different animal and they look so much more dangerous.

      Otherwise there is no reason to bring him back. LD does not yet have his mojo back so let him sharpen his game with LA and show everyone what he’s got.

      • I’m normally on the same page with you Ives, but I though you were pretty dismissive of the fan opinions re: LD on this podcast. You seemed to lump all the 75% of fans who felt he should be on the roster into one group, taking the most unreasonable arguments and dismissing them instead of tackling the more debatable points. I don’t think many fans view LD as the same LD from 5 or 10 years ago and expects LD to save the team as you repeatedly stated. I think many simply feel as if there is a strong need for width and service on the wings and that those are qualities LD possesses. You don’t have to go back five years for that. LD was still playing at a high level at the end of last season and he seems to be rounding back into form. For me, the argument is not LD as the savior, but LD as someone who has qualities that could help the team.

        From a sheer ready to contribute standpoint, it’s very tough to justify Shea over Donovan if you are looking for a speedy wing to provide width and service because Shea is not dressing for his team. Therefore, it seems clear to me that the team is at least a little bit worse without LD, even if he only projects as a speedy winger off the bench. I think the argument is not if he can help the team but whether a message needs to be sent and whether sending that message outweighs his potential contribution. I think maybe you feel the same way, but got a little sidetracked by focusing on the LD fanboy fringe??

        You definitely addressed some of the stuff I mentioned so maybe I’m off base, but I feel it’s a pitfall that you should be wary of. I’ve heard many talk radio personalities get wrapped up in the lunatic fringe segment of their audience and spend the whole show berating them instead of arguing the more debatable aspects of issues. I think that’s a natural tendency since it’s so easy to refute and it tends to work everyone into a lather, but long term, I don’t think it’s enjoyable for the wider range of the audience. Just a thought. Love the show.

    • Yes, thank you Ives for the blunt reality check regarding the Donovan situation. On the fence before but I totally agree with you now.

      Everyone should listen to this podcast. #realtalk

  10. Rappers steppin to me, they wanna get some!!! (but man, i’d kill for…WARM IT UP KANE! WARM IT UP KANE! WARM IT UP KANE! Might be a little too fast paced for a podcast though…i can’t exactly picture IG and Garrett doing the running man to that in the studio! haha)

  11. You talk about guys getting the benefit of the doubt for being part of Jurgens “long term” vision–Shea and Holden. I’ll assume by “long term”, surely he just means up to and through WC2014 right? That’s only one year away, so I don’t get how Shea and Holden would be considered “long term” guys but Donovan somehow isn’t? He definitely ain’t going anywhere anytime soon (assuming no more sabbaticals haha). Obviously Shea and Holden are younger, but in terms of Jurgen’s immediate goal (and his contract runs through August 2014) there’s really no such thing as “long term prospects” as far as he is concerned.

    • It’s a lot easier to just bring in Shea and Holden because they are in the off season with there club. Why bring in Donovan while he is getting games, gaining fitness and confidence with the Galaxy.

  12. My problem with not bringing in Donovan is that neither Shea or Parkhurt are seeing minutes and Holden I understand for the reasons stated….but has seen only four league games….only two as a starter on loan to Sheffield Wednesday….

    The inconsistency of Klinsman and his picks baffles me sometimes…

    • Truth…

      Give me another team in concacaf who can bring someone off the bench that would be more effective/scarier than Donovan?

      Let the dude train, mesh, and prove himself in friendlies and off the bench for the Summer. No one is saying he has to start ( well im sure there are people), but realistically he’s the best option coming off the bench we have had in a long time.

      Can’t see him coming back to starting in the Fall now either if we make it through the summer with some points

    • Why bring Donovan into camp away from the Galaxy to train and sit on the bench. He is better off staying with his club and regaining his form. As for Holden, Parkhurst and Shea, there European seasons are over. This is purely a developmental move for an eye on the future. Most likely Holden will not be included in the 23 man roster for qualifiers and I would be shocked to see Shea or Parkhurst in the starting line up for any of the qualifiers or friendlies.

      • Glad someone else is pointing this out. I can’t count the number of post comparing not bringing Donovan in while Holden and Shea are. One has nothing to do with the other.

  13. I was not a big fan of Castillo on USMNT in the past, but I have been watching Tijuana play and think he has developed by leaps and bounds. He probably is not the most physical left back, but we have plenty of size, and he is very quick and good on the ball. I think he should be considered as a starter. What about Joe Corona? Also, is Cherundalo still injured? Also, Holden? This seems a little rushed. I’d rather see Corona or a MLS guy just on form. Not to say Holden can’t come back for the world cup. I am disappointed about so few MLS selections. Looking forward to the pod.

    • +1 Been a fan of Castillo since Game One under Klinsmann in the friendly against Mexico. I still remember he was being accused of being awful that game when it actually the man Michael Bradley was supposed to be marking her scored Mexico’s loan goal.

      And I agree with that Castillo is a potential starter if Fabian Johnson loses form.


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