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Fulham fire Meulensteen, hire Magath as Dempsey faces end of disappointing loan spell

Clint Dempsey of Fulham


If you are a U.S. Men’s National Team fan who had grown frustrated by Clint Dempsey’s lack of minutes during his loan to Fulham, you probably wondered whether a coaching change might help the U.S. star get on the field.

The coaching change has happened, but it probably won’t change things much for Dempsey.

Fulham fired Rene Meulensteen as manager on Friday, appointing German boss Felix Magath to the position. If the name rings a bell, it is probably because of his reputation for being one of the biggest taskmasters in the coaching profession (and possibly because of his well-documented feud with Jermaine Jones).

Will Magath’s arrival help Dempsey get on the field at Craven Cottage? Probably not. Fulham only has one more match before Dempsey is due to return to the Seattle Sounders (Feb. 22 against West Brom) and it’s difficult to imagine Magath giving minutes to a player who is about to leave the team.

With Dempsey unlikely to get on the field again before his loan ends, the Sounders will probably have to consider bringing him back early. Two more weeks of training with the Sounders would probably serve him better than enduring the notorious practice sessions Magath is known for putting his teams through. Nevermind the fact that, at this point, there’s no real point in sticking around.

Dempsey’s disappointing return to Fulham has certainly raised some questions about whether it was worth him going on loan in the first place (questions that were asked before the loan as well). If he had skipped the loan, Dempsey would have spent January training with the U.S. national team, playing against South Korea, and would have rejoined the Sounders a week ago. Would that run really have been worse for him than the past six weeks have been at Fulham?

What do you think of this situation? Think Dempsey should return early from his loan, or do you think he should finish out the loan and push for one more appearance for the Cottagers?

Share your thoughts below.





  1. Silliness. Look, there is no “OR” in this situation. The French and Dutch and Germans all have highly rated academies and development programs. And they also don’t hesitate to look at players born abroad who qualify for nationality. An outstanding national program does it all–it grows talent domestically AND it looks for talent that drops out of the sky (b/c of parents who work/marry abroad, immigration, whatever). In fact, the USA is especially appropriate for the last b/c we’re a country that is growing primarily due to immigration right now (or naturally born children of immigrants). The greatest criticism of the US development program (and there are a lot of valid criticisms) is how exclusive it has been in the past. For every Michael Mason or Jose Torres that got some caps or was in a U-program, there have been hundreds of young teens or young professionals who never got pursued or encouraged to be part of the program (even when they were living here). This problem of exclusivity was identified decades ago in the Quieroz report and has been pointed out by a host of other people including Klinsman.

    • American kids just up and leaving American society to go train in Europe as teens is not so simple an equation to better quality as some here pretend. That thinking seems only linear yet the equation is anything but. There’s a lot more to it in a kid’s development at that age seems to me

  2. No way the loan hurt from a USMNT perspective. Being with the team pre-Korea pales in comparison to working against the quality of players at FFC (especially before Berbatov left). I hate that he didn’t score a goal or two, but whatever. I am still bitter about him ever signing with the Sounders to begin with. He could have played a couple of more years in Europe and whomever he played for this season would have helped him prepare for the WC infinitely more than playing for the Sounders ever will. But I understand his reasons. Overall, I am concerned about our best scoring threats not being in form for the WC.

  3. Dempsey needs to build confidence. He also needs to join preseason and build chemistry that will boost his confidence. These loans are a mistake!!!!!!!! Yes mls is not at the epl level but is playing for a bottom feeder team such a great idea? How can you grow as a player when there is turmoil? Just look at berbetov a fifteen goal striker reduced to nothing. What is the point of going to England?

    • Tony says:
      “Dempsey needs to build confidence. He also needs to join preseason and build chemistry that will boost his confidence. These loans are a mistake!!!!!!!! Yes mls is not at the epl level but is playing for a bottom feeder team such a great idea?”

      You and others think so little of Dempsey’s ability to manage himself and his own career. You act as if he was a ten year old.
      He’s suffered a number of injuries and is in the process of coming back from them.
      Have you watched all his Fulham games and his training sessions? It would have been nice if he had scored few goals to help out Fulham but the main thing is he seems to be healthy and reasonably fit. He’ll have a few months before the WC to get back to sharpness with the Sounders but that was always going to be the case.

      Could he have accomplished the same thing by staying with the Sounders and doing the January US camp? Maybe, but it while it seems to have been needlessly difficult and complicated, Clint Dempsey has proven himself to be very single minded and competent individual so I’m sure he had good reason to feel that this was the best way for him to get ready for Seattle and for the World Cup.

      It is irrelevant how his Seattle games go as long as they prep him for Brazil. And if he is not ready then JK will cut him and the USMNT will move on.

  4. Dempsey has not looked good in almost 9 months.
    Donavon is not as quick as he once was and that was an important element of his game.
    Altidore for all his strengths has found it hard to score recently.
    Bradley would still be playing for Roma if TFC had not offered him obscene amounts of money. Irt remains to be seen how this will affect his play.
    Cherundolo, sadly, looks to have had his career ended by injury.
    Jones cannot seem to stay healthy for more than a few games.
    Among the US stars, only Howard seems to be healthy and playing consistently.
    The others have not so much international experience, or like Beasley are being used in a position on the USMNT that they do not play week in and week out.

    Where Dempsey trains for the next two weeks is the least of concerns for the USMNT.

    • Grim assessment, Dennis, and I hope you’re wrong.
      Donovan and Dempsey together on the field in June will end up our strongest weapon vs the death trio. I think both will be in form by then. They’ve both stepped up in important games and I don’t expect any less in the World Cup.
      They are the most likely two to combine with Altidore who will be the starting striker
      in game 1.
      Jones has struggled with injury for some time but has come back either from surgery
      or not, as world-class. Yes, he has less than stellar games, but so do all players.
      Bradley while at Roma competed with at least two other MFs for playing time and was pretty successful up to a point. Zusi and Bedoya have made their case for playing at LM or RM if no one else is available or suited.
      I can see Johansson inserted as a starter against Portugal but consider Altidore a better choice vs Ghana and Germany.
      Surely a healthy Fabian at LB instead of Beasley.
      With Dolo and Chandler injured, I expect Parkhurst instead of Evans.
      Gonzo and Besler I feel will be our Achilles heel. Cameron may be needed at RB or DM.
      If we’re depending on Brooks and Goodson as backups, I think we’re in trouble.

  5. I’m going to repeat myself for the thousand time, Dempsey sucks, Bradley is overrated, Donovan is old already and his Barbie attitude is old. Basically USA needs new blood and kilnsi knows it but he will wait till 2018 if he makes it.
    Look at all the new blood in MLS and Europe, by 2018 he will have a German American national team.
    As for the mexican American players, they need to move to MLS or somewhere besides ligaMX, because we all know they are there for the money.

  6. Four words
    I told you so (with others)

    What are they going to do if he leaves early…nothing, so do it.

  7. Klinsman will play Johannsson and whoever is scoring goals up front come the WC. We don’t need apathetic footballers lacking confidence such as Dempsey or Altidore.

  8. but Steve Cherundolo’s contract at Hannover ends this summer. Pretty sure he might be given a testimonial after 15 years at the club and 12 years in the Bundesliga


    Michael Bradley should have fought it out at Roma or moved to La Liga or Premier League

    Jozy should have stayed at AZ but the money was too good to turn down, so perhaps he should have gone to Lazio who were interested. Or was it Napoli? He may not have been 1st or 2nd striker but he would have gotten chances.

    MLS is not better with 2 of these 3 fellas. We are better having our 3 best players fighting abroad. Do you think the Canadians are happy with their best players in MLS? what about Costa Rica or Honduras or Mexico? They want their Best in the best leagues scoring goals.

    of course we have no say in the lives of these players, but we are fans and supporters and we want the best for them to LEAD US TO GLORY

    • I like your vision, but I think Klinssman is seriously considering working with a new generation, looking at Bradley and Dempsey, if some of our youth cross the Pond and nail starting jobs (perhaps make it to the Champions League), then Dempsey and Bradley will be phased out.

      • It was only a matter of time until Bradley was viewed as not good enough….seriously ? Wow.

    • You make it sounds like they are going on vacation and choosing where they want to go. It’s like this, you go where you are offered a job. You don’t get the offer you want, you start to look for other factors…like good pay in a lower league/team. Welcome home Dempsey. I’m sure he will score in Seattle, he is bound to. Should he go to Brazil? probably, should he start? the way he is playing probably not.

  10. The video linked below shows Sheffield United’s winning goal last week in the 119th minute against Fulham in the FA Cup, with Clint losing the man who was supposed to be marking and who ended up with a wide open header into the net. It pretty much sums up Clint’s loan to Fulham, which, by the way Travis, I also two months ago said I thought it was a huge risk not worth taking and got attacked. Anyway, Clint has not surfaced after Sheffield United’s last-minute goal and I would imagine the goal was discussed among Fulham players later in the locker room.

  11. Wow. This is a real shocker, Magath going to Fulham, making him the first German coach in the Premier League. Now we know why he gave Hamburg SV a deadline of yesterday to hire him as coach/sport director or he would withdraw his candidacy. In any case, this is going to be fun to watch, Magath in England. I am not sure how his German coaching and tactical style will fit in England. He is drill sergeant and a real character and I imagine his English is not very good. Of course Holtby can be his translator. But Magath has a history of alienating his players. And Jermaine Jones was not the only one who did not get along with him. When he left both Schalke and Wolfsburg most players on each team hated his guts. I think Fabian Johnson and Magath crossed paths at Wolfsburg.

  12. This topic is so overthought in my opinion and the arguments continue and it doesn’t seem anyone will change their respective views on the Dempsey obsession.

    After 10 or so years as a professional, he could have trained anywhere.
    He could have gone to the usmnt camp then Seattle… and some people would have criticized him.

    But no training can simulate getting games under your belt while you’re also training. So it’s not like he’s been sitting around fishing for the last 2 months.
    He could have gone to 3 teams and he chose Fulham, who happens to be in last place… for him it wasn’t about that.. it was just about getting some games in.

    -And some people have revisionist history… He told Fulham well in advance his intentions, as do SO many players, but people here criticize that move.
    -AVB was shopping him after his first season and made it clear he didn’t want him. So much so that when Deuce left, he referred to him as “The Player” while Spurs website wished Clint Dempsey best of luck.
    -And it seems the same people that want the MLS to have a higher caliber of player and don’t want the league marginalized also suddenly turned Deuce into a villain who couldn’t play soccer….

    It certainly appears that the divided rhetoric regarding Landon Donovans decisions have been replaced by Clint Dempsey & Jozy Altidore…

    I would categorize this constant divisiveness as wasted energy…

    News flash people…. these guys are professionals… and they are OUR professionals
    And in case you were wondering…. if we wanna advance…. we’re gonna need all 3 of em

  13. The thing that I dont think many want to think about is that Dempsey may just be on the decline. He didnt make it at spurs, came to MLS and didnt do much, back to Fulham….same story. Has not been that impressive in NAT games in about the last year either. The Dempsey people are talking about is the Dempsey of several years ago.

    As of right now, I think he’s fighting to keep a starting spot on the NATs. I think he’ll go to Brazil but I dont have him as a lock anymore. The next few friendlies hes involved with will either make or break him. JK isnt blind and but idk if he is willing to make changes that involve formar stars? He has a few that this applies to

    • and here is another stat…he has only scored one goal on a running play in the whole HEX, that was the CR game in Colorado which was a rebound toward him from a Jozy shot. That is the same amount of goals the ICEMAN has done in limited playing time.

      • “That is the same amount of goals the ICEMAN has done in limited playing time.”

        When interviewed AJ said he scored after the Panama players had given up and stopped playing, something that amazed him. Which might have explained how he was so wide open at the top of the box.

        I don’t see how that goal compares in any way to Deuce’s goal which was scored under very difficult circumstances in a win that probably changed the negative tone of the WC qualifying campaign to that point.

    • Herb says:

      “The thing that I dont think many want to think about is that Dempsey may just be on the decline. He didnt make it at spurs, ”

      In Clint’s one season at Spurs he had 42 appearances and scored 12 goals,across all competitions.

      This is about what Clint averaged in his last five seasons at Fulham. So where is the decline especially given that Spurs did not focus on him like Fulham did?

      He was hurt when he came to Seattle.

      As for the US in 2011 Clint scored 5 goals for the US , in 2012 he scored 6 and in 2013 he scored 6.

      Six goals is the most he has scored for the US in a calendar year. He’s trending upward for the US.

      Clint may be a failure in Brazil but his recent play for the US does not indicate that is likely…

  14. with Dempsey, his ‘form’…such a broad loose term. his touches are good, his movement good, but maybe he didn’t really look a part of that Fulham team? their chemistry, locker room, spirit, whatever. Or maybe he did impact them in his stint there, I don’t know, but ‘form’ is a lot of things. maybe many things are clearer since
    Clint left Fulham in September 2012
    to join Spurs and
    then came to Seattle
    then went back to Fulham
    and is now back to Seattle at the end of Feb 2014.

    he has missed out on finding his ‘form’ via working out in the WC prep confines of the USMNT, and has also missed out on finding his ‘form’ by attending preseason camp with his team in Seattle

    people compare Clint’s loan move to LD in 2010, but LD had been with the Galaxy as their guy for a long time before that

  15. Am I the only guy feeling somewhat depressed about The US going into the World Cup in a few short months?
    1) They have barely ALL played together on the same field at the same time?
    2) Our Best striker Altidore has been Awol as has our captain Dempsey? That leaves a tired LD to carry us. Good for 60 min at best or Fresh off the bench?
    3) Our best LB is injured Steve C and his back up Chandler now hurt? Leaves Evans who will be badly exposed..
    4) Our Best midfield tandem is a float? Bradley at Toronto vs the Italian league is a huge step BACKWARDS just like Dempsey OK I get it he is making big $ but I am talking from a selfish vantage IE USA at the world cup Ditto Jones starting over and Oh Yea Fabian Jonson too? Would love to see Stu but I guess he is out injured?
    4) Our Iceman is injured ..hopefully be back intime?
    5) We still have severe holes at the back line Omar is good until he is not and Brooks still “recovering” Leaves Beisler and Cameron as the real go to guys?
    I could go on but basically unless we come together real soon as a TEAM I do not see USA getting out of the Group of Death. I haate to be pessimistic but I think the cards are already stacked against us?

    • Yeah, I think you’re pretty much on point with most of what you said.
      IT’s funny to compare this to a year ago, when Altidore was on fire at AZ, Iceman was healthy, Dempsey was playing well at Tottenham, Bradley was playing really well for Roma, Jones was a regular, Johnson + Chandler were healthy, and Besler was having a breakout year.
      I guess that Cameron, Zusi, and Bedoya are having breakout years now, but a lot of others have taken big steps backwards

  16. I wonder if Dempsey is upset at Klinsman over this. I know that he wanted to play in the Champions League and wanted more money, but I always felt that one of the driving reasons for him to abandon his fan-favorite status at Fulham was Klinsman telling him that he hasn’t proved anything yet.
    After he was benched the year after his big move to Tottenham*, his talent and/or motivation fell off the map.

    *Yes, I know that he only lost his spot when after they sold Bale and bought a new midfield with the money.

      • Wankity wankity wank. Yep. Not talented enough to play for Celtic, Porto (upon whom he scored in the Europa final), Panathinaikos, Galatasaray, or Anderlecht.
        Just so stupid.

      • In the semis of the Europa league against Juventus he scored what was voted the goal of the season for Fulham. His last season with Fulham he got the 4th highest vote total for player of the year.

      • Again, resorting to personal attacks. You lose credibility that way. Didn’t I say Champions League? Why then you talk about the worthless Europa League?

    • He was never really benched at Spurs. He was there for one season and played a decent amount that season. Then he left before the next season started.

  17. Let’s face folks, American suck abroad. They will never make it to a winning team. The aren’t comfortable abroad. They feel safe at MLS where they are stars while playing old farts from Europe and rejects from CONCACAF. Even Atiba Hutchinson starts ahead of Jermaine Jones in Besitkas. So, let’s just cheer our national team that will never win a world cup, but qualifies in CONCACAF. Dempsey will be a good asset for US team at WC even though they will not make it out of that group against my wishes. I am just being realistic. Now you can hate me.

    • Kirovski won a Champs maybe your realism is a little off? And yes, Jones is injured so you would have started ahead of him.

    • Pretty funny that this guy makes a comment about Americans being uncomfortable abroad and then uses Jones as an example, a guy who was born and raised in Germany.

    • Flashback to ’02. US World Cup team – primarily MLS players. We took Germany to the brink in the quarterfinals. A called handball on the goal line away from tying that game and who knows, on to the semifinals of the World Cup. playing a team we already tied in the group stage.

      How did we start that World Cup? 3-0 on Portugal – a dark horse favorite that year.

      Anything can happen, dude. That is why we cheer on the US of A. I will be cheering on our team proudly. You can be realistic. I will leave the realism to others. Whether it was watching Germany play keep away from us in the ’98 World Cup or us beating Mexico in ’02. I will always watch the US with the hope of bigger things. And one day, it will be our time. In Brazil, we are the underdogs and right now, I would not want it any other way.

      • Only thing is, I am not Mexican. Also anybody that points out the reality of the situation, all of the sudden, because it is all not so rosy, becomes a troll.

  18. why didn’t Dempsey just stay at Fulham the first time?

    or why not stay at SPURS even if he was going to ride the bench? he could have asked for a loan to EVERTON or West Brom or even to a La Liga/Bundesliga top 6 club. Sure they offered him 8 million a year in MLS but he was making what 4-5 million in England. I don’t get why he was HAILED as a sign of MLS progressing.

    If Lionel Messi or Ronaldo or Ibrahimovic moved to MLS tomorrow, then Yes MLS is on the Way the Heck up. but all 3 would cost 20 million dollars a year but 100% worth it

    • He didn’t stay at Fulham the first time because he wanted to play in the Champions League and he wanted an improved contract after having scored 23 goals from midfield in his last full season.

      He didn’t stay at Tottenham because the club was signing players for big money and it was unlikely that he was going to get meaningful minutes with the first team whether he played well or not. First,…managers are under pressure to play new, big money signings regardless of how they perform (see Salgado vs. Adebayor). Second,…AVB is a complete flounce and would not give Dempsey a fair shot.

      Finally, Dempsey was 29 when he signed with Seattle. This was his last and biggest contract. Only a fool would have passed up the offer.

      Lastly,…his signing was good for MLS. The league has to continue to sign very good players for DP money who are between 25-30. The league cannot afford to let itself be treated as an afterthought league for players 35+.

      • AVB brought Dempsey in and believed in him even when Dempsey was starting to show the speed of the game was a bit too much for him. I beliieve after last season AVB was given orders to go a different direction(hence the new signings) I’m sure AVB told Dempsey that he couldn’t guarantee him playing time and Dempsey looked for a new team but it looks like there was no takers for his price, then Seattle came in to the scene without checking his current form.

      • AVB also didn’t want to play Adebayor and now he’s the only one scoring for Tottenham. That different direction really worked out well for AVB.

      • AVB even tried to get rid of Adebayor but he refused to leave. I believe Adebayor told him to his face what he was doing was never going to work.

      • It was clear that Bale was leaving, no matter what since Tottenham didn’t make the CL. This gave Tottenham something like $120 million and so they had tons of money to spend and a ton of goals to make up with Bale leaving. This led to them buying about a half dozen new midfielders, although AVB, according to some reports, wasn’t consulted on most of the signings. At the start of the season, even after Dempsey and Huddlestone left, they had about 10 midfielders. This is why they loaned out Holtby. It was clear to anyone who knows the game, including Dempsey, that it would take a lot of time to integrate all these new players into the team and the chances of making the CL correspondingly dim. Dempsey was caught in a numbers game. Even if he did make the first team, there’s almost no way the Spurs make the CL, which is why Dempsey went there in the first place instead of Liverpool. You have to put these things into context. Given the circumstances, no CL, a surplus of top midfielders at Spurs, Dempsey would have been foolish to not take the big money and long term contract that the Sounders offered.

      • how is it a good sign for MLS?

        Maybe if it was Messi or Ronaldo. But grossly overpaying a US player won’t enhance the situation for fans.

        Face it. It’s a slow process. The MLS will not become a top 10 global league for 20-30 years considering the slow pace. but say we did away with the salary cap, perhaps in 10 years we could make that adjustment. But this is not great for the league. WE need top US talent scoring and winning abroad

  19. i will NEVER fault an American soccer player for trying to play at the highest level of competition!! And that’s not sarcasm. I”m proud of him for trying to play some more in the EPL.

    • Fact is – how many of our players have the opportunity to be loaned to an EPL team? This happened to go sour but it was not necessarily Dempsey’s fault. It was circumstance.

      I agree with you. Training with the Sounders or training/playing with an EPL club?
      Hmmm. If this was being loaned out during the MLS season and the Sounders were playing games, different story.

  20. Dempsey should have cut his losses on this loan ages ago and come back to train with the Sounders but he won’t. I said from the start this loan was a bad idea, especially that it was two months and got ripped on these boards. I still believe in Dempsey but thought this was a bad idea from the start

    • If you want to blame someone then I think this is on Klinsmann. I don’t think theres anyway Dempsey coming off last year, goes without Klinsmann pushing everyone to go on loan. Now Klinsmann has tied himself to players like Jones and Dempsey who have run themselves into the ground at Klinsmann’s request. While it very well could be Donovan who has to save us again if we are to have any hope.

      • If you think Clint would have been better off staying in Seattle rather then going on loan then that’s on Klinsmann. He was the only pushing for all his players to go to Europe during the break.

      • Agree with that, John, that strong pressure was coming from Klinsmann and no doubt influenced Clint to go to England. However, Clint could have said no like Landy-Cakes did. Also, Clint did not have to go to Fulham. He had offers from other teams and it made absolutely no sense to return 18 months after he bad blood that was created by his move to Tottenham. Plus big ego Berbatov was there and even his old teammates move on and you can never recapture the way it was. I think it would have made so much more sense for Clint to go to West Ham or the other team that was highly interested. Can’t remember which one it was. Fulham just had disaster written all over it and I think the decision to return to Fulham was 100% Clint’s, not Klinsmann’s.

      • Maybe Clint benefitted in ways we can’t see from being in a more competitive and pressured environment, maybe he didn’t. That’s on him. He must know that he is out of form and has a lot of work to do. It is quite funny that some people think it is JK’s fault that Dempsey couldn’t get himself on the field.

      • People on the internet seem to make a habit or reaching conclusions with inadequate information. This is no exception. We have no idea of all the factors that went into Dempsey’s decision and no idea of all the factors that have l;ed to his paucity of his playing time lately.

  21. Magath is the son of a former US serviceman

    how many US soldiers/German women had relationships from 1945-1990?

    Cause there has to be hundreds of possible footballers in Germany, maybe 50 of them are worthy of a look See. with a US father or US grandfather.

    we need to scour Holland and England and France and Japan and South Korea. There has to be talented guys there with US blood.

    • I don’t disagree with the sentiment, but it’s a bummer that such a suggestion is necessary when the United States is home to 314 million people. If there’s a dearth of talent within our borders (and I don’t believe there is), it means the US system needs tweaking.

      • solid point

        but remember like 90% of kids who play soccer probably go on to play basketball, baseball, football, hockey and play it in college and try to go PRO.

        remember average MLS player probably makes 80-100 K a season. average NBA/NFL player probably gets a million dollars or 2. so no wonder the kids still see a future outside of playing soccer. Sure they could try their hand in Scandinavia and get 200 K but do they have a passport? Can they handle living 4000 miles from their family? Could they live on say 20,000 a year at a club in the NASL or USL?

      • I think this is pretty pessimistic. It’s true though that the more people that play soccer, the better chances we have of developing elite players.

      • Nato

        This theory of kids switching from soccer is a common one among people not involved in youth soccer, and also highly inaccurate. Kids at top levels of soccer must commit to year round training at club, and academy teams from a young age. the kids who have a shot at actually making a national team in the USA Have invested 8-10 years of high level training by the time they get to high school. They are not causally playing soccer to get to that level they are dedicated like Tiger woods. There is no way they are switching sports because they chances of reaching that level in another sport is almost 0.

        Here in California Soccer is probably the most competitive youth sport there is, it is not a casual thing at all. In my area for kids under high school age there are more than 30 youth teams available for each age level, and 2-3 football teams.

        And the talent is already there. look at our U-16, and U-18 National teams, they are now competitive with any youth team in the world.

      • not agreeing with NATO, sorry man, but agree about the system. it’s better than it was before but long ways to go to

        one change, although it’s not what we’re talking about, is at least games are on TV now all the time from all over. it’s a big change in the right direction just in helping the US culture as a whole better understand the game, and giving kids and developing American kids that access. might seem trivial with regards to player development but I don’t think so

      • this is a good point.

        I grew up playing soccer and loving the sport but I had no way to watch it and really get excited about a superstar player or a professional team. Kids like having sport heroes they can try to emulate in their backyard. With the access and coverage now, kids are way more into the game (at least aware of the global teams/players) as they have more athletes and superstars that they can watch on TV every weekend. Is that going to make us a world soccer power? Probably not but the more interest the sport gets from increased coverage, the better.

      • Ian,

        “but it’s a bummer that such a suggestion is necessary when the United States is home to 314 million people”

        A bigger population does not necessarily make for a better national soccer team.

        The Netherlands have a population of about 17 million people.

        Among other things, they have made 3 World Cup finals, won the European Championship in1988, produced arguably the greatest player ever in Johann Cruyff, and consistently produce large numbers of top class players.

        Other countries with smaller populations than the US have produced more accomplished soccer programs than the US over the years.
        And of course China, with a larger population than the US, has one World Cup qualification (2002) to its name.

      • That’s like saying that it’s a mistake for the Dutch to scour former colonies to bring in guys like Edgar Davids and Clarence Seedorf who weren’t born in the Netherlands but had a Dutch parent.

    • I have a better idea. Let’s grow the sport here and build a player development system that actually produces world class players in the US instead of slobbering over some other countries’ rejects based on some tenuous connection to the US.

      • s l o w l y coming together, the Galaxy are one example of how teams keep building to structure these developmental opportunities we all want domestically

      • Reading your thoughts on player development is spot on. I mentioned this a few weeks ago and got blasted by someone… but here goes again:
        I played one summer in Germany & Holland on a U-21 team, playing pick up games and two tourneys.. and we spent a week and a half training at the Dutch National Training Facility. They had 8-12 year old kids doing ball skill exercises that humbled us.
        Example: They had to complete 100 scissor kicks into a small net with a full size ball, and couldn’t go to the next drill till they did all 100. And I mean full horizontal balls to the wall crosses full speed. The level of training and expectation for such youngsters was so high it made us look so inferior. And that’s how all their training was… They treated those kids like they were trying out for the National Team the next day….
        We don’t have that level of intense training at that age here…
        As Bum said…. slloooooowwwwlllyyyy…

      • The problem is, MLS teams will develop not only American players, but players from many other impoverished nations who would later become out MNT rivals.

      • That’s a problem I’d love to have….
        The development discussion in this country always centers around teenage players starting to get into academies etc…
        But think about the Tiger Woods swinging a club at 3, etc, or Tennis players like Agassi at that Bellotelli
        School…or inner city kids that have to become men on the courts as kids…
        You get my point…
        We don’t have that here when it comes to soccer…

        But that’s what they have in Europe, and I saw it firsthand, and it was awesome

      • Perhaps you could be alittle more diplomatic about your stance. However I wonder what Klinsmann has to say about Agudelo’s situation. A player who couldn’t play for a club that wanted him ad had to jump through hoops because he lacked the national team caps to do so. How many leagues don’t even bother scouting MLS players because getting work permits isn’t worth the trouble?

      • So it’s JK’s fault that Juan did not have enough caps?

        Don’t you think it is on Juan to be good enough to win enough caps to get a work permit?

      • I think there’s a bigger point here about how it can be harder for a US player with the quality to play in Europe than for a European player because of the work permit issue. I think this comes up particularly with regard to younger American talents.

        For instance, consider a kid like Brek Shea who has amazing physical tools but not all that much soccering skill. Suppose he has been scouted by and able to join Stoke’s academy at the age of 16. I’d imagine that he’d have far fewer of the technical and mental shortcomings he has now.

    • Given that the team was improving I’m not sure I follow the logic in firing him. He didn’t get a chance to bed in the January buys.

      The points hadn’t been coming in and time is running out so I guess that was the impetus behind the move. I hope Magath can get the defending better and get up to 17th place.

  22. has this loan been a failure? does it change the overall opinion on Dempsey to the fans? 50 goals and 18 assists in 184 league matches.

    • Stats mean nothing. What has he done lately? He’s out of form. Has be so since before his transfer to Seattle. He played poorly in Seattle, failed to establish himself in Fulham Why would he stay at fulham when he’s not even making the bench and should be developing chemistry with Seattle? Makes no sense…

  23. wait, say what? he’s been there for 2 months and he’s fired. Oh Fulham. Has 2007 returned? You’re going to get relegated. Should have asked the FA to loan Roy Hodgson for 3 months

    • I’m not sure how this accomplishes anything. Just more disruption. And after two good performances against United and Liverpool.

      But I hope you’re wrong about the relegation. The only hope I cling to is that there’s no way Khan would pay $300 million for a club only to see them immediately relegated and half the value of his investment drop with them.

      If they do go down, you gotta think they’ll do it all to go right back up a la West Ham and Newcastle of recent years.


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