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Klinsmann reiterates his preference of having top USMNT players in top European leagues



Photo by Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports


BOCA RATON, Fla. — Jurgen Klinsmann sure is making a habit out of ruffling MLS’s feathers.

A week after saying that he was a “deep believer” of the promotion-relegation system that is used throughout the world but not in MLS, Klinsmann restated his desire on Monday for his players to fight it out and persevere at top European clubs instead of returning home.

The U.S. Men’s National Team head coach was asked point blank if he was concerned about having Michael Bradley play his next few seasons in MLS, and responded by saying that while the league is growing tremendously, he prefers to see the likes of Bradley and Clint Dempsey remain in Europe instead of signing deals with the domestic league like they’ve done in the past year.

“Concerned? There’s nothing I can do about it,” said Klinsmann. “I made it clear with Clint’s move back and (Bradley’s) move back that it’s going to be very difficult for them to keep that same level that they experienced at the places where they were. It’s just reality. It’s just being honest.”

Talking at his pre-game press conference ahead of the U.S.’s friendly vs. Honduras at FAU Stadium on Tuesday, Klinsmann used the player sitting next to him, Jozy Altidore, as an example of what he wishes to see. Altidore went through hard times in his first season at Sunderland in 2013-14, but opted to stick with the Premiership club rather than make a move during the past transfer window.

Klinsmann has backed Altidore in recent days to make a move in the winter if things do not improve with the Black Cats, but prefers it be in Europe, where a starting role is not essentially guaranteed for top American players like it is in MLS.

“I want him to get through the difficult time at Sunderland and maybe make a big step one day to a Champions League team in Europe because that’s where the top players in the world play,” said Klinsmann before reverting to talk of Bradley and Dempsey. “Now, making the step back, I totally get it. It’s a huge financial offer. It’s also connected to many other elements and this league is getting better and stronger every year in which we are all very proud about.

“I want everyone to grow in this environment, but the reality also is that for both players, making that step means that you are not in the competitive environment that you were in before.”


What do you make of Klinsmann’s comments? Does he have a point? Agree?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. As the manager, Klinsmann needs to show the players that he is all about supporting and helping them. If MB or any other American player goes to Klinsmann and says he has an offer to come to MLS to make 5 million per year, 30 mil. guaranteed, and the alternative is to ride the pine in Europe for or try for a move to a mid-tier Euro team and make 20% of that money, Klinsmann has to find a way to “approve” of the player coming to MLS. Not because it is ultimately best for the team Klinsmann gets to put on the field, but because if he gives any other answer, he’s admitting that he really does not give a damn about the person playing for him. Players know what is up, and word gets around — Klinsy doesn’t give a damn about you. That hurts the program more than having 1 or 2 guys come back to MLS a few years early.

    Rather than sniping to the press about American players going for the money, he should be working on solving the obvious biases holding American players back from success in Europe. With all his connections and desire to see Americans play on the highest levels of European soccer, he could not get Zusi and Beesler better deals than what SKC offered?

    • International managers aren’t sports agents, nor are they meant to help players find situations that make them the most money. They are meant to select the best players from the competitive pool and to drive those players to challenge themselves to be the best players they can be.

  2. Some of the opinions here are so extreme. Nevertheless, the dialogue is robust and I would like to contribute some thoughts regarding Jurgen’s comments and the whole MLS v Euro-league debate in general.

    Jurgen Klinsmann is the manager of the national team, and as such, he is singularly concerned with the results of that particular team from top-to-bottom. Sometimes American fans seem to associate that with the domestic league, MLS, in the same way that the FA is associated with the Premier League in England. This is an asymmetrical comparison. Jurgen, while acknowledging the growth in the MLS and the positive prospects in terms of its continued improvement as that pertains to academy and home grown talent (although Ives wrote a nice article myth-busting the inflated notion the the homegrown academy system is really booming), has no obligation to try to talk up MLS or be anything less than honest about the very real lack in quality the MLS has when compared to leagues like the Premiership, Championship, Spanish, Portugese, Italian, French, Russian & Dutch. The drop off is obviously not as steep as it was even four years ago, but it is there and one has to acknowledge that to have a serious dialogue.

    That said, I am in full favor of players entering the final act of their careers coming to MLS to cash in. Dempsey did it, Jones did it, Bocanegra did it, Demerit did it. It makes sense for those players, and while Clint may have more in the tank than the other guys, it is unlikely that he foresees himself playing a major role in the next WC cycle – so I doubt he is in Jurgen’s longterm plans. The same thing applies to Jermaine Jones, who played his heart out knowing that this was probably his last opportunity. He isn’t getting younger and there are enough younger players in the CDM role coming through the pipeline that it is in the best interest of the USMNT that Jurgen would look to the future.

    Michael Bradley is another case entirely. Here is a guy that, at 27, should be in the apex of his career and it is undeniable that his standard of play has dropped since he left Roma. I understand the appeal of money, the need for first team minutes, and the draw of coming back home. However, Bradley surely could have secured a loan or transfer from AS Roma – one of the top clubs in all of European football – to a club of equal or slightly lesser-standards. As a man, a working professional, and a middle class American, it is hard for me to critique his choice to transfer to Toronto for the big money he has earned for it. Take what you can get while the getting is good I say!

    Jurgen isn’t a fan or a middle class jobber. He is the USMNT manager. When your player drops in his standard of play and is out of an ideal environment to continue to sharpen and improve him, you as the manager are in a sense obligated to be honest about that. it would have been better for Michael the player, not the working man, to have stayed in a top league in Europe.

    The same goes for Altidore, who is perhaps not meant for Premiership football, but is certainly a top player in the Dutch league or would maybe be better suited for Series A or the French league. Coming back to MLS would be a step down from all of those options. A manager who is responsible for building the strongest national team as possible obviously needs to be concerned about keeping his top players playing at the top standard.

    So, stop blaming Jurgen for voicing his concerns – all rooted in common sense – about younger players like Bradley and (possibly) Altidore moving to MLS. They can find 1st team action at a higher level. it’s not a massive critique of MLS, and he was careful to credit the league for its growth, as much as it is a real and serious concern he would and should have if players continue to take the money option of MLS – NOT as working men, but as players looking to get better.

  3. While I might agree with Klinsmann in this situation, I fail to see where he really has an answer to a question that’s not just, lets do it like they do Europe. I’m starting to think more and more he doesn’t actually have any kind of big pictures ideas for the program. It just doesn’t seem like he understands the reality of any situation time and time again.

  4. Klinsmann’s platitudes are getting tiring. Comments from Dieter and wood chip zip above are on target. Will add that JK as Germany coach in 2006 wanted the German Football Association to hire hockey coach Bernhard Peters to be technical director, but the association chose arch-rival Matthias Sammer, now sport director at FC Bayern and that says it all. Can we please fire Klinsmann now early in the cycle before he alienates everybody and makes a further mess of the team. And, yes, it appears that Klinsmann is laying the groundwork to get rid of MB. But he had no trouble hiring a personal trainer last spring for Timmy Chandler who had not played for the USMNT in over a year to whip him into shape to make sure he would “earn” a spot for the World Cup.

  5. who cares… seriously, Klinsmann has said this quite often in the past and this is no way, shape or form a newsworthy item. I wish US had 15-20 players playing for Champions League squads in England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France-but they don’t… current US players are riding the pine in the Championship or playing in some Wooden Shoemakers division in Norway- its a reflection of the current lull in quality and depth of the talent pool in the prime years (23-30, the unders are showing some promise), visa restriction policies and historical US development lag…

    between 2002 and 2012, US-developed players were automatic starters playing for mid to upper table teams across the top four and the next four leagues-McBride, Reyna, the goalkeepers, Dolo, Dempsey, Bradley, Onyewu, Boca, Beasley-there is clear vacuum today…

  6. Away Goals…I see what you’re saying but let’s put a list together of the best of the best vs their PT/growth and see that list vs. the MLS players. I can guarantee MLS players have had more success in a regular basis with the USMNT vs all American who moved from MLS to other European leagues.

    For example you list Brek Shea. He’s regressed. You listed Edu who was nothing more than a decent fill in.

    Dempsey, McBride, Bradley, Friedel, Howard all awesome.

    Shoot even Wondo has outperformed Altiodre over the past year.

    Geoff Cameron is mediocre. Hasn’t improved.

    Hope this makes sense and you catch my drift but I like our guys to stay here because it’s better for US Soccer.

    • MLS has done a great job producing consistent, dependable guys: zusi, beckerman, besler, wondo.

      The argument is that for those guys to improve beyond that level, they have to risk the move to europe. They might flame out (shea) or they might elevate their game (dempsey).

      Then it just becomes a game of numbers. That’s why jk wants them all to push for it. If a ton of guys make the move only a percentage of them need to stick.

      Now if your argument is that dempsey, et al would have attained their current level even if they had never left mls, I can’t really disagree with you, but it certainly isn’t obvious.

    • Troll much Del Griffin.

      The US will win a WCup without any “world class players”…guarenteed.
      England will not even come close with all Premier league players.

      I hear what you are saying, but the blanket statements are just wrong, because they are too broad.

      I believe, and I am right, that Jozy is wasting his career at a team with no shot of winning.

      Let’s say MLS is vastly inferior, you seem hell bent on posting it every chance you get, does that mean Jozy is better of where he is ? I say no. Get him in MLS where he can be the man on a team trying to win something, rather than playing on a team with guys just trying to collect a check and move to other better teams. Which unfortunately is most of Europe by the way.

      • Thank you for proving my point.

        Training with EPL players and playing against them >>>>>>>>>>>>> Playing against MLS players


    • yeah man. i love MLS but some fans are so insecure that comments like this make them sh!+ their pants when it’s not even a big deal! it’s reality. a player who is as important to the US as Bradley is, should, ideally, be playing in a top 4 European league. plain and simple. maybe Roma was not going to work out, but he had offers from other clubs, not relegation threatened clubs, in the big 4 but decided to take the money. i said above i can’t fault him for doing that since it’s obviously best for his family, but in terms of development, he should be playing at a higher level. i LOVE that the US coach/technical director is pushing the USMNT player pool to aim for the top.

  7. Away goals… You’re a moron. How long has the MLS been around vs. any European league. Its about growing the sport here before there.

    • Hey ty, you’re probably a good and decent person.

      Isn’t it at least possible that once the best of the best are identified by mls, they should move to a more competitive environment?

      Meanwhile mls has enjoyed tremendous growth despite losing these guys to europe: dempsey, altidore, howard, beasley, holden, shea, bradley, edu, boca, mcbride. No reason it can’t continue to do so.

    • this comment lacks critical thinking. MLS should be the place we develop most of our players. some will get to European academies, but most will hopefully be developed in MLS eventually. then we hope that these guys start and play well in MLS until they hit a point where they have to make the next step. that step is Europe, and by JK suggesting that, he is not hurting MLS or the growth of the game here. if our players are developed better and better here and are smarter about their decisions when they head overseas, they will likely have more success. more success means more trust in US players for clubs in the top 4 leagues. with more trust comes more interest in MLS players and bigger market values for those players. this creates not only revenue for MLS to re-invest into our league, but provides our players more incentive to work even harder because they know if they play well, they could get a move to a solid team in the top 4 leagues.

      so again, relax, take a deep breath and realize these comments are exactly what you want from a coach and the technical director. he is pushing his players to aim for the top. and right now, MLS is not that.

  8. Despite Klinsmann promising to embrace the uniqueness of the American soccer landscape and grow the country’s sport domestically, he has repeatedly told us that we need our children to be raised by a different soccer nation in order to be successful. We need them to already live there — a la Brooks, Green, etc, or we need to ship them there. Can’t we all agree that this isn’t what we signed up for?

    The beauty of other American sports is that we don’t groom athletes in the mold of the European soccer academy. Sure there are tennis and golf academies and other elite training programs for the 1%. But the majority of our athletes are underprivileged, went to high school and at least some college, and didn’t start playing professionally until they were 20 or 21. Klinsmann would say these athletes are “behind the curve”.

    I want Americans to go to Europe only when top teams are falling over themselves to sign Americans. I don’t want Americans to go to Europe because Klinsmann’s made a deal with an old buddy or because Klinsmann thinks Graham Zusi will get .05% better at Watford…(Zusi doesn’t have any offers from Watford btw — I’d hate to start a SBI firestorm).

  9. Again this is my 2 cents, but how can the U.S. TD not being an advocate to helping grow MLS?

    Think about this…where would the USMNT be without MLS?

    • Where would the dutch team be without the eredivisie? Does that mean hiddink wants his best players to come back to ajax and psv?

      • exactly, away goals. but why make sense when you can overreact like some here are doing? this isn’t a knock on MLS. it’s just the REALITY of the situation.

        this idea that JK is going against his role as TD by saying our top players, in their prime, should be in the top 4 leagues is ridiculous.

  10. On a similar note, Roy Hodgson stated yesterday that “For us to improve our WC performance I expect our players to be striving for the highest level of club competition that is available to them. Only then will we see the results that England deserves.”

  11. Klinsmann is just such a gasbag, the delightful old fellow who hangs around talking nonsense. We should just smile, buy him another drink, and move on.
    Klinsmann was sure that Dempsey should move from Fulham to Tottenham — but what happened. Dempsey had a secure place at Craven Cottage, but after a year in north London he was surplus to requirements. You have to realistic about the team you’re going to and your own abilities. There’s no point if signing for a team only to sit on the bench for two or three years. Altidore has not done well at Sunderland, but probably because he is just not good enough for the Premiership. Would more time in the Dutch league really be better than time in MLS?

  12. “Klinsmann reiterates his preference of having of having top USMNT players in top European leagues” He wants players fighting is out against top competition and the top players are in Europe. That is only being “honest” he says.

    How ironic. He puts a standard to his players that he doesn’t apply to himself. If Klinsmann believes players should go for the top, stick it out and fight when times are tough so shouldn’t coaches? Why did Klinsmann not apply the same standards to himself and go coach in a top team in a top European league? You know, prove himself at the highest level.

    Maybe the fact that he is a hypocrite, and clueless as well, explains it.

    • Klinsy can’t make it in Europe as a coach. He settled for the good ole US of A. Maybe for family reasons (train up a respectful youngster) or the money.

  13. Does anyone think it was a coincidence that Bradleys poor form during the wc coincided with his move to a less competitive league?

    • Maybe Bradley is just not as good as everyone thinks he is. He’s an above average player who plays above that when surrounded by good players & below that when surrounded by poor ones (read: TFC).

      At the World Cup, he was just outclassed by the players he was up against.

    • Yes that was a coincidence. Putting Bradley in a position on the pitch where he doesn’t shine as much was the reason. Not having LD to make the world class passes, counters, and defensive recoveries also was a reason – LD on the pitch would have led to more attention on him, freeing space for other players, and allowing players like MB to focus on what they do best. And LD would have held the ball, allowing MB to hold the ball better as well by freeing pressure.

      Klinsmann was and is a failure in more ways than not.

    • Yes. Lots of us think that. We think his form was significantly affected by the loss of altidore and his subsequent move into a more advanced, less familiar position.

    • I think that it was because he was played out of position, only moved to that out of position role just before the World Cup started, and the reason he was moved to play out of position is because we did not develop those players in the 3 years leading up to the World Cup OR decided not to use the players we took for that role (Mix)

      and MB did not play as badly as some are pretending here, but that’s a whole different discussion

  14. It’s interesting how all of these arguments about how JK is so off base all boil down to an inability to accept the reality he is basing his observations on. Until US clubs can regularly stand toe to toe in quality with the best clubs in Europe and Mexico (and I mean in a tournament or league setting, not a one off friendly of our league all stars vs. a pre-season conditioned side), we have work to do and lots to learn from other nations. There is no shame in that. Gulati, Arena, and Bradley have never suggested a reality any different. In the meantime, if our best are going to compete at the highest level internationally, they need to be where the best chance for greatest growth at the highest competition is. That’s still not here.

    • But don’t you understand that he’s getting paid seven figures to RAISE THE PROFILE OF AMERICAN SOCCER? He’s not getting paid seven figures to sit back and say, these American players aren’t good enough, they should go play in Europe. I hear the coaches are a lot better there.

      We didn’t invest in Klinsmann for his tactical abilities, nor his ability to run a locker room. We invested in him because he’s a motivational speaker who initially appeared excited about soccer in the US. I’d love to see him take a tour of the most successful high school soccer programs in the country, but instead he’s hanging around second tier Bundesliga clubs asking if there are any dropouts he can have.

      • JK literally just called up a kid from the NASL. You’re getting exactly what you want you’re just complaining about it because he’s looking other places too.

      • I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have made that last comment about JK bumming around 2nd tier Bundesliga squads, because you’re right, the man (with his coaching staff) has proved that they’re willing to leave no stone unturned (ie Ibarra), and I applaud them for that.

        But I still can’t get behind him relentlessly urging the USMNT pool to move abroad. The 27 year olds are not going to get better. Bradley is not going to become Vidal just because he plays in Italy. It’s important for Bradley to be here because it makes it a heck of a lot more appealing for the Jordan Morrises of the world to stay here. And if the Jordan Morrises stay, we suddenly have a really fun league in 5-10 years and Champions League teams are offering tens of millions of dollars to steal our players.

  15. Love MLS, love having our players here, but JK is right. Anyone whining about what he said needs to grow a pair. Bradley did what was right for him and his family. That’s good and I don’t fault him. Like I said, I enjoy being able to see him play when TFC comes to town. But there is no doubt that staying in Europe would have given him a higher level of competition. Bradley may not have got much playing time at Roma, but he had offers from other teams in the big four leagues.

    I think Bedoya is another player who has managed his European career well. I’m not saying Europe is the end all, be all (ask Shea), but it absolutely provides the highest level of competition. I just hope American players will start being smarter about when they go and who they sign for. Bradley did a fantastic job in Europe and it would have been nice to see him stay. Benfica still interested?

  16. Klinsmann’s dismissive view of the MLS aside, does he not see the barriers to American players playing in Europe? I feel bad for all the MLS players who weren’t born in Europe or hold dual citizenship because their chances of making the USMNT are greatly diminished. Lastly Klinsmann has not improved the quality of play. As proud as I am of the players from this past WC, all of whom I support, watching them defend for their dear life for the vast majority of the games was depressing.

  17. Continue to build the MLS, keep our best players here instead of going to Europe to fade into oblivia, and entice good young euros to come here to play… ive about had enough of klinnsman and his mouth. I prefer to do things the American way….

  18. I’ve been a fan of US Soccer since 94 and a fan of MLS since I read about it in SI For Kids in 95, but I am ready to quit following soccer all together because of the trash JK brings to American soccer.

    If the guy is so set on turning American soccer into European football then just go back to Europe.

    In my opinion we were a better team under guys like Bradley and Arena. Not only from a success stand point but also how they backed American soccer. Klinsmann not only has done nothing but trash MLS and American soccer he left our best player off the World Cup and decided to bring in an injured Aron Johannnabsnsnemdn (spelling?).

    Is it just me or is Klinnsman a self absorbed disrespectful chump?!!

    Anyhow that’s my small rant. But people please don’t follow in Klinsmanns MLS hating ways.

    Remember our most decorated us soccer player stared in MLS.

    • You are over reacting. In the qualifiers in the Hex, the US had its highest point total in history, won the group by its largest margin ever and had the best year ever in 2013 in all games played. The team also achieved a number of firsts like first victory at Azteca, first victory over a top European team in Europe, longest win streak ever, and so on. The 2014 WC group was clearly the toughest group we have ever been in and few people outside of diehard fans thought we would get out of the group. I have disagreed with a number of specific things JK has done, but if you deal in facts and logic, your reaction is not rational.

      • Our victory in Azteca was in a friendly; Honduras beat Mexico in Azteca in a qualifier that meant a lot more than USMNT’s friendly.

        When Mexico struggles, yes, USMNT does well in qualifying.

        Best year ever had a lot to do with winning a gold cup (which we have done before), some luck (German own-goal), some friendliness (Bosnia-Herzegovina leads 3-0 subs out half of team before we score 4 goals), and playing a some weaker teams (Canada, Jamaica, Guatemala, Belize, Cuba, El Salvador), and maybe some snow.

        2014 WC was a success in that we advanced, but we really didn’t look that good. We have advanced farther and we have looked better. Given how poorly Brad Davis, Aron Johannsson, and Chris Wondolowski played, its reasonable to think that there were some roster mistakes.

      • 2006 was a failure. 2010 was seconds from being a horrifc failure and would have been had Tim Howard literally made any other decision than he did or if England’s goalie knew how to field an easy ground ball. 2014 was a huge success in comparision — we finally beat Ghana, we outplayed Portugal and got a result, we handled Cup winner Germany enough to secure advancement, and we were a heart-breaking Wondo flub from knocking off a better Belgian team, who needed extra time to beat us.

      • The same can be said for the Ghan match as well as the Belgium match. But if you compare the way we played in both tournaments, we played better before. This year was negative, negative football and the credit that is being given to Klinsmann is the never-say-die attitude and, as you pointed out, it was here before Klinsmann.

      • DiPalma’s arguments against the 2013 year are ridiculous. They’re all true, but they don’t take away from the success. What, no previous manager ever had a lucky goal? No other european opponent made a bunch of subs in a friendly? And I guess we used to only schedule games against the world powers?

        Nothing about our luck or scheduling was out of the ordinary. The difference in 2013 was that we actually translated those things into results.

    • Ty,

      “Klinsmanns MLS hating ways.”

      You are not paying attention. JK took 10 MLS players to Brazil which is probably the largest US MLS contingent to the WC ever.

      One of those was a guy I know none of you ever thought was WC level, Beckerman and he proved JK’s faith in him in a big way.

  19. Players should go wherever the money is for two reasons. First a career can end in a second so get the money while you can. Second, the more money a team invests in you the more they will move heaven and earth to have you succeed. Just look at how many chances Torres got at Chelsea. Inexpensive players are often collateral damage in the wake of coaching changes or they are cast aside when the team brings in the shiny new penny.

  20. Yawn. He should tell the Euro leagues to pay these guys what MLS is willing to pay them. I cant really think of a case where Europe has helped an American field player. They end up languishing on benches or worse, outside the 18. In MLS, they get regular playing time and more dollars. These guys have 10 years to make good money and screw Klinsman for telling them not to.

    • You are uninformed. Dempsey, McBride, Cherundolo, and Reyna easily spring to mind as European successes not to mention the recruits like Jermaine Jones, Fabian Johnson, and others. Altidore absolutely developed well at AZ and just picked a bad transfer. Bradley was also a success, but decided to trade that in for MLS cash. There is a tier of player better off in MLS, but you can’t make an argument that every American field player should be in MLS because they otherwise won’t develop. They do, they have.

      • It’s all about the role players: Great teams need great role players. The role players are perfect for the MLS. The stars need to PLAY in Europe.

      • You are wrong about Dempsey. Everytime Fulham switched coaches he was moved to the bench and had to play his way into the first team.
        If he was english it wouldn’t have happened.

      • I believe Dempsey is a perfect example for why these guys should just play in MLS. Dempsey was just fine as a US international since moving back to the states full time. He was the best field player at the most recent WC without the “benefit” of getting paid less and playing less in Europe.

        If JJ and FJ had two American parents, they would never have gotten a chance in Europe either. Don’t kid yourself.McBride was bona fide before moving to England- who knows if he gets a shot without those 8 years in MLS or as an 18 year old in PNE or Wolfsburg.

        That leaves Reyna and Cherundolo.

        I like JK, but the problem lies just as much as with the european system and biases.

  21. “I want him to get through the difficult time at Sunderland and maybe make a big step one day to a Champions League team” I’m sure he meant to say “CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM”

    • The US players are good enough to play in those leagues but there is a huge bias against american players that no one seems to want to identify. Besler was oneof the best defenders at the world cup, was playing on a 200k contract and was 27 years old. If he had a British, French, or German passport, teams like liverpool and arsenal would ahve been looking to sign him for more than 10 Million Euros. Instead it was bottom table EPL teams not offering enough to price him out of KC.

      Dempsey scored 17 EPL goals in a season (and important goals in European competition pretty much carrying his team to a chance at a trophy) and he had to beg for a higher team to show any interest. And even after begging and basically forcing a move only Tottenham (which isn’t even a top team) had any interest. Then at Tottenham he is not getting the same kind of minutes but was still producing at a steady clip but he was persona non grata there.

      Altidore scored 27 goals in a season and people still say he can’t score even though he plays on a god awful team where none of the forwards almost ever score and plays with no support and out of position. His problem has been making moves that were awful and could be seen as awful from the beginning. He should have either pressed to move to a team higher in the table in the dutch league, stayed were he was at and settled for Europa Level, or move to a mid table team in France or Germany, or come back to MLS and likely be a lot like Henry in effectiveness.

      • +1

        Totally agree. Don’t even know if it’s just anti-American bias, though I’m sure being an American in Europe doesn’t help. CONCACAF players in general are woefully undervalued.

        Forbes did a list of the ‘total value” of the teams at the World Cup based on their value on the world transfer market. Mexico was 26th, the USA 28th, Costa Rica 31st, and Honduras 32nd.

        Three of the four got out of group, and Costa Rica got a lot further than that. And the USA’s value on the world transfer market was something like a tenth that of the #1-valued team….Brazil, which was worth $700 million.

        After the World Cup, Yedlin went to Spurs…for what, $3 million? In the meantime, Manchester United was busy buying Llallana for $30 million.

        Does. Not. Compute.

      • Don’t really think that other CONCACAF players are really undervalued, maybe they aren’t valued as high as players from other countries but the interest from Europe is there.

        After the WC Atletico decided to splash 10m euros for Raul Jimenez, Real Madrid signed the stars of both Costa Rica and Mexico, Porto increased the release clause of Hector Herrera to over 40m because there was a lot of interest from Liverpool, Campbell went back to Arsenal, Tejeda made the jump to Ligue 1 from the costa rican league, Giancarlo Gonzalez moved to Palermo and Gamboa moved to the Premier League, there were also many rumours about Hector Moreno being close to Man U and Tottenham before he broke his leg.

        I think the problem is that the USMNT usually plays better than the sum of its parts, except for Yedlin and JJ (and of course Howard’s heroics against Belgium) I really didn’t see anyone exceed individually and european scouts give a lot attention to that, on the other hand Mexico and Costa Rica showed more individual talent than the US but it is hard for them to work as a unit as good as the USMNT, still Costa Rica got to the quarters and was incredibly close to the semis, Mexico was 5 minutes away from eliminating the eventually 3rd place Netherlands, meanwhile the US parked the bus against a pretty underwhelming Belgium.

  22. No problem with Dempsey coming back. He was already past his prime. His best years were spent at Fulham doing great work to raise the profile of American players in England.

    Bradley irked me considerably more. I realize he was set to lose his spot at Roma, but he could have earned a spot with a lower team in Italy or elsewhere. Coming back to MLS might have guaranteed him regular games, but at the cost of his sharpness.

    Priority one is that the players get to play, but if they don’t face challenges they won’t ever improve. We obviously don’t want all the guys following the Jozy plan, but we also don’t need to settle for developing our talent in a sub-par domestic league.

    • If “getting respect in England” means we are in a stronger position to win the World Cup, I am all for it. But, remember, a team of mostly MLS guys made it to the World Cup quarters. For all the “respect” folks have for England’s individual players, its team finished second in the group to the USA in 2010, and didnt even get out of its group this year while the US did. So playing in the premier league doesnt necessarily add up to international victories. After all, I think Id take Landon Donovan’s record in the World Cup over Wayne Rooney’s at this point.

      • Not what Nate said. Said he would take Donovan’s WC record over Rooney’s. I believe he is talking more about the importance of the team and the international game.

        Not directly comparing the player’s talent but their World Cup performances.

        No question Rooney is a better player. Unfortunately, I think outside factors have contributed to his lack of hitting potential. Coaches, work ethic, England pressure, etc.

        Where has Donovan, you can argue, hit his potential – at least during WC 2010.

      • Yeah, there is not a question about Landon versus Rooney.

        Rooney is English and all their players are better than the US players…no one is sure why the finish fourth in a group won by Costa Rica….

        …but that doesn’t change the fact that their players are way better. Don’t ever forget that…even when the US wins the WCup it will be true.

      • Landon shredded it with Everton when he was there…on one loan spell, they beat Manchester United and Chelsea, I recall, in back-to-back weeks and went on a rampage. I remember the English press speculating on how “Ashley Cole was going to put Donovan in his place”…Donovan turned around and broke Cole’s foot in a 50/50 challenge, and was abusing him before that.

        I think people are going to be shocked at how easily DeAndre Yedlin dominates, unless they scapegoat him. I was watching the Bayern Munich guys backpedal frantically and lunge all over the place trying to track him when he rampaged forwards…they ended up doubling him and even that didn’t work. (Actually, I saw it a couple times, in the World Cup and in the MLS All-Star Game.)

        Talent’s talent. I suppose you can argue Donovan never played a full season at Everton and never survived the EPL grind, but that’s a different question.

        I guess that’s kind of why I look at Altidore and just shake my head about the way people regard him for his Sunderland situaton. We’ve seen Landon and Clint Dempsey succeed in the EPL and Jozy is of similar quality, but he finds a bad situation and suddenly he’s terrible. OK, whatever. If I was Roberto Martinez at Everton, actually, I’d probably grab Jozy as backup/competition for Lukaku because they’re very similar players…and Jozy is there to be had for cheap right now.

  23. every case is distinct…I think Brek Shea has greatly diminished his development in England, Feilhaber hurt his career in England, IMO Altidore would have developed much more getting touches in the MLS than languishing over several clubs in Europe…much more important to play…Gyan from Ghana is a good case, getting in rythym in the Gulf and taking that form to Ghana…

    • Brek is an example of how far away the level in MLS is from England. Brek was MLS star. Now cannot play even in championship in england. If he came back to MLS he would be a star again. Is that development? Its talent level, and it sucks that America cannot produce talent that can play in top leagues. Let’s all pray that Yedlin succeeds.

      • You have a short memory:
        to wit:
        2011: A finalist for the Volkswagen MLS MVP award, Shea was named to the MLS All-Star team and MLS Best XI. He led FC Dallas in goals with 11. Five of his goals were game-winners, which tied for the league lead. Shea also added four assists. He ranked fourth on the team in minutes played across all competitions (3,446MP/41GP) in addition to playing eight games with the U.S. National Team.

  24. MLS shouldn’t be offering the kind of contracts Bradley and Dempsey got. When TFC signed Bradley and Defoe I came on here(and Big Soccer) and said that TFC would not make the playoffs. I said that you can’t field a good team when 90% of their wages go to two players. This is soccer not the NBA. Well, I was laughed off and told that I was an idiot etc etc. Who’s laughing now?

    • The Sounders in first place with Dempseys salary ?
      The Galaxy in second place with Landons salary ?

      You are a regular rocket scientist…but not very good at posting about soccer, so stick to the rockets.

    • These posts are the best. Let me remind you of some prediction I made that no one cared about. Let me point out I was right, even though no one cares. Turns out my premise is wrong anyway. Still no one cares.

    • You can’t buy the title per se but it makes it easier. It’s all about the supporting cast and what got TFC was DeFoe hurt plus the quality of the rest of the team. LAG stunk for two years before Arena signed Keane and remade the supporting cast.

    • It sure is a drag when somebody appears and starts co-opting your username and posting all sorts of things. Kind of ruins the entire point of participating on this site, Ives. Get your own name, already, faux RB.

  25. Klinsy setting the stage for dropping Dempsey and Bradley. I wonder how much UEFA paid him to delay the ascendancy of US Soccer

    • Dempsey is 32-33. While he may be able to do a Miro Klose impersonation odds are against him. If he maintains his form he should still be a contributor for Copa America but Russia may be too much to expect.

      Since his move to TFC Mikey has not, for the most part, looked like his old self. He’s just 27 but he may be an old 27 and he has not had a break in a long time. Perhaps he’s hurt, perhaps he’s burnt out, perhaps he is just suffering WC burn out or perhaps he is brought down by being on a freak show of a team.

      Most of the people are SBI are calling for Mikey’s head on a pike anyway so JK doesn’t have to do a thing to phase him and Clint out. And to think a year ago most of you were calling for JK’s head for not naming Mikey captain. It goes quick doesn’t it?

      Time, nature and SBI fans have beaten JK to the punch on this issue for sometime now.

      • Or we could recognize based upon Klinsy’s playing and coaching career that he can’t manage to get along with anyone for more than two years at a time.

      • Didn’t last for Germany, didn’t last for Bayern, in his time with the US, his assistant coach is suddenly moved on, Boca was suddenly dropped, we all know about LD, Howard is taking a break, keeps bringing in young pups who don’t know any better. In his playing career, he played for 8 clubs over a 17 year career. Considering the quality of player he was and that moving from club to club was much less common then, I think it tells you something.

      • I think this should tell you something:

        He’s a raving narcissist who has somehow enchanted Americans with the promise of proactive, beautiful soccer. You know who else promises that? Almost every single manager on earth.

        We played better soccer in 2002.

      • @Klinsmann Go Away

        “So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye”

        So you won’t support your country because you don’t like the coach? That is much worse than anything JK has done.

        “I’m US ’til I die. I’m US ’til I die. I know I am, I’m sure I am. I’m US ’til I die!!!”

      • Thanks for the link Dieter. Unglaublich! So he claims he was let go from Bayern when they were only 3 points out of first place due to a “difference of opinion” with the Board.

        The 3 points out of 1st place fact, one picked up upon by Klinsi defenders here, is very misleading. Yes, they were only 3 points out of 1st however they were in 3rd place tied with 2 other teams and in danger of missing out on Champions League.

        And there is no mention that in the 8 days prior to his sacking Bayern lost at Wolfsburg 4-0, got knocked out of CL with a 4-0 loss to Barca and lost 0-1 to Schalke at home.

        However, it is still very clear that Klinsmann knows nothing of that, narcissists don’t.

      • I understand that we all had/have high hopes for Bradley. We wanted him to be our Arturo Vidal and atm that seems a distant memory, however I don’t see anyone supplanting him in the near future. He’s still a class above on this squad.

    • Dempsey had nothing left to prove, did well in the WC and will be too old for the next one, so his situation is not really relevant. I think that people tend to forget that Bradley was starting at Roma until he got hurt in a qualifier about this time last year. I think he could have stayed and fought his way into the lineup or moved to another decent club, but you don’t know what his home/family situation is like and its hard to turn down the offer he got. Would you have? I think the bigger problems lie with guys like Zusi, Belser and Gonzalez who took MLS DP contracts instead of moving on. At least Dempsey and Bradley have already spent quite some time in Europe and proved themselves and improved as players.

      • Timing was the biggest factor in the Deuce-MB90 moves. They both wanted to play regularly and get top form going into the WC. In Dempsey’s case it worked out, especially because he was able to go on loan to Fulham. However, it did not for Bradley IMO.Dempsey could have gone to Liverpool and that looked like it was a done deal, but life can be that way sometimes. IMO the three MNT players that took DP contracts screwed themselves. Beisler has played poorly, especially against NE. Gonzo was mediocre against Ecuador and Zusi was a non factor in the last two wc games.

    • You could argue with Bradley is a slightly different situation than Dempsey.

      People talk like the money and the location only matter to the player. You forget people have families. Careers are short, and kids are growing up. I’m sure these people make decisions with everyone in the family considered.

    • Roma was squeezing Bradley out and Dempsey was being misused at Spurs. This was the year before Brazil and they needed to be playing. They had to go, the only question is where. They went where they would play and their families could be comfortable. I don’t blame them.

      There’s a catch 22 about Klinsmann’s whip hand, which is that these two were at top clubs and about to be not playing. So we should have a bunch of guys on name clubs who don’t play? There’s a happy medium somewhere.

    • The simple solution is to raise the salary cap after January and to raise the DP level to 4

      The quality in MLS will go up up up up !!!!


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