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Klinsmann responds to Garber’s rebuke, says commish misread his statements

Jurgen Klinsmann

Photo by Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports



Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber may have been offended by recent comments from U.S. Men’s National Team coach Jurgen Klinsmann. But as far as Klinsmann is concerned, it’s just a healthy debate that the U.S. is finally learning to have.

“It’s great to see that we have debates and public discussions like this because that shows that more and more people care about soccer in this country,” Klinsmann told Reuters Thursday when asked about a sharp rebuke from Garber.

“In Europe, in South America and in Mexico we’re all used to this. It’s part of people’s everyday lives — to have debates about different opinions,” Klinsmann said. “It’s just starting now in the United States and I think it’s pretty cool.”

The debate, as Klinsmann calls it, started Monday when he expressed disappointment in top USMNT players honing their craft stateside in MLS, rather than in Europe’s top leagues. Klinsmann mentioned Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey specifically, who left high-profile club teams in Europe last year for lucrative deals in MLS, and expressed worry they wouldn’t maintain their level of quality.

By Wednesday, it seemed that Garber was fuming over the remarks. He called a hasty press conference to lambast Klinsmann’s remarks, calling them “very, very detrimental to the league” and going so far as to tell reporters: “I’m demanding that he refrain from making comments that are critical of our players and damaging to our league.”

But asked about Garber’s reaction to the comments, Klinsmann seemed to suggest Garber took them the wrong way and Klinsmann was only being “realistic” as the USMNT coach.

“I think some things were a little misread into my comments,” Klinsmann said. “Our job on the coaching staff is to help the players understand the level they’re at and how to get to the level we want them to play at. That takes realistic conversations, not critical remarks.”

Asked specifically about MLS on Thursday, Klinsmann took a positive tone. He said MLS played a positive role in developing American soccer players and the league itself was growing in its professionalism and its on-field product.

The MLS has definitely gotten a lot better,” Klinsmann said. “Every year you can see an improvement in the game.”

“I never meant to put anyone down in the MLS by saying we need the highest level possible for our players no matter where they play,” he added. “It was just an attempt to explain that players need to always strive to the highest possible level.”

Garber, for his part, told reporters he had spent 24 hours contemplating Klinsmann’s initial remarks and consulted both MLS team owners and board members before speaking out publicly to denounce them.

Klinsmann said if he had the chance to speak to Garber directly about accusations of damaging the league, his response would be straight-forward: “I’d simply respond to Don that it’s just not the case and I would never criticise the MLS or the clubs.”


What do you make of Klinsmann’s reaction to Garber’s reaction? Is this a healthy debate for American soccer? Did Garber take Klinsmann’s remarks the wrong way?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I think both sides could use some spit and polish in their media commentary.

    Klinsmann: “I look forward to the day when I am advising players to leave Europe and come to MLS in order to play with and against the best.”

    Garber: “That’s the common objective we all have – US Soccer, MLS, and Juergen Klinsmann. We’re not there yet but we’ve already made great strides.”

  2. I think we can harmonize these divergent views by just saying that a player on the MNT, or who aspires to be on the MNT, should do whatever he can to develop and maintain his skills at the highest level. For most players, this means trying to play in the best league where they have a shot of getting playing time. Some players may not be ready for a jump to a better league, and are best served by getting a lot of playing time in MLS (think a younger Tim Ream or last year’s DeAndre Yedlin). A player well north of 30 (e.g., Jermaine Jones) whose skill set is pretty stable may also preserve those skills perfectly well by getting lots of playing time in MLS. But guys like Bradley and Dempsey, in JK’s view, have sold themselves short (albeit not in financial terms) by returning to MLS when their skills could be improved and maintained better in a tougher league.

  3. JK is absolutely right that these kinds of arguments are daily event in the rest of the world. MLS has long been able to control most of what is said about football in the US, especially what is said about MLS. The problem it faces is that the american public is now hooked on high quality football, and we want a national team that has world standing. MLS can’t stuff the genie back in the bottle. JK is being honest, and US players who want to be the best should play against the best. They won’t get that in MLS. (And IMHO, I’m not sure I’d even rate MLS on par with the League Championship. MLS may have more big names, but the overall quality isn’t there.)

  4. JK, love him or hate him, is a sly fellow. He knew what he was saying when he said it. Both he and Garber have legitimate points, but ultimately, JK is right in saying this public discussion is good for soccer.

      • he’s very good at working the media. the US public is very inexperienced and naïve when it comes to soccer

      • Beach,

        With all of this banter of JK “talking down” to the American Soccer Community, that comment would be incredibly condescending in that context.

        To suggest the overwhelming majority of people who participated in SBI’s poll (nearing 1,000 last I saw) are somehow influenced or may be too naive and inexperienced to form their own opinion based on logic and merit is exactly what the vocal minority are accusing JK of: talking down to the American fan.

        The people agree. It’s really that simple.

      • Old School, I will remain outside the mainstream on this one then. And I absolutely stand by what I said, and was not commenting on the SBI poll or its posters

  5. Of course Garber wants JK to be uncritically supportive of MLS. It’s the same attitude that asks fans to accept the impenetrable, multi-layered, and ever-changing “rules” about how MLS teams can acquire players. “Don’t criticize,” says Garber. “You’re being disloyal and what’s more, you’re hurting the economic interests of the owners for whom I speak. We want to be a strong league, but on our terms. Everybody else shut up. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.”

    • Garber’s comments only reiterate what’s always been true of MLS: It’s a business venture, just like every other league on earth. Garber believes JK’s words hurt his business, so he laid the smack down. Hopefully Garber actually listened instead of going straight into defensive mode, but probably not.

  6. I think Ives Galarcep and I are more upset he said “the MLS” instead of MLS. He should be fired just for that (sarcasm).

    This is a non-issue. Let the players do what makes them happy; they will most likely perform and develop better in a situation they feel comfortable with. Garber and Klinsmann can deal with it.

  7. Jürgen has many deficiencies as a manager (tactical, selection, man management). Those inadequacies are enough for Sunil to look elsewhere. But, Jürgen’s biggest problem, for me, is that he has no vision for US Soccer.

    • Questioning his tactics or selection is fun to do as fans and it’s something I certainly partake in. However, the rest of your post was complete nonsense.

      • What is his vision for US Soccer? Fitness, comfort zones, playing in Europe, “playing out of the back,” defensive tactics, and college call-ups do not equal a vision for US Soccer. In your opinion, what is his vision for US Soccer?

      • Provide proof of any of it. His competetive results are above reproach and in many cases unprecedented. The current side speak very highly of him as a man manager. And he has outlined his vision many times in detail while making tangible steps towards achieving it.

        Perhaps he could improve on tactics…. though anybody who thinks tactics are the reason we can’t keep up with teams like Belgium and Germany lives in a fantasy.

  8. This is all about Klinsmann and not about American soccer, MLS or anything else. Klinsmann has to play the role of the savvy European tutoring ignorant Americans about soccer. In this USSF has acted as an enabler. For unfathomable reasons, they prefer to have some foreigner come and condescend to them rather than having a coach who knows what he is doing.

    Klinsmann is jealous of Donovan and the respect that American fans have for him. Moreover, Donovan’s mere existence demonstrates the basis nonsense in Klinsmann’s position. If the US and MLS can produce a world class or nearly world class player, why do they need to import foreign experts?

    Even now Klinsmann cannot resist talking down to Americans. As if we need to be told that public debates serve a purpose.

    • Because our country has no history of diversity, accepting other cultures or adopting successful elements of other countries. Correct?

      Your post was veiled as soccer related but just came off xenophobic. Ironic, because it’s the exact accusation you’re attempting to make. By all means, though. ‘Mmmmmmmmurica it up.

    • So what you’re saying is…you don’t like JK. Could have just said that instead of that rambling stream of incorrect statements.

      This new “talking down” thing I am hearing creep up onto “The terrible, horrible things that JK has done” list is a bit baffling though. You’re not the first I’ve heard say it but it’s making the rounds now. What does that even mean? I’ve heard it use by folks who’d rather be spoon fed talking points instead of deduce meaning on their own – but somehow I don’t see how that plays into this new use of the phrase. I am honestly baffled as to how anything, anything JK has said on this matter or any other matter can be confused as being “talked down to”.

      As for the fer’ner thing…yeah, whatever.

    • “If the US and MLS can produce a world class or nearly world class player, why do they need to import foreign experts?”

      Because we are not producing nearly enough of them. One Donovan per generation is not enough to get win us a World Cup. Right now LD looks more like a case of “we got lucky and we can’t figure out how” than anything else.

      Klinsmann was brought in (though we did not have to “import a foreign expert” as he had actually been living in California with his American wife and children for many years) .When Germany was suffering from a dearth of world class talent 10-15 years ago, he played a key role in overhauling the development system. Germany now has among the deepest talent pools on the planet, and probably could’ve been competitive in Brazil with its second choice 23.

    • LD is a “world class or very nearly world class player”??? sorry, and I may get flamed for this opinion, he is AT BEST a top player from North America. I guess you could stretch the definition of “nearly” to include just about anyone, though.

      the fact is that LD is a wonderful player, but he’s been successful only as a big fish/little pond guy in terms of club soccer. wiki says: 0 goals for Leverkusen in 4 years (he did have 9 goals for Leverkusen II), 0 goals for Bayern when on loan, and 2 whole goals for Everton during two loan stints there. that’s a sad indictment of home-grown talent when he’s considered our bestest player ever.

      it also underscores the gulf in talent in the bigger leagues of europe. I’d say we in the US have a shi*load to learn from those arrogant and condescending europeans.

      • Considering LD chose to play most of his career in MLS, evaluating his career based upon a handful of games in Europe makes no sense. I also recall him being Everton’s best player by a pretty wide margin during the 2010 loan. I guess it’s en vogue to blast LD whenever possible even when it’s off topic but that doesn’t make it right.

      • “blasting”? you mean the part where I described him as a wonderful player? or was it because I don’t think he’s “nearly world class”? he is what he is. a fantastic player but not someone that made any significant impact in two of the top leagues in europe.

        also: define a “handful of games” please. how many games should someone get to prove themselves? his playing time in europe, whatever the timeframe, is a very good indicator of his skills relative to the world’s best.

        all I’m saying is that describing him as anywhere near world class makes no sense in the context of his record. the phrase “world class” should be reserved for only the very best. LD is very good, but not that good.

      • Yeah, you guys got me. Never been a “real” fan despite working for soccer and writing for soccer and, ok, you guys got me.

      • I hope you aren’t lacking in the professional realm the integrity you lack in the fan realm. As a journalist, integrity is fairly vital based on my limited understanding as a simple fan aka a nonjournalist. On this topic, I’ve always respected the honest commentary by Ives outlining a fairly good blueprint of how being a fan and being a professional are mutually exclusive.

        Again, I question the validity you were ever a fan of the USMNT if you’ve foreclosed your interest over such petty reasoning. Your “work” has done little to sway my opinion but it’s just my own.

        Best of luck.

  9. Don, I’d like to see you use your new impassioned defense of the league podium to extend an explanation of the clandestine rules MLS operates by, & show us we are as great a league as you try to market us as. Is tramsparency too much to ask for?

    Re: demand JK stop constructively criticizing? You mean like when kids ask the teacher to have someone stop picking on them? Garber is a joke. All JK ever has to do is pull up a chart that has all world cup players on one side, and all the leagues they play, by membership #’s, on on the other side. What is so hard to understand about MLS not anywhere near the top 5 leagues in terms of showcasing the best players in the world, and that American players should look to be in one of the top 5 in order to compete amongst the best?

    Honestly am glad someone is pressing Garber’s buttons. He should recommend Garber spend time in European league front offices to learn from the best executives in the world. 🙂

  10. I think this is a great discussion to have. I think from a national team perspective you want your more promising young players to get the best chance to develop to their fullest potential. I’m inclined to agree with jk in terms of player development. MLS has made it clear their goal is to compete against the best in Europe….in doing that the league is in essence a buyer of talent and not a developer of talent…there’s nothing wrong with that if that is your business model. But it doesn’t bode well for younger us nationals playing in MLS who we as national team fans want to improve. In my opinion younger US nationals are better served looking at overseas options (especially The Dutch league who has accepted their role as a developer of young talent who then sells at a profit) to improve their game and in turn improve their possible future monetary returns. Think about it this way–if Michael Bradley stayed in MLS would he be the player he is now? The reason he was worth the money he was paid to return to MLS was because he established himself overseas. Clint returned at a time when he had accomplished much in Europe and is on the downward side of his career–a great signing for MLS and really no long term detriment the the US team as he likely will not be a significant contributer beyond his set skill set to the USA come Russia 2018.

    I’d also like to say that as much as people like the salary cap in MLS, I would love to see more teams like a Rayo Vallecano in MLS…teams who don’t have the huge budget but give kids a chance to play simply because that’s all they can afford under their tight budget and in effect become sellers….it has worked in baseball in this country….look at the Oakland A’s and KC royals….no big stars but develop through your system younger players with a mix of vets and you can put together competitive squads that eventually lose the players to a higher bidder….however those higher bidders cap themselves….see Arod–once the Yankees paid him that contract they were stuck with him–bad overpriced contracts handicap big market teams. A loosening of the salary cap may allow our smaller market MLS teams to focus on developing the younger talent to compete with the larger market spenders but the league can proceed however they see fit to maintain their business model.

    • it is ridiculous when MLS says it wants to compete with the top Euro leagues because it shows that they just don’t see the vast difference in talent (1st eleven and depth) between an average EPL/Bundesliga/La liga team etc and MLS. 1st you will have to overpay players to come here and MLS current cap is a fraction of that (for instance we are not going from 3 million to 30 million (conservatively) any time soon). As bad as Sunderland is, you do realize that players off their bench could come to MLS and be dominate other players.Sean Wright Philips is a leading MLS scorer and could buy an EPL tryout.

      Everything should be done in stages. Competing with Liga MX, Futebol Brasileiro, and Argentine Primera Division (as well as elite teams in Copa Libatadores) should be target. That can be accomplished by focusing on player development and adding skilled older players when necessary.

      • Competing with top European leagues is a more long term goal but certainly achievable. I think people in charge in MLS understand the current talent gap and are working to close it. It takes time though.

    • Your baseball analogies are off a little. The Royals didn’t win a thing for 29 years so I don’t think that’s a model to follow, to the extent that they even have a model. The A’s actually have very few players from their system on their current roster. They’ve built this team through trades and lower end free agent pickups. Go look at this year’s A’s roster. How many guys are from the farm system? Gray and Doolittle are basically the only contributors on the recent A’s teams that were drafted by the A’s.

  11. I still want to hear an answer as to why Klinsmann criticized Dempsey and Bradley for coming back but not Jermaine Jones. Could it be because Jones is German?

    • Clint and MB came back BEFORE the World Cup, which JK thought wwould mean a dip in form for the biggest competition in the world. JJ toughted it out at Besiktas to maintain his form, THEN moved to MLS AFTER the World Cup.

      • not the point being discussed. Klinsi is talking about maintaining form in MLS going forward, so the equation is the same there for JJ going forward. Maybe he’s thinks the same for JJ but just didn’t mention him by name, just Clint and MB, idk

    • Probably because Jones is 33 going on 34 very soon and in the twilight of his career while Dempsey was 30 and leaving Tottenham and Bradley left Roma at 26…different stages of their career.

    • Of course JK favors Germans but I also think here the age factor and timing has something to do with it too.

      I also think it’s absurd to criticize Bradley when you consider the salary difference. Do people really think Bradley should have turned down the money on offer from MLS/Toronto? Are people actually serious when they say that or are they just not factoring in the money? If there’s someone who actually thinks Bradley should’ve turned down the millions and stayed as a rotation/bench player at Roma, I’d love to hear from them.

      • Agreed…I’m definitely not criticizing anyone for going for a substantial pay raise, I’d leave my job in a second for 3 times the money and some good benefits(in Bradley’s case being back closer to home) haha. I can also understand Jurgen’s feelings of course being the coach of the national team.

      • You also have to acknowledge the fact that when a league and team pays the insane amount of money they gave Bradley he better come in and make a difference–in Toronto’s case playoffs which they once again failed to accomplish. He certainly has had a dip in form–knowing the professional he is I’ll give Bradley a pass this year but MLS can ill afford to pay huge sums of money for guys who don’t produce at the level of the salary paid to them.

      • Of course JK favors Germans but I also think here the age factor and timing has something to do with it too.

        I stopped reading after that.

        Slowfarm, your posts have become utterly disappointing. I don’t remember such a low quality of dialogue from your posts in the past. Even when I disagreed with your opinions, I always respected them.

        You’ve gone off the deep end, friend.

      • Usually my opinions on Germericans/dual nationals are about all anyone wants to talk about. Not really sure what your post is getting at. My posts are the same as ever I think.

        I don’t even remember being on this site more than a few weeks unless you’ve changed your name.

    • Ridiculous question. Absurd! Jones is American.

      Others have better demonstrated how the comparison you are trying to make is also bogus.

  12. Garber thinks, like some on this site, that there is little material difference between MLS and euro leagues. Klinsmann cannot even comprehend that an adult would have that view, so he has to assume garber misread his comments.

    He didn’t misread anything, he is delusional.

    • Depends what “Euro league” you’re talking about. No one I’ve seen on this site or Don Garber would say MLS is near the standard of the top 5 leagues nor is it at the standard of the next tier of leagues there. Of course, when you’re talking about Mix, that’s a guy who is at a smaller club in a worse league than MLS.

      • Slow, maybe you, correctly don’t say that, but I have read people equate MLS to lower tier EPL/upper Championship or slighly below Ligue 1 or on par with Eredivisie

  13. The MLS hurts its own reputation by not respecting International play dates so until they fix that they will never attract the best players in their primes except from Concacaf. That plus their salary cap/ designated player system. so, really Garber sounds weak and defensive about his personal project instead of responding to JK actually said.

    The other big loser is Michael Bradley. Garber didn’t do him any favors by concocting a conspiracy about JK being out to get him just like he was out to get LD. MB has pretty much played in every game he was available for since coming to Toronto, so that’s just silly and it makes him look like some entitled princeling having the commissioner trot out to protect him from the big bad JK who hurt his feelings.

  14. Garber is correct to protect the product: MLS. Nothing wrong there. Klinsmann is correct to mention Dempsey and Bradley, but maybe more so Bradley. Dempsey was not getting starts at Tottenham. He was less talented than other players in his positions. Dempsey is also smart to move back to MLS. Why? He will most likely not figure for the USMNT in 2018. Seattle showed a BIG contract he probably would not have got if he remained in England. Good move Dempsey. Bradley is similar. Bradley made something like 1.1 million Euro or around 800,000 Euro after taxes at Roma. Now Bradley will get around 6,500,000 almost 5-6 times more at Toronto. That is a big jump in salary. 4 assists for Michael Bradley. He is not exactly the big vision playmaker is he? I think Bradley will soon find that Klinnsman will find a more talented player than Bradley and he will probably come from Europe too.

    • MB’s Roma salary was after taxes. Italy quotes that way. At the time, Eur1.1 million was $1.4/1.5 million or abut 2.8 mill/year. He double his salary..actually a little more. Good for him.

  15. I’m #TeamGarber. I can’t forgive Klinsmann for not taking LD to Brazil.

    All you young fans age 25 and under. You don’t seem to understand that the U.S. National Team and the state of the sport of soccer in this country would not be where it’s at today if not for the FIFA World Cup 94′, MLS and Landon Donovan. In that order.

    Without those things Klinsmann would never even be here as a coach. He owes.

  16. I like these comments by Klinsmann. They should be like oil on troubled waters as he said the things I thought he should say. While I think he was just being frank and straight forward originally, it is easy to see how others could construe them as a knock at MLS. All that is needed is to give some props and praise to Garber and MLS. I’m wondering, do Dutch coaches say that their best players should go elsewhere and does the Dutch league fume about that? I think it’s a pretty good analogy. The Dutch players usually start in the Eredevisie and if and when they get good enough, move on to a top 4 league. Still, maybe half a dozen Dutch league players make their national team and it has been a good one for about 40 years. I think that should be about the goal of MLS in the near term future–to develop good players as a feeder league. Eredivisie teams may never win the CL, but they play an entertaining and relatively high quality of football there and attract good young players from lots of countries..

    • They scout 6 year olds in Holland. The thing with Holland is that a lot of the top talent goes to other leagues in Europe. It’s hard for the best teams in Holland to keep together a team for 3-5 years and build something. Nothing wrong with playing in Holland. They play the game the right way and develop younger players the right way. Many players leave Holland for $$$. The Dutch leagues is WAY better than MLS. The coaching and player development triangle is set up the right way.

      • The Dutch league develops some attacking talent but defending almost doesn’t happen. There’s a reason Jozy scored 32 goals and Bradley scored 15 in a season there. Clubs there really do nothing in Europe anymore, but the league lives off its legacy.

    • Eredivisie last won CL in 1995, and yeah, they may not win the CL again for a long time unless the get a great coach (Mouriniho – Porto ’04) and a young, deep, stacked roster (Edwin van der Sar, Frank de Boer, Ronald de Boer, Frank Rijkaard, Clarence Seedorf, Edgar Davids, Finidi George, Marc Overmars, Nwankwo Kanu, Patrick Kluivert). If they could have afforded to keep that team together, they might have been the best team of the 90’s. WOW!

    • The only problem I see with your analogy is that the MLS does not want to be a feeder league. Garber has said numerous times that the goal of this league is to compete against the best in Europe…fair enough but that makes this league a buyer of talent and not a developer/seller. The league structure somewhat discourages and handicaps player development as well. Why should teams focus on player development when 1. the league puts their big hand in the kitty to take a sizable amount of any transfer fee and 2. the MLS is not willing to pay a talented 20 year old an excess of $1 million dollars. The Dutch league loves guys like that….get a talented youngster on the cheap, develop him for 2-3 years and hopefully sell him to the highest bidder at 3-4x the purchase price. MLS is not in this business therefore to all 16-20 year old US nat hopefuls I would say sink or swim overseas (to a good development league-Holland, Bundesliga 2, even lower tier La Liga and French clubs)…at worst MLS will take you back if it doesn’t work out.

      • I see your point and agree, but it isn’t exactly correct to say that the world’s biggest clubs are not also in the business of development/selling. Barcelona staffs half of Liga Segunda with its youths and castoffs, for example. Bayern also develops significant talent to export via sale this way. There are others, and most big clubs do have significant and growing academy systems in place

        It is perhaps more accurate to say that the biggest teams/leagues treat internal player development as complementary or even anciallary to their competitive strategy, which involves spending big bucks to buy the best available players for immediate deployment in the first team side. Teams in “feeder” leagues such as Holland, however, treat player development and sales as the primary function and core strategy, rarely spending big transfer fees to improve the first team (unless there is a realistic prospect of a follow-on sale)

      • I think maybe some day the US can compete, but for the near term future as I said, they should strive for Dutch league quality and process. It’s like they are going through growing stages and the

        Dutch league would be adolescence. Maybe in 5 years they can get there and then 15 to 20 they can be a top league. The US has two things going for it. It’s a great place to live and play and a lot of players will want to come here if the pay and the competition are good enough. Secondly, even if soccer is only 4th in US sports (and it may surpass baseball in a decade), it still will have a lot of fans to draw from because of the sheer size of the US.

  17. Couldn’t any US domestic player say the same thing? I’m challenging myself to bring a underacy league up to the standards of Europe and I can’t do that by signing overseas where the applause are a given? Just like your example Pele, he could have gone overseas and tested his qualities against a far better opponent than the NASL.

  18. If Klinsman wants his players to strive to attain to the highest levels, does he take the same approach when choosing his coaching positions? He started off with Germany, a top 4 team, and moved to Bayern another power house, all along keeping part time residents in Cali. From there he decides to take the job at Toronto. Bombs out of there with not even a wimper and ends up taking a secure 8 year contract with US soccer which requires a fraction of the work load of coaching a club team. Now I ask you, has he challenged himself?

    • Of Course he has, his challenge was to make the US win something or at least get close to winning something in the WC, is that not a challenge? what was Pele’s challenge when he decided to play for the Cosmos? or Beckham? It is a challenge to change history in country as big as the the US where soccer is not the popular sport, and it takes a lot of courage to take it on. About MLS…have you seen Brazilian federation people whining when Neymar was advised by Pele to leave Brazil …I mean Brazil 5 time world champion country? or the Argentinean federation crying about the same thing? and these countries add to seven WC trophies and have legendary leagues and teams that won libertadores and intercontinental cups. Yet Pele told Neymar to go to europe because that is where he will progress as a player at this point in time. Sorry but MLS is so farther behind than most South American leagues and Don Garber needs to calm down and improve this league and to accept the truth that JK is talking about… Garber better start dealing with things such as with promotion / relegation and all the other issues that are commonly discussed here to take this league to the next level.

    • He was never the coach at Toronto. He was some sort of “consultant” for Toronto FC when they “revised their infrastructure”, whatever that means.

      No idea what he did for them or what effect it had. As a consultant, mostly what he probably did was make money.

  19. Would a player like Kyle Beckerman have become a better player and a more valuable contributer to the United States in the last world cup had he chosen to develop his game on the bench in England.?

    • No. He’s consistently said he wants his players playing at their highest level possible. Maybe he thought at Beckermans age and his success in MLS suited him and a move to Europe was never relevant.

      But everyone forgets that JK was blasted for continuing to call up Beckerman when he was never on the radar screen of previous NT coaches. Kept calling him up while most posters said he couldn’t play at the International level- was too slow and only passed the ball sideways or backwards….

      Yet in a sudden change of heart, loved Beckerman vs Mexico because it pushed MB up the field.

      Then in turn blasted JK for playing MB further up the field in Brazil, and further blasted him for dropping Beckerman for Cameron, who was subsequently named to the FIFA best 11 vs Belgium…

      Once again, revisionist history and selective memory

      • Yes, but was he ever given a serious look? According to Beckerman he didn’t think so, and thought “The dream was over” till he was surprised by a call from JK.

        BTW, I’ve responded to like 3-4 of your posts….

      • thanks man, I’m trying to keep up. I’ll go back and look for them

        serious look? Yes! that’s what that Gold Cup was, and he played well until the final, where he played not so well vs. Mexico and Torrado, but he wasn’t alone. Always backed Beckerman myself, knew he was a great player. still would like to see him and MB as the DMids, Mix above them. Of course, I wanted to see LD and Jozy paired up top too.

      • Perhaps I could have phrased my original response re: Beck differently. Never on the radar was ambiguous. I think he had 9-10 caps under BB, none under BA- I was just pointing out that he himself didn’t feel he was given a serious look, and thought his dream was over till JK called.

        But my more relevant point was the schizophrenic change in attitude that many posters show- Beck being one example. Like I’ve said many times, I didn’t take “Revisionist” history in school..and selective memory does not equal actual memory.

      • on Beckerman, thanks for clarifying. on that Gold Cup team, all fine until Dolo injury. Bradley’s Bornstein call ups eventually cost him his job as that result, very much attributable to Bornstein’s insertion, was the end. If they win that game Bradley remains coach. One wrong callup or lack thereof can change an entire team, for better or for worse!

      • One was several days ago- I wasn’t being judgemental just pointing out the divisiveness happening at every turn ( I think u said yesterday you’ve never seen the soccer community so divided)

        The others were re: MB. One about his role at Roma and how they positioned him….I think the other about his return to MLS- that I had no problem with him securing his future but missed watching him Sundays.

        There’s been so much talk about being played out of position, or that the move hurt his form….

        I’d submit an overlooked issue is his mysterious foot surgery.. his amazing touch just didn’t seem quite the same after that..or at a minimum as consistent…

        I think that’s it

      • thanks Bac. maybe on the foot injury, don’t know. Big difference to play the advanced mid role tho, I do know that, and that’s why it’s such a big talking point; it did not set him up to succeed in Brazil. That’s why calling him out like Klinsi did seems disingenuous to me, especially when MB soldiered on for his coach when asked to do it.

        I loved him in Europe too…he actually is an American who has done it!!! put in his time across the pond, learned, experienced it, grown there. It hasn’t deserted him now that he’s here, no way I buy that load of BS, just like I didn’t buy that LD is only a forward, or that the forwards chosen were all merit-based as better than LD, or that MB was the best choice for the advanced mid role in Brazil…because those things don’t make sense and have been revealed as such in the play on the field

        and yes, never so divided. that other countries routinely have these internal issues does not mean that we must have them here too to advance and grow, but now we do. while other things great soccer nations do are great to aspire to, this is not one of them in our unique American soccer equation.

        anyway, good call on Garza

  20. Gulati should hire klisman as an advisor 🙂 gulati knows zero about soccer, just like garber.

    Dont get me wrong, garber has done pretty good for MLS but he treats the league as a business,which is no good until people like klinsi and players realize a person like Garber needs to upgrade and modernize.

    As for Gulati, same thing, he runs the American soccer pyramid like a business which is right but not reallyl, like for instance we need a MLS2 and 3.

    One conclusion could be, soccer has grown so much in the US that an experience coach like klinsi gets frustrated by garber and MLS and gets confused with NASL and USLpro.

    In reality klins wants to fix the american soccer pyramid but he can only do much and just coach the national team.

    He has also mention the college soccer pyramid which he has said, it needs help….but at the end of the day klins is frustrated with garber rules in MLS and the amount of talent there is in America but he can only do so much.

    • The fact is, it’s a business. Sure, we need MLS 2 and 3, now go find 40 millionaires willing to invest in it, because without them, it just isn’t gonna happen.

  21. Once again I ask the same question:

    How many people actually watched JKs press conference?

    Did he sound negative or demonstrative? No I don’t think so at all.

    Did he say the same things he’s been saying? Yes- even Lalas said he’s been consistent. He’s consistently said he wants his players to challenge themselves and play at the highest level possible.

    Did he bad-mouth MLS? No he didn’t.

    Was there anything new in his comments? No. Except when asked about Promo/Rel…..

    Was his answer negative or demonstrative? No. It was short and simple.

    Seems the press is driving the “controversy” & making this such a big deal…and it seems like fans on both sides of this “issue” are just reading what they want to read into this


    • Hmm, if Lalas isn’t getting on his back about it, it can’t be a big deal. Lalas loves to stir up controversy or perhaps act like the voice of reason when someone else already made controversy for him. The man knows the job of the pundit.

      • Funny you say that, because he preempted his comments with something like” Thank you JK and Don, this is a journalists dream situation, and you know how much I love these situations” (something to that effect)

        And Twellman added that this is nothing new, and talked about how under both Bradley and Arena they both encouraged him to go to Europe.

        The consensus seemed to be that Garber went too far and made it too personal by blasting JK about LD and making “Demands” of JK… but they loved the passion of both

        (I can’t believe I’m actually quoting both of them and agreeing with them too)

    • + 1, 100%

      This is the stuff of news these days – bombast every comment to find (or create) dispute, conflict or controversy. Why? Because folks out here are just waiting for an excuse, any excuse, to get at each other.

      JK didn’t say or do anything wrong. The Don, though he overreacted (strangely out of character for him) was trying to defend his product. Both men want the same thing and it just so happens their wants are colliding right now. This isn’t a sides issue no matter how much people want to make it one.

      • Yep. JK spoke his mind about what is best for his product. Don did the exact same. Both men are right in their stances. It is being WAY overblown.

        Maybe it’s all a PR ploy. There are a lot of people talking about it. I wouldn’t put it past the mind-games JK likes to play (I’m not bashing his methods because our program has made great strides in his tenure. Whatever works!).

      • PR ploy … People talking …

        I wondered the same thing! Honestly at the MLS winter meetings, if I were Garber I would call in Jürgen and have him sit down with the owners to hash out a plan of agitation, instigation and manipulation of the media plan. Controversy moves the needle and elicits strong emotion and engagement for the sport.

        I call it the A.I.M. Media Plan!

        [spoken like Dr. Evil from Austin Powers]

    • I lived in Germany. JK might have lived here, but still has core German sensibilities. It is a very blunt, matter of fact German answer to a question. They don’t mean to blunt and/or rude, but it is cultural, I remember the first couple times it happened to me in German. I was a little taken aback. Very straight-forward would be apropos.

      • Absolutely… To be perfectly honest these types are discussions are needed at these levels to continue to push American futbol forward. MLS leadership needs to be pushed out of their comfort żonę just as much of not more than the players in their League.

      • frankly, “the” MLS has never been better and is improving yearly, even within seasons themselves, with better talent and increased $$$ and infrastructure, with more fans, etc.

        it’s on a big up swing and growing without ANY of this stuff you say is needed, like this stuff from Klinsi…it grows and exists without him altho he could be a big helper in the equation imo

      • ^This^

        I don’t know why he is acting so butt hurt over this. It’s insane that a grown man (who is also a successful and powerful executive) act so emotional about someone else’s thoughts about the league. He can disagree all he wants but don’t actblike some one peed in your cool-aid.

        As my dad use to say “I hit dog will holler”.

      • It’s cause DG can’t fine Klinsi for his deterimental comments. It’s silly when coaches and players get fined for their opinions about the game or referees. What is this, mother Russia?

      • My wife is German. She’s been following this drama and chuckling at how Klinsman’s comments have been perceived. She works at a German immersion school here and says they need to deal with cultural issues like this all the time between the American teachers and the German teachers (college students from Germany). In fact, last month with the start of school, at their weekly meetings each instructor/aide were asked to put a sticker (smiley face, straight face, sad face) on a board just so administration could see how people are faring. After a three weeks with a disproportionate amount of straight faces, the administration became worried that the teachers weren’t getting the support they needed or were very frustrated. Turns out all the Germans were using the straight-face stickers because, “Why would you use a smiley face? What’s there to be ecstatic about? Things are fine.” Just a very matter-of-fact culture and American’s love drama. There may be some compatability issues there.

        It’s been kind of funny to see Garber (and the owners) get so butt-hurt.

  22. Garber brain >>>> Klinsmann brain. That answers who is in the right. It’s not as if Garber didn’t think his comments over and consult with people, you know he did. Who did Jurgen consult with? His sons cell phone perhaps. It’s not about soccer coaching its about the big picture and Garber is a million times more experienced at getting things accomplished in the real world than Jurgen.

    • Again, utter ridiculousness. Garber talked to more people,like minded business people, and therefore he must be right. What powerful logic you demonstrate here.

      Once again, same advice I offered you yesterday – do some research. Garber is very successful at what he does and so is JK. I’d go through JK’s successes but I refuse to do your research for you.

      • I’m more on JK’s side on this than DG even though I think he could have been more careful in his words. DG’s reaction was too emotional for me and I think the Landon WC talk as way too much (not part of his remit). But they are both successful intelligent people, those who are just using this as an opportunity to bash DG fail to see what MLS has done for soccer in this country and what DG has done for the league (its bigger and more successful than anyone could have imagined when he took over). The positives to come of this (and the endless droning on about the WC and LD) is that controversy creates interest, and it shows soccer in this country is growing up that these media storms can even be created.

      • Agreed. Like I said yesterday this isn’t about taking sides. I think both men want the same thing. Garber lost his cool, which isn’t his MO but I can understand where he was coming from. As I fully understand what JK was saying (which he clarified here).

        My issue with this is that folks want to make this more about two, diametrically opposite sides colliding in a showdown of no compromise. This was just a difference of opinion by two guys who want to succeed at their respective jobs, have the same goals but it just so happens that in the case their goals are not in sync right now (I think it’s fair to say that this day was inevitable).

        I respect The Don as I do JK and my point was not a knock on Don’s capabilities or the awesome job he’s doing. It was just a response to wood chip zip (not having a go at you either, wood chip) who insists on making this incident something that it is not.

      • I LOVE that the Don lost his cool. I love it. I don’t want a comissioner who doesn’t care about the league. Now if he could just be this frank when he’s talking about Sepp Blatter…

      • Agreed.

        In fact, I actually disagree with DG’s assessment and some of his commentary but I like that he felt so emotionally compelled to defend the league.

        Passion is a good thing. On both sides.

  23. Key quote: “I never meant to put anyone down in the MLS by saying we need the highest level possible for our players no matter where they play,” he added. “It was just an attempt to explain that players need to always strive to the highest possible level.”

    I think this is why you never hear JK criticizing players like Kyle Beckerman for not playing in Europe. My speculation is JK believes Beckerman has played up to or even overachieved his talent level. He just wants to be certain his guys are playing up to every ounce of potential they have to give. That’s an obvious expectation from a coach. Dempsey and Bradley can still show him that just because they play in MLS there is no drop off in their hunger or desire.

    • I think Klinsmann justifies players like Wondo, Davis and Beckerman in his mind as they just never got a shot in Europe. However part of him seems to kind of resent guys like Donovan who had the opportunity but walked away from it. Just think about some of the guys cut from the 30 man. Edu, Goodson, Parkhurst all spent time in Europe but came back to MLS for playing time.

    • This is spot on. Klinsi values people who test themselves so they reach their heights. He can’t fathom that Donovan, with all his talents, would be happy to reside in California. There begins the problem.

      But you’re right, a guy like Beckerman is limited. He’d probably do well in Scotland or Norway, but MLS is comparable to those leagues so he’s fine staying there.

      Really intelligent comment you made.

      • agreed agreed…also it is Klinsmann’s job to push our program to another level…it has and can be painful at times

      • That is JK BS. He tells players to “push themselves” so they head across the pond. FOr most, it goes bad and they don’t play. Then he says “they are out of form or don’t have rhythm” when he doesnt call them.

        He also thinks he can spin his way out or every dumb thing he says. The fact of the matter is that he means exactly what he said and it’s not the first time he’s said it. He does not respect MLS or most MLS players. Garber called him out on it and he back peddles.

        We will survive just fine when JK is finally booted and I think that time is coming closer.


      • JK doesn’t respect MLS or its players, yet he took how many of them to the WC compared to Bob Bradley in 2010?

      • I seriously doubt Klinsmann son is going to play in the MLS when he just trained with Stuttgart. He can easily get onto a Bundesliga 1 or 2 team. Grant its time for reports like yourself and Ives to start calling out the likes of Don Garber because he is literally holding back US soccer. The level is below average as we get destroyed by Mexican League teams and the salary cap needs to be raised to bring in better players. If Garber has enough money to build a 300 million dollar stadium than he has enough money to bring in better players to help raise the level of play. This American AYSO Boy scout mentality of US soccer needs to be done with.

  24. All these things could have easily been handled easily behind closed doors. Which makes me think they also fully realize having it out out in public isn’t the worst thing. Why not create a little headline for ESPN every once in awhile.


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