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US National Team

09 May 1:43 pm

Take a few minutes of your time to watch New York Red Bulls and US national team star Juan Agudelo talk about his childhood memories playing the game he loves – badminton.

Just kidding.

No offense to badminton, but Agudelo has grown up with soccer on the brain since, apparently, birth. 

His first word was one you'd expect from a soccer obsessed child, instead of uttering "Mom" or "Dad" Agudelo screamed "Goooooaaal!"

As a youngster, the lightning-quick winger also scribbled a note on the back wall of his closet, a reminder to help make his dream become a reality:

"John pro soccer player. If God lets me or if he wants me to. Or maybe a pro basketball player. It's all up to me and God."

The video is part of Team Kellogg's new series "Start Stories," which looks at how young US athletes got started in the sport they now get paid to play.

09 May 11:17 am

Landon Donovan's goal versus Algeria in the 2010 World Cup lives on. For USMNT fans, it's going to live in the memory for a long time.

And now we can all re-live it via this video from a former MLSsoccer.com intern named Albert Lanzillo. Inspired by English artist Richard Swarbrick's gorgeous animated film about Tottenham Hotspur's Gareth Bale, Albert made his animation for a school project.

Don't know about you, but we'll give him an A.

07 May 3:24 pm

As you can see above, Clint Dempsey is a company man, even if there is significant doubt as to his long-term future with Fulham.

Dempsey scored his 17th goal of the EPL campaign on Sunday – a total that trails only Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Sergio Agüero – by curling a free kick into the top corner in the London club's 2-1 victory against Sunderland.

And with the silly season rapidly approaching, media on the other side of the pond are already rounding into mid-summer form, linking the American striker with a move to Arsenal – potentially as a replacement for van Persie should the lure of Manchester City or another big-money suitor draw the Dutchman away.

Should that come off, it's safe to say the Gunners are going to have a serious uptick in interest in the US. Then again, Arsenal's Champions League credentials aren't yet secured either, leaving some doubt about their summer strategy and their ability to attract the big names needed to return to the highest rung on the European ladder.

Personally, I'd love to see an American ply their trade in La Liga, and this article makes a pretty convincing argument that Malaga wouldn't be a bad destination for Deuce.

Where would you do if you were Dempsey? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.

04 May 11:15 am

This week, US internationals playing in Scotland pine for US shores, a New York Red Bull encounters strange things in Manhattan, and an American pundit defends the honor of the Wigan manager's nomenclature.

Don't forget to follow our two official Twitter handles to find out the latest from inside MLS   

Red Bulls midfielder Dax McCarty has a slightly bizarre experience when hunting for an apartment in Manhattan.

Is this a hint that US national team midfielder Maurice Edu would like to return from Scotland to America? Better question: Can Mo do the Carlton Banks dance?

One of Edu's Glasgow Rangers Yankee teammates also gets nostalgic about the USA -- video-game style!

ESPN's Alexi Lalas begs English wordsmiths to give Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez some credit for his managerial prowess, oh, and to get his name right too.

Fox Socer pundit Costigan takes a tour around Boston for the first time, on route to met Red Sox and Liverpool FC chairman Tom Werner. Safe to say he is impressed.

If you see a soccer tweet that should be included in our top five, be sure to send it to the @MLS_Insider!

24 April 12:04 pm

Former Baylor University quarterback Robert Griffin III has been in the news a lot recently, but mostly because of his impending jump to the NFL. Yawn.

But RG3 crossed into the world of soccer last week when he tweeted out that he had just met Alex Morgan, she of US women's national team and SI Swimsuit edition fame.

Which is pretty cool, except that's totally not what happened.

 

 

Eventually everything got cleared up and everyone had a good laugh about it. But it just goes to show that even the most talented among us sometimes make dumb mistakes.

And probably that Tobin Heath's agent should get on the phone with Sports Illustrated right now.

18 April 12:45 pm

Club teams are rarely compared against national teams for obvious reasons.

But the 6-0-0 start by Sporting Kansas City has us thinking: Would the US national team coached by Jurgen Klinsmann even have a chance against today's Sporting KC starting XI if they played head-to-head?

Klinsmann has often spoken of his desire for a proactive, aggressive style that he wants to see the US impose on other countries. He has talked about wanting to raise the level of fitness of the US player.

Well, Sporting's Peter Vermes has beaten him to the punch on both those fronts and implemented the most successful 4-3-3 in the land. And it's only a matter of time before Vermes enters the discussion that often includes Jason Kreis and Dominic Kinnear as future USMNT head coaching prospects.

It's only fantasy talk -- unless Sporting KC and the USMNT met in a scrimmage of some sort -- but who would you take in that battle? Vote here.

 

16 April 6:43 pm

Let's play a game of "Name That Soccer Nation!"

  • Yellow jerseys = ?
  • Blue jerseys = ?
  • Light-blue-and-white-striped jerseys = ?

You got them right, didn't you? Because Brazil, Italy, and Argentina have long-defined aesthetic identities. You turn on the TV and if one of them -- or Holland or Spain or Germany -- is playing, you can recognize them without even a second glance. In other words, you know what those jerseys stand for before you even hear who is wearing them.

Now think back over the past couple of decades of US jerseys. How many can you remember?

The denim kit, of course. Novelty is always easy. There was a sash or two, I think, but I'm not sure I remember the color of said sashes. Then there was that gun-metal gray thing that still makes me think the designer spilled mercury on his keyboard when he was typing in the CMYK code.

Anyway, on Monday, US Soccer revealed the latest new US national team jersey, as they do every two years or so. To be perfectly honest, I don't mind it. It's got decent colors, a little character, and with apologies to FC Dallas is relatively unique on the international stage.

But then again, I didn't mind any of the other ones.

And that's the point: None of them ever sticks around long enough for me to care one way or the other. Which seems to suggest that the US lacks a true identity. I guess that's part of what Jurgen Klinsmann talks about when he talks about "finding the American style" and all that other stuff. Maybe, just maybe, he'll convince the federaion that to truly ever define the American style of playing, it would be good once and for all to define the American style of dressing.

11 April 8:07 pm

Add Thomas Delaney to the US national team watch list.

He's 20 years old and already has the UEFA Champions League experience, which USMNT manager Jurgen Klinsmann has issued as a priority for American players.

More importantly, the FC Copenhagen midfielder is eligible for a US national team switch and had a conversation with US Olympic Team coach Caleb Porter. He says that he could entertain it if things don't work out with the national team of Denmark.

Read more about him in this article.

11 April 7:27 pm

US men's national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann may not have delved too deeply into the Olympic team's issues during CONCACAF qualifying, but one former US World Cup player did not shy away from the topic.

Former Chivas USA and USMNT midfielder John O'Brien, who played in a 4-3-3 formation during his time in the Netherlands, noticed problems with the tactics that Caleb Porter's Olympic team employed against El Salvador in the match in which they suffered humiliating elimination.

“You know in a 4-3-3 you’ll have a lot of players in front of the ball, and I noticed that they lost the ball easy and didn’t have guys in the right spaces,” O’Brien told Soccer America. “When they scored the equalizer, for a team that needs a result at that moment, we were very exposed. There weren’t many people behind the ball.”

O'Brien makes interesting points in the article, which continue to fuel the debate as to whether the 4-3-3 was to blame for the ouster.

10 April 11:25 am

Well, at least it’s something to take back from Mexico. The US U-17s topped El Tri 1-0 in the fifth-place match on Monday at the Mondial Minimes tournament in Montaigu, France.

New York Red Bulls Academy product Wesley Wade scored in the 59th minute for the decider, the forward’s second strike of the tournament for Richie Williams’ side.

The US U-17s finished 1-1-1 in Group B of the prestigious youth tournament, with a dominant 4-0 victory over the United Arab Emirates, a 1-0 loss to Portugal and a 1-1 draw with Japan (a 4-3 penalty-kick victory in the finale saw them advance to Monday’s fifth-place match).

Williams named seven MLS Academy products to the 18-man squad for his first tournament in charge of the team. Wade was one of three RBNY youngsters, and Chivas USA Academy forward Bradford Jamieson also scored a pair of goals in France.

Portugal won the 12-team tournament with a penalty-kick shootout victory over Russia in the final. England placed third while Japan came in fourth.