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US National Team

20 February 10:32 de la tarde

Landon Donovan has a history of insightful, personal interviews. He just hasn't given very many of them lately.

That seems to have changed on Wednesday night, as the US national team and LA Galaxy legend answered questions in public for the first time since helping lead his team to the 2012 MLS Cup. Donovan appeared at a Q&A session titled "The Competitive Edge" on the campus of the University of Southern California.

One promising young scribe proceded to live tweet the event. We can't vouch for the veracity of his transcription, during which Donovan talks about everything from his relationship with his dad to that time he almost quit soccer in 2006 (which, from memory, was right before kickoff vs. Ghana), but I guarantee you we'll all be talking about this out-of-the-blue appearance by LD for the next 48 hours:

Here's the best part, if you're a US fan:

And here's the part that's Landon being Landon to, like, the Nth degree:

19 February 9:13 de la tarde

We've seen plenty of German-Americans come into the US national team fold since Jurgen Klinsmann took the reins in 2011. But could Klinsmann and Co. could be turning their eyes south to Argentina to unearth two more dual-nationality players for the Stars and Stripes?

Affirmative, according to ESPN's Jorge Ramos:

In English, that's: "Jurgen Klinsmann has called Rogelio Funes Mori and Michael Hoyos and asked them if they would accept a call-up from the United States."

Both players spent a significant portion of their developmental years in the United States – Funes Mori (above, left), a forward, moved to Texas at the age of 10, where he attended high school and won the Sueño MLS contest, earning him a spot with FC Dallas' academy side. However, he returned to Argentina shortly thereafter and signed with River Plate, where he remains along with twin brother Ramiro.

Hoyos (above, right), a midfielder, was born and raised in Southern California, attending high school there before moving back to Argentina at age 15 and signing with Estudiantes de La Plata shortly thereafter, where he also remains. He was reportedly approached by the US U-20 side for a camp a few years ago, but opted to remain with his club team.

Both players have represented Argentina at the U-20 level and Funes Mori made a recent appearance in a friendly for the Albiceleste's senior team, but both could file a one-time nationality switch with FIFA to play for the US.

Do you think either player would make the switch? Would they be good additions to Klinsmann's US national team? Chime in with your thoughts below!

15 February 7:39 de la tarde

Short, sweet and unambiguous support for Robbie Rogers:

WATCH: MLSers react to Rogers coming out

13 February 11:07 de la mañana

Kudos to Washington Post writer Steven Goff for digging into some tax records for the US Soccer Federation between April 2011 and March 2012, and discovering a few interesting financial nuggets.

Among them:

  • US men's national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann (above, left) collected $1,047,172 — a portion of his $2.5 million salary. He was hired late in the summer of 2011. Klinsmann’s contract runs through Aug. 31, 2014.
  • Former head coach Bob Bradley, meanwhile, received $872,658, despite being fired four months into the tax period.
  • US women's coach Pia Sundhage earned $299,190 while on the job during the entire tax period, which included a runner-up finish in the 2011 World Cup.

Check out Goff's article here, or dive into the tax records yourself here.

09 February 1:18 de la tarde

Here's the least surprising news of the day: Columbus has reportedly been picked as the site for the all-important World Cup qualifying matchup between the US and Mexico on Sept. 10.

That report comes from ESPN's John Sutcliffe, who tweeted out the news on Saturday. Crew Stadium has always been the frontrunner to host the match, thanks in no small part to its history of crucial matches for the Americans, and a 6-0-3 record there all-time. The last time the US suited up there came last September, when they beat Jamaica in qualifying.

The stadium has hosted the US team's home qualifier against Mexico in the final round for the last three consecutive World Cup qualifying cycles, with the United States collecting identical 2-0 scorelines in 2001, 2005 and 2009.

09 February 1:07 de la tarde

The folks at KICKTV are back with the second installment of their exclusive series "The Hex," which will examine the US national team's long and winding road to the World Cup in Brazil in 2014. In the latest episode, their cameras take you inside the passion of the US-Honduras match, with a look at the US fans who traveled to San Pedro Sula.

Missed the first episode? Check it out on KICKTV's You Tube page.

07 February 11:45 de la mañana

Que de surprises lors de cette première journée du dernier tour des éliminatoires de la Coupe du monde dans la zone Concacaf ! Les États-Unis battus, le Mexique tenu en échec dans son antre et un troisième match spectaculaire.

Le déplacement au Honduras ne s’annonçait pas facile pour les Américains et avant le match, Michael Bradley parlait de l’expérience nécessaire lors d’un tel déplacement. Las, l’équipe de Jurgen Klinsmann en a clairement manqué et, malgré l’ouverture de la marque signée Dempsey, s’est inclinée 2-1 suite à des buts de Garcia et Bengston. « Trop d’erreurs dans trop de domaines », résumait laconiquement le sélectionneur de la formation à la bannière étoilée.

Autre ténor de la Concacaf qui panse ses plaies, le Mexique a concédé le nul 0-0 chez lui face à la Jamaïque. Deux points perdus qui font d’autant plus mal qu’ils l’ont été contre l’équipe négligée du groupe et mettent fin à une série de 24 victoires consécutives au stade Azteca en éliminatoires de la Coupe du monde. Le héros du jour ? Le gardien Donovan Ricketts, qui a reçu des éloges qui en surprendront certainement plus d’un à Montréal et à Portland.

Dans le dernier match, le Panama pensait avoir fait le plus difficile en prenant deux buts d’avance sur le Costa Rica. Mais le joueur désigné du Real Salt Lake Alvaro Saborio a réduit la marque avant que la vedette des Ticos, Bryan Ruiz, ne fixe les chiffres à 2-2 d’un superbe retourné acrobatique.

La route vers le Brésil est encore longue, puisqu’il y a un total de 10 journées à ce dernier tour. La prochaine aura lieu le 22 mars, avec au programme États-Unis - Costa Rica, Honduras - Mexique et Jamaïque - Panama.

06 February 12:06 de la tarde

C’est aujourd’hui que commence le dernier tour des éliminatoires de la Coupe du monde 2014 dans la zone Concacaf. Sans le Canada, vous le savez, mais avec le Mexique, les États-Unis, le Costa Rica, le Honduras, le Panama et la Jamaïque. Trois d’entre eux seront qualifiés directement pour le Brésil, alors que le quatrième jouera un match de barrage contre un pays d’Océanie.

Le sommet de la journée opposera deux nations présentes lors du dernier Mondial, le Honduras et les États-Unis. Le premier objectif des Catrachos est de gagner tous leurs matchs à domicile, explique Victor Bernardez, l’un des nombreux internationaux honduriens à évoluer en MLS. Le déplacement ne s’annonce pas aisé pour les Américains qui, selon Michael Bradley, ne devront pas gaspiller leur énergie à maudire les circonstances hostiles.

L’autre bourreau du Canada, le Panama de Blas Perez (FC Dallas) comptera sur sa solidarité et pense que son heure est venue. Il devra le confirmer chez lui contre un des candidats sérieux à la qualification, le Costa Rica qui a soif de revanche après son échec d’il y a 4 ans. Le dernier affrontement mettra aux prises le Mexique de Giovanni Dos Santos à une équipe de Jamaïque renouvelée mais qui compte encore en ses rangs plusieurs joueurs de MLS.

06 February 10:27 de la mañana

The US national team is in Honduras for their first Hexagonal World Cup qualifier on Wednesday. It's sure to be a tough match.

But for all the talk about the difficulty of getting a result in Honduras, the last time the Yanks played a World Cup qualifier there, they got all three points.

On October 10, 2009, Bob Bradley's US squad headed to San Pedro Sula in need of a good result to secure their qualification to the 2010 World Cup. Mission accomplished, as the US held on for a 3-2 win.

The Americans fell behind early, after Julio Cesar de Leon, but then came back to take a 3-1 lead with two goals from Conor Casey and one from Landon Donovan. De Leon struck a late one to pull los Catrachos within one, and Carlos Pavon, the Honduran legend, skyed a late penalty over the bar, giving the US a vital victory.

Check out the highlights:

 

 

05 February 7:22 de la tarde

If we're to believe the images leaked on TodoSobreCamisetas.com, this is what the USMNT's Centennial jersey will look like in 2013.

The primary feature? It has to be the old-school badge, which replaces the US Soccer Federation logo on today's jerseys.

Do you like this retro jersey better than the sash look? Think they should go with old-fashioned number design on the back? Want to see this crest become the new USSF logo?

Share your thoughts below.