Kick Off: USA pick up good vibrations in Klinsi's debut

Kick Off - Jurgen Klinsmann, August 10, 2011

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

Get used to it, folks.

The 1-1 tie between the US national team and Mexico on Wednesday led MLSsoccer.com’s Nick Firchau to coin the phrase that best describes this new era under Jurgen Klinsmann: “The grin is in.”

In fact there’s an entirely brand new lexicon that was introduced in Philadelphia to describe a national team performance: “fun,” “energy,” “excitement,” “confidence,” “positive” and even “enjoyable” and “pleasure” sprinkled in for good measure.

Those were the vibes from Lincoln Financial Field, where a halftime injection of young MLS talent turned the tide of a match that started with one of the most inept halves of soccer ever played by a US team in recent memory.

FC Dallas midfielder Brek Shea, who along with Columbus’ Robbie Rogers and New York’s Juan Agudelo changed the fortunes of the USA, explained the Klinsmann effect: “He definitely brings positive energy. He’s all about, ‘If you mess up, no big deal. Just go and do it on the next play.’ I really like that about him. … To have the freedom to do what you like and not really have a set, ‘You have to do this or this,’ It just gives a player that much more confidence.”

Fans will have noticed that the starters wore jerseys numbered 1 through 11 and there were no names on the back. Klinsmann provides the rationale: “It’s a signal that there’s a fight going on for those numbers.”

In addition to Klinsmann’s debut, yesterday will be remembered for the television deal that will see MLS action showcased on NBC Sports beginning in 2012. The impetus of the deal was explained by MLS Commissioner Don Garber: "NBC is really famous for promoting their partners, and that's a big driver in our decision to do a deal with them."

NBC programming chief Jon Miller explained what that promotion will entail: “We won’t just be promoting Major League Soccer inside soccer games. We’ll be promoting Major League Soccer inside Notre Dame football games, the NHL, Indy Car, PGA Tour golf, obviously the Olympics next summer.”

Will Freddy Adu's smile feature on the peacock network? In what would turn out to be the blockbuster move of the summer, reports indicate that Chivas USA have “substantial interest” in acquiring the US national team midfielder. The MLS international transfer window closes on Sunday.

Something else to keep an eye on this weekend: Who will start in goal for Vancouver, Jay Nolly or Joe Cannon?

Staying with the Whitecaps, few would have bet on seeing the oft-injured John Thorrington and Jay DeMerit together on the field at the same time this season. But it may very well happen in DC as a result of a physiotherapist’s work to change their mechanics.

Vancouver rivals Montreal Impact hired Jesse Marsch as their new manager yesterday and the former USMNT assistant reveals that he had been in talks with the club before Bob Bradley was replaced by Klinsmann. Marsch has been preparing for a head coaching job for a while: "I almost considered the latter part of my career like a research project.”

Good news for Houston Dynamo fans: forward Carlo Costly scored both of his country’s goals in Honduras’ 2-0 win over Venezuela in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., last night.

What's more, reports in Mexico claim that Atlas will be loaning out Mexican Under-17 World Cup champion Antonio “El Pollo” Briseño in order for him to get more playing time. The destination is reportedly Houston. (SPANISH)

Also from Mexico, speculation is that former national team midfielder Ramón Morales will announce he is joining an MLS club or retiring in a press conference to be held later today. (SPANISH)

In other international news, Germany beat Brazil 3-2 and Italy downed World Cup champions Spain 2-1 in the two other high profile friendlies from Wednesday. Meanwhile, on the Under-20 level, Spain will face Brazil in the quarterfinals and France will match up against Nigeria after all four nations won their second-round matches at the U-20 World Cup in Colombia.

While the drama surrounding Cesc Fàbregas’ move from Arsenal to Barcelona seems to be nearing its conclusion, the big news in England is Tottenham scrapping their home opener against Everton due to the unrest in London. So no Brad Friedel vs. Tim Howard on the EPL’s opening weekend.

Speaking of Friedel, he’s not exactly endorsing fellow American Brad Guzan for the starting spot at Aston Villa in this article in which he sings the praises of another netminder.

We’ve seen bobbleheads of many players since the craze first swept the nation. But a bobblehead of a coach? Find out what Seattle Sounders manager Sigi Schmid thinks of the likeness created of him in commemoration of his 150th career win as an MLS coach. (PHOTO)

More product unveilings: Two new kits of Europe’s high-profile clubs have been released. It turns out Real Madrid will be wearing an all-red kit during select Champions League matches while Chelsea have a new look for their third strip.

Remember not too long ago an artist endeavored to create soccer kits for NFL teams? Well, now it’s time for NHL hockey teams to get the same treatment.

MLSsoccer.com Must-Reads:

US player ratings vs. Mexico: Highest rated player came off the bench, the lowest plays in Europe

Twitter Talk: US comes back to tie Mexico in Klinsmann’s debut and Twitterverse reacts

Ex-US manager Bob Bradley comments on Jesse Marsch’s hiring by Montreal Impact


Get the The Kick-Off delivered to you!

Enter your email address below to sign up for The Kick-Off mailing list and get it delivered to your inbox every morning.

E-mail: