Kick Off: Klinsmann's tough love for Dempsey, Donovan
Jurgen Klinsmann has impressed hungry US soccer fans with his words just as much as his actions since taking over for Bob Bradley in the summer of 2011.
Telling Mexico they’re the ones who might not make the World Cup? Questioning Landon Donovan’s commitment? Calling out Jozy Altidore? Been there, done that.
The US coach’s latest feat is certainly worth a look thanks to Wall Street Journal writer Matthew Futterman, who evidently spoke with Klinsmann last week about his expectations for 2013 and what he expects from players like Donovan and, perhaps most notably, US star Clint Dempsey.
"[Dempsey] hasn't made s---,” Klinsmann says. “You play for Fulham? Yeah, so? Show me you can play for a Champions League team, and then you start on a Champions League team. There is always another level. If you one day reach the highest level, then you've got to confirm it, every year."
Klinsmann and the US team are now six days away from that international tuneup against Canada at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, but they’re two players lighter due to injury. News broke on Tuesday that both Colorado Rapids striker Edson Buddle and San Jose Earthquakes defender Steven Beitashour are headed home, and no reinforcements are on the way.
Despite the losses, the Americans were apparently victorious in their first real action since camp convened earlier this month. Find out who scored in a closed-door scrimmage against Club Tijuana’s reserve team on Tuesday night in LA.
Offseason foot surgery kept Brek Shea out of the US camp this time around, but doesn’t mean the FC Dallas winger is having a quiet preseason. After news broke last week that Shea has been linked to a potential move to EPL side Stoke City, he showed up at the first day of FCD training on Monday night, leaving head coach Schellas Hyndman to try and explain the latest word on Shea’s rumored move abroad.
Meanwhile, Brian Straus of the Sporting News reports that the Shea situation sounds a lot like last year’s saga with former Houston Dynamo defender Geoff Cameron, with MLS holding up the deal while it tries to determine if the price is right.
And Stoke manager Tony Pulis is telling reporters that he doesn’t envision any deal getting done before the end of the month.
No such player personnel dilemmas up in Toronto, where they finally have an arrival date for new head coach Ryan Nelsen. Turns out that the EPL veteran will play his last game with Queens Park Rangers next Tuesday before reporting for duty in Toronto on Feb. 1.
“The media over there are pretty ruthless; The fans are pretty ruthless,” Nelsen said of leaving QPR mid-season. “It just had to be handled properly. Unfortunately, it probably didn’t sound great. … I’m just really looking forward to properly getting [to Toronto] full-time.”
Toronto FC also announced on Tuesday that another new face will join the ranks in the form of longtime MLS goalkeeper Pat Onstad, who’s leaving his post as D.C. United goalkeepers coach to become TFC’s chief scout and manager of football partnerships.
If we’re talking about offseason coaching changes, there’s no bigger story than the gaping hole at the end of the bench for the New York Red Bulls, the only team in MLS to begin the preseason with an interim head coach. And it may have just gotten worse, if reports are true that their latest No.1 candidate, former Portuguese international Paulo Sousa, doesn’t want the gig.
Despite the lack of a head coach, the Red Bulls were one of the most active teams in the MLS Supplemental Draft on Tuesday. Read the report here and check out the pick-by-pick results of the four-round draft.
What value does the Supplemental Draft hold? We know names like Chris Wondolowski and Jeff Larentowicz have come out of the event, but NBC Sports’ Steve Davis wonders how many gems MLS fans will find from the players taken on Tuesday.
With preseason camp opening this week for MLS teams, the personnel moves are coming fast and furious across the league. And there’s no bigger name apparently on the move than superstar striker Juan Pablo Ángel, who is apparently calling it a career in MLS by leaving Chivas USA and joining Medellin-based Atlético Nacional in his native Colombia. No confirmation yet from the Goats on this one.
One other move for the Goats on Tuesday: They acquired the rights to another Mexican-American, Eric Avila, in exchange for the rights to former All-Star midfielder Nick LaBrocca, which were traded to the Colorado Rapids.
The Columbus Crew are busy at work, too, with one big signing in the books and a potential trade looming later this week. The club announced Tuesday they’ve added a Brazilian center back to pair with Chad Marshall, and they’re currently shopping midfielder Dilly Duka with hopes of finding a deal in the coming days.
Did the Montreal Impact make a mistake during last week’s MLS SuperDraft, or did they grab one of the most talented players in the draft? Either way it looks like their second-round pick, Louisville’s Paolo DelPiccolo, is off to a career in Germany.
The Impact will hold his rights for two years, and the club is hopeful he’ll return at some point in the future. The door is always open.
The Vancouver Whitecaps could be bringing in a new kind of player to MLS this season: a Japanese No. 10. Find out who’s in Martin Rennie’s camp today.
Fans in Philadelphia are still buzzing about the end of the Freddy Adu experiment, but was it really a big surprise that his time there has come to an end? Goal.com’s Keith Hickey takes the obligatory look at all the stops in Adu's career.
When the MLS schedule was released earlier this month, Real Salt Lake fans may have noticed one thing: It’s going to be tough to catch the Claret-and-Cobalt on national television. The Salt Lake Tribune is wondering what’s going on.
There’s positive news in the Cascadia Cup trademark saga, with league officials and Cascadia supporters recently holding a conference call that the supporters are calling “productive and respectful.”
Two quick stadium notes from New York and Washington, D.C.: A number of local businesses are getting behind the plans for a stadium in the heart of Queens, and here’s a look at a photo gallery of the proposed stadium site in Buzzard Point.
Some quick international news: Houston’s Boniek Garcia played a big part in Honduras’ success at the Centroamerica Cup this week. Check out the results (and who will play a one-off to get into the Gold Cup) here.
Yardwork with a purpose? Must be Dribble Oregon, which has come to a close in Astoria. Check out Portland Timbers captain Jack Jewsbury getting back to nature (VIDEO).
And last but not least, there’s been a David Beckham sighting at Chelsea that has the British press buzzing. But it’s not the Becks you might expect.
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