To win or not to win? That is the question as the USMNT gets set to face France in Paris this afternoon (3 p.m. ET, ESPN2 and Univisión).
The USA are a combined 4-16-3 in Europe since 2000 and, while a segment of US national team observers and fans believe results matter, US manager Jurgen Klinsmann does not share the same thinking: "I don't give a crap about win records," he said. "If we can play Spain, Holland, Germany, Argentina and Brazil, I would love to play them every week risking that my win record wouldn't look so good, believe me.”
In a one-on-one interview with Brian Straus of the Sporting News, Klinsmann also explains how some of his player decisions might seem countercurrent because he is thinking about the team and not the individual players: “Some may say, ‘Why is there a Kyle Beckerman right now occupying the No. 6 role, when we have Jermaine Jones playing for Schalke or Michael [Bradley] in Verona and they’re really good players?’ Right now, what I tell [Beckerman] to do, he’s doing it 100 percent.”
For more from Klinsmann, catch this exclusive video interview with MLSsoccer.com’s editor-in-chief Greg Lalas, where the former German international makes clear that Michael Orozco Fiscal is ahead of Omar Gonzalez in the pecking order of defenders. (VIDEO)
Regardless of the difference in international experience between the two sides at the Stade de France today, it’s interesting to see how MLS is averaging just 600 fewer fans per match than France’s Ligue 1 professional league. (FRENCH)
It sounds like it should be a walk in the park for Canada as they travel to St. Kitts and Nevis for a CONCACAF World Cup qualifier in which they only need a draw to advance to the next round. But the canucks are wary of the home side and their bumpy pitch: “They are quite quick in both wide positions and up front. We have to be careful, especially on the counterattack,” said manager Stephen Hart.
In his annual State-of-the-League address, Commissioner Don Garber indicated that he would support a relocation of D.C. United if the club can’t figure out a long-term solution in the nation’s capital.
The Commissioner also spoke about some major plans for refereeing in the United States. According to this report, they could involve one of Mexico’s best referees in recent years, the now-retired Armando Archundia. (SPANISH)
Turning to expansion, veteran soccer writer Michael Lewis is reporting this morning that Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and Belmont Park in Elmont are two additional locations being looked at for a stadium to house an expansion side in New York City.
How about a third stadium in the Tri-State area? Sky Blue of the WPS are looking to build their own facility by 2013 or 2014 in central New Jersey.
Garber indicated that the new owners of the New York Cosmos would attend MLS Cup in LA on Nov. 20. But along with the push for a 20th team in New York, discussions are ongoing with Las Vegas, Detroit and the owners of Orlando City, who confirmed they visited league headquarters yesterday.
The LA Galaxy’s Gonzalez can now add the MLS Best XI next to the Defender of the Year award on his mantelpiece. And he believes that with every award he earns, he moves closer to a US call-up: "It's been very disappointing not being called up. … Winning these sorts of accolades just puts more pressure on them to take a look at me and evaluate if I'm going to be good enough for their team.”
While the Houston Dynamo are losing league MVP finalist Brad Davis for MLS Cup 2011, the LA Galaxy will also be missing out on a starter after news that forward Chad Barrett dislocated his ankle during practice. Adam Cristman would seem to be next in line.
One forward who will be at MLS Cup 2011 is Brian Ching, who is Mr. Houston and in this feature, he’s put on the same pedestal as Hakeem Olajuwon and Nolan Ryan. He confesses how he’d love to score the first goal in the new Dynamo stadium in 2012 and move into the Dynamo’s front office upon retirement.
Earlier today, the US Olympic team registered a 3-1 win over Bochum in a friendly match in Germany. The goals came from Terrence Boyd, Tony Taylor and the Columbus Crew’s Dilly Duka. The match was tied 1-1 at the half and the US started with this lineup: Sean Johnson; Sheanon Williams, Ethan White, Royal-Dominique Fennell, Zarek Valentin; Joe Corona, Amobi Okugo, Mix Diskerud, Greg Garza; Terrence Boyd, Juan Agudelo.
You’ve got to believe Boyd was beside himself after scoring the opener. The Borussia Dortmund player has always said it was his dream to play for the USMNT: “For me, the USA is the greatest country,” he said. “In soccer, it’s not the biggest, but in general, I just love it. I just want to help the States and I want to be part of it all.”
One player who withdrew from U-23 camp is Sporting Kansas City’s Teal Bunbury, who was added after SKC were eliminated from the postseason. He admits playing on a bum ankle in 2011 and needs the rest: “I’m getting treatment on it right now. I’ve been playing on an ankle contusion the whole season, and I kept getting hit there, which just made it worse. That’s why I need a few weeks to make it heal.”
But Bunbury also revealed that he is working with Klinsmann to find a European club he can join for “three or four weeks of training.”
Oh, yes he did. Philadelphia manager Peter Nowak, who is not always conventional in his ways, actually solicited a suggested starting XI from all 28 players in his locker room earlier this season. No word on the final result.
Nowak isn’t joking when he says he’ll be adding to his forward corps. This report claims that “acquiring a quality striker is in the works and he noted he was not averse to getting one by going the designated-player route.”
One of the big news stories from yesterday was former Columbus Crew midfielder David Testo revealing in an interview with Radio Canada that he is gay. Here’s the emotional video of the interview. (VIDEO)
Testo’s former teammates in Vancouver say they knew he was gay: “We accepted him for who he was — a great teammate and an outstanding friend," said the former Whitecaps captain.
It was revealed that Testo's teammates and the Montreal Impact also knew he was gay at the time that they signed him. "We knew David's orientation prior to him joining our club from Vancouver in 2007," said Impact owner Joey Saputo. "During his career in Montreal, he has always been a professional and dedicated player to this club on and off the field."
Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Kasey Keller conducted his final press conference before moving into retirement. So what does a retired player do? “I'll definitely be supporting Drew watching The Price is Right a little bit more often. I've got some morbid curiosity with the Maury Povich show — I don't know why.”
Also difficult to explain how New York Red Bulls manager Hans Backe and Sporting Director Erik Solér don’t seem to be on the same page when it comes to Brian Nielsen. While Backe said he didn’t expect him back, the club’s GM has other plans.
San Jose Earthquakes fans tuning into college football this weekend may want to check out Oregon vs. Stanford and root for one of their own. Oregon linebacker Michael Clay grew up a Quakes fan.
As far as today's televised international matches go: Bosnia host Portugal (2 p.m. ET, ESPN Deportes) in a Euro 2012 playoff first leg, Mexico take on Serbia in an international friendly (9 p.m. ET, TeleFutura) and there’s also an FA Cup first-round match between Cambridge and Wrexham (2:30 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer).
Today will also mark another battle between the LA Galaxy and the New York Red Bulls. Or better, Galaxy forward Robbie Keane and the Republic of Ireland against NYRB’s Joel Lindpere and Estonia in a Euro 2012 first-leg playoff. For Keane, this is a massive moment: “This may be the last opportunity for some of us and we have to grab it with both hands because we have worked so hard.”
Lastly, why would ex-Revolution midfielder Andy Dorman ever confess to this? Apparently he agreed a loan deal to a club that he thought played in the English third division. Turns out they were in the fourth tier of English football.
Best XI debate, USA vs. France and MLS Cup statistics in the latest edition of ExtraTime Radio
The MLS Cup trophy is in LA. Watch where Alexi Lalas takes it on its first day in town
MLS Cup Top 50 Moments: #10 Dwayne De Rosario shows again why he’s Mr. Clutch
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