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USA Soccer joins the rest of the world

For the first time since the USA arrived on the international soccer scene our top senior players are following the example of other nation’s top players and retiring after the World Cup. Eddie Pope has become the latest player to call it quits on a national team career, joining Brian McBride and Claudio Reyna. In my opinion, the fact that our more senior players tried to hang on to national team glory well past their prime inhibited the development of younger players and in the late Steve Sampson era caused open rebellion within the squad. While we have had some fantastic players in their 30s, many of those same players have tried to reclaim past glory well past the proper time to call it quits. A few like Jeff Agoos just wanted a chance to play in a World Cup. Others like Roy Wegerle and Thomas Dooley just flat out played beyond the point when they could be helpful to the national team.

Claudio Reyna, Brian McBride and Eddie Pope have not only been great warriors for the national team but they now have added to their legacy with this important precedent they have set. The tradition of timely international retirements has worked for the top national teams in the world and let’s hope that this fine example is followed in the future and bears similar fruits for our national team.

About Kartik Krishnaiyer

A lifelong lover of soccer, the beautiful game, he served from January 2010 until May 2013 as the Director of Communications and Public Relations for the North American Soccer League (NASL). Raised on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the old NASL, Krishnaiyer previously hosted the American Soccer Show on the Champions Soccer Radio Network, the Major League Soccer Talk podcast and the EPL Talk Podcast. His soccer writing has been featured by several media outlets including The Guardian and The Telegraph. He is the author of the book Blue With Envy about Manchester City FC. View all posts by Kartik Krishnaiyer →
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4 Responses to USA Soccer joins the rest of the world

  1. DC United Fan says:

    I am very dissapointed that Pope has retired early from the national team. Considering we aren’t exactly producing crack central backs, Pope’s expeirence and savvy could still be a major asset in qualifying.

  2. Harvey says:

    A job well done for all 3. Let us all pray that Donovan and Beasley get their act together and go out in such a classy manner on their own terms 10 years from now.

  3. Federico says:

    I don’t agree Kartik. Mexico keeps their players going until they can no longer play and that helps groom the younger guys. US could still use Pope and Reyna as leaders for the young ones.

  4. hugo perez says:

    USA changing coaches has to be a contributing factor for these older players.

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