MLS Talk Podcast: Post T&T Discussion

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Fox Sports Jamie Trecker and World Soccer Reader’s Richard Farley joins us to discuss the following topics.

  • US Player Development in the wake of two lackluster qualifying wins
  • The state of the US program
  • Where the US stacks up against other international sides
  • Mexico’s re-emergence as a power under Javier Aguirre
  • Bob Bradley’s team management
  • The attitude of Americans fans and press
  • Does the US have an issue integrating minority players into its national setup
  • Will the US look at a non-American coach anytime in the near future

This and much more on an action packed MLS Talk Podcast brought to you by Audible.

58 thoughts on “MLS Talk Podcast: Post T&T Discussion”

  1. The dude is a bit excitable…

    Bob Bradley is awful. Unfortunately, that’s what it is. It’s an all-star squad that doesn’t have enough time to work together. See: USA Basketball.

    The Fox dude is right. It’s an academy of finding stars, and not good team play.

    We will do better with a foreign coach, foreign system, and it’s time for a revolution. USSF needs to be turned upside-down.

  2. Usual b/s.

    Let us review some facts for Kartik, Trecker and the new guy.

    FACT…………..The USA leads the Hex
    FACT…………..The USA beat Mexico 2-0 is qualifying
    FACT…………..The USA has more road points than anyone in the Hex
    FACT…………..A USA D team got to the Gold Cup Final beating Honduras A side twice.
    FACT…………..The US got to the final of the second biggest tournament in the world, and beat Spain in the process. The results speak for themselves and after a great summer we are among the top contenders to win the World Cup next year.
    FACT…………..MLS is a better league than Argentina and England outside the top 4. Guillermo Franco, you must know him Kartik as he plays for your favorite national team, Mexico was rejected by multiple MLS clubs but now Estudiantes and West Ham are fighting over his services.

    Disregard this podcast full of pro Mexico, England, and Serbian propaganda and full of anti-Americanism. Heck, didn’t Kartik even say Northern Ireland is better than the US. LOL! Can anyone name a single player from Northern Ireland? Do they have a Donovan or a Gooch?

    1. Hey Sunil or Dan, (it’s either Gulati or Flynn, right?) instead of continuing to lie and attack people who state facts why don’t you do something so that we don’t have to have these sorts of discussions?

    2. Add to that our victory over Honduras in Chicago and you have a hat trick of wins over Honduras “A” side, two in neutral sites.

    3. FACT…………..The USA leads the Hex

      Mexico still plays the two softest teams in the group and were handicapped by Sven for much of qualifying.

      FACT…………..The USA beat Mexico 2-0 is qualifying

      And they have outscored us 7-1 since. Also, match up the squad from that game that Sven choose versus the current Mexico team and you’ll see about 10-12 different names.

      FACT…………..A USA D team got to the Gold Cup Final beating Honduras A side twice.

      Really? I didn’t see David Suazo in the Gold Cup. Wilson Palacios? Hendy Thomas? Amado Guevara? Carlos Pavon? Maynor Figeroua? Osman Chavez?

      Must have missed them all, buddy because if you say it was Honduras’ A side, it must have been.

      FACT…………..The US got to the final of the second biggest tournament in the world, and beat Spain in the process. The results speak for themselves and after a great summer we are among the top contenders to win the World Cup next year.

      The Euros and the Copa America are both much bigger than the Confed Cup. Spain and Italy used the tournament for a vacation and experimentation respectively. Besides, we won two games and lost three in the tournament.

      FACT…………..MLS is a better league than Argentina and England outside the top 4. Guillermo Franco, you must know him Kartik as he plays for your favorite national team, Mexico was rejected by multiple MLS clubs but now Estudiantes and West Ham are fighting over his services.

      MLS couldn’t sign Franco because, he’s too expensive and also wants to keep playing at a high level. That was the reason he didn’t sign.

  3. Truthfully, the signs of this imminent decline were apparent even in Bradley’s early days- the 2007 Gold Cup. We struggled to beat an average Guatemala, looked poor against a T&T “replacement” team since the regulars were striking and needed a PK to beat Panama.

    Then we got two very fortunate calls to beat Canada: truthfully, both calls were totally incorrect and then got a real lucky PK call to beat Mexico.

    While I would place more of the decline on poor player development than on Bradley himself, US Soccer further exacerbated the issues by hiring someone so clearly over their head in the job.

  4. Truthfully, these performances are getting worse and worse, and yet Kartik says its on Bradley and not the players. We have no choice but to fire Bradley because this isn’t club soccer where you can pick new players. This is the USMNT where you are locked into a certain nationality.

    The Mexico game at Azteca, and heck even the Gold Cup Final were more acceptable than these last two efforts against terrible teams where we needed Tim Howard and the ref to bail us out.

  5. I find Kartik’s continuing points about the US based soccer press particularly enlightening. It’s tough to find good constructive criticism of this national team or the structure of US Soccer outside of this website and Trecker’s column.

    Yet the team is worse than at any point since Sampson left the job.

  6. People, don’t base your perceptions of the US program on

    – someone who had their credentials revoked by US Soccer for inaccurate reporting (Trecker)
    – the single biggest proponent of Mexican Soccer in the English language blogosphere (Krishnaiyer)
    – The co-host of a show about Russian Football, who recently listed some Russian club in the world top 10 on WSR. (Farley)

    It’s easy to stack the deck against the USMNT when your host loves Mexico and Germany as Krishnaiyer does, but this is truly a lynching of US Soccer without a fair hearing.


  7. When we get to the World Cup semifinals next year beating England, Italy and Mexico along the way, I wonder where the negativity will be. We are doing what we must do to achieve results on the road. Just what? In the World Cup, their are no road matches. We’ll be seen as a home team in South Africa thanks to the election of Obama, and will ride a wave of good will as we did in the Confederations Cup deep into the tournament.

  8. This team is capable of an upset, but the way we play means we’ll never get far in a tournament chasing games with no possession. It’s not negativity to be objective. I love the USMNT, but we’re mediocre and I’m not buying the whole “consistent improvement” storyline sold to us. I’ll cheer the guys on, but if we get out of the group we’ll get run down and run over by a good team if we can’t play fundamental soccer. The home teams in South Africa will be from the African federations. And yes, GO CREW!

  9. Thanks Kartik for posing my posted question initially.

    Unfortunately, we continue to learn about what is wrong with the national team and US Soccer from you and Trecker but precious little tangible, realistic and achievable suggestions for improvement. Dwelling on lack of “accountability” does not suggest how to make the coaching staff and US Soccer more accountable ( beyond termination). Blaming the lack of coordination between the college game and the pro leagues does not provide viable solutions to get better cooperation. Criticizing the mainstream sports press on their unrealistic view of the level of play in MLS and the USMNT does not provide a means to ensure the press is more realistic in their evaluations.

    We now know what is wrong but how do we make it right? For example, is it realistic under the current circumstances to believe Scolari would have accepted the coaching position?

    With your knowledge and experience as an observer of the game, it is time to provide a set of tangible actions with realistic and achievable goals for soccer considering the extant cultural restraints for soccer in the US.

  10. Did it escape the panel’s attention that we are leading the CONCACAF standings for 2010 World Cup qualification?

    1) Imagine what analysts in Argentina are saying today. Then ask yourself, if I’m hating more than Argentinians, am I overreacting?

    2) When will you guys come to your sense about Mexico? Gio Dos Santos & Cuauhtémoc Blanco, pffffffffffffffff. Those guys BLOW. Those guys don’t even get on the field in Europe. I’d take Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan over those stiffs any day of the week.

    1. There’s a HUGE difference between CONCACAF and CONMEBOL. Most CONCACAF teams would have a very difficult time trying to defeat teams in South America — no matter how poorly Argentina are performing.

      The Gaffer

    2. Again Mexico plays T&T and SLV next, while we play Honduras next. So if we are leading when it’s all said and done, I’d be surprised. Mexico will finish with 21 points in all likelyhood.

      As for Blanco and Gio being worse than Donovan or Dempsey that’s an interesting opinion. When an American player who is active scores a goal like Blanco did in the 98 World Cup, I’ll agree with you. Besides, Andreas Guardado, Carlos Salcido and Rafa Marquez (currently injured) are Mexico’s three best players, not either of the guys you mentioned. Ricardo Osorio who has helped lead Stuttgart to a Bundesliga title and to four straight trips to Europe is another strong candidate.

  11. Kartik, thank you for getting in my question.
    It was nice to hear that Jamie Trecker agreed with me and for the first half of the podcast remained objective in his comments.

    On the whole I must ask at this time to present a response in the name of fairness. I would ask for podcast time to present a reasoned response to the contents of the podcast. A few points:

    1. Mexico is impoved. True enough but the player most responsible is Blanco who is over age, over weight, does not play defense, and could not make the American team if he was a US citizen.

    2. The table does not lie. With two games remaining the US leads the group. In 2006 we did not win the group if I recall correctly. If we win out we will win the group. Fact!

    3. Who played a better game against Honduras at home the US or Mexico. US! I was at Soldier Field, and after a slow start the US controlled the game in front of a pro-Honduras crowd. The Mexico team was lucky to get by with a win in front of their huge crowd. Let’s here some talk about that.

    4. It’s always MLS’s fault. MLS can not keep our best player, so we do not have them to add to the national team as we would like. The biggest factor effecting talent development in the US is that when a young player hit’s high school the football team comes around to pull the player out of soccer. You know the number of NCAA soccer players that come from overseas to fill the teams. Name me the former running back for the U, yes your Miami U, who was considered one of the best soccer players in the State of Illinois until he played football?

    Ok, I could go on and would point to some of the above comments that in fairness need to be aired in a podcast response!

    1. 1- Blanco is not the best player for Mexico, as stated above. Can you objectively look at the US squad and tell me more than 5-7 guys would be considered for the Mexican team.

      2- The US did win the Hex in 06, but Costa Rica did in 02′. Before declaring us the champs you may want to see Mexico’s last two games.

      3- Do you realize the number of top players Honduras was missing that day? Thomas and Suazo were hurt, Rambo suspended, and Palacios was coming off the murder of his brother and looked lost. Besides without the PK call the US draws. Howard had to make a big save late. Given the fact that the US was not challenged in a single Hex game at home last time BEFORE we clinched, the last two games vs HON and SLV have shown serious and I mean serious regression.

      4- Jarrett Payton.

      BTW, I never said it was MLS’ fault. You are just putting words in my mouth. I said it was Bradenton’s fault. Bradenton is not MLS. Bradenton has probably also hurt MLS, and thus explains why people like I don’t think the quality of MLS has improved in sometime.

      1. Kartik:

        Very good on Jarrett Payton.

        I did not claim that you made the MLS is responsible comments but your guests certainily did. Bradenton has it’s issues and needs overhaul, but again talented American’s are now being signed up by European squads before they can get there. ie: Jon Spector.

        Yes, Honduras was lacking that night in June but according to you and your guests which I agree with Honduras is a deep squad with first class talent and according to the view of the US team to apply here, a good squad like Honduras should have performed better.

        I am not declaring the US champs but why did your panel assume that the US can not beat either Honduras or Costa Rica, fact we can beat anybody, ask SPAIN. If we win out we win and we are able to win! So, if that happens Mexico does not win the group.

        I did not claim Blanco was the best player on the Mexico team, just the player most responsible for their comeback to good form. As to US players to play with Mexico, Donovan, Torres, Altidore, Howard, Spector.

        When do the proponents of fairness get their equal time? The podcast interviews after a US game can only be compared to a Fox News view of the news, completely one-sided towards a predetermined postion.

  12. Wait you’re saying Blanco’s good because he scored a goal eleven years ago? Okay Mr. History, Google’s also telling me that he did not one but TWO “frog jumps” in that game. If any US player ever does one of those I demand capital punishment… Anyhow, I’d also take Charlie Davis and Altidore over Mexico’s forwards.

    I honestly don’t understand what planet you guys are on. I just listened to the podcast again… Trecker’s like, “US Soccer is bad because we don’t have a critical sports or media culture in the United States,” an opinion which if you actually stop and consider it for one second, is laughable. Why are, just to take one example, the NBA Clippers a joke and a national disgrace? Because we have journalists saying it and explaining why they suck over and over every day on the radio, TV, and Internet.

    Stop and think. Mexico barely ekes out a win with a pk against Honduras and they’re one of the best teams in the world? If we’re so mediocre and untalented then they should have killed us, right? Then how were we only one unlucky bounce away from drawing them in Azteca last month? We actually did better than Honduras against your Mexican juggernaut, but we suck according to you. I think you guys are way too impressed by that pretty, knock it around style that Mexico plays. That bullshit isn’t going to work against any real teams.

    You better retract this whole bogus podcast if we win in San Pedro Sula next month. I bet we WILL beat Honduras, and I’m gonna enjoy reminding you of it after we do.

    1. break:

      Your points need to be made in a fairness response podcast! IF Honduras is the superior squad that the panel believes it is and the US is uncaring and not motivated then they should of cleaned our clocks!

  13. Honduras gave up zero goals from the run of play, while we gave up two. They forced Ochoa to make 4 saves while we forced him to make none.

    We very well could beat Honduras. But beating Honduras isn’t beating Mexico on the road and it isn’t beating a world power in the World Cup. We beat Honduras in the 01 Hex on the road and yet still finished 3rd.

    I’m amazed that many US fans who clearly don’t watch much non US football always criticize realistic opinions. A year ago on CSRN I was accused by many of being excessively negative about certain players and aspects of the US play and now have heard from some of those who pointed the finger at me saying “wow, we should have listened to you.”

    I’m judging the US by the standard established by the USSF itself.

    Read the Q Report. They said we’d see major imporvement between 1999 and 2009, which I would argue we have not. I don’t see a Reyna, O’Brien etc on this team. Secondly, they said we’d contend for the World Cup title by 2009. What Trecker, myself, Farley and others are doing is MERELY HOLDING US SOCCER ACCOUNTABLE TO THE STANDARD THEY THEMSELVES ESTABLISHED. THEY ARE THE ONES WHO SAID WE COULD WIN THE WORLD CUP BY 2010.

    Somehow, holding the USSF accountable for their own hubris makes us bad guys and irresponsible.

    Rather than take my word for it, I offer a more credible and intelligent analyst of the US game. The one and only Adam Spangler, for my money the top blogger out there. Read what he had to say earlier this summer:

    1. Kartik:

      That brings up another point. Jamie Trecker when he just could not hold back any longer said that fans(ill-informed) had enjoyed the game last night. How many people on your site have said the game was anything but winning ugly at best. Even, yours truly Captain America, has admitted the only good thing about last night was the 3 points on the road. It was a terrible game to watch. Yet Trecker somehow remarks it was found to be enjoyable to many. Where does he come up with this stuff.

      Then the entire panel joined in on how people should be watching other games for better soccer. Attacking the fan base is the last straw.
      It isn’t enough to attack, Bradley, MlS, the USSF, and the US sporting media but the fans. I think an apology is in order to the fans. Even if they where watching a ugly game last night it was OUR TEAM! We should be encouraged to watch so we can build up knowledge of the game and the team.

  14. So you can not articulate an opinion contrary to what may be (perceived) good for US Soccer? We are discussing certain fans who instead of simply listening and accepting that others may have a different point of view choose to attack people like Jamie Trecker personally and viscerally.

    If I offended any fans, I am sorry, but keep in mind this discussion was aimed at those fans who by their actions and words on various message boards and websites (and via email) believe any analysis of the US game must be strictly positive and encouraging OUR fans to understand football from a global perspective so that they can help OUR program improve rather than continuing an insular minded perspective should be encouraged.

    This is after all America where free speech and divergent points of view are encouraged.

    As for me, I have stated repeatedly over the past two months that Bob Bradley SHOULD NOT be fired. That position too has earned me the scorn of many on the other side.

    The above comments that imply I root for Mexico are laughable. You can ask the people who talk on the phone with me on match days my opinions of Mexico, and why I am so interested in watching Mexico’s games.


    The “we must uncritically support the USMNT” crowd had personalized the argument. I have literally spent thousands of dollars of my own money following and supporting this team for over 20 years. I’ve been to dozens of USMNT games in my life, and all but one I paid for the ticket.

    But yet somehow having an opinion about the team or in my case the program as a whole (again, I don’t fault this manager but the overall structure) makes me the enemy.

    That’s not what America is about.

  15. Kartik:

    I APPLAUD your work to spotlight the excellent soccer played throughout the Concacaf region. American’s should watch and appreciate Mexican football. You are doing a service.

    I will even modify my comments to state that if a fan found something entertaining in last nights game great for that fan. Thats what is being a true fan is about, if anyone walked away from the TV last night and said the US got 3 points and I’m happy, good for them. Yet, I find few people who said that.

    It is everyone’s right to voice their opinion but just as many in this country will not give President Obama’s adminstration a fair chance, the post game podcasts have become nothing but a report on whats wrong with US soccer. It could be easily said that with the US getting 3 points with a weak performance v. T&T they took the lead in the group and if they win out they win the group. Yet we heard that Mexico is a top 8 team, so much better then the US, and we then went down the much traveled road of Bradley and Federation attacks. Think about this, the majority of the panel wants to fire a coach that has won a Gold Cup, finished second with a C team in another, finished second in the Confed. Cup, and has the US LEADING IT’S GROUP WITH 2 GAMES LEFT AND QUALIFICATON ALMOST ASSURED!

    Yes, all is not well, we start slow, the midfield has got lost in space, depth is a problem, does the team have a leader on the field, are key players too young to be counted on for great things in South Africa, and yes, the whole development process seems to need re-working since many players now are just going off to Europe to develop, and we have no national style of play.

    I believe that a more balanced podcast of post game reaction needs to be presented, that is all. I believe Jamie Trecker is wrong but should be given a forum to express it , he has a right to be wrong. Let’s just present the other side of the coin at the same time. A more balanced panel may have worked better.

    Can’t wait for the Honduras post game pod!

  16. I believe some good thoughts were presented but it was also a bitch fest and I don’t believe Mex is anywhere similar mentally to the US, so I really believe comparing certain approaches to the game are apples to oranges.

    I’m sorry Trekker sucks..for every good thing he states he says five stupid things. His hopes rest on a forgeign coach? What happens if the coach and his workman like players do not mix? Only Hiddink has coached US type talent to anything? Scolari? Is Uzbekistan going to the WC? Jamie…when all you do is tell US Soccer that they are wrong on everything…aren’t you doing the same thing you accuse USF of doing?

    Farley…So Dempsey showboating against Honduras and losing the ball and causing the US to go down a goal is because he doesn’t get the love and press that he gets at Fulham? It is the F@@@Ing National Team!!! Guys are busting hump for lesser countries than the US and they receive far less “love” at the supermarket than Dempsey. It is the nature of the beast here in the States, Farley should be ashamed for making excuses for guys who do not perform because Europe is so much soccer loving!

    One positive note- The Holland reference I have heard before and that worries me more than talent. We have seen many less talented teams win big games because they PLAYED LIKE A TEAM> Maybe it is a bigger problem than it is being reported. Trekker should I don’t know….report instead of critiquing from on high.

    1. Another great point Chris. The players do not care about the team since fans do not say hello to them in the supermarket. WOW! That is an insightful comment from someone who is supposed to have some insight into the game.

      Yes, agreed why after a objective start did the panel have to turn as you say into a bitch fest I do not know.

  17. Hi all … lots of good stuff in this thread. I would love to have an opportunity to interact with everybody, but I’m a bit late to the party. I would encourage anybody who has feedback – positive or negative – to get in touch with me. My information should be at My email contact is in the upper-right, describing box on that site’s home page.

    Just wanted to offer everybody that outlet. I think on a lot of these issues (where people are starting to feel like there is lopsided coverage) one-on-one interaction might be better.

  18. Richard:

    Your invitation for one on one interaction is greatly appreciated and very good of you. I and others should take you up on it. I have encouraged publicly that all fans of US Soccer should listen to the podcast and voice their opinion here. I think fairness requires a rebuttal podcast with someone who can express much of the feelings expressed above that while the T&T game was not the USA team at it’s best the team in this Summer of Soccer has had achievements never seen before by a US side as well as meeting it’s goal of a winning a ticket to the big one in 2010.

  19. Anyone who wants to comment can also write me directly, and they will get a response. As most fans know, I respond to all my email, as time permits. (Some people get lucky and get a response that day, other have had to wait a couple of weeks, for which I always apologise. But, I get 800 emails a week on average, so I hope folks understand.)

    My opinions, of course, are just that. I don’t expect everyone (or anyone) to agree with them. I do hope they think about them, because they are informed by a long history covering this sport at the global level. Finally, I’m always happy to engage in rational, polite discussion with folks, whether they agree with me or not. I hope others would do the same.

    One comment on here that I cannot allow to go unchallenged is the allegation that I had my credential revoked by U.S. Soccer for “incorrect reporting.” That is simply untrue. My credential was revoked, in their words, because “I did not meet their standards.”

    In my view, this meant they didn’t agree with what I wrote. That is fine. But to say I wrote things that were incorrect is not, because I didn’t.

    What I did do was report things that they were uncomfortable with being aired. That’s part of my — and every journalist’s —job. Also, I am hardly the first journalist to be “punished” for uncovering such things. Time and the facts have shown my original reporting on all these stories were completely accurate. If you wish to read what others have said about this situation, you can check out the story the Big Lead wrote about it a week or so ago.

    1. Jamie, I appreciate your invitation and have publicly stated that you are a wonderful writer.I hope you will be doing a book on the next WC I think you make many valid points which just because they are not popular does not reflect on their validity. For expressing an opinion right or wrong, correct or incorrect , the actions of the USSF towards you are WRONG.

      I would hope people express their point of view to you in a rational way. What has always attracted me to Kartik’s site and work is the quality of the writers and the materials he presents to the public. The people that come to this site by far are looking for more than just my team is great and yours sucks talk. Soccer like no other sport imho brings out the passion in people. So we get more passionate opinions than say hockey talk.

      Maybe this last podcast just expressed the views of liked minded people, nothing wrong with that but it then left the total presentation unbalanced to people who hold the other views. Yet let me state that the panel seemed to endorse the idea that fans cause players lack of interest and that watching another nations game, while of value on it’s own merits, should replace watching the US team. All of us should encourage fans to watch and express their opinions about how bad or good the team played. Fan interest or lack thereof should have no bearing on the players efforts and I think we can all agree on that.

      I look forward to future podcasts with you.

  20. My gripe is not with the panel’s opinion; it is a blog podcast after all… But accentuating the negative without providing clearcut tangible and achievable actions becomes just poisoned hot air. If we have realistic alternatives to the current strategy than the interested but ill-informed unwashed masses (like myself) can make an assessment as to the validity of the negative arguments.

    I look forward to Kartik’s upcoming “white paper” and suggest Messers Trecker and Farley prepare the same.


  21. The most offensive thing on the this podcast was the implication that Serbia and Slovakia is better than us.

    Have they beaten Spain this year?

    Do they dominate the their rivals the way we dominate Mexico?

    Do they have a single player on either team the caliber of Donovan, Dempsey or Howard?

    Has anyone even heard of a single player on either country?

    See you in South Africa. We’re through to the next round with 6 pts if we get grouped with these two teams, that is if they actually make it.

  22. Good one SAWR. I can name not one player on either team. I know Eduardo and Kranjcar on Croatia, but they suck anyhow. Slovakia and Serbia probably would lose to us even with a combined all star team.

    Also, can you imagine if the US were in England’s qualifying group? We’d be cruising and maybe people would say “wow the US beat Belarus, now they are going to win the World Cup.”

    Kartik also said that Northern Ireland is better than the US. What a freaking joke! Northern Ireland? What’s next, K, Wales? Lower Saxony? West Sussex?

    You are a total tool.

    1. wow, you two sound like the typical england fan. funny logic: i’ve never heard of these people or their clubs, ergo they must suck.

      and you bet we’d get beaten at windsor park.

  23. Tthe Soccer IQ on the people leaving comments is shocking. Serbia is probably better than the US.

    Nemanja Vidic? Yeah…who the fuck is that guy, he only plays for a little team from just outside Manchester. Not Watford, the other one.

    Serbia is better than the US, the truth hurts buddy.

  24. Krishnaiyer cut off Trecker to state that Slovakia and Northern Ireland were both better than the US. The FIFA rankings put us 11th and those two countries much much lower.

    Also can anyone name a single player for either country? Everyone worldwide knows Landon, Howard, Gooch and Dempsey.

    Slovakia in particular is a joke. I do not think they have ever had a good player that we can recall.

  25. Vidic>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Anybody on the US
    Stankovic>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Anybody on the US
    Tosac>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Soon to be anybody on the US
    Subotic remember him?>>>>>>>>> Anybody on the US

    I am a USMNT fan but come on people nobody in are entire player pool is a starter for a top club.

  26. If the US is as good as some people think it is they should put their money where their mouth is and make some significant wagers whenthe world cup rolls around. The US will at most be favored in one of their games.

  27. Here’s a comment from MLS Talk reader Kevin who tried to post, but he encountered server issues:

    Listening to your analysis for the T&T game and mostly I could not agree more. I actually thought Harks was very mild in his criticism during the broadcast. The effort put out by a few players was pathetic and SAMFEUL in my (admittedly rather ignorant) view.

    In particular and most glaring for me was Clint Dempsey. He was embarrassingly lackizadical with the ball and for much of the game looked like he was mailing it in. To me that is largely an indictment of Bradley – he is failing to instill a sense of urgency into a few key players. Bradley should have pulled Dempsey at half time – if not sooner – if for no other reason than to send a clear message to the REST OF THE TEAM that this kind of attitude will NOT be tolerated.

    I acknowledge that Clint started the series that led to the goal. Had he been pulled perhaps we would have left with only a point. Yet I still say it would have been better for the team all in the long run (though I realize that’s a dangerous game). To me Bradley isn’t demonstrating to the team that he demands high effort and commitment.

    I want to point out a small thing that just SCREAMED out to me what was going on with Dempsey. Perhaps I am just not an astute enough student of the game yet to understand this small thing.,.. up until Altidore was pulled and Dempsey was moved up front… Clint’s had his socks pushed down to his shoes (the only player on the pitch adorned as such). For me it just emanated a “I don’t really care” attitude. I thought perhaps the guy was sick – maybe playing dazed such that he forgot to pull them up. But when he was moved up front he literally pulled up his socks at that very moment (while Altidore walked off) and was suddenly was a far more engaged player.

    I believe this is a team that talent wise could annihilate T&T – the issue here is lack of effort (as well as tactics). Again, to me that is a coaching issue and its why I personally would favor Dom Kinear over Bradley – Dom’s team always takes the field with passion and commitment (in this way their teams seem to reflect the coach as a man). Yes I know Dom has no international experience – but are we really seeing some tactical advantage from Bradley’s experience? I’m skeptical…

  28. I tend to agree with some of the points made on this pod, particularly regarding Bob Bradley and our stunted national development system; however I think you guys were engaging in a little too much groupthink when channeling your negativity. I will take issue with a couple of themes.

    You say Landon Donovan is neither a top 20 nor top 100 player? Really? I guess you guys don’t remember long stretches of the games against Spain and Brazil when he was the best player on the field. Sorry, guys – Landon has been dominant of late on many levels and is the best, most feared player in the region.

    The assertion that we lack the talent of teams past is another sticking point. Clamoring for Reyna and the one good year of John O’Brien I can understand, and yet Claudio was continuously hounded by the U.S. faithful for playing too negatively and never truly playing as a #10. I fully expect that some combo of German Jones, Bradley, and Feilhaber will have the middle in good shape by next year. And were Earnie Stewart and Joe-Max Moore better than some combination of Jozy, Dempsey, and Davies? More experienced? Yes. Better? doubtful. I miss Eddie Pope as much as anyone, but Gooch and DeMerit 09-10 should be better than Gooch-Pope 06 or Agoos-Pope 02. Spector is also a more complete backline player than earlier counterparts. And once again, Landon 09 is better than anyone we’ve ever had.

    I believe Jamie Trekker hit on the biggest problem towards the end of the pod. Bob is too comfortable selecting ‘his’ guys and too conservative in his overall approach. This had led to certain players looking confused and certain others looking less than motivated. That had to be one of the worst performances I’ve seen out of Dempsey, yet I’ll bet he starts the next game. And Michael Bradley has looked inconsistent and worn down, and yet he (and Bocanegra) seem automatic for 90.

    Finally, why even engage in comparing teams like Slovakia or Serbia or Northern Ireland to the U.S.? Just because the Serbs have Vidic and Stankovic and the Slovaks have a bunch of journeymen in the Bundesliga and EPL means very little to me. I hope we draw Serbia or Slovakia or Ivory Coast next summer — I hope we do. Because that’s the only place you settle these hypotheticals, on the pitch. And if ol’ Bob can somehow get everyone on the same page, well, I still hold out hope for some kind of run next year.

    Anyway check my blog (Beemsville) for more on this and the occasional other quirky stuff. I think I fit Kartik’s profile of the rabidly loyal U.S. fan, and yet I’m trying to expand my knowledge and understanding of the overall soccer climate in this country.

  29. Based on the comments by some of you here we’re going to win the World Cup based on a Confederations Cup run…..a glorified friendly tournament.

    Mexico won the 1999 Confederations Cup AND they beat Brazil!! How did their 2002 run turn out? How about France in 2001?

    The FIFA rankings are retarded. Remember when we were in the top 8 heading into the last World Cup?

    It’s a false sense of reality caused by refusing to think and just follow the crowd.

    Stand back for a moment and tell me how does beating Spain (which was in a way luck) and ALMOST beating Brazil in the Confed Cup say we’re WC contenders?

    Did you guys forget our 3-1 loss to Italy? Don’t give me that 10 man crap either because we played with 9 men in the WC and got a draw out of them.

    What about our 3-0 disaster against Brazil the first time around?

    What about getting a lucky tie in El Salvador and having to rally twice at home to beat Honduras and El Salvador?

    What about being lucky not to be behind against T&T before Rico scored his rocket?

    How about taking the lead at Azteca and not getting a shot on goal the rest of the match?

    What happened in Costa Rica? Mexico wiped them out at the Saprissa!!

    Tell me how this team is a World Cup contender under Bob Bradley. Stupid tactics, dumb subtitutions, bunker ball, etc.

    Do you even realize that with a loss in Honduras and a Costa Rica win against T&T we would have to play a virtual playoff at RFK to avoid playing a CONMEBOL team? We’re not out of the woods guys.

    And by guys I mean fools like LLCJ posting dumb things like MLS being better than Argentina or England.

  30. The fact that many US supporters are upset when the US wins is a good sign, it means we expect more than we did 10,15, or 20 years ago. It’s not nearly enough to just qualify for the world cup, we need to do it without stumbling our way through or counting on our opponents to get results that improve our position. It also means that the American supporter is getting smarter, understanding the international game, seeing more matches. The American fan wants to see good possesion, good passing, but instead we’ve seen an inability to create and combine for sustained periods of time. After what looks to be our sixth consecutive World Cup we thought we would have come further than this.

  31. “The fact that many US supporters are upset when the US wins is a good sign, it means we expect more than we did 10,15, or 20 years ago.”

    Agreed. I believe (somewhat contrary to this pod) that we do have solid talent on the side. It’s that belief that makes me a passionate fan that demands consistent effort and good tactics (if we just sucked then I’d not care so much – I think otherwise so I do care).

    Talent should be the hardest element for the US to conjure (given competition for talent is so extreme from other sports). Our boys are, in my opinion, capable of good play. I’m a huge supporter of the team (very much including Dempsy) –which just makes me all the more un-accepting of anything less than maximum effort and very impatient with poor tactics/coaching (our boys just deserve better).

    (Christopher thanks for posting my earlier comments – apologies for the momentary lapse referencing “shoes” rather than “boots” on my random nit comment…)

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