Monday, November 17, 2014

MLS v. US Soccer - Round 1

Jurgen Klinsmann firm on young player advice as MLS frustration grows

On Oct. 15, Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber took issue with U.S. national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann for comments that were deemed "detrimental" to MLS.

Garber objected to Klinsmann saying it would be "very difficult" for U.S. internationals Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey to maintain their best form after the duo returned to play in MLS after extended spells in Europe.

Now it appears there was more to Garber's ire than met the eye. Seattle Sounders minority owner Adrian Hanauer, Philadelphia Union CEO and operating partner Nick Sakiewicz, and several other sources have told ESPN FC that there is growing frustration within the league over the advice Klinsmann and U.S. soccer staff are giving to youth national team and MLS academy players. ...

See the whole story here, courtesy of ESPN.

Kicking Back Comments:

Now when this matter first came up publicly abound mid-October seemed kind bad ... but honestly after thinking abut it from the larger perspective it is great for US players and still bad for US referees.

On the player side, why shouldn't a player who is good enough, and having a coach who has the connections, look at a chance to play in Europe? I would think the relative test is what is in the best interest of the player, right? 

I hate to say it, but European soccer is better than MLS and if the commish is looking to strong-arm the US Soccer coaching staff in not recommending looking abroad, same on MLS. Now, if that same staff is ONLY recommending playing abroad, that is another matter entirely. There seems to be no outward indication of this however.

For referees, the news remains bleak. Although there is an exchange program that is going on now within MLS (and has been for some time - remember 1997 when Japanese referee Toru Kamikawa officiated numerous MLS matches and American referee Tim Weyland officiated J-League matches?) I will be a believer when one of these guys comes over here for MLS, and one of these guys does a match on the other side of the pond.

Until then, or when the league gains more international acclaim (I think it has some now) referees in this country will continue to be discriminated against without regard to being very, very skilled in the art as Mark Geiger showed the world earlier this year.

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