Like many American soccer fans, I’m very excited with Juergen Klinsmann taking over the reigns of the U.S. national team. I was never a fan of Bob Bradley and am very happy to see Klinsmann agree to the job.
But this gets to a point I’ve always been a bit iffy on in soccer: Should national team coaches be allowed to come from a different country as the one they coach?
Klinsmann is German born, played for the German national team and coached the team as well. If all U.S. players must be Americans in order to play, shouldn’t Klinsmann have to be American in order to coach? Sure, FIFA has rules that allow teams to switch national teams (Jermaine Jones has dual-citizenship for the U.S. and Germany and chose the U.S. after playing three friendlies for Germany), but those rules don’t even exist for coaching.
Klinsmann doesn’t need to have American citizenship and doesn’t need to have any connection to the United States even. U.S. soccer president Sunil Gulati could hire Maradona tomorrow and under FIFA rules, that’s entirely acceptable.
Right now, England’s manager is Fabio Capello, an Italian. When he was introduced in 2010, FIFA president Sepp Blatter criticized the move, saying “I would say it is a little surprising that the motherland of football has ignored a sacrosanct law or belief that the national team manager should be from the same country as the players.”
Well Sepp, why isn’t it a rule? Why shouldn’t each soccer federation be comprised entirely of people born in that country – or at least with citizenship from that country? From players to trainers to coaches to scouts, everyone should be equal.
So while I am certainly excited about Klinsmann taking the job, it is tainted with a slight bad taste of a non-American coaching the team. Even so, that’s a rule Blatter should change and until then, I’m looking forward to Klinsmann bringing this team to its full potential.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the invasion may have begun. This summer, soccer has received more media attention and ESPN coverage than ever in the United States. Between the US’s World Cup Qualifying, the Confederations Cup, and the Gold Cup, the USMNT has been on tva lot. Now add in all of those friendlies between various American clubs and the superpowers over in Europe. Real Madrid, AC Milan, Barcelona, Chelsea, and Inter Milan all drew HUGE crowds in stadiums across the country and ESPN televised every game. And at least once a week, if not more, ESPN showed an MLS game. Soccer was more prominent in the United States than ever before during this Summer.
Now, the step is even bigged. ESPN is showing the Premier League and La Liga matches every weekend. That is a MASSIVE step. A lot of the reasons why American don’t follow soccer is that it’s tough to watch the games and to follow the sport. Well now, every weekend morning you can wake up to the best teams in the world playing live, meaningful games on a common station. For soccer fans living in the US, this is extraordinarily exciting. For me, I get to watch my favorite team, Real Madrid, every Sunday morning. Of course, I watched them before on other networks, but watching on ESPN adds so much more. Continue reading “Soccer, Soccer, Soccer”
Most people have stopped following the US Men’s National Team after it’s tough loss to Brazil in the finals of the Confederations Cup. The US has actually been participating in the Gold Cup, a tournament for teams in the Americas, over the last several weeks. The matches have all taken place on US soil and the United States has used almost no players who played in the Confederations Cup, but nevertheless, the United States will face Mexico in the Finals tomorrow at Giants Stadium.
For those that have watched the games, the United States certainly hasn’t run over its opponents. The US won the games they needed to win, but didn’t demolish anyone and weren’t at the form seen in South Africa. That would make sense though since the roster has just four carryovers – Freddy Adu, Charlie Davies, Heath Pearce, and Luis Robles. Seven players were looking for their first cap while sixteen of the twenty-three man roster have less than five caps. The team looked nothing like the Confederations Cup roster yet they find themselves winning games and advancing. Continue reading “US Soccer Continues To Impress”