U.S. Earns Victory Over Turkey
U.S. Earns Victory Over Turkey avatar

Harrison, N.J. – The U.S. MNT continued on the road to Brazil with a 2-1 win over Turkey today at a sold out Red Bull Arena, in Harrison New Jersey.

The U.S. celebrate Fabian Johnson's goal against Turkey. (ISI Photos/John Todd)

The U.S. celebrate Fabian Johnson’s goal against Turkey. (ISI Photos/John Todd)

A 26 minute gem from Fabian Johnson staked the U.S. to a 1-0 lead, with Johnson and Michael Bradley pulling off a perfect 1-2 that Johnson finished superbly.

Jurgen Klinsmann made just three changes to the team that failed to impress in Tuesday’s dour 2-0 win over Azerbaijan, inserting Brad Davis, Tim Chandler, and captain Clint Dempsey with Alejandro Bedoya, DaMarcus Beasley and Chris Wondolowski giving way.

Gone were the heavy legs that slowed the opening game of the Send Off Series to a crawl, as both the U.S. and Turkey came out flying. Klinsmann had his side playing the diamond 4-4-2 formation once again, today’s iteration featuring two hungry strikers in Jozy Altidore and the returning Dempsey, who sat out the Azerbaijan match with a slight knock.

Offensively the diamond seemed to be working out just fine, but on the defensive end Turkey were exploiting huge gaps between the midfield and center backs. The U.S. defenders found themselves scrambling to cover far too often and were fortunate that the visitors suffered a couple bad misses in the opening stanza.

Brad Guzan, John Brooks, and Kyle Beckerman came on at the half for Tim Howard, Matt Besler and Jermaine Jones, as Klinsmann tries to get all of his players sharp for the World Cup.

Dempsey got the second and what turned out to be the game winner against Turkey. (ISI Photos/John Todd)

Dempsey got the second and what turned out to be the game winner against Turkey. (ISI Photos/John Todd)

Perhaps inevitably the pace slowed somewhat in the second half, but the home team got the crowd going with a second goal in the 52 minute. Dempsey was the scorer, tapping home after Turkey failed to clear Tim Chandler’s crossing ball.

Klinsmann introduced two of his most exciting young players, Julian Green and DeAndre Yedlin in the 64 minute, followed minutes later by Mix Diskerud. The game lost some of its fizz with all the changes, as Turkey likewise went to the bench.

The subs were happy with the chance to show what they can do and all acquitted themselves capably. Green, the 18 year old Bayern Munich prodigy admitted that Klinsmann’s pre-World Cup camp had been tough going for him at first.

“The first five or six days were a little bit difficult,” Green said after the match, referencing the shoulder injury he picked up in his April debut with the U.S. “But now I’m top fit,” Green said, adding, “every day a little better.”

Diskerud(ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

Diskerud will be happy doing whatever the coach wants.(ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

Diskerud came on in the second half for the second consecutive game with Klinsmann looking to the creative midfielder to provide instant offense. Although he’d rather start, Diskerud is happy to play the supersub if that’s what it takes to get on the pitch.

“If coach wants me to do that I have no problem playing that role.” Diskerud explained that, “as a soccer player you strive to play as much as possible, you want to start every game.” “My job,” the Norwegian-American added, “is to make it most difficult for him to choose those players, and if I come in as a sub to make a difference I have no problem doing that.”

Turkey got one back on a 90 minute penalty from Selcuk Inan after the Geoff Cameron saved off the line with his hand, after Tim Chandler left Guzan exposed.

The U.S. held on for the 2-1 win, giving a better, more energetic performance than on Tuesday in San Francisco, but the defense will have to be tightened considerably before facing Ghana.

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA                        1 1 2
TUR                        0 1 1

USA – Fabian Johnson (Michael Bradley)   26th minute
USA – Clint Dempsey                                 52
TUR – Selcuk Inan (penalty)                       90

USA: 1-Tim Howard (12-Brad Guzan, 46); 23-Fabian Johnson (2-DeAndre Yedlin, 64), 20-Geoff Cameron, 5-Matt Besler (6-John Brooks, 46), 21-Timmy Chandler; 19-Graham Zusi (10-Mix Diskerud, 69), 13-Jermaine Jones (15-Kyle Beckerman, 46), 4-Michael Bradley, 14-Brad Davis (16-Julian Green, 64); 17-Jozy Altidore, 8-Clint Dempsey (capt.)
Subs Not Used: 3-Omar Gonzalez, 7-DaMarcus Beasley, 9-Aron Johannsson, 11-Alejandro Bedoya, 18-Chris Wondolowski, 22-Nick Rimando
Head coach: Jurgen Klinsmann

TUR: 12-Onur Recep Kivrak; 2-Hakan Kadir Balta (4-Ugur Demirok, 83), 24-Osman Tarik Camdal (17-Mustafa Pektemek, 46), 3-Ishak Dogan (26-Ahmet Ilhan Ozek, 46), 7-Gokhan Gonul, 8-Selcuk Inan, 9-Mevlut Erdinc (19-Bilal Kisa, 80), 10-Nuri Sahin (capt.) (5-Hakan Calhanoglu, 70), 15-Oguzhan Ozyakup (20-Olcan Adin, 67), 16-Ozan Tufan, 18-Caner Erkin
Subs Not Used: 1-Tolga Zengin, 11-Olcay Sahan, 13-Adem Buyuk, 21-Omer Toprak, 22-Aydin Karabulut, 23-Volkan Babacan, 25-Turgut Dogun Sahin
Head Coach: Fatih Terim

Stats Summary: USA / TUR
Shots: 8 / 20
Shots on Goal: 6 / 12
Saves: 11 / 3
Corner Kicks: 4 / 8
Fouls: 20 / 12
Offside: 2 / 1


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U.S. MNT – World Cup Fever Hits New York
U.S. MNT – World Cup Fever Hits New York avatar

U.S. Soccer rolled into Times Square Friday afternoon, its red, white and blue bus festooned with the names of every member of the team’s official supporters group.

The U.S. MNT fans (ISI Photos/Don Feria)

The U.S. MNT fan were lively and full of support.(ISI Photos/Don Feria)

Some of those fans undoubtedly were among the throngs checking out the U.S. Soccer Fan Appreciation Day, and part of the Pep Rally that same evening. Inside the teams Times Square hotel the throng was created by the media.

U.S. MNT Coach Jurgen Klinsmann and captain Clint Dempsey sat at the top of a room packed like only a rapidly approaching World Cup can pack a room.

Not one of the assembled media mentioned Landon Donovan. Like the song says, yesterday’s news is tomorrow’s fish and chip papers. Today’s news was the Sunday afternoon game against Turkey at Red Bull Arena, just across the Hudson River in Harrison, New Jersey.

And of course Brazil. Time is running short, the grueling training camp at Stanford is over, and the coach and his players are fairly champing at the bit to get to it.

Klinsmann was confident in that laid back Californian, hard nosed German way of his. Dempsey was intense. The coach was asked about expectations. When Klinsmann played, and later coached Germany, expectations had been sky high. Now the question was asked, as an underdog, are things different?

“Not really,” the coach responded. He acknowledged the obvious, that his team has a tough draw, but “we are expected, and we expect from ourselves to do well.” “And we expect,” Klinsmann emphasized, “to go to the knockout stage.”

All the while Dempsey sat at his coach’s side, staring straight ahead, nodding intently. Things have gotten serious.

In the the round table interviews that followed, the rest of the 22 man roster was brought out. Seated at round tables, standing in front of U.S. Soccer screens, or up on the dais previously occupied by coach and captain.

The media swarmed some more than others. Michael Bradley sat up on the dais with the reporters four deep, while Nick Rimando, the third string goalkeeper was faced with less of a swarm than a polite gathering.

The players handled the crush each in their own way. Jozy Altidore, polite and calm despite facing pressure to provide goals for the national team after a tough year at his club Sunderland.

Altidore (ISI Photos/Don Feria)

Altidore feels that he has continued to show his worth even though he has limited playing time.(ISI Photos/Don Feria)

GotSoccer asked Altidore how much Klinsmann’s unwavering support had meant to him throughout that tough season. “I think it says a lot that he believes I’m a good player.” “Not only that,” the powerful striker said, “I think that’s also incumbent to myself, that I keep showing that.(that he is a good player) You can’t just say that about a player unless they show you signs of that.”

A Jersey native, Altidore lit up when he was asked about playing in front of his hometown fans. “Oh I love it man. I love being back, this is my home, this is a place I love to be, so it’s great to be back here.”

Other players responded in their own ways. Graham Zusi, serious, speaking barely above a whisper. DaMarcus Beasley, cool as the other side of the pillow. Heading to his fourth World Cup, his calm demeanor saying it all, saying – I got this.

Alejandro Bedoya is looked at as a rising star within the team. Klinsmann and Dempsey both praised the Nantes midfielder. Klinsmann feels that, “Alejandro Bedoya made a huge step forward over the last two years, especially last year when he went to the French league, a very strong French league and played very good games against the big teams, Olympic Marseille or especially Paris Saint-German.”

(ISI Photos/John Todd)

Dempsey was upbeat and full of praise for Bedoya.(ISI Photos/John Todd)

Dempsey smiled when asked about Bedoya, saying, “we’re good friends off the field.” “I think,” the captain added, “he’s a player that is dangerous, difficult to deal with, because he’s nonstop the whole game.”

Bedoya’s background is unique, a third generation professional soccer player, his quiet confidence has seen him through some tough times. Both his father and grandfather played professionally in Colombia and, Bedoya told GotSoccer, “they let me know from the start what to expect.” Amidst the media scrum Bedoya added, “My father let me know early on, just worry about myself, not to get caught in all the things around me.”

One sign of the mounting craziness developing around this team came when a female reporter asked Bedoya if she could give him a good luck hug. Ever the pro, Bedoya took it in stride, the hug happened and he moved on.

Two of the German-Americans shared a table, controversial fullback Timothy Chandler and 21 year old center back John Brooks. With his club Nuremberg having been relegated, Chandler confirmed reports that he will be staying in the Bundesliga, and he hopes to sign with his Eintracht Frankfurt soon.

(ISI Photos/John Todd)

Chandler was insistent that he has always wanted to play for the U.S. National Team.(ISI Photos/John Todd)

When I asked the defender about his perceived reluctance to play for the U.S. MNT, Chandler looked genuinely upset. “I don’t hear that,” Chandler said in his German accented English. “The team knows I want to play, the trainer knows I want to play. I decided I want to play for the U.S.A., I say all the time I want to play.” “I’m very happy to be here,” Chandler summed up, “I’m proud to be here.”

Brooks broke off a conversation in German to give GotSoccer a minute. The tall young center back called his decision to play for the United States, “brilliant. “It was an easy decision,” said Brooks, recalling that, “the U.S. wanted me 100%, and it was easy and now I am proud to be here.”

The towering defender endured a tough first season in the Bundesliga following Hertha Berlin’s ascension to the German top flight. Brooks laughed at the mention of it. “I’m happy about, but I don’t want a year like this again.” “It was hard,” he admitted. Brooks had injury issues, and then “when I played, I didn’t play very good, but it was ok at the end.” After a strong finish to the Bundesliga season and a successful U.S. training camp, Brooks said, “I think now I’m 100%.”

And then there is Chris Wondolowski. I had a moment alone with the two time MLS Golden Boot winner. I asked him about his career trajectory. Five or so years in the shadows. Barely playing, almost no goals. Then the breakthrough. Similar, I proposed to his national team career. That same slow start, then suddenly he’s scoring goals and headed to the World Cup.

Wondo answered with intensity, passion. Standing at attention, speaking with vigor, the striker calls making this World Cup team, “a huge honor.” Thinking back on his early years in the league, Wondolowski said, “it is very rewarding because it took a lot of hard work, dedication, perseverance to get where I am today, so it does mean a lot.”

“The love of the game,” Wondo answered when I asked him what kept him going in the lean years. “You get paid to play a game.” Although he rarely played for the Houston side that won consecutive MLS Cups in 2006 and 2007, Wondo told GotSoccer,”when I was in Houston I had a great locker room, I enjoyed going to practice every day, enjoyed working and trying to get better.”

Wondolowski (ISI Photos/Don Feria)

Wondolowski seems to be in a good place and full of confidence.(ISI Photos/Don Feria)

Wondolowski joked that the turnaround came, “when I started hitting the back of the net.” More seriously he said, “I think it was a confidence thing.” “I went from hoping to not to make a mistake, to knowing that I belonged there and really believing that I can hit the back of the net.”

Wondolowski agreed that those struggles will stand to him if he gets a chance in Brazil. “Yeah absolutely,” he said.  ”It really does, and it’s kind of a mind frame that I keep within me and it helps me along way.”

On Sunday the U.S. MNT will take on Turkey. The Turks just defeated World Cup bound Honduras 2-0 and will be a test for the Americans. Jobs are still out there to be won, and each day brings the team one step closer to Brazil.

You sense that these 23 can’t wait to get there.

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Colorado Rapids Discounted Tickets
Colorado Rapids Discounted Tickets avatar

Courtesy of Colorado Soccer Association

Courtesy of Colorado Soccer Association

Get more information on the Colorado Soccer Association Website.


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MSYSA ODP 101 Beginner Academy
MSYSA ODP 101 Beginner Academy avatar

Registration for the Michigan State Youth Soccer Association Olympic Development Program (ODP) 101 Beginner Academy is now open through 08/31/2014 (Full Year & Fall / Winter Programs).

The MSYSA ODP 101 Beginner Academy is for players within the birth date range of January 1, 2004 to December 31, 2006. The Program is designed to provide additional training opportunities to competitive/travel players seeking new challenges and to help identify the level of youth soccer players within Michigan. Soccer players, both males and females, can register for the MSYSA Olympic Development Program 101 Beginner Academy Program. The schedule is as follows:

Screen Shot 2014-05-30 at 1.23.04 PM

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NHSA Celebrates State Cup Winners with Fisher Cats
NHSA Celebrates State Cup Winners with Fisher Cats avatar

Courtesy of NHSA

Courtesy of NHSA

New Hampshire Soccer Association has paired with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats to celebrate the NHSA State Cup winners with the “Parade of Champions!”

This fun filled event will be held on Thursday, June 19th at 7:05pm. The New Hampshire Fisher Cats will take on the Altoona Curve (AA-Pittsburgh Pirates).

Tickets are only $8 and the proceeds go towards the NHSA! Get yours now, visit the NHSA website for more information.


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NHSA 4th Annual Night at the Revolution
NHSA 4th Annual Night at the Revolution avatar

Courtesy of NHSA

Courtesy of NHSA

New Hampshire Soccer Association will host the 4th Annual NHSA Night at the New England Revolution on Sunday, June 8 at Gillette Stadium!

Soccer players and their families are invited to come out and watch their favorite Revs players in action as they take on the New York Red Bulls!

Tickets that are normally $38 are ONLY $25 for NHSA members, friends and family. Each ticket includes admission to the tailgate and a game ticket in the NHSA reserved sections (general admission within reserved sections only).

If a team would like to reserve a spot on the field, a minimum of 30 tickets per team much be purchased (spots for games are first come, first served) and WILL SELL OUT!

The Revolution game will be great and NHSA will be hosting a huge tailgate in a reserved lot that you are also invited to (FREE parking)!

Please visit the NHSA website for more information.

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SoCal United U12 Boys Compete in VW Junior Masters World Championships
SoCal United U12 Boys Compete in VW Junior Masters World Championships avatar

San Diego’s SoCal United U12 boys have had quite a run this past year, dominating the 2013 regionals and nationals of the Volkswagen Junior Masters World Tournament and playing spectacularly this month in Rome, Italy where they competed in the World Finals.

The SoCal United boys representing USA in Rome, Italy

The SoCal United boys representing USA in Rome, Italy

The SoCal team consists of top-notch players from five different California youth soccer clubs: San Diego Soccer Club (SDSC), Carlsbad Lighting, Nomads, Celtic, Total Football Academy (formerly Barcelona) and Danville Mustangs.

Led by coaches Jim Flowers and Jay Amin, the hard work they put in during 2013 tournament competition was rewarded with the opportunity to play on an international stage in one of the largest youth football tournaments in the world. Only boys aged 10 to 12 years are eligible and the tournament runs every two years, with the next World Final to be held in Paris, France in 2016.

“Last year they won the Regional in San Francisco,” Flowers explained. “That got them into the National Championships in Kansas City in July 2013 and then they won in penalty kicks. That got them into the World Championships in Rome.”

Boarding the bus for the tournament

Boarding the bus for the tournament

SoCal’s performance in Rome was unparalleled. Each team played in five 20-minute matches and the boys prevailed against their international opponents every time.

The first game saw them defeating Switzerland 2-0 with goals from Angel Flores and Andrew Miranda. Next, Cameron Williams and Noah Suemnick scored to shut out the United Arab Emirates. In the third game of group play Kazakhstan defeated SoCal 1-0, but in a twist of fate was disqualified for utilizing players older than the required age regulation. The boys finished up with a nice 2-0 win against Spain with goals from Angel Flores and Andrew Miranda and tied Australia 0-0.

When they took on Turkey in the quarterfinals, both teams battled to a thrilling 0-0 finish in regulation, but the opposition ousted SoCal in penalty kicks 2-1.

Although they didn’t end up overall champions, the boys had defeated the winner- Switzerland in group play- and one of their own, Cameron Williams was chosen as best player of the tournament.

Having some fun playing soccer with new friends

Having some fun playing soccer with new friends from Australia and Namibia

The trip in itself was a dream come true for the players as they took in the rich Italian culture, incurred vital soccer experience and forged unforgettable friendships with players from other teams.

“It really is an experience of a lifetime. The way they treat the kids is the part they’ll never forget, not to mention the camaraderie with kids from other countries- it’s stuff like that they’ll never forget and the experience is hard to match,” said Flowers.


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NWSL Mid Week Round Up: Reeves Stuns Thorns with Hat Trick
NWSL Mid Week Round Up: Reeves Stuns Thorns with Hat Trick avatar

Chicago Red Stars Notch Fourth Straight Victory on the Road

The Chicago Red Stars continue to stun opponents in their climb in league standings, adding more points to their repertoire with a 2-0 shutout against Sky Blue FC Wednesday on Piscataway, NJ.

Chicago's Leon got a goal and an assist to help lead her team to a 2-0 victory.(ISI Photos/Howard C.Smith)

Chicago’s Leon got a goal and an assist to help lead her team to a 2-0 victory.(ISI Photos/Howard C.Smith)

This marked the Red Stars fourth away game in a row, but you wouldn’t think so, as they busted out in the first half dominating from the start, scored both goals in the first half, and held their lead throughout the remainder. This is their fifth win in a row and sixth undefeated as they chase No. 1 ranked Seattle Reign, just four points behind in second place.

The first goal was scored by midfielder Adriana Leon in the 27th minute. Jen Hoy initiated the play, charging through Sky Blue defense into the box and passing off to Leon when the opposition overwhelmed her. Leon drilled a close range shot from the right side to put them up 1-0.

Then, in the 35th minute, another chance was created when defender Kecia Morway volleyed a cross in to Leon, who passed off to team captain Lori Chalupny. She promptly one timed her shot into the net to set the score 2-0.

“It’s not easy to get points on the road in this league,” Red Stars Head Coach Rory Dames told NWSL. “The players have done well and we’ll continue to train hard, clean up some details, and work on getting better.”

Scoring Summary

  • 27   Chicago   Adriana Leon
  • 35   Chicago   Lori Chalupny (Leon)

Rookie Jazmine Reeves Leads Boston to Huge Victory

Boston Breakers surprised Portland and delighted fans on Wednesday with a crucial 4-1 win at Harvard Stadium in Allston, Mass.

Jazmine Reeves (L) was outstanding in only her second start for Boston. (ISI Photos/Andrew Katsampes)

Jazmine Reeves (L) was outstanding in only her second start for Boston. (ISI Photos/Andrew Katsampes)

The Breakers began their take over in the 2nd minute of regulation when forward Nkem Ezurike capitalized on a right side cross from rookie Jazmine Reeves. Then, in the 25th minute Thorns goalkeeper Nadine Angerer dove to stop a dangerous shot from forward Courtney Jones, but Reeves was on fire, collecting the rebound and blasting the ball into the net to up the Breakers lead 2-0.

It became apparent that Reeves was on a mission, scoring a brace in the first minute of the second half with Jones on the assist. Although Portland outshot Boston 11-7 and notched a 62nd minute goal from Christine Sinclair in the half, they wouldn’t be able to touch Boston’s ever-growing lead, which Reeves extended to 4-1 in the 59th minute for a hat trick and cemented the Breakers victory over the Thorns.

Scoring Summary

  • 2   Boston   Nkem Ezurike (Reeves)
  • 25   Boston   Jazmine Reeves
  • 45   Boston   Jazmine Reeves (Jones)
  • 59   Boston   Jazmine Reeves (Evans)
  • 62   Christine Sinclair (Long)


1. Seattle Reign FC 9 7 0 2 23
2. Chicago Red Stars 9 6 2 1 19
3. FC Kansas City 11 4 4 3 15
4. Portland Thorns FC 9 4 3 2 14
5. Washington Spirit 9 4 4 1 13
6. Western New York Flash 8 3 3 2 11
7. Sky Blue FC 10 2 4 4 10
8. Boston Breakers 8 2 6 0 6
9. Houston Dash 9 1 7 1 4


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NWSL and ESPN Release 2014 TV Schedule
NWSL and ESPN Release 2014 TV Schedule avatar

Questions swirling around a NWSL television agreement this season are finally put to rest today, as the NWSL and ESPN announced a one-year agreement to broadcast nine games this year.

Fans will get the chance to see their favorite players on the box. (ISI Photos/Andrew Katsamapas)

Fans will get the chance to see their favorite players on ESPN.. (ISI Photos/Andrew Katsamapas)

Three regular season games and all three playoff matches will be aired on ESPN2, which includes two semifinal games on Aug. 23 and 24 and the Championship on Aug. 31. Three regular season matches will also stream live on ESPN3.

“We are very excited to announce our new agreement with ESPN,” NWSL Executive Director Cheryl Bailey said in a press release. “In the midst of our second season, we are striving to provide our fans with improved access to our league matches and airing our games on ESPN2 and ESPN3 will give us a broader platform to expose fans to the amazing caliber of women’s soccer in the NWSL. We also hope to create new fans who will appreciate the amazing athletes and personalities in our league.”

NWSL is proving that there is a market and will be pleased with this deal.

NWSL is proving that there is a market and will be pleased with this deal.

Fans will be able to access the live streamed games online at WatchESPN.com.

2014 NWSL National Television Schedule

Date: Sunday, July 20, 2014

  • Home Team: Portland Thorns FC
  • Away Team: Boston Breakers
  • Time (ET): 5:00 p.m.
  • TV: ESPN2

Date: Wednesday, July 30, 2014

  • Home Team: Houston Dash
  • Away Team: Seattle Reign FC
  • Time (ET): 9:00 p.m.
  • TV: ESPN3

Date: Sunday, August 03, 2014

  • Home Team: Portland Thorns FC
  • Away Team: Houston Dash
  • Time (ET): 10:00 p.m.
  • TV: ESPN2

Date: Saturday, August 09, 2014

  • Home Team: Houston Dash
  • Away Team: Sky Blue FC
  • Time (ET): 9:00 p.m.
  • TV: ESPN3

Date: Wednesday, August 13, 2014

  • Home Team: Western New York Flash
  • Away Team: Sky Blue FC
  • Time (ET): 7:00 p.m.
  • TV: ESPN2

Sunday, August 17, 2014

  • Home Team: Portland Thorns FC
  • Away Team: Seattle Reign FC
  • Time (ET): 5:00 p.m.
  • TV: ESPN3

Saturday, August 23, 2014

  • Semifinal
  • Time (ET): 1:00 p.m.
  • TV: ESPN2

Sunday, August 24, 2014

  • Semifinal
  • Time (ET): 3:11 p.m.
  • TV: ESPN2

Sunday, August 31, 2014

  • Championship
  • Time (ET): 3:00 p.m.
  • TV: ESPN2
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U.S. Men Fail to Impress
U.S. Men Fail to Impress avatar

The post Landon Donovan era opened tonight for the United States with a dour 2-0 win over Azerbaijan in San Francisco’s Candlestick Park.

Diskerud (C) got on the scoresheet for the U.S.(Getty Images)

Diskerud (C) got on the scoresheet for the U.S.(Getty Images)

Second half goals from substitutes Mix Diskerud and Aron Johannsson saved the home team the embarrassment of losing, or tying the world’s 85th ranked team, but the biggest moment of the night occurred shortly before the games opening whistle.

All those interested in the U.S. MNT and their hopes in Brazil held their collective breath when Chris Wondolowski replaced captain Clint Dempsey in the starting lineup as  Deuce was held out with a groin strain.

Jurgen Klinsmann described the action as precautionary, but it didn’t take long for speculation to begin. If Dempsey is more seriously injured than it seems, will Klinsmann call in Donovan as his replacement?

The match itself was a poor one, with the U.S. playing down to the level of their opponents for much of the evening. Tired legs from intense training sessions in the U.S. camp at Stanford University was one possible explanation for the flat U.S. performance, the windy conditions at the soon to be demolished Candlestick Park another.

Fabian Johnson got a starting role as many predicted, . (ISI Photos/Jose L. Argueta)

Fabian Johnson got a starting role as many predicted, . (ISI Photos/Jose L. Argueta)

Klinsmann started the team that was on display at the team’s most recent training match at Stanford with Fabian Johnson at right back, DaMarcus Beasley at left fullback, Geoff Cameron over Omar Gonzalez at center back and Alejandro Bedoya starting at left midfield, with Graham Zusi on the right.

The team’s formation was something of a surprise, with Klinsmann eschewing his usual 4-2-3-1 in favor of the diamond midfield that looked so good for the Americans in their recent Mexico friendly.

Jermaine Jones was partnered with Michael Bradley at midfield, and the adventuresome German/American managed not to step on the General’s toes, allowing Bradley the chance to reprise the attacking role he played in that Mexico friendly.

Alas Bradley was not at his sharpest going forward versus Azerbaijan, but Jones did stick to his task well. The top performers for the U.S in the goalless opening stanza were the energetic Bedoya, Zusi, who was solid with his set piece deliveries, Jones, Johnson, and Beasley.

Cameron (R) was replaced at half time. (ISI Photos/Thomas Eisenhuth)

Cameron (R) was replaced at half time. (ISI Photos/Thomas Eisenhuth)

Beasley, Cameron and Zusi were replaced at the half by Tim Chandler, Omar Gonzalez and Brad Davis. Davis would have the most impact, giving an aggressive performance that should have resulted in a U.S. penalty. Davis also flashed his left footed delivery skills, the highlight coming when he found another sub, Aron Johannsson, wide open on the six yard box and placed the ball on Johannsson’s noggin for the second U.S. goal.

Mix Diskerud had opened the scoring for the Americans with an opportunistic finish off a Michael Bradley blocked shot in the 75th minute. It was the bit of magic that Klinsmann is banking on from Mix, and the reason the Norwegian-American is on his way to Brazil.

The U.S. celebrating their second goal - looked more than relieved with the goal. (ISI Photos/John Todd)

The U.S. celebrating their second goal – looked more than relieved with the goal. (ISI Photos/John Todd)

Similarly Klinsmann had to be pleased that Johannsson and Davis provided just what he brought them in for, less happily for the coach Jozy Altidore continued to look toothless when in sight of goal.

It was a difficult night to assess talent, but it was interesting to see Klinsmann bring 20 year old DeAndre Yedlin on as a replacement for Fabian Johnson, who was especially good in the second half after a quietly effective opening 45 minutes.

Yedlin didn’t have an awful lot to do, but he was willing to get forward and on one occasion used his blinding speed to get back on defense.

Next up for the U.S. is Turkey, June 1 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J and then Nigeria in Jacksonville, Florida on June 7.

Both of those team’s will provide far sterner tests for the U.S., as will Belgium on June 12 in Brazil. Questions will begin to be answered then, as Klinsmann and his staff put together the lineup that will take the field against Ghana, Portugal and Germany beginning June 16 in Natal, Brazil.

Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Candlestick Park; San Francisco, Calif.
Kickoff: 7 p.m. PT
Attendance: 24,688
Weather: 66 degrees, partly cloudy

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 2 2
AZE 0 0 0

USA – Mix Diskerud 75th minute
USA – Aron Johannsson (Brad Davis) 81

USA: 1-Tim Howard (capt.); 23-Fabian Johnson (2-DeAndre Yedlin, 62), 20-Geoff Cameron (3-Omar Gonzalez, 46), 5-Matt Besler, 7-DaMarcus Beasley (21-Timmy Chandler, 46); 19-Graham Zusi (14-Brad Davis, 46), 13-Jermaine Jones, 4-Michael Bradley, 11-Alejandro Bedoya (10-Mix Diskerud, 71); 17-Jozy Altidore, 18-Chris Wondolowski (9-Aron Johannsson, 62)
Subs Not Used: 6-John Brooks, 8-Clint Dempsey, 12-Brad Guzan, 15-Kyle Beckerman, 16-Julian Green, 22-Nick Rimando
Head coach: Jurgen Klinsmann

AZE: 1-Kamran Aghayev, 3-Rasim Ramaldanov, 4-Mahir Shukurov (capt.) (25-Ilkin Girtimov, 46), 7-Vagif Javadov (13-Dmitrij Nazarov, 60), 8-Gara Garayev, 10-Rufat Dadashov (28-Pardis Fardjad-Azad, 66), 11-Rauf Aliyev, 15-Ruslan Abishov (2-Badavi Guseynov, 46), 20-Ufuk Budak, 24-Abdulla Abasiyev (18-Maksim Medvedev, 71), 29-Elvin Yunuszade
Subs Not Used: 5-Shahriyar Aliyev, 9-Jihan Ozkara, 12-Emil Balayev, 14-Rashad Sadigov, 23-Salahat Aghayev
Head Coach: Berti Vogts

Stats Summary: USA / AZE
Shots: 14 / 7
Shots on Goal: 7 / 2
Saves: 2 / 5
Corner Kicks: 11 / 6
Fouls: 9 / 16
Offside: 1 / 1

Misconduct Summary:

Referee: Henry Bejarano (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1: Warner Castro (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Fernandez (CRC)
Fourth Official: Armando Castro (HON)

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NWSL Round Up Week 7 – Nairn’s Late Stunner
NWSL Round Up Week 7 – Nairn’s Late Stunner avatar

Red Stars No. 2 with Victory Over Houston Dash

The Chicago Red Stars defeated Houston Dash 3-1 on their home turf at BBVA Compass Stadium Friday, extending their win streak to four games.

Vanessa DiBernardo, Alyssa Mautz and Jen Hoy scored for the Red Stars while Ella Masar provided the lone goal for Houston.

Jen Hoy (R) scored her 4th goal of the season for Chicago. (ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

Jen Hoy (R) scored her 4th goal of the season for Chicago. (ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

“I’m proud of the group’s resilience tonight,” Red Stars Head Coach Rory Dames told NWSL. “It was a great response after the early goal to go back up and get the second goal, then for Jen (Hoy) to get the third was big. Then we held on and survived together to see the game out.”

The Red Stars were on a roll to win from the very beginning, and they got on the board early in the 10th minute when DiBernardo put away a penalty kick.

Dash battled back furiously after that, determined not to let that one point Red Stars lead grow, and a stalemate ensued for the remainder of the first half.

Then, in the 51st minute of the game, Masar sprung into action after receiving a well guided cross from Becky Edwards. She one-timed her shot, and it hit the net to equalize 1-1.

Despite Houston’s goal, the Red Stars were able to thwart any chances of a win for them, picking up the momentum throughout the rest of the game. Mautz scored just three minutes later and Hoy finished up with a 62 minute goal to guarantee a Red Stars victory.

Scoring Summary

  • 10   Chicago   Vanessa DiBernardo   PK
  • 51   Houston   Ella Masar (Edwards)
  • 54   Chicago   Alyssa Mautz (Hoy)
  • 62   Chicago   Jen Hoy (DiBernardo)

FC Kansas City Shut Out Boston Breakers

FC Kansas City shut out the Boston Breakers on Sunday in Boston, collecting a 2-0 win in their first meet up of the season.

Kansas' striker Rodriguez can't stop scoring and is currently the league's joint top scorer.(ISI Photos/Tony Quinn)

Kansas’ striker Rodriguez can’t stop scoring and is currently the league’s joint top scorer.(ISI Photos/Tony Quinn)

The Breakers started the match off with some nice attacks but Kansas defense kept the ball away from the net with ease and in response created some worthy chances to score as well. With both team’s getting their rhythm down, the first half played to a scoreless result, but the Blues would surge forward in the second half.

In the 62nd minute forward Lauren Holiday set up a corner for FC Kansas City. She fired the ball into the box and Nikki Philips readily bumped it in from the far post to give the Blues a 1-0 lead.

The second goal was netted late in the 82nd minute. Jen Buczkowski spied Amy Rodriguez midfield. She crossed and Rodriguez and promptly directed the ball past Boston’s defense to take the win 2-0.

Scoring Summary

  • 62   FC Kansas City   Nikki Philips
  • 82   FC Kansas City   Amy Rodriguez (Buczkowski)

Kelley O’Hara Scores Lone Goal to Beat Thorns

U.S. defender Kelley O’Hara scored the lone goal for Sky Blue FC Saturday night at Providence Park in Portland, bringing the Portland Thorns down to fourth place in league standings.

U.S. international Kelly O'hara got her first goal of the season. (ISI Photos/John Todd)

U.S. international Kelly O’hara got her first goal of the season. (ISI Photos/John Todd)

It was a close match that saw Sky Blue goalkeeper Jill Loyden register eight remarkable saves against a tough attacking Portland side and help her team to a clean sheet.

O’Hara’s goal didn’t come till the 84th minute of regulation when a foul was called on the Thorns. Defender Christie Rampone initiated the free kick, sending a long ball into the box. A wide-open O’Hara saw an opportunity to score and headed the ball past Thorns keeper Nadine Angerer for the winner.

Scoring Summary

  • 84   Sky Blue FC   Kelley O’Hara (Rampone)

Stoppage Time Goal Ends WNY Flash and Seattle Reign Match in Draw

Seattle's Kim Little has certainly shown her worth in her first season in the NWSL (ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

Seattle’s Kim Little has certainly shown her worth in her first season in the NWSL (ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

Sunday was a big day for WNY Flash, stunting their two-game lose streak and garnering a point with a 2-2 draw against Seattle Reign FC at Moda Pitch in Seattle.

The flash surged ahead in the first half when U.S. forward Abby Wambach jumped on a mishandled clearance from Kendall Fletcher. Wambach got the ball and powered a shot past Seattle goalkeeper Hope Solo to put the Flash at a 1-0 lead in the 17th minute. The Reign was able to equalize in the final minute of the first half though, when Jessica Fishlock chipped the ball up high and into the net.

In the 62nd minute Carli Lloyd helped guide a Wambach header in to put Flash ahead once more 2-1 . It looked like they would be able to take the win with some strong defending, but Seattle had one last trick up their sleeve.

In stoppage time Beverley Goebel sent a nice cross to Kim Little and she was able to equalize in the nick of time, ending the game 2-2.

Scoring Summary

  • 17   WNY Flash   Abby Wambach (Bermudez)
  • 45   Seattle   Jessica Fishlock (Cox)
  • 62   WNY Flash   Carli Lloyd (Wambach)
  • 92+   Seattle   Kim Little (Goebel)

Washington Spirit Beat Houston Dash in Stoppage Time

Washington Spirit are adding points each week, celebrating a 3-2 Memorial Day win against Houston Dash at Maryland SoccerPlex.

Christine Nairn got the game winner for Washington to (ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

Christine Nairn got the game winner for Washington and places them mid table. (ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

Spirit got on the board early on with a goal from Diana Matheson. Forward Jodie Taylor pressured Dash keeper Erin McLeod and she buckled, resulting in poor clearance and an open shot for Matheson. She sent it to the back of the net for her fifth goal of the season thus far.

The Dash didn’t waste any time in equalizing, and forward Nina Burger pounded a wide shot out to Ella Masar on the right flank. Masar connected with Kaylyn Kyle in the box before Kyle finished off to Burger once again. She slid the ball to equalize just 10 minutes after the first goal.

The Spirit  kept the first half action packed, and in the 38th minute Christine Nairn belted a long ball to Taylor, who quickly directed her shot at the goal and put it away.

Houston, determined to stay on Spirit’s heels, was able to equalize again when Nigerian international Osinachi Ohale headed the ball into the net in the 77th minute. It wouldn’t last long though, and in stoppage time, Nairn was able to drop a bomb, scoring the winner from 30 yards out.

Scoring Summary

  • 4   Washington   Diana Matheson
  • 12   Houston   Nina Burger (Kyle)
  • 38   Jodie Taylor (Nairn)
  • 77   Houston   Osinachi Ohale (Ochs)
  • 90+3   Washington   Christine Nairn
1. Seattle Reign FC 9 7 0 2 23
2. Chicago Red Stars 8 5 2 1 16
3. FC Kansas City 11 4 4 3 15
4. Portland Thorns FC 8 4 2 2 14
5. Washington Spirit 9 4 4 1 13
6. Western New York Flash 8 3 3 2 11
7. Sky Blue FC 9 2 3 4 10
8. Houston Dash 9 1 7 1 4
9. Boston Breakers 7 1 6 0 3
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MLS – Big 5
MLS – Big 5 avatar

1) Landon’s Back and Setting Records!

Sunday night in L.A., Donovan showed great character notching two goals and an assist in the Galaxy’s 4-1 win over Philadelphia, just days after the crushing disappointment of missing out on his fourth World Cup. Will the other guys that coach Klinsmann says are a “little bit ahead” of Donovan respond?

Dononvan celebrating one of his goals and making MLS history. (ISI Photos/Michael Janosz)

Dononvan celebrating one of his goals and making MLS history. (ISI Photos/Michael Janosz)

Donovan’s brace makes him the all time MLS leader in goals scored. Although his lack of sustained European success will always be a strike against him, Donovan has had a remarkable career.

Oh, and Maurice Edu added a late pk goal for the Union.

2) And so are …
Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes), Michael Parkhurst (Columbus Crew), Maurice Edu (Philadelphia Union), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders).

It didn’t generate the same level of outrage or general publicity, but four other quality players were returned to their MLS clubs when Klinsmann’s ax fell on Thursday.

Edu (R) returned from the training camp  (ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

Edu (R) was one  of the players who returned from Klinsmann’s camp.(ISI Photos/Brad Smith)

The two other cuts were Terrence Boyd and Joe Corona, neither MLS players. Interestingly, Goodson, Parkhurst, and Edu, all returned to MLS in order to boost their World Cup chances. Parkhurst and Evans were back in action for their clubs on Saturday, and while Edu, and Donovan returned to the pitch Sunday, Goodson was an unused sub for San Jose.

3) Colorado Americans

If you are looking to practice your USA! chants before the World Cup, the Rapids might be the team for you. The Rapids started nine American players in Saturday’s 4-1 walloping Montreal.

Shane O'Neill (L) in action for the U.S. U-20's. (ISI Photos/OSVALDO AGUILAR)

Shane O’Neill (L) in action for the U.S. U-20′s. (ISI Photos/OSVALDO AGUILAR)

And all four goals came from members of Colorado’s Yank contingent. Dillon Powers led the way with two, one from a pk. Shane O’Neill, also eligible to play for Ireland, and Kamani Hill, each contributed a gem to round out the scoring for the Mile High Boys.

4) And Speaking of Young Americans

Is it too soon to start looking ahead to Russia 2018? Klinsmann says yes, despite some very young lineup choices, and we sincerely hope he means it. But nothing is stopping us from taking a glance into our crystal soccer ball.

Colorado duo Powers, the 2013 MLS Rookie of the Year and O’Neill, a U.S. U20 star, are legit prospects for the U.S. senior team, and 25 year old keeper Clint Irwin could work his way into the picture too.

Andrew Farrell (L) is the number 1 draft. (ISI Photos/Howard C. Smith)

Andrew Farrell (L) was the number 1 pick in the 2013 draft. (ISI Photos/Howard C. Smith)

And Klinsmann’s scouting bureau will likely be spending some time in New England in the near future. Andrew Farrell and injured Kelyn Rowe have been touted as prospects, and if Teal Bunbury can regain his scoring touch he may have a chance to add to his four caps, none of recent vintage. And it will be interesting to see how Patrick Mullins develops.

But the most exciting, and most difficult N.E. prospect for the U.S. to snare remains Diego Fagundez. A Revs “Homegrown Player,” Fagundez is nonetheless Uruguayan by birth. He has his Green Card and would like to represent the U.S., where the 19 year old has lived since age five.

It’s a long road, will it lead Fagundez to the U.S. MNT?

5) Will Real Salt Lake Ever Lose?

Before the season RSL lost their talismanic coach Jason Kreis to moneybags New York City FC, and now they have lost three of their best players to the World Cup. Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando to the U.S. MNT, and Alvaro Saborio to Costa Rica.

Real Salt Lake (ISI Photos/Howard C. Smith)

Real Salt Lake may struggle without their key players. (ISI Photos/Howard C. Smith)

But Coach Jeff Cassar has looked ready for the step up from assistant and Jeff Attinella has filled in nicely for Rimando, and RSL have done well.

But not as well as their L.A. rivals, whom they now share the record for the most games without a loss to start the season. In 1996 the Galaxy roared out a 12-0-0 start, with two shootout wins, and L.A. began 2010 with a 10-0-2 run.

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Homestretch – On The Road to Brazil
Homestretch – On The Road to Brazil avatar

The roster is in, Landon is out, and it’s time for the U.S. MNT to play some soccer, as they begin preparations in earnest with a series of friendlies leading into the World Cup opener on June 16 versus Ghana.

U.S. fans will get a chance to see Klinsmann's choice in their prep for Brazil. (ISI Photos/John Todd)

U.S. fans will get a chance to see Klinsmann’s choice in their prep for Brazil. (ISI Photos/John Todd)

Jurgen Klinsmann and his staff will use games against Azerbaijan, Turkey, Nigeria and an unconfirmed match in Brazil on June 12 against Belgium, to finalize a starting 11 and hone tactics.

So what should we look for against Azerbaijan Tuesday evening in San Francisco? First off, and this may seem obvious, but who will play, and where?

Tim Howard is a lock in goal, but I count only five other definites with Ghana looming. We can safely assume Matt Besler in one of the central defense spots, Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones in the middle of the park, and captain Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore up top.

That’s it, just 6 of the 11 starters appear to be decided. Competition is great, but shouldn’t this team be closer to settled by now?

Gonzalez's constant errors and lack of concentration surely will be a worry for many . (ISI Photos/John Todd)

Gonzalez’s constant errors and lack of concentration surely will be a worry for many . (ISI Photos/John Todd)

So who will fill out the starting team on Tuesday? Klinsmann has reiterated his view that Geoff Cameron is a center back, will he partner Besler at Candlestick? Or is Klinsmann less concerned with Omar Gonzalez than most everybody else? If Cameron plays centrally in the first friendly then we should know that will be his position in Brazil, whether as a starter or sub.

Fabian Johnson is listed as defender and has said he expects to be used as a fullback in Brazil. But Klinsmann converted DaMarcus Beasley to fullback and Beas has yet to let him down, so he may be a starter in Brazil, his fourth World Cup.

Chandler still has a lot to prove. (ISI Photos/Florian Eisele)

Chandler still has a lot to prove. (ISI Photos/Florian Eisele)

Chandler, back in from the cold and fresh off of the injured list, looks to be the likely starter on the right, with youngster DeAndre Yedlin his only backup. But Johnson can also play on the right and if he doesn’t start Cameron could serve as Klinsmann’s security blanket and primary sub on the back line.

Graham Zusi might seem a decent bet to start wide right, although Bedoya could get the nod. On the left wing Brad Davis is expected to be used as a late game replacement, but he may be the only natural left sided midfielder on the roster. Johnson though, is probably the best on the team, and Bedoya can work either side.

In Klinsmann’s preferred 4-2-3-1 Clint Dempsey will line up behind Jozy Altidore. Restoring Altidore’s confidence is key to U.S. hopes, and Klinsmann can be expected to give the Sunderland struggler 90 minutes to work out the kinks, and to get reaquainted with Dempsey.

Jozy Altidore will be hoping he can impress and be the target man for the U.S. (ISI Photos/John Todd)

Jozy Altidore will be hoping he can impress and be the target man for the U.S. (ISI Photos/John Todd)

Here is who I see Klinsmann running out versus Azerbaijan, although as Landon Donovan and the rest of the American soccer world learned recently, reading the inscrutable German’s mind is no easy feat.

Tim Howard

Tim Chandler
Omar Gonzalez
Matt Besler
DaMarcus Beasley

Michael Bradley
Jermaine Jones

Graham Zusi
Clint Dempsey
Fabian Johnson

Jozy Altidore

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Klinsmann Talks Donovan
Klinsmann Talks Donovan avatar

Landon Donovan dominated Jurgen Klinsmann’s Friday morning press conference to an even greater degree than he has dominated the U.S. MNT for the past 12 years.

Friday morning at Stanford University, less than a full day after leaving Landon Donovan off of the 23 man World Cup squad, Jurgen Klinsmann addressed a press corp that wanted to know just why the all time U.S. leader in goals and assists had been left out.

Jurgen Klinsmann was forced to talk a lot about Donovan at the press conference. (Getty Images)

Jurgen Klinsmann was forced to talk a lot about Donovan at the press conference. (Getty Images)

The first question was just that, why? Kinsmann stuck to his previous remarks, saying, “we coaches felt that the guys we chose are a little step ahead of Landon in certain areas. It wouldn’t do justice if I mentioned these fields. Where maybe he has a little bit of a weakness, another guy has more strengths, and where the other guy has more weaknesses, Landon has his strengths. It is a very tight race for those spots, and at this moment, we feel like the other players, without naming any of those guys, are a tiny bit ahead of him. That’s why we made that decision, which is obviously and understandably the biggest topic out here.”

Klinsmann was right about that, Donovan was the story, and the reporters present pressed on for reasons.

“We read everything. Where he maybe is not the one to go one against one all the time and go into the box, he brings other values to the table – his outstanding passing game, his experience, which is a big factor always, and other elements. He’s changed his game over the past four years, which is normal at this stage of his career. Those things, we coaches discuss. We discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the other guys that we have and then we have to make a decision. He has done an amazing job in the last 10 days he was here, and has done everything right, like all of the guys did. They all had strong cases. With every player yesterday to kind of go through those couple minutes, it’s been not easy. It’s just part of the process.”

Donovan’s omission was a story that went far beyond the usual parameters of a coach selecting one player and not another, and Klinsmann was put in the awkward position of having to answer for his son Jonathon, and his anti-Donovan tweet, tweeted soon after the roster was announced.

photo1Klinsmann sounded more like a father than a coach when he answered, “I was hugely disappointed. I called him right away. He realized just a few minutes after what he had done. He came out of school fooling around with his classmates and just went off on Twitter, not being aware that he’s actually followed on Twitter. He has a huge admiration for Landon. He’s actually a big fan of his for many years. He has his jersey in his room. He realized what he had done, so he was devastated yesterday. Obviously, as a father, you put him in line and he owes him a huge apology. It was highly disrespectful and I think he got his biggest social media lesson that he could imagine. It was very disappointing.”

Two of Klinsmann’s team leaders, Tim Howard and Michael Bradley recently spoke up on Donovan’s behalf and the coach was asked whether he spoke to his veterans before cutting Donovan loose.

“No. I didn’t discuss that selection process with the older players and the leaders of the team because you don’t want them to be involved in personnel discussions that they might influence in any way.”

Klinsmann did not seem bothered by the comments, “Landon has a lot of admiration in the entire group, with us coaches, as well,” the coach emphasized. But Klinsmann made it clear that he and his staff, and not the players pick the team.“Our picture, at the end of the day, is a different one than a player has with his own teammate, so when it comes down to those decisions, I’m not involving the players.”

Klinsmann seems to believe that his youth have a lot to offer. (ISI Photos/John Todd)

Klinsmann seems to believe that his youth have a lot to offer. (ISI Photos/John Todd)

Klinsmann was also asked if his contract extension running through 2018 influenced his selections, in particular youngsters, Julian Green, DeAndre Yedlin and Anthony Brooks. Not surprisingly the coach who has always stressed that his players must constantly prove themselves said, “no.” He continued, “this is based on today. This is based on what hopefully goes well the next seven or eight weeks. It has nothing to do with my contract or with the perspective that those players have for the longer run.”

Klinsmann added that, “it is our strong feeling that these guys are ready for the World Cup, coming in anytime and doing well.”

“Some,” Klinsmann conceded, “have a learning curve ahead of them, there’s no doubt about it. If you talk about a Julian Green or DeAndre Yedlin and John Brooks, they are ready for that learning curve and they might surprise some people out there.”

Klinsmann expressed confidence that he had made the right selections, and sounds ready to head to Brazil. “I just have to do what I believe is the right thing as of today, and time will tell over the next seven weeks if it was the right move, if it was the right decision on players, on tactical approaches for Ghana, Portugal and Germany, and everything you’re going to do now from today going forward. As of today, I am strongly convinced that this is the right way to go, that this is the right decision that we made and I believe in that. Time will tell. If I’m not getting the job done at the end of the day, you know the outcome of those things in the soccer world.”

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