Bradley disagrees with Klinsmann, offers own reasoning for lack of Americans in UCL

Michael Bradley of USA

 Photo by ISIPhotos.com

When Jurgen Klinsmann voiced his concerns about the lack of Americans playing in the UEFA Champions League, questioning whether a lack of self belief wasn’t to blame, there were mixed reactions to his assessment.

On Monday, U.S. Men’s National Team star Michael Bradley shared his view, and he does not agree with his national team coach’s theory that American players have themselves to blame for not being more well-represented in UEFA Champions League.

“There’s no doubt that, as Americans, we continue to have to fight for respect and we have to continue to show that we have players who can play at the highest level,” Bradley told Goal.com on Monday. “You would have hoped that now what’s gone on, whether it’s in Major League Soccer or the national team or with certain individuals over the past 10, 15, 20 years would have done more for us, but the reality is that at the moment there’s still a little bit of a feeling that if you can have an American or an Argentine, they’re taking an Argentine.”

When asked directly if he agreed with the notion that a self belief is part of the reason there aren’t more Americans playing in the UEFA Champions League, Bradley stated very clearly that he didn’t agree.

When Klinsmann made the comments, they were seen in some circles as a thinly-veiled shot at top American players Bradley and Clint Dempsey, who both have recently returned to MLS from Europe, where they were members of teams on the fringes of the UEFA Champions League.

What do you think of Bradley’s comments? Think there is something to the stigma American players still face in Europe, or do you not buy his explanation?

Share your thoughts below.

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204 Responses to Bradley disagrees with Klinsmann, offers own reasoning for lack of Americans in UCL

  1. A.S.A. says:

    Well here comes about 213 comments

    • TomG says:

      RABBLE RABBLE RABBLERABBLERABBLE!

      • brad says:

        We do not have any UCL players because no one on our team is good enough. Hows that for an explanation?

        We could have guys on UCL teams but no 90 minute every game starters…

        • Rory Miller says:

          I think one of the reasons we have no players in the UCL is that the guys who would have done well for smaller European UCL teams have instead gone to ride the bench at bigger squads.

          • Eurosnob says:

            I don’t believe that there’s an inherent bias in big European clubs against players simply because they are Americans. If the American player is better than a player from Argentina, the coaches will play him. But he has to fight for his spot and prove that he is better. Just look at the youth level – Ben Ledermann is at Barcelona academy, another American kid is at Real Madrid academy. The competition at those places is fierce.

    • frank from santiago says:

      well with everything said, i’d like to think no one on these boards have actually played AND trained in europe just as hard as anyone on their team only to get benched when game time comes. none of us around sbi have ever been in situations like the ameticans abroad, so how can anyone otherwise think what bradley said is wrong?. when a new coach comes in that didn’t bring in the american, new coach might not think highly at all of said american player…..regardless if he’s good enough or not.

    • beachbum says:

      haha!!!

    • Kosh says:

      Let m,e add to the count…

      +1 (in more than one way) :)

    • Dennis says:

      Is this something Klinsmann does as well. JK keeps looking at German-Americans, Williams, Chandler, Greene, Brooks, Jones, Boyd, and Fabian Johnson then selects them ahead of players who have lived, trained and played in the USA all their lives. Is it stretch to wonder if Klinsmann does not have some of that anti-american bias Bradley believes he himself has experienced in europe?

      • GW says:

        Dennis,

        Can you name me a better non German American soccer player better than Fabian at whatever position he plays?.

        Chandler has his issues but can you name me a more talented non German American right back than him? And perhaps you noticed JK has not picked him since his form dropped and has played the “very southwestern American Evans in his position, much to everyone’s disgust. .

        Boyd has had very limited minutes.Danny Williams lost form quite a while ago and was dropped.

        And name me a better non German American who has proven themselves to be a better midfielder for the USMNT than Jones?

        In other words tell me when JK has played a demonstrably inferior player over a superior player only because he had German connections.

        • beachbum says:

          “tell me when JK has played a demonstrably inferior player over a superior player only because he had German connections.” Danny Williams on the right midfield.

          ” name me a better non German American who has proven themselves to be a better midfielder for the USMNT than Jones?” Bradley!

          cheers GW

          • GW says:

            And of course Mikey plays with JJ not instead of him.

          • GW says:

            .” Danny Williams on the right midfield.”

            That was the Italy game and the US won it in large part because Williams was in midfield to help stop the Italians from over running it.

            He also gave the overworked defense another outlet to relieve pressure from Italian attacks. This meant they did not have to boom clearances up field or out of bounds and helped the US retain possession.

            Williams was good in the role because he handles the ball well.and is a good defender.

            Watch a replay of the game some time..

        • Creige says:

          I don’t know if Klinsmann has a bias but I can’t understand the continued inclusion of Boyd. He doesn’t give him minutes and he has no goals. Didn’t really tear it up for U20s. He could be the next best USA forward but there is no way of knowing. I would rather have Wondo or Agudelo there absent any other evidence.

          • Lost in Space says:

            For a long time Gomez was JK’s preferred striker (when Jozy was in a slump). Agudelo kept getting injured, so was never really an option. If he keeps playing well in Holland he’ll be back in discussion.
            Wondo….JK started him during the Gold Cup (over Boyd) and has brought him in multiple times. IMO he’s not worth it…but JK does use him. EJ is another player that JK has used over & above German players (namely Boyd).
            Kljestan & Beckerman have both been used more then D. Williams in the last 18 months. As has Diskerud. Evans & Parkhurst have had more matches under JK than Chandler or Lichaj (&IMO both are better than JK’s call ups even on their bad days). Besler, Gonzalez, & Cameron are preferred over Brooks for CB.
            So basically only JJ & FJ have been seeded higher than other players….and the reason for that is because they are clearly better than their MLS/MLF counterparts.

      • Duke says:

        Bingo though Im sure that this will launch a ton of who is an American comments. JK doesnt have the confidence

      • Kosh says:

        Yes. Yes, it is a stretch…indeed.

    • JayAre says:

      This is just to add to the comment count! Thanks you

    • USMNT Fan says:

      Reason we don’t have more players in Champions league is simply due to lack of quality.

    • Mo says:

      almost there…..

  2. Reid says:

    Lets have a real discussion instead of a cat fight. We need to have this as the permanent us soccer logo.

  3. SD says:

    I am taking what Bradley said with a grain of salt. I do think there is still this perception about American players but Bradley was one of the key figures in helping to break the stereotype and yet he returned to MLS.

    I am not anti-MLS, but there are some aspects where the better players need the step up in competition and it won’t happen in MLS. For example, OG would improve so much more if he were playing in Europe. While he is playing well he is still prone to mistakes and the likelihood of his mistakes would decrease if he were challenged more.

    • Chris says:

      Agree 100 percent.

      We have players that could become so much better. Omar, Besler, Zusi, Bradley. I think Dempsey is quickly on his way down. He has been awful for extended period of time now, and somehow no one wants to admit it.

      Other problem, and let’s be honest , we so not produce many players good enough for Champs League. If we did, they would be there. Simple.

      • JayAre says:

        Bradley is talking from a first man point of view he was just as good as his replacements and his coaches chose them over him.

        • Weston John says:

          I watched the Roma games and do not agree with you. MB did not outperform Strootman and Pjanic. I am a big fan of MB, but to say that MB didn’t start at Roma because of an American bias is crazy talk. Roma is stacked at mid and if MB played better than Strootman, MB would have started.

        • GW says:

          JayAre,

          Well what did you expect Mikey to say?

          “Yeah, I’m not as good as they guys they brought in to replace me?”

          Of course there are stereotypes about Americans, but have you ever worked overseas?

          This situation is true for just about every American in any profession trying to work overseas. And it is true for foreigners moving here to America.

          In both cases you have to make a case for why they should accept you over the other guy.

          It is ironic that Mikey chose the US player vs. the Argentinian example because most of the people on SBI have the same biases about Argie and Brazilian players.

          I think the bigger issue is mathematics. There simply are not that many US players out there to combat the stereotypes. If you want to bust stereotypes, nothing beats have a real live American player of your own to watch. If every league in Europe had had a Dempsey, a Bradley, a Howard, a Donovan etc. playing there and excelling over many years, the perceptions of their football people would be different.
          How many of you even knew that Argentina and Spain had really good basketball players until you saw Manu play for the Spurs and Pau Gasol play for the Lakers?

          The first thing about Mikey is he never played in England where most Americans play, except for his fiasco with Aston Villa. And that was a cluster where he seemed to be caught between two warring factions. I’m sure he felt ill used by the whole thing.

          The second thing about Mikey is to get the most out of him you almost have to organize the team around him the way they did in Chievo, the way the USMNT is set up and like Roma was when DDR was out and Mikey was going great. Once DDR came back decided not to transfer it seemed like Mikey’s value to Roma diminished.

          I would have liked to have seen him move to Stoke.

          • danny says:

            Good points. Bradley was really the insurance policy for DDR as they are similar type players. Realistically, Strootman is a better player with more potential and Pjancic is a different type of player that was more complimentary. The truth is that when Bradley was playing DDR’s role he was actually pretty close to DDR’s level and sometimes better, so I understand his frustration. But he wasn’t going to be a starter over DDR never, the best situation was for DDR to be sold and it didn’t happen. I don’t know that ROMA brought in the Belgium guy until Bradley made it known that he wanted out. ROMA valued Bradley but ultimately he was not a big investment and other top midfielders can replace him. Soccerwise, I think he should stayed at a Chievo at least another year where he was more appreciated and could help lead them get better before making a bigger move.

      • Duke says:

        I have been saying the same thing about Dempsey and unless he has a good outing in the next few friendlies, he may not be a stater any more. The real question is will JK bench him? If he were smart, He’d name somebody else captain. That way, it would be easier to bench Dempsey if that’s in the cards.

        Omar is not that high quality though he is big

      • Jake says:

        Regarding Dempsey, a ton of people are admitting it. Many of us just have given up because we think JK will start him no matter what.

        • GW says:

          Jake,

          I don’t see what the big deal is.

          Assuming Dempsey does not get called into the Ukraine game, then he will have at least a few games with Seattle to get ready.

          If he does not look good either in those games or in the camp before the game then JK will drop him, no big deal.

          Boca was JK’s last captain and he dumped him without a lot of fuss. It’s not a big deal. These guys are disposable and they know that..

    • Ian says:

      But then I would counter with the playing time argument. If OG went to Europe then sat on the bench, his development could take a hit (see Brek Shea).

      • Dennis says:

        or Parkhurst or Feilhaber or . . .

      • rainORshine says:

        it simply forces players to actually find the extend of their talent. EPL was too big of a jump for shea. now he has found an adequate level in championship

        there are several steps between MLS and EPL/bundesliga

        the point is get on your horse and see how far up you can go. go to championship or bund 2 or holland, belgium, france, etc., kick some ass, and see if you can move up the ladder

        yes, its more risky, but if you struggle you can always come back, and not wonder how good you really were/could have been… if you could have played champions league or battled at the top of one of the worlds best leagues…

        • GW says:

          “yes, its more risky, but if you struggle you can always come back, and not wonder how good you really were/could have been”

          McBride went back and forth several times before finding immortality at Fulham when he was older.

        • DCUnitedWillRiseAgain says:

          sort of. There is really only one tier between MLS and Top Tier leagues. The difference between MLS and the Belgian/Dutch/English Championship/ etc. is shrinking rapidly.

    • Tom says:

      Bradley is right in that there still is a negative perception of American players, especially in Europe. Americans don’t get compared to players from other countries on equal terms.

      But, like it or not, MLS is a feeder league. Players don’t return to MLS after many years in top European leagues, like the EPL or Serie A, to enhance their reputations. Dempsey made the mistake of leaving Fulham for Tottenham two years ago. Bradley could have played for lesser teams in the EPL (I think Fulham was one of them). Maybe it was because of fear of relegation. We don’t know.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      You’re missing his point. He’s saying it’s their stereotype (not ours) and though he busted through it for a time, he thinks a pecking order of perceptions is what is limiting Americans.

      My impression is that outside of GKs, American players are generally attractive to Scandinavian teams as lateral hires, lesser EPL sides as cheap talent (if they can get permitted), and then rare Americans catch on for a period of time at Big Clubs, the sort that we conflate with Champions League Football. What he is essentially saying is Big Clubs underrate and marginalize Americans. I don’t doubt that for a second. Why is Howard not at Man U (but instead Everton). Why is Dempsey at Seattle/Fulham (not Spurs). On and on. It’s a rare player, usually a GK, who sticks at a top notch club.

      I cannot believe every time that happens it’s because of self-belief, etc. It’s so consistent you wonder if we aren’t fighting some sort of negative stereotype.

      FWIW, “Champions League Football” is something of a myth. It means one thing if you are playing for a lousy Danish team (relative to the field) that gets drummed out of the tourney, another thing if you are playing for one of the German/ Italian/ English Big Clubs chasing the title. If the goal was just CL Football you could shop Americans to mere qualifiers and I’m sure they’d be played there, no self belief issue. What people are really talking about when they talk CL Football is Big Club Football and at that point you’re wandering into the selection politics of teams with massive payrolls and merchandising and global market concepts and sometimes cynical motives when it comes to signing people.

      Don’t get me wrong, as we develop into an even better soccer nation I think our players will be picked for their quality, but in our marginal role as emerging soccer nation I think our players sometimes are signed to sell jerseys, and often get caught up in the selection politics that non-global-stars get involved in. Dempsey has 20+ goals for FFC one year and can’t regularly start for AVB the next. AVB then gets fired. That doesn’t sound much different than Bradley getting shuffled out of Roma. Self-belief? Really? I’d trust the player currently experiencing the reality over the coach who likes to use very public motivational techniques.

      • William the Terror says:

        Mostly agree. But, Howard was at ManU. For several years. As a starter. But, the story has it that he never mentally recovered from a single blunder. He kind of needed to leave to get past it.

        • Joamiq says:

          Howard was only the starter for one season at Man U. He got run out of town after several poor performances.

      • Josh D says:

        The fact of the matter is that our best players over the last 10 years have played in the top leagues around the world.

        Donovan and Howard at Everton, Dempsey at Spurs and Fulham with EJ and McBride, Boca and Gooch at Newcastle who was also at AC, Bradley for Roma and MB; Stoke has Agudelo, Shea, and Cameron and did have Edu, Dolo is in Germany, and we have loads more in the lower leagues.

        This “I’m American so I get the short end of the stick” is such an un-American mindset.

        And I’m sorry, but no coach in the top tiers will ever bench a player for being American if they are good enough to play – they can’t afford to. They play players to win, not because of some outside perception. That’s also why coaches can get into fist fights with players then play them the next week – because all that matters is what the player can do on a pitch.

        • Clover362 says:

          Bias and prejudice are real phenomenon. The issue is that American’s are not thought of as soccer players as a result players of similar skill to say an Argentinian or a Brazilian or English or German are considered lesser players. coaches are human and these biases come into play when evaluating what that american player does on the pitch.

          The proof is in the pudding. Look at the history of transfer fees for players coming out the dutch league at age 23 with 50+ goals in the last two years look at the clubs they land at and the fees paid. Now compare that with Jozy. Look at a players who have extremely high work rates, box to box vision, shut down defensive skills and consistently preform at a high level every where they go, not many of them that aren’t give starting spots for teams that fail to qualify for even the Europa league.

        • Barrett says:

          Actually, managers CAN afford not to play Americans at big clubs if they are good enough to play. Because they have a player from somewhere else that’s good enough to play in the same position. If we had someone who was a superstar, demonstrably better than those other guys and the team was losing without him, the pressure you talk about would apply. But to become that kind of superstar, the opportunity has to be given.

          Altidore is a great example of someone not given a shot at the big clubs, despite performing on the same level as folks like Luis Suarez in the always-mistakenly-underrated Dutch league. The difference was that Suarez was looked at as tearing up the Dutch league and ready to lead the line for a big club while Jozy was looked at as an over-performing American who wouldn’t succeed at the next level. That’s the bias we’re talking about. If Jozy had quality mid-field players at the level of Gerrard finding him week in and week out, would he be scoring in the EPL? I find it really hard to answer that with a “No” – I think he’d be in the top 5 scorers in the league.

          • GW says:

            “Altidore is a great example of someone not given a shot at the big clubs, despite performing on the same level as folks like Luis Suarez in the always-mistakenly-underrated Dutch league. The difference was that Suarez was looked at as tearing up the Dutch league and ready to lead the line for a big club while Jozy was looked at as an over-performing American who wouldn’t succeed at the next level. That’s the bias we’re talking about. If Jozy had quality mid-field players at the level of Gerrard finding him week in and week out, would he be scoring in the EPL? I find it really hard to answer that with a “No” – I think he’d be in the top 5 scorers in the league.”

            You could not have picked a worse example and you display your own biases.

            Jozy was clearly expected to lead his line and to succeed at the next level. It has not gone as well as expected but Jozy still plays regularly, has improved as an all around player, is one of their most important players and is appreciated by Sunderland:

            link to express.co.uk

          • away goals says:

            This is a pretty big cherry pick. Suarez also had an incredible world cup run that boosted his stock considerably.

            And you can’t just use suarez vs altidore to argue for a trend. There are plenty of eredivisie scorers who aren’t aggressively courted. Suarez himself went to liverpool for a modest £22M, compared to the £35M fee paid for andy carroll.

            A closer analog to jozy would be wilfried bony who moved to swansea for £12M.

        • quozzel says:

          As a high school and youth soccer coach I can tell you unequivocally that talent analysis is incredibly subjective. One coach’s star player is another coach’s benchwarmer. I’ve lost track of how many players from “lower” teams that no one wanted who ended up being highly productive for me…and the reasons they failed or were marginalized on other teams were incredibly varied. Ended up coaching one alleged “B” club team where the coach (and club director) of the top team loved his technical players and was trying to re-create Barca tiki-taka on the field…I decided to go for size and athleticism instead, wound up with a HUGE bunch of kids who could win track meets up and down the flanks. Ended up dominating the alleged “A’s” every time we played them just by kicking the ball out wide and turn the jets ON, and then my juggernauts all just sort of collectively lurked in the box for headers…nothing they could do, however technical they were. And in the meantime the parents of the top team were giving birth to live kittens on the sideline; they were the club SUPERSTARS, after all….

          Soccer ain’t that linear, and you don’t generate teams like a coach pulling players on Dynasty Mode on FIFA. Lessee here, this guy here is a 71, I’ll trade out this 63-rated chump and just upgrade….

          That is the mentality, a lot of times.

          • Micronesia Justin says:

            Great insight. Thanks for sharing.

          • MeroMasta says:

            Thanks for the insight on that, but your coaching is really short-sighted. Yes, as a coach you want your team to win, but isn’t the purpose of youth soccer to build the technique along with size and speed? Isn’t this “pick the biggest and fastest kids” approach what we’ve been trying to get away from as a soccer nation?

            Congrats on beating the “A” team, but I think the “A” team coach probably is better in the long term for the players.

            • Kmac014 says:

              U r so right. He tells his players to dump it in the corner whenever they get it. The kids aren’t going to learn to play this way

            • The Imperative Voice says:

              It’s a mix of attributes but at a certain point of disdain for athleticism, eg, Goodson, Spector, you will be exposed for lack of footspeed, and no one will care how pretty the soccer was before you went down a goal or two.

              The American problem is not so much lack of technique or too much favoring of technique over speed, as it is that coaches emphasizing a team game — prototypically American — will sometimes drum the viruosity out of the top-end technical player as “hotdogging,” when that level of foot skill may be useful or necessary at a higher level. You won’t develop Messis if you tell your best players not to aggressively dribble and take people on for fear of possession loss.

              But I think the recent rise of African teams the past two decades is rife with instances where technical and sometimes slow European sides got their heads handed to them by more athletic and less structured — perhaps even naive — African teams. England vs. Cameroon, for example.

              I think it sounds nice to emphasize technicality but one of the American advantages is athleticism (also fitness), and there is no reason at all to throw that aside. When we beat a team like Spain in something like Confed Cup these days, it’s because we can outrun and outwork them, and actually aren’t so technically inferior we have to chase all day.

              • MeroMasta says:

                @Imperative: I think you might’ve misread my reply. Basically we are saying the same thing. We agree! :-)

                I’m not saying no to fitness or athleticism. I’m saying that along with that, you need to focus on technique. You can be as fast as you can, but if you can’t dribble or see the spaces, you won’t take anyone on and won’t have the ability to “create”.

                The coach who posted above just picked the biggest and fastest kids and played track meet soccer. That might be effective in HS, but it won’t help the players if they wish to continue developing in higher levels of competition.

              • The Imperative Voice says:

                MeroMasta:
                I ran track in addition to soccer. I could run right by defenders and was hard to get by going the other way. You can work with people with speed to develop the technical side but slow, technical players can only be helped with a jet pack.

                People need to remember soccer is a running game and that in variants of the sport such as football or rugby no one would dare complain about track speed. Technique is great but so is being able to run by someone without even having to bother with a stepover…..or being so fast technical guys can’t even get by you on defense.

              • MeroMasta says:

                @Imperative: The site doesn’t let me respond to your latest reply, so sorry for the convuluted flow of the “discussion”.

                I also ran track (400m) with soccer. Track is definitely good practice to stay in shape for soccer.

                You can run by everyone all you want, but if you don’t have that first touch or don’t know how to one time a ball it’s all for naught.

                You can run as long as you want, but will run out of steam if the other team has the technique to move the ball around you or if you lack the technique to position yourself correctly while defending.

                You can be as quick as you want in defense, but that won’t stop a good player from scoring on a set play like a direct kick, which takes technique to do.

                Yes, soccer is a running game and speed/athleticism is very important, but people tend to forget that the biggest difference between the elite players is not so much how fast or athletic they are physically, but how technical and quick they are with their minds. Just like in american football, you can be faster than everybody, but if you don’t have good hands, an accurate arm or an ability to read body movement, you’re not making the team.

                How many players in the MLS are quick, but lack the technique to get better? One player that comes to my mind is Marvel Wynn (sp?). That guy is FAST, but he’s been struggling for years on the technical aspect of the game. At one point he was being picked for the USMNT! Now? He’s being picked over players who are a bit slower, but they are better trained/more technical. Why? Because speed can only take you so far against elite competition.

                I wonder where Messi would be if we only valued speed.

                In an ideal world, coaches would pick kids on a basis of both criteria. Unfortunately, it just seems that it’s one or the other.

                Thanks for the discussion Imperative Voice. Hope you have a great day.

          • GW says:

            So quozzel, you admit to playing” favorites” just like JK and BB before him?

            You must be wrong, clearly the only way to pick the USMNT is by picking all the guys who play on the higher ranked clubs.

        • Gazza says:

          Josh D – most of those players (except Gooch) played in MLS. Why do we give the Euro Leagues credit but not MLS?

          It’s just ridiculous. Especially when most of those players had longer stints in MLS

        • Dante says:

          Bradley’s stay at Aston Villa would like to disagree with you.

    • Josh D says:

      Bradley, like Dempsey, agreed that they came here for money. If neither of them got the offers they did, they’d still be in Europe.

      Bradley comes off sounding like a sulking child who didn’t get picked for the dodgeball game. Don’t blame being an American because you weren’t a guaranteed stater. No other player from any nationality, color, or religion comes out and says they aren’t being played because of who they are. Yeesh.

      If they’re good enough, they play. Bradley was rotated in and out because of a combination of injury, emerging youth, and competition.

      His statement confirms to me that Bradley gave up on the general European hustle, and that’s disheartening. I also hope that his statements aren’t leading to an off-field problem with Klinsi. Other players may have taken a more diplomatic approach to their answer. Still think he’s bitter his dad was fired.

      • GW says:

        Wait a minute, you mean you can get left off the dodgeball team?

      • biff says:

        +1, Josh D, on all points. Look at Jozy. He goes to Sunderland the pet of Di Canio, who gets sacked and it was clear, at least to me, that Jozy was being frozen out by other players who maybe weren’t happy with Jozy’s special status under Di Canio. But Jozy kept his mouth shut, didn’t cry that he was being treated unfairly for being a yank, but instead has worked his bu++ off and given 110% every game. Against Man U (forgive me, Josh D) after a dirty tackle from Raphael on Borini, Jozy goes in and Raphael tries to shove Jozy around and Jozy promptly body-slams Raphael (how sweet it is), sending a message and the next leg against Man U Sunderland prevails.

        The grit and the fight and determination and the up-yours that Jozy has shown so far this season in an extremely difficult season thus far is exactly what Klinsmann is talking about, exactly the kind of leadership he is looking for in players and that is why Jozy has the chance to be something special in Europe instead giving up and why Jozy will be named USMNT captain by Klinsmann before MB.

    • isaf says:

      100% agree

      even if Gonzalez was playing for a relegation fodder club, he would be expanding his talents. maybe he won’t make as much as he currently has but if u wanna be the best, you have to prove it.

  4. Bellus Ludas says:

    Wow…first time I read an article on this site that sounded like trolling. I didn’t read anything that made it sound like MB was in “direct” disagreement with JK. It’s stated that he did, but no direct quote.

    So, I suppose I will have to prepare myself for the-sky-is-falling posts about our divided locker room and the only way to save the team is to play Costa Rica in the snow…friendly in Philly anyone?!

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      Lance, Bradley clearly disagreed with Klinsmann. I asked Bradley the question, he disagreed, gave his own take as to why he thinks there aren’t more Americans in Europe. Then I followed up and asked him if he thought there was anything to notion that it’s a lack of self belief among American players, and he said NO very clearly. People can disagree without it being World War 3.

    • GW says:

      Bellus ludas,

      Do you have any snow in Philly?

  5. Sean says:

    Look a coach is supposed to motivate his team. I think he may have unless these reports start to undermine his leadership. Stop analyzing it. We all know American athletes have a never say die attitude in most sports. Looking at MLS I wonder if players wilt a bit more during those first fifteen years. But it’s getting better.

    I think Klinsmann was wrong in his statement but not the call to confidence. It’s technical skill and masterful vision and understanding of the game that cause Americans to struggle. But it’s improving. But no words can fix that, only time.,so Klinsmann is doing all he can, call players to increase their self-belief to improve what they do have.

  6. Alex says:

    Frankly, both are skirting the real issue: it is neither a lack of self belief or lack of respect for American players. Those may be part of the problem, but what it really comes down to is ability. It’s all about ability. We don’t don’t have a system that produces Champion’s League quality players. We don’t. If we did, we’d have players with self-belief, and we’d have players who can overcome any negative perceptions that European coaches may have.

    • blokhin says:

      I agree. Having grown up and played the game in another country I was shocked when I heard my friends discuss their soccer playing days at their clubs with a lack of emphasis on ball-handling skills and heavy emphasis on physicality-both have a place in the game, but anyone watching an MLS game and a La Liga or EPL game can tell which favor these aspects more heavily.
      The US absorbed the Scottish and English coaches in the 80′s and 90′s because (common language, I guess?) precisely at the time that syle of play was fast going out of fashion through rule changes meant to support offense and creativity.

      American kids were taught by the English and Scots to boot the ball upfield and run and fight for it, whereas elsewhere possession game, movement off the ball and bal control were being stressed more than ever.

      I cringe when I see American defenders boot the ball out of bounds with little pressure and conced throw ins deep in their own territory-to his credit JK has been trying to change that, but American coaches need a massive change first, then the players will develop correctly… until then our most technical players will have to be raised elsewhere

      • Sandtrout says:

        Having grown up with the first wave of youth soccer in the 70s, I agree this is a problem. Now that I have a child playing, though, I can see that there is growing awareness of the game as it’s played on a worldwide level. My son’s team, for example, is nowhere near elite, and their coach is by no means expert, yet they have learned to pass the ball beautifully at age 10. So, I think there’s hope.

        • dman says:

          100% agree with this.

          Most posters and even soccer journalists are not exposed to the elite level club soccer being played in the USA currently. The competition is extreme, ball possession is universally emphasized over boot-ball, and elite athletes are not switching to american football. The future is Bright… Each generation of youth players seems to be better than their predecessors.

        • beachbum says:

          +1 Sandtrout

        • blokhin says:

          that is great to hear and hopefully when the critical mass on the current generation kicks in, aided by expanding MLS academies, in 10-12 years, US will have a much greater quantity of UCL-level players…

          US does not need a Messi or Ronaldo type to compete for a World Cup, but do need 10-15 UCL regulars spread across 4-5 top leagues to compete eye to eye with Brazil, Germany, Italy, Spain every single game, versus a shock upset on 1 of 10 games

      • Bumby Hemmingway says:

        As a club player growing up in the 1980′s and 1990′s – you are 100% correct in the style of play taught to American soccer players in youth systems in general. But I grew up with a Hungarian coach – and our rival was coached by a Nigerian. So I am not sure the blame can be placed at the feet if the English.

        Also, playing devils advocate here, I would argue that in the long run internationally – the US’ greatest asset may be it physicality.

  7. baldomero123 says:

    Ives, this debate…let go.

  8. DC Josh says:

    Blah blah blah.

    1. Americans aren’t good enough to play on top Champions League squads.

    2. Most foreign clubs look down on Americans as much as they look up to Brazilians/Argentinians because of the history of the soccer nations.

    • jones says:

      yeah, it’s really multiple factors. I’m not going to argue over this one.

      I was fine with Clint coming back at this point in his career, but I was shocked and bummed that Bradley would. I mean, his decision, but I loved seeing him fight it out in Europe. Who knows where he would have ended up, especially with a good World Cup performance.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        People need to look at practical reality, it’s like Julio Cesar, the clock is ticking on Brazil, you have one possible move left. If you stay put you are likely to ride the pine and either ruin your Brazil chances or come out unprepared if you do play. They could probably play in Europe but then you have to risk jumping to a team midseason that might be willing to sign you long term but might not integrate you fast enough to be better than staying put. But if you go play for a team on a calendar year schedule like MLS or Mexico or Scandinavian leagues you can start fresh with a new team, get fit in preseason, be treated like a star, and make your case.

        People are emphasizing the comedown but from their perspective what they are looking for is a quick, fair shake. I think if this was the first year in the cycle they’d either wait out Roma/QPR or move elsewhere in Europe. But at this point in the cycle playing time is paramount.

        Klinsi is looking past the tangible value to his own team of his players being busy as opposed to gathering splinters, particularly at this stage in the cycle. After this summer is when you go seek your challenge.

  9. Kapper says:

    JERRY JERRY JERRY!!!!!!

  10. biff says:

    Hmmm. Seems to be some tension between Klinsmann and MB, who coincidentally just signed a contract that guarantees him a salary for the next six years that Klinsmann can only dream of. Wonder if Klinsmann is maybe a bit jealous and if MB is maybe feeling his oats and not afraid to contradict the boss.

    In any case, I am not surprised that MB is now making excuses for his inability to firmly establish himself in Europe and excel. Yeah, sure. If MB had only been born in Argentina he would be starting for Man City today against Barcelona.

    As I said last week, Geoff Cameron has in just 20 months already accomplished more than MB did during his years bouncing around Europe and Geoff whining. He’s just doing it. Winning the love of the Stoke fans and the respect of his coaches and the approval of this teammates, not to mention starting every game and playing 90 minutes.

    • biff says:

      …and Geoff is not whining about it. He’s just doing it…

    • jonk says:

      “Geoff Cameron has in just 20 months already accomplished more than MB did during his years bouncing around Europe”

      Say what?

      • jones says:

        yes, also this: “signed a contract…that Klinsmann can only dream of. Wonder if Klinsmann is maybe a bit jealous…” Hahah, no. Why on earth would someone with his success be jealous of Bradley?

        I think Bradley is feeling defensive right now since many aren’t happy with his decision.

    • Increase0 says:

      Jealous? Of money or…. I don’t get it. Klinsi be loaded.

      • biff says:

        Anyone who negotiates a clause in his contract stipulating he gets $10m big ones if the USMNT wins the World Cup this summer, as JK is reported to have done, has a very healthy appreciation of money and a bloated appreciation of himself. And, yeah, even if Klinsmann is loaded, then MB is now more loaded. MB pull into the next USMNT in his new Rolls Royce chauffeured by Kyle Beckerman and sitting in the back seat smoking a cigar and wearing a tuxedo :-)

    • James says:

      This is one of the dumbest comments I’ve ever read. I’m assuming you’re just saying it to get a rise out of people, because there’s no way you actually believe it. MB and Cameron aren’t even close to comparable. No disrespect to Cameron, who has done well, but Stoke is more of a closer to a rugby team than soccer. Not to mention the fact that playing fullback is far less competitive than CM. And when has MB “whined” about anything? He was asked a direct question if he thinks Americans get overlooked. He said yes.

      I’m 95% sure you’re the same person who said MB only was on the NT because his Dad was coach, and now somehow you feel validated. ANY player on the USMNT says Bradely is not only the cornerstone of the team, but also the best player. Cameron may or may not start.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        Cameron fit into Stoke because under Pulis they were a lot like the Dynamo he came from. Rugby is rough but it’s old school English hoofball as opposed to the continental style that has come to take over the EPL.

        I agree, MB has played — and by that I mean appeared as much as Cameron — for Dutch teams, German teams, Italian teams. His CV is stronger and he’s more integral to the national side. I think it was massively important MB found a home quick because he was about to be left curbside by Roma. He could have stayed and fought for time and Roma would have honored their deal perhaps. But I’d prefer Americans be playing where they are wanted, particularly ones we can expect to start this summer.

      • biff says:

        @James: I don’t mean any disrespect for Mike Bradley, who had the guts as little more than a teenager to go to Europe and test himself. He is no doubt a key member of the USMNT. But he is only average by European standards. Coaches did not pass over him because he is a Yank, but because they had better options. The premature move back to MLS is frustrating because Bradley during his time in Italy had improved tremendously. Maybe he could have established himself for three or four years at a mid-table team.

        As for the comparison between the successes of Cameron and Bradley. You tell me: In the end, what did MB accomplish. He never stayed long at a team and was never a fan favorite, never won over the coaches. Cameron for gosh sakes is starting every fricking game in the Premier Leauge, arguably the best league in the world, showing well week after week against world-class players. What he has done in just 20 months is amazing and his experience now makes him as important to the USMNT as MB, if not more important. The guy is a winner and a fighter. And, frankly, if you tell me that Stoke plays like a rugby team than you have not watched them play.

        • Dennis says:

          In his time at Verona, Bradley did win over the fans and impressed serie A coaches enough that Roma did offer him a better deal. In the Dutch league, he similarly had few doubters and his successful play drew the interest of multiple teams.

        • GW says:

          biff,

          ” don’t mean any disrespect for Mike Bradley,”

          When you speak with a forked tongue you do not do it very well.

        • GW says:

          biff,

          “The premature move back to MLS is frustrating because Bradley during his time in Italy had improved tremendously”

          Animal waste material.

          In Italy someone finally gave him a team and let Mikey do what he is best at, the “Reyna” role, the timekeeper, the guy that everything goes through., the General.

          He was great at it with Chievo and when he went to Roma and DDR was out he was great subbing for DDR in the same basic role as his Chievo gig.

          When he came back to the USMNT around this time JK then gave him the same role with the US and he did well there.

          It looked like DDR might be leaving for a while but once he decided to stay BB’s value as his presumed heir went down the drain.

          And how do I know he had all this in him BEFORE he got to Italy?

          Because when he got there he took over the role with Chievo almost immediately with very little acclimation time.

          Mikey is an average, unremarkable professional soccer player in just about every way except for his fitness and his drive ,his relentlessness, his fighting spirit, what they call his “mentality” in Europe.

          Dempsey is the captain, and Landon, even now, is the best player but the USMNT is MBTFC’s team and if you are a UMSNT fan, you will hope that he has a monster chip on his shoulder going into Brazil.

    • Dennis says:

      biff, I totally disagree with your love affair over Cameron. He has been a starter for Stoke for just over half a season in a position that few americans get a shot at (Spector, Lichaj had shots there in the EPL and did not make it), true enough.

      However, Bradley has had several successful seasons in europe, it was clear at his second club in Germany he was never going to be chosen by the coach, same at Aston Villa. When a coaches did show faith in him, he produced well in both Holland and Italy. When Roma started paying big bucks to bring in players at his position, it is hard to see how Bradley could see that as anything other than coaches’ lack of faith in him. So when TFC offered lots of cash, it was a no-brainer decision. I do not think any team is offering Cameron anything in the way of a transfer offer, if they were . . .

      • John says:

        Cameron played there all of last season as well.

      • GW says:

        Dennis,

        “Cameron..has been a starter for Stoke for just over half a season in a position that few americans get a shot at (Spector, Lichaj had shots there in the EPL and did not make it), true enough.”

        It is not exactly accurate to say Spector did not make it in the EPL. Spector had 147 appearances in the EPL in seven seasons. His biggest problem has been that he missed a lot of games through injury.

        Cameron has 60 EPL appearances to date. Assuming things stay the same he should equal Spector’s numbers in about 2.5 seasons.

        Is Johnny a great player? No, but neither is Geoff. Spector is a more sophisticated and fundamentally better soccer player than Cameron but Geoff will improve. And he is physically superior to Spector.

        And if he continues doing well, Geoff could have as nice a career as Spector has had and continues to have.

        biff has an obsessive, deep seated disdain for the souls of the Bradley bunch, father and son.

        I’m not sure why he has chosen to drag Cameron, who was just minding his own business playing for Stoke, into this but biff needs very little prompting to inject an anti Bradley meaning into any given situation.

  11. Travis in Miami says:

    I believe we are in the middle of MLS make a huge push to reach it’s goal for making MLS a top league by 2022. With Beckham, Man city now owning a team – likely to draw a few big names, growing TV coverage, the further improvement of youth development and retaining those players in MLS to play with ever improving level of foreign players it could happen.

    When one measures the US domestic player against the English domestic (such as in the last WC) there is not a lot of space. What makes the difference in the leagues basically the level of foreign players. As MLS’ revenue increases along with individual owners purses this gap can be closed. Using Man City’s ascension as an example, this can be done rather quickly. However I think the strategy requires the best US players to be playing domestically to raise the level of play to attract the foreign players which in turns keeps the domestic players challenged and so on.

    Let MLS do it’s thing. We won’t be needing Europe much longer anyway so let the bias in favor of non-Americans be a non issue.

    • Arsenal says:

      Maybe I am misunderstanding you, and I am I apologize in advance. But, there is a large gap between English and American domestic players right now. You can’t use the last world cup because England sucks as a team, and Cappella couldnt put them in their proper positions. Compare the individual talent. Gerrard, Rooney, Lampard, Welbeck, Walcott, Downing, even the young Sterling are on a different plane than American players. I agree we need to raise the level of the league, but you don’t come back to the league months before the world cup. You wait until after so you are playing at the highest level and prepared to play against the best players in the world. I think Bradley made a huge mistake and I believe it will show in his performance.

      • slowleftarm says:

        So Michael Bradley will be worse at soccer because of a few months playing in MLS rather than riding the pine at Roma? Sorry, I don’t buy it.

      • slowleftarm says:

        I’d also point out that the only reason most players from outside of Europe play in Europe is because of the money. If Brazilians and Argentinians could make the same money staying at home, you don’t think most of them would?

        • GW says:

          If you speak to Argentineans playing in MLS you will hear comments like “getting paid regularly” and “safer environment for my family”.

          Expect more and more top CONMEBOL players, younger ones , in MLS as the salaries get better and the league profile gets higher.

          And I will expect MLS people may well have the same US vs Argie player bias that Mikey spoke about.

          The Euros have no monopoly on prejudice.

    • Ron Konkoma says:

      Exactly! This is America! People keep comparing us to Ghana and how we need to get our players into top leagues and top teams in Europe. But if we do that, it will always be at the expense of the domestic league; a league which, unlike the domestic league in Ghana (and countries like Ghana) which doesn’t have the infrastructure to support a large and thriving league. I loved having Michael Bradley come back because the stronger the players in the domestic league, the better. And I’m tired of hearing about MLS not being ready, and that we need players to get European experience to bring that knowledge back to the US blah blah blah. This is the age of technology–learning how to play the international game doesn’t require a European passport. Caleb Porter is a great example of this.

    • Clover362 says:

      Agree people seriously underestimate the level MLS is at. The reason is MLS is run like an american sports league (which means over the long run I expect them to become more valuable that any other league) which means there is collective action to make the teams even so that more cities are competitive and interested in their team. as a result the talent is spread between 20 teams and not concentrated at the top like every other soccer league in the world. Americans care about winning from their teams they support. You would never be able to sell a situation like the english premier league to a US sports audience. What US sports fans tolerate the idea of finishing in 15th place every year forever? Fans of teams like Fulham, Aston Villa, and Stoke are just happy for there team to play against great teams, Americans want there teams to be the great team and don’t accept a situation where that’s not possible.

      Honestly if you took the pool of MLS players and created 2 MLS teams using the best players and filing it out with a mind to forming a comprehensive team with depth, those teams would be just as good if not better than the Anderlicts, or the Stokes, or the Celtics of the world and would be much better than the mexican champions.

      • Camb says:

        “What us sports fans would tolerate the idea f finishing in 15th place every year forever”
        The Cleveland browns and Detroit lions

  12. Browning says:

    Even MLS teams would rather have Argentine players than Americans.
    MLS teams can’t wait for the salary cap to be raised so they can run to South America and buy players.

  13. Bryan says:

    Can we agree that both Bradley and Klinsmann are correct in this argument, instead of choosing one or the other? That there isn’t a demand for American players AND American players still get the short end of the stick from foreign players/coaches.

    • Ian says:

      No, let’s fight!

    • beto says:

      +1 Klismann’s “you gotta believe” line was useless motivation but ya both are true; until USMNT is beating Argentina, Brazil and others consistantly we will be unvalued in the global market.

      every outside of Europe, South America and Africa have this issue. Of the Pot3 teams the only UCL-QF players right now are
      Japan: Honda (Milan) and Kagawa (Manchester)
      Mexico: Guardado (Bayer Leverkusen)
      Australia: Kruse (Bayer Leverkusen)
      Not too many more in the group stages…

  14. Dc says:

    Of course he doesn’t agree. That would basically be saying that he came back to the US because he lacked belief, which is not true. The real truth is that he cares more about money than soccer. Not necessarily a crime, just sad.

    • the original jb says:

      Why sad? I guess you would rather raise your first baby on the other side of the Atlantic while being a role player being paid 1 mil with no guarantees after this year, as opposed to raising your family closer to home, be a leader on your team, for 5 mil guaranteed for 5 years. And all because you want to prove to obnoxious fans that you can “tough it out” in Europe, where they (quite possibly mistakenly) believe that this will make you better for the US team.

  15. Scott says:

    Here is the deal. There is a huge space in the USA for American soccer stars. Adidas/Nike/BlankShoeCompany can make a ton more money from Bradley playing well in MLS then for AC Roma or even a EPL team. The sponsors say, come to the US and we will make it worth your while. I see no issue with getting paid even if you are a big fish in a little pond.

  16. Dave says:

    Our two best players were less than starting 11 players at fringe Champions League clubs. There’s nothing wrong with that. Most countries have been doing this for more than a century, we’ve taken it seriously for two decades. We’re looking at this from the wrong angle. Why not be happy with the fact that our players are regularly playing in Europe and that the opportunity is there for them now. 10-15 years ago we were excited cause a guy named John O’Brien was playing semi-regularly for Ajax. Now we question whether the Dutch league is too low a level for our players. Perspective is important here.

    Is it depressing that our guys are going back to MLS, a little. But it will only make the younger prospects better developing in MLS with guys like Michael Bradley before pushing on to Europe.

  17. david c says:

    This is the period of transition between struggling for European success and obtaining it. It wont be this World Cup cycle and maybe not 2018, but the amount of young players that are thriving in comeptitve foregin environments, from the youth level up, is growing exponentially. By the time 2022 or 2026 rolls around Americans will hopefully have a few of its top guys in the Champions League and will have possibly produced that true American superstar. Even if we dont, the gradual growth of MLS will ensure competitiveness.

  18. Vic says:

    Not sure why people are making such a big deal. We had Jones and Klesjtan playing in Champion’s League the past year. Mexico had one player I think (Chicarito) the past year. Besides a few top countries, most countries don’t have more than one or two players in the Champions League.

    • Dennis says:

      and earlier Beasley, Boca, Edu, Dolo, Howard, Friedel, others? never several dozen, but a few every year.

    • Solid says:

      Mexico had Guardado (Valencia) and Chicharito (ManU) last year but next year they could have Dos Santos, Aquino and Espericueta (Villarreal), Guardado (Leverkusen), Hector Herrera and Diego Reyes (Porto), Jesus Corona (Twente), Jonathan Dos Santos (Barcelona) and Chicharito (whatever team he moves it is probably going to be in the UCL).

  19. Michael L says:

    Has anyone asked the question of why Clint decided to go to Fulham? A team that is having major problems. So major in fact, they’ve made Felix Magrath manager. A man who is constantly making a fuss wherever he goes. It’s also worth note, that Clint still doesn’t look like he’s completly recovered from injury.
    The question must be asked, to someone like Klinsmann, what is the highest level?
    Champions League level soccer alone isn’t a big deal. If that’s the case, Michael Parkhurst can make the case to be in the starting line up. He’s played more Cl these past few years than most.
    And if the blasted champions league is so important, that why don’t all americans just move to teams like Olympiakos? They play in the campions league almost every year.
    The reason is simple, playing in the champions league is only worth while if you play for a good team. An american at a team like Athletico Madrid would be something to be impressed about.
    So why so much focus on the campions league?
    Because such a spectical breeds pride. How many sub par players have actually played in the Champions league? How many over rated players continue to play there?: (Jordi Alba for one. Thomas Muller ate him alive for those that remember. That being said, Muller is a very underrated player in my opinion.)
    What I think Klinsmann should say, is what is the quality of the team that you play for. Look at Landon in LA. He’s playing with some great talent like Robbie Keane and raising star Gyasi Zardes. The reason why he and Omar are mainstays is because they play for a good orginization. Look at another guy like Jeff Parke. He was on the fringes of the USMNT until he moved to Philly. Surrounding talet is very crucial.
    I’m all for americans playing in europe, but I think they go about it the wrong way. Too many times, Americans will Jump to English teams. Just because of langauge. They forget about Ligue 1, La Liga, Serie A and most crucially the Bundesliga. What would set americans apart is if they approched the situation differently. Learn German, or French. It will make them more marketable. I’m German american, and I have no doubt that if I had talent like many of these guys, my knowlegde of German and the German culture would give me more openings in Germany.
    Look how Thomas Dooley played in the Bundesliga for years because of his connections.
    So what I would like to propose is this. Instead of pushing players to head off to europe. Why doesn’t the US fan base encourage them to go where they are most capable of fitting in?

    • Increase0 says:

      I am concerned with the obsession with England. I agree that going to Italy or Germany would be a much better move. Germany is probably the best. It seems to be the league that cares the least about where you are from. It’s packed with Koreans, Japanese, and strangely quite a few Australians. I will say that language may be the issue here. Outside of Bayern the champions league slots are pretty open.

      Fabian Johnson might be in a champion league next year. Who knows why Bradly didn’t stay with Gladbach.

      A lot of players are over rated. Ex. Sergio Ramos red card machine. Real started playing Raphael Varane at the age of 19 because Ramos and Pepe aren’t really that great. My favorite overrated player is Rooney. He hasn’t been truly great for years(like 5) and yet keeps getting bigger and bigger contracts.

      • beto says:

        +1 thats a great point. The other nations who struggle with this issue (Asia + North America) are very well represented in the Bundesliga. I would hope that more Americans go there instead of mid/bottom table England.

        • Michael L says:

          That’s my whole point. Germany gets four Champions league spots. For the past few years, Bayern and Dortmund claim two. But the other two are usually flexible. Leverkusen, Schalke, Mochengladbach, Stuttgart. It changes. So why aren’t more americans targeting there? And for those who know the Bundesliga, they know that Jurgen Klopp at Dortmund is more than willing to pick up different players from all over. They just have to be willing to run and run and run. And look at a guy like Marco Rues. He played with Bradley at Mochengladbach, and just blew up all of the sudden. the trick is to go to a good team. More importantly, a stable team. Just look at the mistake that Jozy made by going to Sunderland. He went to a team that’s been unstable for years. Teams that are experiencing turmoil are always the worst to go to as a new signing. But I haven’t thought he has the skills to go to the EPL anyway. He’s too moody.
          The other question that you have to ask in regards to Europe, is do they really belong there. Just look at Alexandre Pato, formerlly of A.C. Milan. He floundered for years before calling it quits and going back to Brazil.
          Look at a player like Chris Wondolowski. With his reputation, he could almost certainly get an offer from a lower midtable EPL side. But you have to ask yourself in that situation, do you really want to fight for a roster spot on a cruddy team like Fulham? A team that now sports Lewis Holtby, who if Tottenham had managed him properly would be a good success.

  20. Gerard D. says:

    For a player that took the money and ran home, this is hilarious. Bradley-cakes.

  21. g-dub says:

    I like having a pissed off MB90 with a chip on his shoulder and something to prove in this WC.

  22. wood chip zip says:

    Agree with Bradley, it’s a no-brainer. And as someone else pointed out, it is not only true in Europe, it is true here too. Everyone thinks foreign players are better than American players. I’ve heard youth club coaches say latino, south american, and asian players are better than american players because they grow up on soccer. I’ve seen youth coaches prefer african black players over american black players for the same reason with kids who are only 12 yrs old. Apparently they havent figured out that American kids are now growing up on soccer too. They probably get to watch it more on TV than kids in other countries. The same is true with coaches too. If you’re American you cant coach the game as well as a foreigner. Look at Bradley senior. He has to take a job with a nothing team in Norway even though he has won championships and coached two national teams while Ole Gunner is handed a premier league job after 2 1/2 years as a professional coach in Norway. It is also true with soccer fans. People believe American soccer fans are not as sophisticated as other fans. The number of times I’ve heard how sophisticated Toronto or Vancouver’s fans are is laughable. They cant produce players as good as American players yet somehow Canadians understand soccer better than Americans. I agree with those who say this is not an issue because the stereotype regarding Ameircans and soccer is so true it is laughable. Klinsman has to know this. He must have said what he did about American players not believing because as the US coach he does not want to give them an excuse not to go to Europe. Everyone knows American athletes are confident and hard working. Europeans say that all the time about American athletes.

  23. A.S. says:

    Dunno why this comes down to “lack of belief” or anti-Americanism. Americans just aren’t good enough to be regular starters for a Champions League side. Yet.

    It’s not all that complicated.

    • Wergle says:

      Dempsey was the third highest goal scorer in the Premiere League and all he could get was an off the bench position at Tottenham. Think about it. If the third highest goal scorer in the Premiere League was not American, he would have ended up in a Champions League club.

      • isaf says:

        SO TRUE.

        but he was 29. factor that in and he was earning much less than guys like Bale/Adebayor

      • A.S. says:

        “If the third highest goal scorer in the Premiere League was not American, he would have ended up in a Champions League club.”

        Uh huh. He was the 4th leading scorer, first of all. And he was tied with Yakubu, 1 ahead of Demba Ba and 2 ahead of Grant Holt. And where are they? They are: in the Middle East, 3rd choice at Chelsea, and at Villa on loan from Wigan, respectively.

        Dempsey ended up where his talent and age lead – on the fringes of a squad on the fringe of the Champions League. Had nothing to do with anti-Americanism.

  24. Wergle says:

    I think the UMNT will have to start making consistent, impressive World Cup runs before our players are taken more seriously at the club level in Europe.

    • beachbum says:

      I think I agree, but that’s not what innumerable other players from countries which don’t do well in the WC have to accomplish first, which speaks to MB’s point I think

      • Wergle says:

        Okay, either we have impressive World Cup runs or soccer is taken a LOT more seriously in American culture. Those other players you are discussing come from countries in which soccer is a major sport. That also affects people’s pre-conceptions, justifiably or not.

        • beachbum says:

          Yep. I get what affects people’s pre-conceived notions, just like you appear to, whether they are accurate preconceptions or not :)

  25. Wergle says:

    USMNT I meant…

  26. beachbum says:

    Very cool to hear Michael Bradley, leader, speak and lead.

    100% support

  27. Alex H says:

    Bradley is right that all things being equal the club will go with the Argentine over the American. If you open up the wallet for an Argentine and it does not work, the world shrugs its shoulders and say “Tough luck, these things happen.” if the same happens with an American the world says, “Only an idiot would spend that on a yank, you should be fired!”

    • Alex H says:

      One more thing. Americans have been doing pretty well in Mexico. I think the Mexicans finally accept that Americans can play soccer and are willing to give them a chance (especially if they have some Mexican roots) so maybe Americans looking to ply their trade abroad should go south of the border as it represents both a bump up in competition and in salary.

      • Ian says:

        the only american player in Mexico without mexican citizenship is Beasley, everyone else has mexican roots and they are all considered mexican even if they play for the USMNT.

        • Alex H says:

          That still leaves a lot of opportunity even if it went no further as many of our players have Mexican roots. That said I am pretty sure that if Zusi, Johannsen or anybody else that was on the pitch last October in Panama wanted to play they would be given the keys to the country.

  28. Steve Beaudry Barnes says:

    I played in Spain and England. Yes it was very long ago, and yes it was not in the first division, (or 2nd, 3rd, or 4th) but ran into the same situation as our Americans now:
    1) You don’t communicate as well, because you don’t speak the language as well.
    2) You are a 2nd class player because of it: I was significantly more fit, taller, and faster than anyone on my teams, (or the teams that I was playing against, in the lower divisions.) That got me onto the field, but only as a Midfielder where I could run all day and feed the balls to the wings. It took a long time, over a year, to work my way into the front line, then they promoted me to fore-stopper, where I spent the rest of my career. But it was always “Steve —-Zuruck!” (Steve, get back!), let the others attack…even though I was still feeding assists, and outracing everyone back.

  29. John says:

    Klinsmann was just trying to talk up his players saying they had just as much as ability and we’ve all been reading way to much into it.

  30. Marul says:

    Bradley is right. Anti American bias exists everywhere. Just look at the list of DPs in MLS.
    If they have to pick between an Argentine and an American MLS will pick an Argentine most of the times.

  31. AC says:

    I think Klinsmann was incorrect in the confidence remark but was still trying to use it as one of his usual motivation tactics. Bradley does give a correct assumption in the “picking an Argentine over an American” as that is the common stereotype. It’s like that picking up a player in a pickup basketball game because they look like a baller wearing all the clothing and shoes, but stinks on the court compared to someone who doesn’t look the stereotype but dunks on everyone. Obviously Argentina has a history of producing great players compared to the short history of the United States which doesn’t help the American player in Europe as many coaches are of the old guard.

  32. Emmanuel says:

    Guys! nobody gives any credits to the MLS, I agree with Bradley; but we have to earn it no matter what, and we will…God bless the MLS.!!!

    • MikeG says:

      I give credit where the LA Galaxy have the LA Galaxy 2 in the USL Pro league for player and youth development. This is awesome, but it will take a few years to see the benefits. Every MLS team should be doing this. Some how State club soccer teams need to find ways to be affiliated with the LA Galaxy and LA Galaxy 2.

  33. bryan says:

    both have valid points. Klinsmann said he believes the talent is there. so it’s not like he is saying the talent isn’t there. so while Bradley is correct that there is a bias against US players, it’s that very issue that causes a lack of belief among US players as a whole. and even though i agree the talent is there, our players have not played at a consistently high level.

    a good World Cup would really help with that.

  34. isaf says:

    I believe our best players should be in EUROPE.

    Clint Dempsey/Michael Bradley won’t help grow MLS overnight. That will take 20 years to be on the level of the French/Italian league. But Dempsey/Bradley fighting and playing well for some big clubs (CL or EL) will help the perception of US players and that will help the NT in the next decade.

  35. isaf says:

    I believe our best players should be in EUROPE.

    CD/MB won’t help grow MLS overnight. That will take 20 years to be on the level of the French/Italian league. But Dempsey/Bradley fighting and playing well for some big clubs (CL or EL) will help the perception of US players and that will help the NT in the next decade.

  36. XMAN says:

    this team needs to
    get to the quarterfinals at least

    that will help with changing perception

  37. Leo says:

    i really like how our boys are coming back to the MLS. i think the #1 things players need is confidence, and if you are the head honcho on your team (Landon, Bradley, Deuce) your confidence will be soaring. besides, who cares if you are on a champs league team. check these teams with hardly anyone on such teams that year:

    1990 World Cup Cameroon def. Argentina 1-0 in opening game
    2002 World Cup South Korea def. Spain in quarterfinals link to en.wikipedia.org

    anything can happen. i prefer our players be happy (at home, starting, the “heroes” on their teams) and confident entering the World Cup.

  38. MikeG says:

    Of course most teams will take an Argentine player over a USA player. The Argentine player came up through a proper player development triangle where the cream rises to the top. The USA player development triangle player is still under contruction. The Argentine player is more complete. The USA player takes a year or two to get up to speed with anticipation of play after leaving the USA. It was worse 10-15 years ago, but it is getting much better today. SO, a player not striving to get to the Champions League through the club or sign to a team that is in the Champions League is a step back. In that regard Klinnsman is right. The taking the Argentine over the USA player, well, Bradley is also correct. Klinnsman and Bradley is correct.

  39. bizzy says:

    To say coaches would keep their best player on the bench because he is American is Absurd. America players lose their spots when better players come along. We have only good average players in our pool, the type for talent you can find a dime a dozen in Europe, south America, Africa and that’s the simple fact. If anything foreign coaches/teams come after US players because talent to cost is cheap and beneficial to them. We don’t have players on top teams in leagues like the Serie A, EPL, La Liga etc because we don’t have ‘Top team’ talent in our pool for them to be there.
    Why didn’t anyone say teams and coaches are bias and look down on American talent when Freddy Adu was struggling and being bounced around(coach changes and all), when Onyewu couldn’t make the starting lineup in Spain, when Feilhaber Left Europe,when Edu couldn’t make the starting line-up for Stroke etc…….because it is the players fault, the players lack of effort or lack of ability or lack of talent.
    Soccer is developing in this country and we should be proud of that, we are not the best but have the ability to bring the fight to any team but crying foul play because of who we are rather than what we are capable of is nonsense.

  40. Craig says:

    Grow some hair Bradley. If they give you a bottle, you’ll look like a two year old. GUAAA. !!! GUA !!!! Gua!!!!

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  42. usaalltheway says:

    I don’t know what any of you are writing but I am angry about it!!!!!!!!!

    This is a Internet forum, isn’t it? ;) ;)

    On a serious note, our players don’t have the talent, although Bradley does seem to be the exception. He could have continued with Roma or at least stayed in Europe.

    Apart from him, the US doesn’t have the talent, YET. We will soon though. We are AMERICA. Best athletes on the planet. Just put the money and cultural interest into it.

    There has got to be thousands of kids out there who aren’t tall enough for basketball, big enough for football or find baseball too boring, that have the talent to be good at soccer. Look at Messi. If you just look at him, one wouldn’t think for two seconds he is a world-class athlete. You know what I mean?

    Bring it to the inner city, raise the pay cap in the MLS and make the sport “sexy” and watch how quick the US starts dominating.

  43. Nobody important says:

    Girls. Girls. 2 points.
    1. It’s awesome that people care today.. USA fans of cone a long way.
    2. It comes down to trust, ( there is still a bias against American Players, even keepers which are far more widely accepted ) Our system fails at the 17-22 age. So if you get your shot, it’s not till your 22 or so before someone in Europe takes a shot on you. Your 5 years behind the level. Maybe 1 or 2 over a 5-7 year span may get in. By then they are just adjusting to domestic leagues, let alone the next step.
    Our money our system is broken. The young players should be cutting their teeth at 17-18 with the pros-( possibly loaned ) to lower leagues. In the USA, most of our soccer players aren’t hurting for $ coming up and they value education more ( they come from middle to upper incomes ) so very few are willing to take their shot here in a lower league and getting experience, vs chasing a diploma ( then taking a shot if someone will ) and only playing 5-7 months a year in college. Taking a shot in Europe can be more favorable but look how Jozy-Freddy have done at their young age. Not much to help them or USA soccer, and it’s not their fault. So because of that we struggle with, Trust and prejudice at the same time. Maybe that’s why these German-Americans have gotten such a run.
    Products of the worlds system not ours.. Now that’s changing some but it’s going to be 10+ years before the money ( which gives security to chase a diploma while chasing the dream is there ) if they fail.