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MLS ALPHABET

MLS Alphabet – A Light column from A to Z about MLS Soccer, read Weekly and Alphabetically

By Chris Reiko

USMNT player caught on the camp practicing with Tequila. What really happened between Klinsmann and Donovan? A new King of Goals, and why talk about the USMNT is directed to the future. What IF Diego Simeone coached an MLS team? What’s wrong with Amanda and Azerbaijan? Klinsmann and his USMNT roster selections dominate my MLS Alphabet Week 12.Chris Reiko

A – Azerbaijan – The USMNT’s next opponent was selected by Jurgen Klinsmann only because his older colleague Berti Vogts is head coach of that team. Picking Azerbaijan as an opposing team does not give anything promising to the USMNT, thank God no one is injured, after poor display in 2-0 win at Candlestick. My own connection with the team from Azerbaijan goes back to 1995; at that time there was a war in Azerbaijan, so for security purposes UEFA made their football federation move the EURO 1996 qualifier game to Trabzon, Turkey. The boring match ended 0-0, and way more fun was had at the post-game cocktail party. The Chief of the Azerbaijani football federation, a huge man whose body was covered almost to the floor with a huge yellow mantle, was hosting the event. The captain of the Azerbaijani national team approached him during the post-game party and asked him politely if there would be any financial bonus for the players for the 0-0 draw against the at-the-time higher ranked Poland. The Azerbaijani boss was extremely unhappy with his player asking for money, but took a little break from eating and answered by yelling at him: “Money? You really came here for money? How you can ask for more money, if you can’t even beat Poland?”

B – Besler, Matt – Immediately after the Sporting Kansas City center back learned that he made 23 man roster, he was so happy that the first thing he did was call his wife Amanda to share his big news.
“She was not as excited as I thought she would be, but she was at work” – said Besler.
They got married in December; what’s wrong with Amanda? Her hubby is better looking than Cristiano Ronaldo, and is also going to the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

C – Clarence Goodson – The San Jose Earthquakes center back was not chosen by Klinsmann for the 23 man roster.

Clarence Goodson played all important games for USMNT, but Jurgen Klinsmann did not take him to 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. PHOTO Chris Reiko

Clarence Goodson played all important games for USMNT, but Jurgen Klinsmann did not take him to 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. PHOTO Chris Reiko

Due to Landon Donovan’s shocking snub, Goodson’s omission did not get as much attention, but it was another weird move by Klinsmann. “I disagree with him, I told Jurgen that, and I fully deserved to be on that team”. Clarence is pure class, always professional, and I share his pain. Klinsmann was again very wrong on that call, and if he had some personal issues with Landon, with Goodson everything seemed to work fine, but he decided not to take him to Brazil.

D – Donovan, Landon – His MLS response for Klinsmann’s personal vendetta was brilliant, and sadly came at the Union’s expense. After stating clearly in an interview his disagreement with Klinsmann, he scored 2 goals and registered an assist for the Galaxy against the Union, making a strong statement about how mentally tough LD really is. “This is my home, and they are my teammates” – LD said at his first practice with Galaxy, after coming back sooner than anybody expected from USMNT camp.

E – The Earthquakes are playing their best soccer using experimental lineups. On Sunday not many expected much from them, but 2 goals by Khari Stephenson and one by Atiba Harris crushed the Dynamo. Another very good game by a healthy Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi, who feels very good as defensive midfielder next to Khari Stephenson.

F – Future – The USMNT is about the future, that’s what some media services are trying to explain to us when it comes to Jurgen Klinsmann’s team. Well, everybody for their own comfort can talk about the future as an excuse for the current status, but Klinsmann, with his $4 million / year salary, was hired to take the USMNT to the next level ASAP, not in the future. He’s already been head coach for 3 years, and I’m sick and tired of reading his propaganda about the future. Thus far, the future is only bright for him and his bank account (along with a few agents from Germany), but it’s hard to see the USMNT’s future with a German 4th division player in the 23 man World Cup roster.

G – Gulati, Sunil – The US Soccer President is almost not mentioned by the media in association with Landon Donovan’s omission, but I think he should be. Gulati is responsible for extending Jurgen Klinsmann’s contract for another 4 years, just 6 days after the World Cup draw, sending a message to USMNT players and fans that Jurgen is untouchable no matter what.

Why U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati extended Jurgen Klinsmann contract before 2014 FIFA World Cup? PHOTO CHRIS REIKO

Why U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati extended Jurgen Klinsmann contract before 2014 FIFA World Cup? PHOTO CHRIS REIKO

BTW Gulati was “unanimously” re-elected to a record 3rd four year term as USSF president, meaning he and Jurgen are in charge until at least 2018. Does Gulati have something to do with Landon Donovan not being a member of the 2014 World Cup team? Good question – and I’ll let you answer this. Like them or hate them, we are stuck with them until at least 2018. For PR purposes, Landon Donovan was listed as a forward in the initial 30 man roster list, so nobody will say that an 18 year-old 4th division player in Julian Green took his spot. When the announcement of final 23 came out, it looked like Chris Wondolowski took his spot instead (btw they good friends). Only the naive think that way, because there is plenty of room for both of them at the same time on the field.

H – Hall, Tally – The Houston Dynamo goalkeeper had a nightmare of a game on Sunday in Santa Clara, but thanks to his mistakes the Earthquakes comfortably cashed in 3 points.

I – Impact de Montréal – Klop, Klop, Klop, everybody is waiting for club owner Joey Saputo’s move, and a press conference with a major announcement is highly anticipated in Montreal.

J – JK – This abbreviation is often used on Twitter for Jurgen Klinsmann, but since his 23 man roster announcement, it changed meaning to Just Kidding.

K – King of Goals – MLS King of Goals Landon Donovan

Landon Donovan celebrating his 136th goal, new MLS record PHOTO Michael Janosz ISIPhotos

Landon Donovan celebrating his 136th goal, new MLS record PHOTO Michael Janosz ISIPhotos

L – Legend – Landon Donovan has scored 136 goals in MLS, a new league record. Congratulations Landon; as he said, “it was very emotional week” not only for him, but for all of us.

M – The MLS goal record belongs to Landon Donovan, as he scored his 135 and 136 goals Sunday. Even though it may not mean much to him at the moment, he truly deserves it for his passion and dedication to the league and to the sport in the United States. Landon is an icon of US soccer, and it looks like only Jurgen Klinsmann has a different opinion of him.

N – The New England Revolution is thus far the biggest positive surprise in MLS this season, as they have won their last 5 matches, scoring 16 goals in the process. Way to go, and they are in position to extend their winning streak to 8 games, as they travel to Montreal and after host the Red Bulls and Union.

O – Orange drama in San Jose. Houston Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear was born in Glasgow, Scotland, but by many he’s considered a Bay Area native. His latest trip to his old friends, in terms of final score, was the worst since he left to coach the Houston team.

New England Revolution striker, Patrick Mullins already make him self future of USMNT.  PHOTO Tim Bouwer ISIPhotos.com

New England Revolution striker, Patrick Mullins already make him self future of USMNT. PHOTO Tim Bouwer ISIPhotos.com

P – Patrick Mullins – The New England Revolution striker scored his 4th goal in 4 games. Is he the next national team hero? He’s already sending signals that he should be ready for the 2018 World Cup. He’s not talking, but scoring for the future.

Q – Quality of MLS games went down big time without the players participating in pre World Cup camps.

R – The Red Bulls are going to be active during the next transfer window after their 1-2 loss to Timbers. They need some youth and energy out there.

S – Are Sporting Kansas City in trouble? They got lots of positive publicity for having Zusi and Besler on the World Cup roster, but they also lost Chance Myers due to injury. In their last 4 games, Peter Vermes’s side earned only 2 points.

T – Two more weeks until the two-week World Cup break.

What Landon Donovan did wrong to Jurgen Klinsmann? PHOTO Nick Turchiaro ISIPhotos.com

What Landon Donovan did wrong to Jurgen Klinsmann? PHOTO Nick Turchiaro ISIPhotos.com

U – The USMNT got Germanized. “When we talk about the game in the group we talk English, but in other conversations with Jurgen, we use German” – said Fabian Johnson one of the German-American USMNT players. Every time you look the roster has less and less to do with MLS and more with the German Bundesliga, but its official language remains English for now.

V – Vendetta – For many fans that’s the shortest explanation for Klinsmann not taking Landon Donovan to Brazil. Vendetta for what? What Landon did wrong? Is the 2014 FIFA World Cup roster affected by Donovan’s days in Bayern Munich?

W – Wondolowski, Chris – Congratulations on making the 23 man roster. Since day one in an Earthquakes uniform he has always worked hard, despite MLS coaches keeping him on the bench until he was 26. Can you imagine his records if he had started his MLS scoring activity at age 22 or 23? He was caught as he trained at the USMNT camp with Tequila :)

Chris Wondolowski practicing with Tequila PHOTO CHRIS REIKO

Chris Wondolowski practicing with Tequila PHOTO CHRIS REIKO

X-Factor – What IF world football coaching genius Diego Simeone coached an MLS club? Based on his passionate, out of control behavior during the UEFA Champions League Final, Diego Simeone in MLS would face a total suspension of about 30 games, and here is a list of the transgressions:

– 5 for “approaching and touching referee at the extra time halftime”

– 5 for “notoriously leaving his technical area”,

– 5 for “mass confrontation”

– 10 for “abusive and inappropriate behavior towards opposite players”

– 5 for “ejection and not going to locker room in good manner”.

Passionate Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone in action PHOTO Joe Toth ISIPhotos.com

Passionate Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone in action PHOTO Joe Toth ISIPhotos.com

Additionally, the commissioner would fine him probably $1 million dollars for MLS Disciplinary Committee overtime. Garber would also request his club to fire him for “endangering player health”. Diego Simeone will visit San Francisco this summer on July 27, when his Atletico Madrid will try to beat the Earthquakes. Hope he is not suspended by then.

Y – Yedlin, DeAndre – Congrats to the Seattle Sounders defender for making the roster and good luck to him in Brazil. As a celebration he already changed his trademark, fake blond mohawk haircut to his natural color.

Z – Zusi, Graham – Congratulations to the Sporting Kansas City midfielder for also making the cut for the 23-man roster, but he also has a fair number of fans in Mexico. It was Zusi who scored the goal that eliminated Panama instead of Mexico from the 2014 FIFA World Cup. South of the border they call him San Zusi (Saint Zusi). De nada Mexico, see you next week.

You can contact the author, Chris Reiko, at ChrisReiko@hotmail.com
MLS Alphabet Week 1 / 2014 MLS Alphabet Week 2 / 2014 MLS Alphabet Week 3 / 2014 MLS Alphabet Week 4 / 2014 MLS Alphabet Week 5 / 2014 MLS Alphabet Week 6 / 2014 MLS Alphabet Week 7 / 2014 MLS Alphabet Week 8 / 2014 MLS Alphabet Week 9 / 2014 MLS Alphabet Week 10 / 2014

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One comment

  1. I love watching the FIFA world cup

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