"I wasn’t an academy kid. I worked construction with my dad in the summers to make money. I didn’t turn pro until I was 22, and I didn’t go overseas to play in the Premier League until I was 25. So maybe I’m not the guy you’d expect to be saying this, but it needs to be shouted from the mountaintops: The powers that be in U.S. Soccer have created a poisonous divide between the MLS players and the so-called 'European' players, and until that culture is torn down, the USMNT will continue to slide backwards. With U.S. Soccer’s presidential election coming up this weekend, and the coaching vacancy yet to be filled, this issue needs to be addressed right now. It’s time to learn from our mistakes — as players, coaches and as an organization. It’s time to look forward and get to the heart of the matter.
Our best young players need to be playing in the top European leagues. Period. It shouldn’t be looked at as a negative thing. It should be a huge source of pride to send a 20-year-old American kid to play in the Bundesliga or the Premier League. Even better if they came up in MLS for a few years.
Why is it seen as a negative for America to 'lose' a player who goes to play abroad? Brazilians don’t think this way when Neymar goes to Barcelona. The Dutch don’t think this way when their Ajax academy kids go to Chelsea or Bayern. Why don’t we go the other way entirely? U.S. Soccer should take out ads with pictures of all the players, past and present, who have made a huge impact on the world stage."Putting Arena back in place was, literally, a step backwards. Klinsmann wasn't perfect, but I honestly believe we would have qualified pretty easily if he hadn't been sacked. Woulda, could, shoulda -- but finishing in the round of 16 on 2014 was nothing to sneeze at either.
And sorry, but while M.L.S. has shown notable financial success, it's not the way forward for a national team looking to move up to the consistency level of, let's say, Mexico, Nigeria, or Switzerland, at least.