The MLS side Seattle Sounders are currently positioned in the bottom spots of the American League in the Western Conference and this was due to the consistent string of negative results that they experienced under the guidance of Sigi Schmid.
Sigi Schmid and his team sustained 12 defeats in 20 matches and after having lost so many matches, on July 26 it was officially confirmed that the 63 year old manager left the club on mutual terms and replaced by the assistant coach Brian Schmetzer.
Seattle Sounders is a club that is used to securing a playoff spot of the Western Conference as they have never missed out from doing it but things might change this time around as Brian Schmetzer will have to somehow spark life into a squad which has consistently been dropping points and losing matches due to underwhelming performances.
There are more than 10 league matches remaining before the season will reach it’s end, which is plenty of time for Seattle Sounders to begin their revival and according to the captain of the team, Brad Evans stated that they are ready to start climbing spots in the league by winning matches at a consistent basis.
“This is a group that is together and ready to push for the playoffs. You’ve seen every single day guys come out here and bust their ass in training. There isn’t anybody here that’s taking breaks during training. Any time we talk, I’m impressed by everybody coming out with a level head after a loss. Guys are hungry, hungry to get results. They know what’s at stake. You guys can see that.” Brad Evans of Seattle Sounders said.
Brian Schmetzer is the man that was tasked with the role of replacing Sigi Schmid and depending on the results that Seattle Sounders secure in the upcoming few weeks, it will determine as to whether or not he is selected as a permanent coach instead of just having an interim managerial position.
LA Galaxy coach Bruce Arena has stated that his team needs to win ugly if they want to progress. And this is what the team achieved in the match against Portland Timbers.
They opened the score early in the game and managed to survive a late rally from the home side and win the game in an unconvincing fashion.
LA Galaxy managed to score in quick succession thanks to Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes. They deserved the lead as they have been the dominant side from the kick-off. Many pundits argue that LA Galaxy produced their best football of the season in the opening stage of the season, and this is no surprise that they managed to open the scoring.
Portland Timbers struggled to cope with LA Galaxy in the opening stage and conceded two goals in close succession. But they will manage to score a late goal in the first half that will give them hope for the remaining of the game. Motivated by this goal they will put the LA Galaxy team under pressure during the whole of the second half.
LA Galaxy will hold on during the second half despite Portland Timbers applying pressure to their defence. They will manage to hold on despite playing ugly at some times. Bruce Arena admitted that they game was quite tough at times, but it is important that the team learn to win such games. He said that they were the culprit by giving Portland an easy goal at the end of the first half, and this is what make the game difficult for them.
Bruce Arena said that LA Galaxy should learn how to win games even when they do not have the majority of possession. He said that his players should be ready to fight in every game.
Major League Soccer outfit Seattle Sounders defeated DC United by 2-0to end their recent poor run in the league.
Jordan Morris and Joevin Jones scored four minutes apart in the second half to end the losing streak of the club.
Morris scored his fifth goal in the 79th minute after Jones fed with the ball. Jones fed him in the middle, and Morris returned the ball. Jones took a well placed attempt at goal but DC goal stopper in Bill Hamid got his hand in the way. One of the DC defenders tried pulling out nut Morris sent the ball swiftly to the back of the net before Hamid could get a hold of himself.
Just minutes later, Osvaldo Alonso sent a pass to Jones on the left wing. Jones who actually is a defender but played as a forward when he came on the game, slotted the ball pass Hamid from the Alonso pass. Hamid made several other saves during the game unlike Sounder goal keeper who was only tested once out of 15 shots played.
Both of the teams were without key players were on national team duty at the Copa America. This includes Seattle Sounders’ Clint Dempsey and DC’s Steve Birnbaum with the United States national team.
Seattle Sounders’ last victory was against SJ Earthquakes early in May where they won on a 2-0 margin. They lost three straight games in an astounding way. First to Dallas by two goals to nothing, then they played hosts to Colorado Rapids. The game was keenly contested but ended in a loss all the same. They were poised to pick up form against New England but fell again by a 2-1 score-line. The victory against DC United takes them to ninth position with just 16 points from 13 games played.
Major League Soccer outfits Orlando City and Stoke City have announced a major strategic partnership, according to reports by Sky Sports.
The developmental partnership will see the two sides share knowledge, players, coaches and facilities when required. Both clubs will also promote the other's brands at their home grounds, and work closely with one another's commercial partners, as well as trying to get new ones together - there are already rumours that gambling firm betfaircasino.com could be amongst a number of new companies looking to tap into hte fans of both clubs.
A joint marketing campaign will also be released at a later date. The Potters’ chief executive Tony Scholes told the club’s official website of the thinking behind the deal.
“It’s an opportunity for us to share best practice with Orlando in a variety of areas, primarily in player recruitment, marketing and development, but also to give both clubs chance to grow in each other’s markets.”
The clubs have considerable links; with Orlando City founder Phil Rawlins previously spending 15 years as owner and director of Stoke City.
Additionally, Orlando head coach Adrian Heath, left-back Brek Shea, 'B' team head coach Anthony Pulis and Captain Lewis Neal have all previously played for the Staffordshire-based team.
“It was always clear that we could have a great relationship," said Rawlins, who also serves as Orlando City president.
“It came down to us wanting to reignite that synergy and bring our clubs closer together. This will be our partnership in England, and we hope to ignite passions for both our clubs in each other's markets.”
Orlando City SC have a similar deal in place with Portuguese team SL Benfica, which sees both players and scouting networks shared. Stoke City have enjoyed a decent season in the Premier League as they currently sit in 10th position. The club still hopes to achieve more next season and they hope the new venture will assist in their efforts next season. The slumped to a defeat to crystal palace but still hope to finish on a high.
Los Angeles Galaxy has not been that bullish at opposition’s ground this season and Steven Gerrard blames the defence for that.
As per Gerrard, in the home games, Galaxy nets so many times that the flaws in their defence remain hidden, but, when they travel and do not strike quite as heavily as they do at the StubHub Center, the defence is exposed and they lose points.
Losing points doesn’t mean that Galaxy has been defeated a lot. It’s actually only one game which has seen them end as the second best.
All the other games, it’s been either a draw or a win, but, it’s that no. of draws that Gerrard has a problem with as he reckons those draws could well have been the wins if not for those soft goals that they have let the opposition add to their names.
Speaking in Chester after Galaxy played their 4th draw in the season; Gerrard was quoted as Saying, “The aim was not to draw the game. It was to win the game which we could not.”
“It’s not to stress that this is a bad result. Of course, this is not because the opposition was of some quality, but, the point is that we have a quality team as well. So, from that perspective, we would have wanted full points.”
“The lesser a team concedes, the more it gives itself the chance of toppling the other team. This is not good enough for silverware to be honest with you. There must be more steel down the backline and there has got to be more no. of clean slates.”
The next visit for Galaxy is of Saputo Stadium where they will be playing Montreal Impact, the Eastern Conference’s top team.
The group stages for the 2016 Copa Centenario were completed a few days ago with all the nations being drawn in different groups, some of these nations had a fairly better draw as they were pitted against teams that have a less competitive squad but there are others that had things much more difficult and one of these was the United States team who will have to face off against Colombia, Costa Rica and Paraguay in Group A.
Group A is considered to be one of the harder ones out of the entire bunch. United States are the hosts for the 2016 Copa Centenario and this gives the American squad the privilege of being able to avoid nations such as: Mexico, Argentina and Brazil but even though Jurgen Klinsmann and his team were able to dodge these teams, they were still placed in a tough group.
Colombia and Costa Rica both managed to reach the quarter-finals of the 2014 World Cup while Paraguay is another squad that won’t be so easy to defeat either.
This isn’t the first time that United States has been placed in a difficult group as they experienced something similar during the 2014 World Cup where the American team had to play against Germany, Portugal and Ghana and managed to secure the 2nd spot which was enough to advance into the round of 16.
Jurgen Klinsmann is aware that his team was drawn against tough opponents but the German coach remains optimistic that his squad will be able to advance through the next rounds, especially after their latest team-building Man Utd Stadium Tour, as he said: “Obviously it’s a difficult group, no doubt about it, but qualification out of the group is doable. We had a similar scenario in Brazil and we went through. Now we start with Colombia right away instead of Ghana. Would we like an easier group on paper? Maybe, but no group is easy either. We’ll take it the way it is. We’ve done the same with Brazil, and we’re doing it now too. We'll go out there and give it a go."
The first match of United States for the Copa Centenario is scheduled to take place on June 3 as they face off with Colombia in American soil at the Levi’s Stadium.
The United States national football team routinely sets up a winter training camp where players from the national team are taken to a specific place and work together for around 1 month or so.
Taking into consideration the time in which this training camp is scheduled to take place, it’s always incredibly difficult for the coach of the American national side to put high profile players or performers of big European clubs in this training session and Jurgen Klinsmann has instead opted to go for some of his younger players.
This period of time is an ideal moment for the players who don’t usually get called up for the first team of the national team to step it up and prove their worth.
Jurgen Klinsmann named a group of 23 players which have an average age of 24; these are the younger performers that the German coach included while some of the more veteran and experienced players include: Michael Bradley, Matt Besler and Jozy Altidore, all of which are U.S regulars.
The U.S national team has friendly matches against Iceland and Canada which are scheduled to take place on January 31st and February 6th respectively. The Under-23 side of the American team also has an important match to play against Colombia and this training camp will help them in this upcoming Olympic playoff game.
When Jurgen Klinsmann was asked about his team selection for the winter training camp, the German coach replied by saying: "This will be more of an identification camp and a development camp. We want to give those players a head start into their very busy year 2016, but we also want to make it clear to them that it's a huge opportunity that you have here to understand what it takes to step it up and to become an international-level player."
The U.S national side managed to make it past the group stages of the 2014 FIFA World Cup which was a fairly difficult group that had Germany, Portugal and Ghana but were ultimately knocked out in the Round of 16 after losing 1-2 against Belgium. Klinsmann is hoping that he can do better with his team in their upcoming competitions.
Don Garber, the MLS chief, says he does not provide any directions to Klinsmann as to whom he should be selecting and whom not, but, being a supporter of the American team, as anyone else, he also has the right to put forward his views.
In one of his interviews, Garber had expressed his disappointment about the fact that most of the players who had made it to the MLS XI of the season this year had not been considered for selection by Klinsmann at all.
But, according to him, he did not make that statement in his capacity as the chief of the League.
Clarifying his point, the 59-year old said, “I am a supporter of the national side and I believe the likes of Dax, Benny and a few others, they have been really consistent playing in MLS for past some time and it would be really exciting if they get a look in at the international level.
“But, having said that, I would like to make it clear that there are no influences whatsoever on the national manager in the selection matters. We all are entitled to our views, but, at the end of the day, it’s his decision only and nobody has a say in that.”
“As far as my relationship with him is concerned, there are no issues. It’s alright for two individuals to disagree on certain topics. Everyone’s point of view can’t be the same. But, what’s important for you is to fulfil your responsibility and we both are trying to fulfil our responsibilities as well as we can.”
“Our job profiles are different. He is working in the best interests of the American national side, while, I am looking to make regular improvements in the League.”
Jurgen Klinsmann was a disappointed man after his USA team were sent crashing out of the Gold Cup on penalties against Panama.
USA were seen as one of the favourites to win the competition after having recently excelled in major competitions like the World Cup 2014. However, the team has been displaying inconsistencies in form at this tournament. After starting out with a narrow victories over the likes of Honduras and Haiti, a 1-1 draw against Panama in the earlier rounds do not inspire a lot of confidence. This aspect has been confirmed by the defeat on penalties following a 1-1 draw.
The team finished top of the group with seven points from the three games. However, a 2-1 defeat against Jamaica ended their aspirations of lifting the title. Still, Klinsmann was feeling confident due to the possibility of finishing as the third placed team. Even those hopes have evaporated after this defeat against Panama. Mexico have gone on to win the tournament. This is undoubtedly a major setback for Klinsmann, who appeared to be heading on the right path only a few months ago. He will now have to work on re-energising the team for the future tournaments.
USA managed only two shots on target throughout the game.
This game today had a weird feeling for both sides. We wanted to just to make sure nothing bad really happens there and let’s just get it done. I’m not blaming any players if mistakes were made. That took the wind out.
That’s normal. That’s fine. There was always a sense of being uncertain what would happen next. … There was kind of this feeling that was there from the beginning in this tournament that you always wonder what would happen,” said the manager after the defeat. USA next take on Peru in a friendly in September.
European football has always been considered to be the place where the best players and clubs are located and competing in. The Premier League, Serie A, Bundesliga and La Liga are the top ranked football leagues.
The American League, Major League Soccer on the other hand is not known to have this same type of quality compared to their European counterparts. MLS is a much younger league and it is certainly growing at a quick pace but it’s still very far away from being categorized in the same level as European leagues.
One of the main reasons of why Major League Soccer is still not considered to be at the same level as the European clubs and leagues is due to the world class players that are competing in America compared to those who are in Europe.
All the best players have dreams of competing and getting into a top class club such as: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich or any of this nature and a trend that is increasing is that when a player reaches a certain age, they opt to make a move to the MLS and even at a fairly elevated age, those players are still regarded to be at a higher level than the ones who are homegrown in USA.
Jurgen Klinsmann is the head coach of the United States national soccer team but the German coach has also been in charge of Germany and Bayern Munich. The 50 year old manager has unveiled his opinion in what are the main weaknesses and strengths in American players and what limits them from not being world class.
When Jurgen Klinsmann was asked about the main limitations in American football, he replied by saying: “Reading the game ahead is something we still need to work on.
Tactically understanding certain elements like playing a high line and shifting quickly from defense to attack and back again. Staying always connected with each other. The mental alertness, to not switch off this still needs work. But this comes with experience and competition. So the more experience and competition they get, the faster it will come. The more they will become consistent.’’