This week there was plenty to learn about American soccer. Coaches want to coach for the USWNT and the third pick coaches want to coach for the USYNTs, MLS made a decision about VAR that probably has more to do with the terrible camera angles at stadiums built for football and baseball than actually making a good decision, and American soccer’s second guessing father-in-law, Jurgen Klinsmann, had some stuff to say about how good of a coach he would have been in the 2018 World Cup.
Without further Maurice Edu, here’s the news!
The USWNT coaching staff rounding out
With the upcoming Olympic qualifying campaign set to start soon, the USWNT is rounding out its roster and coaching staff. Joining head coach Vlatko Andonovski will be goalkeeper coach Philip Poole and Penn State University coach Erica Walsh Dambach. The Nittany Lions are represented on the recent call up roster b yAli Krieger and Alyssa Naeher.
Not coming to MLS: VAR that is somehow worse than the VAR that MLS uses now
Good news for MLS fans: VAR isn’t coming... well, it’s not getting worse at least. The infamous Premier League process of reviewing offside calls has led to some pedantic moments in the league this year. MLS, which was a league that pioneered testing VAR
because the stakes were low enough that it didn’t matter what happened in MLS as opposed to leagues in Europe, will not be adopting the technology. However, this isn’t because it’s a terribly implemented process that is against the spirit of the game. It’s because MLS games don’t have enough TV cameras to make it work. So there, next time someone says MLS is worse than the Premier League, remind them that the replay system in MLS is better!
Crystal Dunn - an unsung personality
USWNT players got a lot of attention in 2019. The narrative is well known now - a team with high expectations, big egos, and lofty claims did exactly what they said they were going to do even though several voices wanted to silence them. Perhaps one player who didn’t get enough credit was Crystal Dunn. The attacking midfielder turned left back had a great World Cup campaign and then turned around and won the NWSL Championship with the NC Courage. New York soccer blog Front Row Soccer gave Dunn the personality of the year award, one it’s hard to disagree with awarding her.
Meanwhile - coaches are being hired, or not, at Soccer House
The saga of “this is not a great idea and maybe there’s not really a plan under the USSF, or at least it’s not working” marched on this week. News came that former Colorado Rapids manager Anthony Hudson, who managed to get fired last May only for Conor Casey to turn the Rapids fortunes somewhat through the summer, has been hired as new USMNT U-20 team. This happened only after two other coaches were offered the position and turned it down. So, third pick for the job was... Anthony Hudson? Meanwhile, FC Cincinnati director of youth development Larry Sunderland is taking over the U-17 squad. On one hand, the coaches are being hired. On the other... Anthony Hudson? The Guardian also had an op-ed about how this shows that the plan is not really a plan.
He could have finished 4th
Jurgen Klinsmann has always had lofty expectations when it comes to American soccer. He was pretty sure that the team wasn’t going to win the World Cup in 2014 and he was right! One thing we’ll never know is if his latest claim is correct or not. Jurgen Klisnmann says that he could have gotten the team to the semi-finals in Russia. The semi-finalists in 2018 were France, Croatia, England, and Belgium - clearly he liked his chances in a rematch against the Flemish. But, he never got the chance and still doesn’t have the self awareness to see the role he played in the team not qualifying. People want to say he was dealt a bad hand or had other forces holding him back, but he seems more and more like German Bruce Arena...
Are we going to cover the MLS Draft?
Good question. Tell me dear readers without looking, who was the first MLS SuperDraft pick in 2019?
SPOILER - it doesn’t matter! Any of these picks are going to be in the USL for a few years and then get jobs selling insurance or being financial advisors! Stay in college kids.