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Lester Freamon

2014 World Cup Brazil

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First bit of surprising, IMO, news today. Klinsmann has decided no to place Landon Donovan on the 23 man roster for Brazil.

http://www.mlssoccer.com/worldcup/2014/news/article/2014/05/22/world-cup-jurgen-klinsmann-announces-us-national-team-23-man-roster?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=News&utm_campaign=Unpaid

No reason yet given for his exclusion. Very interested to hear it. Do you think he really isn't one of the best midfielders or forwards in the group?

Is his age, perhaps, catching up with him?

Did he look really bad in camp? If so, should that even matter when you have his track record?

Do you think it's possible that Donovan simply didn't have the drive to compete on that level anymore and Klinsmann noticed or Donovan himself begged off the team noting this himself?

Also, Donovan himself had said very recently that he wasn't a lock. I didn't buy it AT ALL at the time. Either Donovan had read the writing on the wall at the time he made that comment, or he had already talked to Jurgen about being left off.

Edited by Lester Freamon

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My guess is that the answer to most of your questions is "yes". He's older, not in the best form, and his heart hasn't been in it in recent years. I'm disappointed that he hasn't played his way on to the team, but I'm not surprised he hasn't.

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My guess is that the answer to most of your questions is "yes". He's older, not in the best form, and his heart hasn't been in it in recent years. I'm disappointed that he hasn't played his way on to the team, but I'm not surprised he hasn't.

Here is Klinsman's response. Pretty much as you surmised. JK just doesn't, at the moment, see LD as one of the USMNT's best 23.

http://www.mlssoccer.com/video/2014/05/22/jurgen-klinsmann-toughest-decision-my-coaching-career#ooid=53YXMwbjrzVeEH4XLiLDn1Tm54Bk4h1z

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Who constitutes the back line is the biggest question for me. Chandler is also seriously in the mix, IMO. He's been invisible for the USMNT in qualifying this year but he had a great year for Nurnberg. I wouldn't mind seeing Chandler and Johnson start at left and right back. With Besler and Cameron, who should have great confidence coming off a very solid season for Stoke, in the center. But yeah, hopefully Gonzo proves fit and we have that many more options.

Bedoya would be an interesting choice. I like Beckerman though. He and Cameron have grown on me more than any other players in the USMNT mix in the last couple years. In years past I would cringe at the sight of both of them.

Will watch the friendly tonight, very interested. I wonder if Klinsmann is planning on experimenting tonight with guys like Green at his disposal while playing an opponent that should be handled.

Also, so not wishing injury on anyone, but imagine if someone goes down tonight with something serious. Will Donovan be the first choice as an injury replacement for the roster? Had himself two goals and an assist in his first game back with LA. :D

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Dempsey strains his groin during warm ups. No word on the severity just yet. Hopefully not serious. BUT, if it is would this open the door for LD???? :D

Pretty sure Dempsey will be fine and this is just precautionary.

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I didn't get to see very much of the game last night. The wind looked horrible. I played in a few games like that this spring and it kills the flow of the game.

I'll have to read some reviews. Anyone have any opinions about what they saw?

- I think Beckerman is solid in CONCACAF, but on the world stage he'll struggle. I love the way he plays though. And of course he's a local guy, so I root for him. I'm not a J. Jones fan, but I can't see Beckerman overtaking him.

- I thought Cameron was more of an outside back which is why I wanted to see Gonzalez win the center back job next to Besler. That could push Cameron to the right and slide F. Johnson to the left. I have a hard time imagining that Beasley is one of our four best backs. He plays hard and he's quick, but he's not a true back and his touch is poor.

- I'm sure Dempsey is fine. They said it was precautionary.

- I was glad to see Diskerud get on the board. I like his game. He's the guy I'm rooting for to push J. Jones to the bench.

- How good is Johannsson? I've only seen him in limited minutes a couple times.

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I didn't get to see very much of the game last night. The wind looked horrible. I played in a few games like that this spring and it kills the flow of the game.

I'll have to read some reviews. Anyone have any opinions about what they saw?

- I think Beckerman is solid in CONCACAF, but on the world stage he'll struggle. I love the way he plays though. And of course he's a local guy, so I root for him. I'm not a J. Jones fan, but I can't see Beckerman overtaking him.

- I thought Cameron was more of an outside back which is why I wanted to see Gonzalez win the center back job next to Besler. That could push Cameron to the right and slide F. Johnson to the left. I have a hard time imagining that Beasley is one of our four best backs. He plays hard and he's quick, but he's not a true back and his touch is poor.

- I'm sure Dempsey is fine. They said it was precautionary.

- I was glad to see Diskerud get on the board. I like his game. He's the guy I'm rooting for to push J. Jones to the bench.

- How good is Johannsson? I've only seen him in limited minutes a couple times.

You did not miss much. I fell asleep right before half time. And I am still salty about Klinnsy leaving Donovan at home for the WC. He has that jena se qua that no one else in the 23 seems to have, even if he has lost a step of pace. Him playing at the top of a diamond is going to have a ton more creativity, or even if you want a more flat midfield 4, he could either play in the hole behind Jozy of wide. I have an ominous feeling about this WC from a US point of view.

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Watching the game against Turkey I find it hard to believe that Donovan isn't better than whoever is playing outside opposite Zusi. None of us were at the camp, so I guess we don't know for sure. I have to believe he should have been on the 23 though. How can you not want him on the bench?

As for the game yesterday I though the attack play was very good. Fabian Johnson's goal was a thing of beauty. The pass from Bradley was silky and the finish was world class. Dempsey's goal was fortunate, but it came after some nice transition. The defending was poor overall. I couldn't tell if it was more on the midfield or the backs though. Too many open players. A team with better players around the goal would have put in at least a couple in the first half. That won't fly in Brazil. Overall I was happy with the performance. It was a deserved win over a decent Turkey side.

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I grew up reading Wilbon and Kornheiser. I was always big fans of theirs in print. I, personally, liked "Mr. Tony" on the radio. I was a big fan of PTI in it's infancy, but I haven't watched ESPN, except for particular games, for a very long time. Wilbon, OTOH, once he got on TV, seemed to very easily adapt to and embrace ESPN's all football all the time (with a side of basketball) format. That had disappointed me about Wilbon for a long time.

I find Wilbon very out of line with some of his comments about Klinsmann and I can't quite figure out why he became so vitriolic over it.

I don't really have a problem with what Klinsmann said about older athletes getting paid for what they have accomplished as opposed to what the will accomplish. There certainly is a lot of truth to that in baseball and basketball in particular. Kornheiser actually, IMO, made a good counter argument in bringing up football, our biggest sport culturally, and how heartless that sport is in cutting players the very moment they are of no more use. Kornheiser made his point well and with insulting anyone.

Really disappointed in Wilbon though.

Klinsmann has lived in the US for a long time now. His wife is American and so are his childre.

Klinsmann has won a WC as a player, coached a team to a 3rd place finish and won a Gold Cup with the US as well as having a great international club career in England, Italy, and Germany.

Klinsmann IS essentially the GM of the USMNT as well as being the coach. That was a bit ignorant of both of them.

Klinsmann is in the prime of his coaching career and he is, largely IMO, being paid for what he can do, not what he has done. He has a vision for US Soccer that he wants to work from the ground up. He was given that 4 year extension to try and lay the ground work. IF US Soccer ever actually becomes a world player it won't happen with Klinsmann at the helm, BUT it MIGHT happen because of some of the things Klinsmann is trying to accomplish now and the foundation he is trying to lay.

http://www.espnfc.com/team/united-states/660/video/1864263/wilbon-calls-out-gutless-klinsmann' rel="external nofollow">

Here is a link to ESPN FC with the PTI clip.

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The guys looked great today in their last WC tuneup. Gave up a PK late in the match but really dominated, IMO, for much of the match.

Bradley is in outstanding form at the moment, by far the best player on the pitch today and Jozy's second goal was an amazing strike.

Germany loses Marco Reus but it is looking more and more likely that Ronaldo will be ready to go.

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The guys looked great today in their last WC tuneup. Gave up a PK late in the match but really dominated, IMO, for much of the match.

Bradley is in outstanding form at the moment, by far the best player on the pitch today and Jozy's second goal was an amazing strike.

Germany loses Marco Reus but it is looking more and more likely that Ronaldo will be ready to go.

I think that is about as good as the USAMNT can play. They lack in creativity, pace in wide areas, and goal scoring. That said there are not going to be many harder working and honest teams in the WC. I think that same 11 is likely to start against Ghana. I still think Donovan should be going to Brazil, but I am over it now. I still think it is going to be tough to get out of the group for the US, but play like they did against Nigeria and they can win against Ghana. Then need a point against Portugal and you are through. And if the last game against Germany is do or die, at least of the 3-5 favorites, Germany does not seem to be in the best form in the world at the moment.

Few thoughts about the US team:

1. Is Beaseley really the best option at lb? (I know this is part-dictated by Fabian Johnson swapping sides). There are by my count 4 rbs in the squad (Cameron, Yedlin, Johnson (primarily lb), and Chandler). I am not a fan and think its a waste of a player slot.

2. How good is Besler? I don't watch enough MLS to really know but he impresses me.

3. Bradley and Dempsey are the heartbeat. If they get marked out of a game.......

4. Fabian Johnson is a good player.

5. There is no real speed on this team in wide areas. Green maybe, but he is still really young/ inexperienced at this level/ raw

6. Good to see Dempsey back in some form.

7. Altidore- Seeing him play badly for a bad team that gave him nothing to work with in the BPL, I think he is better than he showed in England. That said, he is not great but can be a handful on his day.

On a side bar, had Guiseppe Rossi known that he was going to be omitted from the Italy roster years ago, I wonder if he still would have declared to play for Italy over the USA?

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I find Wilbon very out of line with some of his comments about Klinsmann and I can't quite figure out why he became so vitriolic over it.

http://www.espnfc.com/team/united-states/660/video/1864263/wilbon-calls-out-gutless-klinsmann' rel="external nofollow">

Here is a link to ESPN FC with the PTI clip.

I was pissed when I watched the video the first time. I thought maybe I was caught up in the moment. Now having watched it a second time I really want Wilbon to "get the hell out". Lester, you conveyed most of what I was thinking, but in a much more rational way than I could.

Wilbon's "boy" Kobe Bryant isn't exactly a model citizen. I don't know if Klinsmann has had any such indiscretions, but If Klinsmann is "no Kobe Bryant" I think I'm okay with that. So is his wife I'm sure.

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