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As U.S. Soccer Moves Forward, MLS Takes Steps Back

U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati and Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber addressed the media yesterday in a joint conference call. Nick Green of the Torrance (Calif.) Daily Breeze found the information both pleasing and vexing. For the first time since 1995, the USA has accepted an invitation to play in next year's Copa America, the South American championship that will run June 26-July 15 in Venezuela. It's a great thing for U.S. soccer to be included in a tournament that features the world-class talents of Brazil and Argentina. Other good news was the confirmation that Gulati is talking with Juergen Klinsmann over the vacant U.S. national team job. Gulati, of course, couldn't deny it any longer since Klinsmann himself confirmed the talks last week. The bad news is that like last year, MLS will not take a mid-season break in spite of the fact that three different international competitions -- the Gold Cup (June 6-24), World Youth Championship (June 30-July 22) and Copa America -- are set to rob the league of its best players for almost two months in the middle of the season. "So in about an hour Monday, it became apparent that while Gulati understands and appreciates how U.S. Soccer should approach the international game, MLS does not," Green said, emphasizing that nothing was learned from last summer's World Cup "debacle," when MLS soldiered on absolutely unnoticed while the world's largest soccer tournament took center stage. Gulati made it clear that the decision to enter Copa America does not mean he advocates getting rid of CONCACAF. Many believe there should be one regional federation for the Americas. It would certainly raise the standard of the USA's regular international competition.

Read the whole story at Daily Breeze »

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