Shell-shocked in San Pedro Sula

[HONDURAS-USA] The USA took a first-half lead thanks to Clint Dempsey (who else?), but looked shell-shocked when Honduras responded with a brilliant Juan Carlos Garcia bicycle-kick goal four minutes later.

A Jerry Bengtson goal with 11 minutes left handed the USA a 2-1 loss in the first of its 10 games of the final round of 2014 World Cup qualifying.

U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann found fault in just about every area of the U.S. game. “We didn’t find our passing flow,” he said. “We didn’t combine well enough, we didn’t hold the ball well enough.”

He added that the USA gave the Catrachos too many opportunities and they took advantage of them. "I think we had too many mistakes in too many areas," he said. "Tactically, in certain ways. Individual mistakes. Collective mistakes.

-- Honduras had more possession in the first half but did not overwhelm in scoring chances. Eddie Johnson headed high from close range after a corner kick and Jozy Altidore looped a ball onto the top of the net after getting his foot on Eddie Johnson’s cross. Dempsey’s 35th minute goal indicated that a contain-and-counter approach might work, but just four minutes later Maynor Figueroa chested the ball to Garcia, who with his back to the goal launched a brilliant over-head rocket from nine yards in the corner of Tim Howard's goal.

-- Roger Espinoza, who moved from Honduras to Colorado at age 12 and spent the last five seasons with Sporting Kansas City before signing with Wigan, ran the show in midfield for the Catrachos. They especially frustrated the USA late in the game, playing keepaway to extinguish U.S. hopes of salvaging a point.

-- The USA started eight European-based field players, who were playing in temperatures 40 to 50 degrees higher than what they’ve been accustomed to. Three Mexican-based players Herculez Gomez, Jose Torres and Edgar Castillo remained on the bench. More used to the 80-90 degree conditions, could they have given the USA a boost?

-- Dempsey ran on to a ball perfectly chipped over the Honduran backline by Jermaine Jones and volleyed past keeper Noel Valladares to give the USA a fleeting lead in the first half. Dempsey scored five of the USA’s 12 goals in the six games of the semifinal round. His strike against Honduras moved Dempsey into third place, ahead of Brian McBride, among all-time U.S. scorers with 31 goals, behind Landon Donovan (49 goals) and Eric Wynalda (34). Donovan, of course, was sorely missed on Wednesday.

-- The loss marks the first time the USA lost its first game of the Hexagonal since the six-team, home-and-away final round of qualifying was established.

USA Hexagonal Openers (World Cup qualifying)
2013: at Honduras 1-2
2009: Mexico 2-0
2005: at Trinidad & Tobago 2-1
2001: Mexico 2-0
1997: at Jamaica 0-0

Feb. 6 in San Pedro Sula
Honduras 2 USA 1. Goals: J.C. Garcia 39, Bengtson 78; Dempsey 35.
Honduras -- Valladares, A.Peralta, Bernardez, Figueroa, J.C. Garcia, Garrido, Espinoza, O.Garcia, Martinez, Bengtson (Claros, 84), Costly (Welcome, 90+).
USA -- Howard, Chandler, Cameron, Gonzalez, F.Johnson, Williams (Edu, 57), Jones (Zusi, E.Johnson (Kljestan, 59), Bradley, Dempsey, Altidore.
Referee: Walter Quesada (Costa Rica).
Att.: 37,000.

Next up:
March 22: USA-Costa Rica
Kickoff: 10 pm ET.
TV: ESPN, WatchESPN, Univision Networks

57 comments about "Shell-shocked in San Pedro Sula".
  1. Mark Torguson, February 7, 2013 at 2:03 a.m.

    Lets go Klini, need to get this together, some of us have Brazil 2014 already planned. Cant say the result was unfair

  2. Efrahim Fernandez, February 7, 2013 at 8:48 a.m.

    The USA will qualify that is not the issue. The development of the players is the issue. I have a kid who just came over from the Ivory Coast who never played organized soccer Just played street soccer he makes well coached american players look sad. We take good players here teach them technical skills then have go play.Other counries have kids learn from playing and teach tactics later.The new US Model academy structure has been done in England for years and look where they are compared to other countries.Put futsal goals at every basketball court, invite kids out and watch us then compete !No Coaching Please!

  3. Nathan Mckenzie, February 7, 2013 at 8:51 a.m.

    Has anyone seen a ref at this level call a dangerous kick on a bicycle kick?

  4. Paul Castillo, February 7, 2013 at 9:11 a.m.

    (1) are we sure we brought in the right Jozy ... you know, the one scoring LOTS of club goals (2) what up with Bradley ... if hes meant to start anything in the middle we're screwed (3) despite lapses Gonzalez is our center back, the stiff to his left on the other hand ...

  5. Brent Crossland, February 7, 2013 at 10:10 a.m.

    I'm not as confident as Efrahim that we will qualify this time; however, I totally agree with him on the player development issue. Unfortunately the problem goes deeper. The reason that you could put futsal goals on those basketball courts in most communities is that they aren't being used either! Somehow we have to convince soccer playing kids that it's OK to put down the game controller and go out in the back yard to kick the ball around. Coaches?????

  6. Luis Arreola, February 7, 2013 at 10:12 a.m.

    Nathan, NO and I hope they never do. Only in USA do we make those dumb calls. It's part of the game and is exiting stuff. It's like calling a sliding tackle from behind a foul even though the defender gets all ball.

  7. Luis Arreola, February 7, 2013 at 10:17 a.m.

    Bradley is a defensive mid and he is good at it. It seems USSf is trying too hard to make him something he is not. Torres would have helped much more in the attack.

  8. Luis Arreola, February 7, 2013 at 10:24 a.m.

    Efrahim, that would be common sense but nobody wants to use it because that would put alot of people out of work. In Usa that same model that you speak of has worked in it's most popular sport, Basketball. The best, most creative players are never coached until they get to H.S. What all USA coaches should consider is using all league games as a scrimmage where players are permitted to dribble past defenders, no look passes, creative shots on goal, etc. Win in tournaments if you like. I just set up 2 days of scrimmage for my club members. Guess what? I get more players to come to scrimmage than my 2 practices a week. They love it and wow are they creative. I only demanded they celebrate their goals. Good stuff.

  9. Luis Arreola, February 7, 2013 at 10:34 a.m.

    Brent, the problem does go deeper. Kids are not exited to go out and play. Why? Because they have no real authentic American Soccer Star to look up to. They want see an American Messi, Ronaldinho, Pele. If we had one, soccer would explode in USA. Problem is our whole system is designed against that. We coach to win - tactics, set plays, defense - and not to develop. Our Academy system is what we are told to blindly follow. Why? Is it proven yet ?? I have yet to see an Academy standout that developed with that same club or any Academy club for that matter. We have 3 of them by us. Their best players usually developed in a small club for many years until they hit 15 years old. That is not development. That's just a recognition of talent and promotion to showcase. That's fine for now, I guess, but lets call it as it is.

  10. Luis Arreola, February 7, 2013 at 10:39 a.m.

    Our youth soccer players have doubled since 1990. Why havent we doubled the talent?? We lost to a country with the population smaller than New York.

  11. Rolf Schneider, February 7, 2013 at 10:54 a.m.

    Rolf Schneider
    Wasn't Cameron (#20) who chased Jerry Bengtson on the breakaway? Why in the world would he slow down and let get the attacker in front of him? It clearly showed that he was even with Bengston until he "thought" that Tim would get there! What an elementary defending error! He, no doubt, lost the game!

  12. Walt Pericciuoli, February 7, 2013 at 10:57 a.m.

    USA will have a very difficult time qualifying for 2014. Even if they do, could we expect anything more than a 3 and out?Perhaps it would do us all good to not qualify, so that perhaps the USSF will finally recognize that we are travelling down the wrong road developing players in the US. I still don't fault Klinsi, he can only work with what he has. It was clear what the talent level was for USA bred players at the USA v. Canada match. Klinsi's job is to qualify us for WC 2014. He would be a fool to use only the players born and bred in the USA. For that I agree with his selections,but he should give the Mex-Americans more of a chance.The coach cannot go out and play, the players must perform, and last night, they did not.

  13. miguel abisaab, February 7, 2013 at 11:11 a.m.

    Good morning to all commentators! I been away for awhile, it's good to be back. Well for starters the US performance is really a sidebar now, thanks largely to Mexico's lackluster(at home)performance against Jamaica. Costa Rica coming back from a 2-0 defict to Panama in Panama City! to a 2-2 draw! Say what you want! but you really got to ignore the opening day of the hex. Honduras had the game in the afternoon, the other matches were in the evening! The heat and humidity factor? ok both teams looked a little sluggish, however of all the teams from yesterday only Jamaica looked fit and in good form! The US had only one friendly leading up to the match against Honduras, vs Canada in the "evening" not the afternoon with MLS based players. Liga MX players Castilo,Gomez,Corona,Torres no factor or involvement what happend to tapping to the "hispanic" players hello Jurgen you said that! I know Jurgen wants to cap tie the german american born players which seems to be the priority in Jurgen's mind. So he threw Chandler,Johnson,and Williams,into the lion's den of San Pedro Sula! MLS my not be in season but a three week camp?, 1 international friendly?, inexpirence over expirence? what gives coach? The match being played in the afternoon should had been a red flag for the European based players on both teams, but Honduras used mostly local and MLS based players! Jurgen puts in two Omar Gonzalez(first hex final) and Eddie Johnson from MLS with 9 European based players! of which three were playing in their first hex final also. So lets not go overboard about developement,or systems, look at the "Decisions" being made by the USMNT coach staff and hierarchy.

  14. Bob Escobar, February 7, 2013 at 11:32 a.m.

    As I said many times before, nothing will ever change in the US, nothing...why? because we still have the English/European mentality of kick it first and see what happens...Juergen Klinsman was a very good soccer "player", but he is a "lousy" soccer "coach", I said it before in this same site, unfortunately he is "giving" in on playing "rugged", skilless, clueless soccer players....Hercules Gomez should have played, instead he chose Johnson...why? God knows why, our defense looks terrible, no midfield, Bradley is an exception, the kid works hard, besides Bradley, Jones is useless...and yes, the German players are suppose to be better than US base players, they are not!!! But nothing will change, now, tomorrow, a year from now, ten years from now, it is what it is.....the US spends millions and millions of dollars to "develop" players, unfortunately, soccer players first develop in the "streets", playing "street ball", and by youth coaches, usually a parent or English "mind" mentality later on, and forget about college coaches, they are as terrible as any parent coach in America...this will go on forever and ever, look at the MLS, all the teams play kick ball and all of them are terrible, Beckham laugh at everyone, making millions of dollars to kick a ball down the field and looking at a camera for showbiz...if the US can improve as a "team", the "team" must be coached by an American coach, with a "Know How" of how these American players think and play, these at least will give the American team a chance to win!

  15. Bob Escobar, February 7, 2013 at 11:35 a.m.

    when I mentioned "street soccer", it was meant to be for "other" countries around the world, and not the US...street soccer is where all the great players in the world develop first, not like here, where parent coaches and youth mentality English coaches are in charge in youth soccer and college coaching.

  16. Jens Jensen, February 7, 2013 at 11:36 a.m.

    Very few players on the field would have taken that overhead kick to the face to stop them from scoring. That was the problem for me. We are a team without a soul. Can you imagine how disgusted a guy like Frankie Hejduk (who would be happy to break his nose to stop that goal) must be? On top of all that, I would like to find Landon and pimp slap him.

  17. Kerry Solomon, February 7, 2013 at 11:45 a.m.

    How can the team Be surprised by the result? The players have no conviction! Most play very conservative to protect themselves so they don't get hurt. Few ever chase the opposing players to retrieve the ball if they lose it. They are a poor group to represent the US. They need to watch tapes of matches of 15-20 years ago and see how the players of the past gave it 120% and not mail it in like most of these guys. Klinsi, the German-American thing just isn't working...forget it and move on. Overall lack of commitment by the players is NOT acceptable. They need to clean house.

  18. John Singer, February 7, 2013 at noon

    contain-and-counter might have been a good strategy if the defenders were actually competing for the ball. The US looked gassed from the start, and disinterested, like they were playing a Sunday afternoon pick up game in the park.. What a shocker--humid and hot in a CONCACAF qualifier??-like we were completely unprepared. Why does our team always look like they just began playing together last Tuesday? Klinsi has brought in 4 Germans ala Thomas Dooley in 1984. Is this how far we've progressed in 25 years? We better get our act together or we will not qualify.

  19. Bret Newman, February 7, 2013 at 12:46 p.m.

    Senior Arreola finally didn't sound racial, or prejudice against white players, which I appreciate. He actually made a lot of sense this time. But even I have to criticize Jurgen for relying too much on German based players, and not on our Mexican league players. Torres, Gomez, and Castillo would have been ideal for this game. I'm also concerned that we didn't play with heart, which is a U.S. trademark in soccer and sports in general. I saw several times Honduras lose control of the ball, or make a pass that wasn't accurate, but get control of the ball anyway, because our players weren't pressing at all. You could tell we were playing not to lose, which always ends up being a mistake in any sport. Heat and humidity is not an excuse either, because Honduras was playing all out, pressuring the player with the ball, and their players didn't get substituted until late in the game. I guess that means they were way better conditioned than our athletes, which should never be. I thought Jurgen would have had at least our players in better condition, since he talks about it often. We can't afford to be outworked, because were not going to outskill many teams, especially in the WC. We have got to put more pressure on the player with the ball, including in the backfield. Soccer is no different than any other sport, where the team that causes the most turnovers usually wins. Don't let the other team get comfortable bringing the ball up to the offensive 3rd, make them earn it. In a nutshell the USA played soft and heartless. They got the result they deserved, which is a big fat zero. Next time they better play more aggressive, more scrappy, more with heart, or they are going to find themselves in a hole too deep to dig themselves out of.

  20. Gordon Hayes, February 7, 2013 at 12:51 p.m.

    Please ignore everything Luis says - he is a pathological liar and a daddy coach that never played the game. He thinks if we have an American soccer star and all youth leagues play scrimmages everything will be fine...oh and promote selfish play and celebrations - don't worry about team play, humility, or sportsmanship. What a joke. And funny when an SA writer praises a hispanic player Luis says nothing......nobody was pulling harder for Honduras than our friend Luis.......NEVER LISTEN TO THIS GUY.

  21. Paul Stierle, February 7, 2013 at 1:20 p.m.

    Yes we don't play with USA heart. I call it it the Red, white, black and blue. We are not german or english. We are americans that need to fight with grit. Dempsey succeeds as he is a street kid from Texas. Bradley has it. Hercules has it but though I am German. I don't think playing like germans will do it. Then playing mostly European based players and not hispanic which make more sense. American coaches understand the player better. Arena, Sigi, Kreis, Olsen,Vermes.

  22. Gordon Hayes, February 7, 2013 at 1:36 p.m.

    TO RIC FONSECA - you are an idiot and a race-baiter and racially-divisive element and an old man that never played the game - your time is over, move on, race-baiting is and Luis criticize and claim racism every time a SA writer says anything negative about a hispanic player and now they say something good - where are you? Nowhere. That makes you a horses ass and someone only focused on negativity, you look for any signs of racism, you beg for it, you so hope the US loses (remember your post after the US beat Mexico?), it is your life and it is over - nobody wants to listen to someone that never played the game, "dispairing over this loss" - what a joke, you love it - gives you something to do.

  23. James Madison, February 7, 2013 at 1:57 p.m.

    I haven't seen Ridge's evaluations yet, but in my world, Howard gets a 6, Bradley and Dempsey 5s, Altidore and Johnson 4s, and the rest of the starting lot 3s. 4s to the subs. Rick Fonseca has the preparation spot on. Indeed, Klinsmann maybe didn't even introduce the back four to one another. Eddie Johnson reminds me of a former player I met from Brazil who said, "I don't do defense." And why in the world did we ever worry about Chandler maybe playing for Germany. Anyone who watched any of France v. Germany would know that he couldn't carry the boots of a Germany player. Then again, maybe he doesn't understand "close down" in English. P.S. Hey Paul, are you any relation to the AYSO founder Hans Stierle?

  24. Brent Crossland, February 7, 2013 at 1:58 p.m.

    GENTLEMEN: (and I use the term with some trepidation) Take the personal crap outside! The rest of us don't need it or want to "listen" to it.

  25. Paul Stierle, February 7, 2013 at 2:13 p.m.

    I am afraid to say. Yes Hans is my Dad, Kurt is my Brother who Played pro. The comments get fierce nhere. Mostly I try to stay out of the fight, here in Sounders Land and go at it with my brother. I am afraid to say it but I am pro american soccer and thought the lineup against Canada was a dream team turn to nightmare. I think they played to impress the coach and not to play their way. Though I watch premiere league alot and know the difference, top
    teams in Europe could beat any national team that gets together at the last minute. I love to watch Salt Lake and San Jose as they play with that etra punch needed on our natioanl team. Also Aerica is made up of a lot of influence with hispanics. I better stop while I am behind.

  26. Mark Torguson, February 7, 2013 at 2:43 p.m.

    Don't look now, but Egypt are top of their qualifying group

  27. Luis Arreola, February 7, 2013 at 3:13 p.m.

    The German based players did not look good at all. We expect too much out of those German Players. We are not too different from Jamaica's desperate last minute scramble to get 5 English league players to help them in this Hex. This reminds me of when Erikson was picked to coach Mexico before 2010. He didnt understand the Mexican style of game and tried to turn them into something they were not. He did not identify with his pool of players. Mexico recognized this in time and picked Aguirre just in time to save them. I dont think Aguirre did the best job but he showed he understood his player pool. I like Klins alot but see one of a few things that are not good. 1.He does not have full reigns on overall program, player selection. or. 2. He does but doesnt really understand his player pool, here in the USA and therefore leans heavily on his German descent. He said we would play an offensive style and he would pick players to fit that style. He has done the opposite. Why arent we looking to hire a Coach that understands our pool and how we want to play. We have offense minded players that are skilled and technical. Bunkering and hoping for the counter is a thing of the past for us but we are still living in the past.

  28. Luis Arreola, February 7, 2013 at 3:29 p.m.

    No Gordon, your right, structured practices, rankings based on wins, our current players selection for USA, Euro style of play, etc. are working JUST GREAT!!! Why do something that has proven results in the very small, 3rd world countries that are actually showing an improvement in player development and making us look bad and underdeveloped??? Our infrastructure has no match, at least in America and our scouting is the worst!!! And it is not unintentional!! Instead of filling these columns with hate and accusations why don't you base your opinions with facts and logical substance ?? What people here are sick of is the same copy and paste stupidity you always put on. Try by saying something like this, "Luis and Ric you are both wrong in your statements in my opinion USA soccer is this and that and I base this opinion on these current facts." Come on dude, you went to college, didn't you?

  29. Peter Skouras, February 7, 2013 at 5:22 p.m.

    Mr. Gordon Hayes...can you please introduce yourself? A playing and coaching resume posted would be appreciated.

  30. Ben Zickes, February 7, 2013 at 6:55 p.m.

    I've got to say...when you looked at the play in certain 10-12 min stretches, the fatigue was evident. I hate to watch my favorite team and see the play change due to a lack of fitness. Granted, I understand the timing and timetables involved, but if we know fatigue will play a role in who gets 3 pts and who gets 0, we need to address it with each and every training camp. In my opinion, we should be training year-round as a national squad in Colorado, in the altitude. There is nothing it can do but benefit the players, whether they play down near sea-level or whether they do have to face a team like Honduras or Mexico in settings that will deplete even the best athlete. I hate to say it, but if you watched the Jamaican team tie (beat) the Mexican squad in Azteca, the difference was their fitness (and ultimately, their size along with that fitness) which allowed them to drop back, defend strong, and not give up easy balls or too much space to lead to opportunities (as happened to the US defense in Honduras). I think the subs Klins made were directly made to impact the lagging fitness of the midfield, and Edu was the right first choice, but in the end it was both the defense and midfield that struggled with speed and quickness as they played past the 60th evidenced by the type of goal that won it for Honduras.

    How about it? Can we train in altitude ALL THE TIME as a national team requirement? Will it help? I can't see how it would harm us in any way.

  31. Chris Sapien , February 7, 2013 at 8:09 p.m.

    Ben you are spot-on.....the Jamaicans are beasts and can run forever...I know, I was in Kingston!! Fully appreciate their drive and commitment to going forward. They don't play as we too often do.......that being worried about being the goat, rather than going for glory! Luis, I am not sure what you are asking for with the non-stop conspiracy stuff....can you provide first-hand accounts? I don't question your integrity, I think most of us would like some factual proof so we can get on the same page if needed. In regards to training, when I coached, a stuctured practice included technical and creative portions. How is that wrong? And lastly, tackling from behind where a player's contact through the opponent shows total disregard for his safety, is not in the spirit of the game! And that is regardless of whether he makes contact with the ball first. If your argument was accepted, one could also argue "why can't you tackle studs up with both legs as long as I got the ball with the bottom leg?"..Afterall, the Laws don't specifically forbid that. Think about it.

  32. Damon Selman, February 7, 2013 at 9:50 p.m.

    This a take is from a outsider's perspective. I couldn't kick a soccer to save my life. However, I know American sport, and there is something that bugs about the mentally of youth soccer from my perspective.
    There is a overreliance of youth club soccer with their $1000-1500 fees. Last time, I checked most families cannot afford that. Many an inner city, immigrant, and many other families cannot afford these kids, thus making soccer a rich, suburban sport. For example, Little League Baseball and Pop Warner Football cost much less, not to mention High School athletics. The amount of available talent is greatly reduced by using such a high fee system to produce players. There are no American Messis, Drogbas, and Zidanes, if their home countries relied on high fee club for talent, there might have not been an Argentinian Messi, Ivorian Drogba, or a French Zidane. Not to mention the NFL's talent pool would be greatly reduced in they used a similar system. The best way to produce better US players is for colleges and MLS to get more non-club youth in their systems.

  33. Luis Arreola, February 7, 2013 at 11:21 p.m.

    Chris, I didn't say structured practices were bad. What I said or meant to state was what works wonders in 3rd world countries, that are smaller than New York, unsupervised scrimmages anywhere and everywhere. This is proven to create the best players in the world more times than not, especially at the younger ages. So, structured practices good at U8-U14. Constant scrimmages great at U8-U14. Our problem is we have our mind set and programmed to a certain number of practices and game time in one game a week and no more. That's all we paid for. We should be playing as much as possible, you know like in scrimmages where nobody is subbing you out because you couldn't run at 50 miles an hour for 20 minutes straight. How do we expect to develop top class players when we are constantly subbing them out up until U14? We don't even teach them to manage ah entire game of 35-40 minute 1/2s. Youth soccer in USA is structured to make a club profit more than develop. As far as tackling from behind it all depends on how its done. 1. Tackling from behind with your legs scissoring the players foot- a foul even if first to the ball as a dangerous play. If you get both legs completely around one side of the player and to the ball first no foul no dangerous play. Only called in USA youth games.

  34. Luis Arreola, February 7, 2013 at 11:25 p.m.

    Studs up is a dangerous play just like tackling from behind scissoring the players legs. A ball can be won keeping studs down in exact same situation. Just like slide tackling from behind can be done with both feet coming around one side of player with ball and getting to ball first. Both are intentioned to get the ball and not the player. Studs up and scissor tackle are considered reckless and dangerous play. Think about it. More than anything its common sense.

  35. Gordon Hayes, February 8, 2013 at 4:26 a.m.

    What Ric is all about - "As I said yesterday, Mexico did not field his top players, and I sincerely doubt that had Bradley and whats-his-name, played the result would have been the same." Written after the US beat Mexico - classless. Here is what Luis is all about..."Hey, if Usa wont appreciate us then lets keep going to our nother countries. It will be funny to watch this jeep blowing up in teir face." (yes, his spelling is that bad).......PLEASE DONT BE FOOLED BY THEM. Neither ever played the game, their 'expertise' is based solely on ethnicity. They both love it when the US loses and they both want a USMNT 100% Mexican/Americans and never say anything bad about any hispanic or you will be vilified as racist by these two idiots like when Luis above writes "And it is not unintentional!!" referring to US player selection (despite the fact probably half of the top US staff coaches are hispanic and our youth teams are flooded with hispanics)- What a destructive element in youth soccer. So when Luis tries to act like an expert please don't listen - he knows nothing about the game, never played it, and is just a daddy coach........Peter - coached club, ODP, high school, college, played NCAA DI, grew up in SE, played college in NE - sorry about the rants but I have grown up with this 'expertise based on ethnicity' and I am sick of it and racially divisive idiots like Ric and Luis that know NOTHING about the game and I think it is a huge problem in our culture.......My whole life it has always been 'play like the Brazilians', 'play in the streets like we do in my home country', 'play like Mexico', 'why are there not more hispanics - afterall, we are the most creative', 'the US is too athletic, too rigid, too bang and run' - we've been saying the same crap for 50 years - Luis thinks this a great revelation - I say until we get our best athletes it won't make a difference what we do - Blaz Perez (best athlete in his country) v Steve Cherundulo (not even close to a good athlete in the US) is no contest - doesn't matter if Cherundulo played as a youth with the legendary Luis or played in the streets his whole life - he will never be better than Blaz Perez - Luis and Ric will say that is wrong and we just need creative players i.e hispanics but we had majority hispanics on our recent U17 team and if you saw their game v Germany you know what I am talking about - men v boys - their country's best athletes v not our best athletes and assuredly these guys played in the streets growing up...........And for the record, I dont care what the ethnicity is - hispanic, white, black - I just want the best athletes - no, I don't like players that aren't born here and I think this German experiment is a miserable failure.....US Soccer has put all their money into club but we are losing our best athletes in the high schools - that is where the money should have gone - that is the American way - we keep wanting to be Brazil or Mexico when we should just be Americans.

  36. Peter Skouras, February 8, 2013 at 9:05 a.m.






  37. Luis Arreola, February 8, 2013 at 10:36 a.m.

    Finally, some substance from Gordon. He can't tolerate someone not agreeing with him. Let's see if he can carry a discussion without only ranting and copy/pasting. He has grown up in this "expertice based on ethnicity" environment?? Where is this? It sounds like you suffered a great deal. How bad was it?? Poor Gordon. His whole life has been "Play like the Brazilians" ?? That certainly sounds like hell. I never said my opinion was a revelation. I happen to think it's long overdue. "Until we get our best AThletes" is the comment I am sick of because it is a poor excuse and this is why - Panama population 3,571,185 (The same population of Connecticut), Usa Population - 313,914,040. Panama Most Popular Sport - Baseball(not soccer). Soccer is the biggest participation sport in the US with over 24 million players according to FIFA. We have twice the number of kids playing soccer than any other country in the world.
    For comparison: Spain (MNT currently ranked no. 1) has 2.8 million players. Netherlands (MNT currently ranked no. 2) has 1.75 million players. Panama has 203,000 soccer players. Logically, we must have better athletes playing soccer with these numbers over Panama. Sp athleticism alone is not the answer. What is the top athlete to regular athlete ratio in USA? Is there a different ratio for Panama ?? Gordon, expects us all to believe that a country with the population of Connecticut has better Athletes playing soccer than the entire USA when the sport they pick first is Baseball ?? Come on, dude.

  38. Luis Arreola, February 8, 2013 at 11:05 a.m.

    Usa has the best Athletes in sports that arent more popular than soccer like, Golf, Swimming, and many more Olympic sports. Is Soccer the only sport that our top Athletes are not picking?? With 24 million playing it in USA that's impossible. You could say our U17 did not do well with majority Hispanics but then again they at least made it to U17 World Cup. The U20's could not get out of Concacaf Qualifying. I too dont care what ethnicity is representing the USA. I want the best players. The best players to me are skilled and tecnical first. Superbly athletic second. To Gordon it's AThletic first, the same with the majority of coaches in USA. That's a wild guess. When evaluating who exactly picks Basketball or Football, one must look at race and culture. The great majority of Black people pick basketball first, it's in their specific culture as a way of life. coincidentaly our USA Basketball team is always 90% Black. There is no doubt that the sport "the majority of " Hispanics pick first in USA is soccer and to most it's well engraved in their culture as a way of life. For Gordon to say that the best athletes in USa are not picking Soccer first is to say there are no great athletes in the Hispanic community. There are 50,478,000 Hispanics in USA. Black people - 43,880,000.

  39. Luis Arreola, February 8, 2013 at 11:40 a.m.

    Gordon, we agree on the German experiment even though a while ago you seemed in favor of it. I think you did. Dont go writing I am a liar in 50 sentences. I could be wrong. What is the AMerican way when it comes to soccer?? Do you feel we have played with no outside influence what so ever for these past 50 years, like from let's say England ?? You seemed ok with Klins getting picked as coach and his selection of so many German based players, including Chandler who was holding out to play for Germany first. But when I said why dont we pick a coach from Brazil, Mexico or Argentina, only because it made more sense given our player pool, you went nuts. Why? How does it not make sense ? How does picking Klins make more sense to you ?? Mexico has shown the greatest growth in player development of any country including Germany who is very close. " It is not unintentional" comment had nothing to do with race. If you read it again you will see it is pointing to the fact that scouts and coaches specifically look at Academies only for player selection. Again, nothing to do with race. You went to college?

  40. Walt Pericciuoli, February 8, 2013 at 12:29 p.m.

    We pretty much all agree that the current system is not producing the results we ALL would like. At the youth levels (failure to qualify for the Olympic, U17 and U20 WC's)and at the adult level.We all have different opinions as to what needs to be fixed, but we all agree that changes need to be made from the youngest ages on up.Why doesn't USSF agree? My belief is that the very persons in charge of making the changes have their own self interest at stake and are unwilling to implement the changes needed because it will nullify just about everything they have done so far and basically render them irrelevant. It seems to me, at one time,in the late 90's and early 2000's, the USA was the most dominate force in CONCACAF with Mexico as our only challenger.What has happened since then? Again,in my mind,it's then, when we started to go wrong.It doesn't seem to me to be too hard to figure out and fix. I'm not saying we should go back to 1990, but there must have been somethings we were doing then that produced RESULTS. Results don't seem to be important anymore for the USSF. Oh yeah, by the way, when did all the Academy and Super Clubs (that costs and arm and a leg) become dominate in the US youth soccer scene.I am not the smartest man in US soccer, not even close, but even I can make that correlation.

  41. Chris Sapien , February 8, 2013 at 2 p.m.

    Luis,Your first response after my post I see no argument with....In regards to tackling...I never said I agreed with whether it should be considered a foul, what I said is, it has been determined to not be in the spirit of the game. So when someone tackles the ball from behind and subsequently goes through the opponent, that is considered disregard for their safety. It is a fine line, but it is called world-wide. Hell I would like to believe we have shelves full of players that could step-in for all the injuries that would occur if those challenges were not penalized, but no nation has the amount that would take and still play at a high international level. The two foot studs up side challenge I used as an example, again, is disregard for safety and not in the spirit of the game, so if they end up going through the opponent even after contact with the ball first, it must be called. I would hate to see someone, or you (?) ref it differently, and suffer all the ramifications such as the game immediately deteriorating and the loss of control for the referee team. Bad things happen quickly.......

  42. Luis Arreola, February 8, 2013 at 3:23 p.m.

    Chris, thorugh the opponent, agreed, dangerous play. Around the front of him, not dangerous play. You can slide from behind and still get around an opponent that will either jump over you or trip. The act of studs up, is without question a dangerous play, no matter the circumstance. Slide tackling from behind but getting around a player with both feet and making contact with the ball, without the follow through to make contact with the player, not a dangerous play but a play on the ball. If the player trips over the slide tackler after losing posession, you will never see a foul called. I think we are on same page but are just understanding each other.

  43. David Huff, February 8, 2013 at 9:50 p.m.

    An inferior effort against an inferior team, what else to be said? No game will come cheaply.

  44. Gordon Hayes, February 9, 2013 at 2:32 a.m.

    I tried previously to communicate with Luis but he is a liar and I can't associate with liars and racially divisive people...........So to other posters, Luis thinks because someone (hispanics) pick soccer as their first choice that makes them our best athletes - he never coached at the high school level so he does not know what happens there with the battle for athletes between coaches of all sports, he is not very educated so he does not realize that you can cut by at least a third his population figures for the guys who pick football and basketball and even baseball and even then it does not matter because mostly the best athletes aren't choosing soccer and they are in other countries - even if baseball is more popular in Panama (always check Luis' facts because he is a proven liar) soccer and baseball get their best athletes, I guess he is that naive because he played basketball and not soccer and maybe he does not know what a top athlete is or looks like - no matter all of his excuses, bottom line is we don't get our best athletes, period - Luis can make all the excuses he wants - he can cry racism or cry about hispanics are our best 'soccer athletes' but he would be wrong as usual and, of course, he is lying again about which sport in the US has the most participants but that is par for the course.

  45. Gordon Hayes, February 9, 2013 at 2:47 a.m.

    And, again Luis is a lying sack of race-baiting crap when he writes that I am implying there are no great athletes in the hispanic community - what an idiot - all about race with him and now he is lying about my initial thoughts about Klinsmann and his German born players - always remember LUIS IS A PATHOLOGICAL LIAR and when he lies about his 'unintentional' comment not being about race - what a joke.

  46. Luis Arreola, February 9, 2013 at 11:12 a.m.

    No Gordon, It doesnt make them automatically our best athletes. But since they do pick soccer first it makes them our greatest pool available of players. Just because black people pick basketball first doesnt make them our best athletes automatically, as well. But it does make them our best pool and coincidentally our best athletes in that sport as well, IN GENERAL. You can cut by a 1/3?? And I'm the dumb one?? Those are not my population figures. Those are factual. Why aren't you cutting Panama's numbers by 1/3? You can easily verify sport popularity in "Google" College GRAD. Panam also loves Boxing. Shit, you can cut Spain, Argentina, Brazil in 1/3's or even 1/4's for that matter since they seem to get better and better at Basketball, Volleyball, Beach Volleyball, Olympics, etc. but they dont seem to lose their "greatest athletes numbers in soccer". Out of all those countries we have more soccer players by far and "nothing" to show for it. By your account, all of these countries must have superior athletes in general or a greater output of them ?? College GRAD, you do understand that Panama HAS THE POPULATION OF CONNECTICUT, RIGHT??? You see Gordon, your opinion has no facts behind it. The numbers are against you. For you to be 100% correct you would have to have at least a rounded out number of top athletes total in USA. Since this is impossible, one must look at these numbers to evaluate why we are not successful. Just hoping that our top athletes pick soccer first without knowing what the ratio is or how many total we have to work with is well, STUPID.

  47. Luis Arreola, February 9, 2013 at 11:30 a.m.

    On top of Panama having a small fraction of population of USA's it is also a poor 3rd world country and doesnt come close to our resources, infrastructure, etc. They should not be superior to us in "anything" given our size and being a world power. This is true in everything else except soccer. Why? Maybe because guys like you are at the top of our scouting and coaching saying that we can't win because we dont have guys that outrun, outjump, outmuscle others. That is why Spain is such a good example for everyone. Xavi ny no means is a great athlete. He is not the fastest, strongest, biggest. He is the most tecnical;, skilled, smart. As is Fabregas, Iniesta, Pedro, etc. Messi had a growth hormone defect that needed treatment for. Do any of our "top" athletes have this issue in their past?? I couldnt' find numbers on basketball, baseball players but the most popular sport is Football only because it is the most watched and not the most played. Fact still is there are 24 million soccer players in USA, that's a ratio of 120 - 1 compared to Panama's 200,000 and 7-1 compared to Panama's entire population!!! Gordon, what you are saying is we have 24 million average athletes picking soccer first which must be the greatest coincidence ever in mankind.. Yea, I missed out on college, allright!! What are you implying Gordon, when you have 24 million picking soccer first with Hispanics being a great number of this population that do pick soccer first ?? Are you back to just calling me a race baiter and liar but without any substance behind your opinions/arguments ??? I thought so, BITCH!!

  48. Luis Arreola, February 9, 2013 at 12:19 p.m.

    Gordon, I know what your problem is. You followed the system, went to college, moved up through the coaching ranks, did you A,B, C, Z license courses and so you feel a certain entitlement at the top or hpe to get higher as you are a blind follower of this system. You have invested so much in it you instantly feel attacked when it is questioned or critisized. Surely, if you see we are not producing "Top Soccer Athletes" with 24 million playing soccer in USA, then your educated mind must allow you to see something is greatly flawed in our development system. But your career interests will not let you see. Your interests come first. You cant accept that maybe just maybe, the system you put your heart into is deeply flawed in most or all of it's aspects. This is why your only defense is " Our Best AThletes are not picking soccer first". This excuse has no base but an observation on your part in a few places. There is no way of knowing how many Great Athletes there are in USA or what they are picking first. This is no more than one man's opinion or wish without anything substancial behind it. We have people like you at the top giving the same excuse. Why take those positions if you will not meet the challenge of producing top athletes with 24 million people playing it ??? Every other country would love to have those numbers and would not make excuses as heard from our leaders in the sport. Sorry brother, we must not continue down that path. It's provenly failed. You went to college. You should have no problem redirecting your career. You bet on a failed system. It is what it is.

  49. Peter Skouras, February 10, 2013 at 10:19 a.m.



  50. Luis Arreola, February 10, 2013 at 10:22 p.m.

    The U20's or Mnst is not the fullt picutre but it is a reflection to a point. Come out blazing what? Bunkering is not blazing. That's exactlyvmy problem. We come out not blazing.

  51. Gordon Hayes, February 12, 2013 at 6:58 p.m.

    Someone explain to Luis that he does not integrate himself into American culture - he probably secluded himself with his own ethnic group in high school, some idiot white guy called him a racial name and he from then on hates white people, same with college - he had the chance to go but instead elected to say isolated in his own ethnic group with his own twisted hatred so when talks about population and stupid inane crap like that he does not really know what it is like in high schools - I have been there for many years and know what sport the best athletes are choosing and how competitive it is between coaches to get athletes - he does not know because he hates America and never has accepted it, hates when they win, wants them to lose and when America plays a hispanic country - guess who our poor victim will cheer for?

  52. Gordon Hayes, February 12, 2013 at 7:01 p.m.

    Luis relates everything to race and ethnicity and now apparently size - to say Xavi is not a great athlete makes Luis what we all know he is - the biggest freaking moron on the planet and a danger and menace to young soccer players - PLEASE players and parents at Luis' racially segregated club - run, run for your lives, integrate yourself, flee the stupidity, flee the hatred!

  53. Gordon Hayes, February 12, 2013 at 7:02 p.m.

    Wait, I thought soccer was the most popular sport, now he says football - what a lying sack of crap - a liar, an idiot, and a basketball player that had 'F1" scholarship offers but cowardly failed to even try.

  54. Luis Arreola, February 13, 2013 at 12:51 a.m.

    Gordon, your right. Even though 24 million play soccer in USA we must not have any of the top athletes picking it. Not one. If we did certainly all these great coaches like yourself that coach our H.S. , Odp, Club, etc. And take all the ABc license courses would have developed them by now. Afterall our unique soccer system has been proven to work. Lets hope one day we get the best Athletes to join the 24 million soccer players already playing it in USA. There is no way coaches like my friend Gordon are making up the "our best athletes don't pick soccer first" lines because theyare blindly following a failed system. No way. A college grad would take notice.

  55. Gordon Hayes, February 13, 2013 at 12:16 p.m.

    Someone tell our cowardly liar that I never said we did not have one good athlete - I am not sure he understands english too well - probably just hung with his own ethnic group speaking spanish and was too cool and too filled with hatred to learn the white man's language....It is so disgusting to read someone like our cowardly liar Luis disparage the USSF and licensing - he has never even mustered the courage to go for anything beyond his D license I believe - just sits back with his fellow hispanic Ric and bashes something he has never experienced, never tried.....he bashed college but was too stupid and too cowardly to ever even try....he bashes the game and our US players but he never even played the game......he bashes the US Soccer courses and staff but never was on staff, never sat in on their meetings, never took any high level basically everything Luis does and says is out of ignorance and are flat out lies.....he sits back and thinks because of his ethnicity he is an expert and can criticize things he knows nothing about...........It is a pity we have cowards like Luis in our country that hate our country and that wear a Mexican jersey when the US plays Mexico and that thinks it will be 'funny' when the US team loses....I am so sad for his son who he thinks playing with him against lower level competition is best for him....I feel sorry for his players who he teaches hatred of white people and that cheating and lying is 'no big deal'......Never did nothing, never played the game, sat in his ethnic corner and cried and criticized......poor, poor Luis 'Never again, I promise' Arreola

  56. Luis Arreola, February 13, 2013 at 2:03 p.m.

    I dont bash college. It's not their fault you remained ignorant. Are you talking to yourself again, Gordon? I dont know if you have noticed throughout all of these posts but nobody hardly ever answers back to you on these blogs. Can you take a hint??

  57. Gordon Hayes, February 13, 2013 at 2:11 p.m.

    'Never again, I promise' - Luis' word means nothing - he has no honor, no courage,he has nothing.

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