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Report: MLS Objects to Klinsmann's Player Advice

  • ESPN FC, Friday, November 14, 2014 11:22 AM

A month ago, MLS commissioner Don Garber objected publicly to comments made by USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann that were deemed “detrimental” to the American soccer league. Klinsmann had said it would be “very difficult” for the likes of Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey to maintain their best form after the pair returned home to play in MLS following extended spells in Europe.

As it turns out, Garber isn’t the only one who took issue with the German’s comments. ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle speaks with Seattle Sounders minority owner Adrian Hanauer, Philadelphia Union CEO and Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz, among others, and finds that there is growing frustration inside MLS over the advice Klinsmann and the U.S. Soccer Federation are giving to young American players: namely, to bypass the American league in order to hone their skills in stronger leagues abroad.

"We are investing millions of dollars in youth development," Hanauer says. "It's hard enough to compete with foreign teams who are trying to poach players in the U.S. and Canada. I'm certainly not happy if our federation and its representatives are in any way pushing our players to sign with a foreign club and bypassing our professional environment." He adds: "At some point, if [this continues], clearly I -- and I assume my MLS partners -- would need to reconsider our investment in youth development, which I don't think is ultimately good for U.S. soccer."

In a statement made to ESPN, Klinsmann responds by saying that he is not telling players where to play: "You have to look at every situation individually and help the player to determine what is best for himself," he said. "There are a lot of parts to the picture, things like the player's ability, what his support structure is like, his past experiences, and his mentality and goals. Some kids would benefit from the environment in Europe, while others are best suited to continue their growth in MLS. There's no one right answer that applies to all players and each player's circumstances changes over time."

Read the whole story at ESPN FC »

5 comments about "Report: MLS Objects to Klinsmann's Player Advice".
  1. Eric Young, November 14, 2014 at 1:11 p.m.

    I consider Klinsmann a bonehead. I'm just thinking on paper here but. . . This guy Landon Donovan--who retired from National Play this year--has a better World Cup goal record than many European Palm d'or players.

    And correct me if I'm wrong, but I think he played most of his pro career in the MLS.

    That makes your comment completely bass aackward.

    Klinsmann I wish you would move the heck out of California. Maybe you would be a better National Team coach if you lived back in Germany.

  2. Frank Schnur, November 14, 2014 at 4:50 p.m.

    Once the MLS can compete with the European leagues, our best guys won't want to go over there. In fact, the return of some of our better players is evidence that MLS is getting better. But, until MLS can really compete, I hope our best young players continue going to the best teams where they play with the best possible players against the best possible competition. Maybe MLS can get Klinsmann to tone down his comments or make them less publically, but everyone knows its true. All you have to do is watch a couple of games.

    And what a ridiculous threat. MLS will stop funding youth soccer. That would be cutting off your nose to spike you face. If MLS stops supporting youth soccer, your fans with stop coming to your games.

    Why are these comments made publicly? Can't there be discussions behind the scenes? Its hurts MLS and it hurts the game. Leave your egos at the door and be a little more diplomatic.

  3. Bill Jones, November 14, 2014 at 11:53 p.m.

    So let me gets this straight. Klins is vilified for stating a fact that certainly affects his own work and results as USA head coach and the MLS threatens with cutting down on youth player development?? So instead of the MLS taking Klins words as motivation to prove him wrong by amping up development and scouting (nonexistent) they choose to threaten it with cutting funding?? Seattle obviously doesnt need to develop their own to fill their stadium up. Huge eye opener for all of you.

  4. cisco martinez, November 15, 2014 at 4:17 p.m.

    Klinsmanns performance in the World Cup was decent, however his rationale to have no trust and his public criticism of his player is disheartening. His public criticism among his players should be behind close doors; now that it's creeping out that he wants his players to play in Europe and not in the MLS is not good PR nor good for American soccer. Sure we want our players to play in the best leagues, but we aren't there yet and to criticize the league so bluntly is no wonder MLS executives may be second guessing investing in our league.

  5. Bill Jones, November 18, 2014 at 6:56 p.m.

    Cisco, so what you are saying is no one should openly critisize the level of play for MLS for fear of MLS Executives cutting funds towards their own Academy programs?? You think they came in the MLS thinking everybody would just love them??

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