US Timmy Chandler controls the ball duri

Thumbs up on Clint Dempsey, but Timmy Chandler situation concerning for U.S. national team


Jurgen Klinsmann had a few things to say on U.S. Soccer this morning. Some of it good – and some of it quite concerning.

The good is on Clint Dempsey’s groin injury.

“Clint has a minor groin injury which should be fine within the next couple of days. We’re going to take it a bit easy in the beginning, and from there we don’t expect any problems,” Klinsmann said.

The not so good is about promising defender Timmy Chandler, who isn’t coming into camp.

(Update: More PST perspective on the Chandler affair is here.)

I think it’s time for all U.S. Socccer fans to say this about the promising outside back. And say it out loud so it sinks in. “He’s just not that into us.”

I have had long conversations with Timmy about where he is in his professional career and his commitment to playing international football. He has expressed his appreciation for all the opportunities we have given him, but he also feels at this point he needs to take a break. It’s disappointing not having him as a part of the team at this important juncture of building our team, but ultimately a player must decide what is best for him. The door is certainly not closed on Timmy, but in the moment we move on without him.”

I spoke to U.S. Soccer spokesman Michael Kammarman, who referred all questions to Klinsmann.

In the past, Chandler’s words and actions have always indicated he was “all in” for the U.S. cause, never mind the dual citizenship and the fact that he grew up in Germany.

But recall that last summer he kept his distance from the U.S. camp. And more importantly, recall that he has yet to play in an official FIFA tournament. That means he’s still eligible to appear for Germany. And at 22 years old, it’s quite likely that he’s still holding out hope of appearing for his native country.

If he comes to this camp and appears in one of the upcoming qualifiers, he’s tied to the United States.

U.S. Soccer may or may not continue to believe that Chandler is in the personnel mix. But if I’m wagering, I’m saying his future in the U.S. shirt stands highly in doubt.

It’s hard to see this odd situation any other way (a player who prefers not to play internationally); it looks for all the world like he’s holding out for Germany.

Ferguson still being asked about Moyes: “We chose a good football man”

David Moyes Alex Ferguson
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In some ways absence makes the heart grow fonder, but it seems Sir Alex Ferguson‘s life after Manchester United has been filled with second guessing.

Whether the sales of Paul Pogba and Gerard Pique or the appointment of David Moyes, “Fergie” apparently can’t rest on his title-winning laurels.

[ MORE: Tax evasion charges dropped against Messi, but not his father ]

One thing that seems to bug him more than anything, though, is the idea that he hand-picked David Moyes to be his successor, and should be responsible for his failings.

In a new documentary, Ferguson both defends the appointment of Moyes and explains the process behind his choice.

From the BBC:

“I don’t think we made a mistake at all. I think we chose a good football man,” Ferguson says. “Unfortunately it didn’t work for David.

“Jose Mourinho was going back to Chelsea, Carlo Ancelotti was going to Real Madrid, Jurgen Klopp had signed a contract with Dortmund, Louis Van Gaal was staying with Holland for the World Cup.”

The article also makes another key point, according to Ferguson: the manager claims he only gave United a few months notice that he’d be stepping down. That certainly didn’t provide a lot of lead time to secure a big boss.

What do you make it of it? If your answer is, “When can we stop talking about Moyes and United?” I tend to be with you, but it’s a talking point.

Tax evasion charges against Messi dropped; Case vs father continues

FILE - In this Sept. 27, 2013 file photo, Barcelona F.C. star Lionel Messi, left, arrives at a court to answer questions in a tax fraud case in Gava, near Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona prosecutors are calling for the arrest of Messi's father in a tax fraud case. Prosecutors have cleared Messi of wrongdoing but are seeking an 18-month prison sentence for his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, for allegedly defrauding Spain's tax office of 4 million euros ($4.5 million) in unpaid taxes from 2007-09. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti, File)
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Lionel Messi will not face charges that he and his father defrauded the government in millions of unpaid taxes, though his father is not so lucky.

Messi’s father, Jorge, could face 18 months in jail and an approximate $2.25 million fine despite a voluntary payment of $5.5 million in 2013 to “correct” the missed taxes.

[ WATCH: Hilarious spoof pegs Messi, Ronaldo as “Friends” ]

The Barcleona star had plead ignorance to the charges, something that failed to impress prosecutors. But, it apparently worked out in his favor on Tuesday.

From the BBC:

Prosecutors allege that Jorge avoiding paying tax on his son’s earnings by using offshore companies in Belize and Uruguay between 2007 and 2009.

Messi’s lawyers argued that the player had “never devoted a minute of his life to reading, studying or analysing” the contracts, El Pais newspaper reported.