CARSON, Calif. – Most news coming out of Southern California this week is about MLS Cup. But since U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann lives in Southern California, there was a small window of availability Friday morning near the Home Depot Center.
Klinsmann addressed a wide variety of topics, speaking casually over breakfast to a small group of journalists (including me).
Among the topics covered extensively (the man does love to talk soccer – which is a blessed thing for a journalist):
- The January camp (more on that down below)
- His ongoing dialogue on getting players to get more from themselves
- Landon Donovan
- Timothy Chandler
- Jozy Altidore
- Carlos Bocanegra
- Fabian Johnson
- Michael Bradley’s splendid progress and new role in the locker room
- Evolving player roles as it relates to Bocanegra
- Enjoying when players prove him wrong
- Playing an early 2014 match in Brazil (assuming things go well in World Cup qualifying through 2013)
- Playing Germany next year somewhere in the United States
- Explaining Jermaine Jones’ value on and off the field
- Lots more
Over the next few days, I will go deeper into each of these topics, as well as others covered by the U.S. national team boss, who has been on the job now for 16 months.
As for the January camp, it will begin on Jan. 14 and include no more than 23 players. Most likely, it will be held at the Home Depot Center and, as usual, will be limited mostly to MLS men and players from the Scandinavian leagues (because they will be on winter break).
Klinsmann wants to end the camp with a friendly (also at the Home Depot Center, in all likelihood), mostly to give the athletes a little reward at the end of what will surely be tough training sessions.
Klinsmann will name a different set of 23 (although it will surely include some of the same names) immediately upon conclusion of the January camp. That group, including the European based players, will assemble in Miami and then fly to Honduras to open final stage World Cup qualifying on Feb. 6.
MADRID (AP) Brazilian club Corinthians says it has agreed to transfer striker Alexandre Pato to Villarreal in Spain.
Corinthians says on its club website that it has “agreed to the final administrative details of the negotiation” for Pato’s move to Villarreal.
[ MORE: MLS All Star Game preview ]
It adds that both clubs have agreed to not release the financial details of the transfer.
The 26-year-old Pato played for AC Milan from 2007 to 2013, before returning to his native Brazil with Corinthians. He played the second half of last season on loan at Chelsea in the English Premier League.
When news of Sigi Schmid’s departure from Seattle broke, there were plenty of folks wondering who could be the second coach in the Sounders’ MLS history.
One of those doing so publicly was ESPN writer Marc Connolly, who asked whether former Wigan and Everton boss Roberto Martinez could be interested in the gig.
[ MORE: Sounders, Schmid part ways ]
Fellow media member Taylor Twellman is obviously well-connected, and his reply raised some eyebrows, especially given the news that technical director Carlos Bocanegra is closing in on selecting the first manager in Atlanta United history.
Ryan is the quarterback of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, for those unaware. Martinez and Twellman worked together for ESPN this summer.
Is Martinez to MLS really a thing? He’s also been linked to the vacant Hull City job, and would be one of the highest profile coaches to make the switch in the history of the league.
Four Premier League teams were in action on Tuesday, with two picking up wins and not a clean sheet in the joint.
[ MORE: Sounders, Schmid part ways ]
MK Dons 1-3 Everton
Ronald Koeman‘s men got goals from Gerard Deulofeu, Ross Barkley and Muhamed Besic, but wasn’t entirely pleased with every facet of their game.
“The team, the players, we need to press better. The pitch in some stages of the game was too long. If you press up front, it means the midfielders they need to push up as well and it’s the same for the defenders.”
Bolton 1-2 Burnley
Andre Gray will likely be a well-known Premier League entity when his career is done, and the way he’s playing it could be by the time this season is complete. The Burnley man scored for the fifth time in four preseason games, and Josh Ginnelly also scored for the Clarets.
Barnsley 2-2 Hull City
Adama Diomande and Jarrod Bowen scored as the Tigers stayed unbeaten in preseason play.
Spurs 1-2 Juventus — RECAP
For every benefit of being ultra rich and even more famous, there’s are downsides, and here’s one of them.
Most of us learned to golf with just our parents, friends or older siblings watching us embarrass ourselves.
Neymar took his first hacks on video for the whole world to see.
[ MORE: Everton to land Gueye? ]
Was it as bad as his first baseball swings? We’ll let you make the call.
The girl who “taught” Neymar before and during the filming of the video is a 16-year-old Spanish golfer named Agueda Cortilla Mas.
Here’s how she described the encounter to the Irish Examiner, adding that Neymar was ready for another lesson:
“He never played golf before so it was a little bit awkward starting the lesson. But after the first few shots he started joking around, playing soccer with the golf ball and all that. After we finished recording he came over to my dad and thanked him for what I did because he knew it wasn’t easy.”
“Afterwards, I was going to my changing room and his manager asked me for my phone number. He told me that Neymar enjoyed the lesson and that he wanted to do more. The next day they called me but I couldn’t answer because I was in school.”
What other Olympic sports are on the horizon for Neymar? Could we see archery, water polo, or diving?