Why didn’t Jurgen Klinsmann include captain Carlos Bocanegra for the upcoming pair of World Cup qualifiers? There’s no mystery here, the U.S. manager said.
The veteran U.S. defender isn’t playing for Racing de Santander. Lacking the form and rhythm of regular matches (at a Spanish second division club, no less), Bocanegra could not be expected to perform at a high level internationally.
“With Carlos I had several very good conversations,” Klinsmann said. “The reason he is not here is simply he is not playing.”
The coach did insist during a Monday afternoon teleconference, where he talked about the 23-man roster announced Monday, that Bocanegra’s national team career is not necessarily finished at 110 caps.
“Carlos is still in the picture,” Klinsmann said of the U.S. defender who turns 34 in May. “This is not the end of his international career.”
He talked about the unfortunate situation with Rangers – the financially troubled Scottish giant was forced to dump or, as with Bocanegra, loan out players late last summer – and of the former U.S. captain’s need to get into a more favorable club situation this summer.
(MORE: U.S. lineup announced for qualifiers ahead)
Other highlights of Klinsmann’s national news conference, held in Denver, site of Friday’s qualifier clash with Costa Rica:
- Twice in the 30-minute call the U.S. coach called Friday’s match a “must-win.” Not that we needed Klinsmann to tell us that … but he did, anyway.
- Klinsmann talked briefly, although not in much depth, about “other options” out of midfield as options to play fullback. We know DaMarcus Beasley is one of them because he has played there before in World Cup qualifiers (during the 2010 cycle). In fact, he spoke highly of the Puebla man. “He can solve different things, in different positions if needed,” Klinsmann said. “His personality is always as a giving person to the group, to our team. So we have always followed him over last 18 months … therefore, we are happy to have him back in the group.”
(MORE: Looking at the perilously thin, young U.S. back line)
- Klinsmann said he is not worried about Michael Bradley’s diminishing playing time of late at Serie A club AS Roma. Klinsmann speaks regularly to all players about their club situation, and Bradley is no different. The U.S. manager does not appear concerned. “I’m just curious to hear his side of it. But Michael is the kind of player, maybe if he is on the bench for one game or two, he finds his way back on the field again quickly. And we are confident he is doing that as well.”
- (I see zero possibility that Bradley will not be on the field Friday against Costa Rica. And probably once again Tuesday against Mexico.)
- Klinsmann said he has already decided on a captain, but isn’t revealing it just yet. As Bocanegra, Tim Howard and Landon Donovan are all out, there appears to be two logical choices: Clint Dempsey or Bradley.
- Can Dempsey, with limited playing and training time recently due to injury, go a full match in high altitude venues? No worries, Klinsmann says: “We are confident he can go the distance in both games.”
- He said Tony Beltran and Justin Morrow are starting candidates based on performance in the U.S. January camp. The trouble is, Beltran probably isn’t a starting candidate based on his sluggish performance in the match against Canada to punctuate that January camp. (Beltran was carrying a bit of an injury, so that deserves mention.) Morrow looked OK in the match down in Houston, a scoreless draw.
- About the Honduras loss to open final stage CONCACAF qualifying, Klinsmann is clearly ready to move on – even if others don’t necessarily feel the same. “There’s no need for us to discuss [the Honduras] loss anymore.”
The game in 100 words (or less): It would appear, based on the optics of the Seattle Sounders’ 3-0 defeat at the hands of Sporting Kansas City, a result that sees Sigi Schmid’s side fall 10 points adrift of the Western Conference playoff places, that the legendary coach’s time in the Emerald City has run out. It wasn’t the final score, or the fact that the Sounders were out-shot 18-1 on the afternoon, but the manner in which they arrived at those embarrassing figures — essentially giving up and waving the white flag over the game’s final 30 minutes — that sends a message loudly and clearly to Sounders’ front office: we aren’t playing for this guy anymore. Here’s the problem for Seattle, though: Jason Kreis, the presumptive Sigi replacement with an eye toward reuniting with Garth Lagerwey, was announced as Orlando City SC’s new head coach on Tuesday. Nothing would make the Sounders look more unprepared than firing Schmid five days after the best available MLS coach was plucked off the market.
[ MORE: Catch up on all of Saturday night’s MLS action ]
Three moments that mattered
21′ — Dwyer heads home from Espinoza’s cross for 1-0 — Defending optional for Seattle, as everyone in and around the penalty area did very little to close down or mark anyone in white.
45+3′ — Peterson goes upper-90 for 2-0 — First-time hit, upper-90. Jacob Peterson makes it 2-0.
79′ — Dwyer makes it 3-0 after Sounders all but quit — Questionable “effort” from the Sounders, to be sure.
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Man of the match: Dom Dwyer
Goalscorers: Dwyer (21′, 79′), Peterson (45+3′)
Patrick Vieira is very mad, and with good reason, but he might want to reconsider where he directs his displeasure following the New York City FC’s latest embarrassment at the hands of the New York Red Bulls, 4-1 on Sunday .
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In Vieira’s estimation, Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch and referee Mark Geiger were co-men of the match; Marsch for his pre-game comments — “crying,” in Vieira’s words — and Geiger for playing into Marsch’s devious, revolutionary plan.
Adults … they’re just like us!
In the two sides’ three meetings this season, the Red Bulls won twice and lost once, by a combined score of 11-3.
New York Red Bulls rode a wave of first half goals to a heated and entertaining 4-1 win over New York City FC on Sunday at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey.
Sacha Kljestan had two assists and converted a penalty, while Bradley Wright-Phillips netted a brace and Ronald Zubar (!!) also scored for RBNY. If you’re keeping score at home that’s a combined 11-1 score line for RBNY in home Derby games this season.
Tommy McNamara scored a gorgeous goal before halftime to give City life. Aside from McNamara cranking a second-half effort off the crossbar, the rest of the life came in the form of pushing, shoving and fouling. Frank Lampard mixed it up with Kljestan, while Ethan White took two yellows for a late red card.
[ MORE: A Pogba Primer ]
The win gives the Red Bulls bragging rights for at least the regular season, as RBNY won 2 of 3 season matches against its area rivals.
NYC remains atop the East, while the Red Bulls are five points back in fourth.
Here’s the goal that got us started, as Kljestan slipped through BWP for a finish he’ll rarely miss (even when ice-cold).
Zubar then headed in a Kljestan pass to make it 2-0 before a handball allowed Kljestan to collect a goal for himself.
BWP restored the three-goal lead with 20 minutes to play, as he won a 50-50 ball played over the top and had all day to toy with Josh Saunders en route to his 11th of the season.
The New York Red Bulls were cruising at home, leading 3-0 in what looked like it could be another blowout New York Derby.
Enter Tommy Mac.
[ MORE: A Pogba Primer ]
The Clemson man and NYC fan favorite unleashed an absolute laser past Luis Robles to make it 3-1 and give City a look at a comeback.
The goal gives McNamara four to go with eight assists this season. Now can NYC keep the comeback working in the second half?