VIDEO: Jermaine Jones’ blistering take on USMNT future

3 Comments

“This morning I saw that Bruce got released, and the biggest thing has to be now that U.S. Soccer don’t make the next mistake.”

So begins Jermaine Jones’ long talk on the future of the USMNT. While wearing LA Galaxy gear, the midfielder begged younger players to challenge themselves in Europe and asked U.S. Soccer to hire a strong personality rather than pluck a prospect out of MLS.

[ MORE: Gulati conference call underwhelms ]

Jones strongly advocated players going to Europe, aware enough to continually say how much he loves MLS and wasn’t trying to take a shot at it. Jones said MLS is great, but MLS’ best young talents should be pushing themselves further.

The current Galaxy and former Schalke man spoke of two cases in particular, lauding Christian Pulisic for moving to Borussia Dortmund and scratching his head in revealing a conversation with Jordan Morris where the youngster chose to stay home rather than accept the advances of Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga.

[ MORE: PST’s one-on-one with Jones in 2016 ]

It should absolutely be noted that it wasn’t cool of Jones to speak of Morris’ personal reasoning. We’re not excusing it, but it is a colorful and perhaps important part of the discussion. Jones went on to say that players can make that choice, but then can’t be upset when their place in the USMNT fold is threatened by a lower standard of play.

Some highlights, and the remarks on Pulisic and Morris:¬†“I have much respect for this kid. He’s the Wonderboy for us and he makes stuff happen in games but we have other guys too like Kellyn, Yedlin is already over there, Brooks is over there, Wood is over there. …Jordan Morris he was already but he decided to come play for Seattle. If you want to make the next step in your career, you have to go over there.”

“(Pulisic) decided with his family to go the hardest way, and he made it so I respect that but I want to see more kids hungry like that and don’t pull just the other way. ‘I go and play MLS and never want to go over to Europe’ and hope maybe an MLS coach comes and prefers for MLS players. That’s not right. If you want to make the next step, what every fan is hoping, you have to be a coach to be straight. It hurts some times. It hurts MLS … but sometimes you have to talk the truth, and you need more players in the tough leagues.

“When Bob Bradley was the coach, how many players played in MLS? Most of the players came from Europe. You learn to get personality. You learn to get strong as a person.”

“It’s the fault of the whole system that players are not ready yet. If you take 25 year old player in MLS and compare them to a 19 year old player in Europe, the Europe player is farther in his brain and that’s not a good sign.”

“Jurgen (Klinsmann) called me to please call Jordan Morris. I talked with him and I asked him, ‘I know that Werder Bremen really wants you and you can play there. You can go farther.’ And he said, ‘You know what? I wanna go home. My dad is a doctor in Seattle and my mom that bought me and my girlfriend a dog and all that stuff.’ I was like, really? Why you go the easy way. That’s the point. That’s what I wanted to say.”

Wigan player races off for son’s birth after scoring 2 goals

Twitter/@talkSPORT
Leave a comment

WIGAN, England (AP) It was better than a hat trick.

A player for English soccer team Wigan had a night to remember when he scored his second goal before dashing off the field and to the local hospital, where his girlfriend was in labor.

[ MORE: Chelsea advances to UCL Round of 16 after win over Qarabag ]

A picture of Ryan Colclough holding his new-born baby, Harley, while still in his soccer uniform was shared on social media by Wigan chairman David Sharpe.

Colclough said his father, sitting in the stands on Tuesday for Wigan’s 3-0 win over Doncaster in the second division, “gave me the action that the waters had broken,” but he didn’t want to come off until the ball was out of play.

“My head was a little bit battered, but I went and scored, looked at the manager and he said we’ll bring you off now,” Colclough said Wednesday of his 58th-minute goal, which he celebrated by pretending to rock a baby. “I came off and was straight down the tunnel, grabbed my keys and my phone, and went to hospital.”

Colclough had visited the midwife that day, and was told the baby was unlikely to arrive for “another couple of days.”

Lille suspends coach Marcelo Bielsa

Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images
Leave a comment

LILLE, France (AP) French club Lille has provisionally suspended coach Marcelo Bielsa following a string of poor results in the top tier.

[ MORE: Basel stuns Man United late to keep UCL hopes alive ]

The northern side said in a statement that Bielsa has been suspended “as part of a procedure started by the club.” Lille did not elaborate.

Bielsa joined Lille this season but has failed to make the club competitive again, with the team second to last after 13 matches.

The 2 Robbies podcast: PL sides in the UCL, Pulis sacking and more

Twitter/@SkyFootball
Leave a comment

In today’s Euro Pod Edition, the Robbies breakdown the latest Champions League action. Man United lose at Basel, Chelsea cruise at Qarabag, Spurs impress against Dortmund, Man City continue to win, Liverpool surrender a 3-goal lead against Sevilla. Plus, the guys weigh in on the Oumar Niasse ban for diving and the Tony Pulis sacking.

Join Earle & Mustoe on The 2 Robbies Football Show, Saturdays at 5pm ET. Listen on the NBCSports Radio App and call 855-323-4622 in the U.S. for lively passionate debate.

All of the The 2 Robbies content can be accessed by clicking on this link:

[ Click here for The 2 Robbies archive ]

Listen to the latest pod by clicking play below.

Follow them on Twitter @The2Robbies

Europa League preview: Arsenal looks to wrap up Group H and more

Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Leave a comment

While several teams have already booked their place in the knockout phase, the Europa League reaches its penultimate round on Thursday with many big matches in hand.

[ MORE: Yannick Bolasie finally returns to Everton training ]

Of the two Premier League sides in the competition, only one will advance to the Round of 32, as Arsenal have all but assured themselves of the top spot in Group H. The Gunners can do so tomorrow with a win over Koln or a Red Star Belgrade defeat.

The other end of the spectrum features Everton, who has already been eliminated from reaching the next round after acquiring just one point in its first four matches.

European giants AC Milan can lock up a spot in the knockout phase on Thursday despite the club’s ongoing struggles in Serie A, while fellow Italian side Atalanta can move a step closer to the Round of 32 in Group E along with Lyon.

Here’s the full rundown of Thursday’s UEL matches.

Astana vs. Villareal — 11 a.m. ET
Konyaspor vs. Marseille — 1 p.m. ET
Rosenborg vs. Real Sociedad¬†— 1 p.m. ET
Lazio vs. Vitesse¬†— 1 p.m. ET
Viktoria Plzen vs. Steaua Bucuresti¬†— 1 p.m. ET
Lokomotiv vs. Copenhagen¬†— 1 p.m. ET
Zenit vs. Vardar¬†— 1 p.m. ET
Red Bull Salzburg vs. Vitoria¬†— 1 p.m. ET
Athletic Bilbao vs. Hertha Berlin¬†— 1 p.m. ET
BATE vs. Red Star Belgrade¬†— 1 p.m. ET
Ostersund vs. Zorya¬†— 1 p.m. ET
Koln vs. Arsenal¬†— 1 p.m. ET
Nice vs. Zulte Waregem — 1 p.m. ET
Lugano vs. Beer-Sheva¬†— 1 p.m. ET
Ludogorets vs. Istanbul¬†— 3:05 p.m. ET
Braga vs. Hoffenheim¬†— 3:05 p.m. ET
AEK vs. Rijeka¬†— 3:05 p.m. ET
AC Milan vs. Austria Wien¬†— 3:05 p.m. ET
Lyon vs. Apollon¬†— 3:05 p.m. ET
Maccabi Tel Aviv vs. Slavia Praha¬†— 3:05 p.m. ET
Sheriff vs. Zlin¬†— 3:05 p.m. ET
Partizan vs. Young Boys¬†— 3:05 p.m. ET
Skenderbeu vs. Dynamo Kyiv¬†— 3:05 p.m. ET
Everton vs. Atalanta — 3:05 p.m. ET