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A growing sense of entitlement in U.S. soccer culture, which needs to stop

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Not even 24 hours removed from one of the darkest days in recent U.S. Men’s National team history, and while many sensible supporters recognize the deep-lying issues amongst the American soccer culture a resounding theme for others has been quite the contrary.

Just a word of advice, which is nothing groundbreaking on my end.

[ MORE: U.S. Soccer community reacts to World Cup exclusion ]

Avoid Twitter and other social media platforms at all costs after a brutal loss, like the one we all witnessed on Tuesday night. It only causes emotional distress for all parties involved.

While reading through my Twitter timeline — which is the exact opposite thing I should have been doing — the sentiments popping up, for the most part, were what I fully expected. It was one of disappointment, anger and a little nausea.

However, others in the U.S. soccer community began writing about how the USMNT deserves to be in Russia next summer more so than Panama or Honduras and in an even more comical twist that President Donald Trump is at fault for the Americans’ shortcomings.

I’m certainly not naive enough to believe either of those two sentiments personally, however, it’s become quite clear that the former argument is a resounding theme in the minds of many in the American soccer community.

Over the years there has become a growing sense of entitlement amongst U.S. supporters, and to some degree it’s understandable. The 2018 World Cup cycle will be the first time the Americans haven’t reached the game’s biggest tournament since 1986.

To put that into perspective, 1986 saw Ronald Reagan as president of the United States, Mike Tyson won his first boxing world title and college basketball adopted the three-point line.

Simply put, it’s a long time.

In fact, prior to next summer’s tournament, the USMNT had qualified for seven consecutive trips to the World Cup — which was actually a longer run than Mexico. El Tri were banned from the competition in 1990 for fielding ineligible players during the lead up to the competition.

Does that honestly mean that the World Cup is some sort of right of passage for the Americans though? Because it shouldn’t be.

Yes, the U.S. has made countless strides throughout the years to enhance its standing and perception within the global soccer community, but this is also the classic case of “what have you done for me lately?”

Like other sports and areas of life, it’s about what you earn instead of what you’ve been handed out. It’s absolutely absurd to honestly state that past performances should dictate whether or not the USMNT should be playing in Russia next year.

This team simply wasn’t good enough to qualify, and over 10 matches during the Hexagonal, that truth came bursting out.

Veteran players like Michael Bradley, Tim Howard and Clint Dempsey obviously have played massive roles in the past for the USMNT, and deserve credit for their service, but those three and the rest of the squad know that they needed to be better on Tuesday and throughout their qualifying campaign.

That’s not a knock on just the players though. The word “systemic” has been brought up for some time now, and that’s referring to the broader issues within U.S. Soccer that go above and beyond simply the selection of players.

To use another example, look at Brazil at the last World Cup. The Selecao are a perennial power in soccer, and have been for decades. The Brazilians were handed a humbling for the ages by Germany in the semifinals, before being thumped by Holland once again in the third-place match in front of their home crowd.

[ MORE: A way-too-early look at what’s next for the USMNT ]

For most countries, reaching the semifinal at the World Cup would be a massive accomplishment, but not for Brazil or any other top soccer-playing nation.

The USMNT has had its humbling experience, and as Ian Darke said so eloquently worded on Tuesday, the “USA did not earn it.”

They’ve got to bounce back and prepare itself better for the future after the incumbent changes occur in the coming days and weeks.

In the words of a popular children’s book, “You get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit!”

MLS 3 Things: Resurgent Zardes, Toronto up, New England down

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A busy Saturday in Major League Soccer sees three interesting results bolstering the story lines of the final few months of the season.

[ MORE: Unstoppable Josef | Zlatan, too ]

1) Imagine a world with the reigning champs as your reward for finishing first.

With 14 matches to play, Toronto FC has Jozy Altidore back in the fold and has pulled to within eight points of the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot after a 2-1 win over the Chicago Fire on Saturday.

Sebastian Giovinco looks like Sebastian Giovinco in scoring another outstanding goal, just his fifth of the season, while Jonathan Osorio also scored in the win.

Before you watch Seba’s goal, picture you’ve won the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Now picture TFC as your semifinal reward.

2) New England is well and truly slumping

Brad Friedel‘s Revs are slipping after losing a third-straight league match, and New England has gained a solitary point since the calendar turned to July following a 2-0 loss at Red Bull Arena.

Fourth through ninth in the East are separated by nine points, and New England is very much in that mix now. Friedel is certainly at the most trying time of his tenure.

Second half goals from Bradley Wright-Phillips and Daniel Royer did the trick for RBNY, who have claimed 15 of the last 18 points available to them (The lone blemish is the Hudson River Derby).

The Red Bulls are now 8-1-1 at home this season, while New England is 1-4-4 away from Foxboro.

3) Gyasi Zardes’ return to form is surprising and wonderful

Columbus has its second win since May 19, and will be feeling much better about itself following a 3-2 comeback win over Orlando City which included a pair of equalizers.

One of those came in the 88th minute, as Gyasi Zardes completed his brace by converting a penalty won by new arrival Patrick Mullins.

The Crew won late via a rare Wil Trapp goal — the USMNT midfielder has just two in 161 matches — but let’s focus on Zardes.

Zardes’ 13th goal of the season continues an amazing turnaround under striker whisperer Gregg Berhalter. It’s Zardes’ second double-digit season, and his first since 2014. He is firmly in frame for another USMNT look, this time as a center forward, but first there’s plenty to like about the big man.

Surging Galaxy ride Ibrahimovic magic to 3-1 win (video)

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a man on fire, and the LA Galaxy are rounding into form.

The Galaxy overcame an early deficit in Chester to clobber the Philadelphia Union 3-1 on Saturday behind a goal and an assist from their world-class striker.

[ MORE: Neymar on diving ]

Romain Alessandrini had two assists, while Michael Ciani and Ola Kamara also scored for LA. CJ Sapong scored for Philly, assisted by Borek Dockal.

Unbeaten-in-seven LA moves into fourth in the West with the win, while Philadelphia remains three points back of sixth in the East.

Ibrahimovic has now scored in six of his last seven matches, and has 12 goals and two assists in 21 matches overall.

Let’s start with the assist, which we must’ve seen two dozen times when the big Swede was with Paris Saint-Germain.

Ibrahimovic takes a difficult pass out of the air with absurd touch, then waits for the right time to send an impeccable through ball into the path of Kamara.

As for the goal, you almost feel for Mark McKenzie.

The Union’s Homegrown defender has to choose between Alessandrini darting into his box and allowing Ibrahimovic a lick of space.

He gives it, understandably, then rushes to close down Ibrahimovic.

It wasn’t fast enough. Boom.

Americans on both sides, Weah scores as PSG fall to Bayern (video)

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Two hopes of the USMNT’s future — one more immediate than the other — squared off in the International Champions Cup on Saturday.

Paris Saint-Germain teenager Timothy Weah, 18, went 90 minutes and scored his side’s only goal in the 3-1 loss in Austria.

[ MORE: Neymar on diving ]

On the other side of the field was 62nd minute substitute Chris Richards, far less known to the American supporter.

Richards is on loan from FC Dallas, where he’s a Homegrown Player. The 18-year-old center back is going to play for Bayern’s U-19 side following a successful trial in April.

Both Bayern and PSG were without key pieces, as Weah went up against a decent Bayern back line of Juan Bernat, Javi Martinez, Josip Stanisic, and Rafinha.

Arjen Robben, Sandro Wagner, and Franck Ribery were the biggest names in Bayern’s XI, while David Alaba, Kingsley Coman, and Serge Gnabry came off the bench.

For PSG, Gianluigi Buffon started as did Adrien Rabiot.

Weah’s goal is below, and here’s what he had to say about it:

“It’s an amazing feeling and getting a well-done job. Me scoring goals, I was really happy to get my first goal for PSG and first goal in this competition. We’re going to Singapore with our head on our shoulders. We’re going to be really humble and keep playing.”

Klopp talks Pulisic, Liverpool’s spending

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Jurgen Klopp admits he’d love to work with Christian Pulisic again, but isn’t going to butt his nose into Borussia Dortmund’s business.

Speaking ahead of Liverpool’s International Champions Cup match against BVB, Klopp was asked about his interest in the American teenager.

[ MORE: Josef Martinez bags 3 more ]

Klopp was quick to point out that Pulisic is under contract to Dortmund and not for sale, as much as he’s aware.

From The Liverpool Echo:

“He had not his best season last year but he was still a decisive player but it’s important in that age group that there’s no rush. He still has 14 or 15 years to play in his career and that’s good and he wants to be the best Pulisic he can be. For this, there is still space for development.

“If – at one point – he will join us, I don’t know. I like him, it’s not that that could be the problem, but we respect contracts still and there’s no market I know about at the moment. We did our business and Dortmund are doing theirs. All good.”

Also all good? Klopp’s evolution on spending after blasting other Premier League clubs for big money buys in the past.

Klopp said he would quit football if transfer fees like Paul Pogba‘s became the norm. Well, they have, and no club has spent as much money as the Reds this summer.

“That’s the problem these days, hey? Whatever b.s. you say, nobody will forget it. On the other side, it’s still kind of true. I couldn’t have imagined since then that the world would change like it has. Two years ago £100million was a crazy number. Since then the world has changed completely.”

He said he’s going to do whatever it takes to make Liverpool successful, and Klopp now has the world’s most expensive goalkeeper and most expensive defender in his squad.