USMNT

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

DaMarcus Beasley has some fixes for American soccer

Leave a comment

NEW YORK (AP) DaMarcus Beasley wants to stick around soccer when he retires at the end of the MLS season.

He just wants to move upstairs.

Beasley has no interest in coaching, but he wants to try the management side of the sport he has played for decades. And the captain of the Houston Dynamo thinks he has something to offer, too.

[ MORE: Adrian injured by fan ]

“I would love to learn the business side of football,” Beasley told The Associated Press. “What it takes to put a team together day-in, day-out. That part of it intrigues me a lot.”

The 37-year-old Beasley is heading into the final stretch of a decorated playing career. The Dynamo (9-13-3) have dropped four in a row heading into Saturday night’s game against Colorado, and they are going to need a strong finish to extend Beasley’s 20-year career into the playoffs.

Beasley is the only American to play in four World Cups or appear in a Champions League semifinal. The former PSV and Manchester City left back played his last international match during the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, which concluded with the U.S. missing the World Cup for the first time since 1986.

Beasley thinks structural changes are needed to get the U.S. back into soccer’s premier event, but concedes much of the minutia eludes him.

“Do I want change? Yeah. Do I know the ins and outs about how to go about it? Not really,” Beasley said. “Once I think I get into that role, or whatever role I’ll be in on the business side of football, then I’ll know this needs to change, that needs to change. This is the way this could work.”

Beasley, a Fort Wayne, Indiana native, believes ego is getting in the way of that institutional change.

“All the soccerheads, we all want the same thing. I think one thing we all need to stop doing, 100%, is that everyone thinks they know everything. No one wants to listen. A lot of coaches just say that my way is the right way. Very stuck-up, very ego-driven,” Beasley said. “That part I don’t like. I have my own schools, my soccer camps, and if I try to go to another city, they’ll say `Oh no, I know what I’m doing. We don’t need anything.’ It’s like, I’m not trying to take over anything. That part needs to change, 100%. The egos with the people that have power to make decisions. They need to change and open their minds and try to one day, hopefully win the World Cup. That’s what the whole thing is about.”

America’s youth soccer system has been cited by critics as part of the problem. The United States’ pay-to-play programs can make it more difficult for some households to participate.

“More of the rich kids get a chance than the little guy that just works just as hard and is probably even better but doesn’t have the ends to make ends meet and to make those sacrifices for their kids,” Beasley said.

Another oft-cited inadequacy is a reliance on athleticism as opposed to developing individual skill and team harmony. Beasley stressed that American soccer’s policymakers need to be open to diversifying its on-field philosophies.

“To have one style it’s – we’re not Brazil,” he said. “We can’t keep saying, `Oh, we want to be like Brazil. We want to be like Argentina.”‘

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

U.S. Soccer promotes Stewart, hires alum Markgraf as USWNT GM

Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Leave a comment

The United States Soccer Federation is staying on brand and promoting from within.

USMNT general manager and program legend Earnie Stewart has been elevated to sporting director for the entire federation, and 201-times capped USWNT defender Kate Markgraf has been named general manager for the women’s program.

[ MORE: PL Player Power Rankings ]

“This is a great day for the Federation and for soccer in America,” said U.S. Soccer Federation President Carlos Cordeiro in a press release. “In Earnie Stewart and Kate Markgraf, we’re keeping our commitment to ensure that soccer operations are run by soccer experts.”

“With Earnie as sporting director and Kate as the first general manager of our women’s national team, we have the leaders in place to align our technical approach, develop the next generation of players and win championships.”

That means that Stewart, 50, will be in charge of hiring his replacement.

Like most things with U.S. Soccer, both of these hires need to come with tempered response and not be held against the hires themselves.

Stewart was a force for the USMNT as a player and his post-playing career has been impressive, with stints as technical directors for NAC Breda and AZ Alkmaar in the Eredivisie before taking a similar post with the Philadelphia Union.

Markgraf’s resume is less traditional for the post. According to U.S. Soccer, her post-playing career has included acquiring two graduate degrees, working as a broadcast analyst — including with NBC Sports — and volunteered with four D-I women’s programs in the NCAA. Most intriguing, however, is how her academic research will play into her philosophy on developing the women’s program.

She holds two graduate degrees: a Master’s in Kinesiology and a Master’s in Educational Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her research on elite athletes and the influence of Grit, a psychological metric predictive of success in elite domains, was the first of its kind and was published, with her as the co-author with her advisor, in the top Sport Psychology Academic Journal, the Journal of American Sport Psychology.

Again, two resumes worthy of acclaim, but how far did U.S. Soccer go in the interview process. That will be the key question for president Carlos Cordeiro when he joins Stewart and Markgraf on a conference call with the media at 5 p.m. ET Monday as the USSF has made some good resume hires for Stewart’s last post and the USMNT head coaching position, only to see the process scrutinized for only looking within the family. That’s also plagued the delayed hunt for a new CEO, which has inspired fan and employee protestation at the idea of elevating the USMNT head coach’s brother to the top of the organization.

Americans Abroad: Weekend roundup

Getty Images
Leave a comment

With the Premier League, Ligue 1 and the Eredivisie all underway, several current USMNT players and prospects got the first taste of their respective league’s competition. Leading the long list of players applying their skills at clubs abroad is Christian Pulisic, who made his Premier League debut in Manchester United’s 4-0 drubbing over Chelsea.

In France, Timothy Weah made his Lille debut, while in Holland several familiar faces continue to add minutes. Here is a list of several other USMNT affiliates making a name for themselves (or not) abroad this weekend.

Premier League

Christian Pulisic, Chelsea — The 20-year-old came off the bench in the 58th minute, replacing Ross Barkley and making his much-anticipated Premier League debut.

DeAndre Yedlin, Newcastle — Yedlin did not feature for Steve Bruce‘s side in their opening 1-0 loss to Arsenal. The fullback continues to recover from an injury to his groin, which required surgery back in May. There’s no timeline on his return.

EFL Championship

Antonee Robinson, Wigan Athletic — Robinson started and went all 90 minutes for the Latics in their 3-0 loss to Preston North End.

Matt Miazga, Reading (loan from Chelsea) — The 24-year-old center back keeps adding valuable minutes with Reading, going for another 90 minutes in Reading’s 2-1 loss to Hull City.

Eric Lichaj, Hull City — The Tigers captain has been a mainstay in England, and it doesn’t seem things will be changing this year. Lichaj recorded another 90 minutes in Hull City’s victory this weekend.

Geoff Cameron, QPR — The defender’s spell with the Rs is off to a good start two games in: 4 points, one assist and 180 minutes played.

Tim Ream, Fulham — Ream is back playing in the EFL Championship. On Saturday, he went the full 90 minutes in Fulham’s 2-0 win over Blackburn Rovers.

Eredivisie

Haji Wright, VVV-Venlo — Wright is two matchweeks into his Eredivisie career, and he’s been quite busy. After playing 90 minutes in his league debut, the forward started and played 84 minutes against Sparta Rotterdam on Friday. VVV-Venlo lost 4-1.

Sergino Dest, Ajax — Pulisic wasn’t the only American making a league debut this weekend. Dest, 18, came on as a right back for Ajax and played 36 minutes in the Dutch giants’ 5-0 win against FC Emmen. ena

Desevio Payne, FC Emmen — The U-23 MNT fullback played the final eight minutes against Ajax.

Ligue 1

Timothy Weah, Lille — Following a $11 million move to Lille from PSG this summer, Weah finally donned Lille’s crest for the first time in a league match, starting and playing 65 minutes in a 2-1 victory against Nantes.

Theoson Jordan-Siebatcheu, Rennes — The Washington D.C.-born striker featured for Rennes over the weekend, going 18 minutes against Montpellier in his side’s 1-0 win.

DFB Pokal

Weston McKennie, Schalke — McKennie did not captain Schalke, but he did come off the bench and play 32 minutes against SV Drochtersen/Assel. Die Königsblauen won 5-0 against the fourth-division side.

Bobby Wood, Hamburger SV — Wood continues to see very limited action (if any). On Sunday, the striker did not play in Hamburg’s shootout win over Chemnitzer FC.

Zack Steffen, Alfredo Morales, Fortuna Dusseldorf Steffen and Morales are slatted to be key contributors to the Bundesliga side this upcoming season. On Saturday, both players started and played 120 minutes in a 3-1 extra-time win over FC 08 Villingen.

Josh Sargent, Werder Bremen  The 19-year-old is getting rhythm prior to the start of the Bundesliga season, starting and going for 62 minutes in Werder Bremen’s 6-1 battering of Atlas Delmenhorst.

Fabian Johnson, Borussia Mönchengladbach Johnson is going into his sixth season with Die Fohlen. On Friday, the 31-year-old versatile player was a substitute and played 27 minutes against Sandhausen.

Timmy Chandler, Eintracht Frankfurt Chandler made the 18 but did not play for Eintracht Frankfurt in their 5-3 win over SV Waldhof.

Tyler Adams, RB Leipzig — Adams, 20, was a no-go  for RB Leipzig in their 3-2 win over Vfl Osnabruck. There is no reason to bring out the red flags, however, the USMNT midfielder will be a vital piece in Julian Nagelsmann’s system.

Honorable Mentions:

Ventura Alvarado, Necaxa  Alvarado was Necaxa’s silver lining in their 3-1 loss to Tigres, scoring in the 43rd minute and contributing on both sides of the field for all 90 minutes.

Lynden Gooch, Sunderland It might be League One, but the winger bagged a goal for the Black Cats in their 1-1 draw against Ipswich. Gooch has now scored in Sunderland’s first two games of the new campaign.

Lampard on Pulisic’s debut: ‘It was difficult for him’

Leave a comment

MANCHESTER — Frank Lampard believes Christian Pulisic is going to be a “fantastic player” for Chelsea in the future, but admitted that luck wasn’t on his side on Sunday.

[ MORE: 3 things we learned

Pulisic made his Premier League debut as a 58th minute sub during Chelsea’s 4-0 hammering at Manchester United. The USMNT star came on when Chelsea were 1-0 down, and within seven minutes they were 3-0 down and he’d been floored by Paul Pogba as he cut in from the left flank.

[ MORE: How did Pulisic perform on debut?

Pro Soccer Talk asked Lampard, speaking in his post-match press conference, how he felt Pulisic fared after coming on.

“It was one of those games today where I felt it was better to start with Ross [Barkley] and Mason [Mount], who’ve been very strong in preseason, and bring Christian on,” Lampard said. “If the game carried on at 1-0 or we got back in the game as we should have been at that point, he would have been a great injection. In the end it was difficult for him because the game went away from us quickly.”

So, it didn’t go the way Pulisic or Chelsea wanted, but Lampard was keen to point out the fact that the Pennsylvania native has a bright future at the west London club and he is easing him into life in England.

“Christian Pulisic is 20 years old and has come across from Dortmund and he is going to be a fantastic player for the club, I believe,” Lampard said. “He has got great ability and you saw little moments of his acceleration on the ball today. But I’ve also got other options in midfield in those sort of areas and I don’t want to stick Christian straight into the fire without trying to help him along the way.”

Christian Pulisic watch: How did USMNT star perform?

Leave a comment

MANCHESTER — USMNT star Christian Pulisic made his Premier League debut for Chelsea at Manchester United on Sunday, as the Pennsylvanian native came on in the second half.

Things didn’t go to plan for his team in their 4-0 defeat, but how did Pulisic do?

[ MORE: 3 things we learned ]

The 20-year-old arrived in the 58th minute to a huge roar from the away fans at Old Trafford, and it was certainly an eventful first 32 minutes as a Premier League player for him.


59th minute: Pulisic arrives in the Premier League by being clattered into by Paul Pogba,. Pulisic rolls around on the floor and is grabbing his left side. Welcome to the PL, Christian…

65th minute: Man United score through Anthony Martial to go 2-0 up.

67th minute: Man United score through Marcus Rashford to go 3-0 up.

70th minute: Makes a surging run into the box but Kovacic doesn’t find him. Pulisic is not happy.

72nd minute: Wins the ball back and surges towards the box, but they can’t find him with the give-and-go.

75th minute: Played in down the left flank but his cross is cleared by Harry Maguire. From the resulting throw-in he’s tackled by Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

79th minute: Pulisic pops up centrally and runs towards the goal but Luke Shaw nicks the ball off him. Pulisic has switched from the left flank to the right.

86th minute: Skips away from two tackles on the edge of his own box but then gives the ball away.

87th minute: Has a shot that is blocked then moments later clatters into Maguire in the box in an aerial challenge.

90th minute: Races free down the left but overhits his cross to Giroud and it goes out for a throw in.