“Pitch Points” is a phrase which here means “Geoff Cameron.”
USMNTalk. New US Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro penned an open letter to the soccer community in our country:
With the election behind us, I want to help unite us as one soccer family. The individual passions that fueled each candidacy can help us fulfill the vast potential for our beloved game in the United States. I believe that, playing as a team, we can be unstoppable.
In my remarks on Saturday, I made a pledge to all of you. I will be your partner. I will listen. I will be inclusive. I will work with you to deliver the change we need, together, as one united soccer community.
Certainly, those are some of the things important to ask. There’s obviously a need to re-establish some unity in the United States, and that ranges from the lowest levels all the way up to the men’s national team.
What’s that you say? The USMNT doesn’t have a unity problem? (Side note: yes, I’m aware nobody said or thinks this). Geoff Cameron, for the second time in about a month, did some rantin’:
[M]aybe I’m not the guy you’d expect to be saying this, but it needs to be shouted from the mountaintops: The powers that be in U.S. Soccer have created a poisonous divide between the MLS players and the so-called “European” players, and until that culture is torn down, the USMNT will continue to slide backwards.
I wouldn’t say there’s been much mystery around that – and based on Cordeiro’s coming from within the US Soccer organization, I would assume that Cameron’s not a huge fan of how the election turned out.
I will say, however, that I’ve seen some “well, Cordeiro really was a reform candidate” takes in the past several days and dismissed them. Catching up on some old podcasts today though (I was focused on things like Speedway Soccer to make sure I didn’t fall behind on my Nashville SC media consumption as the season approached), I realized that there was more talk of that before the election than I’d realized. Certainly some of that was campaign strategy from the Cordeiro camp, but it certainly sounds like he didn’t see eye-to-eye with the man he’s replacing (his good friend Sunil Gulati) on a lot of things, including Soccer United Marketing’s relationship with USSF.
It’ll be interesting to follow and see how much is show and how much is legit policy planning. (For the record, everyone complaining about grassroots should know that even the established soccer countries have grassroots issues (not that England is the national team you want to try to match)).
MLS wyd bro? The MLS schedule only has the briefest of hiatuses during the World Cup: all of nine days (June 14-22). This, obviously, is stupid. I hadn’t previously realized that even the more extended breaks in the past still didn’t encompass the entire group stage, but what is the purpose behind that?
Give players a bit of an extended break, let American soccer fans watch the group stages (when they won’t be watching MLS games, whether or not MLS games are on television), have something like an East v. West All-Star game with only players under 24 (maybe only American/Canadian-eligible players under 24 – appeal to the USMNT fans who are dismayed about not making the World Cup and who are looking forward to the future) halfway through the break, and get back in action during the big gap between the end of group play (June 28) and the beginning of the knockout rounds (July 6).
Given that there’s at least one World Cup game every day for two weeks, play a fairly heavy schedule July 1, 3, 4, and 5 (a Sunday after two days with no World Cup, and then the three-day stretch spanning a major holiday), and you make up for some of the lost time that would otherwise see the season extend.
Added benefit? Those internationals who will make their nations’ World Cup squads miss less time – especially if they crash out after the group stage, though they’ll almost certainly take a few additional days to recover anyway – so the amount of diluted product you’re giving to fans is reduced.
Since I have this MLS section, here’s an MLS-related tweet I very much agree with:
Giving the casual fan the ability to watch games (or even stumble upon them) more than a couple times a week is an extremely important step for the league. That wasn’t a possibility with the proprietary platform – which also happened to be a lot more expensive for a lot less content. I’m extremely interested to see what other soccer leagues end up on ESPN Plus.
Gary in Nashville. Nashville SC coach Gary Smith and USA Today Network Tennessee‘s Joe Rexrode tour the city. It’s not particularly good #content, but you get to know coach a little more. The resulting column is a lot more enlightening.
Etc.: When hosting World Cups is primarily about being the best at bribing, well, you end up playing in places that are human rights nightmares. Good on you, FIFA. Nailed it. … I’ve talked MLS academies before and I’ll do it again, but for now, just read up on Atlanta United’s vision. … “Four guys who could be the next Jonathan Gonzalez” seems like a pretty depressing sales pitch for a story. … Never accuse DeAndre Yedlin of setting the bar too low. … Who’s trying to donate to a GoFundMe to send your humble writer to Ireland? Or, uh, North Carolina? … Same.