Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday Free Kicks

Happy Friday to you! With national team thoughts, Real Salt Lake/Philadelphia coming up and the transfer window, here's whats on my mind for this Friday.

Jurgen Klinsmann and the National Team: Klinsmann is certainly making waves in the media despite only being in charge only a month. In that time he has received praise and attention for his attitudes and his set ups. The first thing noticed was that he wants the team to have a stronger connection with the fans. The benefits here are obvious. Stronger connections between fans and the Nats build relationships that go deeper than just attendance.

More importantly though, Klinsmann is giving the national team a new personality. He continues to encourage players to be creative and take people on, something we haven't seen emphasized in quite a while. Having players like Donovan and Dempsey being encouraged to dribble and attack opposing defenses will certainly bring a new energy to the squad. Likely though, the greatest benefit of this will be that attitude trickling down to younger players and the youth club, encouraging creativity and audacity in American players. The more this happens, the better our team will look in World Cup cycles down the road.

Continuing on the Jurgen bandwagon, it's encouraging to see Klinsmann so confident in his positional choices. There seems little down in JK's mind where players like Landon Donovan will line up or what role Carlos Bocanegra is to play. Make no mistake, this confidence is important. Players have little doubt about what position they are to play and how to develop that position. It both encourages and influences players to make proper training choices and complete their mental preparations.

Also applaud Klinsmann for accepting MLS players with open arms and encouraging them to do the right things to land in national team camps. There is certainly more to it than that, however its just nice to see a foreign coach who clearly enjoys bringing talent in from outside the country, bring domestic players in and show respect and make clear his expectations. Consider his confidence in Kyle Beckerman. Beckerman has a clearly defined role and is confident is his support from his coach. That can only be interpreted positively.

Real Salt Lake vs Philadelphia: I had a fantastic conversation over twitter earlier this week about this match. It came down to the fact that so many players will be missing on national team duty, injuries and suspension that this game is more about who isn't there as oppose to who is there. Still, the battle will be fantastic to watch. Each team has a talented squad with depth. In a full strength battle with the two teams, it's likely that the battle would be fast and furious between each teams forwards and defense. However, with the absences, it's my opinion that this match will be won in the midfield.

There are plenty of reasons to watch this match. Take a look as it's one of only two MLS games on tap for the weekend.
Clint stays put.
Transfer Window: When it comes to Americans and the domestic league the final days of the transfer window certainly disappointed. Big names didn't move, with the exception of Michael Bradley making a lateral transfer to Italy. Big names and moves just didn't happen. Amid all the rumors and speculation, there really was little of note outside the standard 'nod and we'll see'. Bottom line, meh.

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