By Charles Boehm - WASHINGTON, DC (Dec 6, 2012) US Soccer Players -- It's an old idea that communication is leadership, and Jurgen Klinsmann is doing a fair job of living out that maxim with his proactive entrées to the American soccer media. The latest was a breakfast meeting with journalists in the run-up to last week's MLS Cup at the Home Depot Center.
By Charles Boehm - WASHINGTON, DC (Nov 13, 2012) US Soccer Players -- Jurgen Klinsmann's effort to test the US National Team with demanding international friendlies continues in faraway Krasnodar on Wednesday, as the Yanks visit Russia for their final match of 2012 (10am ET - ESPN2). Amid a brief break from the tension of CONCACAF qualifying, Klinsmann has called in a hybrid US roster featuring both regulars and newcomers which should make for interesting.
By Charles Boehm - WASHINGTON, DC (Nov 7, 2012) US Soccer Players -- Do you know where to look for talent? Do you know what you're looking for? What if you look too soon? For well over a decade now, US Soccer has been working diligently to grow its player identification network, casting a wider, finer net in an effort to make sure they don't overlook any prospects.
By Charles Boehm - WASHINGTON, DC (Oct 31, 2012) US Soccer Players -- In his book How Soccer Explains the World, Franklin Foer describes a criticism of soccer as a game that "gives life to tribal identities which should be disappearing." Foer rejects that criticism for ignoring what he calls a ‘craving' to identify with a group as a central part of the human experience.
By Charles Boehm - WASHINGTON, DC (Oct 16, 2012) US Soccer Players -- The US National Team's opponents in next year's CONCACAF Hexagonal round are ranked 19th, 43rd, 52nd, 66th and 72nd in the FIFA World Rankings, an unassuming set of numbers which might give outsiders another excuse to minimize the region's difficulty.
By Charles Boehm - WASHINGTON, DC (Oct 16, 2012) US Soccer Players -- The United States National Team has weathered rough results, injury, and challenging away dates all leading up to the finale of the semifinal round of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying. Circumstances favor the US as they prepare to host Guatemala on Tuesday evening at Livestrong Park in Kansas City, Kansas.
By Charles Boehm - WASHINGTON, DC (Oct 11, 2012) US Soccer Players -- United States President Barack Obama is campaigning for reelection which will do much to define his legacy in his homeland. Yet, he's already been immortalized by the Caribbean island of Antigua, whose tallest point was renamed "Mount Obama" three years ago in a nod to his status as "the first black president of the United States of America, as a symbol of.
By Charles Boehm - WASHINGTON, DC (Oct 5, 2012) US Soccer Players -- The Yanks' 1-0 win over Jamaica in Columbus on September 11th calmed the nerves of fans who, thanks to the historic defeat in Kingston four days prior, had been stewing in semi-apocalyptic visions of missing out on World Cup qualification for the first time in a quarter-century.
By Charles Boehm - WASHINGTON, DC (Sep 28, 2012) US Soccer Players -- Last week, I spoke to US Under-20 National Team coach Tab Ramos for an MLSsoccer.com feature on youth development. The site was in the latter stages of its "24 Under 24" countdown, a series attempting to catalogue Major League Soccer's top young players, and I was seeking a national-team perspective on the wider issue.
By Charles Boehm - WASHINGTON, DC (Sep 20, 2012) US Soccer Players -- There aren't quite as many these days as there once were, but plenty of white whales remain for US soccer, elusive milestones that typically serve as reality checks on our optimism about the sport's progress. The UEFA Champions League may be the biggest of them all.
By Charles Boehm - WASHINGTON, DC (Sep 13, 2012) US Soccer Players -- Jose Francisco Torres has become the enigma of the United States National Team's player pool. Once a darling of the program and its fans, a leading member of the much-coveted Latino demographic who made the rare and brave choice to wear the colors of his country instead of his father's, Torres' recent fortunes have clouded his place in the larger picture.
By Charles Boehm - KINGSTON, JAMAICA (Sep 9, 2012) US Soccer Players -- The office of the President
of the United States has a well-documented tendency to speed up the aging process. Those who enter
the White House tend to exit with more wrinkles, more gray hair, and a bone-weariness that
moderates their subsequent career choices.
By Charles Boehm - WASHINGTON, DC (Nov 29, 2012) US Soccer Players -- The nation's identification and development structures for elite youth players continue to grow, yet talented young American professionals are falling through the cracks – and no one seems completely sure what to do about it. The onset of the MLS offseason always brings a spate of waivers, declined contract options and other mechanisms for jettisoning players.
I suppose I should start by explaining why I'm bothering to write this piece. It started shortly after LA defeated Seattle in the Western Conference Finals, setting up a rematch with the Houston Dynamo. Whether in jest or not, Charles Boehm tweeted:
BTW, if you really want to be an #MLS twitter buzzkill next week, use #8v9 instead of #MLSCup or #LAvHOU.
By Charles Boehm - WASHINGTON, DC (Nov 22, 2012) US Soccer Players -- The media in this country is routinely perceived as pessimistic, cynical and sensationalistic, and its rapidly-growing ranks of soccer journalists are no exception. Interest and expectation grows along with the game's profile. With it, comes competition for web traffic and breaking news stories.