Football

Does MLS produce enough quality for the United States national team?

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October is an important month for the USMNT, with several key matches coming up.

The senior team faces up against rivals Mexico in the CONCACAF Cup on October 10. A win in this game sees the USMNT taken to Russia in 2017 for the Confederations Cup.

Meanwhile, the US Under-23's Team will play two CONCACAF Olympic qualifying matches. Several of the nation's players are seen coming out of America's domestic league, the MLS. This could be seen as a sign of improvement on the league's behalf, or a curse for Jürgen Klinsmann and the rest of the national team, it all depends on where you stand. 

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MLS Criticism

On one hand, look at the criticism MLS faces from other leagues as far as quality is concerned. The league does not produce the same amount of talent as European leagues do, and is frequently criticized.

Regardless, a large percentage of the USMNT's lineup has stemmed from the MLS. Are these so-called "Euro-Snobs" hypercritical, or do they have a significant claim? The Americans were one of the more exciting teams in the 2014 World Cup, seeing themselves squeak their way into the round of 16 out of the group of death, and nearly the quarter-finals after a spectacular performance from goalkeeper Tim Howard.

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This momentum has recently died down in a series of disappointing friendlies, and a shocking finish in third in the Gold Cup. One could observe that there may be a direct correlation between talent level for the Americans and the league in which their stars play in.

In recent years, the MLS has seen the arrivals (and in some cases, re-arrivals) of household USA soccer phenoms like Micheal Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Jermaine Jones, and Jozy Altidore all making a home in the states after stints overseas. Has the level of play in the MLS led to the national team's decline or is it all a bunch of hogwash? 

Blame Klinsmann

Fans of the MLS and the growth the league has observed will tell you that Jürgen Klinsmann is to blame. Klinsy is starting to build a reputation for questionable tactics and formations, often putting players like Deandre Yedlin or Fabian Johnson out of position. Klinsmann has also made some questionable lineup choices.

He was scolded by viewers and pundits alike for his choice of center-backs in the Gold Cup, choosing Ventura Alvarado and John Brooks over mainstays such as Matt Besler and Omar Gonzalez. How can the league be at fault when it has experienced so much growth? MLS has seen arrivals of superstars like Frank Lampard and Giovani dos Santos to improve the overall quality and is a very competitive league.

Little separates the point difference from a first place team and a sixth place team in this league. 

What is the USMNT's issue? Does the MLS need more time before it can be considered a good league, or does Klinsmann need to make a change? Be sure to comment your opinions. 

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Topics:
Clint Dempsey
Jermaine Jones
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