I’m back from vacation, and Chris will be back soon, too, so we’ll be back to doing our regular Tuesday and Thursday night YouTube shows next week.
A fair amount has gone on since we last talked to you. Dom Dywer is on the path to becoming a citizen (great!), Gedion Zelalem looks like he might be leaving Arsenal for Borussia Monchengladbach, and Jermaine Jones finally got his wish and signed with the LA Galaxy.
But the one thing I wanted to talk about most was Tim Howard’s recent criticism of the USMNT’s foreign born players. He called them out as a group for not caring enough, then backed off those comments somewhat and specifically excluded Jermaine Jones and Fabian Johnson.
Here’s the thing: he’s not totally wrong, but this isn’t the way you do it. Instead, you come out and directly say, “I think Timmy Chandler doesn’t give a shit about playing for the US.” If not Chandler, you specifically call out whoever you’re talking about, because blanket statements don’t work and they cause problems. Instead of pissing off one guy you piss off several and risk alienating an entire segment of teammates.
This kind of reminds me of the people who blast “the media.” I’m a longtime TV reporter and producer, and my wife is a producer with a major network. I can’t stand attacks on “the media,” because we shouldn’t be lumped in when someone I’ve never met does something stupid. Just like the German-American USMNT guys, not all members of the media are to blame whenever one of them does something stupid or wrong.
I called out Timmy Chandler for not playing hard after the Costa Rica match. It sure looked like he didn’t give a shit, but it’s tough to tell watching on TV. Maybe he was just tired of running around in a tactically poor setup. But Tim Howard is in a good position as a player to know which of his teammates don’t care about the national team, and as a team leader, he can call them out publicly if he wants. I just want him to do it specifically, and not lump other guys in the mix based on their accents.