With the upcoming CONCACAF battle on the plate for Tuesday night, one has to wonder if the Snowfest of Friday night will take it's toll. Yes, it was a smart idea to take Costa Rica to Colorado for quite a few reasons, like a level of uncomfortable breathing conditions for the Ticos, plus a US team that could get their bodies ready for the battle in the Distrito.
I have played on the Estadio Azteca field......and passed out from lack of god knows what is in the air down there. You do have to wonder though, if the legs of the US players will recuperate in time for a proper battle, and then now that the US has already pulled an upset recently, down there, albeit lack of full of full squads for either, will the noose come out once again for Coach Klinsmann. Has he used a great number of players, and not settled in on his select choices yet, of course, Does our back 4 look suspect, yes. Does he deserve a little space to do his work, Absolutely. He brings out the best in his players, and has to deal with a nation that is so ass backwards in their development, and the answers are right there and available.
There was a point when the name of famed Argentinian Youth World Champion Coach Jose Pekerman was being thrown around, and I happened to be a friend of a close confidant of his, who asked me about a concern that Pekerman had. "Where am I supposed to go and find my players for the U-17's for example" "Am i supposed to go and drive around in my car, looking for players in the youth leagues in the park"
Maybe if we had a normal minor league reserve system, and each MLS's reserve team, all lived in 1 city in mid america like St. Louis let's say, the travel costs could be avoided of having to travel cross country for a game, and then these guys could have their own league and play a 32 game schedule, plus numerous friendlies during winter from the European teams that come over. When I was in Mexico, there were always teams on break from Denmark and Sweden and Holland coming over to play some games I made this suggestion to an MLS executive 16 years ago at the USA-MEXICO friendly 2 months before World Cup 1994, and was told "Nice idea, but what goes in my pocket with a league like that. I could not believe my ears. An example of why we need this. Why has Mexico won 2 recent Under-17 World Cups. Reason is because their players live in an installation of a professional team, wake up, eat breakfast, train, go to school, come back and have lunch, study, train etc... Our U-17's play for Club Teams, and theirs play for Professional Teams. At the last U-17 WC, the captain of the German team had already played 5 or 6 games with Bayern Munich's top team in the Bundesliga. It is not such a horrible cost to build an installation where teammates would live in a dorm style room, with 6 guys in each room. Bunk Beds solves that issue. I know that I am going to open a whole new conversation, and get some grief from people, but to develop our players, college is not the answer. The culture of soccer is young professionals, not guys starting their careers at 22 years old.
In the meantime, the battle of neighbors promises to entertain us once again, where Mexico is coming off of two disappointing ties, to start the qualifying campaign, and the USA can put themselves in great shape, for another successful trip to World Cup by pulling another upset, or maybe it's not. Maybe the USA is just ready again to show that they want to be the big boss in the region.