I played, Coached (Had a semi pro Team in California) was with the Galaxi from 1996 to 2001, US Soccer until 2001. I helped them from a liaison point of view. Coming back from the 99 women’s (Driving back Jurgen to his house in HB) Jurgen insisted that we talk French. Coming back from the 99 women’s final game we spent two hours talking soccer. We talked about the huge issue that is the ncaa calendar, lack of good Coaching & pay to play. This was before he got to US Soccer.
Jurgen was pushed aside because he wanted to fundamentally reorganize US Soccer and the way the MLS brings up players. He succeeded in a way that we now have some PDL programs. Insisted that we have better Coaching. Now you have French Coaches consulting with every or almost every MLS clubs. The biggest hurdle that we face is today US soccer is based on “pay to play” That is the exact opposite to what you have everywhere else in the world. A soccer season overseas is about 9/10 months. Here it is…3/4 months. To play you pay $100 to $300 max for the season. Here it is thousands of Dollars. We have not even “scratch” the surface when it comes to our potential.
His insistence to get the best US players to play overseas did not agree with the MLS and US Soccer.
Ie: Michael Bradley played overseas. At Roma a new Coach arrived and Michael took the easy way out and went back to MLS. He should have fought for his starting place. He choose not to. Consequently his game regressed greatly. The same can be said for many. The TNT game was the perfect exclamation point for where we are today. When you are a professional sport athlete you can’t be complacent or you will be eaten alive. This is valid for every sport.
Jurgen’s plan was going to take years to work. I have no doubt that he would have succeeded. I have a lot more to say but it will take too long.