The Contradictory Spin Of Jamie Trecker

If you want the sky is falling view of US Soccer, read and listen to Jamie Trecker of Fox Soccer. He was on Kartik Krishnaiyer’s podcast of MLS Talk and took a predictably dismal view of the state of the national team. While Trecker can provide an important corrective to more optimistic takes on the USMNT (ie this site), he often takes on the role of critic with the sort of message discipline that members of the Democratic party should pay attention to. He seems so intent to criticize that he contradicts himself and disregards important facts that distract from his central message (US Soccer sucks). He spins like a political hack.

Now I agree with much of what he says about many of the US players. But here is what I find galling:

1. Throughout his 17 minute interview in which assesses the USMNT performance against Honduras, he never mentions the most important fact of the game: we played 75 minutes with 10 men. I agree with him that the US looked very poor and that more players did more to hurt themselves than to improve their World Cup chances. But this game as an assessment tool was undercut by Jimmy Conrad’s dismissal.

2. Jamie Trecker’s contradictions. He accuses Bob Bradley of acting like a chicken with his head cut off for calling in more than 90 different players throughout the years. But then Trecker completely contradicts himself and says Bradley needs to in the February game against El Salvador, bring in new “fringe” players. Who are these magical fringe players? Well he points to players in Scandinavia and then he mentions players like Robbie Findley or Chad Marshall – did he not notice them starting against Honduras? Did he not notice Alejandro Bedoya, who plays in Sweden, coming on in the second half?

Trecker also makes the somewhat bizarre argument that despite bringing in so many players, he has also only brought in those players that are “known” commodities in American soccer circles. While I agree that there is a certain amount of bias toward players involved in the USMNT youth setup (ie Eddie Gaven) the argument that Bradley had ignored budding stars or players that contribute due to some sort of US soccer blindness is ridiculous. Players like Charlie Davies, Benny Feilhaber, Jay Demerit, and Jose Torres were all off the radar when called in. Feilhaber was chosen very early on in the cycle when he just broke through with Hamburg. Other players like, Edgar Castillo, Kamani Hill, Lee Ngyuen, Alejandro Bedoya, have been given a look. The fact is that Bradley has combed the US system and has ‘caped’ a lot of players, precisely because he wants to make sure no stone goes unturned. In fact, I would say he has been incredibly open-minded and exhaustive in his assessment and evaluation of the player pool. This is not a byproduct of indecisiveness or of panic, but of a nation that has many good young players playing in many different leagues and at many different levels.

3. Trecker argues that Bradley is just looking for “warm bodies” and says that the US squad is very thin. As I wrote in a previous post, this will be the deepest USMNT squad ever, with 15-17 players, playing in top European leagues. What we saw against Honduras was effectively our C team, with a sprinkling of B team players – Feilhaber and Bornstein were the only ones playing that are definitely in the World cup squad and neither will likely start (although Bradley does have a bizarre affinity with Bornstein though). The rest were all C team attempting to take one or two B-team spots, such as Chad Marshall, Robbie Rogers, Robbie Findley, Jeff Cunningham, and Clarence Goodson. Only a couple of these players are likely to make it, signaling fewer and fewer, MLS players are in the squad.

4. Marvelle Wynne is too slow? While I do agree with him that Rogers’ pace is over-rated, as he looks much faster and therefore much better at the MLS-level than on the international level. But Marvelle Wynne is really fast at any level. His problem isn’t pace, its soccer.


2 Responses

  1. couldn’t agree more. he has been the “broken clock that’s right twice a day” for years. the man is a complete idiot and his negativity is trying to masquerade as sophistication. his next insight will be his first….

  2. who da leet haxor lol

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