February 6, 2013

Direct Kick: Klinsmann hit the nail right on the head

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Jurgen Klinsmann, the coach of the United States men’s national soccer team, raised quite a few eyebrows (at least among those who care about soccer) with some comments he made regarding Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan, two players considered by many to be among the best American soccer players, and the team in general.

“Just because you won a game in the World Cup in the knockout stage, you haven’t won anything,” Klinsmann said, referring to the team advancing to the 2002 World Cup quarterfinals. He was just as hard on Dempsey, who scored 23 goals last year for Fulham in the English Premier League.

“[Dempsey] hasn’t made (expletive). You play for Fulham? Yeah, so? Show me you can play for a Champions League team, and then you start on a Champions League team,” Klinsmann says. “There is always another level. If you one day reach the highest level then you’ve got to confirm it, every year.” Dempsey is playing for Tottenham this season, which is a step up, and has scored five goals.

Donovan is pretty much an afterthought right now. Considered by many as this countries greatest player, he is currently taking a lengthy vacation following the Major League Soccer season, something that Klinsmann doesn’t understand. He recently told Donovan he didn’t want him at the U.S. team’s camp or at the match against Honduras Wednesday night in a World Cup qualifier.

“It will be defined over the next year what his role with the national team is,” Klinsmann said. “But the ultimate call is mine on whether he fits into my plans or doesn’t’ fit into my plans.”

And you know what? He’s right.

Yes, Dempsey has made strides in the past few years, and Donovan has been the golden boy of American soccer, but on the world stage, they have yet to make their mark. Jozy Altidore is a scoring machine for AZ Alkmaar in Holland this season, but has only found the net six times for his country. That’s been American’s biggest problem over the years. Scoring goals. Or more to the point, having a player you can depend on to get those goals.

Every team that has a legitimate shot at winning the World Cup has one of those, sometimes two or more. Argentina has Lionel Messi, who just set a new record for goals in a calendar year. He has scored 31 times for his country. Brazil has Luis Fabiano and Neymar with 28 and 17 goals respectively. Germany has Mario Gomez with 25, Miroslav Klose with 67, and Lukas Podolski with 44 goals; the Netherlands has Robin van Persie with 31 goals and Klass-Jan Huntelaar’s 24. Cristiano Ronaldo leads Portugal with 37 goals. Wayne Rooney has 24 for England. Spain has David Villa, who has scored 53 goals for his nation.

I’m glad that Klinsmann it taking this stance. It’s been long overdue. For too long Americans have been satisfied with making it out of the knockout stage at the World Cup. That’s been cause for celebrations. If a Germany or France or Brazil didn’t make it out of the knockout stage, you can bet heads would roll. They have in the past. And Klinsmann can get away with making these statements because he has the pedigree to back things up.

Klinsmann has put Dempsey on the roster for Wednesday night’s qualifier. In fact, he has a pretty full squad, so it will be interesting to see what they can do in that hostile environment. The match will be broadcast live on beinsport at 3:55 p.m. today. Funny thing is ESPN isn’t carrying this match, but they will broadcast Mexico take on Jamaica on the same night because they made a deal to televise all of Mexico’s qualifier’s and World Cup matches, but they aren’t doing the same for their own country. What’s up with that? Support your home country first.

It’s not wonder the sport is still struggling in the United States. And if you can’t watch the match at 3:55 p.m., it will be rebroadcast at 11 p.m.

• My thoughts on the Super Bowl. A tale of two halves. Baltimore dominated the first half, but once the lights went out, it was all San Francisco until late in the game when the Ravens scored and held on for a 33-31 win.

Joe Flacco was named the MVP. Flacco gets no respect from the media, but I’m here to tell you that the guy is among the best in the NFL. Maybe it’s because he came from Delaware and not some huge football factory from the SEC or Big 10. But he wins. That’s the bottom line.

Had I been a San Francisco fan who had a seat where the teams came out, I would have dressed in an all-white suit with deer antlers on my head and made sure Ray Lewis saw me when he came out of the tunnel.

The way the TV announcers were reporting the power outage you would have thought there was a conspiracy behind it.

It’s electricity. It goes out from time to time. I didn’t need a statement from the NFL about it. When all is said and done, it was probably a squirrel that caused it. They usually do. Nasty little buggers they are.

The commericals, for the most part, were terrible. The one with the Joe Montana stain was pretty good. I got a kick out of that one.

Text Only
  • denis.jpg Direct Kick: Did Lana cross the line with her remark?

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • mitch.jpg On The Rebound: All Star Game less important than Wiffle Ball

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • denis.jpg Direct Kick: A very eventful week in sports

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • The shining kingdom

    The drop in gas prices locally is a welcome sight for most residents in the area with gas falling under $3.60 per gallon.

    July 16, 2014

  • Letter to the editor: Thanks, Sentinel-Echo

    In the July 4 edition of the Sentinel-Echo, (last page, section 1), the entire page was given to quotes of references to God, the Declaration of Independence, and our constitution by our founding fathers, former presidents, Supreme Court judges, etc. 

    July 14, 2014

  • Zamperini's story was inspiring

    I had never heard the names of Louis Zamperini and Russel Allen Phillips until my pastor gave me a book, “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption,” by author Laura Hillenbrand, who wrote, “Seabiscuit: An American Legend” a few years ago.

    July 11, 2014

  • The tales of Dr. Robert E. Pennington

    When Dr. H. V. Pennington began to practice medicine in Laurel County times were hard and medical methods were primitive, compared to today. 

    July 11, 2014

  • Where did that red truck go?

     We were sitting out on the front porch last Saturday afternoon when a  big, red, late- model pick up whizzed by on Charlie Brown.  It looked like there was a man driving and a woman riding shotgun  

    July 7, 2014

  • A change for Pace

    Let me tell you a little about my friend Candice Pace. We were sitting in the fountain square the other day and she was telling me about how she had driven to Pikeville, where she’s from, to visit with her mom. Along the way, deep in McCreary County, she passed three turtles that were crossing the road.Let me tell you a little about my friend Candice Pace. We were sitting in the fountain square the other day and she was telling me about how she had driven to Pikeville, where she’s from, to visit with her mom. Along the way, deep in McCreary County, she passed three turtles that were crossing the road.

    July 7, 2014

  • mitch.jpg On The Rebound: A little effort can make a big difference

    July 5, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
B. Going to the beach!
C. Kentucky has a lot of wonderful state parks, and we plan to visit a few and enjoy quality family time.
     View Results