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Jurgen Klinsmann Thinks MLS Players Don't Play Enough, Ignores Facts

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Jurgen Klinsmann and I share a facial expression.
Jurgen Klinsmann and I share a facial expression.

I'm certain that Jurgen Klinsmann is a smart soccer coach. He's trying to build something that will probably take about 8 years or so to come to fruition with the United States National Team. It involves many layers, not just the current senior team, but a couple Olympics teams, many U20/U17 teams, MLS, the lower divisions, college, Academies, and youth teams. His goals are noble, require patience and have so many moving parts it can be tough to keep track.

But sometimes smart people speak extemporaneously and say dumb things. Yesterday Klinsman claimed that MLS based players don't play enough games.

"The big challenge is for MLS overall, how can they stretch that season into a format that is kind of competitive with the rest of the world?" he said. "Right now it's not competitive. If you have a seven-, eight-month season, that's not competitive with the rest of the world. The big challenge is for MLS overall, how can they stretch that season into a format that is kind of competitive with the rest of the world?" he said. "Right now it's not competitive. If you have a seven-, eight-month season, that's not competitive with the rest of the world."

The American soccer media mafia was quick to agree with him. Everyone that did was wrong. And clearly so.

League Months League Games
Bundes 9 34
La Liga 8.5 38
EPL 9 38
Serie A 8.5 38
MLS 8 34

I'm certain those two to four weeks make the difference. Or is it the 0-4 games that are assured to be played? Some would like to include a max number that includes all Cup competitions, Champions League opportunities and MLS Playoffs.

This makes as much as sense as including pre-season matches and friendlies. Not every National Team player is on a good to great team. Teams get knocked out of Cups, don't make Group Stages, don't qualify for the Playoffs. Entire schedules shouldn't be changed based on what a team or two in each league might do.

Overall, the issue just seems a silly one. Not just because it is wrong, but because he's acting like the next step in the US soccer journey is to be one of the Big 4 Euro Leagues/Nations. It clearly is not. The next step for US soccer is probably something like competing with Mexico (34 games, 9 months), Russia (30, 8) and Turkey (34, 9). Those nations aren't better because of the games they play, but because of the money involved in the sport.