“We could be upset about it or we could be proud about it. I’m going to choose to be proud.”
That was a quote from Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid earlier this month when Eddie Johnson and Brad Evans were called in by the U.S. men’s national team for a friendly in Bosnia.
Truth is, Seattle has been hampered by international call-ups all year, from January camp, to World Cup qualifiers in March and June, to the Gold Cup in July and a few more in between — not to mention Mario Martinez with Honduras earlier in the year and Obafemi Martins‘ brief stint with Nigeria.
That time has come again as Johnson, Evans and new addition Clint Dempsey were included in coach Jurgen Klinsmann‘s squad of 23 for the next round of qualifying in September.
And, of course, there is likely more to come in October.
International call-ups are a soccer-specific issue, so some fans have found the concept hard to grasp, especially as the Sounders fight for a playoff berth. It doesn’t make things easier that MLS happens to schedule games during FIFA windows while many leagues throughout the world take a break.
Schmid has maintained its better to have players that have the quality to merit international call-ups than the alternative, and all of this brings us back to the coach’s quote to start the post.
What do you make of the situation? And are there any solutions?
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