Poll: After Landon, the Next USMNT Media Darling?

Ciao, Bella?

With Landon Donovan’s ominous comments about losing the spark yesterday, who is–is anybody–poised to become the next USMNT marketing darling? (Clint Dempsey–the natural selection–disqualified.)

45 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Adam on 2012/05/24 at 9:54 AM

    Stuart Holden


  2. Posted by EFG on 2012/05/24 at 9:58 AM

    The only person I CAN’T see it being is Michael Bradley. Great player, but I just don’t see him being media savvy enough to be the next marketing star. My guess, and this is assuming he becomes a mainstay, is that it would be Agudelo. Young, likeable kid who has been used in MLS marketing (along with Shea).


    • Posted by Jared on 2012/05/24 at 11:00 AM

      Definitely not MB90. He’s too hot headed to handle that role.


    • Posted by dth on 2012/05/24 at 6:40 PM

      Bradley is media savvy, but the problem is this: the number of f**cks he gives about that role is zero.


      • Posted by Jared on 2012/05/24 at 7:38 PM

        Media savvy people don’t attack Wynalda with witnesses because Wynalda questioned his playing time.


        • Posted by Owen Coyle on 2012/05/25 at 7:50 AM

          Wynalda needs to quickly and quietly go away. The end.


          • Posted by Jared on 2012/05/25 at 8:44 AM

            His comments regarding Bradley at that point were accurate. A lot of what he is says is nonsense but he was right and it clearly hit a little to close to home.


            • Posted by arisrules on 2012/05/25 at 4:05 PM

              MB90 has been our best midfielder for the past 5 years. Not starting him is inane. Supposed better options are always injured, or just don’t deliver (witness Torres 0-6-2 record with the USNATs).

            • Posted by Jared on 2012/05/26 at 6:54 AM

              What Wynalda said was that MB90 shouldn’t be starting all the time because he wasn’t playing regularly. That guys such as Edu and Jones who were playing regularly should be given time. That is exactly what Bob had said previously.

              How do you know that MB90 was a better option for the US for the past 5 years when there was never an opportunity for other guys to form partnerships because MB90 always went 90 no matter who the opponent was or the situation (throwaway friendly or qualifier that really didn’t matter)? That was Wynalda’s point.

            • Posted by dth on 2012/05/26 at 7:15 AM

              I take anyone less than seriously when they suggest Edu to play over Bradley, at any point in their respective careers. Same for Torres. Bradley’s career has challenged him; Torres’s and Edu’s have, uh, not.

  3. Posted by Bob on 2012/05/24 at 10:01 AM

    Tim Howard?


  4. Posted by Union on 2012/05/24 at 10:07 AM

    Boyd/Agudelo. Whoever it is, they need to score goals to be appreciated in the US. Thus, Boyd/Agudelo.


  5. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/05/24 at 10:28 AM

    I know that the creative types and all action midfielders get most of the marketing dollars**, but… What about Eric Lichaj? Especially if he gets on the starting XI at Villa, he’s a good bet to start for the US too.

    We all know that Bocanegra is the captain, but if you asked the average American who was the captain, how many people do you think woulld say Donovan or Dempsey?


  6. If he could ever stay healthy, it’d be Stuart Holden. Established in Europe, young, very likeable, active on Twitter and gets social media, etc.


  7. Posted by Max on 2012/05/24 at 11:27 AM

    Listened to an interview with Bradley yesterday on the Morning Soccer Show… he could do it, but I just don’t see him wanting that role.


  8. Posted by Rodrigo on 2012/05/24 at 11:56 AM

    Next media darling is not yet discovered. Probably in current youth ranks.


  9. Posted by Alex on 2012/05/24 at 12:21 PM

    Dane Brekken Shea. His hair does all the talking for him


  10. Posted by chris_thebassplayer on 2012/05/24 at 7:44 PM

    MB, a hardass anti-media darling, the next captain and focal point for the team.


    • Posted by Tyler on 2012/05/25 at 1:44 PM

      I agree. It seems like he’s been on the USMNT forever but he’s only 24. I think most people recognize him from his 2010 WC goal celebration and the verbal barrage he unleashed upon the ref from Mali (which I secretly love him for). The possibility for him to continue to move up and excel in Serie A also makes him an attractive possibility as the next USMNT player to be focused on in the media.


  11. I voted for Juan Agudelo as he seem he could do the job. One thing I wanted to say is would we be “marketing” USA soccer wrong by just having that one player be the face of USA soccer. Sure we have solid players like Bocanegra, Dempsey and Donovan who has been the face of USA soccer but why should it be 1 person???

    My point is the NBA has had commercials with LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and other notable top players over the years. Why shouldn’t USA do this instead? Commercials in Spanish with Jose Torres, Joe Corona, Juan Agudelo in the US and on ESPN Desportes, FOX Soccer, etc… in Latin Countries (continue to pick up dual-citizenship US players across Latin America), commericials in German with Fabian Johnson, Danny Williams and either Alfredo Morales or Jermaine Jones (continue to grow the European-American dual-citizenship players) and so on… In the US, continue with Holden, Shea and Altidore. Better yet… what if US soccer did commercials with USMNT players by saying hello in the foreign language at club teams they play with all over the globe from Mexico to Germany! “So many ways to say hello or welcome”. I should have gotten into marketing! Or maybe not.

    That makes more sense to me than just “passing the torch” to someone else. When MJ left the NBA, there were multiple people that picked up from Kobe, Vincanity Carter, to Dwight Howard.


  12. Obviously Stu. He’s well-spoken, he’s optimistic, he’s got great hair. He was made for television.


  13. Posted by Ufficio on 2012/05/25 at 7:52 AM

    Cuts are in: Agudelo, Morales, Williams, Zusi.

    Really, what was the point of calling Agudelo in and having him miss a Chivas game?


    • Posted by Jared on 2012/05/25 at 8:49 AM

      At least there was a chance that he would play. Williams wasn’t even healthy enough to play. Why would Klinsmann state that he was going to bring in 29 players but only bring in 27? A lot about this camp made very little sense.


    • Posted by BernieBernier on 2012/05/25 at 9:42 AM

      They do a lot of tests. Bring him in test the knee, see where he is at. Talk to him about how to handle the trade, etc. Bringing him in and cutting him is better than having him miss more games.


  14. Posted by Union on 2012/05/25 at 8:01 AM

    The point is: Is a national team player without a team at the moment since he isn’t good enough for the USMT and the US-23 didn’t qualify. And since he won’t have a national team camp for awhile, JK wanted to get him some time with the team. I actually think JK played this perfectly.

    I also expected Zusi to go, though we don’t have anymore wide options. Williams is injured so thats not a surprise. I thought he would want to camp tie Morales, but what can you do. As someone aptly pointed out on twitter: it would have been nice to send Morales and Agudelo to the U-23 camp to train for the Olympics instead of home.


    • Posted by Ufficio on 2012/05/25 at 9:03 AM

      Honestly, I think Agudelo is better off with Chivas than in a U-23 camp at this point. He needs to get his club career going.


      • Posted by Union on 2012/05/25 at 10:57 AM

        Maybe, but bc of the MLS schedule, this is how it goes if you’re an USMT player suiting up for a MLS team. Call ups are important to honor because of how infrequently the team gets together. This idea that an extra week with Chivas is somehow hugely beneficial to Juan is overstated. He was training all week the USMT, its not like he was taking the week off. Plus he was training with players that honestly, are a lot better competition than what he gets w/ Chivas. I know that he just got traded and he needs to earn minutes at his new club, but if a week training with the national team means that a MLS club is going to keep you on the bench, well..to me that says more about the MLS than it does JK.


  15. Posted by Matt Mathai on 2012/05/25 at 9:58 AM

    Only problem with selecting Holden is that he has trouble staying healthy enough to be a proper figurehead for the team. I went with Agudelo.


    • I sort of disagree. Stu hasn’t had problems staying healthy, he’s been stupidly unlucky.

      It’s one thing to be Van Persie and pull a hamstring at the water fountain, Holden has just been on the wrong end of a few vicious tackles.


      • Stu was assaulted one night in 2005 in Newcastle, lost some training time and then injured his ankle which ruled him out for the rest of the season. The combined injuries meant he lost his chance to make Sunderland.

        Stu broke his leg and, while he came back for the World Cup, only got to play a few minutes.

        Stu has been at Bolton for three seasons and has played 28 leagues games out of a possible 114 . I am not absolutely certain but you probably are safe in assuming he missed those 86 games due to injury. That amounts to missing 75% of his Bolton career due to injury so far.

        Holden is at the wrong end of things a lot.

        Many players are at the wrong end of vicious tackles a lot. De Jong and Evans have tackled literally hundreds if not thousands of players and they don’t all get their legs broken. Okay so it’s somebody else’ fault not Stu’s.

        So what?

        A lot of bad things seem to happen to his body just when something important needs him to be healthy. And we still do not know just how sound his knee really is.

        Could you explain to me what practical difference that makes to a manager who might be interested in buying his services at this point?

        Okay,he’s not injury prone. A rose by any other name……


        • Hard to say, you could spin it either way based on your optimism or pessimism. He’s either due to get hard done again or bound to be injury free as he’s had more than his share of bad luck 🙂


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/05/29 at 7:15 PM

          He has been unlucky, no doubt. But one could also question his decision making of when to go to ground and make those types of challenges / tackles too. Sometimes going in for those 50-50 balls in midfield during a friendly…


  16. Posted by twewlife on 2012/05/25 at 11:24 AM

    Hey guys,

    can anyone recommend some other U.S. soccer focused blogs?

    I love shin guardian, but the more the merrier…


  17. Posted by dth on 2012/05/25 at 11:49 AM

    It’s the most exciting time of the year: MLS player salaries released.

    Most overpaid: Chad Barrett, $253k.
    Most underpaid: Meara at $33k.


    • Posted by Jared on 2012/05/25 at 12:38 PM

      The person who signed Chad Barrett to a contract for $253k should just be fired immediately. He’s stealing that level of contract from players that deserve it.


    • I’ll see Barrett and raise you de Guzman: $1.86 mil.


      • Posted by dth on 2012/05/25 at 7:12 PM

        Going in, signing for de Guzman for $1.86 mil was not the most ridiculous idea ever.

        I’m hard pressed to think of a situation not involving extortion in which paying Chad Barrett money to play soccer is a good one.


        • Posted by Jared on 2012/05/26 at 7:16 AM

          I always put DPs in a separate box from regular players because they are frequently signed for more than pure sporting reasons. De Guzman was signed because he was Canadian who played at a high level. There was no real way of knowing he would be so bad. Barrett has history in MLS of being at best average.


  18. I think of the group Holden has the personality and the look to pull it off. He’s charismatic, a bit goofy, kinda european without being arrogantly so, and a good looking guy (according to my wife). He’s the sort of player that the media love even if they don’t quite understand what he does.

    My only concern is that he doesn’t play in a glamour position, it’s a bit of the same problem Beckham had here. Everyone that didn’t know the game said “why doesn’t he score more goals if he’s so good?”


  19. Posted by Crow on 2012/05/25 at 4:59 PM

    Please everyone make good comments and analysis of the upcoming games. This is the longest stretch in a long time that I haven’t been to a game (last game Gold Cup final) and now I won’t even be able to see any of the next 4 games (after Scotland) due to being in Africa. I’m very interested in this World Cup Cycle as it will probably be the only World Cup I’ll ever get to attend.

    BTW- if anyone knows a stream, etc. for the game tomorrow- I don’t have NBC Sports or Galavision currently, and there aren’t any places locally showing the game.


  20. Are we excluding Dempsey because he’s too old because we’re talking long term? Clint’s at the top of his game playing in arguably the best league in the world but that might actually hurt his domestic appeal. However, he’s a ferocious competitor and he wears he heart on his sleeve, attributes Americans (soccer aficionados or not) relate to.

    If we really have to disqualify Dempsey, then probably Brek Shea because he’s marketable to the Amercian soccer (MLS) demographic. Similar to Holden though, once he goes overseas then he could fall off the radar. If Shea were to blow up before going to Europe then enjoy modest success, he’s definitely the next poster boy.


  21. Posted by BernieBernier on 2012/05/26 at 7:18 AM

    Won’t the next media darling be whoever the MLS decides to ordain by giving them a DP contract like they gave Donovan?

    Isn’t what really made him the darling was being in the MLS which meant he was on all of the MLS commercials that play in the US, all of the Gatorade commercials in the US etc (I seem to recall reading that Dempsey generates more UK sponsorship deals then he does US). Being in MLS allowed him to be available for ESPN ads, spots, etc..

    Shouldn’t the Freddy Adu hype have grown in moving from MLS to Benfica? Benfica is a soccer factory for the CL teams. Instead he fell off the map.

    I can’t see someone not playing in the US being the next media darling.


    • Posted by John on 2012/05/26 at 2:17 PM

      “Shouldn’t the Freddy Adu hype have grown in moving from MLS to Benfica?”

      It did, and then he didn’t play well and went on a nomadic voyage of self discovery whereupon he found out that one of his mom’s fathers cousins had a miracle set of pants that turned him into ABBA.

      or something like that.


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