Ugh. It's time to go back to work.
If you're like me, you've gotten used to the cushy holiday schedule of basically having to do nothing work-related from Christmas Eve to New Year's Day. Well, the gravy train is over folks, and it's time to return to the real world until late December next year (or maybe a summer vacation).
Before we get to today's linkfest, here's a reminder that this should be a pretty big week. Today we'll find out if Tyler Turner and/or Tommy Redding get selected for U-20 World Cup qualifying, and on Wednesday MLS will release the full 2015 schedule. And we'll be monitoring for more Orlando City SC signings. Here we go!
Klinsy's Happy for Brek Shea
Over the weekend, U.S. Soccer posted an interview with USMNT Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann, who talked at length about how 2014 set the stage for bigger and better things for the United States program in 2015. And despite his history of saying some not-very-nice things about U.S. players returning to play in MLS, he was very positive about Orlando City International Brek Shea taking the initiative to improve his playing situation.
ussoccer.com: Several MNT players are about to be in new club situations: What is your take on Brek Shea's move to Orlando City?
JK: "We see all our players in their individual situations trying to find solutions. Brek Shea is a good example. He's tried badly to find a solution for quite a while since he couldn't break into the team at Stoke City, so he tried to go on loan and figure out other solutions. Now, he found his solution going to Orlando City and starting over again.
"It's exciting because he made decision himself. It shows me he starts to grow, to take things in his own hands. Hopefully he picks up the rhythm right away with our January Camp and going into an exciting first season with Orlando City. I think he understands that he has to play, that players need to play in order to be part of the National Team program. It's good news. It's exciting for MLS having a younger player also coming back, but most importantly it's good news for him in order to catch up again."
Shea appears to be back in Jurgen's good graces and the USMNT pool of players. He will be called to the U.S. January camp, writes Paul Tenorio of the Orlando Sentinel.
Garber Speaks on Lampard
Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl spoke to MLS Commissioner Don Garber, who made his first public statements about the Frank Lampard / New York City FC affair, and it was about as underwhelming as you'd expect. Not only did Garber not really address how MLS came out looking kind of bad, but he also made like this whole thing is nothing out of the ordinary.
"I'm going to be supportive of all our ownership groups, making them aware of my point of view. But we need to work hard now to move forward and recognize that Frank will be joining this team in July along with other Designated Players, who throughout the history of the Designated Player program have almost always joined in July. If there was an error in judgment on this, it was not just announcing that he would come in July and figuring out how to manage the start of the season, no different than what happened with Robbie Keane or Thierry Henry or David Beckham."
Brooks Lennon to Merseyside?
SB Nation's USMNT blog site Stars and Stripes FC has the story of rising U-18 star Brooks Lennon apparently headed to Liverpool. As someone who doesn't like Liverpool, I wouldn't wish it on anyone, but hey, good luck, kid.
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Good luck with your return to the office today. Hopefully it'll go easier for you than zipping up a coat is for Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger.
If you've seen anything interesting over the weekend that we didn't cover, feel free to add it in our comments section below. Happy Monday.