Insider Notes: MLS, U.S. Soccer join forces for development, June friendly
Last week top execs from all 20 MLS teams had a five-hour meeting in New York with U.S. Soccer and Double PASS, a Belgian company which is conducting an exhaustive audit of all aspects of U.S. youth development this year.
Double PASS has worked with the World Cup-winning German federation for years, and the costs for the U.S. audit are being split by MLS and U.S. Soccer. Week-long on-site visits to every MLS team by Double PASS will take place in the summer and fall.
In other U.S. Soccer news:
MLS players made available for Netherlands friendly
One other potential bit of tension between U.S. Soccer and MLS that appears to be getting defused surrounds the U.S.’s friendly at the Netherlands on June 5. I’d learned that several U.S. players in MLS had been concerned that their clubs might not release them for the game for a couple reasons: One, it takes place outside the official FIFA international window, and two, all 20 MLS teams are in action that weekend.
But both MLS and U.S. Soccer told me that they don’t anticipate there will be any problem with Klinsmann getting the MLS players he wants for the Netherlands game. The U.S. men play reigning World Cup champion Germany five days later in the final friendly before this summer's CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Leroux to get chances to start prior to World Cup
One of the few lineup positions that’s still unsettled for the U.S. women’s national team right now is the second forward spot next to Alex Morgan. Recent options have included Amy Rodriguez and Abby Wambach, but coach Jill Ellis told me that Sydney Leroux trained extremely well in the most recent camp, and I’m hearing from other sources that Leroux could get at least one start up top in one of the team’s three remaining friendlies before the World Cup.
Only Abby Wambach scored more goals for the U.S. than Leroux over the two-year period of 2013 and ’14.