US MNT Under-23 Analysis

Grahame Jones chimes in with his analysis of the under-23 team’s failure to qualify for the Summer Olympics. It’s a bit suprising that of all the excuses he points to, he doesn’t get to any related to the team’s pathetic on-field performance until half-way through his column.

Coach Myernick’s complaints about some of his players ring a bit hollow:

“We have players starting on our team who are substitutes in MLS, who don’t get the match experience that they require to play at this level,” Myernick said. “I think you saw some of that exposed [in the loss to Mexico].”

The offensive engine of his team – Bobby Convey, Landon Donovan, and Demarcus Beasley – are STARTERS on their respective MLS teams. It is true that the defenders chosen were pretty inexperienced and the choices were limited by last-minute injuries. But, it is unfair and a double standard to blame MLS for their lack of experience when MLS has also given other players, especially the 3 mentioned previouse, a chance to play meaningful, competitive games. Without MLS, where would Convey and Beasley be playing – college? Would Donovan still be struggling in Leverkusen’s reserve teams?