What they said: Highlights from Union media day
|At his first Union media day, Sporting Director Earnie Stewart |
had plenty to say. (Times File)
Among the headlines were Maurice Edu’s position and national team prospects, plus a lot of the usual status talk from Jim Curtin and Earnie Stewart. All that and more will produce hours of sound, video and reading for the coming days (keep an eye out for some rookie profiles and more next week).
But the couple of hours’ worth of conversations yielded a few gem quotes, so let’s throw a few of the best out there.
Let’s start with Sporting Director Earnie Stewart, who had a couple of provocative responses. The first, about off days which I thought was worthy of tweeting, may be a little splashy in the message that can be distilled from it, but it’s a thoughtful response that warrants some real consideration and discussion. This came from a question of roadblocks that Stewart has encountered in MLS that maybe surprised him. It also, for what it’s worth, echoes many of the criticisms of college soccer and its efficacy as a player development tool:
There’s rules that you have to abide by that I’m not used to, when it comes to days off in a week that are mandatory from a players’ union perspective or mandatory vacation days that there are. I’m not used to that. It’s a short period of time. I feel in the United States, we’re working very hard to create players that are world class players. And on the other hand, we have a lot of days off, and the combination of those two, I don’t get. So those are things that I have to get used to, and hopefully towards the future, we can tweak those because I think for every sport, no matter if it’s soccer or if you look at swimmers or what they do every single day getting up at 5 o’clock in the morning and then practicing in the afternoon. If they want to be Olympians and they want to get a gold medal, they have to work hard. And vacation will come someday. But not when you’re in the prime of your life. So those are things that you have to get used to, but they are what they are.Stewart also had an interesting response (at least to me) to Kevin Kinkead’s question about the difference between American soccer media and its European counterpart:
There’s not too much. They ask questions, you guys ask questions, it’s all about soccer. I’d say if there’s a difference, it’s the questions asked. I do have to say that in the last two years, and you see that a lot in Europe, it’s usually about the negative things in what’s happening and hardly every reflect on the positive things. And now in my experience with your guys has been that you get both sides of it. When it’s bad, it’s bad, it’s simple as that. But when it’s good, it’s also good. Maybe there’s a small difference there, but nothing major.Read more »