Hat Trick Podcast Mailbag
Finally it’s here! The first round of questions for the Hat Trick Podcast Mailbag, and there were a ton of entries. For those of you who submitted questions that were similar to others, I selected the first person to submit that particular question, but continue to submit your entries and you could be featured in next week’s edition. Now let’s see what you guys have on your minds this weekend.
Who’s going to replace Zidane?
Nick and Judy, West Memphis, Arkansas
Right now there is a lot of speculation surrounding current Spurs manager Mauricio Pottchetino. Apparently, he has a clause in his contract that if Real Madrid and a select other teams contact him with a job offer that he can depart the Spurs without conflict. There’s not much backing up this report but it’s out there. Another candidate is former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. He’s been approached by Real Madrid before about managing for them. Chelsea manager Antonio Conte doesn’t look like he’ll remain with the team so he’s also a candidate. My biggest question surrounding all this is why did Zidane even leave? Hopefully we’ll find out.
What can USA soccer change domestically to start trending up and become relevant in world soccer and hopefully nerve miss a World Cup again?
George, Aurora, NY
Well let’s begin with the head coach. Bruce Arena was a horrible choice to lead this team, and it’s clear by the result of his tenure and the aftermath. If you haven’t read his book, he talks about his second stint with the USMNT, and proceeds to blame the players before even himself and the management hierarchy. There’s no doubt the players must be held responsible for the failure to qualify for the World Cup but a team is as powerful and successful as their coach. If the board can find a good head coach (excuse me Mr. Wenger, Mr. Zidane, Mr. Conte) then that’s the first step.
In terms of player talent, the USA have a great core of young players who can fill the roles left by veterans like Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Landon Donovan, Geoff Cameron, and Tim Howard just to name a few. The core group of players the team should build around are Bobby Wood, Jordan Morris, Christian Pulisic, John Brooks, DeAndre Yedlin, and Ethan Horvath. I understand they’re plenty more to list but that alone should tell you that the USA have the potential to become an amazing team just with the talent listed right now. These are great players! The biggest problem is only one of them plays in the MLS, Jordan Morris for the Seattle Sounders. The rest play in Europe for bigger clubs than the Sounders or any MLS team. Now if the MLS can entice these players to play in the states and increase the exposure of the game to American born players to stay in their country and play in MLS, that can go a long way to helping the national team but that is a bit too long-term solution for what the USMNT needs right now in success. And unfortunately, Christian Pulisic probably wouldn’t have become the young superstar that he is playing in the MLS.
In the end, we have to try to keep the MLS a favorable league to play in for young American talent, make it a league where their talent can be used in big clubs but keep them in the league to keep it highly competitive, and within the current roster of the USMNT, root out the older players and unfortunately tell them to hang it up and let the younger core build this team back up.
Head Coach, Christian Pulisic and Co., get rid of the older players, and strengthen MLS, these factors will revitalize the USMNT and we’ll see the World Cup in 2022.
Do you think Sergio Ramos’ tackle of Mo Salah was dirty?
Isabel, San Francisco, CA
Yes I do. I’ve watched the video from multiple angles and this is what I see. The ball is being led by Salah as Ramos moves to intercept, Salah braces his arm to move off Ramos but Ramos hooks onto Salah and forces his weight down pulling down Salah with him. Now I’m sure many disagree and the blame is on Salah but I just don’t see how this is Salah’s fault when he has possession of the ball and won’t just willingly give it up because Ramos is engaging him as a defender. Now do I think Ramos should be disciplined after the fact, no that’s silly. What’s done is done but Ramos is the offender not the victim of a contact gone wrong.
Is Marco Silva a good hire for Everton?
Cory, Norfolk, VA
It depends on whether Everton is willing to allow Silva to have time in the team. He’s regularly had tenure last only a season if that. He only lasted till January with Watford during the previous Premier League campaign. To be honest, if Everton get off to the same start they did last season, don’t expect Silva to get to January let alone one season.
Who will win the World Cup?
Bobby, Arlington, TX
I’m going with Germany to go back-to-back. We saw the strength of their squad at the Euro Cup with 3rd and 4th string options and they performed well.
Well that’s all for today! Make sure you continue to submit your entries for next week’s mailbag to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include your name and where you’re from for a chance to make the cut.
Hailing from New York City from the borough of Brooklyn, Dillon is a die-hard New York sports fan. He currently resides in Upstate New York, where he studies at Wells College in Aurora, NY.
Follow him on Twitter @thedavistirado and the other MFST writers.
Stay tuned for more!