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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Ruud Gullit Discusses Life in America

During a very candid interview by Brian Doogan for the Sunday Times of London, former AC Milan and Chelsea star, Ruud Gullit, the new head coach of the LA Galaxy, provided his initial impressions about soccer in the promised land.

The Invisible Man

"They go to the beach in their flip-flops, it’s all very relaxed and nobody has the slightest idea about who I am. People are not staring at me all the time, I’m staring at other people and some of them are getting to know me because of who I am and not what I am, which is a nice feeling, believe me.”

Reality of MLS: Reserve Game Filled with Office Workers

“Two weeks ago we had a game at home [against San Jose] and I had two of my office staff from the commercial department playing, two people whose job is to sit in the office all day doing their work. We needed bodies and we didn’t have bodies, so we asked them to play, they wanted to play and they just played."

American Player Development or Lack Thereof

“There is a huge difference between the very good players and some of the average players. The reason for this, I have found out, is that young players are not being schooled in the way we do it in Europe... A good young player in Europe will start at youth team level at a professional club and over the years he will build up his knowledge and develop a natural affinity for the game along with a good tactical brain. But here in the United States they play soccer in the schools and then college and they are 20 or 21 years old and they are coming to me, having been coached straight out of a book. None of these coaches has played at any kind of high level. In fact, if you were a World Cup-winner, if you had all of the medals but you didn’t have the universal qualifications to teach, you could not get a coaching job at college level...

They’re just rough diamonds and they don’t have the tactical vision."

David Beckham

"If it was down to me, I would want him to stop playing international football because it’s so gruelling for him with all of the travel involved and it affects us when he misses games, but he loves his country and that’s the most beautiful thing, so why should he stop playing for England?"

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