Total 90: American Football News for Nov. 12th

Joe GSenior Writer INovember 12, 2008

Greetings and welcome to another exciting edition of the Total 90 newsletter. You can expect thrills, chills, and a constant barrage of football fun guaranteed to satisfy your appetite for all things related to American football (and some that aren't).

There will not be mailbag for this week's edition because I haven't received any questions! Remember, if you'd like to submit a question for the mailbag, drop me an email or leave a note on my bulletin board. Make sure to get those questions in! Questions related to American football, or football elsewhere in the world are definitely welcome.

The US Election is eight days in the past, but the news keeps coming. In what will surely go down as a brutal indictment of the American education system, Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin apparently thought that Africa was a country. It gets worse. Apparently she thought that Abel Xavier was a viable defender.

Pablo Mastroeni, constant midfield presence for the Colorado Rapids and the US National team, has signed a contract extension with his club. He elected to sign his new contract after it was announced that the Rapids had signed Gary Smith as their new head coach.

Mastroeni told, "The last two months of the season, with Gary at the helm, completely changed my mind about where I wanted to be, where my heart was. Coming out to training every day and sharing the field with my teammates in a competitive environment, an environment that I've wanted for years at the club level and unfortunately [only] found it at the national team level. We found that this year."

Landon Donovan has been all over the football news this week. In addition to winning a record fifth Honda Player of the Year Award (many congratulations from us), Donovan has begun a ten-day stint training with Bayern Munich of the Bundesliga.

This is significant because Munich's manager Jurgen Klinsmann expressed an interest in acquiring Donovan's services this summer, and Donovan is looking to leave MLS. Training with Bayern could provide Donovan with a good opportunity to make the leap to Europe once again.

For more on Donovan, check out this article about his potential move.

The MLS Youth Development Initiative, began in 2006, has had its first player signed by a senior level MLS club. The Los Angeles Galaxy have inked youth player Tristan Bowen to a deal, with Bowen expected to make his MLS debut during the 2009 season.

Total 90 applauds not only the signing but the whole youth development effort. For long-term sustainability, MLS needs to be developing homegrown talent rather than relying on a few Generation Adidas/Bradenton youth stars and foreign talent. Plus, getting young American talent into a more competitive environment at a younger age will only help the National Team a few years down the road. This program is smart for MLS and smart for the USSF.

US National Team boss Bob Bradley has invited 19 players to training camp ahead of next week's meaningless World Cup Qualifier against Guatemala (the US have already qualified for the next round.) His roster features an astounding 17 MLS-based players, including Kenny Cooper, and only two foreign based talents, Clarence Goodson and Troy Perkins, both plying their trade in Norway.

If you recall, Total 90 is a massive Kenny Cooper fan and has been lobbying for his inclusion in a US National Team squad for quite some time now. We say it's about time that Bob Bradley took notice and heeded our calls for Kenny. We are hoping that Cooper is able to justify Bradley's new-found faith in him.

Since Bob Bradley seems to have taken notice of Total 90's suggestion, we'd like to make another one. This time, we're calling on US President-Elect Barack Obama to help raise the profile of the Beautiful Game in the United States. Obama is a fan of Premier League side West Ham. Hopefully his interest in football will lead to some changes in the American vision of the game. Here are our suggestions:

  • Demand that MLS clubs drop the ridiculous nicknames. "DC United" is allowed to stay, while "LA Galaxy" is not. What's wrong with FC Los Angeles, or Sporting LA? Nothing, that's what.
  • Lobby for another World Cup. The continental rotation policy for World Cup bidding ends in 2014, and the US is among those hoping to land the Finals for 2018. Obama could use his considerable political clout to help land the tournament.
  • Promote the game. This one is simple. Let's see Obama and some other big politicians taking in a DC United game, cheering on their club.
  • Remember Mr. President-Elect, what's good for MLS is good for America's economy.

That does it for today's edition of Total 90. Remember to send along your mailbag submissions for next time!