休斯頓發電機﹝Houston Dynamo﹞是一支MLS﹝Major League Soccer﹞隊伍,而《紐約時報 New York Times 》在八月一日時刊出一篇訪問其教練Dominic Kinnear 的訪談片段,關於MLS的看法、前景以及SuperLiga﹝暫譯:超級聯賽﹞的一些意見看法。

而在《紐約時報》中也有個專門在報導足球的部落格:GOAL 會將每日對美國或世界足壇影響較大的新聞短摘寫上。Q & A: Houston Dynamo Coach Dominic Kinnear 這篇是下面報導的摘要。最近可能回將NYT上寫伊拉克奪下亞洲杯冠軍的報導整理弄上來...:D

且近來還有兩則美國小將轉會至歐陸的消息,我只想說轉會到Astor VillaEric Lichaj,他...= =等我看完U-20的比賽後就會弄了...吧...應該...

Q & A
Transcript: Houston Dynamo Coach Dominic Kinnear

Published: August 1, 2007

It was a rare day off on Monday for Coach Dominic Kinnear and his defending M.L.S. champion Houston Dynamo.

Houston will play D.C. United in the teams' final first-round game of the SuperLiga on Wednesday. The tournament, which includes four teams for Major League Soccer and four from the Mexican league, is in its inaugural year and concludes with the final on August 29.

Kinnear talked to Jack Bell of The New York Times about his team, the tournament and the quality of American soccer being played at the club and international levels. Here is a transcript of the discussion.

Q: Taking a look at the schedule, you have played 26 games in various competitions this year.

A: Too many games, especially for the small squads we have in M.L.S. We've been hurt by injuries, now Ricardo Clark is out after being hurt in the All-Star game and Brad Davis has been out with an MCL. Two important guys who leave us without important depth.

Q: With all the activity, all the games, all the tournaments, how concerned are you about the rest of the season?

A: For us and D.C. and a little bit for Los Angeles, we're all concered about what is going to happen the second half [of the] season. We're in a unique situation. We've already played 26 games in a four-month span, which works out to about six games a month. It's been difficult especially with the Gold Cup, Copa América, injries and suspensions. We started early because of the Concacaf Champions Cup and we were unlucky not to advance to the final.

Q: How would you capsulize what's going on with your team?

A: It's been good and bad. It's been a great experience, we've been competing well and we've gotten over a run of fatigue from the early part of the season. The downside could be injuries. We were one of teams hit hard by the Gold Cup with four players missing, two for the U.S. and two for Canada. Even though they were not playing with us, they were playing in meaningful, emotionally draining games, plus there was a lot of travel involved. Even though the travel wears you down, I don't think anyone is complaining because the guys enjoy the competition.

Q: And now you guys are involved in the first SuperLiga. In general, what do you think of the tournament so far?

A: The Mexican teams may be in their peseason, but they're still good teams with really good players.

What's important for us is exposing players to a different style of competition, a different style from what we play in M.L.S. In our league, other than Chivas, which plays a Latin-type of game, our style in M.L.S. does not vary too much. It's also important for American guys who want to play on the national team to get exposed to the game internationally early in careers. I think it's great.

Obviously timing is everything, and this is not ideal with what's been going on. I'm very pro American and this tournament has been great for me. I love it because our teams are doing well. I mean D.C., Dallas, L.A. and us, we all have a lot of American players and a lot of people still think we may be inferior to other countries around the world. I love it when we win the Gold Cup.

Q: Do you really think we are still viewed as inferior around the world? If so why?

A: I think it's two parts: economically, look at the budgets that Club América and Pachuca have to work with. We're no where near that yet. But when you look at what the national team has done, I don't care what anyone says, in the last 10 years we've been the best team in Concacaf. That's my opinion.

At the club level, are we there yet? When you compare our teams with Mexico you have to say no, especially budget-wise. Competitive-wise, we're getting very, very close, at least our top teams are.

Q: What is it going to take for U.S. clubs to reach the next level?

A: Time, exposure and money. The Columbus Crew just played Aston Villa, a team that can spend $7 million on one player. Sigi [Schmid] got some really good comments from Villa about his team and players, saying they didn't realize how physical we are. But the money puts us at a big disadvantage.

We've had some great players come through our under-17 residency program, guys like Landon Donovan and DaMarcus Beasley and Oguchi Onyewu. All three helped us win the Gold Cup. We've seen success in international competitions because of the residency program and that helps, 100 percent, to measure up against other teams in our region.

For SuperLiga, take a look at the richest team in this tournament, Club América. But they're not even going to make it to the next round. It's funny how that works.

Q: Do you think your team and the league gain any legitimacy in the eyes of your fans in Houston by playing so well in SuperLiga?

A: That's tough to answer. I think you gain credibility when there's objectivity involved, but that's not always the case. Some fans said after we beat Club América that's it's only their preseason, but those people were close-minded coming into the tournament.

But look at the United States and Mexico on the international level. Mexico, even in light of the results from recent games, will never admit that we might be better. It's the same with fans, they have a hard time admitting that we might be better or that we're even close to their club teams. When it comes to soccer around the world, people are really close-minded when they think of American players.

Q: What will it take to change that perception?

Results in competitions. When Jose Mourinho and Martin O'Neill, both respected coaches, brought their teams here this summer they both said they thought the league has improved and come a long way. John Spencer, one of the M.L.S. assistants at the All-Star game, told me that the players from Glasgow Celtic were impressed with our players. That's because they have never been exposed to our guys, but we know the quality of our players. To change people's minds they have to be a little bit open-minded. I'm not saying we're the best , but I am saying that we've done enough to warrant some respect.

It's all about the players. We certainly have the resources. We've done well in the U17 and U20 competitions. Look at players we have now. Even though some good ones have moved on, we have players coming through and it makes you excited and anxious at the same time: Clark, [Benny] Feilhaber, [Clint] Dempsey, [Tim] Howard and Landon [Donovan] and [DeMarcus] Beasley are still in their mid-20s. The future for me is very bright. I'm looking forward to the next round of World Cup qualifying because I think we have a great group of players. Look at a guy like [Jozy] Altidore, I'm really impressed with him.

Q: Who do we have to convince of our quality? Or should we even care?

A: I think obviously, our neighbor to the South is the hardest one to sway. On the international level, I think if people haven't changed minds about us, they never will. I mean, look at results the last 10 years in our favor. On club level it takes a little bit longer, a tournament like SuperLiga is a positive step, a big step in right direction.

Soccer for me is a game of opinions, and of course, everyone is right. It's hard to change minds when opinions are set.

Q: What do you think the future of SuperLiga will be? More teams next year? Half of the teams in M.L.S. involved?

A: That's tough to say. We'll have World Cup qualifying next year so it might be hard to add more teams. But I think SuperLiga has been a success. That said, it still will be nice when we can focus only on our domestic schedule.


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