Over the past week, the Hot Topics included MLS transfer rumors, the U.S. national team year in review and the possibility of Maza Rodriguez returning to Mexico.
Refresh yourself with the article, check out the comment Goal.com editors chose from one of the website's users and see our response. And let's keep the discussion going!
|Top five MLS stars likely to leave in January
Wasn't Andy Najar one of the players in the Olympics? They were one of the most impressive teams and look to be real good in the future. More of them deserve to be in Europe. I know that one dude Espinoza left already. Best of luck to him and the other Honduran players. Hope one day CONCACAF could be more than a two trick pony.
There have always been talented teams in CONCACAF, with Honduras being one that regularly produces high-end talent. The group from the Olympics was no different. That doesn't always translate to having a good senior team, but the gap in talent in CONCACAF is probably smaller now than it has been since the mid 90s. Honduras has an exciting young group, Jamaica could pontentially add a couple of quality players to its team and Costa Rica has never lacked in pure talent. Even Panama has a couple of young players who are worth watching. The 2013 Hexagonal should be fun too, but the qualifying cycle for the 2018 World Cup is where I expect one of the top two may be in for a shock.
-Allen Ramsey, Goal.com USA Chief Editor
|U.S. national team 2012 year in review
I want to know why the Italian game wasn't even mentioned. I thought that alone as a huge leap forward for America. To beat such a stingy team on their turff was my favorite moment of the year. Yes, there were issues with the national team in some key qualifying games, but I feel the quality of American Soccer has never been higer. We might not 'win' as much but the foundation for the type of players and system look better than at anytime in the history of the American game.
I agree that the Italy win was definitely a landmark moment for the U.S. men's national team this year, as was the win in Mexico. Both were confidence-inspiring events that proved that the U.S. can win in places where it never had before and ended with the U.S. men walking away with earned respect. In terms of the grand scheme, though, those wins were nowhere near as significant as the triumph over Spain in the 2009 Confederations Cup, another instance in which it seemed as if the U.S. was ready to launch to greater heights. Even more, those two wins came in friendlies during a year in which World Cup qualifying was ultimately what mattered, and in both games, the U.S. did little to dictate the match and instead defended valiantly and scored opportunistically. It seemed that no matter how much the U.S. was able to prove against those world powers in hostile environments, it did not necessarily translate into vast accelerated improvement and success against some of CONCACAF's mediocre opponents in qualifying. Whether those experiences can help in the tough matches that await in 2013 will ultimately determine how important they were.
-Avi Creditor, Goal.com USA Editor
|Should Maza Rodriguez return to Liga MX?
he is still our most experienced defender so i doubt it will hurt his chances. i mean, look how long it took for rafa to finally get pushed out of the team. what i am concerned about is his mentality. he still has the skills to play in europe and i think this stop with stuttgart has hurt his confidence a bit and will take him a while to recover. i hope that a la liga team swoops in at the last minute to pick him up though. i think he can still be strong for us through 2014.
Maza has proven himself in Europe for years now. It's normal that a guy his age and with his track record could be homesick. As you point out, Maza is Mexico's most experienced defender along with Rafa Marquez, and yet he's still struggled to see playing time in different spells with Stuttgart. I don't think it's such a bad thing that he would want to come back. Players coming in from Europe have had a varying effect on the Liga MX, but guys like Gerardo Torrado and Lucas Lobos were able to maintain their level for years. With younger players shipping out to Europe soon, having a guy like Maza will only be a boon.
-Eric Gomez, Goal.com Mexico Chief Editor