By now, I'm sure you've all read Tim Howard's regrettable comments about commitment to the USMNT shirt and its intersection with the increase in dual nationals in the team. In the current climate of the country at large, Jermaine Jones was entirely correct in calling the remarks 'dangerous'.
For a moment, let's set aside the obvious fact that scapegoating a certain group of players for the opening two defeats of the hex and the general direction taken by the team last year is nonsense. At the risk of repeating myself, an American is an American, regardless of where he was raised or lived or lives. One is not "half-American" because they have one foreign-born parent. Being American is like being pregnant; you can't be either thing halfway. Either you are or you aren't. And that's all I have to say about that. Yet again.
We all saw the games last November. We've all seen the heroic contributions of dual-nationals, dating back to long before Jurgen Klinsmann took over. And even though we definitely do not, I feel we all should realize that there were a list of things one could question about Klinsmann's running of the team before we ever got down to any silly discussion about weighing commitment levels.
The real head-scratcher about Howard's statements is that they, whether by intention or not, provided cover for a departed coach who is not American... while at the same time criticizing him, kinda for not being American enough in his job. And (as was the case when Landon Donovan made similar remarks in 2015) they were made by a guy with one foreign parent. Bear in mind, too, that this is a fact Howard certainly doesn't hide from. It was layers of weird, man.
And it was wrong. Again. The coach didn't coach well and the capable players made mistakes players can't make, and that's how things go awry when you play good opponents. Why can't folks just say that, instead of something stupid?
- Greg Seltzer