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Mar 28, 2014

Klinsmann wants early season start

ESPN FC's Alexi Lalas discusses the U.S. men's national team's possible lineup going into their game against Mexico.

The MLS season must start several weeks earlier if its clubs are to have any chance of competing against in-form Mexican opposition in CONCACAF Champions League play, U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann said.

Bennett: MLS in the shadows

 

Mexican opposition was too much for MLS teams this season, Jurgen Klinsmann says.

"Its something to think about," said Klinsmann, speaking to ussoccer.com this week, after three MLS clubs were eliminated from the competition by their Liga MX counterparts.

"I’m sure that MLS [and league commissioner] Don Garber are looking at that, saying 'we’ve got to do a better job here' and maybe next year schedule MLS a little bit earlier so that these teams that go into the quarterfinals of the Champions League already have three or four games at least in their legs.

"Otherwise," Klinsmann continued, "It’s going to be difficult to beat those very good Mexican teams."

The LA Galaxy and Sporting Kansas City played just one league match before taking on Club Tijuana and Cruz Azul, respectively. The San Jose Earthquakes hosted its first leg Champions League match against Toluca on March 11 before even opening its 2014 MLS slate.

Meanwhile, the Mexican teams were in peak form, having started their season in January.

Five U.S. regulars play for the ousted domestic clubs -- Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez with LA; Matt Besler and Graham Zusi with SKC and Chris Wondolowski of the Earthquakes.

Klinsmann suggested their World Cup preparations could suffer without added high-stakes matches.

"For all of us it’s a big bummer because we need international competition," Klinsmann said. "Our players need to play those games -- those additional three, four, five Champions League games -- because those are great games to prepare for an international competition like the biggest one this summer, the World Cup."

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