How do you know when your national team career has that not-so-fresh feeling?
Well, when the USMNT official blog calls you "Clark". (It has since been corrected.)
Or you can come back to camp with your best chance to establish yourself on the squad since leaving the Earthquakes, only to see US Soccer put a picture on the front page of Brian Ching sticking his tongue out at you while you hold him back with what looks like Janine Lindemulder's other arm:
Kids, don't Google Janine Lindemulder.
Probably the best way, though, is to skip camp altogether for reasons that would be dignified by the word "vague." Cory Gibbs, you are now Colorado's problem.
I know, I know. Jeff Agoos came back after burning his US gear.* People haven't given up on Hejduk or Conrad, despite Jason Hernandez - easily one of the top twenty players named Hernandez in MLS history - being called in ahead of them. So it's way too soon to write off Gibbs, let alone Goodson.
Still - not good signs.
On the other hand, how can you tell when you've bet the house on your national team career, maybe a little prematurely?
Wow, that's much better than handing out that MLS Adidas garbage you had lying around your Home Depot Center locker!
Speaking of guys wanting to clean out their Home Depot Center locker...this is now Day Two of Landon Donovan Held Hostage. We urge the international community to call on Major League Soccer, Anschutz Entertainment Group and the Los Angeles Galaxy to freaking sell him to Bayern already.
Speaking of Califf, and tattoos - if you've enjoyed this post, you will also appreciate Nick Green's recent posts, wherein he interviews Danny Califf, Bob Bradley on various issues (like, SELL DONOVAN ALREADY, MLS), and gives us this priceless tidbit:
My vocabulary is inadequate to my delight. For over two years now, the Galaxy without Beckham have been treated like the Pips, or the other two Supremes, or Coy and Vance Duke. Fine, so the rest of the Galaxy were like the Holding Company without Janis. How must it feel for AC Milan - AC MOTHERBOY MILAN, ferchrissakes - to get the high hat?
Who was it that said the circus never stops?
Oh, it was the Insane Clown Posse. Never mind.
*Which must have been a little awkward when the recall came, don't you think?
"Jeff? It's Steve! Yeah, I'm the coach now! You ready to come back with us?"
"Sure! Oh. Wait...um, see, I don't think my old uniform will, uh, fit...."
"Oh, we're sponsored by Nike now, so we have all new uniforms!"
"Oh, okay! Good. Great."
"Looking forward to working with you, Goose! I'm thinking the plan is to give you fifty caps or so, have you stink it up against Jamaica and get red-carded in the Azteca, then have you teach English to your last-second replacement."
"...so, does Nike make lighter fluid?"