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Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 23-Mar. 2 Check out the latest rumors doing the rounds throughout world football. /foxsoccer/world/lists/transfer-rumors-february-24-march-2-football-soccer-players-teams-022414 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/24/022414-Rumor-Mill-GUNDO-GONE-DG-PI_20140224164223176_136_102.JPG
Americans Abroad - Feb. 21-23 Review the top Americans that can take their talents overseas this year. /foxsoccer/usa/lists/americans-abroad-feb-21-23-performances-players-overseas-022314 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/23/022314-SOCCE-forget-me-not-PI_2014022319021849_136_102.JPG
FOX Soccer Power Rankings - Feb. 21-28 FOX Soccer Power Rankings: Paris Saint-Germain return to top five after crushing Champions League win /foxsoccer/world/lists/power-rankings-february-21-28-paris-saint-germain-return-to-top-five-after-crushing-win-022114 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/21/drasticjump-pi_20140221180930519_136_102.JPG
Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 17-23 Check out the latest rumors doing the rounds throughout world football. /foxsoccer/world/lists/transfer-rumors-february-17-23-football-soccer-players-teams-021714 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/17/021714-SOCCER-Shock-Waves-HF-PI_20140217182428996_136_102.JPG
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USA 2737 43 FOX Soccer 2011: Top 10 Who Impacted US Soccer 30506036 Jurgen Klinsmann Jurgen+Klinsmann USA

It was a four-year affair, and neither side was monogamous. US Soccer committed to the man that would commit to it. Klinsmann flirted with the media.

 

But in the summer of 2011, when US Soccer decided it couldn't settle down again with Bob Bradley, there was little doubt to who the federation would turn. Thus, Jurgen Klinsmann finally became head coach of the US men's national team.

 

He opened his tenure with a 1-1 draw with Mexico - immediate progress. The momentum as since stalled, but still in the honeymoon phase of their new relationship, US soccer (lowercase 's') doesn't care. There's still a vague sense of disbelief. This is actually happening.

 

The results have been there, just not in wins. The approach is improving. Players are moving and position themselves with more tactical awareness. We're getting a look at more of the talent pool, while winning has temporarily taking a back seat to evolving.

 

The relationship still needs to grow. Both sides seem willing. A year from now, the program will need more than hope. For now, it's still in the glow.

- Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2011/12/27/klinsi_20111227222718722_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2011/12/27/klinsi_20111227222718722_107_80.JPG
USA 2737 43 FOX Soccer 2011: Top 10 Who Impacted US Soccer 30503343 Hope Solo Hope+Solo USA

Between the lines, Abby Wambach was the face of the US Women's National Team. Outside the lines, Hope Solo carried the flag, with opportunities like Dancing With the Stars and ESPN the Magazine a function of a star's performance on the field and a sex symbol's charm. Solo, however, didn't bow to the role normally cast by that strange confluence of athletic achievement and commercial sex appeal. Instead, Solo gave sports fans a portrait of a confidence, somebody who need not soften her athleticism to fit an archetype. Whether the public was ready for that remains to be seen (Dancing's judges clearly weren't), but as Solo remained true to herself and defied the image others had cast upon her, she may have corrected the public's expectations of female athletes.

- Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2011/12/27/hope_20111227222718724_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2011/12/27/hope_20111227222718724_107_80.JPG
USA 2737 43 FOX Soccer 2011: Top 10 Who Impacted US Soccer 30500348 Abby Wambach Abby+Wambach USA

What Landon Donovan's goal against Algeria was in 2010, Abby Wambach's goal against Brazil was in 2011 - a 122nd minute equalizer that sent the match to penalty kicks, where the US eventually won. Wambach went on to score in the semifinal against France and what looked to be a World Cup-winning goal in extra time against Japan. The US were relegated to second after Japan came back, by which time Wambach was already the US's star of the tournament.

- AP Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2011/12/27/abby_20111227224312740_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2011/12/27/abby_20111227224312740_107_80.JPG
USA 2737 43 FOX Soccer 2011: Top 10 Who Impacted US Soccer 30506039 Clint Dempsey Clint+Dempsey USA

It wasn't so long ago that there was one, unquestioned best player in American soccer. That Clint Dempsey has shattered that notion tells of the impact he's finally making in his home country, though his influence in England has been well established. Well on his way to being the best American outfield player at club level, Dempsey is forcing the US soccer world to reevaluate how heros are made and covered, with his combined record with Fulham and the national team putting him in any best American ever conversation.

- Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2011/12/27/deuce_20111227222718723_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2011/12/27/deuce_20111227222718723_107_80.JPG
USA 2737 43 FOX Soccer 2011: Top 10 Who Impacted US Soccer 30506035 David Beckham David+Beckham USA

The week leading up to MLS Cup was all about David Beckham, not that he was helping. A hamstring injury disguised as a cold kept him out of the spotlight for much of the run up, and when he finally emerged to face the press in the days before kick off, he wasn't exactly forthcoming about the injury ... or his contract. Instead, he had anecdotes about driving with his sons and seeing Al Pacino and kid.

 

Three years ago Beckham may not have been able to be as flippant. Nobody was interested in why he wasn't practicing, only that he didn't. Beckham had gone from an opportunity to grow the game to an opportunity for opportunists.

 

Why is Beckham even here if he wants to play for ... England? Or Milan? How dare he, they asked, scoffing at chances almost every other player in the world would love to have. Apparently Beckham should be above that.

 

None of those sentiments were on display on Nov. 20. Still wet from his champagne shower, Beckham answered the questions. How did the win compare with his other titles? Was this his farewell?

 

After five years, it's fair to say US soccer had more than a passing interest in David Beckham. Credit to the player, he still had an interest in it.

- Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2011/12/27/becks_20111227222716719_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2011/12/27/becks_20111227222716719_107_80.JPG
USA 2737 43 FOX Soccer 2011: Top 10 Who Impacted US Soccer 30506037 Pia Sundhage Pia+Sundhage USA

Head coach Pia Sundhage gave a world audience the ultimate insight into her leadership style in a press conference during the World Cup when she gave an impromptu rendition of a Simon and Garfunkel song. Suffice to say this did not come out of the Bob Bradley management handbook.

 

For Sundhage, it was more than a one-time act. Notorious for valuing positivity and calm, the Swedish coach's style was lauded as integral to the US' clutch performances at the 2011 World Cup. The event's spotlight meant Sundhage was not immune from criticism of her selections and in-game tactics, qualms which paled next to the spirit infused into the national team.

- AP Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2011/12/27/pia_20111227222720726_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2011/12/27/pia_20111227222720726_107_80.JPG
USA 2737 43 FOX Soccer 2011: Top 10 Who Impacted US Soccer 30506040 Sunil Gulati Sunil+Gulati USA

Many years, US soccer's president could fade into the curtains, with few issues bubbling up to get the attention of most fans. This was not one of those years.

 

Gulati made the call on Bob Bradley, a tough decision in the wake of what was generally considered a successful 2010 World Cup. How do you let a successful coach go one year into a new four-year deal? Gulati did it, bringing in Jurgen Klinsmann, knowing the move would change the direction of US soccer. It's not something to be taken lightly.

 

By the end of the year, the president had an equally difficult decision to make with Woen's Professional Soccer. The league's down to five teams - three short of the requirement for a first division league - but how do you tell the US soccer public that Hope Solo, Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan won't be playing?

 

WPS was given another year, another decision that couldn't have been taking lightly. It's not often you give somebody permission to bend the rules. But it’s the type of call Gulati's had to make.

- Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2011/12/27/sunil_20111227222738730_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2011/12/27/sunil_20111227222738730_107_80.JPG
USA 2737 43 FOX Soccer 2011: Top 10 Who Impacted US Soccer 30506041 Tim Howard Tim+Howard USA

As the US Men's National Team went through a rocky 2011, the one constant was Tim Howard. Consistently available and often providing stand out performances, Howard's season started to change the conversation about best goalkeepers the country's produced, a discussion that had previously boiled down to a Friedel-Keller debate. Perhaps Howard isn't at the level yet, but he's in the game. In top form with Everton and with the 2014 World Cup still in front of him, Howard has time to catch up. In the interim, he's one of the few names on Jurgen Klinsmann's team sheet that can be written in ink.

- Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2011/12/27/timhoward_20111227222743733_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2011/12/27/timhoward_20111227222743733_107_80.JPG
USA 2737 43 FOX Soccer 2011: Top 10 Who Impacted US Soccer 30506042 Seattle Sounders Fans Seattle+Sounders+Fans USA

The famous story has Seattle waking up to a city covered in scarves. Considering the team had been playing since 1994, it was strange to be them trying to announce their presence in 2009. Strange of not, it was a spark.

 

That spark's led to the best fanbase in US soccer, drawing an average crowd that would place Sounders sixth in Major League Baseball.

 

Sounder fans' quality goes beyond the numbers. Fully embracing a European-style of support, fans' voice fills CenturyLink for each Sounders match in a style reminiscent of the Barclays Premier League. The atmosphere is unmatched in the US game.

 

Ask any of the Emerald City Supporters about it, and they'll tell you the same. Their a is a deserved braggadocios pride to the extreme Sounder fan, a pride that's led to the depiction of the group as insular - self-centered.

 

In that way, Seattle's fans are not unlike the most devoted to any NFL or NBA team. Fans are not tasked with being even-handed or objective. They're tasked with buying tickets, scarves and jerseys. They're tasked with loyalty.

 

Seattle fans have set a new standard.

- Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2011/12/27/seattle-sounders-fan-o_20111227222735728_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2011/12/27/seattle-sounders-fan-o_20111227222735728_107_80.JPG
USA 2737 43 FOX Soccer 2011: Top 10 Who Impacted US Soccer 30503342 Don Garber Don+Garber USA

Stability can be underrated, but it's something Major League Soccer fans should never overlook. And if there's one thing Don Garber's provided the league, it's stability.

 

Critics will pick at the edges of competition format and television ratings, but after only 16 seasons, MLS is remarkably stable. Set to add it's 19th team in 2012, Major League Soccer can now start thinking less about stability and more about progress.

 

Garber's hoping that progress will come with the league's new TV deal, though there are risks. He's moving the league away from the country's only all-soccer channel, hoping that being a jewel in NBC's collection will be a step forward for the league.

 

It's a chance, those not necessarily a bold one, the risks of the move diminished by the foundation built during Garber's 13-year stewardship. Even if television ratings don't improve, MLS is not going anywhere.

- Getty Images http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2011/12/27/garber_20111227222717721_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2011/12/27/garber_20111227222717721_107_80.JPG
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http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/24/022414-Rumor-Mill-GUNDO-GONE-DG-PI_20140224164223176_136_102.JPG Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 23-Mar. 2 Check out the latest rumors doing the rounds... Check out the latest rumors doing the rounds throughout world football. Robin van Persie's rumored return to Arsenal would be beyond controversial in many ways. Feb 26, 2014 8:47 AM ET 1 56 /foxsoccer/world/lists/transfer-rumors-february-24-march-2-football-soccer-players-teams-022414
http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/23/022314-SOCCE-forget-me-not-PI_2014022319021849_136_102.JPG Americans Abroad - Feb. 21-23 Review the top Americans that can take their... Review the top Americans that can take their talents overseas this year. Familiar faces may rejoin United States men's national team conversation. Feb 25, 2014 2:41 AM ET 1 56 /foxsoccer/usa/lists/americans-abroad-feb-21-23-performances-players-overseas-022314
http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/21/drasticjump-pi_20140221180930519_136_102.JPG FOX Soccer Power Rankings - Feb. 21-28 FOX Soccer Power Rankings: Paris Saint-Germai... FOX Soccer Power Rankings: Paris Saint-Germain return to top five after crushing Champions League win Giant thumping brings Ibrahimovic and Co. back to our top ten list. Feb 22, 2014 1:50 PM ET 1 56 /foxsoccer/world/lists/power-rankings-february-21-28-paris-saint-germain-return-to-top-five-after-crushing-win-022114
http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/17/021714-SOCCER-Shock-Waves-HF-PI_20140217182428996_136_102.JPG Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 17-23 Check out the latest rumors doing the rounds... Check out the latest rumors doing the rounds throughout world football. Robin van Persie's rumored return to Arsenal would be beyond controversial in many ways. Feb 20, 2014 10:42 AM ET 1 56 /foxsoccer/world/lists/transfer-rumors-february-17-23-football-soccer-players-teams-021714