Quote of the Week:

“Schalke was pretty straight forward in terms of, ‘Our U-19s are more important than your national team so they’re going to stay here until we’re done playing.’ That’s something for young players to look at when go to Europe. Sometimes you’re going to sign for a club that thinks your national team’s not that important at the youth level.”

United States U-20 Mens National Team coach Tab Ramos describing why two potential U.S. youth players (including former FC Dallas Academy star Weston McKennie) were left off the U.S. U-20 World Cup roster for the tournament that will be played in South Korea next month.  (Soccer America)

Best Article discovered from outside of the Republic this week:

Less Geography, More History Needed to Grow MLS Rivalries

Graham Parker from FourFourTwo USA explores the rationale for the creation of rivalries in MLS and the shifting nature of these intense match-ups in this excellent piece.

In Texas, the rivalry between FC Dallas and Houston abated a few years ago when Houston was moved from the Western to the Eastern conference and the teams only met once per year.  During this period, the Dynamo established a heated rivalry with Sporting Kansas City, primarily due to three straight Eastern Conference playoff series between them between 2011 and 2013.   Now that FCD and Houston are reunited in the West, the rivalry with SKC had diminished.  Hopefully, through a combination of history, geography and mutual success, the rivalry between FCD and Houston will be rekindled. It has been somewhat subdued over the last few years because of FCD’s domination.