'I will feed off your soul!' - Alexi Lalas taunts USMNT fan for claiming he's part of problematic 'old boys' network
- Lalas an ex-USMNT star
- One of the main voices of American soccer
- Jokes that he's not going away
WHAT HAPPENED? Love him or hate him, Lalas is unquestionably a key part of soccer's growth in the United States, from his playing career to his outspoken style as a TV pundit. He seems to see himself as a rogue figure, willing to call out anything and anyone, rather than part of the network of former USMNT players that has disgraced the nation.
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WHAT THEY SAID: "I'm not going anywhere," wrote Lalas on Twitter. "I'm only getting stronger. I will feed off your soul. I will haunt you forever."
He was responding to a fan who said: "When will people legit get the message that all the old boys need to go. Lalas, Twellman, Stewart, Reyna, McBride, all of them. Hell JP Dellacamera can go too. Clean house."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: U.S. Soccer is reckoning with its leadership system, which has relied heavily on former USMNT players and has at times suffered from infighting and a lack of fresh ideas. A report released Monday laid bare the problematic influence of power figure and USMNT legend Claudio Reyna, who consistently meddled in his son Gio Reyna's international career.
Lalas, it should be noted, does not currently hold a leadership role in U.S. Soccer or MLS, though his voice carries significance in public opinion of the Stars and Stripes.
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WHAT NEXT FOR THE USMNT? The release of the findings of a probe into Gregg Berhalter's past, and the behavior of the family of Gio Reyna, was an important step towards the USMNT focusing on actual matches. The Stars and Stripes will be in action in the Nations League later this month, with World Cup players set to participate after missing out on January friendlies.
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