U.S. U-17s thrashed by Germans in Round of 16, eliminated from World Cup

Ussoccer

By CALEB SONNELAND

The United States U-17 national team was dumped out of the FIFA U-17 World Cup by a lethal German side that showed little mercy in dismissing the Americans with a 4-0 result.

Despite registering only one less effort at goal (15) than the Germans (16) according to US Soccer, the United States couldn't capitalize on its chances and fell behind 3-0 going into the half thanks to goals from Koray Guenter (20'), Mitchell Weiser (40'), and Samed Yesil (43'). Yesil played the provider only three minutes before netting himself when he teed Weiser up in front of the U.S. goal to tuck away to double his side's advantage.

Marvin Ducksch capped off the impressive performance shortly after the break in the 49th minute on an assist from defender Cimo Roecker.

The scoreline could be seen as somewhat cruel to the Americans, who pushed forward on several occasions and forced some smart plays from goalkeeper Odisseas Vlachodimos (eight saves) and his back line. Mario Rodriguez had a few testing shots, as did Alfred Koroma and Alejandro Guido, but there was no breaking through as Germany held firm.

A big positive to take away from the match for United States fans was the play of goalkeeper Kendall McIntosh. Though he conceded four goals, McIntosh made several fine saves (10 total) throughout the match and the scoreline could have looked much differently had McIntosh not came to play.

Highlights of the match can be seen here.

What did you think of the game? Was it a case of Germany looking great or the United States looking bad?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in U.S. Soccer, Under-17 World Cup. Bookmark the permalink.

125 Responses to U.S. U-17s thrashed by Germans in Round of 16, eliminated from World Cup

  1. abc says:

    What happens if we fire Bradley, Rongen, Cabrera, AND Gulati… yet we still don’t live up to expectations?
    Should we start screaming about firing their replacements, or adjust our expectations?

  2. Famos1 says:

    Fifa has the shots 22-19 in our favor? 9-6 corner kicks in our favor. I didn’t see the game, but were we just unlucky?

  3. dcm says:

    sweet, we are doomed for another decade!

  4. Red Wolf says:

    0-4… Ouch.

    Didn’t see the game. If shots on goal were about the same (15 vs 16), would seem to be a case of the young Germans showing more composure and experience in the final third.

    As a fan wanting to see the US youth beat the traditional powers as a sign of growth and maturity in our country’s soccer development, results like this are a bit demoralizing.

    Bummer…

  5. benny says:

    wait . . . the score line was cruel to the americans, but the goalie (who allowed 4 goals) was our bright spot? interesting

  6. YO says:

    BB was coaching via phone.

  7. abc says:

    It helps if you 1) understand the game or soccer and 2) actually watch the game.

    He didn’t “allow” the goals, our defenders were terrible. And he made some nice saves, Germany could have scored 6 or 7.

  8. swoopy says:

    you need to watch the match to understand. the germans were surgical in the final third, and we were pathetic to put it nicely. the shots on goal is an irrelevant statistic in this match.

    when do americans learn the importance of the first touch.

  9. swoopy says:

    sorry, when do americans learn the skill of the first touch?

  10. Highlights have been added.

  11. DeLarge says:

    Germany’s kids were all about a half-foot taller and a few more brats thicker than our kids. It looked like our U-14s were playing their U-17s.

    Our guys passed well and had the moves — but Germany was so organized defensivel, we could never break them down totally. As far as our defense… whoah. Someone said it earlier but Ballwatching 101 has a great visual aid for years to come.

  12. Sean says:

    Whoever wrote this article should work PR for Greece. Talk about painting something soft. Let me paint the picture for you, for real.

    The American players:

    – were slow, plodding
    – couldn’t pass well
    – couldn’t beat players one-on-one
    – couldn’t shoot
    – had no heart and weren’t running hard
    – made poor decisions
    – couldn’t defend

    I’ve never seen such an embarrassing performance. They were lucky not to have lost 11-0. The shots statistic is ridiculous because the US were shooting from far out, many yards outside of the box, and the shots were almost all way off target. Time and again the players were stripped of the ball effortlessly. It looked like adults playing with 12-year olds.

    It surpassed the debacle of the Gold Cup but stands on the same level.

  13. Sean says:

    I honestly don’t know what moves you could be talking about. Most ‘moves’ were easily broken up, and the ones that weren’t served no purpose whatsoever.

  14. Wm. says:

    Laughed out loud at that, thank you.

  15. Cereal Box says:

    Well, every part of our development is failing right now, what should I look forward to? Huh? The U-20 side got eliminated by Guatemala and for the 3rd straight year we bow out in the round of 16. The senior side has lost 3 straight finals and keeps giving up early leads and playing poorly, and we have an inept soccer president. Might as well just stop following US Soccer until they’re actually a real organization not just a bunch of posers…..

  16. Wm. says:

    I’m putting all of my chips on the girls now. C’mon ladies, come back with the WWC trophy!

  17. I think I’m going to just follow the women’s team from now on. The men have given me little to cheer about since the World Cup in South Africa ended. The U-20’s looked promising, up until the final when Guatemala eliminated them. And now these kids are out too!

    It just boggles my mind, so many kids here play soccer and yet we can’t seem to find quality players and build solid teams.

  18. Cereal Box says:

    Ha ha, he must have or he killed cabrera and took his body.

  19. Cereal Box says:

    Right on the women’s team plays with more skill and determination than the mens program….and their coach is a swede!

  20. Red Wolf says:

    Again, didn’t see the game, but the general stats I’m seeing on this board (shots, corners, shots on goal) suggest that the German youth were much more the polished, real deal than our boys.

    About ten years ago, I recall a mini-crisis in the German game as the national team was thrashed by a Michael Owen-inspired England IN Germany in a WC qualifier, the senior team was falling out of one of the EURO tournaments at the group stage, etc.

    I wonder if there was a focused revamping of their youth system at some point or whether it was simply a generational-cycle, as the German national team has been very strong during the last two WCs, a finalist at the Euro in between, playing with flair and a fair amount of youth infused into the set up (Ozil, etc.). Likewise, the youth squads seems to be playing well.

    Anyway… just an uneducated observation based on no specific facts… :-)

  21. dgoshilla says:

    Man, everyone has insane expectations. Look, I haven’t seen the match but 4-0 to the best side in the tournament is what we should expect after barely getting into the knockout round. There are 4 teams on this planet that make it to the Quarterfinals in every tournament they enter. Germany is one of them. We’re a round of 16 team across the board right now. Things will improve but we need some patience and some new coaching to get us there. We’re barely a generation into MLS.

  22. briosucks says:

    I was thinking the same thing, the best athletes in Germany play soccer. But size is not the only thing it was paired with skill. Our kids are just getting the taste of professional development, it must not have been too long ago that the were just practicing on Tuesday & Thursday nights. The MLS sides are just starting U-15 academy teams, that is were the future is. I hope :)

  23. Seriously says:

    You guys do realize that youth soccer results are not an indicator of future success right? Most of the youth players for most of the countries you see won’t even make an impact on their senior sides. If youth strength was an indicator then some of the African teams would be hoisting the WC year in and year out as they consistently have strong youth programs (think Nigeria), but that simply isn’t the case.

  24. Seriously says:

    I’m glad im not the only one who has some rational thoughts running around upstairs.

  25. jonk says:

    Our boys played poorly and looked a step below the Germans at every facet of the game (except goalkeeping) and the shots statistic flatters us.
    But in the ends its just a bunch of 16-17 year olds and MLS academies are finally getting on track so I won’t be joining the ranks of “the sky is falling.”

  26. Eurosnob says:

    It will happen when the majority of coaches in our youth system start focusing on developing players rather than immediate win-loss stats for their teams.

  27. briosucks says:

    Hey who said reasonable comments were allowed on this board?

  28. Steve-O says:

    For an uneducated observation, you actually hit the nail right on the head.

    The German FA set-up youth centers all around Germany following the Meinschaft’s early exit from Euro 2000. The result is all the talent 22 years of age and younger knocking on the door of the senior national team. Borussia Dortmund was one of the best sides in Europe this season and the average age of their squad was around 22 or 23 years of age. That is no fluke. The German FA wised up and forked over the money to mold their youth setup into one of the best in the world.

    Sad thing is, I don’t see that happening here unless the higher-ups go. Changing the coach can only do so much. It is a systemic problem that needs to be addressed…not simply a coaching change.

  29. briosucks says:

    Again, this thing with heart. These guys could have sprinted their buts off and it would have looked just as bad, the USA was playing checkers when the game really was chess. Heart had nothing to do with this, it was just a much more talented team beat a less talented team. These were kids playing professionals. I do not care how many of these guys are at academies MLS academies are just getting started and just getting to the U-15s.

  30. Jay says:

    Fox soccer need to pressure the U.S soccer federation to change things and improve soccer in America since they are the one who televised the US more often. Just like in Mexico there is televisa and Azteca who pressure the Mexican federation when things are not going good.

  31. Nick says:

    Shambolic defending on the chances Germany created. Probably a bit unlucky to be shutout though

  32. chris says:

    To be honest I don’t feel good about the future of us soccer when the u-20s don’t qualify, the senior team under achieves, and the u-17s get thrashed. But some of these ideas how to improve don’t make sense. The people that are complaining about why aren’t more of these kids playing on mls academies don’t understand that most of these kids train in bradenton away from their hometowns and to be honest I played in the us academy league and the mls teams are not the best. The mls academies are not the future there needs to be more professional style training throughout the country no matter what level and that will only people get into and are better educated about the game. Another thing I hear is how coaches need to focus on technicality rather then winning but that’s all these kids do is work on the technical side at Bra. and look how that turned out. We need to find the perfect balance and if you’re not winning I don’t see how you can really be improving. I do agree we need to get more inner city kids into the game but there is a ton of unscouted talent out there that we should be searching for rather then expecting the top players to go out of their way to join a mls club or at bradenton.

  33. briosucks says:

    Another reasonable comment. These boards have had more people making cogent arguments than any other I have been on.

  34. RYC says:

    U-17s are meaningless. Go look at squads (all squads, not just US)from previous U-17 World Cups and see how many names you recognize.

  35. jonk says:

    I’m sorry, but the MLS academies are the future. They aren’t going to be the only source of talent, but between them and the other youth club systems that are currently being revamped/licensed/whatever by USSF more and more US players will get top level training and learn to be pros at younger ages. But all these things are recent developments and you have to give it some time.

  36. briosucks says:

    Chris the kids need to play somewhere and if there are no academies then they will be training with clubs as are being done currently. The kids on the street will not get a chance. Around the world they do attract the street kids but they need to get in the professional / academy environment to make it to the national team in numbers to help the USA progress. I do agree that the kids need to win to want to stay with the game. I do see DC United staff out at some of the local tournaments and if they hear of a special kid they will be looking. But the best players who want to make soccer a career know about the academies.

  37. CA says:

    I would echo the comments about youth results not being super important. But what is important is that our boys are displaying the technical skills and soccer IQ that will produces results in the years to follow.

    Having watched the entire second half of this game, I would say we’re severely lacking in that regard.

  38. DanO says:

    Everyone calm down and think of US Soccer as being like the stock market The general trend over years and years is for the stock market to rise. However, if you look at things over shorter time spans, the market goes up and down, sometimes down a fair amount. However, the general trend over a long period of time is for the market to rise. When things are down in the short term, the best thing to do is keep your money in, and let the market bounce back. In other words, US Soccer has improved leaps and bounds over the last 20 years. This Spring/Summer has been a little disappointing (to say the least), but I am willing to bet that we will get off the mat and continue the upward trajectory. Keep the faith.

  39. Cereal Box says:

    if you put it that way… nevertheless changes need to be made to improve, “still”.

  40. Ricky B. Free says:

    I think what everyone wants its to see some improvement, instead it looks like we are going backwards.

  41. NateinSF says:

    My friend here in SF is starting a free youth soccer program which will revolutionize the way we develop players in this country. No joke, just wait.

  42. salgado says:

    My observations: Cap Alejandro Guido NOW before he comes to his senses (dual national–US/Mexico. He is the most naturally gifted maestro (#10) I’ve ever seen in a US jersey–at any age.

    Where were they hiding Jack McBean all tournament? He looked like our most dangerous forward in the very small amount of playing time he received.

    Kellyn Acosta, a LB, looks like he has a future.

  43. AP says:

    Right on, and I watched the match as painful as it was instead of studying for my MCAT

  44. Gary Kleiban says:

    What are the expectations? That is key.
    A long term developmental view is what’s required, not an immediate results-based approach.
    Our entire philosophy is wrong – from what is a quality player to how a team should play.
    That is what elite level management at all those levels you mention can bring. It’s a process.
    How one plays, and at what level our NT players play with their clubs is the best metric for projecting long-term progress. If the new management can implement a discernible style and select players of true quality who then end up actually playing at top flight clubs in the best leagues, then that’s a good measure of progress!
    Getting to the WC quarters, semis, or final in this cycle is the wrong mentality. Stop looking at the score-lines.

  45. SuperChivo says:

    The whole point of the U17 is the pimp some of our young talent so that they get placed into quality player development programs in Europe, ala Renken, Lleget, and Gyau. That is what it should be judged by, at least until the MLS starts with residency programs at that level. A disappointing but not unanticipated result.

  46. salgado says:

    in reply to Sean…

    I have to agree with Sean. I thought this team was supposed to be quick, spirited and played with “flair”. Aside from their opening game, they looked very lethargic and uninspired. Was there an outbreak of mono in their section of the hotel? Alfred Karoma made Jozy look like the Energizer Bunny(btw, I like Jozy).

  47. danc says:

    Details?

  48. Joamiq says:

    Wait. Odisseas Vlachodimos?? That is the most important thing I learned from this game. That someone with that name exists.

  49. Ben says:

    Haha, I laughed when I saw this, because Guido is that much better than anyone on this team. After watching all but the Uzbek game in the tournament, the only players that looked impressive were Guido and McIntosh. Forget the scoreline, McIntosh has looked good both stopping shots and putting his freekicks and punts on target, which was something I haven’t really seen from an American keeper. This might be harsh, but the rest of the team ranged from ‘meh’ to ‘really, there aren’t better 17 years olds better than that in the US?’ Still, Guido looked like he has something special.

  50. Eurosnob says:

    Yes, although Germany is traditionally strong at soccer, there was a focused revamping of their system from top to bottom. It was initiated and implemented by Klinsmann, when he was hired as their national team coach. Basically, what they did they identified what kind of soccer they wanted the national team to play, what principles and formations fit that style and implemented it throughout their youth development system. All academies have to follow the principles in their curriculum with a heavy emphasis on technical development, use certain formations and play positive soccer. By the time a German player reaches, the youth national team level, they essentially can be plugged into the system knowing their roles, etc, because they played within this system for years for their academies and clubs. In other words, they will rarely be caught out of position, know how their teammate would move, etc. By the time a young player reaches the senior national team, he has mastered the system utilized by the team. Klinsmann wanted to do the same with the US soccer making control over youth development a precondition for his hire, but Gulati was not willing to put it in writing. Klinsmann walked away. I am not saying that Klinsmann would have led our senior team to a WC victory as a national coach, but I admire his desire to change a flawed youth development system in this country. He is also an outspoken critic of our pay-to-play system that de facto excludes kids from less affluent families. Families of Pele, Maradona, Messi, or even Klinsmann would not have been able to afford the cost of top youth travel teams in this country. The reality is that the cost of playing competitive youth soccer in Argentina, Brazil, Germany and almost anywhere else in the world is much lower than in the US. MLS academies are starting to change this to a degree, but they can reach only a handful of kids (e.g. Andy Najar with DCU, who could not afford playing on travel teams in metro DC area, but was discovered playing pick up soccer in a park). I know that he committed to play for Honduras rather than US, but there are plenty of talented kids like him (and not just from immigrant communities) that are left on the outside, because of the high fees associated with youth travel soccer. If you want top competition, you have to pay big buck. Many top youth clubs are focused winning than development to be able to justify the fees to the playing parents, but the kids are not taught proper fundamentals. Most clubs will have a statement on their website that they prioritize development of players over results, but many of these clubs try to poach talented players from other teams. I know a coach who lost one of his best U11 players to a bigger club that plays in the same league because the bigger club actively recruited the player’s parents to switch the clubs. By poaching several new players from other clubs, the bigger club has a better chance of winning, but must cut several players from the team. No matter what their website says, do they really prioritize development of their players over winning? I think the kids from that team that were cut in favor of kids that the club recruited from other clubs would say no. And we are talking about 10-11 year olds. The current youth development system needs to be changed and the USSF made some positive steps with their new soccer curriculum but they are scratching the tip of the iceberg. There are too many entrenched coaches and leaders of youth soccer clubs that are not interested in real change of the pay-to-play system, because they make a good living out of it.

  51. Wm. says:

    @briosucks: I used to post on BigSoccer, but I only post here now for the reasons you mention. A more serious (or mature?) group of fans?

  52. Starla says:

    20 MLS academies aren’t going to change the world. You need amateur clubs “in every village” where well-schooled youth coaches can teach the basics. And for that you need great club density, grassroots interest and a federation with an education system down to every corner and coach. And for that you need a strong federation running a nationwide integrated league system where local clubs and players easily can move up and down the ladder to appropriate level. Ironic how progress is hampered by MLS.

  53. Dan C says:

    Common arguement on this board in general is that the U.S. will only succeed when coaches begin focusing on technical skills and stop worrying about having athletic tall strong kids and stop worrying about rseults at U10 etc. etc.

    Now alot of the dissapointment from today’s game is being voiced that the Germans were bigger, faster, and damn, they won!

    Will the fanboy fan base ever be happy with the program? If you want to develop players you won’t always win (U17, U20, etc). So we get mad when these teams lose and we get mad that the the senior side has limited depth in the talent pool. We cant have it both ways.

    I’ve been watching since the ’94 world cup. I’d love to see us do better, but I am happy with the progres we have made in the last 16 years. And the reality is that we will never be a Brazil, an Argentina, a Spain etc, because when kids leave their soccer practices, they go home and watch baseball, basketball, football, etc.

  54. soccerglue says:

    I just felt the US players looked like they quit during long periods. The midfielders did not pressure enough and the German mids killed the US.

  55. Warren says:

    Good idea, first we fire them all and find out.

  56. JCC says:

    There was an article last year that basically explained how Klinsmann and Loew pretty much rebuilt youth development in Germany from the ground up before the 2006 World Cup. It took a few years to get all the clubs on board with his plan, but in the end it worked out for the best.

  57. jonk says:

    What? Everything you wrote after your first sentence is what USSF is trying to do. Granted, they’ve got a long way to go but MLS academies aren’t hampering that effort.

  58. DanO says:

    I agree that change may help to spur things along and hopefully turn things around a little bit quicker, I just don’t believe in the future is bleak talk.

  59. Warren says:

    Your US soccer stock market has been down since before World Cup when we squeaked through qualifiers;

    According to the Federal Reserve if not USF, that constitutes a recession, or regressioon.

    So failure to listen to Klinsmann is infecting all levels it appears…which is certainly a cause of depression, at least for me.

  60. pancholama says:

    Yup.
    Shameful.
    How can we do this, at this level, at the U-20s or at the full UMSNT Gold cup level.
    Something is seriously wrong with our coaching, our development, our sports psychology, our preparation – the most fundamental aspects of the game, of team work, of working together to support the ball, work the ball, play a little keep away from the other team instead of blindly pressing forward on suicide runs into 4-5 defenders, and build play, attack with purpose, skill, and creative flair – there is no soul, and no heart to the way we play.
    Movement off of the ball is nearly non-existent.
    I have heard it said over and over again that 90% plus of the game of soccer is what you do WITHOUT the ball – decoy runs, adjusting your position to optimize the available open space, to draw defenders out of position, to open yourself a passing lane so that your teammates can easily get the ball to you when they are in trouble – these most fundamental aspects of the game are so glaringly deficient at EVERY age level of the USMNT game that it is simply beyond belief.

    Numb-body, mindless ball watching and heartless defending has become the hallmark of the USMNT at all levels.
    This is so sad.

  61. pancholama says:

    Yup.

  62. SuperChivo says:

    On the bright side, that is exactly the score that the senior side beat the Argentine’s by in the last World Cup! So maybe we only suck as much as Argentina, now that’s progress!

  63. pancholama says:

    Yeah? – look at Mexico. Look at the roster of the Mexican U-17 world cup team that hoisted that trophy – and look at how many of those guys are now indispensable cogs to the machinery of the full “el Tri” – (hint, hint a little guy who was raised up in the UNAM Pumas, “Pumitas” development academy – a kid named Giovanni Dos Santos was one of the stars of that team)

  64. pancholama says:

    Right on brother. Hum!

  65. Ricky B. Free says:

    Good luck with mediocrity.

  66. short passes says:

    Great comment Gary but I promise you it will be ignored by the other comments and that’s part of the US soccer problem!!!

  67. kimo says:

    +1

    It’s so obvious.

  68. pancholama says:

    ….yeah, or like the price of Gold. You can’t lose your lunch over a little dip in the market over a few weeks – you’re right, the overall trend is upwards.
    Nevertheless – there are some very disturbing trends in our overall development programs, and in the results of our men’s national teams at all levels this spring and summer that are hard to just sweep under the rug as “periodic dips in the market.”

  69. pancholama says:

    I like a man who knows how to put a positive spin on things. Bravo!

  70. SuperChivo says:

    I just looked that up and read it, what a fascinating read, thanks for recommending it. I was struck by how the Germans realized they had a problem and how the solution basically affected all levels of player development, from the U9s up.
    Don’t look now but Mexico is going through a similar restructuring with the FMF finally throwing some of the wads of cash it makes into player development. The fruits are finally being harvested at the senior level but the pipeline of talent has been greatly expanded.

  71. short passes says:

    Great comment on German changes. One point of disagreement — as much as I think Gulat is a schlep, I firmly believe that it was the Board who turned down the Klinsmann deal. My reasoning is that Gulati actually stuck his neck out a second time to negotiate a deal with Klinsmann so why would he make himself look like even bigger loser than he is. The real problem is that Gulati doesn’t have the skills to control his own board. If you don’t know these people, google “US soccer governance” ; when you get to that site select Board of Directors from the left side list. You’ll discover the real culprits and they aren’t easily identifiable names other than Jeff Agoos.

  72. CA says:

    Anyone who thinks the Germans won because they were bigger and faster wasn’t watching. They won because their technical skills and reading of the game were greatly superior.

  73. short passes says:

    If you are really upset with US Soccer,get to know the people who are really making the decisions–Gulati is only the dunce at the top of the ice berg.——————————————————————————————————–
    The Board of Directors of U.S. Soccer is the governing board of the Federation in accordance with the Amateur Sports Act of 1978. Consisting of elected members representing all facets of soccer in the United States, the Board administers the affairs of the Federation between meetings of the National Council.

    Board Of Directors

    President
    Sunil K. Gulati

    Executive Vice President
    Mike Edwards

    Immediate Past President (non-voting)
    Dr. S. Robert Contiguglia

    Athlete Representatives
    Jeff Agoos, Danielle Fotopoulos, Jon McCullough

    Pro Council Representatives
    Tonya Antonucci, Don Garber

    Adult Council Representatives
    Richard Groff, Bill Bosgraaf

    Youth Council Representatives
    Bob Palmeiro, John Sutter

    At Large Representative
    Burton Haimes

    Independent Directors
    Carlos Cordeiro, Fabian Núñez, Donna E. Shalala

    CEO/Secretary General (non-voting)
    Dan Flynn

    IF YOU WANT TO GET UPSET, THESE ARE THE PEOPLE TO DIRECT YOUR COMMENTS TO.

  74. Eurosnob says:

    German team did not win relying solely on its athletic talents and size. German players also had very good technique (touch, passing, etc) and had a superior grasp of positioning and other aspects of the game. I agree that we should to overreact to a loss to a very good team and that the national team made significant progress in the last 16 years, but there are many ways to improve our youth development system, which will help the USMNT down the road.

  75. Eurosnob says:

    Yes, I did not mean to single out Gulati, there are other power players involved, but he is the public face of the USSF. He actually did some good things for the federation, particularly in financial matters.

  76. chuck says:

    Winning and progress go hand in hand. You show me the team making huge strides without winning. You can’t just ignore the scorelines. You can have good players playing in great leagues(france) and not be making progress.

  77. Cereal Box says:

    bunch of F**kers.

  78. short passes says:

    Find them on Facebook or Linked in –I’m sure they would appreciate everyone’s comments.

  79. YO says:

    Them Germans probably ate some of that fast chicken as well. Chicken tacos with special sauce.

  80. diablo says:

    The USMNT had a plan for 2010 , that is now over with , time to overhaul the whole enchilada bye Bob bye Sunil hello Klinsy! Do it before we lose another decade of growth in soccer.We need to evolve and we are at that crucial point in our soccer /football history.

  81. Jeff says:

    Good points.

    For me, the answer is some sort of real plan. Project 2010 (and also Project 40) may have not been outlandishly successful, but at least they set some goals and went for it. Right after the 2002 World Cup, Project 2010 didn’t look so outlandish after all. We have seen a rocky national team since then though.

    I think the actual Coach is not the biggest problem. Yes, Bob is not a technical wizard, yes he plays favorites, and yes his line-ups and substitutions are very often questionable at best. BUT… he is still working with the same player pool that any other coach would. I agree that there are better tacticians and motivators out there so we should find a good one with international experience and hire him.

    But that won’t solve the long-term problems. We need a full-time paid leader at he USSF whose job it is to make the nats better. That means someone like Klinsman who can help to turn around the entire game in this country, not just coach the current crop of chosen players. This person would be a real technical manager for the organization with a separate coach for the actual squad.

    Until there is a real plan with some real change, everything will remain pretty much as it is now. We’ll unearth a few internationals whose fathers were in the military, we’ll find at least one new Donovan, Adu, or Dempsey, and hell we might even find one real star. The problem is that with the current system we will never find them in the huge numbers we need. We’ll find a lot of technically coached robots who all play pretty much the same game and maybe one or two semi-precious stones in the avalanche of tailings, but not the gold vain we are looking for.

  82. Martha says:

    If your a US fan it’s safe to say THE SKY IS FALLING you can’t like the Womens chances either with Germany playing at home

    Like the guy at half time said “there’s no one coming up the pipeline…us fans are in for some lean years”

  83. Brett says:

    I watched. The first 3 goals came in a flurry, one after the other. After that it was caution to the wind stuff, but like we see so often with the senior team, just no breakthroughs in front of goal. Shots straight at the keeper, wayward crosses, too many touches in the box, players slipping and tripping over their own feet. And in fairness to Germany, they held firm against the pressure… but after those first 3 goals we were never going to seriously challenge for the win.

  84. syght says:

    Word got a link or something?

  85. bottlcaps says:

    When Klinsmann was approached for the USMNT job, he identified major systemic problems with the Youth programs developed by the USSF.

    As part of his requested responsibilities for the USMNT was assumption of control over the USSF youth programs which are the “feeders” for the USMNT.

    Without control over the process of development any fixes he could implement in the USMNT would be ephemeral and would be undone as soon as the youth players segued to the Men’s team.

    In short Klinsmann was looking long term as well as short term.

    Instead Gulati caved to the small thinking fiefdoms that controls youth soccer in this country.

    As you can see by the results of the U20 and now the U17’s; we are going backwards.

    Only a complete revamp of the USSF youth development programs as well as bringing in fresh blood to the coaching positions can possibly turn the slide around.

    The USSF and Gulati will need to bring in someone soon.

    The recent losses at the youth world cups and the USMNT Gold Cup show how the mens team has been sliding lately.

    A thourough housecleaning is in order.

    “If you are not part of the solution you are part of the precipitate”

  86. syght says:

    Plus Bradenton takes in what like 15 year olds earliest? It’s home of the U-16 and u-17 squads. By 15 it’s too late to be trying to teach technical fundamentals. Maybe tactics but not even, kids should know tactics by 15 too.

  87. syght says:

    Yeah, uh, McBean looked terrible. Got off one or two decent shots, even then pretty weak given other candidates for solid goals over the past week in u-17, u-21, gold cup, and women’s world cup. In fact, his shots were crap. He looked terrible, give me an overdribbling Koroma. We looked alright on offense but of course we still can’t finish in the final third.

  88. Gary Kleiban says:

    Good stuff Jeff.
    But in one area, you are making the same mistake as the vast majority. That is, that any coach would be working with the same player pool. NO WAY!

    The player pool that exists now would get obliterated by any coach who understands international player quality. Maybe a handful of guys would survive, the rest would never be called up again. This pool that has been established by very limited scouts and coaches over the years is filled with junk.

    The assumption that these are the best in our country is completely wrong. People tend to think this way, because the assumption is that the cream rises to the top. Well, it doesn’t.

    Obviously I can’t prove to anyone here that my assertions above are true. Until an elite level coach, like Bielsa, takes over, the truth will not be uncovered.

  89. Gary Kleiban says:

    Yes chuck winning and progress are linked. But one has to understand the context of the scorelines to determine whether they’re indicative of progress or not. For example beating Spain, competing with Brazil in Confed Cup final, or tying Argentina in the recent freindly were good results. However, anyone with half a soccer brain should know better.

    Furthermore, yes France has been an example of an underachiever when considering the rank of their players. But let’s look at the general rule. Specifically, that the roster of ALL the heavyweight soccer powers play in the top clubs in the top leagues. That is a good metric of where our game stands. So if new coaching at the youth and senior national teams can identify the truly talented in this country, then those players should be able to crack more prestigious club rosters. Results will follow …

  90. short passes says:

    +2

  91. Seriously says:

    A kid that can’t break into any squad in Europe and only looked dangerous once Jonathan “I don’t know what defense is” Bornstein stepped onto the field. That Dos Santos? You really want to use him as your line of reasoning? Mexico is not the power some of you suddenly think they are after beating us 4-2. We sent a squad to the Gold Cup with many question marks. Remember all the discussion about the roster before the tourney? Then when that team that everyone questioned to begin with makes it to the finals and loses mostly due to a defensive substitution its the apocolypse for the USSF?

    Some of the posters on here make no sense. If you really think Mexico is that good after beating a very thing US side due to the lack of depth we had then I could see your point about their U-17 side. Then again it would be one of very few times where a youth tournament meant something moving forward. You list one instance that is yet to be proven more than beating us in the gold cup while I can list team upon team upon team that performed when they were young and then nothing was heard from them again.

  92. 3four3 says:

    That is not the main problem. It is yet another myth people are buying into.

    The coaches in this country don’t know how to develop players, period. That’s the crux. Relieving the pressure to win, will have negligible impact.

  93. benny says:

    sorry I think you missed the point.

  94. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    Woah, it’s Gary Kleiban. Listen to what this man says about player development.

  95. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    So Gary, what members of the US pool would never be invited back? Bornstein and Robbie Rodgers are a good start, I’d say, but you say the pool would be obliterated. I just don’t see anyone in our player pool right now who is really better than the team BB called for the Gold Cup, with the exceptions of Chandler, Mix Diskerud, Holden (injury) and not calling in Bedoya in the first place. What kind of players would be filling in the holes if we lost a lot of our squad?

  96. Turd Bradley says:

    follow me @jareldinho on twitter. US is a joke and it comes from the top. I was at a major leauge game tonite in a major soccer city u20 level and the coach of one of the major major clubs has national team players all over is some english guy that has no idea what he is doing. he has quality but he is thinking what he needs to do isnt what he needs to do at all. they could of played some sik soccer but dont understand what their real talents are in the game or how and when to let their personality speak for itself. obviously i interupted him at half and put in my son michael bradley. the rest of the game was really slow and michael stuggled to see both sides of the field at once. all in all my wife was happy

  97. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    wait, every time I go to y’alls blog it harps on and on about how too much emphasis is placed on winning and not enough on player development. Now you are saying that reducing the pressure to win won’t help us focus on player development? I’m confused.

  98. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    How come the women’s team gets a foreign coach but not the men’s team? No fair!

  99. Turd Bradley says:

    did you see how are u17s responded. started making everything 1 v 1 and trying to show up the germans. instead of working as a team and just trying to get the first one back or even better after 3-0 at half at least finishing 3-0. a joke and if anyone for one second thinks the usmnt program has any idea what its doing then its a joke. wilmer valderamma is total crap and its a dead give away, half his team will never make a training session as a pro. u can see that from touch number 1

  100. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    Well they didn’t even qualify for Euro 2008 so take from that what you will.

  101. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    Nigerian youth teams are a bad example. Before bone scans were implemented across the board they were basically using people in their twenties in their youth tournaments.

  102. Dennis says:

    Let’s face it, the best “youth development program” exists in Brazil, not Germany, not england, not even Spain. Kids playing because they love it is the answer, no soccer federation will improve on that. The USA has the best basketball players simply because it has the most kids who love playing and play against each other in games all over, not because the pro coaches have developed a great system.

    I am pretty cynical of any attempts to change things from the top down. When the kids who played soccer in the first wave of US participation 10 to 15 years ago start having their kids playing soccer, things will get better. It will take over another generation and neither Klinnsman, Gulati, nor Claudio Reyna (who has the task under USSF) will make meaningful changes from the top down.

    When the dads of 10 year-olds are more knowledgeable, things will get better, but that takes decades, not years.

  103. Rick says:

    I doubt we will produce a Messi without street soccer. How good can you become by playing practicing only twice a week when mom drives them to practice?

  104. Jeff says:

    Agree 100%, Gary.

    The current crop of chosen pool members would be whittled down to the best by a new manager/coach combo. The coach (hopefully one with international pedigree and a world vision) would squeeze as much out of this talent as possible. He would then rely on the manager of USA Soccer to find the talent we are currently missing (to supplant those excised from the current pool) and make up real plan to increase the pools of future talent.

  105. abc says:

    Can you list these amazing players who Bradley was too dumb to include on the team?

    Like ChrisLSU I can only think of Chandler (club refused) and Holden (injured), and the only two who REALLY did nothing (or worse) for the team were Bornstein and Rogers.

    So, who would be brought in to the “obliterated” player pool?

  106. Christof says:

    Euro 2008 final: Spain – Germany 1:0. What makes you think they didn´t qualify for Euro2008?

  107. sodak_in_nyc says:

    What would you rather do:
    Teach introductory economics to a bunch of 18 year olds or
    Fly private jets and first class to quarterly boondoggles at the nicest resorts where the only requirement is watching a 30 minute powerpoint about how beautiful the game is and voting for a couple of corrupt banana republic types for senior positions in FIFA.

    Sunil isn’t on the take like most of his peers, but he turns a blind eye to it while siring a teams at all levels that are not reflective of our destiny.

  108. sodak_in_nyc says:

    I make sure my American Football obsessed school that my children go to has 2 age appropriate balls in every classroom so that recess becomes a de facto street soccer session.

  109. sodak_in_nyc says:

    Donna Shalala loves women’s softball.

  110. Andy in Atlanta says:

    I think he is talking about the youth level…

    The ODP system and the residency program in Bradenton let tons of talented kids fall through the cracks… (look at Clint Dempsey who was never a US youth player)

  111. Charlie G. says:

    …and his sweats !

  112. Ejesse says:

    USA was a mess in its own third, really disorganized. In the second half there was quite a bit of the typical youth tendency to try to do too much on your own. On a couple instances a pass rather than “one more dribble” probably would have let them get a goal or two back.

    Edit: To be fair, the German GK and defense played well.

  113. Angel FAN of USA says:

    +1,000,000

  114. dgoshilla says:

    Well, I think that’s changing with MLS and all the soccer on TV the past 3 years. We’re 16 years into MLS. That means there are finally kids who have grown up with a professional league and an entire channel devoted to the best soccer from around the world. Soon there will be kids who grew up with MLS and FSC having kids and we’ll have our second generation of MLS fans. That’s when things will start to grow and compound as far as support for MLS and understanding of soccer.

  115. Chuck says:

    Nobody thinks that those games Spain brazil argentina mean that we are as quality as they are but it does show progress. Of course you need great players in great leagues but I think you are underplaying the importance of results. With good results comes more confidence and opportunities for players to be seen by top clubs. Which goes back to my original point that you cannot just ignore scorelines. Yes we r not equals with Spain cause we beat them…but I don’t think anyone feels that way.

  116. Durant Durant says:

    The US has to find a way to open the game up to kids that do not live in the Suburbs. I’m not saying that kids in the burbs are useless; no, we absolutely need them too, but the talent pool has to grow for the US National team to evolve…and the biggest room for growth is in socioeconomic areas that cannot afford to play youth club soccer. This problem seems so blatantly obvious to me.

  117. Jon Reynolds says:

    +1

  118. Jeff O says:

    Impressive technical ability with the ball, but I feel like he’s very lackluster after giving the ball up. I agree he has boatloads of talent, but in my opinion I’d like to see a little more conviction.

    In any event…cap him he seems to have more upside than most of the team.

  119. Jeff O says:

    Sorry but people actually watch baseball?

  120. JP says:

    US youth soccer will improve once:

    – we have kids playing 3 to 4 hours daily WITHOUT a coach yelling at them what to think and do.

    – Talented 10-13 year old kids don’t have to pay exorbitant fees to be part of the sport but are actually paid for their contributions to the club/team.

    Passion and money drive the system.

  121. Jeff O says:

    Stop ruining this board with rational, well thought out comments.

    On a serious note, I entirely agree. Growing up, I remember my first coaches at ages 5-9 were mostly dads that played baseball/football/basketball their entire lives. They couldn’t offer any real technical feedback because their experiences mostly came from watching a few world cup matches. The next generation of coaching will have a leg up on last generations due to increased exposure to the game.

    Also, I think that previous comments about youth teams not progressing because they aren’t winning big tournaments are missing the point of progression. Other national teams’ youth programs are developing continually and we are essentially in the act of “catching up.” A lot of people seem to think that we live in some sort of vacuum in which the US team will simply win if the team develops. We would need to develop at a much faster rate than respective countries for that to happen. While not impossible, this will not happen overnight, with rash changes in leadership, or even over a course of one generation. Soccer has to compete with other deeply entrenched US sports that offer professional players a minimum salary that is above 95% of the salaries of MLS players…start counting the generations and not the months, years or decades…

    Go US! =)

  122. 3four3 says:

    Chris, you have us confused with someone else.
    Look here:
    blog.3four3.com/2010/12/11/winning-vs-soccer-development-really-thats-the-problem/

  123. 3four3 says:

    And there it is. You said those results showed progress. Not true.
    We got completely abused those games. But people can’t see that …

  124. who cares says:

    16 American MLS academies is much better than 1 USSF Academy.

    There are 2 Canadian academies with a 3rd on the way.

  125. chg says:

    We lost this with the officiating in our group games. A tie against the Uzbeks gives us a reasonable path to the semis, but this German side is destroying everybody. Currently 3-0 over England in a match that could be much worse.