Klinsmann discusses Donovan, Altidore, January camp and more

 

U.S. Men’s national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann spoke to the media on a Thursday afternoon conference call and touched in a wide range of subjects, from Landon Donovan to Jozy Altidore, Tim Chandler and the national team’s centerback options.

Here is a rundown of the highlights:

When asked about Landon Donovan’s recent comments about his mental state, and status with the national team, Klinsmann praised Donovan for being courageous enough to talk so openly, and made it clear the door is still very much open for Donovan on the national team.

“I find it really courageous of him to talk openly about what’s going through his mind,” Klinsmann said. “I can understand all of those thoughts and try to understand his personal situation, which I do with every player.”

“It’s really down to him, what he wants to further achieve in his career, what he wants to do,” Klinsmann said of Donovan’s national team future. “Whatever he decides to do will be very respected by us.”

When asked about out-of-favor U.S. striker Jozy Altidore, Klinsmann was uncharacteristically abrupt:

“We’ve had no further contact since then and I haven’t made up my mind if I will call him in for Russia.”

Klinsmann did reveal that he has been in touch with Timmy Chandler, who has yet to play for the national team since Klinsmann became head coach.

“I have been in contact with him. It’s similar to Landon. They have to make their own decisions sooner or later,” Klinsmann said. “Timmy knows that. He’s going through his learning years in the Bundesliga, and he’s maturing. He’s getting more experience and getting more focused. We are in touch and we respect his decisions so far, but the World Cup is coming along pretty soon. It’s totally up to him how fast the decision on his end will be made.”

When asked about the U.S. Men’s National team centerback pool, and whether he was concerned about depth at the position, Klinsmann sounded confident that he had the necessary cover at the position and mentioned a long list of players who could be competing for the position in the coming year.

“I feel comfortable with it,” Klinsmann said of the team’s defensive depth. “I think we saw a very impressive year by Geoff Cameron. Not only with the Houston Dynamo, and now with Stoke, but also inour environment. He has fought his way into the team and now he seems to be set at the centerback roll.

“Obviously you have Oguchi Onyewu, who actually played now his first game for Malaga, 90 minutes. Carlos (Bocanegra), the captain, is always giving the experience he has, and Clarence Goodson is there as well. I mentioned a few times that I think Maurice Edu is a possible centerback going forward.”

“So no, it’s going okay. I still think there are some other players in the loop as well. Coming through in MLS like an Omar Gonzalez or a Matt Besler. Or Tim Ream, that plays now again for Bolton Wanderers. We have a good amount of guys fighting for the centerback position.”

When asked about the status of a January camp, Klinsmann

“We’re right now discussing the entire approach for January, which is a bit tricky (because) we don’t have the schedule yet so we want to wait till next week when we finally have the schedule for qualifying.”

“We are always looking for new faces. We want to dig into the MLS player pool and see where the players are. We also want to help the generation from the Under-23s that have been through a tough year not qualifying for London.”

“There is a big case to be made for the January camp.”

——————-

These are just some of the key topics Klinsmann touched on. Overall, Klinsmann had high praise for MLS, and the developing talent coming through the league. He also pointed to the summer of 2013 as an important time with World Cup qualifying and the Gold Cup taking place.

The January camp situation is an interesting one. It sounds like the fate of the camp will depend on the opponent the U.S. is drawn against for the Feb. 6th World Cup qualifier. A home date against a team like Jamaica or Panama seems more compatible with holding a more traditional January camp for new faces, but if a road trip to Mexico, Honduras or Costa Rica looms in the qualifying opener, it seems more likely that Klinsmann would eliminate the traditional early-January camp and have some sort of camp in late January with players who could actually step in and play in a road qualifier.

Regarding Altidore, Klinsmann sounded like a coach who was growing tired of even talking about Altidore. That doesn’t very much sound like Klinsmann, but you had to hear his response to the Altidore call-up question to see just how unusual his response came off as.

Klinsmann is clearly being patient and understanding with Timmy Chandler, but he also sounded like a coach who wishes Chandler would hurry up and make a commitment.

Klinsmann’s mention of Maurice Edu at centerback sure sounded like something he plans to try again in the future. Considering he’s struggling to see the field for Stoke at the moment, playing centerback might wind up being Edu’s best chance to earn national team minutes.

What do you think of Klinsmann’s comments? Glad to hear him be so patient with Donovan and Chandler? Starting to wonder whether we will see Jozy Altidore any time soon? Agree with his sentiment that the centerback pool is strong?

Share your thoughts below.

 

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164 Responses to Klinsmann discusses Donovan, Altidore, January camp and more

  1. Mark says:

    This man needs to call in Altidore. Honestly, he does.

    • ajsthind says:

      I would think he is going to for the Russia date. Some MLS teams will still be in the playoffs and the game is in Europe. Likely that Altidore and Boyd both get the call.

    • Old School says:

      This man has. Many times.

    • Jason says:

      Why? He dissed his coach because he knew he was the best forward and he HAD to call hm up…now you think Klins should do just that? You live and die by honor, and he dishonored himself.

      • Mike Z says:

        If national team manager does not call in a player because of “dis” in a tweet, he has the emotional maturity of child. Just like if he were to call in a player based on reputation alone. As a coach you are tasked with putting the best team on the field. If a player is on the level and in form, you play him. Klinsmann’s career as USMNT coach will live and die by results.

      • Crosebud says:

        You live and Die by honor? Where do you live Camelot? Seriously its professional sports…

        • Byrdman says:

          He hasn’t produced for the USMNT. He might as well be Wondo. Big numbers elsewhere, but….. I remember the layoff to Deuce vs. Italy, and a few other nice plays, but as a whole, He doesn’t do what this team needs. I would like to see him included but for me, he’s only bench right now until he adapts to this style.

      • Alex says:

        People always forget that it was Klinsmann who first ripped Altidore publicly.

    • Jason says:

      ps: id rather loose with guys like gomez and dempsey than win with punks like Jozy…dont care how many time he socre in the fast-break soccer league.

      • jcl says:

        what exactly did jozy say verbatim in criticism of klinsmann? what makes him a punk?

      • Drew says:

        haters

        • bizzy says:

          Thats not even the sad part….chandler openly dissed the USMNT(with no prior contribution to the team) saying he’s staying with his club for now…..at a time we really needed him, at a time were his presence could have had a direct impact on the position of the USMNT going into the qualifiers…..Knowing he’s is holding out for a possible call up by Germany but yet still the coach will have patience with him, wait on the high and might Chandler to make his decision when he feels like it…Seriously, when does a player diss international duty for supposedly club duty?

          • GW says:

            “Seriously, when does a player diss international duty for supposedly club duty?”

            In Europe? All the time. National teams don’t pay your salary and the big teams have lots of games to play and frown on losing their players to international duty ( see Ferguson, Sir Alex)

            • bizzy says:

              No player especially in the big leagues turns down international duty…NONE. Sir Alex Ferguson, Tito Vilanova or José Mourinho can be upset or frown about losing even their best players but at the end of the day they release they release the player….period (whether they pay the bills or not). That is the highest honor in the world of soccer…playing for the national team, something Chandler knows nothing of because his heart is in Germany

              • PD says:

                This willingness to still be in touch with Chandler to me is what reinforces the fact that this not-calling Jozy flap was a work ethic issue and not an attitude issue. Chandler busted his hump when he was called up and I think that’s why he’s still a relevant option. If JK’s open to Tim Chandler coming in after his being positively child-like in his coyness, then JK’s clearly willing to let things like that roll off his back.

                But perhaps if Altidore were an international caliber fullback he’s have a longer tether….

              • GW says:

                bizzy,

                That is your view. Uninformed, but it is yours.

                Research it sometime. I think if you are open minded you will find quite a few different points of view, Brad Friedel for one.

              • GW says:

                bizzy,

                That is your view. Uninformed, but it is yours.

                Research it sometime. I think if you are open minded you will find quite a few different points of view, Brad Friedel for one.

              • bizzy says:

                GW taking about players and you call friedel…a player over 40 and bankrupted, trying to get himself out of debt. Lol Seriously, talk about miss informed…. give me an instant where are a great young player, in FIFA top 20 that has turned down international duty because of club or indecisiveness?

              • GW says:

                You miss the point bizzy.

                Guys like Ferguson doesn’t exactly keep players from playing for their countries. He has to release them for certain FIFA dates. But he can exert pressure on them so that they are the ones who exclude themselves. Chicharito badly wanted to play in the London Olympics. Then he “changed his mind”.

                Do the big clubs want to keep some young stud from becoming an international “star”? No. It raises his value when he is sold later. But they do want to keep under as much control as possible.

                I can think of other examples but you should do your own research.

                Friedel left the USMNT a year or two after the 2002 World Cup. Supposedly the US was in good hands with Keller and Howard around (and it was) and Friedel said he had grown tired of the travel. Ten years or so down the road, Friedel is still good enough to keep Lloris, France’s #1 guy, on the bench, even though Spurs spent all that money on Lloris. Washed up? I doubt it.. I would argue, had he made himself available, he would have beaten out Howard for the 2010 World Cup. He certainly could not have done worse than Timmy who had a disappointing tournament.

                That is mute testament to how much an international career can adversely affect your club career longevity. And the longer you play the more money you make.

      • THomas says:

        I’d rather win with Jozy, Balotelli, Joey Barton and Stephen Ireland than lose

        • GJJ says:

          “Charles Manson sends a beautiful ball in to Pol Pot, who lays it off for Bashar Al Assad who scores with a beautiful left footed strike….and the crowd goes wild!” Couldn’t agree more with your sentiment. I think Alexi Lalas once said something to the effect of if your looking for role models, that choosing professional athletes is a really bad idea. I don’t care one whit about the “character” of the players on our team. Just put the ball in the back of the other team’s net and keep it out of ours.

        • GW says:

          Sure, but what if you lose? Then what?

      • RK says:

        You are un-American.

      • Michael says:

        Exactly! To do well in a wc you need true competitors, guys that will play hard for 90. Not kids with potential. Not saying that Jozy will never be there, just hasn’t proved it yet.

    • Tony in Quakeland says:

      He calls a guy who won’t commit to playing for us and doesn’t call out best striker…too bad Jozy’s mother is not German

    • quozzel says:

      Dunno. Depends on what you need your forward to do. If you’re looking for a hold-up guy Altidore is probably who you want, but Klinsmann seems to prefer more of a 4-5-1 look where the forward is more of a high-pressure guy and finisher than an actual target man. He’d probably like to have both but his forward selections seem to indicate he prefers work rate over hold-up ability, so for the style Klinsmann likes to play, right now Herc Gomez is the guy.

      You call in the players who suit the style you’re playing, you don’t necessarily just pencil in the All-America team. Sure if you were naming an “All America” team Jozy Altidore would clearly be the USA’s #1 striker…and Wondolowski would probably be a close second. Neither seems to be what Klinsmann needs for the style he plays.

  2. Colin Reese says:

    It really is weird that Klinsmann will not acknowledge that Gonzalez is much quicker and more skilled than Bocanegra, Goodson, and Onyewu.

    • Jamie Z. says:

      Acknowledging something and making an explicit point of mentioning it are two different things. It would have been weirder if he’d said, “And then there is Omar Gonzalez, who is quicker and more skilled than Bocanegra, Goodson, and Onyewu.” The man knows what he’s working with.

    • GW says:

      Why should he?

      First of all your claim is debateable.

      Second, being quicker and more skilled does not mean you are a better player.

      Centerbacks, in particular, benefit greatly from high level experience and familiarity with their teamates. It does not hurt to be quicker and more skilled than the next guy but brains and poise will ultimately be what separates you from the other centerbacks.

      Gonzo may or may not be better than all of them but he’s going to have to prove it

    • boosted335 says:

      George John is much quicker and more skilled than Gonzalez. FACT

      • Camjam says:

        OPINION

      • Kevin_H says:

        Right or wrong, that’s still an opinion.

      • Darwin says:

        Well, both can be quantified, although the latter with more of an indirect metric. So, it could be fact…assuming that both men have been tested and compared.

        • Darwin says:

          Well, at least an statistically informed opinion, not an absolute truth.

        • GW says:

          How can you quantify that?

          If GJ beats Gonzo in a 40 yard dash four out of seven it still doesn’t mean he is faster in a game. And it certainly does not mean he is a better center back.

          Why?

          Because in soccer savvy defenders who “read” the game well can sometimes react to a developing situation before the attacker he is marking.

          Cruyff once said the faster man in soccer is the one who starts running first. It sounds silly until you realize he is correct. He started running first because he recognized what was about to happen and reacted to it quicker.

          My favorite all time defender was Paulo Maldini. I can’t tell you how fast he was because it seemed like he was always where he needed to be before his man got there. Some call it positioning but it’s a lot more. Obviously, there is a limit but there was a reason Maldini could play at such a high level well into his thirties.

          All this talk about who is bigger, faster stronger is a very American obsession with facts and figures thing.

          What I want to know is who is a better soccer player, a better center back, Gonzo or GJ? Who is smarter about the game? Who is better at, yes, reading the game? The ability to read a game is why Boca is still around.

          For you NFL fans it’s just like rating Quarterbacks. Big arm and tall and strong are useless if you can’t read a defense and have no poise. Some of these CB candidates remind me of Jeff George of whom it was said, “million dollar arm, ten cent head”.

      • GW says:

        As President and card carrying member of the George John booster club you would, of course, say that. But don’t think anyone else will take you too seriously.

        But even if it is a fact ( and right now it is just your opinion) so what?

        Is he a better center back than Gonzo?

        As it relates to the USMNT does he fit in better with the players and the manager’s preferred style of play?

        Can he bring more to the table for the USMNT than Gonzo can? The only guy who can rule on that question is JK not you.

        In international soccer “quicker” and “more skilled” is not enough. I may be more ignorant than about GJ but from what I’ve seen the difference between him and Gonzo doesn’t seem worth arguing over.

        They both have a lot to prove.

    • bizzy says:

      Did you watch the Galaxy vs Whitecaps game? Gonzo has ways to go before he can be in the starting 11 for the USMNT. Mattocks scored in his face in the 3rd min of play, “much quicker and more skilled than Bocanegra, Goodson, and Onyewu” maybe but he lacks the technical ability to read plays and effectively closing down players (MLS FORWARDS), the goal that Whitecaps Should have scored showed him giving up on the play……Gonzalez is a good up and coming defender with a solid foundation but not national team material yet with the pool we have

      • THomas says:

        I watched and maybe it’s because I didn’t start watching until after that goal, or maybe it was because they had 100% posession, he looked good last night.

        • bizzy says:

          He had a good game THomas, until you start comparing him and saying “much quicker and more skilled than Bocanegra, Goodson, and Onyewu” …..Espindola(RSL) beat him with the give and go to score RSL’s first goal (03:02 highlight) and beat him in the air to score the second(03:56 highlight), Mattocks got the better of him in the first goal(1:45 highlight) and scored…….Whitecaps missed an open chance(5:04 highlight). Just like the RSL game when he is up against quality it shows his lack of ability to close down players and read the play before it happens…….if that was Chris Wondolowski, Kenny Cooper, Alvaro Saborio, Espindola, Thierry Henry, Eddie Johnson or Fredy Montero instead of Kenny Miller, like the results would have been totally different.
          He’s a top MLS defender but not a National team player for now

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      The less you discuss publicly the better, I’m sorry. (a) Do not create your own team turmoil; (b) Do not put off your players regarding your own leadership; (c) Do not do other team’s scouting for them. You might occasionally laud a star or chastize an unusually problematic player, but I don’t think praising a peripheral player coming off an ACL as “quick” sounds wise.

    • danny says:

      Jurgen- Have you heard of this guy named Jay Demerit? He was our best centerback between 2009-2010. Had a great WC and CC. I’d love to see him and Cameron paired up.

      • bizzy says:

        We are going to have to mail him the footage of MLS ALL-STAR vs Chelsea…..put it infront of the door, ring the bell and book. All he needs is to see it, and DeMerit will be in camp in January…lol

      • PD says:

        Oh come on. I love the guy, but DeMerit is not really equipped with the wheels or technical ability to play a high line and close pressing style of defense that JK is transitioning too. I’d think Heath Pearce would have a better chance.

        Plus, we we need to be building on the future. It would be like calling Hahnemann in for the #3 keeper spot. Sure it’s a sensible choice but is it in the best long term interest of the program? It’s better to give that time to younger players to train, learn the system, and bleed them a bit in some match appearances.

  3. Yusef says:

    I’m a big Klinsmann fan, but he needs to let the Altidore stuff go. Altidore is just getting better (2 more goals today) and we know he can produce on the big stage (see Confederations Cup goal against Spain).

    • Liga says:

      He scored a goal in a meaningless tournament against Spain… 3 years ago and that qualifies as producing?

      • Dimidri says:

        He was the US’ engine at the Gold Cup right before Klinsy took over, his absence in the final along with Dolo’s injury was a huge part of why we got embarrassed by Mexico. His laser prevented the US from getting utterly humiliated against Guadalupe.

        In the only games he’s played with Bradley in the JK era he has scored and assisted in a huge game against Italy.

        If you think that Confederation’s Cup game was meaningless or that Spain wasn’t playing its best players or trying their hardest to continue their unbeaten streak then you are on something. He manhandled the starting LB and GK for Spain at the same time, helping deliver Spain their ONLY elimination from a tournament between 2008 and 2012.

        He isn’t perfect, it was good to see EJ do well, but this notion that EJ scoring 10/14 goals against non-playoff MLS teams is somehow more impressive than what Jozy is doing in Holland against admittedly not the greatest defensive teams is laughable.

        Moreover, the notion that everything went so well for the US in the last two games that we shouldn’t change anything is even more laughable. True, calling for JK’s head is stupid, it wasn’t that bad or necessarily bad at all, but it definitely wasn’t ‘we found the formula’ inspiring.

        I highly doubt Jozy needed to be sent a message as well, JK’s only example of when he thought Jozy’s work ethic was poor was in the immediate aftermath of Jozy not training for weeks because AZ was stupid. Read what he said. The groupthink that produced the narrative of lazy Jozy is the same groupthink that will hail JK’s decision as the main factor for when Jozy starts scoring again as opposed to…it was inevitable.

        • Riggis says:

          People seem to forget Altidores assist in the Algeria WC game scored by Donovan to get us into the knockout round. That whole play starting with Timmy and finished by Donovan was world class and Altidore was a huge part of it.

        • Keeping_The_Brek_Shea_Faith says:

          +One Billion

      • Good Jeremy says:

        He has done a lot for the national team, Spain was just mentioned as they have been just short of unbeatable in the last four years. He is also producing this year, leading his league in goals and all.

      • jerp says:

        count you in as one who has not been paying attention. jozy is better than any other us forward by far

        • PD says:

          Trezuguet and Balotelli were arguable the best strikers of their respective national teams as well and you can see how both worked out. Balotelli took the EUFA tourney by storm, Trezuguet was the star striker for France that never was.

          Trouble is, we’re not France. I don’t think any international caliber player under the age of 32 is expendable right now. I get that he’s not playing well in the system, but, I don’t know if not giving him more time to figure the system out is the answer.

    • SuperChivo says:

      Agreed, he made his point (poorly and inconsistently, but there you have it). I wish that he would now be as mature and diplomatic as Altidore has been since he was not called up. Altidore’s tweet was stupid, assuming that is what it was really about, but he has handled it well since then. Especially in light of the leeway given to Chandler, it wouldn’t hurt to say something along the lines of “we hope that he continues to have success with his club and we look forwarding to re-evaluating his progress in the future.”

      • Old School says:

        Saying “mature”, “Jozy” and mentioning “the tweet” in consecutive sentences is laughable.

        It literally is so ridiculous it’s laughable.

    • Jason says:

      Yeah, let being dissed by some kid that needs the resulting dicipline to grow as a person “go.” Thats better for all parties concrned, right? but hey, I cant spell, so instead of learning I should “get over” my error in grammar (which means nothing).

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      If he continues to impress in Holland he will get another chance. But when people are talking about him with goals that were years ago — during the Bradley era — I think they are missing the fact that Klinsi’s not seeing that, we’re not seeing that in our uniform. There are other players that are producing. So he’s gotta show up in a real way.

      • beachbum says:

        play Jozy with an attacking group, play him there one time. Still have yet to see that lineup opportunity for Jozy, right? until then, how can anyone judge him in the USMNT kit under Klinnsman?

  4. Bradley says:

    Do you think Osvaldo Alonso has a future with the USMNT?

    • Ben says:

      I wonder about this as well. He should get a look at least. I wonder if the defection plays a role in being called up.

    • Old School says:

      Respect his quality but do we really need another at his position?

      • jcl says:

        If you call in Osvaldo, you have to call in Dax too then…

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        I don’t think the numbers game should be his problem unless you’re also implying he’s simply not better than the other people in the pecking order. Because while I might grant that, say, Jones and Bradley would be better CMs, okay, how about Edu or Beckerman? If we plan to play 2-3 starting DMs — god help us — plus subs — then do you really have to be more than the 4th or 5th best DM to make the roster? Plus, based on Klinsi’s comments, do we consider that he might want to redeploy Edu as a CB, in which case another DM “frees” Edu to move?

        I think this is precisely what friendlies are for. You play the guy 30-45 minutes behind a known quantity, and you evaluate how impressive he is. If he plays well then maybe we’re done with Beckerman silliness; if he plays bad then you’ve not risked a qualifier on him and you know where you stand.

        However, an x factor may be Seattle’s playoff run, if he can’t call him in for Russia, then he probably misses the early qualifier window and gets his chance only if the team stumbles or when Gold Cup 2013 rolls around.

      • GW says:

        If Alonso gets approval to play for the US then the question is, is he a better alternative than whoever is # 1, 2, and # 3 on the depth chart?

        If he is then JK should consider him.

    • Camjam says:

      FIFA really most likely will not let him make a switch. As far as I know (and I’ve tried looking), they’ve never allowed somebody who had played in tournament, full-tying squad games with one country switch to another. It’s reasonable that they should; but think about that statement….. Do you want to rely on FIFA to be reasonable?

  5. Rich Bon says:

    Klinsmann for president. I wouldnt care if he wanted to start Wynalda, I’m all in. If he thinks Jozy or anyone else needs a kick in the pants, so be it.

  6. Sabella says:

    Look, Jozy is scoring a lot goals in the Dutch league. Klinsi and others have labeled that league as “easy” but, the fact is, it’s still an important European league and an accomplishment for any American to go over there and light it up the way Jozy has. I think Klinsmann has to be real careful with this situation. On the one hand, it seems Klinsi is trying to send Jozy a message that he needs to work harder. But on the other hand, if Jozy’s club form doesn’t carry over to the USMNT, a lot of people are going to accuse Klinsmann of failing to get the most out of what is an obviously talented Jozy Altidore.

    • BrianVT says:

      I suspect this runs deeper than a simple “work harder” message.

      But can someone please remind me which game it was when Bradley & Jozy had a 2-on-1, racing toward the goal, but Jozy pulled up short and stopped, just before Bradley crossed it to him, for what would have been a crucial goal?

      Those kinds of plays might be more than one-offs, and perhaps Klinni has harped on these in the past, and Jozy has lashed back — earning his place in the doghouse?

      • biff says:

        Very good point, BrianVT. After Jozy quit his run, it seemed to me that MB was pi$$ed and gave Jozy the evil eye. I am not implying Jozy did that on purpose because he was angry at not starting games during that time period, but I wouldn’t blame teammates and a coach for being unhappy about it and wondering what might happen next time. Let’s be honest: Had Jozy kept running and taken the pass from MB then Jozy would have had a sure goal and the USMNT would have won that game and won all three points and then we would not have had the panic we had in September after the Jamaica loss in Kingston.

        In Germany, with its deep soccer tradition, they have a common expression: a player (or players) “playing against the coach.” And if Klinsmann cannot trust a player to give 100% all the time, well, he’s gotta do what he’s gotta do.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I think Klinsi was a little more precise than “easy league,” I think he suggested as we all would likely accept that the Dutch league is high on offense and low on defense, and that more or less the issue is whether Jozy can play the same way in a higher traffic defensive situation. I think the fit and finesse Klinsi is probably driven a little nuts by a more “Shaq” approach to the game, a player with limited technique and iffy finishing. If you look all over the field he’s erring in favor of finesse. Personally I think American athleticism is an advantage and Jozy should at least be a bench option, but particularly if you look at how sloppy Jozy can be and how EJ has more US goals, qualifying and otherwise, it raises red flags. I’m not even saying EJ should play ahead of him, but it does raise questions.

      • Sabella says:

        Valid point. I think Jozy may have in the past relied on strength and athleticism. But he scored some very skillful goals this year in holland. I admit Jozy’s recent efforts for the USMNT have been poor. What I am saying is, part of being a coach is finding out how to get the best out of your players and right now, Klinsmann is failing with Altidore. I know that Altidore can be a huge contributor and I’m challenging Jurgen to find a way to make that happen

        • GW says:

          JK was not hired to fit Jozy into the USMNT. He was hired to build a team.

          You are putting the cart before the horse.

          Jozy has to fit in with what the team is doing not the other way around.

          He is doing well with AZ but his recent appearances for the US have not only been so-so, they have been alarming. He is a better player than what he has shown for the US. What Klinsmann is doing is telling him that and putting it in terms Jozy can relate to.

          If he is the player we all think he is then he’ll figure it out. If not he won’t and the team moves on. JK can find other forwards to play. They may not be as good as Jozy but if they get the job done, then it does not matter. Jozy is not so great that the USMNT should be built around him like the latest edition of Argentina is built around Messi. And frankly, that sort of thing hasn’t worked all that well for Argentina or Portugal, two obvious examples.

          This is the USMNT not the JAMT.

  7. Not a fan of the Edu at center back experiment. He is best as a center mid. And better than Beckerman even if he isn’t playing at all for Stoke.

    Would like to see Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler get their chance sooner rather than later. I love Gooch, but his 90 minutes was in a meaningless game against a third-tier Spanish side. Ream has only started intermittenly for Bolton and has struggled as he has when he’s played for the national team. And Goodson is a known quantity. Good, but not great. Why not give Besler/Gonzo or maybe even John Anthony Brooks the minutes against Russia? What’s the downside?

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Ream and Gooch are a joke in the colors of late, sorry. I think he’s perseverating again to that extent. I did like that he was throwing around some other, fresher names, Besler, Gonzo. I don’t necessarily buy that there is that much better talent sitting around idle — I think the problem is a talent gap at CB — but it is comforting when a coach seems to acknowledge an issue and that he is weighing his options. Particularly after the LB stubbornness last qualifiers.

    • Byrdman says:

      I personally have been asking for this for 3 years. He is not a good enough passer to play midfield on the international level. But he does close down and shut down attacks very very well. His speed is above average for a CB. He is solid in the air.He physical tools screem cb to me. But he needs opportunities to read the game and learn the position. Experience would be great, if he could get it. No way he gets it at STOKE. Wrong move for him in my opinion. But who knows what other moves were actually out there. I’m sure its a pretty decent check.

  8. Shina says:

    Klinsman is clearly playing favorites when it comes to strikers, and Altidore is defiantly not a favorite of his currently. Altidore is probably the most in form American in Europe. It’s absurd if he’s not in the team, and I think that shows very negatively on Jurgen as a coach. Just work more with Jozy. If the door is open for Chandler, then it would be a joke to leave Jozy out.

    • GW says:

      Managers “favor” players who produce for them. Jozy has not produced for JK, for whatever reason.

      Jozy’s production for AZ is completely irrelevant if he cannot produce for the US. My expectation is Jozy will eventually figure it out because if he does not, he won’t get called back in. This may shock you but Jozy is not indispensible, particularly when he is not scoring FOR THE USMNT.

      His Confed Cup, Gold Cup and World Cup performances were great but this is a what have you done for me lately situation. It’s a business. Qualify for the WC and the world is your oyster; fail to do so and everyone gets fired.

      This is not unusual. History is full of great club scorers who went impotent for their national teams. Rooney for example, was garbage for England for a long time.

      Perhaps what you really mean is you want JK to call Jozy up because Jozy is one of your favorites. If Jozy is not a favorite of JK’s it is obviously for a very good reason.

      • downintexas says:

        Who has produced for him??? The whole damn team almost needs to be benched. Give the boy service and he will produce.

        • GW says:

          The whole team has.

          They finished first in their group and qualified for the Hex.

          That is all you can ask for. You guys think one guy is more important than the team and that is just not true.

      • Old School says:

        You act as if he hasn’t given him the chance or refused to call him up previously.

        Jozy has been given chances and he did not make the most of them or display the effort JK and his staff are looking for. It’s really that simple.

        • beachbum says:

          when was Jozy given the chance with an attacking lineup? He hasn’t been given that opportunity. really that simple

          offensively, the USMNT has struggled in midfield. Not sure how else that fact can be viewed

          • Old School says:

            There’s only one way “to view it”: other forwards have scored, played 100% for 90 minutes.

            This whole “given the chance with an attacking lineup” stance is a joke and the latest in a long line of excuses for an apologist.

            • PD says:

              I have to agree with the notion that every other striker has really left it all on the pitch. there are times when Dempsey drifts in and out, but that guy is one grinding SOB when he finds his moment, so you can’t question his work ethic or his results.

  9. Shane says:

    I’m not a big Klinsmann fan and he needs to call Jozy. And straighten things out with Donovan who made it pretty clear in his interview he feels he is on the outside of the MNT looking in and having his injuries brought into question. You know players can be flaky, it’s not good to have a coach who is more flaky than they are. This is the sort of stuff that happens when you do. I’m counting down the days until we are in the post Klinsmann era.

    • Jamie Z. says:

      Donovan isn’t being flaky — the man is burnt out and he needs a break. Give him a few months to relax, decompress, and sort out his headspace and then welcome him back when he’s ready. I think Klinsmann has indicated that he plans to do just that and that seems reasonable to me.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I took Donovan’s comments the exact opposite way, “give me space.” He doesn’t want to be bothered for a while.

      Now, Jozy, Chandler, I think that’s more ripe for communication, although you also have to weigh timing of it all. Would we be better off waiting a little more, and seeing if they are calmer. Think about it like a friend or significant other, some times a cool down gets a better result.

  10. Paul says:

    A good coach motivates his players, even those on the outside looking in. JK does this well in this interview. I think JK is sending Altidore a subtle message here – you can do better and we expect improvement. I would think JK knows about Jozy’s goal tally. He’s looking for improvement in other areas of his game – and his attitude.
    No one is mentioned as a favorite for CB, and the competition is wide open. Why write off Onyewu now? We may need that height and strength against certain opponents. The door is open. I like the idea of trying Edu at CB. That is versatility and a valuable commodity at that. Let him fight for playing time.
    No surprise with Chandler. He’s weighing his options and probably hearing advice from lots of people. I think he’ll eventually jump on board. I don’t see any room with Germany right now.

    • mikeandike says:

      if you are right and Klinsi is looking at a goal-scoring forward in a top 10 European league, but does not call him in because of “other areas of his game” then we need a new coach… that’s like saying, let’s not call the top CB in the pool because he is not as good offensively, or may be Tim Howard should not get called up because he does not head the ball well…

      the team needs scorers (this isn’t Spain or Germany) so let’s get them on the field and let’s score

      • GW says:

        It doesn’t matter how many goals you score, this team is defensively suspect.

        You can shoot it out with the Jamaicas, A & B’s and Guatemalas of the world but as currently constituted, they will get ripped open by a good team in the World Cup.

        I’d sacrifice Jozy in a heartbeat if it meant a tighter, more disicplined team defense ethic.

        • TomG says:

          I don’t feel the two are really linked, though you may play a different style with Jozy in the lineup versus Herc, etc. note, though, that the USA’s most impressive defensive performance was with Jozy playing hold up against Italy. Typically, a good hold up player allows you to play tight, disciplined defense, though Herc’s backtracking and work rate also aids defensively. It’s 6 to a half dozen IMO.

          • Darwin says:

            But, I think GW is rightly linking the two, since Klinsmann pointed out that chances are limited with a more defensive approach. So, you need a striker that creates his chances with work and positive movement…two things that Klinsmann has criticized Altidore for.

            • TomG says:

              Once I started writing, I did realize they are linked, yes. Personally, though, I prefer, if we are playing defensively, to have a hold up player the quality of Jozy so our less skilled players have an outlet up field to funnel the ball to. He did an outstanding job of that against Italy and dished out the assist on the goal in classic hold up fashion. Not sure if Klinsi really wants to play style, though, even though it can be effective. He seems to prefer all the lines be connected. Jozy certainly plays that style w/ AZ but they are much more offensive, skilled and linked up than USMNT so I don’t have any issue w/ starting Herc. I’d still like to see Jozy in camp, though, and working with Klinsi b/c he is our best pure striker.

          • GW says:

            JK said, a very long time ago, that defense begins as soon as you lose the ball.

            For you hockey fans, JK is looking for forwards who forecheck well once they lose the puck.

            This is hardly new or original. Van Gaal, a very unpleasant character, always talks about how the offense starts as soon as your players take the ball from the opponent.

            This style of play tends to work for aggressive, physically fit, attacking oriented teams like the US wants to be.

            It really boils down to all 11 players working together and doing what the mangers asks them to do. The US is not so talented that they can afford to play any other way with good opponents.

            JK is saying Jozy isn’t doing enough of that and he is not fitting in. That should be pretty clear to anyone who watched the games.

  11. Very odd comment re: Josy — makes me wonder if the probem is not his play, but something else. I then JK made it clear that Donovan is on the team if he wants to be. On the Chandler question, the time is coming where he will have to fish or cut bait.

    Here’s hoping the January camp is at Home Depot – its one of the venues I can get to without breaking the bank.

    • mikeandike says:

      gotta love the double-standard:

      Klinsi on Altidore, who clearly yearns to be part of the team “I don’t speak to that guy anymore”

      on Chandler, who is a flaky, non-committal two-timer, “we’re still asking him to come and please, please play with us”

      • GW says:

        Ah, double standard! The biggest myth in sports. Of course there is a double standard. Do you think Belichik treats Brady differently from some guy who plays only on special teams? Of course he does.

        History suggests a healthy and motivated Chandler and Donovan would be very productive. History is not as kind to Jozy. In English, in order of importance, it would be LD, Chandler, Jozy.

        If you followed Verbeek, AZ’s manager, he has been very very hard on Jozy dropping him a couple of times and blasting him in the press, calling him stupid and whatnot.. And it looks like it has worked well. Who else has gotten this sort of production from Jozy.

        JK is just taking a page out of Verbeek’s book.

        • TomG says:

          Partly truemimo but Verbeek always kept in communication w Jozy (easier to do, natch, with a club manager) and always dangled the carrot to keep Jozy engaged. Yes, Jozy came off the bench for a bit but he pretty much always got some minutes to work on the things Verbeek wanted him to work on. Not calling Jozy in at all severs that link where Klinsi can mold Jozy and Jozy can show his ability to play how Klinsi wants him to.

          • Darwin says:

            I don’t think Klinsi wants to/should “mold” anyone. He chooses players that are already developed and fit his system.

            The only thing he wants to mold is their attitude, habits, and approach off of the pitch

            • TomG says:

              I was just pointing out the difference b/t Verbeek’s approach and Klinsi’s, but don’t you think it’s easier to mold attitude, habits, and approach while keeping in touch and having the player in camp rather than cutting them off?

            • OPMG says:

              I think that’s false to a point. JK has stated time and time again when talking about players that he wants to bring them into camp and work with them and see how they are up close. That suggests some type of molding to fit JK’s idea of how the USMNT should play. He’s not just calling players in and having them scrimmage all day. There’s training and practicing that takes place

          • GW says:

            JK is a national team manager.

            He doesn’t have the time or the opportunity to work with Jozy as closely and frequently as Verbeek does, as you suggest.

            But calling Jozy in denies more deserving people time and attention and rewards Jozy for being bad.

            So he is taking a page out of Verbeek’s tough love book and saying,

            ” Jozy,

            You ain’t stupid. You know what I want. If you don’t, just ask that idiot manager ( he just loves me so much doesn’t he?) of yours.

            Fix it. We both know you can. I will call you when you show you are ready. You really don’t want to miss out on the World Cup, you know. Who knows what the 2018 team will look like? And Brazilian women? Dude, don’t blow it.

            Love,
            JK”

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        Chandler hasn’t cussed out the coach, and I don’t think it’s a divided loyalties issue with Germany, he just is dealing with whether he’s motivated enough for the travel. So it’s more like a Landon situation than a Jozy situation, where you have to weigh, is he working well with the coach, does the coach worry he’s undermining him in the locker room, chemistry stuff. If Landon and Chandler said they’re in they’d be accepted back tomorrow.

  12. anon says:

    what about whitbread for CB? he needs to be called in for russia.

    • GW says:

      Is Whitbread playing regularly?

      Because if he is, and if history is any guide, as soon as he gets called up, he will pull a hammy and miss several games. Leicester will be very upset.

      You are no good to the USMNT if you constantly, consistently injured.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      For both that game and Gold Cup next year if it’s still a problem, I’d be calling in fresh faces. Whitbread IDK, but fresh faces definitely.

  13. 2tone says:

    The USMNT program could potentially of the highest winning percentage ever in a single year if they beat Russia. Something to think about.

    • 2tone says:

      And that was done mostly without Donovan.

      • GW says:

        That is a comparatively meaningless stat.

        The stat that matters is the smaller one that says the US finished first in it’s group and qualified for the Hex.

        • 2tone says:

          Comparatively meaningless by whom? You. It’s actually a very valid stat that makes it even more meaningful because it was done during qualifying.

          • TomG says:

            Tough to evaluate bc they play diff teams every year and friendlys might feature 2d or 3d string lineups. Still, hey, I’d rather be winning than losing.

            • Kevin_H says:

              Very true. But we’ve played some difficult teams, albeit friendlies: Brazil, Italy, France, Mexico. So it is no easy feat.

          • GW says:

            Just because the win percentage may be the best ever, given the wide variety of teams and situations played, it does not mean much to me. I’m very leary of getting too overconfident about such things. They usually are cited by teams that ultimately failed.

            And my opinion counts for a lot with me. I’m sure you have a very high opinion of your opinion.

            For others they can make of it what they want. As I pointed out and you acknowledged, making the Hex is the single most important thing about 2012 for the USMNT.

  14. David M says:

    I don’t know which is more absurd: ignoring the top goal scorer in the Dutch league or being patient (whatever the heck that means) with a non-American player who has proven that he has no interest in playing for the US national team.

    • Shane says:

      US Soccer not realizing that Klinsmann is an utter joke as a coach wins the blue ribbon as the most absurd, just ask the average German.

      • David M says:

        That’s exactly what I’ve been saying since his first day on the job.

        • baropbop says:

          We should have one of the top coaches in the world if we are going to get serious about our future. Klinsmann has zero track record of being a good coach. However, I definitely think that he is an upgrade from Bradley. The simple fact that he has a huge number of contacts around the world puts him in a seperate league than Arena or Bradley. I think he will be great for player development and I think he is willing to be here long term which is a major concern when hiring a top calibre coach. That being said, whoever comes after Klinsmann needs to be one of the very best there is without debate.
          It’s becoming very clear to me that his hiring was designed to increase USA soccer development across the board and not just as a tactician for the USMNT. Even just making changes to the venues selected for games is huge and shows a totally different approach than we have ever seen. That being said he’s probably better as a president of us soccer than a national team coach.

          • Shane says:

            Yes, they could have hired Klinsmann as the technical director and hired Marcello bielsa as the coach. Instead they tried to do the opposite, and Bielsa obviously didnt want to be technical director but I bet he would have accepted the head coaching position. Big loss there.

          • Rousseau says:

            “Klinsmann has zero track record of being a good coach”

            What a monumentally stupid comment. 3rd place in the World Cup…

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Jozy is not the top scorer for the US team and he disparaged the coach in public. Chandler has displayed team interest before and played very well for the teamat a need position but is struggling with the travel. Now re-calculate which one you’re more interested in.

      IMO the error vis a vis Jozy is not establishing a road map for return. Klinsi has basically explained what he wants from Landon or Chandler. But if this is an “apologize to me and the team and I’ll let you back” situation, why not be the bigger man, open the door, heal the situation. I get concerned when we start to drift from an ideal XI because of personality issues.

      • whoop-whoop says:

        LD and Chandler have performed well for the team when called and the issue with them is a pretty simple yes no question. If you are fully committed, come in, if not, stay home. He’s made it pretty clear w/ Chandler he needs an answer sooner rather than later. LD has earned the right to more leeway through a decade of commitment.

        Because he hasn’t discussed a “roadmap” to return with the media does not mean he hasn’t discussed it with Jozy. Sounds like he had discussed a roadmap to remain on the team and got a disrespectful/nasty tweet in response. Straight up- he blew it horribly and I think he knows it.

        Honestly, I don’t think there is any need to panic. This is kind of a normal process in team building which requires overcoming adversity and setting a tone regarding expectations. Writing blank checks based on potential is a bad way to go. A team at our talent level needs to be extra disciplined and cohesive and hard working as harsh truth is, we are still outclassed by the top teams in talent. Cheers.

    • GW says:

      Chandler has a US passport.

      Only Americans can have such a passport.

      Chandler is an American

  15. stargate5 says:

    Leave Donovan home. I am tired of his attitude. He aint the difference maker they need. Plus he is older now, it is time for new blood. I want other players to have a chance. It is not like we will go to the final with Donovan.

    Move on.

    • downintexas says:

      I bet you were all over his jock when he scored that goal against Algeria. Oh how quickly feeble minded fans forget.

      • SFTony says:

        I’ve hated him relentlessly since he backstabbed the Bay Area by leaving San Jose for a chance in Germany, only to change his mind a few months later and demand he goes straight to the LA Scum. I mean, fine, you’re not mentally tough enough to handle real stress away from your mommy and girl you’ve since divorced…but to go to the one team that you know is a PR disaster with the fans who grew to love him the previous five years is unforgivable. I let him know it during a corner kick in a friendly against Japan in SF years ago.

        • BrianSLO says:

          Cool, brah. I’m sure Landon really cared about what you had to say. McBride did the same thing when he came back from Fulham. Landon was LOANED to San Jose from Bayer Leverkusen, he played a few season in MLS and helped win you guys 2 MLS Cups, and then wanted to try it out again in Germany. It didn’t work this time either so he wanted to come back, and the Galaxy traded Carlos Ruiz to Dallas for the top allocation spot. Blame Alexi for trading his rights away. Get over, it. I hope he shuts you and the rest of your fellow smurfs up next week.

    • TomG says:

      I find him incredibly annoying as well but even i have to admit he does bring a unique (for USMNT) and very desirable skill set with his speed, skills, and crossing.

  16. Oranje Mike says:

    Bring Gonzalez, Berry, John and other new faces into January camp. It’s a perfect time to break in new players and not rely on a veteran heavy lineup.

    • Hogatroge says:

      The problem is, with an uncertain WCQ schedule ahead, we may have to play a tough road game early.

      If that’s the case, the January camp might feature more of the core team.

      Still, I think Gonzo should be there regardless.

  17. baropbopY says:

    Did Jozy get an enormous amount of starts that he did not deserve? Yes. Does he deserve another chance based on his current performance? Yes. That being said his (and many others) professional performance do not necessarily coincide with national team performance. There are a lot of players who overperform during national team duty and many who underperform. I don’t see how anyone can deny that Jozy has woefully underperformed for years.
    Also is this roster not public? I found Russia’s, but I can’t find the USA roster

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Klinsi tends to announce camp players a week ahead of time, perhaps this weekend or Monday, then the dress list right on top of the game. I think you saw with the last qualifiers what happens if you set out your list pretty early and then feel compelled to stick to it. He ignored Landon getting hurt, Johnson being ill, didn’t consider replacements….you’re better off seeing who finishes Sunday healthy, and I think we all know that privately he’s in contact with people letting them know where they stand anyway…..to the point where Ream knew he was on the provo list.

  18. Freegle says:

    Heres a question… Where does the line lie as to whether or not Klinsmann has been successful as the coach of this teams. Currently, I think he hasn’t. He has had historical wins in two road friendly (read: meaningless) matches but a historical loss and lackluster performances in the meaningful ones. I keep reading above that “we qualified for the hex first in our group” but is that enough? Shouldnt we dominate this opposition regardless of field conditions, officials, injuries, or whatever else people use as excuses for less-than-acceptable performances/results?

    Hypothetical…. The USA finishes 4th in the hex. We get a home and home with New Zealand which we win in extra time of the second leg. As a result, we have qualified for the World Cup, which is the ultimate goal. But is that a success? Or do we consider Kilinsmann a failure?

    Yes, results matter. But, at what point do our standards become higher? At what point to we dump all the excuses and simply say “Our players are better than their players (in many cases by a wide margin) and we should beat them regardless of time, place, etc.

    • 2tone says:

      Under Klinsmann the USMNT could potentially have the highest winning percentage in a sigle year if they beat Russia while during qualification. Think about it.

      • Freegle says:

        is it really that simple though? I guess I just can’t decide if we have success because of Klinsmann or despite him.

    • jb says:

      Well, if you want objectivity, you have to look at stats. That’s tricky with national teams because of so many variables (players available, different levels of opposition, more or less games, etc). But the single most obvious objective stat is win-loss record. In Klinnsman’s first year, we will have the highest win% ever.

      We can debate the merits of the first away wins in Mexico and Italy, or the crappy play in Jamaica and Antigua, but those are far more subjective and open to interpretation. Even having to go the whole year without Donovan is debatable as to its importance.

      My OPINION is that the team has done quite well and Klinnsman is a victim of unrealistic expectations by the fans. To be sure, Klinsi shares some blame for the unrealistic expectations by not being more honest about where we stand in the soccer world order.

  19. divers suck says:

    For JK to not even mention Jay Demerit, arguably our best defender in WC 2010, and still mention Gooch, Boca and, quite frankly, anyone else in the US pool is ludicrous! Who cares about age? Defenders notoriously play into their mid 30’s more so than midfielders and wingers. DeMerit brings adult supervision to the back line. How can Klinsmann NOT see this?

    • beachbum says:

      DeMerit studded out last night vs. the Galaxy even thou Vancouver lost. He looked as good as he ever has to me, which is pretty freakin’ good

    • GW says:

      JD is great but he isn’t the play the ball out of the back kind of CB that JK wants.

      Still, he would have eaten that punk Ruiz alive and I personally wouldn’t mind having him around.

  20. biff says:

    Dam I hate to admit it, but I basically in total agreement with GW’s comments above on the Jozy-Klinsmann spat. Jozy has not yet produced for Klinsmann while Herc Gomez has been Revelation Number One and Eddie Johnson Revelation Number Two. Klinsmann now has two good hard-working strikers who produce results, and he ahs Terrence Boyd and others eagerly awaiting in the wings for their chance. Why bring in a player who only a few weeks ago tweeted: “Love when people try to blame others for their own short comings and incompetence…” If you were coach would you want that kind of poison in your locker room. I wouldn’t.

    Imagine if a player would have tweeted something like that when Bob Bradley was USMNT coach. Would you all be crying for the poor misunderstood player who made the tweet and begging BB to bring him back on the team. I don’t think so and I think Klinsmann has a right to be sour with Jozy right now and I am happy as heck that Klinsmann was finally man enough to reveal his anger with Jozy during a press conference.

    All that said, I am a still big fan of Jozy as a player and as a person. And I do think that if he keeps his mouth (tweeting) shut and apologizes, then at at some point Klinsmann will be able to forgive and probably give Jozy another chance. But the Russia game is still too soon. Jozy needs more time to get in the proper mindset for a return to the USMNT.

    • David JS says:

      Since Klinsmann has been coach, the only game I recall Jozy starting with certainty was the loss in Jamaica, and he was lackluster that game for sure but so was the entire team after Clint scored in the 3′ or whatever. He got screwed by his club and missed a round of friendlies, and he’s gotten on a couple times in the last ten minutes. I think this whole idea that Jozy has sucked since Jurgen has been the coach is kinda flawed. Jozy was unavailable for a few games, Herc established himself, and Jozy has really not gotten a shot to earn it back (other than in Kingston, which was a disaster for the whole team). I’m not saying Jozy DESERVES to start over Herc or EJ, but I really don’t understand how he’s not even getting called in anymore. Hopefully it was just a one-off message sent to Jozy, and he comes into the Russia game with a fire in his belly.

      • TomG says:

        +1. The Italy game was his only other start this year and he played really well in that.

        • beachbum says:

          +2 the conclusion from the loudest here on Jozy being lazy and not producing in the Klinnsman era is not based on realistic observations. The whole topic has become ridiculous now without objectivity. I’m just glad EJ scored that stoppage time goal to save Coach and the team from having to answer…thank goodness.

          And I like Herc, EJ, others too and how Klinnsman continues to search the pool…love that! Not disparaging any of them, just very disappointed that the current state is a rift and that as Coach continues to not call him in the rift grows. That sucks.

          • TomG says:

            agreed – I have no problem starting Herc/EJ, etc., but I’d like to see Jozy connected and Klinsi having him in camp to guide him rather than cutting him off as it seems he is doing. That hasn’t worked with Jozy in the past and he is our best pure striker even if he may not currently fit into the present lineup.

            • biff says:

              I have had some grave doubts about Klinsman’s judgment now and then, especially in the September and October qualifiers. But on the issue of Jozy, I can honestly say, my hand on a stack of you know what, that I categorically trust Klinsmann’s judgment. If Klinsmann believes Jozy will improve the team, then I have no dobut Jozy will be called up. At this point we (the fans with no inside information) do not know how Jozy is perceived by USMNT players. Are they mad at Jozy for his stupid tweet? Do they think that during the Guatemala game in June that Jozy stopped running on purpose so Michael Bradley could not pass to him in front of on open goal for an easy score?

              I don’t know for sure, but common sense tells me that any player who would tweet for the whole world to see about his coach ( “Love when people try to blame others for their own short comings and incompetence…”) probably now and then had grumbled about the coach in the locker room or in the rec room at the hotel or over on the corner of the field during practice. Any coach with any sense at all would cut that sort of cancer out of the equation. And let’s not forgot there were some players with fan followings in the previous USMNT regime who were jettisoned and never heard from again.

              Klinsmann is not stupid and he certainly wants to succeed and I am certain he is weighing carefully the pros and cons of having Jozy on the team. If Jozy toes the line and apologizes and can gain back Klinsmann’s trust and the trust of his teammates, then Klinsmann will probably give him another chance to show if he deserves a spot on the team. But Russia is too soon and my feeling is that from here on out we are not going to see Klinsmann play Mr. Nice Guy anymore — hallelujah — he is going to do what it takes to earn three points every single game home and away.

  21. biff says:

    As for Timothy Chandler, sounds as if Klinsmann has drawn a line in the sand and let Chandler know that if does not agree to be cap-tied by a certain date, then the door to him to the USMNT for WC 2014 closes. If correct, that is good news. Good to see Klinsmann toughen up a bit instead of trying always to be Mr. Nice Guy. I think he learned some valuable lessons after the shock loss in Kingston, Jamaica, and the struggle in the rain in Antigua, and that is, if he wants to avoid the humiliation of his life (and loss of job) by failing to qualify for WC 2014 as head coach of the USMNT, then he has to make some tough decisions (like not taking the risk of calling a player to the team who publicly bad-mouthed him).

  22. biff says:

    There is an opinion piece out out today on another well-known soccer Web site where the writer is suggesting that Klinsmann name Landon Donovan captain. That writer notes that in August Donovan said: “I’ve always wanted to be the captain of the national team. I think that’s a great honor. The few times that I have in my career, I’ve played well and the team has responded well. But I’m also very appreciative of what Carlos has done over the past few years.”

    That sounds to me like a man who is applying for a job. Give the armband, Klinsi.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Why do you hand the armband to someone with motivational and reliability issues?

      And why would you publicly de-grade Boca before he demotes himself? If Boca wants to give it up, fine, but taking the band from a starter who might be losing it but still has his spot? IDK.

    • Bobb says:

      Donovan is in the same age group as Bocanegra.
      Give him the armband for Russia or something as a gesture, but the next long-term captain needs to be Michael Bradley.

      • whoop-whoop says:

        Donovan may be in the same age group, but the likelihood of him playing a pivotal role in Brazil are much greater than with Boca. Love the guy- he has been a mainstay as a player and captain…. but his days in a starting role are about over.

        Bradley sure does seem to fit the mold of a team captain, but he’s still quite young… handing it over to him to head the next generation post Brazil seems a better plan to me but… this is all based purely on public persona which can often times be deceiving- none of us are really privy to the intricacies of the locker room dynamic between these players.

  23. vik says:

    I really hope this isn’t a big problem. I kind of hope that JK talked to Jozy’s club coach, Verbeek, and they both feel like Jozy is still growing and can accomplish much more. Verbeek loves the tough love, maybe he’s telling JK to pressure from the nats side too. Maybe they’re seeing if they can’t mold a top class striker out of Altidore’s promising potential.

  24. bryan says:

    i like the idea of using the January camp (depending on the schedule) to give some of the U-23 guys a chance at some games since they missed out of the Olympics.

    i understand JK is upset with Jozy, but i hope he reaches out to Jozy and they start to put aside the stuff that has happened. we really do need Jozy and while i understand discipline, we need to get Jozy back in.

    as for Chandler and LD, i like the patience. we need both players.

  25. Joel says:

    JK needs to talk with Jozy and give him an opportunity to make things right.
    In regards to Chandler make him decide by Feb if he is committed…it would suck
    for the current guys if he says yes in later in qualifying rounds in 2013
    when we are hopefully close to qualifying. Its not fair to the other guys.

    • GW says:

      Everyone is making way too much out of JK’s comments as well as the Russia game.

      What matters the most, as it relates to Jozy’s USMNT future is how Jozy does with AZ. He is very likely to get sold to a bigger club soon if he continues to show well and that will have a greater impact on his USMNT future than all this bickering.

      Jozy has been down this path before so everyone should just relax and let him go about winning his spot back. The effort and process, regardless of the outcome, can only benefit Jozy and the USMNT.

  26. Byrdman says:

    Personally, I have been in JK’s corner since the hire. I was HIGHLY in favor of relieving BB of his position and responsibilities. I have had some concerns, usually in player selection(but this is normally for bench guys). But at the end of the day, I think he is trying to do what he said, change the way we play/change the culture of American Soccer/Futbol.
    – We do play the ball out of the back, much more often.
    – We do occasionally string a large number of passes together and hold possession.
    – We do have guys competing for positions and playing time on the team.

    To me the reason this is all a big discussion is simple: He appeared pretty cocky about how quickly HE could turn this all around. Maybe he was naive and didn’t really understand how bad technically some of these guys were. Or mis-read some guys, thinking they would be more willing to change. Without those mistakes, he would be the guys that led the team to two surprising upsets on normally difficult “foreign soil”. Granted the games were friendlies, but aren’t we happy about beating both of those guys at their place?

    Some are complaining about JOZY situation, but look at Altidore’s career. JK is not the first guy to feel that Jozy needed a kick in the shorts to get him working harder. I’m thrilled that Jozy is scoring and a key player on his team. But he has not scored and been a key contributor at the international level lately. He hasn’t earned the starts, so I don’t think we should use a lack of playing time as an excuse. Isn’t it quite possible that JK sees a little more than we have at practice. The tough love definitely worked for Jozy with his club coach. Let’s give JK a little time. By the way, publicly criticizing your coach/boss is NEVER NEVER helpful to your career. If nothing else it sends a message to other employers that you are a problem child that doesn’t know how to handle the struggles of life.

    Finally, someone earlier posted that we should be dominating the guatemalas and A & B’s of the world despite conditions or players available. Well nobody does that!! Check the books on Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Netherlands, etc… all of the best, and we certainly are not in that neighborhood, struggle from time to time with weak opponents. That is why you have to play the game. Just my two cents.

    • Adi Hartfeil says:

      I agree with your two good cents and have two of my own. One, Klinsi has definitely introduced a better team strategy to the USMNT. Two, he is very experienced in soccer and will use his world soccer experience to strengthen the growth of US men and youth soccer. Finally, Jozy needs to become a better player for the national team, the toughest test. Actually, I like a hustler vs just a finisher. That is the same reason why Klose is the better striker for Germany than Gomez who last year had the highest goal record in the Bundesliga. One last comment, Loew who many thought was Klinsi’s main assistant just went “down” (4:4) in a WCQ in Berlin against little Sweden, after leading 4:0 in the second half. Personally I would blame the defense and the coach for this blunder.

      • GW says:

        Good post but I would take issue with the “little Sweden” comment.

        They are a very solid team with one exceptional player. Clearly, German took their foot off the gas and Zlatan’s team are just good enough to make you pay if you do that.