Klinsmann discusses recent criticisms, captaincy, and more on eve of crucial qualifier

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Photo by ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

The U.S. Men’s National Team and their fans have spent a good portion of the week discussing the Sporting News story from Monday that cited several unnamed players and sources being critical of head coach Jurgen Klinsmann and his unconventional methods.

On Thursday, Klinsmann finally responded to that story in detail.

Speaking in his final press conference before the U.S. takes on Costa Rica in a World Cup qualifier at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Friday night, Klinsmann said he was not concerned by the criticisms in that aforementioned story. In fact, Klinsmann called it a ‘great sign’ for soccer in the United States.

“It shows that people care. It shows that people really question things, that people here maybe get worried about,” said Klinsmann. “You take that as a positive sign. Now, I always said that we’re a team in transition and I always said between two cycles, there’s a lot, a lot of work for the coaches and the team as well.

“That being said, it’s normal that we have to move players out of comfort zone, we have to introduce them to different methods because we want to make them better at the end of the day. If we do it exactly the same way everything was done before, we’re not improving. It’s our jobs to get these guys to another level and that’s only done by introducing different methods.

“I don’t have any problems with that. I prefer if people have any type of problems with me, come to me and talk to me about it. … It doesn’t distract us at all from what we’re here for. Our focus is purely Costa Rica and then hopefully after the three points we want to go to Mexico and give them a real game.”

Klinsmann also touched on the pressure he is feeling heading into this pair of qualifiers, saying that he is unfazed with having to meet the growing expectations placed on him and the U.S. side while also admitting that he is not here to please all critics and fans.

“I think it’s fascinating and the opportunity is there tomorrow night to correct the result in Honduras from a couple of weeks ago, get ourselves on the right track and get points to hopefully in order to make everybody happy,” said Klinsmann. “But on the other side, I’m not here to make everybody happy. I’m here to kind of challenge people, here to kind of improve people. By doing that, I might move out some people, maybe (media) as well, out of your comfort zones.

“That’s what I’m doing, that’s what I keep doing, because I want to make it better. Taking some risks on the road, taking some negative results on the road, that happens, but by doing that you can only get to another level. It’s all good with me.”

Another criticism that Klinsmann discussed was one that LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made recently in an interview with ESPN. Arena said he did not think the U.S. should rely so much on foreign-born American players, as has been the case during Klinsmann’s tenure.

Naturally, Klinsmann disagreed with Aren’s stance.

“I don’t look at it as a criticism. It’s just his opinion. That’s totally cool with me,” said Klinsmann. “I think the world is changing and it’s a global game. I believe that Americans are Americans, no matter if they grow up in Japan, South Africa or Buenos Aires.

“Our job is to identify the best talents with American passports and see if they are good enough to come into that elite group. By finding those answers, the only way to do that is inviting them in and see how they do in our environment and give them the opportunity. … I think it’s our responsibility to make sure that we don’t lose the next Giuseppe Rossi, who grew up in New Jersey but plays now for Italy.”

Klinsmann touched on his decision to name Dempsey captain, as well. The 48-year-old said that Dempsey will now have to be more involved in how to help manage things than he was in the past, and not just on the field but off it as well.

“The captaincy for Clint is big,” said Klinsmann. “It gives him a sense of coming closer connected to the head coach, discussing things, talking about certain strategies, certain things you want to do, understanding how important it is to build an entire group, an entire environment towards a huge World Cup.

“It is something that fills you with pride. … It makes you a bit more understand many things off the field than if you just only focus yourself on the field, so it’s a big role.”

Klinsmann also talked about left-sided players Brek Shea and DaMarcus Beasley. The German-born head coach had a lot of kind words about Beasley – who is three caps away from reaching the coveted 100-mark – but was not too forthcoming when talking about Shea, who revealed earlier in the week that he is still recovering from the foot injury that plagued him in 2012.

“DaMarcus Beasley, he’s an outstanding character,” said Klinsmann. “He’s always there when you need him, he’s always there for the team, he’s a pure giver to the program and he’s versatile. He can play midfield, he can play left back if you want him to play left back, he can play all over the place. He’s always been part of our picture and bigger group.”

“Brek is trying really hard to get into a rhythm and we evaluate that with every session and then here and there see that he’s not playing always full games, so we keep that in mind,” said Klinsmann. “But it’s already great that he’s here and he’s back in being part of the team after his switch from [FC Dallas] to Stoke. It’s great to have him here.”

—–

What do you think of Klinsmann’s comments regarding the criticisms against him? Agree with him that the U.S. should look for American players no matter where they are born? Think Dempsey will fill the role as captain well?

Share your thoughts below.

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164 Responses to Klinsmann discusses recent criticisms, captaincy, and more on eve of crucial qualifier

  1. Dan M says:

    Lets judge this over the long term, shall we?

    • ChiTown says:

      This.

      Even more this because he was hired to blow up the culture–and he still got a string of great results.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        Brazil L
        Canada T
        Antigua & Barbuda W
        Guatemala T
        Mexico W(!)
        Jamaica L
        Jamaica W
        Antigua & Barbuda W
        Guatemala W
        Russia T
        Canada T
        Honduras L

        Since the Scotland game last summer. String of great results? You mean some isolated good showings, or something else.

        • Al says:

          Why is there an exclamation mark by the Mexico game as if either team played well. Mexico played like CRAP and still controlled the game and shots on goal. We played in a half assed Azteca and scored a luck goal. On paper sure thats all fine and dandy but wait until tuesday when it COUNTS to see what we do. If people truly get this excited over a friendly where the conditions dont make a WCQ then we truly are doomed.

          • Hogatroge says:

            While the US definitely scored an upset, that goal was 0% luck. It was excellent combination play between Shea, Boyd, and Orozco-Fiscal.

            Plus, the W is symbolic and reflects the fact that Mexico’s fortress is no longer as intimidating or impregnable as it has been.

            Stop being a Debbie Downer. It hardly makes you unique around here.

      • Jim says:

        Short, sweet, and dead right!!!!

    • Paul R says:

      Serious question: are you ok with not qualifying?

      • Paul Gascoigne says:

        England didn’t qualify for 1994 and we’re still the best team in the world.

      • Clyde Frog says:

        Serious answer: Paul, you got a point? Make it. The original poster’s comment was valid. Your question seems irrelevant.

        • Paul R says:

          The point is that you will constantly hear the pro-JK people say that it’s a long term process and we shouldn’t judge him on immediate results. I just want to know what that means.

          If not qualifying for 2014 is unacceptable he has to be judged on these games.

          • Clyde Frog says:

            The US is going to qualify. That has little to do with coaching, and everything to do with the math involved in the qualifying process. The US team could deteriorate significantly from where it is now, and still put together enough points to get 4th place and an easy match up with New Zealand.

            • Fred Q says:

              He mainly needs a good tactics assistant like he had in with Germany. Hopefully Sunil will make this happen and Jurgs will be humble enough to accept it.

            • Stiv says:

              He mainly needs a good tactics assistant like he had in with Germany. Hopefully Sunil will make this happen and Jurgs will be humble enough to accept it.

              • CroCajun says:

                He mainly needs a good tactics assistant like he had in with Germany. Hopefully Sunil will make this happen and Jurgs will be humble enough to accept it.

          • brent says:

            I think Paul R has a point… We didn’t hire a coach to get us out of our comfort zone.. we hired a coach to get us to the World Cup in Brazil.

            The biggest problem I had with the Honduras game, was how poorly organized we looked. We better be ready tonight, if not we can all continue to judge how Klinsmann is utilizing our personnel..

          • The Imperative Voice says:

            The problem I have is I see neither (a) progress towards exploitation of the new system nor (b) ruthless achievement of superior qualifying results. We look lost in the system and/or unwilling to staff it in a way that would make us more dangerous, eg, three DMs when we do have attacking mid talent. And if you’re a results person then I think Sampson/Arena/Bradley could coast through quali better than this, even if they played uglyball to do it.

            Someone brought up England and the difference is we only have to be 4th in our group. Have too many Hondurases or Jamaicas in their quali system and you’ll be lucky to be in a 2nd place playoff. Less forgiving. Our system, we could lose the next two, turn it around in June, and probably still have a good shot.

        • Paul Miller says:

          I thought Paul R’s point was clear and on target. Yes, growth for the long-term. But how much ‘out of comfort zones’ are we going to see players for the next nine hex games?

          Granted, the situation tomorrow is one of trying to back-fill injuries. And that tomorrow’s line-up will be a new look isn’t JK’s fault. Still, there’s no getting around the fact that he’s never played the same starters twice, now entering his third calendar year.

          And then you get into the 4-whatever-whatever issues. A national team is like an all-star team. It has to have a certain tactical simplicity, unless you’re Ajax/Dutch 40 years ago (same players, different jerseys), because your players are always going to be more familiar with other teammates and systems.

          • Seriously? says:

            I don’t think Paul R’s point was clear at all. Someone says we should judge over the long term, as if to say, it’s too soon to judge whether JK is a success or failure. Paul R asks if we’re ok with not qualifying, which seems unrelated to the initial statement. Of course nobody will be happy if the US doesn’t qualify, so the question seems about as pertinent as asking if people like breathing or eating food. So was the point that we should be judging already, or after tonight’s game, or was he asking something else?

            As for the criticism about the lineups, that to me is unfair (not saying you were agreeing with the critique, you just referenced it). It’s a national team not a club playing league matches every week. In a national team, games are far more spread out, so lineups will vary far more than a club line up will. Plus, most of those games were friendlies that didn’t matter, where he was experimenting with different players, purposely playing with many line ups. Yes, when the games matter, you want to see more consistency, but it’s not a problem if one or 2 players change, especially since, as we know, there have been so many injuries.

      • ChiTown says:

        Dude.

        We lost a game we expected to lose. WE’RE ONE GAME IN. We just finished first in our group qualifying over a very good Jamaican team.

        • Paul R says:

          Don’t rewrite history, no one expected to lose that game. We’d been to Honduras twice previously and won both games. The way you qualify for the WC is tying on the road and winning at home. The only game we expect to lose during qualifying is in Azteca.

          • ChiTown says:

            That’s bull.

            We’ve lost in both Mexico and Costa Rica for 3 WCQ cycles in a row.

            Every cycle there are guaranteed losses. This cycle it’s Honduras, which has become CONCACAF’s third best team.

            In 2002 we lost 3 and tied 2 and still didn’t land in the playoff spot.

            • R U ManU? says:

              Thank you for providing the historical perspective that some seem to miss/forget.
              +1

              • Jim says:

                Ditto —- and here’s some Wikipedia on the BS regarding JK’s term at Bayern——-He (Klinsmann) managed the German national team to a third-place finish in the 2006 World Cup. On 12 July 2006, Klinsmann officially announced that he would step down as Germany’s coach after two years in charge and be replaced by assistant coach Joachim Löw. He took over as coach of Bayern Munich in July 2008, when Ottmar Hitzfeld stepped down to take over as the head coach of the Swiss National Team. On 27 April 2009 he was released early,[3] even though he had won five of the previous seven league games and was only three points behind league leader VfL Wolfsburg. In the jointly initiated reforms at Bayern it emerged there was a severe clash of opinions between coach and club management.[4] On 29 July 2011, the US Soccer Federation, named Klinsmann the coach of the USMNT.

          • Kosh says:

            OK so we lost ONE game that we were supposed to win. IT IS STILL ONE GAME!!

            Sometimes I cannot tell if this is chicken little on roids or plan JK hate. We have always lost games in the hex. This is nothing new. The date that that game fell on was always a scary date for me, because the team would not have enough time to prep for a road CONCACAF qualifier. All those points – to anyone who is objectively looking at tings – made that an edgy, if not iffy game to win.

            To hear some people on here they make it seem like “hey, it just [insert CONCACAF team that is not Mexico here], we should be able to show up and have them roll over for us.

            News flash – we are not that great (we are a team in transition) and our competition is improving. Most of these teams are maturing and we are rebuilding. Does that mean I don’t want to qualify? Heck, no! But does losing the first game all of a sudden mean we’re out? That’s just hysterical nonsense…or perhaps something else.

            Last I checked – only Brazil has qualified so far.

            • Paul Miller says:

              If we lose tomorrow, then we’re probably looking at 0 points and last on the table, 30 percent into the hex.

              We’ll make up some points over the summer home games, but still we shouldn’t assume the qualification is in the bag because we only have to get to fourth. Actually having to play NZ would be a little embarrassing, since we’ve grown accustomed to being first or second in the confederation.

              But, okay, let’s say fourth is alright. Which two teams do we beat? Probably Panama and Jamaica, right? Jamaica has often underplayed expectations and outright athletic ability, but that last game at Azteca has to make you wonder if those underachieving days are ending. And even Panama isn’t a pushover (plus a very hard place to play).

              • Kosh says:

                …and your scenario is based on the premise that because we lost our first game to Honduras…away…it is most plausible if not highly likely that we will now play NZ from the 4 spot?

                Look, I like playing what-ifs just as much as the next guy but say we just let them play the games, shall we? We can still lose the next two games and there are many combinations that see us qualifying without having to play NZ.

                We are not that good, but I also don’t choose to believe that we are as bad as most on here make us out to be.

              • Ed says:

                Kosh, its not that people are saying we’re so bad, its that were playing waaaay worse than we should be.

              • Rory Miller says:

                New Zealand looked pretty good last world cup.
                Keep in mind Mexico should be qualified by the time they play their last two games. I’d say their b squad could gift Panama three points to hurt the US.
                If we lose tonight all of you will be rethinking your longterm vision.

            • Ed says:

              Kosh, its not that people are saying we’re so bad, its that were playing waaaay worse than we should be.

        • james says:

          lucky to win that group.. Jamaica Unde rperformed when they came back here to play us. We are not looking good right now so dont let the group performance fool you .

          • ChiTown says:

            Jamaica underperformed? They were awful in Jamaica. They scored on two wondergolazo freekicks. They were otherwise awful.

            • james says:

              i dont blame the other guy for lol .. dude Jamaican ran over us like a Freight Train in Kingston and still gave us some trouble at home, especially that Rudold Austin guy . Wake up we need to start playing better and our Honduran debacle further illustrates that fact. Right now Costa Rica is not the team of past times so they should be beaten .

          • Kosh says:

            LOL

            I need to adjust call Verizon. I am quite sure that I am watching completely different games.

        • Dennis says:

          The only game we expected to lose was in Mexico. Sure, there were likely to be surprises on the road, but one hoped it would be a couple ties, not a loss in the first game. Still, it is not a disaster unless things really fall apart. Getting 4th and having to play a home and away series to get into WC2014 is still a negative view of things. But like I said the only game we expect to lose is in Mexico.

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          We won away in Honduras to clinch last cycle. Getting occasional away results like that is what has differentiated us from the pack.

          • The Imperative Voice says:

            Plus, the whole JK salespitch was we needed to take the next step up, that the domestic coaches couldn’t do more than get us solidly through quali. I didn’t think that meant making quali more entertaining….I assumed that meant surpassing Mexico as regional #1 and being untouchable, ie, winning at Azteca in quali and not even thinking about losing in Honduras.

      • Lorenzo says:

        He is hired to coach this team, right now. If it was to oversea the youth development or framework of soccer in the US he should have gotten one of those positions.

        His job is to qualify us for the World Cup. And with the fragileness of the game’s exposure in this country- not qualifying would do REALLY bad damage. If we didn’t qualify I don’t think there is enough good stuff Klinsmann could do to make up for it. We would come back from it, but it will be back to “US sucks, they’re a joke, it’s not a sport for them”.

        • Shane says:

          No he wasnt. He wanted control over the whole show and he got it. He wants to transform the whole system, but a big part of that appears to be bringing in players that have come through the German system. He says he is pushing the players, bringing them out of their comfort zone in order to get them to the next level. Well when you ask for control of the whole shebang shouldnt he be doing that with players from the American system? Otherwise what was the point of him wanting control beyond just coaching the senior team. Why are we paying him $2.5 million to push and develop players that are already in a system of the level the US aspires to? They arent even better players than ones we developed domestically and they havent been held to the same standard for call-ups by him. It’s ludicrous and Arena is spot on in his comments.

      • Zigmo says:

        No. But after thinking about it, he mainly needs a good ttics assistant like he had in with Germany. Hopefully Sunil will make this happen and Jurgs will be humble enough to accept it.

      • Argy says:

        No. But after thinking about it, he mainly needs a good tactics assistant like he had in with Germany. Hopefully Sunil will make this happen and Jurgs will be humble enough to accept it.

        • Stiv says:

          Sorry about the repeat comments. Kept getting held up for moderation so I tried a couple different names, lol.

      • Dan says:

        seriously? we have to place 3rd out of six to move forward…I’d be concerned is we came out with 0 points..but adversity breeds commitment and we love being the underdog…they’ll be out for blood tomorrow

      • Jim says:

        Yes I am! In fact it would allow us to bypass the current pool entirely and begin immediately to focus on our real future. With 2 or 3 exceptions, the current pool is over the hill or disposable.

    • dan says:

      thank you! im so tired of all the haters, give him time

  2. Judging Amy says:

    Good response.

  3. Ed says:

    Weird comment about Rossi i thought..

    • Todd says:

      I think it’s a very appropriate comment, although the way it was integrated into the article makes it sound odd. Here’s my thinking:

      Arena said effectively that the USMNT should prioritize homegrown players ahead of foreign-born Americans. I can see his logic: the USMNT for him is a carrot to entice young soccer players in the US to vie for. He thinks that if you make them compete with foreign players it won’t be a level playing field because those foreign-born players aren’t helping the sport in the US directly.

      Klinsmann has a different take: Having the best USMNT possible is, in itself, the biggest driver of interest in the US. Additionally, he thinks that insulating native players from their foreign-born compatriots does not do much to elevate their game. In fact, it’s a very “American” mindset that Klinsmann is supporting: let everyone compete and the winners will deserve to be here and set a good example for future players.

      I tend to agree with Jurgen about this and I think Sunil Gulati does, too. We needed American coaches to coddle and cultivate an US-against-the-World mentality in the past to be competitive. Now, we don’t want to be just competitive, we want to be dominant…and that mindset only comes with continually challenging one’s previous learnings.

      • Ed says:

        Well Jurgen seems to imply that we somehow just let Rossi go, correct me if its different, but i thought he pretty much had decided at an early age that no matter what he was going to play for Italy if given the opportunity.

        • WG says:

          That’s pretty much my understanding of Rossi’s situation. Perhaps Jurgen feels that Rossi wasn’t recruited with enough vigor to play for the USMNT.

          • malkin says:

            I think he’s just pointing out that it goes both ways…ya win some and ya lose some, and we want to win more great talents than we lose.

            • MFP says:

              Exactly. Be happy when you get them. Be sad when you lose them. But dont’t be angry when they choose you.

        • flagermunsen says:

          This is a calculated counter punch at Arena. In 2006 cycle Rossi was young and trying to break into the line up at his club (I believe it was Man U at the time.) There was a lot of questioning whether the USA should press to get Rossi into the program. Who knows what happened out of the public eye, but that is when Arena went public and repeatedly took jabs at Rossi (paraphrasing) ‘we aren’t going to chase guys who can even get minutes for their club teams.’ In other words, if he does’t come kiss the ring, there is no hope for him to be in the program. As time went on, Rossi’s career was in ascendency and Italy actually noticed him. He took advantage of his opportunity with Italy once they finally noticed in 2010 qualifying cycle and to his credit, made the most of it. I’m not saying Il Bruce was wrong at the time given the circumstances, but it sure would have been nice to have him on our 2010 team– assuming he would have wanted to be there.

          • chris_thebassplayer says:

            It is a jab at Arena. Prior to Arena making the comments you mentioned above, there was a hard press to try to convince Rossi to play for the US. Arena was involved, and I believe met his dad to discuss the matter. It’s a subtle dig that Arena couldn’t do enough on his watch to keep Rossi from slipping through US fingers. Of course, Rossi later stated that Italy was always his first choice.

            • Dan says:

              Back story is that the coach insulted his father and the attitude was screw you if you live here and don’t want to play for us…

      • Ed says:

        And surely Jurgen knows that to go from a competitive team to a dominant one, it takes a few generations and tons and tons of work at the domestic youth level. Jurgen’s job, despite what he and/or others may seem to suggest, is not to transform the US system at that fundamental of a level, its to coach the freaking senior team and qualify us for the WC. People always say that a nat’l coach should only be for one cycle. If we are to believe Jurgen’s “vision”, thats like a 20 year project.

        • Nate Dollars says:

          “Jurgen’s job, despite what he and/or others may seem to suggest, is not to transform the US system at that fundamental of a level, its to coach the freaking senior team and qualify us for the WC.”

          i think you’ve hit the nail on the head. it’s not that his ideas are awful, it’s that ussf hired him for the wrong job. i always thought he would be a great technical director for us, where he could implement his grand vision behind the scenes, without the ticking clock of world cup cycles.

          (with bielsa my dream choice for 2014 coach, incidentally.)

        • Dan says:

          Already influencing the u20’s on down…22 new soccer academies opened this month thanks to JK’s efforts those that don’t adapt to the new system will be forgotten

          • Ed says:

            Again its not JKs job to open up academies. If thats his specialty, make him technical director, not head coach.

          • chris says:

            Hahaha none of that is jurgens doing. Do you remember the the u20’s with jozy? Miles better than this team. What about the olympics? If jk has been responsible for the good he should be held accountable for the bad as well. Not that it matters because anybody that knows youth soccer knows jk hasn’t changed sh!t

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        No his argument as a MLS coach is that there were players right now in the domestic league who could help the team, being squeezed out by the current set, who include Germans. Very Zimmermann if you read senior NT for U23. Zimmermann basically made the same point for college players, which was that he thought there were US-born as good as the U23 campers. Odd comment for a German-based but hey, he might have first hand belief.

        The truth of the matter depends on whether you believe we have latent unused domestic talent. I tend to believe both that there is a Yanks Abroad syndrome — the mere fact you are abroad makes your candidacy sexier — but that we have given a lot of opportunity to domestics nonetheless. Look at this callin. Ton of Cupcakers. Worst possible time to make the Shunned MLS argument. Try Russia game.

    • Mensrea says:

      I thought that was clearly a shot at Arena, at last from the way it was put in the article.

      Arena is (sort of) criticizing the current trend of recruiting players and Klinsi is pointing out that, you know, recruiting players is perhaps a better tact than alienating them.

      For those who somehow don’t know:

      “We’re not chasing around 18-year-old players that can’t get games for their club team and tell me they want to play for Italy.”

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        It might be a shot but since Arena was on the record, the journo likely provoked the fist fight. “What do you think of what he had to say….”

  4. Excellency says:

    Klinsmann made a comment that illustrates perfectly the difference I have with him.

    He said it was his responsibility not to lose the next Guiseppe Rossi.

    No, no, no. It is his responsibility to be asolutely sure that Rossi does NOT get on the team.

    He still doesnt get it. He doesnt get it because he doesnt want to get it. It would interfere with his dreamy idea of the team he will field in Brazil. Don Quixote was never cured of his outdated, romantic ideas and J.Klinsmann will not be either. We need a modern manager in tune with the times and the changing nature of the game in America not some guy that time has passed by.

    • Lil' Zeke says:

      Wha?

      • Nate Dollars says:

        i think excellency’s point is that:

        if someone would rather play for another team (like rossi did), we shouldn’t be trying to get them on our team. we should only have players that have the usa as their first choice.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      We have a history of recruiting dual nationals.

      It makes us a better team.

      We would be silly to let them go, and in this day and age part of how you compete is being more successful at keeping them than the next team.

      Period.

      • White Kix says:

        In my view, there is a very big difference in dual nationals that move to the US (usually at a young age and are ingrained in our community, culture, soccer, etc…) like Feilhaber, Adu, Mastroini, Ramos, Wegerle, Clavijo, etc.. and dual nationals that are born and raised outside of the US like Chandler, Johnson, Jones, Boyd, Johnson, Dooley, Stewart, Regis, Wagner, Mason.

        For me, this idea that we have had tons of dual nationals over the last 20 years is skewed because it lumps these two groups together. If you look only at the group that was born AND raised outside of the US, you are left with Wagner and Mason, who never played a big role with the team, and Regis, Dooley and Stewart. Regis was part of the problem in 98 (Not him as a person, but the situation), and Dooley and Stewart are long time contributors who no one would question their commitment to the US. Dooley now lives in the US. Plus, in the early 90’s when the US didn’t have a real league, I assume the players would inherently respect someone with experience in Europe, where as now, we have plenty of players playing in Europe. If those guys who were born and raised outside of the US had an American flag on their bedroom wall and grew up dreaming about playing for the US (Like Rossi did for Italy), then their commitment is clear. If they grew up dreaming about playing for Germany, Mexico, etc.., then their commitment should be questioned.

        I assume all of the current group of German-Americans on the team grew up hoping to play for Germany. Also, I assume one or two of them will end up as long time, committed contributers to the US, like Dooley and Stewart. But I think there needs to be more of a vetting process for those players born and raised outside of the US, and they should not be chased in the manner Chandler was.

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          I don’t get the argument. The NT is basically an all star team. If I can get better all stars, I do it. Plenty of domestics are getting their chance, and it should be let the best men win.

          After all, IMO, without the dual nationals this would be a weak pool right now. There are a handful of strong guys like Dempsey, Bradley, and Howard, who without the Germans would be playing with people like Beckerman, Morrow, et al. In fact, the current backline situation underlines what happens when some of the elite players or dual nationals aren’t involved…..weak sauce.

          The argument that dual nationals are squeezing out domestics is better made at the youth age group level. That’s where primary development occurs. And even then I’d have to see someone make the case. I don’t see it. I buy that on individual cases certain MLS players get robbed versus some foreign based guy who’s not actually that good. I don’t think Kljestan is worth a hoot, for instance.

          But is there really some thoroughgoing conspiracy against natives? I don’t see it. What it is, is the basic fact that if you don’t earn your job someone else will take it, and it might be Geoff Cameron who grew up here or it might be Tim Chandler who didn’t. And if we have dual nationals, some will run people out of jobs. That’s how it works.

          • chris says:

            ———-Altidore—Gomez—————
            –Shea——Dempsey——Donovan–
            —————–Bradley———————-
            Lichaj-Gonzo-Cameron-Cherundolo
            ——————Howard———————

            Fwds: Altidore, Gomez, E Johnson, Pontius, Agudelo

            Mids: Shea, Dempsey, Donovan, Bradley, Beasley, Edu, O’Brien, Zusi, Gatt, Beckerman, Gyau, Kljestan, Davis, Corona

            Defs: Lichaj, Pearce, Gonzo, Cameron, John, Goodson, Besler, Parke, Boca, Cherundolo

            GKs: Howard, Guzan, Rimando, Hamid

            You can make a pretty solid squad out of this pool

  5. Darwin says:

    Read: “I think it’s our responsibility to make sure that we don’t lose the next Giuseppe Rossi, who grew up in New Jersey [where Bruce is from] but [left] for Italy [on Bruce's watch].

  6. Thebumswillalwayslose says:

    If only Klinsmann was as good with tactics as he is with press conferences……

    Interesting comments about Beasley. Wonder if “he can play left back if you want him to play left back” is a bit of foreshadowing?

    • Todd says:

      I wouldn’t be surprised if he utilizes Beasley as a winger to provide two-way support. No one on the team is as much of a workhorse as Beasley and the USMNT will need it against Costa Rica with a makeshift back four.

    • g-dub says:

      Exactly. This guy is seeming more and more like a politician. Masterful spin – positive energy. I’d rather have a hard ass no nonsense dick back who knows how to lead a team to win games.

  7. ChiTown says:

    Great response.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      standard response, i thought. much of it was the same exact stuff he said in the straus article.

      one thing that i take issue with, is his straw man of “If we do it exactly the same way everything was done before, we’re not improving.” no one’s asking him to do things the same exact way, or to always keep people in their ‘comfort zone’–it just seemed like some of the players never knew what the hell he expected of him.

      • Ed says:

        agree, predictable response.

      • Ninho says:

        +1. You can push people but still have a system. If we played ‘Total Football’ that sure as hell would put people out of their comfort zones. But it still requires an understanding of the Xs and Os, which Klinsmann simply lacks. It’s a complete straw man.

        Also, Klinsmann is operating in this alternative universe where only the players are responsible for winning and losing. I don’t see him taking any responsibility. If we lose to Costa Rica and Mexico, he may find that he’s sorely mistaken.

    • Lil' Zeke says:

      Standar great response

  8. THomas says:

    He literally couldn’t have said anything, any better than he did. Remember, he went through the same thing on a MUCH larger scale before a World Cup being hosted by a country where soccer is MUCH bigger. He was criticized heavily during the WC 2006 build up in Germany. He knows how to handle this and bring a young, inexperienced international team together and produce when it matters.

    Has he ever lost a game that matters yet? I know all qualifiers ‘matter.’ But when it’s been on the line, he’s always produced. Thus far. I have total faith he will continue to do so. And on top of that, he handles everything with absolute class.

    • Ed says:

      “I have total faith he will continue to do so. And on top of that, he handles everything with absolute class.”

      Its good to be optimistic, but what have you seen from the recent body of work that gives that faith? Especially considering our backline is going to be even more shaky than the last game (which we all know how that went), plus behind them will be a keeper who has never played a crucial USMNT game ever. I have faith in our player’s ability to get the job done, just not in our coaches ability to put them in the best position to win.

  9. WG says:

    Sounds like Shea will be a late substitute, at best.

    • Neruda says:

      in the mexico game if his foot is feeling better.

      • WG says:

        While I’m sorry that Brek is still suffering effects from his injury, it is a cold comfort that my eyes didn’t deceive me in his appearances for Stoke. It also sounds like JK won’t endanger Brek’s career to (potentially) save his job.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        If you have a foot injury still hurting from 2012 after surgery chances are you’re not magically getting better in a weekend. That sounds like further surgery or a career crippler.

  10. dj says:

    they should have asked Klinzy if he thinks the german born players now will be hesitant to come play for us especially Chandler and Johnson

    • Old School says:

      Why would they be hesitant?

      • dj says:

        well, us born players don’t like them. why would they commit again ?

        • Josh D says:

          “US born players don’t like them” is a drama queen comment. It was probably one or two fringe players who don’t matter to the big picture. By all other accounts, everyone seems to get along well.

          • Clyde Frog says:

            Agreed. What bothers me about the Sporting News piece is that it creates the impression that comments presented somehow represent each of the 22 people involved in the article. Is that the case? I seriously doubt it. How many of those 22 people really made those comments about the German Americans? If it was 3 or 4, then it means nothing. If it was a lot, which I doubt, then Strauss should have emphasized that.

          • Ed says:

            “It was probably one or two fringe players who don’t matter to the big picture.”

            Go read it again. Straus said that it was 11 current players, not a couple fringe players. I suggest you also read Straus’s twitter, he offers even more insight into his article, the process, and the sources.

        • Old School says:

          Based on what?

          Anonymous reports by likely fringe players that were such great teammates and so brave they had to make it from the shadows?

          News flash: Teammates hate cowards like that even more. Why? Because they lack spine and can’t be depended on in times of crisis.

          Cowards < Americans born overseas

          • WG says:

            I think you may be a little harsh. I think it’s as likely that Straus spoke with some players he thought were unhappy, and promised he wouldn’t use their names if they said things that could be perceived as being negative toward JK. I don’t blame Straus, he has a job to do. Anybody who is in a position to speak with a reporter should be aware that unless something is “off the record”, it can, and possibly will, be used. The players are in a bind. If they just use cliches, or are guarded(which is often drilled into them at some level), they get slammed for being robotic or remote. Which is why it can be difficult, especially for what are essentially kids.

            • Ed says:

              Please, if you care to fully evaluate the piece, go check out Straus’s twitter, he clarifies some things about the sources. Basically, he is saying that all of the 11 guys were in agreement about the content in the article regarding the tactics, preparation, etc. and that they all agreed to go ‘anonymous’. After checking out his twitter, i now actually think that Straus was pretty brave to do this, and had the full support of his sources.

  11. BCC says:

    Tired of all the talk; doesn’t mean anything. I am ready for the games.

    Klinsmann will probably be considered a visionary twenty years after he has been fired for lack of results. Someone somewhere will write an article talking about how he was ahead of his time . . .

    • ChiTown says:

      You can accuse him of a lot, but at the moment a “lack of results” is literally the last thing that could be true.

      We just had the greatest year–by result–in modern history. Aren’t results all that matter?

      • Ed says:

        “We just had the greatest year–by result–in modern history. Aren’t results all that matter?”

        Results in games that matter, yes. But you can’t look at most of the recent qualifiers and tell me that the on-field product has been anything but disturbing.

        • ChiTown says:

          The recent qualifiers looked like every qualifier before them. Ugly soccer on ugly fields with ugly officiating in the middle of a tropical storm or heat wave.

          We finished first in our qualifying group over a great Jamaica and a good Guatemala. The same Jamaica that just took it to Mexico in Mexico.

          • Ed says:

            The Antigua game is a perfect example. You’re right about the ugly fields and poor officiating, but thats nothing new in CONCACAF. At the end of the day we got the 3 points but that was an awful game void of hardly any cohesion or rhythm. Wonder if that was on Bein sport as well, thinking maybe alot of fans didn’t actually watch that one.

            • ChiTown says:

              I had the distinct displeasure of watching it.

              But you hit it on the nose. No team in the world is playing pretty football in CONCACAF outside of Mexico/Canada/USA stadiums.

              I remember a few years back when Spain went into Costa Rica for a friendly and nearly lost because they could barely complete passes on the “surface.”

              It’s our curse to be the powerhouse in the region, but instead of getting an easy route we have to play on pub league fields after a storm unlike those gorgeous manicured European pitches.

        • SuperChivo says:

          He is by every measure behind where Bob Bradley was at this point in the cycle. If Straus has done his math correctly, he’s done this while scoring 40% fewer goals per game. I’m not saying the guy is a moron or should be sacked, like some, but this “greatest year” thing is such nonsense.

          • Lost in Space says:

            To be clear….BB’s Team was in large part a holdover from Arena’s team. Where BB was an assistant coach. BB’s team had a Keeper, RB and 2 CB’s that had just come off playing a WC Cycle. Had Donovan, and Dempsey in arguable their Prime. A couple of young up and coming midfielders (Edu, Bradley, Feilhaber) and a tried and True workhorse striker (McBride).
            JK started 12 months later than BB and therefore didn’t have as many games to devise and test which players and formations would work best. He has a young defense with very little international experience, Been without Donovan for long streatches, and have had less luck with the young players stepping up than BB did.
            I truly believe that by the time WC 2014 roles around the USMNT will be in a better position than it was heading into the 2010 WC.

            • White Kix says:

              I keep seing posts about how there was no rebuilding needed after 2006, but a huge rebuild was needed after 2010. In 2010 our World Cup Roster had 5 players who were 30 or older (Howard, Bocanegra, Cherundolo, Demerit, Hahnemann). In 2006 our World Cup Roster had 7 players who were 30 or older (Lewis, Reyna, Berhalter, Keller, McBride, Hahnemann, Pope).

              This whole rebuild is by choice, not neccesity. Also, you say that Klinsmann has “had less luck with the young players stepping up than BB did.” That may be true, or maybe BB actually did things to help those young players step up, like pick the right ones, give them experience at the right times, and place them in a system that allowed them to excel.

        • GW says:

          Ed,

          Here are the only numbers or stats regarding JK that I find relevant:

          WC qualifying – Semifinals- 6 games, 4 wins 1 loss, 1 draw, 13 points first place in the semifinal round

          HEX – 1 games, 1 loss, zero points, 9 games & 27 points left.

          16 points likely necessary to secure WC qualification.

          One other number is that Bob Bradley had 24 games between being hired and his first WC qualifier while JK had 13 games.

          Everything else is practice. Practice is not meaningless but it must be placed in context.

          A positive result in WC qualifying games, however, is what JK is supposed to produce, among other things and so far he on the positive side of the ledger.

          Yes, the team looks awful but the USSF decided to fire a very competent, well organized manager who could make a mediocre bunch of players look good because they supposedly wanted to get to “another level”, a level fans have been screaming for. Doing that takes time and transitional pains.

          If the USSF fire JK right now it means they have panicked with 90% of the HEX left to complete. Either that, or they are certain he will fail to qualify.

          I’m not overly concerned with the players looking lost. They did that in the semifinal round as well. Inconsistency is typical during a transition phase. Players often look lost until they “get it”.

          If you can look lost, awful and unwatchable and STILL get a positive result then I’ll be a little more patient. The interesting thing about soccer is it is possible to look awful and still get results.

          I happen to believe that JK has the right “vision”.

          I think this current controversy is not a big deal and in fact is a good thing. Certainly, JK and most of the team should be used to such pressure. Go back and look at the coverage of ,
          JK before the 2006 WC and they wanted his head on a platter.

          Either way the team should be okay.

      • Tex says:

        I agree. Offensively, last year’s results were good.

        Gomez 0.34 goals per game
        EJ 0.5
        Dempsey 0.72
        Donovan 0.35
        Bradley 0.25
        Zusi 0.22

        The combined group would generate an average of 2.38 goals per game. I just wish Klinsy would play this group of guys and play them CONSISTENTLY, no more rearranging lineups. I think we would see the offensive attacking play we all hope for. Also, the best offensive USMNT was in 2009, with 1.79 goals per game. To put this in context, Spain averages just over 2 goals per game.

        • Dan says:

          Meaningless friendlies are used to uncover talent – since we have no depth and injuries are expected…more guys have been brought in than Bradley ever did and still produced a 9W-2L-3T record…the gold cup final loss was all Bradley. playing the same 11 for 3 games in a week because he never build depth was doomed to fail…realistically, we place in the top 4 and we’re likely in

          • Ed says:

            Not entirely accurate, he didn’t put in Adu until 2nd half vs Panama, then started him vs Mexico. An really the final boiled down to Cherundolos injury. I guess you could criticize BB for inserting bornstein but I dunno what else he could have done.

    • Neruda says:

      time to play the games. no shades of grey here. a tie against CR isn’t good enough unless the US beat mexico which is far fetched.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      A visionary of what? Some odd 433 amalgam of defensive midfield with incoherent attack? Half my complaint is this does not look like Barca and the New Wave to me, nor does 3 DMs even seem like a sensible formation, inherently flawed, 3 players forward but to get the ball to them it either has to pass through defensive-minded mids or skip the mids entirely. The whole reason there are usually wings and CAMs is to positively move the ball upfield and maintain possession.

  12. The Squad says:

    JK needs a result tomorrow night, point blank.

    The matter with Bruce Arena and the greater matter with the ‘anonymous chatter’ has served a greater purpose.

    1. Allows the team, the USMNT brain-trust and the casual observer to to really take a look at where US soccer is as an organism.

    2. Solidified the idea that JK was the right choice in taking the reigns a few years back

    3. Exerted the right amount of positive pressure (media-wise) a program need to take the next step

    4. Forces the players selected for the upcoming match to focus on moving forward as single unit.

    5. Created the first ‘post-Donovan’ crisis that requires LEADERSHIP from both player and management

    6. Indicates that we have truly moved on from the previous regimes

    Once again, the team, the new captain, the management and the whole idea of a USMNT need a result tomorrow in Denver.

    Sure, many positives can be taken from a close loss, but this program needs to “communicate” some things out there in Colorado.

  13. Josh D says:

    A great reply, courteous and direct.

    His Rossi comment didn’t make sense though. It’s different when we lose someone who was born here than lose someone who was born in another country to the country of their birth. Between crocked Rossi and Subotic, I wish we had gotten Subotic.

    I wonder if Bruce’s beef with Klinsi also stems from the Donovan issue. Perhaps both blame the other? Klinsi came out on top in this round.

    • Paul R says:

      He was clearly just taking a shot at Arena over the Rossi thing. I’m not a JK fan but I like the response. It’d be easy to throw a fit, but the better move is to basically ignore it.

      Anyways, all that matters is what happens on the field tomorrow.

  14. 2tone says:

    60 percent of snow tomorrow in Denver.

    Whats the likley hood of this game being postponed a day?

    I live in Wyoming in the middle of the state, and we are getting pummeled with a snow storm. Very likley the same snow storm that will be drifting into Denver, Colorado tomorrow.

    All I know is if the game does go down tomorrow it will be cold and wet with a sloppy field which could very well be a strength for this US team.

    • THomas says:

      0% They know how to deal with that in Denver and the field will be fine. Plus that’s exactly what the US wants as a ‘home field’ advantage. Having players from MLS, Germany, England, they should be used to the inclement weather. Mexican based players it may affect on our own squad. But they’re training there already so they have time to acclimate.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Gametime around 40 with gusty 15-20 mph winds and like 60-70% snow chance.

      I don’t see how it’s a home field advantage to play in irregular conditions.

  15. Samjo says:

    Forget about giving Mexico a real game; just beat their arses and take 3 points there too. USA 3 Costa Rica 1. USA 2 Mexico 1. USA ends up with 6 points and Mexico with 1 point (for thinking that they are number 1). Yeah, that’s right, the Hondurans rip that Mexican butt too.

  16. David M says:

    The bottom line: words are irrelevant. The only thing that matters in soccer is the result. And we’ll have to see about that.

  17. USMNT searching says:

    Focus…..We must ALL understand one thing. Quailifying for the World Cup is JK’s one and only mission. Failure to qualify could set the US development interests back 10-20 years. The USMNT would lose critical momentum, which could not be made up by our highly successful WNT. This and only this, IS THE MISSION. Picture missing out on a WC cycle, and the negaitve implications. JK will be dust in the wind, along with SG, and much, much will be lost in Soccer America. Results MATTER NOW!

  18. Kosh says:

    “DaMarcus Beasley, he’s an outstanding character,” said Klinsmann. “He’s always there when you need him, he’s always there for the team, he’s a pure giver to the program and he’s versatile.

    I really…REALLY hate reading into interweb snippets but seeing as how this is controversy week – what the hey?

    This quote is most interesting to me. Because it praises Beas and I love it. But if, as has been speculated by most on here, JK was taking hidden swipes/jabs – now I am only reading into this, probably more so that I should (a disclosure that should be adopted more on here) – is he giving us hints of his frustration and future relationship with Donovan?

    I know Landon needed time and I get it but as Cahill chimed in a few weeks ago – the Europeans don’t get that – not one bit. From a US standpoint we get it – he’s our best player and he’s burnt out and needed time away from the game. Many of us here would agree that he’s earned it. But you look at a guy like JK who knows what it’s like to be the very best, what it takes to win. He’s been there and done that and did it in the most competitive leagues in the world – will he…does he understand the Donovan break?

    Losing a top player like Donovan has made his life a living hell, but he’s also managed to get results without him. Does he afford Donovan all the perks when he comes back or are we looking at instances in which Donovan has to earn (and by that I mean) fight his way back on the field?

    I feel like this is the next thing a brewing. JK has shown (as demonstrated with Boca) that he’s very practical with his philosophy of the team he envisions. Whether we like it or not – it’s his team. I am really curious as to how the Donovan thing plays out when he becomes available again in the summer.

    Hey Straus, can you look into that, please?

  19. David M says:

    I’ve been working for a very well-known, large company for the last quarter of a century. Every now and then, our top management loves to bring up the subject of “comfort zone”. That too many people are too comfortable (naturally, never anyone in top management positions), which is not good for personal growth of employees, nor for the company as a whole. Invariably, such talk ends up in another round of layoffs in the US and in moving US jobs overseas.

    I’m really fascinated by Klinsmann’s comfort zone obsession. Quite ironic, under the circumstances.

    • THomas says:

      I’m not following you. Why is that ironic? I’d expect a new coach who’s trying to implement a new system with not only the senior team, but the US Soccer system as a whole, to push people out of THEIR comfort zone. In doing so he’ll find out who can adapt and who will be left behind.

      • David M says:

        Ok, great. He’ll push people out of THEIR comfort zone. And some will be left behind. Making it to Brazil next year is secondary to pushing and leaving behind.

        Don’t you see that it’s all meaningless, inane psychobabble? It means absolutely nothing without any specifics. What is actually being done? Why is moving the comfort zone a goal in itself?

        Challenging players, making them better and smarter is MO for any coach. But no one else keeps talking about “moving the comfort zone” to the press. Have you ever heard Guardiola or Ferguson or Del Bosque talk about it? They just win games.

  20. SuperChivo says:

    It blows my mind that about 90% of the comments are defending Jurgi. I get most of my soccer news from the press in Spanish and everyone from Univision to the Costa Rican papers have noticed the drop off in form of the US.

    My personal belief is that many US soccer fans have been unsatisfied with the very slow progress made and have convinced themselves that there is a Messiah out there, someone who can take our program and leapfrog it 10-20 years ahead in a single cycle. Klinsmann talked the talk and has the European background and high profile and seemed eager to take on the role.
    I may be from Latin America but my roots are pure gringo Calvinist and I am skeptical of any gain that doesn’t come about from hard work and, having experienced it in Latin America over and over again, I am skeptical of leaders who promise more than anyone else has ever before delivered on.

    My view is to hire a technical director like Bielsa or anyone with experience in developing young talent and have them partner with Reyna to go to work coxing and prodding the MLS and other institutions to modernize and amplify their player development efforts and to let the head coach concentrate on and be accountable for the current cycle (and it probably needs to be Klinsmann for this cycle). It’s not sexy, it’s not fast, but I really don’t see a shortcut. Otherwise the alternative is to go from one charismatic populist to the next and continue to be a banana republic soccer program.

    • David M says:

      I agree. I’m from Europe myself, follow a number of European sports publications and fan forums, and Klinsmann as a coach is held in very low esteem there. I remember, when he was first named the US coach, many fans were very surprised at the appointment, some saying that of course Klinsmann is nowhere near the coach Bradley is, but maybe at least he can turn out to be a better motivator.

      There is a reason why, after Bayern, Klinsmann had no offers in Europe.

    • Dennis says:

      I am also in the camp that a coach is very unlikely to make that much of a difference unless he really can’t manage people. Even then, the players are big boys and often overcome even atrocious coaching. I am more concerned that Klinsmann does have issues deciding which players to bring in, the love for Robbie Rogers, and Beckermann have always left me a bit concerned, In the end, the coach mostly has an impact on the game by player selection, a tiny bit of motivation, some tactical sense he can impose and some adjustments through subsitiutions, beyond that it is a players” game

    • David M says:

      90% defend Klinsmann because the overwhelming majority of US soccer fans had been clamoring for Klinsmann to replace Bradley for a couple of years before the actual appointment. He was viewed, for no other reason than a sexy name, as the savior of US soccer. It’s very hard for many to admit that they were wrong or that the messiah may have no clothes.

    • Ed says:

      Excellent, excellent post. thanks.

    • Paul says:

      Besides a lack of resources, what is wrong with the way MLS has been going about their player development efforts? They have only been at it for a few years, so it seems to me that they would not be very far advanced in building strong academies. However, I know exceptionally little about what goes on in the academies. Do they not start young enough? Do they not include enough kids to really have a shot at regularly producing quality players? Is the coaching sub-par?

      All genuine questions: I don’t know the answer to them. I am fan of DC, who has managed to graduate four players from their academies who can make it as pros(if only two so far have proven themselves in MLS) so maybe the other clubs have not had the same level of success.

      • Vic says:

        Most MLS academies have only been around for a few years so don’t expect results too fast. There aren’t many players that have been with the academies at an early age because the academies are fairly new. As time goes by this will change. Most homegrown players are being signed at age 17-18 they will need a few more years of development. Its rare for a European team to play a players that age on a first team, thats why they have U21, U23 and reserve teams.

  21. Gnarls says:

    Nice to see read some optimistic evaluations of JK. Some “unnamed sources” voice their displeasure with JK, now suddenly everyone is Chicken Little. I prefer to take the long view. We’ll qualify and, if implemented successfully, our team will be playing more attractive attacking ball in the process.

    • Ed says:

      Yep, keep buying the snake oil. Many agree that a coach should only last one WC cycle. So i assume you mean we’ll be playing attractive soccer AFTER Klinsmann leaves?

  22. Dennis says:

    Arena was not averse to using foreign-born US citizens when he was caoch and need to get the best players he could find on the team. Klinsmann is no different in that regard, in fact except for Chivas USA, and Zenit, not many teams worry that much about their players’ ethnic origins, they are much more focussed on the soccer talent. In that regard Arena’s comments are just silly. If there is concern about a small group of players becoming insular, that might be a real thing, but so far there seems to be little evidence of that.

    • Dan says:

      back then with dual citizenship and given a choice…why would you have wanted to play for an inferior, unproven US program with poor fan support? It was nothing like what it’s grown into in the last 5 years. And few US players were taken seriously to have the talent to play overseas

  23. lets win! says:

    We can win tomorrow. Feel it . Believe it! When we all watch the game….we need to believe we can win! As a fan this is what i believe we need more of. Fans, and their thoughts have an influence. Be positive!

    • The Garrincha says:

      + 10 for Pele, and you win!,
      the power of positive thinking, and the spiritual holistic healing award.
      Believe.

  24. Jason says:

    Congrats to Alisal HS (Salinas, CA) for winning their state championship. We have some real quality hispanic americans comming up the ranks. They will have more eyes on them now.

  25. biff says:

    Some thoughtful, interesting comments above. Find myself nodding often in agreement with SuperChivo, Ed and David M.

    As for Klinsmann’s comments, he has once again uttered a lot of words that don’t add up to much substance. I think he is a smart guy and I wish just once he would let his guard down and really spit out how he truly feels. Quite frankly, at this point he doesn’t have much to lose and actually might benefit from some true candor. Wouldn’t you love to be a fly on the wall and her him talking privately with Martin Vasquez about Bruce Arena and Bob Braddlee?

    I am tired of hearing him babble on about comfort zones. What in the he!! does this concept really mean and how might it benefit the USMNT? I wish reporters would ask him one time with cameras rolling to explain it.

    • Vic says:

      He means more training, bloodwork combined with use of supplements, yoga, sports psychiatrists, etc. All these things are fine however, most players don’t play in MLS they play in Europe so I doubt they’re in a comfort zone.

  26. SEBASTIAN MORALES says:

    Jurgen is clearly a pleasant guy, someone Sunil or whoever would enjoy talking to over a few beers. He gives a great press conference. Nonetheless if you listen to what he says, you realize he talks nonsense. If you watch his teams on the field, you realize he has no clue about assembling a team or preparing it to win games.
    Can the national team coach take the USA to the “next level?” The US is a second tier nation in soccer because of factors beyond the control of the national team coach or even the USSF. The presence of at least three other professional sports that offer greater rewards to good athletes is the most obvious. The absence of a large population of boys/young men for whom professional sports, regardless of the low chances of success, seem a reasonable career choice is another.
    Is there a “right” way to play soccer, other than whatever approach helps you team win? Will playing the “right” way help your nation improve its fortunes in international competition? Other than a few countries, national soccer teams adopt tactics that help them win regardless of how “pretty”or “stylish” they may seem to outsiders. The Belgians, the Poles, the Greeks and so on don’t worry about how pretty their soccer is. They just try to win. It is testimony to Jurgen’s superficial grasp of soccer that he persists in peddling the notion that the US should not do the same.

  27. KillerInstinct says:

    I love that he took a shot at Arena by recalling the Rossi incident….almost as if to say “you droped the ball on that one buddy, that won’t happen on my watch”

    • Juan says:

      Arena got us to the show….. the possibility that we might not get there is growing.

      Rossi never wanted to play for the USA and Italy didnt want him

      • Raymon says:

        after 1 loss in the qualifier, a tough away game, and after which game day 1 the hex is relatively flat points-wise?
        perspective…..at least wait until Friday night….whats Juan more night to wait before alerting us of the sky falling?

      • KillerInstinct says:

        Yes, but it didn’t help that he squashed the kids hope by disregarding him as a potetial player to begin with, as he’s done with others. Lets face it, Arena has always been critisized, in the past, for not trying upcoming young talent, but rather goes to his old vetrans instead….of course he’s changed his concept in recent years, based on the upcoming young talent we see on the Galaxy.

  28. chris says:

    No player should ever have to be convinced to play for the NT

  29. gregg says:

    Just read Roger Bennett’s piece on Michael Bradley link to espnfc.com

    Can’t help but wonder why Klinsi didn’t appoint Bradley captain unless he is keeping the door open for Boca to return, assuming he can find playing time. In my opinion, Bradley has what it takes, and is the right age, to be the next long term captain.

  30. chris says:

    I love how jk is “changing the culture”. 4 dms on the field at the same time. Preaches attacking soccer in a 4-3-3 then has the team bunker down and puts no wingers, vital to playing a 4-3-3, on the field. Preaches attack yet this team is averaging less goals per game than previous generations even with 5 goals against Scotland. Passing % is down. The team hasn’t looked improved. JK is all talk and that’s it. These are professional players playing at respectable clubs. They know about nutrition no need to waste time and resources on this bullsh!t. They don’t need a motivational speaker what they need is a competent coach who tells them what he wants to be done. Vasquez is a joke and jk should have been fired right when he hired him. Its really sad because this program could have taken real steps forward but instead we have regressed due this trash coach and may not even qualify for the world cup

  31. biff says:

    amen, bro’

  32. Juan says:

    I’m growing a little tired of his positive spin on everything. We have lost to Jamaca and tied Honduras… both unacceptable. Saying you are a bad coach is not a compliment

    The bottom line is if we don’t get 3 points tonight then he should be gone by tomorrow night. We have more talent then we have ever had available and yet, too often we look bad.

    I seriously doubt Dempsey will be a good captain (he’s way to selfish). This move might be to try and get him motivated. I kinda also feel we may have seen the end of Boca. This seems like a passing of the torch to me

  33. Christian says:

    I think it’s tough to really put a grade on Klinsmann’s time with the USMNT. A lot of people here are judging his results based on friendlies. Unfortunately, that is the mentality of people here in America. Win, win win. Even in friendlies. It’s the same mentality even in our youth ranks. Parents, clubs, youth coaches all want their U-11 players to win, win, win. The country needs to rethink that model as the rest of the world focuses on player development at these young ages and winning should be the result as they get older.

    The same can be said for friendlies. There have been massive lineup changes in these friendlies because they are exactly that, friendlies. Games that can be used to identify new talent. Not so much on winning. Everyone loves to win, but I’d rather win in WCQ and in the World Cup Finals more so than in a friendly against Russia or Scotland.

    So, my point is, let’s judge Klinsmann after the Hex if we don’t make it to the World Cup and judge him after the World Cup if we do make it. He’s only 1 game in and people already want to throw him to the wolves.

  34. Meromasta says:

    I wonder how many JK doubters/haters will change their tune if the USMNT pull off getting 6 points in these next two games.

    I also wonder how many Pro-JKers change their tune if we lose both games.

    As a whole, we’re not different than any other country. We all believe ourselves as experts and we all have an opinion on how things need to get done. We are all passionate about the team, and for me that’s always a good thing.

    I love the team with all my heart and root for them year after year. I get frustrated sometimes on how they play, but other times I’m elated at what they’ve achieved since 1989. I hope JK and the rest of the US Soccer organization know what they’re doing and that the players remember how lucky they are to be in the team.

    Regardless of where you stand with JK and the development of US Soccer, let’s all root for the Stars and Stripes in the next two games.

  35. Jim says:

    Lots of thoughtless, baseless comments! Short term thinking run amok! First of all, missing the WC does not mean the end of anything. Disappointing, yes, but not earth shattering. If the qualifying for the WC was so important, then soccer should be the dominant US sport since we have qualified for every WC since 1990 (1994 was because we were the host nation). Second, regarding the performance of JK. Yes he’s no Bielsa or Guardiola but despite a lot of disagreement he wasn’t brought in PRIMARILY to get us to the WC. As perfectly stated in a previous post he was brought in to shake up the culture, and improve the long term quality of the player pool and despite disagreements, I believe he is beginning to do so. Take a look at Ramos’s u-20’s. When have you ever seen a MNT so stocked with Hispanic players? At long last, the Hispanic community is getting a look. And look at the new young coach, Caleb Porter, brought in for the U23’s. Sure he flopped the first time, but he flopped trying to change and improve our style of play. He will succeed. If you’re willing to concede that JK has a longer term agenda then 20 months is hardly sufficient to accomplish even a good beginning on revamping the men’s team. (he started July 29, 2011) I love to read the comments about how JK should do this or that, play a 4-4-2, or move Dempsey around or bring in x,y, z player. All this reminds me of a very old cliche: REARRANGING THE DECK CHAIRS ON THE TITANIC! Guess what, the current player pool is old and weak and Merlin himself couldn’t make them look good. He might make them win by throwing out all of the attempts to play possession soccer (which I’m afraid is exactly what JK might be forced to do)but in the long run it’s self defeating. The only justification for that rationale would be to get passed the current WC cycle and then start totally fresh by clearing the current roster. Third, regarding JK’s past performance. He has never marketed himself as a great tactitian but his much maligned performance at Bayern is bogus!! If you’re too busy to google the newspapers from that time then just go to Wikipedia BEFORE continuing to repeat the BS.
    Finally, regarding JK’s public persona. For a long time US Soccer has needed a literate spokesman. Bradley talked to no one. Arena was just as talkative and more unfriendly. You may not like what JK says but at least he’s out there saying the things nobody wants to hear but that everybody needs to hear. GO USA

  36. WorldCitizen says:

    Always the hilarious histrionics from the chicken-little peanut gallery. Nobody ever said Klinsi would be a perfect coach, and yes he has some weak points, but anyone who seriously thinks our national team would be better off right now with Bradley or Arena in charge needs to extract their heads from their backsides and think back to the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, and (especially) the 2011 Gold Cup. Just caving in and “accepting” that we’re the poor man’s England and will never be anything different or better is the surest way to guarantee future failure. Parking the bus and hoping to hit opponents on the counter in perpetuity might bring occasional worthwhile results, but I guarantee you it’ll never win a World Cup — and with CONCACAF getting more competitive, we could very well even end up slipping down the pecking order in our own little pond. Needed changes never come easy; that’s just how life works. Some U.S. fans need to grow a spine and accept that this is where we are, and after years and years of putting off those badly needed changes, this is exactly where we need to be. I remain completely confident in our ability to reach Brazil next year, and if the road being bumpier than we’re used to will ultimately result in players capable of going all the way sooner than later, I’m all good with hitting the potholes.