Howard speaks out against notion the USMNT is divided

Tim Howard, Javier (Chicharito) Hernandez

By IVES GALARCEP

Though he is half  a world away in England recovering from broken bones in his back that have kept him out of the upcoming U.S. Men’s National Team World Cup qualifiers, Tim Howard still felt compelled to address the state of the team after scathing allegations emerged from a Sporting News article released on Tuesday.

Howard took particular issue with the pictured painted by the article of a divided team, a team separated along cultural and ethnic lines (the story suggested that there is a split between German-American players and the rest of the team).

“Our team has always been made up of players who come from different backgrounds, which has been a source of strength for the group,” Howard told SBI on Wednesday. “No matter where players are from, the pride in wearing the U.S. shirt is the only thing that matter to us.

“We have a great group of guys who are all committed to the cause, and the morale and the camaraderie remains high,” Howard said. “We are completely unified in our ultimate goal, which is to qualify for the World Cup.”

The U.S. takes on Costa Rica on Friday before traveling to Estadio Azteca to take on Mexico on Tuesday. Brad Guzan is set to start in goal for the U.S. in place of Howard, who suffered broken bones in his back after a hard fall while playing for Everton in the FA Cup earlier this month.

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238 Responses to Howard speaks out against notion the USMNT is divided

  1. Judging Amy says:

    More proof you shouldn’t believe everything you read.

    • rob says:

      Especially when the majority of the sources are anonymous.

      • Elite Hunting says:

        Anonymous sources are, most-often, the most honest ones. JK has shown that he is vindictive and irrational. See the Jozy Altidore situation for proof of that. Given those facts, why would players want to speak out publicly? They can get the truth out anonymously especially when far more than one source is telling the same tale.

        • ChiTown says:

          Vindictive?

          What world do you exist in. If you blast your boss publicly you’re going to pay the price. And in this case it’s worse because Jozy was blasting Klinsmann for doing exactly what his club coach had just done.

          • Dan says:

            and JK has shown that he doesn’t care if you’re Landon Donovan…..he’ll find new players with more heart…that would kill to represent the USA

            • Elite Hunting says:

              He has? Name them. This team needs Landon Donovan more than ever and JK has done nothing but badmouth him every step of the way. He’s in over his head in this job just like he was in Germany and at Bayern Munich.

              • ChiTown says:

                That’s a lie. He’s been very vocal to say that Donovan is welcome to come back.

              • supergrandefilms says:

                @Elite Hunting… Do you work for the Sporting News?

                Writing divisive articles based on anonymous sources is weak and underhanded.

              • Seriously? says:

                Could you please point out where you’ve seen JK badmouth Donovan? Or did you get that from an anonymous source?

              • Shane says:

                In Donovan’s interview with Julie Foudy he implied that people questioned whether he was really injured. Since Klinsmann called him into camp even after it was reported he was injured, put two and two together in terms of who he was talking about. Plus Klinsmann has pretty much said none of the players have accomplished anything. WTH is that necessary

              • Seriously? says:

                Wow, that’s a stretch to turn Klinsman calling Donovan into camp when he’s injured (I don’t remember this but I’ll assume it happened, as my memory can be suspect), and the coach saying the players haven’t accomplished anything yet, you take that to mean JK is badmouthing Donovan every step of the way? You are quite the sensitive flower, aren’t you?

                And Klinsman thought it was necessary to say nobody has accomplished anything yet, because he wants to push players to not be content to just make a small team in Europe, or even a small team in a big league. He wants players to push themselves to play for bigger, Champions League teams, WTH is wrong with that? I think a lot of fans here agree with that sentiment, that the US won’t have truly made it until they have players who are of the caliber that they’re wanted by or even fought over by perennial CL clubs.

              • Rivaldo says:

                +1

              • Dan says:

                JK stating “you’ve done nothing yet” was telling them not to be satisfied with past success and always push to improve until you are the Messi’s & Ronaldo’s of the game—spoken like the champion he is

            • David M says:

              Like Timmy Chandler?

          • Dan says:

            Until recently, Jozys form on the pitch existed of standing at the 18 and waiting for the ball- something that may work in a 2nd rate league, but not at international level. He’s been ridiculed for laziness by all, even during the game by announcers. I’m glad he’s found a coach that is teaching him tactics and forcing improvement. JK refused to tolerate it and forced his ego to grow up- he’s still waiting on Adu to do the same. This isn’t about personal ego, it’s about pride in playing for country- which is why great talent with a lack of it (France, England) have failed miserably as of late. Get your heads on right lads

        • Gary Page says:

          Funny how Altidore has been playing much better since he was left off the national team, setting not only personal, but national highs in goals scored for his club.

          • Elite Hunting says:

            You think that JK has something to do with that? He was in great form with his club when JK pulled his petulant move of leaving him off.

            • Shane says:

              One article gave Klinsmann credit for Michael Bradley’s success at Roma. LOL, I guess Michael has had nothing to do with it – it’s all Klinsy and his Jedi ways

            • ronniet says:

              wrong again @elite…..jozy was still being benched some games and starting some games during that time so get your facts straight bruh!!

              • Elite Hunting says:

                You quite literally don’t know what you are talking about. JK left Jozy off the roster announced on October 8. Prior to that, Jozy had scored 5 goals in his previous three games (all games he started and went 90 minutes).

                He scored once on 9/30
                He scored once on 9/27
                He scored 3 times on 9/16

                Tell me again how I’m wrong? I’ll be waiting here for your apology.

              • Cody says:

                Owned lol

            • Paul Miller says:

              Elite – I do see Altidore as a JK coaching success. That’s not to say that Klinsmann alone is responsible for Altidore’s higher work rate, but I think the coach gave the player a kick in the backside at the right time.

              I’m fairly critical of Klinsmann, but there are things he brings to the table – credibility from his playing career, infectious optimism and this attitude that – for a nation still developing its place in the soccer world – there is no resting on mini laurels.

              Now if we could combine that with a little coherent tactical consistency that plays on our strengths and doesn’t further expose our weaknesses, we’d have something.

              • Dan says:

                Elite is an idol worshipping tool…Jozy – like Adu, is a million dollar talent with a 10cent head. He was the best in his own mind and was content not pushing to a higher level. Prior to both his new coaches (JK too) giving him a kick to wake up- Jozy was best known for partying so much he overslept and missed a match, leading him to be dumped by several teams. He shouldn’t settle for excelling in a high school level league. He’s improved a lot tactically and matured (unlike Adu) which is why he’s back. Honduras is the first game he played well off the ball since Spain a few years back….please don’t call anyone out unless you actually have a clue…apology accepted

          • CroCajun says:

            I don’t think his form has gone up or down since the JK power trip. He’s been scoring consistently all year.

        • Seriously? says:

          “Anonymous sources are, most-often, the most honest ones.” is a gross generalization, that overstates the value of such comments. That statement would imply that a story from person who won’t give his name, and therefore won’t have to stand up to scrutiny, is more trustworthy than a story from a person who’s willing to put his name and reputation behind it.

          Anonymous sources can used to get honest information, but they can also be used by people who are making the statements to serve their own agenda, and spread their version without having to defend themselves.

          • Elite Hunting says:

            So you are suggesting that one of the most respected soccer writers in the country is grinding his own agenda against JK? To what end?

            That’s just ridiculous.

            • Seriously? says:

              What in the world are you talking about? Talk about just making up something that I didn’t say. You said, as I quoted, “Anonymous sources are, most-often, the most honest ones.”, and I said that is a gross generalization that overstates how trustworthy such statements are, and I then pointed out why I don’t think that is a safe generalization to make. How do twist a discussion on the value of anonymous sources into me saying “one of the most respected soccer writers in the country is grinding his own agenda against JK”?

            • Dan says:

              Anonymous negative sources are great for building hype before a big game and forcing a team to bond together against an unknown enemy before a big game…great for rating because people always tune in for a train wreck…though I feel bad for CR and MEX who will get the brunt of it

          • Juan says:

            IDK what the truth is but I do believe that where’s there’s smoke, there’s fire. JK has had problems with the last two gigs… why would this one be different? He’s had very mixed results… and I wish he’d quit trying new things in a WC qualifier.

            We must get all 3 points Friday.. anything less will be a failure. I’m not confident with the team selected and am wondering where the goals will come from? No creative mid…too defensive in the midfield and we’ll all be wondering who he rolls out on defense

        • Josh D says:

          What other manager (work, fast food, sporting, etc) wouldn’t punish you for talking like that to the public? Jozy is still young, and these mistakes happen. However, what has Klinsi done since to suggest he has a grudge?

          That article reeks of MLS with quotes like: “He already broke Carlos’ heart,” another source said. “Why drive the knife in and twist it?” What player would ever talk about another player’s “broken heart”? No one. That screams of someone purposefully trying to tar Klinsi.

          And those quotes complaining about fitness and nutritional focuses has to come from an MLS player. The European ones are used to intense workouts and strict diets. Klinsi has come out before and said how poor the standards of MLS fitness and diets are.

          This “player” is probably some fringe MLS player who holds a grudge. Who has a big ego and thinks he should be playing for the US team, and would have a grudge?

          • Paddy Megroyn says:

            Josh D – …reeks of MLS?

            Do yourself a favor and take a read of JK’s time at Bayern. Many of those players (Lamm for one) complained about the same thing. Plus, the one complaint that you can’t have about MLS is the players’ fitness levels as they play in some of the hottest & most humid conditions in the world.

            • ChiTown says:

              Like 3 teams play in hot and humid conditions.

            • Josh D says:

              MLS players are as fit as other athletes, however, they do not concentrate on nutrition, do not have strict diets, do not play multiple games a week, do not play 9 months of the year, etc. Klinsi and other foreign coaches and players are shocked by the standards in training. It’s getting better, but no one from Europe would complain about the intensity except someone who isn’t used to that. Which logic would say is an MLS player.

          • malkin says:

            It was probably Preston Zimmerman

          • Neruda says:

            If it’s an MLS player than who? Could it be Sacha, Jose Torres (never played in MLS), Parkhurst or even H Gomez? I don’t see Gomez, Edu or many of the new players spouting off anonymously.

            Someone in the sporting news article mentioned the Bob Bradley era so that cuts out a lot of players for those comments at least.

        • jonathan wyrick says:

          The Jozy situation? The US team goes through a number of physical evaluations which include blood tests that ultimately showed Jozy’s diet is absolutely horribly. Nutritionally he was unfit to play. He has also been known to be incredibly lazy, as told by his Hull City days. It’s nice that he’s back on track with AZ but he has been doing many of the wrong things for some years now.

        • whoop-whoop says:

          Funny that you use the word vindictive, because it definitely comes to mind with this article.

          Someone with stones and integrity who is honestly looking to solve a problem would go to the source of their frustration and voice their concerns.

          Someone who is spineless and vindictive would air it out in the press without attaching their name.

      • brent says:

        Howards statement only covers a part of the article, moral, and closeness of the team.

        It doesnt comment on Tactics, or how the personnel is being utilized..

    • Elite Hunting says:

      You mean like statements from Tim Howard? Why would you believe one statement and not the others? Because one tells a tale you want to believe and the other tells one you don’t want to believe?

      • Judging Amy says:

        I’m aware of the dangers of confirmation bias. As someone not overly pleased with Klins’ tactics, I’d think I’d be inclined towards acceptance of Strauss’ article’s assertions. I’m still skeptical of it for reasons myself and others have outlined in the previous SBI discussion on the topic (Bocanegra backs Klins).

        Cheers, friend.

      • john says:

        Because the Tim Howard statement is credible. Unnamed sources are either cowardly and self serving at best, or patently false. It’s called basic journalism, moron.

        • jg says:

          That’s a poor generalization. Named sources can lie, and unnamed sources tell the truth. And why the name-calling? That doesn’t get us anywhere.

          • jg says:

            “unnamed sources CAN tell the truth” to eliminate any possible misunderstanding.

            • slowleftarm says:

              Sorry but that’s nonsense. If you’re a USMNT player who thinks, for example, that it’s ridiculous to wait until the morning of the match to let Bocanegra know he isn’t playing against Honduras or that Klinsmann’s training sessions are ineffective or that there isn’t enough discussion of tactics before matches, are you going to go on the record with a statement like that? Of course not. But you might say something anonymously.

              We can debate whether that’s the right thing to do but I think the statements themselves are probably credible.

    • Smacking says:

      I appreciate Howard (and previously Boca) for taking the leadership to respond and I’ll accept both of their statements as valid. That said, I’m not wiling to throw the entire article out the window based on a couple of rather vague statements of unity. I guess it’s unfortunate that other players disagree, but I’m glad Howard and Boca have the team’s best interest at heart. I hope the majority of the team agrees.

      • Shane says:

        and both of them arent with the team unfortunately. someone needs to step up big time in these games.

        • Smacking says:

          This is a huge point. Both of these players have displayed that leadership ability in the past, but with their absences there is a massive gap to be filled. Who’s going to step up? Bradley is the obvious choice. Talk about irony.

    • Paul says:

      What else are they supposed to say? Not saying he’s lying or anything but I highly doubt anyone would come out and say the article is true

      • biff says:

        ha-ha. true…

      • Judging Amy says:

        He could not say anything.

        • Josh D says:

          Ding ding. There’s a reason Boca and Howard are coming out: They’re the captains. They’re defending the team and their manager.

          As Thumper taught us: “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

          • Riggity says:

            Ya but Thumper wasn’t referring to a writer who had the ability to make his name known to every American soccer fan in the world though…I think this will unify the team…or we will completely de-rail the will be no inbetween.

          • Paul Miller says:

            Actually you could read both Boca’s and Howard’s statements as defending the team, period. Both were actually fairly quiet on specific criticisms of Klinsmann. Now that I think about it, to me it seems both went our of their way to avoid defending the coach.

            Well, Boca did compliment JK on letting players know where they stand.

      • Al_OC says:

        They could just remain silent, which speaks more volume.

        We’ll see the truth on Friday because that’s when they will respond as a team. If they play with heart and fight for each other, then we have nothing to worry about. Otherwise, we really do have a big problem.

    • Joejoe says:

      Don’t be ridiculous. You think Howard’s going to come out on the record and confirm everything in the article, or say “oh yeah, by the way, I was one of those unnamed players sourced in the article”? All this “proves” is that Howard is a pro who isn’t going to fan the flames and who knows that taking a position against JK could mean he doesn’t get a ticket to Brazil in 2014.

      • Gary Page says:

        If Howard agreed with the article he would have not said anything. That’s how you deal with the situation like that, you don’t hurt your position but you don’t lie.

      • ronniet says:

        Timmie is not obligated to come out and say anything promoting unity within the team or otherwise so to me this is in response to that seemingly ridiculous article written by strauss! I’m more inclined to believe like AI_OC that him remaining silent would have been more of a indication of the article having more validity to it, than him popping up with nothing but positives to say about the US program in it’s current state!

    • JCC says:

      I’ve always been confused as to why some USMNT fans seem to canonize the players on the national team. Howard could be completely covering up any division because what player in their right mind wants to feed into negative press right before some important games coming up. He’s being a good teammate and nothing more. He could be telling the truth or he could be lying. Players on the national team are human, not innocent saints.

  2. Michael says:

    I still don’t doubt the article, despite Tim’s and Boca’s comments. No one wants to speak negatively publicly. And now the players are in damage-control mode. Maybe it will help the chemistry, in any event…

    • Mig says:

      agree. It’s a case with Boca and Howard of “What are SUPPOSED to say at this point?”

    • biff says:

      yeah. and as I said on the “Bocanegra backs Klinsmann…” thread, we don’t know which players were the anonymous sources for the Sporting News article? It is entirely possible that a player could be pulling out the knife against the coach anonymously but publicly patting him on the back. That said, Tim strikes me as one of Klinsmann’s guys, named captain and all, and I seriously doubt he was one of the sources.

      • WG says:

        We do know that neither Howard nor MB were anonymous sources. No editor who deserves that name would allow you to quote the same person by name and anonymously.

        • Ed says:

          Yeah but he didn’t quote them from like a one on one interview, he used items from the press conference. It’s reasonable, I would think, to quote them anonymously for the negative stuff, but still weave in their actual quotes that were relevant to the story from the post-game reactions.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I do think this is the Old Hands trying to steady the ship in the press before the big game.

      But bears reminding neither of them is actually in camp and in terms of the dynamic there, they can’t necessarily control that. It would be useful for someone in camp to speak up.

      • chris_thebassplayer says:

        I agree, I really want to hear what MB has to say. This is a great opportunity for him to step forward and hopefully support JK. If he was one of the sources of the divisive comments, and he does not support JK going foward, then this team is hopelessly broken.

    • whoop-whoop says:

      I don’t doubt that the anonymous sources believed what they said. What I don’t know is whether or not it is a prevailing view or the complaints of a few disgruntled fringe players. What I do know for sure is that one of the most credible, respected and tenured players on the team stepped up and disputed some of the most troubling claims in the article when he absolutely didn’t have to.

  3. Sandtrout says:

    Notice that he didn’t apparently address the issues of tactics and preparation, which were the focus of the Sporting News story. It’s almost like “We’re totally united in the idea of getting to the World Cup (but nobody knows how we’re going to do it).”

    • chris says:

      This is dead on and this is really the more worrying aspect of everything that has come out. I don’t care if certain players don’t get along off the field. You qualify for how you do on the field as a unit, and frankly this is where Klinsi is failing. We have all been worried at his tactics and now we find out that even the players feel the same way.

      Oh, and too much yoga. Nutrition, yoga, that kind of stuff should be take care of at the club level not when you have 5 days max to prepare (as a group) before a qualifying game, where you are starting your 24th different starting 11.

    • CroCajun says:

      Brilliant point. It’s reading between the lines. To me, hearing players repeat the tired, “we’re still learning a new system and it will take time to figure out exactly what the coach wants from us” phrase is worrying. It’s a PC way to say, “we don’t know exactly what the coach wants from us or what his system is”.

      To me we’ve heard the same things from all the guys the past few months. They’re committed to each other, to the national team, to reaching the world cup, but they still don’t know what the hell JK is thinking.

    • Josh D says:

      What do you want from them? A dissertation on behind-doors USMNT tactics? Yeesh. On their own, they came out to support the team and manager. Fans sometimes expect far too much.

      “Please Howard, tell us, minute by minute, everything that has happened since Klinsi. If you could, please first frame your answer by giving us a history of the USMNT going back to the 1950 World Cup. Perspective, man!”

      • Pirithous says:

        Not a dissertation, of course. But, even a brief statement that contradicts the substance of the article or an assertion that the article’s statements are ridiculous without going into details would be nice. Both Howard and Bocanegra took the trouble to speak, and neither said anything to contradict the absolutely most worrying and damning aspect of the article (that the players are confused about what the tactics are and the roles they are supposed to be playing in them, and that the coach himself doesn’t seem to know and keeps changing his mind right up to the opening whistle).

      • Joe says:

        Yes sir, I don’t do it often but your non attacking, reasoned and rational point gets a +1 from me. Players play, coaches coach and it’s THEIR job to figure out how to make it work. We have the capability and the pedigree and club success. Do I wish it wasn’t as stressful? Yes, but WCQ’s in the Hex are anything but relaxing regardless of coach and player selection.

        We’ll be fine and next Monday and Tuesday we’ll be invigorated by a squad that will battle through this and dispatch CR in a hard fought match. Come on Denver, make it loud and intimidating for our boys!!

      • CroCajun says:

        Humans are not cut and dry, black and white, off and on individuals. They are complex, multidimensional beings capable of experiencing multiple contradicting emotions and thoughts about about seemingly similar subjects.

        What I’m getting at here is that it is entirely possible for them to both be unified on the surface yet divisive.

        We are suggesting that Howards comments reflect someone who sounds conflicted. Someone who is choosing his words carefully.

  4. Ed says:

    Not at all an endorsement or backing of Klinsmann.

    Also, he doesn’t even really “take issue” with the picture of a divided team, just merely made a broad statement about unity.

    • Seriously? says:

      Yet another example of the old saying ‘text reflects the reader’, as in, people will read something, and take out completely separate meanings, based on their own preconceived notions. So you’re saying that when Howard says the team is unified, but doesn’t also say they’re not divided, then he’s actually saying the team is both totally unified and completely divided? They’re univided?

      • ChiTown says:

        Well said.

      • Ed says:

        No, the headline and text from Ives suggests that Howard’s quote somehow discredits or rejects the Straus article, which in my opinion his quote does not.

        • Seriously? says:

          OK, agree to disagree there, in my opinion, the article implies there’s a lot of discord, jealousy, and even division within the national team, and Howard’s quote rejects that impression.

  5. Travis in Miami says:

    That article was fair and balanced in that whenever there were notions for their sources that refuted the overall assertion of the author, it was reported and glossed over with one sentence and no follow up. Whereas, when the dramatic effect the author was going for was supported there was a paragraph or more to back up the notion.

    • Ed says:

      Honestly I think the stuff said to Strauss was overwhelmingly negative, and he had to find SOMETHING to make it seem somewhat balanced.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      i agree with ed. straus didn’t need to give any refutation, or provide a feeling of ‘balance’; if those were the quotes he got, all he needed to do was report them accurately. as far as we know (!), any refutation was purely because he was trying not to make it look like a total hit piece.

      • Travis in Miami says:

        What about the quote he would have gotten from Howard if asked? Obviously from Howard’s response there’s another side to the story that was under reported in the article.

        When a guy like with the stature and influence of Howard has this response ya gotta wonder how deep did the investigation go.

        the more I look at this situation I draw two conclusions – Straus is not a JK fan and Sporting News wants soccer fans to know they exist.

        • Travis in Miami says:

          Then is a smear job pure and simple:

          It doesn’t take a genius to read these boards and see the areas that US fans will respond to – the nationalism, the tactical acumen already discussed in Lahm’s book. There was also a recent article talking about the odd tactics JK picked up from visits with Pete Carroll and Phil Jackson and how he’s combined them with other coaches approaches from his playing days. I could have pieced this article together from articles readily available and previously published, added a couple quotes from some real source and embellished the number of actual sources calling them all anonymous.

          end result – more clicks for Sporting News – a virtual non-player in US sports reporting.

    • QuakerOtis says:

      “Fair and balanced”? Heard that somewhere before…

  6. Jon says:

    Spoken like a true captain. (Like Bocanegra) The only one I believe right now that is Captain material is Bradley. He matured a lot these past years, and he is the most consistent player we have at this moment. Hope Howard makes a quick recovery!

  7. Alexandria says:

    No, I believe someone broke the rules of keeping things in the locker room. And the older guys are doing their part to calmn everyones nerves. I believe Straus piece was accurate. I hate that even 1 player committed to saying anything anonymously. If there are issues it should be handled by the leaders of the team.I also think this moment is huge for those who want a place on the plane.

    • Joe says:

      Anonymous quotes are valid but also should be taken at what they are worth – a chickenshit move. I agree they can be valuable in a vacuum, but in this particular instance they do more damage than good. Alexandria, absolutely correct that you keep it in the locker room. If you can’t at this level, then just refuse a call up. Sure, maybe it hurts the team but my feeling – however unsubstantiated it may be – is that the players who are willing to change and adapt are the ones that will lead to the most success for the USMNT moving forward.

  8. DC Josh says:

    Timmy’s comments don’t change my perception of the USMNT situation.

    He, Carlos, and other players may support Klinsmann or feel the team is not divided, but there is certainly a movement involving a large group of players who feel the opposite based on the Sporting News article.

    So, either Timmy is oblivious or is being politically correct with his comments.

    • Joe says:

      Or he’s a man and takes responsibility for what he can control and works hard in areas that he needs to improve. I’m pretty indifferent to JK, or any manager for that matter. How many times in sports do we here the coach say, “I couldn’t have done it if the players didn’t play so great”, or any other facsimile of the cliche? Soccer isn’t that diametrically different than other sports in this facet, quit apologizing for the players.

      You expect ONE man who is in the upper echelon of players to have played the game at the highest int’l and club level competitions to capitulate? That is just not realistic and the players and anyone who lobbied for JK need to own up to that. If you ain’t with me, you against me.

    • Travis in Miami says:

      It doesn’t take a genius to read these boards and see the areas that US fans will respond to – the nationalism, the tactical acumen already discussed in Lahm’s book. There was also a recent article talking about the odd tactics JK picked up from visits with Pete Carroll and Phil Jackson and how he’s combined them with other coaches approaches from his playing days. I could have pieced this article together from articles readily available and previously published, added a couple quotes from some real source and embellished the number of actual sources calling them all anonymous.

      end result – more clicks for Sporting News – a virtual non-player in US sports reporting.

  9. Abe says:

    Goalies are their own breed and Tim doesn’t need instruction from JK anyway. He’s also been guaranteed a starting spot for last 7 years. However, it’s ironic that he was the one calling out the manager post-Honduras for starting a back four with no experience together.

  10. USA fan says:

    I think seeing Boca and Howard having to come out and make statements show just how big that article was. I’m not sure if I should believe everything the article says but I think it is telling that both have been very diplomatic with their choice of words. Neither has flat out denied that the story was untrue. They more have used words that call for unity. It’s tough to speculate since we can’t go inside the locker room an see first hand but on the surface it does seem that the article may have some valid points since no one has come out and flat out denied it.

  11. Lake says:

    Glad to see these leaders coming out in support of the team. Really want MB to completely take charge over these next two games and get that armband.

    Tim makes a great captain but I feel that the captain needs to be an outfield player. Just personal opinion.

  12. Bellus Ludas says:

    Any article boasting “un named” sources has to be taken with a grain of salt. The fact that so many soccer pundits jumped on board shows how much room for professional growth still exists in the sophomoric soccer media.

    • Abe says:

      actually no, straus has the support and backing of many other top journalists, and no one is calling his credibility into question. the fact that this article was reported and published shows the “maturing” of american soccer media, not that it’s “sophmoric”. it means soccer journalists care about the sport and not just reporting puff pieces anymore – they’re reporting the inside-the-clubhouse stuff we get all the time in baseball, NBA, football, college game, etc.

    • Joejoe says:

      You’re a dunce. You think any player would say those things if they were on the record? These guys want to be in Brazil next year, not watching from the sideline. Blaming reporters because you don’t happen to like what was said about the team is myopic and foolhardy.

  13. DC Josh says:

    Also, this is eerily similar to the Donovan comments about Beckham in Grant Wahl’s The Beckham Experiment. That brought Donovan and Beckham into a confrontation that was resolved with Bruce Arena’s help. Hopefully the same outcome occurs here. There needs to be some resolution before we have a French meltdown.

    • whoop-whoop says:

      Course…. it’s pretty difficult to resolve a conflict with an unseen, unheard, unnamed hypothetical ghost of a man.

  14. shorembo says:

    It is all about results.
    If we win the next two games….no one will care.
    If we split, then JK stays and the bitching continues.
    If we are still winless, JK is gone. The next coach has 2 months to figure it all out.

    • David says:

      Amen

    • Lake says:

      No way US Soccer fires JK if we happen to lose these next two. It’s not like they’re the NFL and have cash coming out of crevices they didn’t even know they had. Heavily invested in him and change is the last thing the team needs right now. No way he’s fired if we lose these next two.

      • baropbop says:

        I’ve been saying for years that I was going to set up a pledge web site where fans can pledge to make donations to the USSF coaching fund. I’m repeating myself, but JK was a bad hire in the first place, we should set our goals much much higher. I think most USMNT fans would be willing to kick in some bucks to higher a world class coach.

      • MiamiAl says:

        +1

        Nor should Klinsman be fired should we lose the next two. We opened up this round of qualifying on the road and against the three best teams in CONCACAF. The second half of qualifying will be on our home turf and will be much easier. If we cant make the top 3 teams in CONCACAF (we shouldn’t even be in the World Cup IMHO), we still have the possibility of getting in as the 4th team in a playoff with Oceana. So no panic is necessary. We will be going to the World Cup. That’s all that matters.

  15. Chris1234 says:

    Two points about the article that I just cannot get out of my mind: First, I question the timing of Brian S article. I understand that he has deadlines set by leadership and possibly self-imposed deadlines to get an article to print but why now? Why right before two crucial WCQs? Second, this line: “Over the past several weeks, Sporting News has spoken to 22 individuals with ties to the U.S. national team or its members—including 11 current players based in MLS or abroad.” Are those 11 players all in the current USMNT pool or on the group just called in? Could it be a few fringe players airing their issues with JK? I know leaders like Timmy and MB and Boca will tow the party line and back the coach but I cannot help but feel these “sources” are not key members of THIS team. One final point about the quote above. Brian states that he has 22 sources but the quotes he uses throughout the article clearly come from a very select few of the supposed 22 sources. Interesting to me.

    • Judging Amy says:

      Something I hadn’t thought of…Does the article say 11 current NATS players or 11 current players. Could these be former Nats, current league pros?

    • Ed says:

      Check out Brian’s twitter, he addresses some of your questions

      • Chris1234 says:

        Twitter convos do clear up a little of what I was addressing. Having said that i still draw issue with the way he utilized the sources. He only used a handful of the 22 sources and in my view really only relied on 2 or 3 people to quote. If there really was a broad group why not highlight that by utilizing more of the sources in the article by quoting them? I just find the article biased on the whole.

        • Ed says:

          I think his point was, look I’m only quoting 3 or 4 guys but I want the reader to know that these sentiments were shared by A LOT more.

          • Joe says:

            Having done sports writing and reporting, albeit at a lower level, this can be assumed.

            However, an expose of this magnitude necessitates a more thorough regurgitation of the apparent laundry list of quotes and sources that sought anonymity.

            I don’t fault Strauss, he doesn’t control it. Sporting News hasn’t been relevant, same with AOLclubhouse in years. Why? Simply put, they pull crap like this. If you want real reporting on sports – save soccer unfortunately – read yahoo sports. That is world class journalism by Wetzel and Robinson.

  16. Ben says:

    The article is scewed in my opinion, not that my opinion matters much. With a new coach and a new system, things will be uncomfortable for some. I agree with what JK says about making the players uncomfortable, you can’t truly develop as a player and reach the next level by staying in your comfort level. Think about your occupation, you do the same thing every day, but it’s not until you’re challenged that you learn something new and add another dimension to your game.

    • David M says:

      Sorry, but that’s just meaningless generalities. What exactly is Klinsmann doing to challenge players and to make them uncomfortable? Is that helping or hurting? He can make players uncomfortable by forcing them to eat nothing but grass for a week — that would be challenging and uncomfortable. Would that help the team? Would that help players grow?

  17. David M says:

    Howard’s words are just too right, too clicheish, too exactly-what-you-would-expect…

  18. Gary Page says:

    A lot of comments here seem to be based on the posters views they had of Klinsmann before this article. If you look at the issue analytically, you have an article citing unnamed sources presenting basically a one-sided story. Do we have Klinsmann’s response to this? No. Do we have an article from someone else who has talked to a number of players in depth? No. What we have is one side only of an issue. It is unfair and not very smart to make any conclusions on the basis of this article. We will probably only learn the truth of the matter after Klinsmann leaves as coach of the team unless there is an open revolt. Klinsmann has played 24 different line-ups in 24 different matches and has had dozens and dozens of players in camps, friendlies, and the like. Having been a manager in a large organization, I can tell you, no matter what kind of job you do, you will always find someone who is unhappy.

    • Boom! says:

      Confused by your comments. There’s a whole section of the article dedicated to JK’s response to in depth interviews held with 11 current unnamed players. I don’t understand your assertions.

    • Ed says:

      Maybe you should analytically re-read the article. Klinsmann directly responds to some of the accusations. His response was one that was defiant and unsurprised.

  19. ChiTown says:

    I’m flabbergasted by the responses here.

    Neither Bocanegra nor Howard had to say a word. In fact, it would be normal for them to not respond and that would have spoken volumes. They aren’t even with the team. They chose to spoke out and correct the article. That speaks volume. They chose to speak out when they did not have to and that speaks volumes. They chose to unify the team and that indicates they see the article as a slight against them and the players.

    • Chris1234 says:

      Agreed!

    • Nate Dollars says:

      well, i agree with some of your comment.

      first, i think boca did feel obliged to say something, because he is the longstanding captain, even if he’s not with the team right now. also because of my next point.

      howard could be speaking out simply because: He cares about the team.

      you say, “They chose to unify the team and that indicates they see the article as a slight against them and the players.”

      it could just as easily be: “they chose to unify the team because they want to win.”

      • ChiTown says:

        Could be that too, yeah.

      • PD says:

        There’s also the fact that the incident of his benching frames the story, even though he’s never quoted directly in the article. He’s been made to be the epicenter without his consent. I’d wanna have my say if that we’re me.

    • Swanny says:

      While I agree with that in some sense, they might not be with the team, but they are the two leaders of this team. That being the case, I’m sure they felt obligated to try and prevent what could be a terrible falling out right before two huge qualifiers, and their comments seem to be doing that. Great leaders. That doesn’t make them false, of course, but I don’t think it proves anything the other way either.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I think they chose to speak up to preserve their status and to suggest re-focus on the priorities. They were both quoted in the piece — perhaps in stale file quotes — but may not like the tenor of the overall piece or its timing. Where Straus may see some personal value or value to Sporting News in getting there first, and in raising the issue at a high profile time, the players’ interest, since they are not FFF players in 2010, is playing and winning. They want to emphasize that. As pool players I think they are looking at the big picture and aware that Klinsi will not be fired for at least two more games, in which case shut up and do your job.

  20. biff says:

    You know what I want to see: I want to see the next Studio 90 with players in the pool lined up against a wall and the moderator asking each player one at a time: Were you one of the anonymous sources?

  21. Dennis says:

    No player who wants to be on the 2014 WC squad for the US would risk that by publicly criticizing the coach or his methods. So if you want to report only good things, inform the players they will be quoted by name, if you want the truth, which will certainly have some negatives in it, offer them anonymity. That sounds like what Strauss did.

    The statements by Boca and Howard are actually pretty bland statements about camaraderie and desire for the team to do well, not so much addressing the negatives in any detail except for Howard’s love for the German-Americans. Neither Howard or Boca endorsed Klinsmann’s methods other than to more or less say, well he’s the coach and coaches do what they want without either endorsing or criticizing those the coach’s techniques.

    • Ed says:

      No, he was NOT proclaiming love of the Germericans, he just said I don’t care who you are, all that matters is that you’re committed.

  22. Mike V. says:

    I don’t think it’s any surprise Howard and Bocanegra have made public statements. I personally believe the truth in the article lies somewhere in-between. The article is brilliantly written as it does envoke a seed of doubt. That’s the article’s exact intention. Howard and Bocanegra’s statements are a deflection more than anything else. They know the team is under immense pressure. They made statements to ease the questions, take the focus off the guys currently in Colorado. Kudos to them for taking the initiative. At the end of the day, though, coach and players have the same objective — qualify for Brazil. If they can’t put away the BS for 90 minutes they (players/coach) don’t deserve to wear the crest.

  23. Brad C says:

    Ives, what do you think? Have you heard anything similar to what “The Sporting News” article said?

    Imho, you could write a similar article about any team at any time. And it’s not a big secret that Klinsmann is into new-age type stuff and not a tactical magician.

    • Swanny says:

      He could be one of the anonymous non-player sources for all we know.

    • ChiTown says:

      Yeah, I’m also curious why anyone is surprised by that. Klinsmann himself would tell you that he gave Jurgi a chance in Germany specifically because he thought Jurgi knew more about tactics than he did and let him do his thing.

      That’s a GREAT manager who addresses his own short comings by bringing in people better at something than he himself is.

      It’s like what we’re seeing with Tab at the U-20 squad. Tab was Klinsmann’s first major coaching pick for the youth program and that is where the real change from his tenure will come from.

      • Judging Amy says:

        I agree. Klins knows his tactical shortcomings and IMO that’s where we’ve seen issues at the Nat level (not with his player selection). Vasquez needs to do better or get replaced.

      • Judging Amy says:

        And tactically, I think Tab was wonderful at the U20 qualifiers. Some beautiful preconceived set plays, possession oriented ball, all-field, high pressure to play to his weak D’s strengths. Of course, the talent and skill of the players available to him allowed him to implement his strategy, but it was still an impressive job.

        • ChiTown says:

          Spot on.

          That last bit you said is very important. He had the players with the talent to execute the plan. Growing pains aren’t fun, but the chance had to happen.

      • R U ManU? says:

        This is exactly the right line of conversation. +1000

  24. QuakerOtis says:

    Some of you guys are ridiculous.

    1. Honest does not mean accurate.

    2. Honest confessions to the coach or other players are one thing. “Honest confessions” to media? Selfish whining, plain and simple. And the players know it too, which is why Straus will have a real hard time getting an “honest” quote from USMNT players in the future.

    3. Re “Numerous Sources” and “Everyone knows” and “Facts” and other indicators of confirmation bias: We STILL don’t have names, so any assumption that there are “numerous” people quoted here is speculative at best; given the timing and pandering nature of the article, we can just as easily assume that Straus only talked to one or two guys (aside from the out of context MB and Howard quotes he cited, which were given over a month earlier on TV). I mean, Jesus, you should see the way ESPN made this story even shadier than Straus did, an indication that this is all about hype, not at all about “facts” of any kind.

    4. We have heard nothing from any of these “sources” since the article was published. Where are these hallowed whistle blowers now? What we do have are the two guys who are actually named and quoted out of context in the article countering the article, as they should.

    5.Klinsmann isn’t getting the ax, because we will still beat Costa Rica and are unlikely to get a result at Azteca in any case. Move on.

    • ChiTown says:

      Yeah, that ESPN story was exactly what I expected though.

      Don’t forget–Bob Bradley’s brother is very high up in Soccernet. Seriously.

      • Mike V. says:

        Bob Ley started his broadcasting career with the New York Cosmos. He has a long, storied and respected career covering the beautiful game.

        • Mike V. says:

          jesus. I read Ley instead of Bradley. My bad! But, yes, Jeff Bradley is a writer and does cover the game quite extensively for a number of publications.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      “We STILL don’t have names, so any assumption that there are “numerous” people quoted here is speculative at best; given the timing and pandering nature of the article, we can just as easily assume that Straus only talked to one or two guys…”

      not ‘just as easily’, because straus came right out and said how many sources he had. you would have to be starting with the assumption that straus is lying.

  25. ChiTown says:

    Just read the Bruce Arena interview and WOW. I agree with his sentiment that ideally we’d like our national team to all be playing here in MLS, but Bruce Arena must be suffering from Galaxy payroll syndrome because he seems to have lost all objectivity of the quality of talent still existing in MLS.

    For him to take shots at the national team because there are European based players is outrageous.

    • Judging Amy says:

      Link please?

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I tend to agree with him that there is a Yanks Abroad mentality in certain circles where merely being abroad supposedly makes you better. Kljestan, Williams, a few others have benefitted.

      But this is an odd time to make the comment because the EJ resurrection plus backline and GK issues means many MLS players in the mix. It feels like canned commentary, not unlike opening up a bunch of Honduras or other complaints on the eve of the next game.

      He did refrain from directly commenting on JK’s performance or the team, but I agree that the MLS players comment was an indirect jab. Klinsi used to be loosely affiliated with the Galaxy which makes it a little interesting.

    • Ed says:

      …but you’re not going to comment on the 100x more controversial statement that the US team should be made up of Americans born in the US?

      • ChiTown says:

        I don’t have to patience to dissect Bruce Arena’s thoughts at length. I’m already tired of this article story. I’m guessing he meant that when half the team is born in other countries it’s indicative that we aren’t developing top talent.

        If he actually meant there’s a problem with those players specifically because they’re from another country it’s a different story.

  26. PD says:

    This is getting silly, folks.

  27. fifawitz1313 says:

    Hey Ives, was this a general statement released by Howard? Did you speak with him directly? Did you press him on any of the other issues in the article? His statement was very general and was a non-denial denial of problems happening in the locker room.

  28. Brett says:

    Timmy is a leader, so I expect him to speak out like this and present a unified front. Well done.

    BUT… I personally believe the rift exists, though it may not be as simple to define as the article insists. Jozy already spoke out and got snubbed for it despite being the most in-form striker in the pool, and I think this was the catalyst. I think Klinsmann’s approach to player selection is one of the reasons Landycakes doesn’t feel up to the task anymore. Klinsmann no doubt made him feel unimportant even though he has earned his stripes more than any other, that’s gotta sting. The Bocanegra thing is just further proof that Klinsmann is trying to force his mark on the team instead of managing the players and putting the team in the best position to succeed. Klinsmann’s insistence on playing Danny Williams wherever there’s a spot for him, regardless of whether or not he fits the role (defensive midfielder playing right winger, really Jurgen?) is no doubt a major factor in the perceived rift, as I’m sure the generous minutes given to the unseasoned Terrence Boyd did.

    I fully expect players to resent things like last minute changes to formations and tactics. It’s a symptom of “Brainiac Coach Disease,” where the coach is always looking to prove he can think outside the box and fit square pegs into round holes. Another example is his insistence on changing training methods that for decades have produced American squads widely known for their superior fitness. Now, for some odd reason, our squads seem gassed 20 minutes into each half. I suspect this is one of the many “initiatives” that have failed to produce results on the field.

    As much as I disliked Bob Bradley’s selections and tactical decisions, he at least put a unified group on the field because he developed a system and stuck to it. The team had an identity and showed they could compete with the best (2-0 over Spain, anyone?) if they played their game and played as one.

  29. jai_brooklyn says:

    If Klinsmann is anyway near the great motivator he’s assumed to be, this is the time to hunker down and create an ‘us against the world’ mentality in the locker room. We’ll know friday.

    • alabamafutbol says:

      What I’ve been thinking too. This is an excellent time for “us against the world” to set in.

  30. baropbop says:

    It’s really simple.
    Is Jurgen a GREAT coach? No
    Does the USMNT deserve a world class coach? Yes
    If greece, korea, russia etc have been able to hire top notch coaches, why not the USMNT?
    JK never should have been hired in the first place. He has zero coaching credentials. A bronze medal was a failure for that team and his assistant was doing all the work anyway. expectations start at the top and we should accept nothing less than the best.

  31. PD says:

    The story is who lines up as our back 4, will we lineup a #6 or trust Jones and Bradley in order to filed some width and will Jozy break his drought. Everything else is a distraction.

    • new coach says:

      Based on the entire WCQ process, I would say the midfield and forwards are more of a concern than the back line

      • PD says:

        Honestly, I think if you get Jones to be disciplined enough to take on the role he plays at Schalke a little more and give Bradley the room to roam forward the problem solves itself. that understanding negates the need for a #6, allows you to put flank players on the field as opposed to three D mids who currently seem to be canceling each other out.

        If JKs approach is “let them figure it out, the game and lack of results will teach them how to sort this out” that’s a genuine approach one can agree or disagree with, but it begins with getting ride of the #6 to force the issue to be resolved between MD and JJ. I agree with an earlier column posted here that stated that having a #6 makes them less accountable and by extension less effective.

        You resolve that issue and I think you see the other elements fall into place and you’ll also see much more consistent service to the forwards

        4-3-3

        EJ Jozy Herc
        MB JJ Deuce
        —-back 4 & GK—–

        or 4-5-1/4-3-3

        ————Herc———
        Shea—–Deuce—-Zusi
        ——MB———JJ—-
        ——back 4 & GK——–

        or 4-4-2

        ———–Altidore–EJ/Deuce————
        LD/Shea—-MB—-JJ—–Deuce/Zusi
        ———–back 4 & GK——————

  32. The Imperative Voice says:

    I think Howard like Boca before him is trying to soften the blow and imply he’s not one of the sources, since he is quoted, though it might have been something from open press conferences or such, the way it read. He is not with the team presently and probably wants to make sure the door doesn’t get slammed behind him.

    I think the pro-unity comment is intended for a two game truce. We have a long qualifying streak and I don’t think anyone wants that stopped.

    The issues of whether the Germans keep to themselves or receive mulligans were only two of many in the piece, so in one sense Howard is addressing a minor point in the article. I take him to be saying he doesn’t care what the social cliques are as long as the commitment and pride are there.

    IMO — and this is not earth shaking — some of the Germans are better in general and for the US than others. I like Jones and the backs. Williams kind of sucks. IMO, Klinsi has generally given many incumbents quite a few mulligans, and has his own favorites. But I have not seen that breaking along any sort of lines other than the pecking order plus favoritism.

    I think it’s a time for internal leadership, coach and lead players.

  33. Jamie Z. says:

    Guys, chill out. It’s obvious Brian Straus is just a pen name for Preston Zimmerman. Everything is fine.

  34. Just saying says:

    I don’t know why you guys are so hung up on this Jozy thing. Keep in mind Jozy has not done anything significant for the USA as of late. To be honest he should be left off for longer. Yeah he scores for his club good for him, it takes a lot of work to do that but how does that translate to the USMNT? Yeah JK has been experimenting a lot but tell me how else can you evaluate players? Cry me a river if the USMNT players are upset they been told that they are not accomplished, maybe it’s because like every human being you’re never fully aware of your capabilities until some one points them out to you. We have talented players that could be doing better. This are professionals. Simply playing in MLS won’t cut it not at this very moment. Maybe once we reach elite league status than you can say playing in the MLS alone merits a call up. The few that are playing in the MLS are veterans or up and coming players.

  35. AC says:

    Simple matter of fact is these guys are professionals. Bocanegra has stated that JK talks to them man to man to tell why decisions are made. Yeah, the tactics part isn’t the prettiest or non-existent, but in the end, it’s their job as PROFESSIONALS to win. They know the game and what has to be done. I can see Howard, Bocanegra, Bradley as the type of guys who play for their teammates and don’t whine about coaching. The source probably was one of the younger, immature players who live in a need-to-be-coddled world generation where texting and Twitter seem to be the main forms of communication. Take criticism like a man and either improve or don’t, simple as that. It’s not the players’ jobs to select who coaches, just go out and play the game, with even a higher level of commitment when especially playing for the national team. MAN UP!

  36. Travis in Miami says:

    I believe Straus might ahve spoke to 3 people and then pieced together his article taking from Lahm’s book, an ESPN article where Klinsmann spoke about his different influences. there was no revelations from this article. all he did was highlight the things people on these boards like to point out – nationalism, tactical acumen, training.

    With all that info out there and a couple disgruntled players it’s easy to write such piece when not naming your sources. it’s even easier to exaggerate the number of sources when keeping them confidential.

    Grain of salt people…

    • Nate Dollars says:

      so basically: you don’t like what he wrote, so he must be a liar.

    • baropbop says:

      Haven’t heard a single person comment on the part of the article where he is a bit vague, but states that Sunil has had multiple conversations with players about Klinsmann and denies further comment.

  37. Shchors says:

    I think the timing of Mr. Strauss in writing this article at this crucial juncture before important WC qualifiers says it all. He certainly knows what editors want. Controversy about a sport that mainstream America takes comfort in bashing. So what if you muddy the waters in the US camp? If the Nats lose their games it just goes to show we stink at that foreign sport anyhow and should not have been playing it in the first place. Add the century old American phobia against anything German into the mix and you have yourself a clear winner. Now Mr. Strauss may get a writing assignment about something that really matters, like golf or NASCAR.

  38. JoeW says:

    First, there’s nothing in Howard’s statement that contradicts the article. In summary, the article basically says:
    –Klinsi is enamoured with German-American players
    –Klinsi provides little tactical advice
    –Klinsi doesn’t play to the strength of his team
    –Klinsi is always changing things
    –Players have very little notice who is going to start and sometimes starters for the game spent the practices only with reserves

    Now you can agree or disagree with those conclusions by Strauss. But neither the statement by Bocanegra or the statement by Howard refute those claims. Both have basically said:
    –morale is high
    –we’re all united in wanting to qualify for the WC
    –diversity is good
    –every coach has their own way of doing things
    And I think all of those statements are true. But they don’t deny or disprove the Strauss article.

    • Ed says:

      Thank you, I think Ives article is pretty misleading

    • Brain Guy says:

      Could not have said it better myself. Neither Bocanegra nor Howard have truly come to Klinsmann’s defense.

    • Lazio Curva Sud says:

      No idea why you insist on repeating the pet name “Klinsi” over and over. Do you call him that when he strokes your hair as you spoon together in bed? I want to go on the record and say it’s very annoying – you’re saving yourself all of three letters while assuring that your posts appear biased and unserious.

    • Rowsdower says:

      See I see where Howard and Boca are coming from.. I read that because of JK there is internal strife among the players. I think both of these guys came out and said that is not true. On the surface we have all scene the roubles with tacts and what not.. for me that is a big ‘duh’ but internal issues was shocking to me. The two came out and tried to unify that

  39. pjsmoov says:

    The team is unified in support of getting to the World Cup. The players are also in complete agreement that Jurgen doesn’t stress tactics, he makes unconventional, last-minute decisions, and he uses bizarre, disturbing motivational tactics that are getting tiresome and cause even someone like Tony Robbins to shake his head in disbelief. They all also agree to a man that despite it all, they can still qualify.

  40. ed - houston says:

    2-4 points this week, that is all we ask for …

  41. Lazio Curva Sud says:

    It should be noted that Howard is downplaying the “cultural and ethnic” contrast of the black-German players while having plenty in common with them. Howard was born to a Hungarian mother and black father, and he has lived in Europe rather than the USA for over a decade now. He has much more in common, culturally and ethnically, with this alleged clique than the rest of the player pool. Howard’s public position is not at all surprising, and his statement would mean a lot more if it came from a less “diverse” veteran.

  42. Jordy says:

    I think this has been a very interesting series of events to follow. When the article first came out I felt like it was just another journalist trying to take advantage of an unique situation to try and get a big story. He definitely got exactly what he wanted. I thought the timing of the article was interesting as well. Why wasn’t it posted immediately after the Honduras game? It really doesn’t mention too much about the curent roster, so why the delay? And while bashing your coach publicly generally would directly effect your playing time, you could have anonymous sources prove any point for any argument when needed. It’s always nice to be able to quote someone saying exactly what you want to say, without having to say who they are or state their credentials. If the anonymous sources do happen to be real, and do happen to be players, I feel like they are almost certainly MLS players. If I were an American player who couldn’t catch a European break, I would definitely feel slighted at the influx of German reserves now starting for my country in front of me. The sad part about that is they probably are still going to be better than I am, even if they can’t make first team for Germany, so it makes sense that Klinnsman is going to play them over an MLSer like myself. I would take a core of Jones, Chandler, F. Johnson, and Williams over Feilhaber, Morrow, Beltran, and Beckerman 10 times out of 10. So yeah I’ll probably have some discontent if I’m the MLS guy. No offense to the USA or the MLS, but on the world level neither are really THAT good. I think Klinsmann’s attitude does bring the necessary push the US and the MLS need. No player likes to be told they’re wrong or they aren’t that good, but the best players are the ones who can take that criticism and do something about it instead of pointing fingers and fault finding.

    • Joe says:

      Too convenient Jordy, let’s just blame Jurgen because, well, why not? What has HE ever done?

      But seriously, I agree with you especially “do something about it instead of pointing finger and fault finding”. People on this board holding JK more accountable just baffle me.

  43. Ed says:

    “Players on the national team should be — and this is my own feeling — they should be Americans. If they’re all born in other countries, I don’t think we can say we are making progress.”

    Bruce Arena, q&a from earlier today.
    I don’t necessarily agree with him, but I guess that makes Bruce arena some xenophobic, racist moron, right SBI PC warriors?

    • pjsmoov says:

      He’s just saying that player development in the U.S. is not going well so we’re dependent on dual citizens to field a successful national team..

      • Ed says:

        But surely you agree he was taking a jab at the influx of dual nationals, and that their presence might have a net negative on the team as a whole. Again, that’s a pretty dumb position as far as fielding the best team possible to win right now, clearly the Germans can ball. But his reference to domestic player development is pretty interesting

        • pjsmoov says:

          Could be. It’s Arena and he always seems unhappy about something. And, I’m sure that having too many Germanericans can become a problem, particularly if its obvious that they suited up purely for opportunistic reasons. Jones, Johnson, and Williams (who probably shouldn’t have played as much–i like Edu) seem fine but I would imagine that the Chandler ordeal rubbed regular players the wrong way. I commented yesterday that I thought that although he might be the most talented right back after Cherundolo (and perhaps Cameron), he might not make a good team player.

          Being born in another country is not necessarily a problem. Being someone who doesn’t really consider himself to be American and just wants to be in a world cup might be an issue. I think Jones, Johnson, and Williams respect the jersey (kit). Not sure about Chandler. We should be able to qualify with Parkhurst, Beitashour (sp?), or Lichaj at right back. I’d favor dumping the guy in a heart beat if he dicks us around again.

        • beachbum says:

          calling Arena dumb are you?

          • Jeb says:

            B’s not international quality.

          • Ed says:

            Don’t know for certain what Arena is trying to say/imply, but if he’s implying that we shouldn’t have any of the Germans on the team, then yeah, that’s dumb. Patriotic or not, they are pretty good at soccer.

        • pjsmoov says:

          Could be. It’s Arena and he always seems unhappy about something. And, I’m sure that having too many Germanericans can become a problem, particularly if its obvious that they suited up purely for opportunistic reasons. Jones, Johnson, and Williams (who probably shouldn’t have played as much–i like Edu) seem fine but I would imagine that the Chandler ordeal rubbed regular players the wrong way. I commented yesterday that I thought that although he might be the most talented right back after Cherundolo (and perhaps Cameron), he might not make a good team player.

          Being born in another country is not necessarily a problem. Being someone who doesn’t really consider himself to be American and just wants to be in a world cup might be an issue. I think Jones, Johnson, and Williams respect the jersey (kit). Not sure about Chandler. We should be able to qualify with Parkhurst, Beitashour (sp?), or Lichaj at right back. I’d favor dumping the guy in a heart beat if he richards us around again

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        I agree with that complaint. I think, ironically and not purposefully, the influx of dual nationals has covered up a lull in the domestic pool, most evident in places like the backline where the talent pool is shallow. If you don’t have the dual nationals, wow, it’s not very good at all.

        However, whether he mis-spoke or meant it, he said something different, something more Zimmermann if you will. And though he might have been selectively quoted, reading the MLS comments together with the German comments sounds a lot like Zimmermann, who in his less ranting moments was suggesting that the mere fact you were German and U-23 doesn’t make you better than American U-23s. Yanks Abroad Syndrome, an odd comment for someone playing in Germany to make, but hey. He then wandered off into more troubling waters.

        • Ed says:

          I completely agree regarding the dual nationals covering up the lull in domestic development. Also it’s a really interesting situation, if we start a consistent pattern of simply finding someone somewhere in the world with an American parent to plug into holes of the national team, then yeah I’d say that’s pretty bad for domestic development and growing the sport here.

    • Roman Lewandowski says:

      Good post. The self-righteousness on these boards can be very tiresome. I also have reservations about this exact quote, for the record.

      • pjsmoov says:

        Some on here really go so far out of their way to show their anti-racism bonafides that it makes them look so transparently phony and absurd.

  44. dave says:

    1. There seems to be a willingness to “shoot the messenger,” the reporter who wrote the story. What’s interesting is that the visceral response to this article suggests that soccer has reached a new level in the national fan consciousness. Such as this is standard fare in countries where the national team is the subject of great passion.

    2. I don’t think anyone questions the notion that all national teams go through periods of transition, when the point of diminishing marginal returns is reached with older players, to be judged against whether the maturation of younger players has reached a sufficient point to be replacements. That is where the U.S. back line finds itself and any coach, be it Bradley, Klinsmann or another, would be challenged to cope with such circumstances. Just as any coach would be challenged to bring cohesiveness to a squad divided by ethnic and national identities.

    3. The most concerning aspect of the article to me dealt with Klinsmann’s ability tactically; whether he recognizes sufficiently the adjustments that need to be made during games. This is where I find the comments in Lahm’s book of interest. Does Klinsmann need a “Loew” type for the U.S. to be successful in competition and, if so, does he have that person at his side now or does someone need to be brought in. Just as adjusting tactics during an individual game is necessary, adjusting to the need for additional help during a qualifying run should not be avoided.

    • Ed says:

      What’s frustrating is that Klinsmann has had a ton of time to integrate new players and phase out the old. Why weren’t gonzo and Cameron paired together in friendlie? Why was Chandler so heavily relied upon when his commitment was spotty?

  45. chris_thebassplayer says:

    The last time there was this much commotion surrounding the nats was after the second ugly loss at the Confederations Cup in SA. The sky was falling BB had lost the team, there were rumors of cliques/factions questioning tactics within the team…basically the team was on the verge of imploding. Everyone came together and we saw one of the most focused efforts ever from the nats…hoping to see the same against CR.

  46. Isaac says:

    Okay, honestly, I’m not really even thinking the U.S. is “divided”. I just think Juergen Klinsmann has no idea how to actually get this team to play the style of soccer he’s been talking about. I honestly feel like he’s all talk. Too much talk, actually. He works people with his words.

  47. ChiTown says:

    Finally another journalist comes out and says what I feel.

    link to mlssoccer.com

    • Ed says:

      I dunno man, I just have a hard time siding with a seemingly arrogant and tone deaf coach whose only been involved in the US soccer setup for a few years versus our players who have dedicated much of their entire lives to US soccer..

    • Brett says:

      He basically boils his argument down to “the players should coach themselves,” which is hilariously stupid. It’s Klinsmann’s job to find the players and give them what they need to perform.

      The coach isn’t supposed to just be a motivator, it is one of many jobs a good coach does, but a good coach also knows how to put players in roles where they will succeed. A good coach recognizes team chemistry and knows that sometimes a good player might have to sit on the bench because his role is filled by someone slightly better. A good coach understands when to praise and when to criticize. A good coach knows who his leaders are and lets them lead, rather than trying to impose himself and stomp out dissent.

      • ed.m says:

        You know @Brett, if you’re going to use quotations, it’s because you’re actually quoting someone. That’s how things get misrepresented and misunderstood.

  48. Thisguy2 says:

    Screw all this anti-German bs!this us some non sense type of s***! They are damn Americans whether these lame ass players like it or not!! I don’t a f*** if they came from Nepal, if they were born from American parents than that’s what they are!

  49. kashkash says:

    haha, Josh and Sacha have been taking

  50. Ricardo says:

    Personally, I am getting a littel tired of Howard. He is playing the politically correct role here and while, albeit, is apparently a nice guy I get tired of his ranting at defenders and face it he makes nice looking saves but he has also been shite in some big games like Ghana (World Cup) and Mexico (Gold cup final)

  51. Primoone says:

    Howard <————–Captain

  52. paul says:

    Time to man up and kick ass

  53. Juan from L.A. says:

    This is what crack me up of that stupid article…”The lack of direction from coaches and the “mulligans” some believe have been granted to the German players has damaged the all-for-one camaraderie so evident at the 2010 World Cup.”…OK GUY GENIUS who wrote this crap, as far as i recall the 2010 WC left a feeling of a WC that we did what we had to and could had done more, so unlike the 2002 dont know what the heck you are talking about… and THEN BEFORE THAT he writes this…”It’s not all doom and gloom. Klinsmann has enjoyed some good results. The U.S. was a program-best 9-2-3 last year, finally beat Mexico at the Estadio Azteca and finished atop its semifinal round World Cup qualifying group”…LOL…I should had stop reading after this…enough said…venomous, LONG and stupid article…wasted five minutes of my time…

  54. Bac says:

    I know there has been a million opinions already, but I’m starting to seriously doubt the validity of this guy’s “journalism”….

    1. To find 11 guys making these comments seems a stretch…. 11? Think about it, thats a lot of people out of this crowd..

    2. IMHO The German-American angle is being blown WAY up & out of proportion, no matter what it is.. lets not forget, 2 of the 4 main players, Jones & Chandler came in under Bradley- Chandler ‘s attendence in camp has been spotty at best, and Fabian & Danny are teamates back in Germany?..Do you really call that a “Divide” in a locker room? or maybe some ruffled feathers blown out of proportion??.. I dunno

    3. The comments about the tactics and formations etc re: The Beautiful Game… it is true that the USMNT isnt Brazil or Spain or Germany… but did we want to keep down the path weve been going or is it time to take it to a new place..and that doesnt happen overnight.

    While I may agree that some of his callups & formations have been puzzling, you can say the same about every coach around the world at some point..I mean lets face it, we are not a country that can afford 6 or 7 starters lost to injury.. we just dont have that level of talent/depth..

    I just hope this serves as a unifying kick in the collective butt for everyone, because with all the injuries, negative press, and obsession ove the LD absense, its time for some solidarity as Mr. Pink would say

  55. MA1 Rodriguez says:

    I am sure there might some German kids in the USNT, but I bet minor details, and I bet theres more of a problem with Klinsmann’s system.