Evans looks set for surprise USMNT starting role vs. Germany

Brad Evans

Photo by ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

WASHINGTON – Before Jurgen Klinsmann officially made Brad Evans a late addition on the U.S. Men’s National Team roster set to play five games this summer, the U.S. Men’s National Team head coach phoned Evans to let him know of the opportunity he had in front of him. Klinsmann recounted to Evans how he staked his claim with the German national team during his playing days, stepping in during the injury absences of others and impressing his head coach.

Evans will apparently now have his chance to do the same.

A day before the U.S. host Germany in the U.S. Soccer centennial match at what is expected to be a sold-out RFK Stadium, Evans trained with what looked to be the first team on Saturday. But Evans was not deployed in his customary central midfield role, instead being deployed out on the right side of the defense.

While Evans has played right back under Klinsmann before, he has not had many starts there in a U.S. jersey. That, however, is seemingly not stopping Klinsmann from starting Evans over the likes of Geoff Cameron and Michael Parkhurst at right back against Germany on Sunday.

“Just that awareness of mostly the balls being switched over my head, That’s the kind of thing I kind of look forward to tomorrow,” said Evans of what he learned from playing right back during the second half of a scoreless draw with Canada in January. “Obviously, playing against a team like Germany that can knock the ball and get behind in the final third, always looking over my shoulder and making sure that I defend first and make them play to the outside and then deal with crosses rather than combining through the middle and a clear shot on goal.

“Those are the kinds of things I think about moving forward but I also like to think of the offensive side of it. If I can get forward and help Graham (Zusi) out, if we can combine and sort of pin them back, maybe it takes a bit of a second thought on their left back from coming forward and attacking so much so that maybe Graham and I can get forward and pin them back. It’s a little game of cat and mouse but first of all, I’m still learning the position. It’s a great opportunity.”

Evans may still be adapting to playing as a right back, but he is not entirely unfamiliar with the position either. He spent some time there at the 2009 Gold Cup under then-head coach Bob Bradley and has also done so sporadically with the Seattle Sounders.

Those experiences, combined with the defense-first mentality that comes from playing as a holding midfielder, have Evans feeling comfortable with playing at right back.

“It’s obviously a much different position than center mid or right mid, so it’s just the awareness on the defensive side,” said Evans. “But you watch tape and you look at players’ tendencies and things like that but I like to think I’m a quick learner. I use the proponents that I have in the center midfield to kind of put those at right back, use that going forward but also being aware that I’m a defender first. That’s the most important thing.”

Evans most recently played for the U.S. in this past Wednesday’s 4-2 loss to Belgium, but that appearance came as a substitute right midfielder. Evans’ last outing as a right back under Klinsmann came in the second half of January’s friendly with Canada, and he helped up well during the few instances that the lackluster Canadians pushed forward.

“At the right back position, I think Brad is a very smart player,” said Omar Gonzalez, who played next to Evans in that match against Canada. “He understands where to be and good positioning and he has a lot of energy, so he can run all day. He plays very well and he’s not scared to attack either, so that’s a good thing as a right back to do your defensive responsibilities but also help out on the attack. I think he can bring all these qualities.”

“(Our chemistry) is probably still developing but I’m very comfortable with him back there. It’s my job to make him as comfortable as possible. Just communicating to him as much as I can and getting him in the right spots. I think he’s going to do great.”

Evans could be intimidated by the task he apparently has in front of him. After all, Germany boasts plenty of attacking talent with the likes of Lukas Podolski and Miroslav Klose.

Evans isn’t, however. Instead, he is focused on playing well and proving to Klinsmann that  he is ready to stake his claim with the U.S. first team, much in the same way Klinsmann did with Germany so many years ago.

“That’s everybody’s goal here and that’s what everybody is fighting for,” said Evans. “Each level that you get higher and higher, that gap becomes so much smaller and it’s one or two little intangibles that maybe put one guy in front of you and one guy on the bench. That’s why you’re here to play in these next games and help the team move forward.”

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123 Responses to Evans looks set for surprise USMNT starting role vs. Germany

  1. Benjamin C. says:

    What exactly is Klinsmann trying to do with this team? I really need to know, because I am baffled at this point.

    • APK says:

      My hunch is Klinsmann is playing little in-team psychological games in the aim of vetting out the stronger-will-to-play player, a player who will rise to the top. This is naturally frustrating because on one very important level, that is the point of club futbol: the players develop their bite there (not to mention tactical acumen), and then they enter the national team fold and things like chemistry and style take flight under the direction of a cohesive manager. Klinsmann seems painfully out of his depth. No doubt he was obviously a fantastic striker. But it is now glaringly obvious a mistake of the USSF to think that that translates into coaching prowess. It’s too late to tinker. At the door step of its next qualifiers, this unit needs to be locked down in warrior mode, which was a quality wholly absent in the Belgium match. It’s never too late to can the coach though. What’s Phil Jackson’s availability like?

    • PD says:

      I understand that this is the Internet and all, but over the top “JK sucks”posts are starting to get tiresome. I can only imagine they will increase after today. But we should bear in mind that JK was brought in to CHANGE things. We can argue about his tactics we can question the strategy, but he was brought here to try new things and that includes putting folks in situations they had not considered, and until they fail on the pitch I think we would do well to keep an open mind about them. Growth can often look like failure, and when you try new things you are bound to fail at times. But while questionable, nothing JK has done thus far has seemed improvised or unplanned. We can disagree with his choices (his handling of Bocanegra was pretty poor), but he’s not a fool.

      • David M says:

        “JK was brought in to CHANGE things”?? Where did that come from? JK, like any other coach, was brought in to win games and improve on the results of the previous regime. Considering that Klinsmann makes about four times as much as Bradley did, I would expect a four-time improvement in the results: i.e. at least a Confederations Cup win and a world cup semifinal.

        • APK says:

          Well said. And to “PD”: I hate to be the bearer of edifying news, my young friend, but one cannot change things from the top down. Real changes, lasting changes, come from the bottom up. Something that Americans, in their imperial-oriented mindsets, will never understand, which is in part why futbol is doomed in 2nd gear in the great ole sluggish USA. Want to know why France won the Cup in Germany in 1998? Get in your little time machine and visit all the training grounds of all the clubs in France in the late 80’s and 90’s.

          • Old School says:

            Considering a lot of immaturity that runs rampant on this board, why did you feel the need to say, “my young friend”?

            Why are you implying he’s “young”? Because you disagree with him that means he’s young?

            • APK says:

              Not necessarily, to both your questions. The language is more in jest, prodding, provocation. This is a blog with the option to comment, is it not? The point of view of “PD” is green; it screams of adolescent inexperience, a naiveté if you will.

              • slowleftarm says:

                Your tone speaks of adolescence (or worse) far more than the post to which you were responding.

              • APK says:

                To “slowleftarm”: maybe, but I’m an articulate, informed adolescent-toned connaisseur of the beautiful game.

      • drew11 says:

        We are in the middle of the freaking HEX. This is no time to be jacking around playing mind games with the squad. He needs to pick a first 11 and roll with it.

        • Old School says:

          “We are in the middle of the freaking HEX.”

          Except this is a friendly and we have an ACTUAL match, that counts, in 5 days.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        There’s “hope and change” and then there’s starting Evans at RB. Evans does nothing to show Klinsi has uncovered some diamond, and meanwhile he refuses to call in people like Lichaj who might actually constitute “hope and change” so to speak. Evans is a known, mediocre quantity.

        • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

          While I completely agree that Lichaj should have been called in, there’s no use in crying over spilled milk at this point.

          I’m assuming Evans is playing RB to allow us to try Cameron as part of the CB combo. This would be mean Klinsmann doesn’t see Cameron as the long term solution at RB (I agree with that) and the CB partnership is much more important to figure out (also true). If Evans can just put in a half decent shift on the right we will learn much more about who could be our CB pairing moving forward.

          All this really means to me is that Klinsmann wants to try Cameron at center back and Parkhurst has not been impressive during camp. Fabian Johnson looks set to play on the left with Beasley. Evans is our only real option left on the roster at this point.

          I’m just as confused about many of Klinsmann’s moves as anyone else but this one makes sense.

        • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

          While I completely agree that Lichaj should have been called in, there’s no use in crying over spilled milk at this point.

          I’m a$suming Evans is playing RB to allow us to try Cameron as part of the CB combo. This would be mean Klinsmann doesn’t see Cameron as the long term solution at RB (I agree with that) and the CB partnership is much more important to figure out (also true). If Evans can just put in a half decent shift on the right we will learn much more about who could be our CB pairing moving forward.

          All this really means to me is that Klinsmann wants to try Cameron at center back and Parkhurst has not been impressive during camp. Fabian Johnson looks set to play on the left with Beasley. Evans is our only real option left on the roster at this point.

          I’m just as confused about many of Klinsmann’s moves as anyone else but this one makes sense.

          • Sam says:

            Didn’t we figure this out in Mexico? Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler worked the best defense I’ve seen out off the US in a while. Geoff Cameron worked best at right back in my opinion, against Belgium he look bad at the right

            • Sam says:

              Sorry I meant to put centre at the end not right

            • the umistakeable Ronaldinho says:

              They played great in that 1 game, but Gonzo has made far too many head scratching mistakes with the US and Galaxy this year. We can’t put all our eggs in that basket yet. Cameron is likely our best CB at the moment and I think Klinsmann wants to see X player paired with him today. Our defense is still a revolving door and no one has really staked their claim to be a sure fire starter there yet. Can’t stand the idea of Brad Evans starting the upcoming 3 qualifiers though. Klinsmann is really rolling the dice there if that’s what he goes with.

  2. dude says:

    ……………..
    Words fail me. Internet, unleash hell.

    “Lichaj,” that’s the word I was looking for!

    • Neruda says:

      I agree dude. All we can say to Klinsmann on this one is a puzzling “aaahhhhh. What?”

    • Elber Galarga says:

      He doesn’t play nor does he have a team. Forget about that guy. Struggled when he did play.

      • Iggy says:

        Actually he did play a bit down the stretch or villa and its his natural position.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        By that you mean struggled when he played so well for the US at Gold Cup 2011 that Bradley kept using him? Not his fault his booster lost his job after the final……

  3. jones says:

    I assume the reason for this is to get Cameron back in the middle. But who knows at this point.

    • Bobb says:

      Okay but then why not play Parkhurst at RB? He’s better than Evans and he’s actually a RB.

      Or if your top two RBs (Chandler, Dolo) are out, maybe call in Beitashour or Myers or half a dozen guys who aren’t BRAD EVANS.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        Because Parkhurst is so slow that using him is foolish. Can you imagine what Panama and Jamaica would do to him? You have to have an athlete to keep up with athletes. When we try to play slow finesse against athletic teams, these two sides will beat us.

        • away goals says:

          Speed at outside back is valuable but it’s trumped by experience. If you’re taking a step forward when you should be dropping all the pace in the world won’t help you catch a well-timed run.

          See belgium’s fourth goal over beasley’s head.

  4. Freddie Footballer says:

    If that’s the case, look for Germany to target Evans and abuse him. This could be bad.

    • SBI Troll says:

      If the defense concedes less than four goals, Jürgen may have a shot at this international level head coaching thing

  5. Bob says:

    Oh, good god no. Please, no. Am i on dirty tackle? Please, oh god.

  6. Nick4235 says:

    I have graduation tom. during the game. I recorded it to watch on Monday. If I see Evans started I won’t even bother watching the rest.

  7. atd says:

    You couldn’t make this stuff up.

  8. B-Rad says:

    Hahaha! A dream come true for all of SBI’s Brad Evans haters. On a different note, Evans is better than Lichaj, so good call Klinsmann! It’s a friendly against one of the best teams in the world. Perfect chance for Evans to rise to the occasion.

    • john says:

      Umm… well, yes, true enough, he gets a chance to rise to the occasion. There’s another possibility for what happens, though… and that’s utter humiliation. I hope you’re right, but I doubt it.

      On the plus side, moving Fabian Johnson to midfield makes a lot of sense to me. The one thing Klinsmann has done that makes sense. If we get rid of Zusi and Davis, that’s a good start.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      sarcasm? if so, it’s a little too subtle.

    • slimkid32 says:

      +1. Tired of the Lichaj argument. Not in camp and hasn’t been, makes no sense to bring in the mix now. Only played for Villa in desperate times and did so well they decided not to re-sign him. When I read all the pro-Lichaj arguments, you would think Lichaj was a regular starter for MUFC and everyone else chosen at fullback were starters in the NASL. Stevie C. and Timmy Chandler are still 1 and 2 at RB anyways so the battle for third is a little less life or death as some make it seem.

      • dude says:

        You want to know why we’re talking about Lichaj, aside from his appearances as a solid right back?

        The argument is that Lichaj didn’t play enough for Aston Villa to warrant inclusion. But Brad Evans, who is not a full back, let alone a good one, should be put there to see how it goes?

        We talk about Lichaj because they’ve tried every other option, options that aren’t working out, except him.

        BTW, + 1 to the argument that Evans is better is the worst decision you’ve made this week.

        • slimkid32 says:

          LOL! Should have specified. +1 was directed to the first sentence of the comment. Don’t know who is better but I don’t think the difference between the two is as great as people make it out to be, but that is just my opinion. Lichaj was preferred to players with less experience and who were younger in age and that does not bode well for him. To bring him in now would not make sense at all being that he hasn’t been in the mix at all. It would not be fair to him to bring him and expect him to perform without having worked under JK at all. To bring him now, IMO, would be setting him up for failure and prolonged exclusion from the USMNT. Also, Stevie C. and Timmy Chandler are stlll 1 and 2 on the depth chart so we are arguing about the #3 RB, which I think is a good thing.

          • dude says:

            He’s still on the fringe, that is true. He needs to find a club who will let him play, and he’d have work to do to make it back on the field for the USMNT.

            However, Cherundolo declined playing in qualifiers to focus on his club team. That sounds a lot like Friedel’s decision to not waste his time going back and forth across the Atlantic. He might well be out of the picture.

            Chandler is talented, but in poor form, and his commitment, both on and off the field, is in question. Honduras was a horror show for him.

            Cameron was part of two clean sheets in qualifiers, but that’s about all that can be said for him at the position. He has weaknesses that can be exploited.

            So call in Lichaj, and see where he is. If he doesn’t merit playing time, that’s on him. But trotting out MLS drudges, especially ones who don’t play the damn position, is a mockery of his abilities. This idea that he would disrupt the mix- because he would rock the boat? Evans was just called in, and is starting tomorrow out of position. That’s a bit more extreme.

            • PD says:

              My understanding is that Cherundolo asked for a break because he saw a full Bundesliga season flowing into the World Cup and he realized that if he’s going to be relevant for that scenario he needs to stay healthy. My understanding is that JK has no issue with strategic decision, nor does it change the projection that SC is the #1 at RB. This was not an issue of club over country, this was an issue of not killing the goose that lays the golden egg. It was a smart move in the long run.

      • Nate Dollars says:

        “When I read all the pro-Lichaj arguments, you would think Lichaj was a regular starter for MUFC and everyone else chosen at fullback were starters in the NASL.”

        or it could just be that he’s a natural fullback in one of the top leagues in the world, he’s performed well for us before, and it makes sense to call him up and see what happens.

        really, if that’s what you get from pro-lichaj arguments, then that says more about you than the other commenters.

        • Mig says:

          Nate, stop making sense, man.

        • biff says:

          Yep, Nate Dollars. Absolutely correct. The joker above is a barrel of laughs repeatedly pronouncing Chandler number 2 on the USMNT RB depth chart, the Timothy Chandler who has played only two USMNT games in 20 months, one of which he was awful the other of which he was weak, the Timothy Chandler who at Nurnberg was so bad in final months the coach finally gave up and sat him on the bench, the Timothy Chandler who was back in training last week and just days ago flew to Greece for holiday instead of joining this camp, the Timothy Chandler who apparently has snubbed Klinsmann’s invitation to wear the shirt of the US in this summer’s Gold Cup competition. Just sayin’

          And two years ago Eric Lichaj played at RFK for the USMNT, helping set up a goal from JJ90Y.

          link to youtube.com

          • slimkid32 says:

            Not making an argument for Chandler just saying that seems be the reality. Sorry to be such a joker. Love it when you guys take personal jabs. Pure Class.

        • slimkid32 says:

          Not anymore he isn’t. Pretty sure Cameron played more this season at RB( and was a preferred starter for Stoke) than Lichaj did for Villa (who played only when players were injured or suspended). Lichaj had plenty of opportunity to earn a starting role against players younger than him and consistently failed to do so.
          This is an argument for a year or two ago. He has not been brought in at all anywhere along the way and Evans has been in multiple camps. JK is using the player pool that he has created to fill gaps when they come up. Plus, Lichaj needs the summer to settle his club situation. I think we all want Lichaj to be the guy but he simply is not better than Chandler or Dolo right now, so in reality the argument beomes who should be third on the RB depth chart and I just don’t see the point of that. Lichaj is still very young and has a future with the USMNT, but it obviously isn’t right now. Be patient his time will come. Move on.

          • jlm says:

            quoting you: “Lichaj is still very young and has a future with the USMNT, but it obviously isn’t right now. Be patient his time will come. Move on.”

            What makes you think that Lichaj is a part of the future of the team. The feeling I get is that as long as Klinsmann is in charge, he will not bother looking at him.

            This is the perfect time to call Lichaj in. Just because he has not been called in yet does not matter. There is time to integrate him now, but maybe not time after the summer.

            Lichaj’s club situation should not matter. Games with the US National Team will help him in this regard, not hurt his chances of finding a club.

            Move on to what? Evans? I would rather not.

            I hope Evans does well, but I do not like how Klinsmann got to this point.

            • slimkid32 says:

              I’ll clarify a bit, I believe Lichaj has time to create a future for himself with USMNT. For whatever reason right now he is not what JK is looking for, but he is very young and will have time to change this. I do believe Lichaj has been monitored by JK and his staff and probably had communication with Paul Lambert and Aston Villa. I doubt seriously that he is just being completely ignored.
              And i do believe his club situation does matter. Players typically do need a little time to sort out where they will be playing especially when they have no club. And I do understand your frustration with how JK got to this point but we are here and we will be fine at RB. Dolo will be back, I won’t mention Chandler because that is frowned upon, and Geoff Cameron has played it effieciently from both the USMNT and Stoke City if worse comes to worse.

          • biff says:

            +1. Very good argument, jlm. and let’s not forget, there was another American player who was not appreciated at Aston Villa, who for half a season warmed the bench or did not dress on game days. Not saying we can make an identical comparison to Michael Bradley’s treatment at Aston Villa with Lichaj’s, only that Lichaj should be given a look by Klinsmann at right back ahead of Brad Evans. and if Lichaj would flop, cased closed and moved on and let’s see how Brad Evans can do.

            • slimkid32 says:

              Good argument as well Biff, however Lichaj failed to impress under two different coaches and against different players and he had longer than half a season to do so. I’m with you on just giving him a shot but I believe that ship has sailed and JK wants to be able to solve problems with his existing player pool.

              • slimkid32 says:

                Also think bringing him right doesn’t really give him enough time to make big enough of an impression to become part of the squad and could actually hurt his chances down the road. Throwing him in against Germany or even Belgium with just a few sessions with the team seems to be a recipe for disaster. Evans has been through camps with JK and if he performs poorly, oh well we have RB covered anyways with Cameron, Dolo, even FJ can play there, and Evans is a natural midfielder . But if Lichaj shows poorly as a natural RB… Just seems like there would be more to lose with Lichaj than with Evans. Dolo is the starter and Cameron is good enough to gets us through the next qualifiers if need be.

    • SBI Troll says:

      Yedlin>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Evans

    • Sam says:

      Are you alright? Lichaj is the obvious choice over Brad Evans, is not enough that his natural position is RB!

  9. Jim in Atlanta says:

    Ok its official Jurgen is a nutter!… Or just a massive troll

    I suggested playing Danny Williams at rb instead of Cameron which is a cb and is just a waste at rb and people act like that was crazy. But putting Evans at rb is better? I agree, if Evans starts anywhere on the field I will not watch and I will then launch the fire Klinsmann campaign on every website I possibly can.

    ”Don’t wake the snake. You drinking my saki chemosabi? ”
    – will ferell

  10. Amru says:

    It wasn’t until this very moment that I realized klinsmann really doesn’t have a clue

    • jones says:

      Right. He’s just clueless as a coach.

      I’m going to say it now: Bob Bradley was a better (and more consistent) coach. He did more with less. Klinsmann does much less with less.

      • atleticodemadridfan says:

        Correct. And as well, Bruce Arena would have this BS well sorted out by now, with a solid core of starters, and some decent attacking play.
        Bradley was genius in that he kept it simple – he really knew how to keep it simple, and play to the strengths of his team. The US players really liked him.
        Sigh…………..
        Klinsmann is a legend in his own mind, but the reality is that he is relatively clueless as a coach.

        • jones says:

          yes, and it is also a difference in personality. Klinsmann has a big ego and thinks he is always right. He is stubborn and his comments bring to mind the behaviors of a petulant child.

          Imo, these are not things you want in a coach. I was never a BB hater but could have supported a new coach. But I think Klinsmann was a poor choice.

          • PD says:

            I would suggest that the vaunted Bruce Arena has been every bit as d$ckish,than the current coach, if not more so. And there were many on this thread that wanted Senior Bradley’s head for his insistence on sticking with players that the rest of the universe saw as a liability (remember the anyone but Bornstein campaign?)

      • Neruda says:

        I think Klinsmann is doing less with more. He has more options now especially with European based pros be it the German born players or other Americans playing at a top level outside of MLS.

        • Bac says:

          Lots of truth in your comment… while the talent pool may be mediocre, it is a larger talent pool to draw from, hence the need for SOME reasonable consistency…. either that or a script for Prozac

      • cactus says:

        been saying that for a while now. i’ll give Klinnsman until the world cup, anything less than the round of 8 is unacceptable since that wasnt good enough for Bradley either.

  11. Keith Buderus says:

    Is this a joke? This can’t be true.

  12. Beto says:

    Best of luck to him but seriously wasnt april fools months ago? Honestly i would feel more comfortable with bornstein than evans back there.. I would prefer about 8 other RBs in the US pool over evans.. Good luck vs Germany

  13. bryan says:

    he has no business starting.

  14. blokhin says:

    oh, Jurgen the all-powerful, you are truly all-knowing and your word is the ultimate one when it comes to all things USMNT. Hail your genius and vision and boldness. You alone possess the power to add and drop players from the team and play them in whichever positions you please.

    Now that we got that out of the way, can please stop F-ing around and put the most talented, skilled and healthiest players at their positions instead of reaching further back into the mediocrity of MLS to find guys to play out of position…

  15. BSU SC says:

    I don’t mean this to be at all disrespectful, but this blog is wrong more often than not on predicting the starting line-up for the USMNT(or anything close to it)…and it’s generally wrong on stories like this (spot on with most other stories). It makes for nice conversation, but I’ll eat my shoe if Brad Evans starts at right back against Germany tomorrow.

  16. Nick4235 says:

    Does the fact that he says that he will look to get forward and combine with Zusi indicate that Zusi will be getting the start at right mid too? (Serious question)

    • slimkid32 says:

      From all we have heard I would say yes. Jozy up top with Deuce behind. Zusi right and Fabian left. JJ and MB holding with DMB, Besler, Cameron, Evans, left to right.

  17. slimkid32 says:

    Have no problem with this, assuming that this will bring Geoff Cameron back central to partner with Matt Besler and keep DMB left with Fabian moving to the midfield. Also because this is a FRIENDLY. If it does’t work, fine, we knoe FJ can play there without issue. Even Cameron can suffice against CONCACAF.

    • Bobb says:

      Sure DMB on the left, Evans on the right, makes sense… because if we’re not going to have a real RB at RB, we might as well not have a real LB at LB.
      Beasley is a winger… using him at LB is fine in an emergency but in general it’s a disaster waiting to happen. And it’s complete idiocy when Fabian Johnson is now back with the team.
      So of course he’ll probably do just that, because he’s Klinsmann.

  18. Benny says:

    What the H*ll is going on around here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. chris_thebassplayer says:

    I wouldn’t read too much into it…probably means Cameron at CB, so we need somebody to fill in at RB. Evans held his own at RB, granted now he’ll face top level competition, so we’ll see. For this game, I’d rather see him there than Parkhurst.

  20. I think most of you fail to see the genius of Klinsman. Here’s what my tea leaves show me he’s doing.

    1. What opposing coach can prepare for our team? What style of play will the US use? Which personnel? You can’t know! Prepare for that, Germany!

    2. What can USMNT players do in a situation where they are shoved from one position to the next? Play their heart out giving their all.

    Now, I’ve let a little sarcasm seep in to the above but I still have faith in Klinsman that he’s asking putting players in positions to say “step up, or shut up.” Evans. Donovan.

    The players that consistently step up, haven’t had to deal with any crap. Dempsey, Howard, Jones, Bradley.

    These are friendlies and Klinsman’s boys know who’s nailed it down and who hasn’t. He’s separating men from the boys.

    • Fredo says:

      He’s also separating professional soccer players from their natural positions.

    • Bobb says:

      This isn’t 2011-12, we are in the middle of a summer with World Cup qualification hex games and a Gold Cup that matters now. The fact that he’s still experimenting with guys in random positions is hardly a good sign.

    • EspinDOHla says:

      What Fredo said! What’s the point of playing people in all different positions that they don’t normally play in?

      Also, teams (at least the core) need time to gel and get on the same page. Jurgen hasn’t played the same line…ever!! That’s insane! Look at a team like Spain. Yes, they are insanely talented but part of the reason they are so good together as they are used to playing with each other and they understand each other and their tendencies. A team can never get on the same page if there is no consistency.

      • PD says:

        They also almost exclusively play weekly on the top two clubs in La Liga and have been called a golden generation of players since the were teenagers. Please compare apples with apples.

        • EspinDOHla says:

          You are missing the point. I don’t care if this is US high school soccer or Spain’s golden generation….the more you play together as a group, the better you will be collectively. Look at Antigua and Barbuda. Almost all the players play on Antigua Barracuda FC. How is it that a small island country with hardly any soccer infrastructure and around 80,000 people can do well? They play together all the time!!! US should thrash them…yet we eek out 1-0 wins.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      he’s just trying to push germany out of their comfort zone!

    • Nate Dollars says:

      “The players that consistently step up, haven’t had to deal with any crap. Dempsey, Howard, Jones, Bradley.”

      i think you said more than you meant to with this statement. klinsmann’s building the team around dempsey. aside from jones out on the wings a couple times, he’s pretty much been played in his natural position. howard’s certainly hasn’t had to deal with any crap. i guess bradley was the only one who seemed to be on the outs with klinsmann, but i think his return was spurred more by the subpar performances by our other c-mids, than any ‘stepping up’ by bradley.

      so it could also be said: “The players that haven’t had to deal with any crap are the ones who are performing well.”

    • biff says:

      the genius of Klinsman…

      @jonathanwallace. what kind of tea it that you are drinking?

  21. Eldin says:

    This is a sink or swim moment for Evans. It’s a friendly after all. I was worried that Klismann would put Johnson at RB, whom I’m excited to see back in the midfield if the rumors are to be believed that he’s starting at LM.

    We’ll be fine at RB once Cherundolo and Chandler get back.

    • Fredo says:

      We have a very important game in less than a week. When do Dolo and Chandler get back?

    • Juan says:

      My memory of Chandler’s last outing was more of a why did we even want him.

      Play Parkhurst, he won’t hurt you, is a good passer and breaks up plays before they get started, not by chasing the guy that just beat you.

  22. Rey Pygsterio says:

    Klinsmann treats all these games like they are testimonials.

  23. Kung Fu Kangaroo says:

    It might not be that bad. He’s a DM, so he’s used to defending and breaking up plays. He should be very comfortable on the ball, maybe more so than your typical RB.

    • Bobb says:

      He’s also average at best, in MLS. Why not call in Beitashour or Myers or hell Yedlin? Yedlin plays RB for the Sounders, not Evans. Klinsmann is so bad at evaluating the talent pool that the U-20 team currently has a better RB than the national team.

  24. SBI Troll says:

    He’s not even the best right back on his club team. I’d rather see German utility man Danny Williams at RB. I don’t believe Michael Parkhurst is international quality but at least he trains at that position.

    The only bright side to this is that either Fabian Johnson or Beasley will have to play in the midfield now and will provide some attacking threat outside of Dempsey for the time in months. I love MLS and all, but if you play two wingers with no speed who are supposed to “create” you have no chance against any teams outside CONCACAF.

  25. sammysounder says:

    This reminds me of Brads second and third year with the Sounders. Everyone hated him, but slowly realized that the team won more games with him on the field. Admittedly, I was an Evans hater. He won me around with Workman-like performances that help win games. Will this translate to the national team? I don’t know, but he’s going to work hard, he’ll pick up a professional yellow and all the boards will write him off. Don’t watch the rankings of brad Evans the day after the match and expect to understand how he did. Watch the rankings of the player in front of him and the Germans left flank. Brad never looks good, but everyone around him gets better.

    • Mig says:

      that is a really savvy observation.

    • Beto says:

      Good comment, we certainly need players that can allow the others to play confidently.. we will see but count me as a doubter until..

    • Beto says:

      Also i would say parkhurst has the same qualities but with proven international experience

      • Orde Wingate says:

        I agree with you re: Parkhurst’s qualities, but can you define “proven international experience”?

        Parkhurst has 15 caps, Evans 7. Not really a significant difference there. Neither have been on a World Cup squad. Parkhurst played in the 2007 Gold Cup, but only appeared in the group stages vs. Trinidad and Tobago and Guatemala (at CB, no less) and did not appear in any of the knockout games.

        Maybe I missed something, but it doesn’t look like either of them have appeared in what we might call an “important” game.

  26. Mister JC says:

    No matter who starts this game or not, this is just a friendly. If JK wanted to try this during qualifying, then I would have questions. Even then, I would at least wait and see what happens before jumping to conclusions…

  27. Andy N says:

    Here’s the lineup I hope to eventually see the USMNT in:

    Dempsey Altidore
    Bradley
    Fabian Johnson Donovan
    Jones

    Gonzalez
    Chandler Cherundolo
    Besler

    Howard

  28. Juan says:

    I thought it was time for Arena to go… let the team get too old, not enough young blood. Then came BB. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Bob was afraid to try and win and introduced the empty bucket (dull, boring soccer). When he was cut loose, I was glad. Enter JK. I wasnt sure about him but if it meant getting rid of BB, I was for it. Big talk early..”we were going to attack” and in short order, back to the empty bucket and no goals.

    Take us to to today. JK is not getting the job done. We are still in a state of transition, trying guys like Evans and Davis that have NO PLACE on the NAT team and I am afraid about the upcoming qualifiers. We just might not even go at this point. I have lost faith in JK and his crazy rosters. If Evans does in fact start… I hope Germany fries him (and JK) and the learning experience here will be that he’s not good enough and never should have been called.

    JK has to go before it’s too late for us

    • Juan says:

      I forgot to add, I think I want Arena back ASAP

    • biff says:

      Hey, Juan, that is almost exactly how I felt. Although I admire the job BB is doing at Egypt and predict after he takes them to the World Cup next summer he will end up with a top coaching job, I am unrepentant that it was time for him to go. IMO firing him was the right decision, although I wish he would have stepped down, which I would imagine he was offered the chance. Klinsmann was not my first choice either, but he was something new and talked a good game and I had high hopes. But the thrill is gone and I have lost faith and will not shed tears if he is let go.

      All that said, who knows, maybe this will be the camp when things start to gel and what has appeared to be a total lack of competence with Klinsmann will in retrospect look like the work of a genius.

  29. Wispy says:

    Listen, JK has done some crazy things with the lineup, but I don’t think this is one of them. Evans is not getting a tryout here to be our starting RB; no matter who plays there against Germany, he’ll be behind Dolo and Chandler on the depth chart. Klinsmann is looking for *utility* players here: hard workers who are team guys that can fill in at multiple positions (think Spector in 2010). If Evans gets fried, no harm done because it’s a friendly. If he steps up, then great, maybe he makes the qualifying roster for depth. Coaches do this all the time and it doesn’t make them crazy.

    • Ramon says:

      A utility player? This isn’t baseball. Evans lack of skill, athleticism, and technical ability demonstrates to me Klinsman does not have an eye for talent. I don’t mind guys who can play more than one spot, but Evans isn’t even one of the better players in MLS. I’d rather see Sheanon Williams, Beitashour, Beltran, Sarkodie, or Anibaba(who has played RB b4) than that clown Evans. I think Fabia. Johnson or Danny Williams are better at RB than Evans.

      • Wispy says:

        Maybe you don’t like the term “utility,” but you obviously didn’t get my point. You named 5 MLS players as an alternative to Evans at RB . . . and none of them play more than one position (save Anibaba, and he (1) plays some CB, where we are relatively deep, and (2) is WAY down on the list talent-wise). You also named 2 other players that are already going to make the roster for the upcoming WCQs. BY playing Evans at RB, JK is looking for players to fill the gaps in his roster for depth — and giving Cameron a chance to slide back over to center-half. He is NOT looking to replace someone like Johnson who is arguably one of the most technically gifted players in the pool.

        • Ramon says:

          Seems like you were right based on the 1st half. I eat crow. However I’d like to see some of the young I mentioned get some time with national team. I’ve seen Evans at RB before and CMF. I was very unimpressed until today.

  30. pjsmoov says:

    Someone needs to take away Jurgen’s magic eight ball or at least tell him not to trust it.

  31. Seaoctopus says:

    Dom Kinnear, your post-2014 USMNT coach…

  32. Vic says:

    -upI was very angry when i read this. However, based on Straus’s article Klinnsmann doesn’t let players know the lineup until the day of game. That’s why no one has been able to accurately predict the line-up.

  33. Ben says:

    Evans and Zusi are going to be a plodding right side. Can we cover the field with snow?

  34. cencalfooty says:

    I’m embarrassed for the first time since 2006. Klinsi is a joke. Better players at my local park then Evans.

  35. TC Jones says:

    Okay, everyone needs to take a quick moment to breathe before you jump all over the “Evans is not a natural RB/sack Klinsmann” train. JK wants more attack on the team, so why not try to convert a midfielder to play your outside back when other options are low? Unless we all want to forget that he did the same thing with success on the left side with a guy names Fabian Johnson? Do I think Brad Evans is the solution? Probably not, but at this point I’ve seen Cameron on the RB so much that I have to believe a midfielder can do a better job in that slot. I will watch the game today and reserve my judgement until the 90 has played out.

    • sammysounder says:

      I think this is more of a test to see how Evans does at RB against a top side. If they were looking for a RB it would be Yedlin getting a shot. Brad is trying out for “utility man coming off the end of the bench”.

  36. braun says:

    JK is clueless. I expect this to be a whopping defeat.
    I am certain that when he fails today that almost everyone will be asking for his head.

  37. Footballisking says:

    I have to wonder, how many people who comment here have the same CV as Jurgen Klinsmann? Do, any of us even understand what he is trying to do? Just because arm-chair quartebacks dont get it, doesn’t mean he is out of his depth, or doesn’t have a clue?

    I’m baffled at the responses on here, I honestly am

    • slowleftarm says:

      What a stupid statement. So no one should comment unless they’ve coached a national team before? I think you’d see some pretty sparse comment threads.

  38. slowleftarm says:

    More Klinsmann nonsense. Generally speaking, there is no need to play people out of position with a national team. This isn’t a club where your roster is limited and you may need people to fill in at unfamiliar positions from time to time. If you need a right back you just call in the next best right back. Why is this so difficult? Instead we have a defensive mid playing right back and a left winger playing left back (who is filling in for the usual left back, who is also actually a left winger).

    Then when questioned about tactics Klinsmann responds with nonsense about being willing to suffer. The only ones suffering are American soccer supporters. This team is going nowhere with this egomaniac in charge. Next please!!!!