Klinsmann pledges to “bring in the best players” for October qualifiers

Jurgen Klinsmann

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

With only five more matches left on FIFA’s international calendar before Jurgen Klinsmann must select his World Cup squad, every match is an opportunity for the U.S. Men’s National Team head coach to find the best 23 players to take to Brazil.

Heading into their final two World Cup qualifying matches on October 11 vs. Jamaica and October 15 at Panama, the USMNT’s fate is already sealed. However, that doesn’t mean that Klinsmann doesn’t want to rest some of his stars and potentially miss out on finishing at the top of CONCACAF’s Hexagonal phase for the third consecutive time.

“Definitely for our last two qualifiers against Jamaica and Panama, our approach is six points,” Klinsmann told USSoccer.com. “We want to win these two games badly, and we are going to bring in the best players. We are going to bring in everyone that is available and finish this qualifying campaign on the highest note possible.

Therefore, everybody that is fit and healthy and belongs in that group will be there.”

This calendar year has certainly been a banner year for American soccer on a number of different levels. For only the second time ever, the USMNT earned a result in Estadio Azteca, went on a 12-match winning streak that included a Gold Cup title and wins over European foes (Germany and Bosnia and Herzegovina), as well as then defeating Mexico at home, 2-0, to qualify for the World Cup Finals next summer.

In addition, Klinsmann’s mantra of competition is finally beginning to show results. More than 45 players called into USMNT squads this summer have impressed in the national team colors and Klinsmann has built a squad that is not only versatile in what positions they can play, but is also deep at nearly every position.

“Competition is an ongoing, never-ending topic in our environment,” Klinsmann said. “We want to challenge everyone. The starting guys need to feel there is a guy behind that wants to take his spot away, and even that guy is challenged by another guy.

“We want to go deeper and deeper into our pool to find more players and more competition. This race will go on until May 2014 and a moth prior to the World Cup, and then we have to narrow it down and at the end of the day name the 23-player roster going to Brazil. This competition is really just starting now.”

With the start of World Cup camp looming nine months from now, Klinsmann says that the focus must be on the players preparing for the tournament starting now, and not when they arrive in camp in May. Klinsmann believes that the Americans must work even harder than their teammates at club and international level, to prove to the boss that they’re worthy of one of the 23 available roster spots to play in Brazil.

“The next step for us after qualifying is obviously making it clear to the players that the World Cup is another two levels up. It’s already starting now that you have to put into your mindset that you always have to do extra work, more work than your teammates at your club because you represent the National Team going to Brazil.

“We have to make it clear that everything is important going forward from now on, if it’s how they live their lives off the field in terms of sleep, food, regeneration and all those things, and how important it is to keep a rhythm in games and show in their performances that they deserve to be a National Team player, which means they have to be better than the rest of their team.”

——-

What do you think of these comments? Do you agree with Klinsmann? Do you see Klinsmann selecting a number of European-based players for the two matches? What does this mean for youngsters like John Anthony Brooks, Terrence Boyd, and Aron Johannsson?

Share your thoughts below.

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195 Responses to Klinsmann pledges to “bring in the best players” for October qualifiers

  1. Hopper says:

    Does this mean Seattle should expect to be without EJ, Dempsey and Brad Evans for important late-season matches at Portland and Dallas? Can’t imagine Sigi would be too happy with that.

  2. Colin in MT says:

    I understand wanting to bring in the best guys for the qualifiers because of the lack of opportunities for game action before the WC . . . but I hope that in trying to get a full 6 points out of those two games Klinsmann is not afraid to try out some different guys.

    I for one have real questions regarding the outside backs, and see these qualifiers as an opportunity to test out some new guys against teams that are playing for something

    • GW says:

      This current group of outside backs just got the US qualified for the World Cup.

      As a group they now have a lot of relevant experience that would be hard for any others out there to duplicate, barring injury or loss of form.

      Unless Dolo is healthy and/or Spector is in great form I don’t see any great upgrades out there on the order of AJ or Brooks.

      • Colin in MT says:

        I understand this group of outside backs just got the US qualified for the World Cup.

        However, I also understand that the US will not be playing CONCACAF opponents at the World Cup.

        • GW says:

          This is not the NFL.You don’t have offensive and defensive units. If the defense is to improve it has to start with the center forward and work its way back.

          By your logic, the team needs to upgrade in ALL phases, not just the outside backs, since all that attacking prowess was displayed against CONCACAF opponents.

          The USMNT is where it is right now not because of it’s individual talent level, which is not dramatically higher than it was at the height of the Bradley years.

          Howard is finally paying attention and Jozy,Goodson and Mikey are playing better but Deuce, LD, Jones, Gomez. DMB, and Dolo (if he makes it) are all on the wrong side of their peak.

          And the other prominent players, promising as they are, are unproven against anything other than your much maligned CONCACAF opposition when playing with the USMNT.

          Rather this team is doing well because it has a much greater sense of purpose, functions much better as a unit, and has that ” the whole is greater than the sum of the parts” business down pat..

          JAB and AJ were worth bringing in at this point but other than Chandler getting back to his best and getting committed, Dolo getting healthy and Boca and Spector enjoying a renaissance, I don’t know of any other talent out there that is worth bringing in at this point.

          I’d rather work on giving the current group more time to build up their cohesion

          • Kosh says:

            +1

            Excellent response. Some people’s correlation says because we have navigated CONCACAF we need Euro based players now because only they can play at a WV level.

            Thank you for this response.

          • Colin in MT says:

            Come on guys, don’t distort what I said. At no point did I say that now that we’re qualified for the WC we should now bring in only European based players. I also did not say that the defensive “unit” needs to be improved. I also did not malign CONCACAF, I acknowledged that the level of competition we will see at the WC is a higher level. And yes, by my logic, the team does need to upgrade in all phases.

            The difference between the other positions and the outside backs is that I think those players are capable of upgrading their play. I think Besler and Gonzo (both MLS players) are our best CB tandem and have the ability to elevate their games if they continue to work together. Same goes for the midfield and forwards.

            I simply pointed out that I have some concerns about our outside backs. Beasley and Evans/Parkhurst have done an excellent job in getting us qualified. At the same time, I think they’ve been the weakest aspect of our squad. Beasley and Evans don’t play outside back for their club teams, so I think their potential is limited by that. Given the lack of international dates between now and the WC, they won’t have many opportunities to continue their development at the position. And Parkhurst is currently not making the bench for his club. I didn’t propose we bring in some unproven player at the international level as a cure all. There are players in the pool who consistently play outside back with their clubs who I think could bring some more stability to those positions.

          • That Guy says:

            Das Shallow dude. Too many people take away from past coaches. Arena got us pretty darn far in the World Cup. Bradley got us to beat the number one country in the world and we almost won a recognizable tournament. Bradley almost made us win two Gold Cups in a row (but a very unfortunate Dolo injury exposed how shallow our Outside backs were *cough *cough Bornstein). This whole

            “this team is doing well because it has a much greater sense of purpose, functions much better as a unit, and has that ” the whole is greater than the sum of the parts” business down pat..”

            is a bunch of malarky. The USA played just as hard, if not harder, in the past. The Talent is much better then it was for past coaches. Klinsy is the coach at the ideal time. Dempsey was at Tottenham, one of the top 5 teams in England. Brooks, a top CB (just made CB of the week for Bundeslinga) has joined the team. Fabian Johnson, one of the best (probs second best) LB in the bundeslinga has joined the team. Eddie Johnson finally gave up on his European Dream and came home and could actually improve. Altidore went and scored 31 goals in a season. Michael Bradley went to Roma. Matt Besler rose up to prominence. Jermain Jones is not injured (was for WC). Geoff Cameron was at the Houston Dynamo. The only thing that has remained constant are Howard and Donovan.

            And this bull dinky with the defense starts with the center foward… what?
            If I have a better CB then Besler or Gonzalez I am not gonna go replace the center forward. Dats just crazy. The defense sticks with the defense. Offense sticks with offense. People get replaced all the time. If there are better options for certain positions (imo an example is Lichaj for Evans) you try them out. It doesn’t take a team revolution to make a RB switch.

            • GW says:

              Mr. T Guy,

              The overall US talent level is higher than before. That leads to greater depth.

              But you can only play 11-14 per game.

              And if you compare the talent level of those 11-14 players to the talent level of the 11-14 of the teams who are likely to stand in the US’ way in Brazil, chances are very good that the other guys are going to be more talented.

              Other than the guys I mentioned before I see no one out there especially for right back. Lichaj may show improvement at Forest in which case great , give him a shot .

              However he was a miserable failure for the US in the Gold Cup final, giving up the second goal to Guardado and failing to adequately fill in for Dolo. He has his fans but between his Gold Cup failure and his miserable Villa run, I consider him unreliable and mediocre. While I’m sure he is a great guy, I don’t think he merits consideration.

              It takes more than talent to win and to quickly sum up what I wrote in my previous post, this USMNT is a very together , unified bunch and when they are on and working together they are a very capable team and are likely to surprise a lot of teams that are ranked higher . Previous US teams played hard like this one does but this one has a more coherent, organized offensive approcah the likes of which I haven’t seen since the 2002 team. Whether that is due more to the coaches or more to the players I don’t know.

              Regardless of what everyone says, the big boys do not take the USMNT seriously. Bosnia did not take the US seriously and neither did Germany. The US is the only country that takes friendly results seriously. Even Spain did not believe they could lose to the US until the game was actually over.

              Which is fine by me. Being the underdog is a good thing and I’ll be very happy to watch the US beat a better team that refuses to take the US seriously .

              Oh, that defense starting with the center forward business?
              It means everyone becomes a defender as soon as the ball goes to the other side and everyone becomes as attacker as soon as you get the ball back. Few teams ever completely do it 100% all the time but this US team is better at it than it used to be.

          • beachbum says:

            the talent level is definitely higher on this team, what are you talking about?

            “Rather this team is doing well because it has a much greater sense of purpose, functions much better as a unit, and has that ” the whole is greater than the sum of the parts” business down pat..”

            greater sense of purpose? BS

            Klinnsman has taken this group to a different style of play, capitalizing on the rising tide of American players abilities, and moreso, pushing that rising tide higher. Tons of credit to him for it

            • GW says:

              The talent level is higher but that is not the only or even the main reason this team is on such a good run. The US talent pool is still, at best, second rate.

              You could argue, for example that Japan has better talent. They might but I would argue that the US , when they are on, is a better team.

              The USMNT is playing well together as a team and that will serve you well against teams with superior talent , which is most of the teams that they most likely will need to beat in Brazil.

              It has better depth than it used to which means that it can withstand player losses in a way that BB’s Confederations Cup team could not. That depth by the way was developed in part because of the long absences of Mikey and LD.

              It has a ruthless manager who will cut you in a heartbeat which means everyone is always fighting for their job. But JK believes in his players so even if they screw up, if he can he will give you a chance to prove yourself.

              Of course, he can do that because he has developed the depth to get along without you. And JK is a much more powerful figure than BB, who never really had the USSF’s 100% backing, ever was.

              Just look at Mexico. This is basically the same team that not long ago were the holy terror of CONCACAF. Now they are one hot f===ing mess.

              It’s not all about talent, beachbum

  3. OPMG says:

    Klinsmann is relentless, I like it. I think there’s something to be said for a having a coach who’s won it all. It’s not a requirement, for sure. But it’s pretty clear that JK knows exactly what it takes from his players to get to the level required to actually compete for a World Cup rather than just competing in a World Cup.

  4. Rex says:

    Dont forget that USA may also still have a long shot chance to get in the top 7 of the FIFA rankings. Which could get us in the first pot.

    • Michael Stypulkoski says:

      There is no chance that we’ll be seeded in the WC, even if we were ranked in the top seven. Remember 2006?

      • downintexas says:

        yeah we are going to have to get in the quarter finals two WC in a row before they even think about seeding us. Well maybe sweet 16 in a row.

        • Travis says:

          Nobody really knows what they need to do to get seeded in the WC, FIFA changes the rules on a whim to suit their needs best.

  5. Paul says:

    Yes, I thought my first cap would be wasted on the second stringers!

  6. Mike R says:

    cant we “try out new players” ……………..and knock out Mexico

  7. Bill W. says:

    I have no problem with Klinnsman doing this!

  8. a says:

    Let Jozy relax. He doesn’t need to be injured. Needs to be scoring for Sunderland

    • Ben says:

      Jozy will have a very hard time scoring for Sunderland, they give him no service what-so-ever. Maybe he will get 5 on pure individual baller red like he one taken away agains arsenal.

  9. a says:

    is it really possible that we can knock Mexico out from qualifying for the WORLD CUP?

    what would that mean to their nation’s psyche?

  10. JD says:

    I’m torn about whether the “A” team should play in the final qualifiers. These are the last two truly competitive games before the world cup and bringing the “A” team is best for team chemistry. The memory of Gooch getting injured against Costa Rica four years ago is still in the back of my mind.

    • downintexas says:

      Players can get hurt at any time. Playing with the Nats, club team or just walking down the street.

      But these two games are a wonderful time to add even more depth to the team

  11. Travis says:

    I will not be happy if he costs the Sounders the top spot due to call ups. He needs to be careful with who he calls up from MLS. That is the stretch run, he should avoid calling up to many from title contenders (LA, RSL, Seattle, KC, etc.)

    • ATX_Colin says:

      I dont catch a hint of sarcasm but I sure do hope its some where in there. Im going to generalize but none casres a sh@t about your club teams/mls playoffs whne it comes to solidfying the USMNT squad for next summer.

      • slowleftarm says:

        I think there are a lot of people who care but you’re right in the sense that as long as MLS chooses to play during FIFA dates, it has to devalue its regular season by playing games with many of its best players unavailable.

      • Travis says:

        There was no sarcasm and you might want to tone down the hostility a couple notches. As far as “soldifying” the roster goes there is no need to call in people who are already going to be there such as Dempsey, Donovovan, EJ and Zusi. Also the US still will play somewhere between probably 6-10 friendlies after these qualifiers before the WC, plenty more time to gel. There is no need to pull players away during crucial dates. Although if Jurgen wants to there is nothing MLS can do since these are of course FIFA dates

        • dman says:

          Thats the old way of thinking.

          We cant just put players on a shelf, and bring them back when we advance out of the group stages. This is the most important team that all of these guys are playing on. We should use every opportunity to get our best players to gel as a team. especially against competition that has a real drive to win the game such as these last 2 qualifiers.

          I do not believe that they will get 6-10 more games in addition to these two qualifiers before camp next year. There are just not that many chances to play together. I would definitely like to see some player experimentation (JAB, AJ), but the core just needs to keep playing together, that is one of the big reasons Spain is so dominant, they play together all the time.

          • Travis says:

            I just dont believe that 2 qualifiers when everything is already clinched is going to make or break this teams chemistry. In regards to your last paragraph which camp are you talking about? January or the one for the WC? I would be shocked if we did not play at least 6 friendlies before the WC starts.

          • Northzax says:

            Most important to you, maybe. Maybe Clint Dempsey considers the people paying him $175k/week to be important? Same with Landon? The 2012 WC qualifying and run earned Boca (the highest earner) $350k. Dempsey and Landon make that every two weeks in MLS. Would you piss off your boss for the potential equivalent of two weeks pay? Figure you’re getting 10k for a meaningless qualifier, and your boss, paying you 17x that, wants you to work. What you doing?

            • dman says:

              I would have to disagree wholeheartedly on that point. This world cup cycle has the potential to be special for the USMNT, and could be the last one for Clint. In 2010 we did well but it felt like we were just struggling to survive every game we played. The potential in this group is so much higher. A good showing in 2014 could change the way soccer is viewed in this country and throughout the globe. It can be a validation of his country and career. Most of his career clint has played around players who probably view American soccer players as second class. This is the chance to prove the value of his choice of sport, and the mettle of his countrymen. Playing for the sounders is fun I am sure, but hes not going to change the Global view of US soccer sporting the x-box logo..

        • louis z says:

          I think we will only get 6 friendlies before the WC. Unless JK can get our top 33-35 players together and scrimmage the hell out of them to come up with his final 23.

      • Made in Texas says:

        +2 I believe the majority of people couldn’t care less.

      • Travis says:

        Also if you dont think that Jurgen needs to play nice with MLS coaches you are delusional. Take a look at what happens routinely in Europe where players at big clubs get “injuries” whenever friendlies roll around and the international coaches have clashed with the club coach.

    • tga says:

      MLS….screw MLS

    • Put the ball betwixt the stix says:

      He calls up the best available regardless of who it is. If they are hurt and playing through the injury leave them at home. But MLS needs are completely separate to that of USMNT.

    • GW says:

      Welcome to the world of international call ups.

      While this may not be comforting it wasn’t that long ago that this was not a problem for MLS fans.

      It tells you MLS talent level is trending upward and rather quickly.

  12. dman says:

    Klinsi has his eyes on the prize, hes not going to relax this team, hes trying to make them into a machine….. he wants them to play together as much as possible, and if someone’s too soft to make it then they can stay home. As for keeping the clubs happy, that is secondary importance to klinsi…Go get em.

    • Bac says:

      Well said…

    • Marden08 says:

      I agree with dman. Well said.

    • EspinDOHla says:

      dman knows well.

      JK’s M.O. has always been go big, go hard, go all in…if you can’t hang, you don’t make it. He says, “There’s always another level.”

      There’s zero chance he’s gonna take it down a level. That’s just not his style.

    • marden08 says:

      i would add all the posters who no better than the coach who should be playing are the same people that don’t have a clue about Klinsmann. My observation is that he is very direct , for the most part says what he means and means what he says and doesn’t play games.

      • louis z says:

        actually you are not correct, more than once we have caught JK with his double standard talk. As any coach he has preference with players no matter how badly they may look. I think we should expect a middle of the road approach from him. I just don’t see any new players sneaking in as a “project” if anyone does is going to be an upper league starter that we always wished they would go our way, like a Parker etc.

    • GW says:

      dman,

      You’ve got it right.

      I don’t know if you followed JK as a player but if you haven’t you should research him a little.

      He’s very charming, all warm and fuzzy and media friendly but this masks the fact that as a competitor he is a major risk taker and a stone cold ruthless competitor who will do anything to win.

      Just watch the 1990 World Cup Final and you will see. Germany played with a sweeper, three Cameron like centerbacks and a converted midfielder at fullback. And SBI fans complain about makeshift fullbacks and 3 so called defensive midfielders.

      To me the biggest difference between JK and BB is that JK far more cold blooded and ruthless in terms of making the hard decisions. The biggest positive this brings to the US is that everyone is afraid for their jobs and are fighting for them.

      The man is not a good loser and I’m certain he has absolutely no intention of being embarrassed in Brazil. He is going there to make the biggest noise possible.

      • Nate Dollars says:

        beckenbauer ran the 1990 germany team, not klinsmann, so i’m not sure why you use that as an example.

        • GW says:

          Because JK was a leader on that team.

          They won the World Cup despite being a big underdog to Maradona and Argentina. The final was one of the ugliest, most brutal soccer “games” I’ve ever seen, and that is saying a lot.

          It could not have failed to make an impression on JK.

          He understands that side of the game very well and it showed in his subsequent career.

          I don’t think you should tell him you can’t win with three so called defensive midfielders because he knows it is possible.

  13. Roman Lewandowski says:

    “We have a lot of players who have this hunger, have this energy, and when they come into camp they show us this hunger and this energy, and we are very excited right now because we have a lot of young guys, and they are learning from the older guys, and they want to go to a World Cup, and right now we are playing at a high level and looking always to ask what we can do to take it even to the next level, and you know, we have all these guys out there working hard and trying to prove themselves, and we are monitoring and watching them always. (aside) And I will never call up Eric Lichaj, under any circumstances.” — Jürgen Klinsmann

  14. Ron says:

    We’re definitely not doing Mexico any favors…

  15. biff says:

    This is simply a public preemptive strike to avoid any chance of Mexico howling that the USMNT is taking the foot of the gas and will make it easier for Jamaica and Panama to win and surpass Mexico. Not saying that Klinsmann would not like to win. I am sure he does wanna take two more games. But he will be less likely to call in players with bumps and bruises or other issues and I bet he calls in three or four players for a look who he would not have called in had we not qualified.

  16. bryan says:

    AJ and JAB will be fine but Boyd could find a tougher time. that’ll depend on Jozy and EJ. i think someone like Chandler and/or Kljestan could sneak their way into the camp. and i think this all but assures there will no Lichaj.

    • biff says:

      Don’t know about Chandler getting a call, whether Klinsmann will risk disrupting team chemistry by bringing him in. If he does bring him, would be extremely irritating to witness prima donna Timothy Chandler waltzing into camp now that 15 months of the dirty work of WCQ is done (by others).

      • Roman Lewandowski says:

        Well, he did contribute to the first Honduras match. Actually, ‘contribute’ might be the wrong word–but he took part in the Honduras match.

      • bryan says:

        well, i think you have an over reaction to anything related to Chandler, but i do agree Chandler will clearly have to be in a different mindset than he has been in the past. if he’s worked out whatever it was that was affecting his game and commitment, and continues to play well, i don’t see why not. i think as long as his attitude is good, there would be no distraction or “waltzing” around.

    • louis z says:

      Boyd was doing good in the pecking order until EJ started to play like a CF. Right now Boyd is looking from the outside in.

  17. Jom says:

    Clearly Klinsmann is talking about Wondowlowski.

  18. Tiny says:

    Start aron and cap tie JAB with a start, dont call howard. bring adu and bocanegra into camp to access their play(wishful thinking)

  19. Cowboy Junky says:

    This reminds me of a political speech. 2000 words without saying anything. Yes, we’ll bring in the best players we can. The definition of best in this case: what is best for the team in preparing for World Cup 2014. That doesn’t mean we’re going to bring our A squad. What’s best for the team is figuring out the gaping holes we have at left and right back and figuring out a pecking order at cb with five/six guys that are basically playing the same quality of futbol. The cb issue needs to be figured out as soon as possible, so if the answer to that question is John Anthony Brooks, we can get him as many starts as possible before Brazil. I expect to see Chandler called in and played, especially if he keeps starting in the Bundesliga. Nothing to see here. Move along.

    • Roman Lewandowski says:

      Remember when people were worried about losing Chandler to Germany?

      The thought just gave me a good chuckle.

      • Cowboy Junky says:

        That’s not really surprising. The kid is talented enough to start in the Bundesliga in his early 20’s. Even Cherundolo didn’t start in the Bundesliga that fast.

      • Put the ball betwixt the stix says:

        He’s still on the radar. I’m sure if he cowboy’s up and shows a bit of humility he might get another chance eventually. But not sure he makes it into the pool for 2014…

    • John says:

      Cameron starts in the Premier league at right back perhaps he deserves another look in the spot. Is Chandler so good that he is worth possibly disrupting the team by bring him in at this point?

      • Cowboy Junky says:

        Chandler is 23 and has experience starting in the Bundesliga. I think Cameron is a good option, but he’s not a natural right back. He’s a center back/defensive mid playing out of place. Our team has been exposed at right back in Costa Rica, Belgium….We need to figure out something there. Chandler fits the style Jurgen plays: defenders that can get forward and add goals to our attack. Jurgen will make him earn it. He’s not going to get time if he doesn’t deserve it. For me it comes down to player evaluation. Right now Chandler looks like the most talented right back we have. I trust Jurgen to get him into form by next summer.

        • John says:

          Chandler has not shown to be very constant for his club. He has been in and out of the line up and move around to different positions. Everyone just loves the guy the they haven’t seen and Chandler has been brilliant at not being seen for this national team.

          • Mueller says:

            This isn’t completely true. Some of us just don’t like Cameron as a RB. Personally I would play Parkhurst , Orozco, Brad Evans, Chandler, Johnson, Bedoya, etc at RB before Cameron.

            • Cowboy Junky says:

              I like the versatility Cameron gives you off the bench. He can play defensive mid, cb, and rb. He’s a great super sub, because he’s almost or as good as the starter at every one of those positions.

            • ronniet says:

              clearly you didn’t see him play against Man City this weekend then….Geoff was very dangerous on forward runs form the back and will only get better by getting the minutes there which it looks like he will!

              • Mueller says:

                I didn’t see the game. If he looks good for stoke I’ll have to take your word for it. In my opinion he hasn’t looked good for the US.

          • Cowboy Junky says:

            He’s didn’t start in the Bundesliga because he sucks. He’s got a lot of talent. There’s a lot of butthurt American soccer fans because he backed out of a couple of camps and didn’t sign on the dotted line right away, but he’s cap tied, he’s more athletic then any of the other right backs in our program, and he fits JK’s style of play. The reason why he isn’t playing for us now is the same reason Donovan didn’t play for us last year. Klinsmann is making him learn that he needs to be 100 percent committed. As soon as he is, he’ll be starting for us at right back for a very long time.

            • John says:

              Chandler has really played more on the right wing then at right back in the last 6 months. Maybe we should be looking at starting him there then.

        • quozzel says:

          I actually think DeAndre Yedlin might be the best we have right now. Kid is coming on like a freight train and has the quicks, speed, size, touch, and surge going forwards we don’t have at that position. Yeah, he’s young…but as they say, talent will always top experience, especially if you’re willing to give talent the experience….

          Not seeing a left-sided Yedlin out there, but I can live with Run DMB or Fabian Johnson at LB.

          • Me Boy a Nueva Zelanda says:

            After first seeing Yedlin play, I was impressed by his speed, runs, defense, tenacity, and dribbling, but after watching more games his passing needs refinement, as he seems to play rushed when he interchanges with teammates. I think he will make a run at the next cycle

            Kellyn Acosta FC Dallas has been playing well at RB, as well. But, I think they are both competing for 2018. He has looked very composed since he started for Zach Llyod.

        • louis z says:

          One thing Chandler has over Cameron….he is much faster.

          • GW says:

            Chandler is arguably one of the most all around talented and athletic soccer players in the USMNT pool.

            With him it’s a question of what is between his ears. If that were right you start him somewhere no question.

  20. SamInMaine says:

    I sincerely hope all the people suggesting that we field a weak team and effectively lose on purpose to try to eliminate Mexico are joking. I expect American team to conduct themselves with integrity. Why don’t we start diving and faking injuries too?

    On top of that, every qualifier we win gives us a better chance of of heading into Brazil ranked in the top 8 and getting seeded. Stop with this rubbish about Mexico.

    • EspinDOHla says:

      +1

      When has the USMNT ever tried to lose on purpose? Not our style. If one of our victories helps Mexico, so be it. (Remember the Herm Edwards press conference: YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME!!)

      We helped out Honduras last time with the result in Costa Rica, it is what it is.

    • Put the ball betwixt the stix says:

      I don’t mind if Mexico goes as long as they deserve to be there. Mexico represents CONCACAF well enough in the tournament and we want the strongest possible teams from our conference. That way we pick up more seeds and higher rankings over time. Plus, I wouldn’t mind that one of the 31 other teams is one we know we can beat! :)

    • Mueller says:

      Fielding a weak team and losing on purpose are completely different. JK qualified. Now he can experiment as he fits without anyone questioning his integrity. Peyton Manning or Tim Duncan sit out games once their teams have qualified. Why is this any different?

      • Michael Stypulkoski says:

        I agree with your argument, but Peyton Manning is a bad example. He is known for, among other things, his consecutive starts streak, which is second only to Brett Favre’s and only ended due to injury. He missed the entire 2011 season, but has played in every other game since 1998.

        • Artie says:

          Eh, the immortal Curtis Painter played most of the second half in Weeks 16 and 17 in 2009, the team that started 14-0 before losing their last two. I think that’s what he’s referring to.

  21. Christopher Robin says:

    as long as JK cap-ties John Anthony Brooks ( either start him or sub for him on the 90th min) I dont care who he calls up for the October WCQ!!

  22. EspinDOHla says:

    “Sweep the leg, Johnny!!!”

  23. OSUExtemp says:

    There are alot of reasons to argue for playing an A team these next two games, but the idea that we are getting seeded is nothing more than a pipe dream. Yes, we are 13th, but we need to get to 7th in order to get seeded. We are 130 points back from 7th ranked Uruguay. The way to make up points is to 1) win and 2) have more official FIFA fixtures than the nations we are ahead of. The problem we face more than the point gap, is that some of the nations we are chasing will have more FIFA fixtures (Which have 2.5 multiplier as opposed to no multiplier for friendlies), Uruguay (7th) is likely to have to face Jordan in a two legged playoff for World Cup spot. Croatia (10th), Portugal (11th), Greece (12th) are likely to go to UEFA 2nd place playoffs for their right to qualify. These are points it will be hard for the US to recoup.

    Yes, FIFA has used different ranking systems to seed, but none of them break the United States way. Our FIFA ranking under JK has been stuck in the 20s. The only thing we’ve done that says we should be seeded was our Quarterfinal in 2002, which either will be weight much less relative to other factors, or not at all.

    • BinLeenk says:

      Some dude on Reddit did some potential seeding analysis for US. Check it out:

      link to reddit.com

    • Ali Dia says:

      Yup. There is no way we climb high enough in the rankings in the ~2 months we have left. Only tiny chance we have is if somebody at FIFA decides that there needs to be a top-seed team that isn’t from Europe or S. America, and they find some sham way of justifying it. On this basis, we might very well be first in line for such a slot. This is extremely low probability but from my view the only way it can possibly happen.

    • Joe Soccer says:

      ESPN had a link the other day to a web site by a guy who runs all the scenarios thousands of times. He pegged the US’s chance of being seeded at 0.02%. That’s 1 chance in 5000 for those not mathematically inclined.

    • Lil' Zeke says:

      Sweet! All those teams losses cost them 2.5 X in our favor

    • John Lowe says:

      Actually FIFA is considering not allowing teams who didn’t qualify for last world cup to be seeded. They are going to make a decision sometime in December. If that decision goes through then we have a very good chance of getting a seed.

  24. Lost in Space says:

    Even with the USMNT Qualified there are still areas that JK and his staff need to improve.
    1) RB & LB is still possitions of concerns
    RB – Evans is the current Starter when healthy, but who’s next in line or possibly better?
    Lichaj is on a good run of form, but hasn’t been with the US in 2 years. Can play RB
    or LB. Good speed, Strong, and decent defending.
    Chandler is working out of a bad run of form. Will he have a negative impact on
    team chemistry if brought back in now? Can play RBor LB. Good speed, Strong,
    and decent defending.
    Parkhurst has played well for the US, but gets zero time with his club.
    Dolo can he recover enough to factor into the conversation?
    Orozco not a sure fit, but provide decent backup at RB & CB (maybe).
    Yedline & Ferrell do not have the experience and are unlikely to be able to make up
    the gap in 9 months for the Sr. international game.
    LB – Beasley is the current starter…but should he be?
    Fabian Johnson better defending, but then we lose some of the attack. Is it worth it.
    Castillo is making strides, but hasn’t been consistent.
    Licahj & Chandler options…but need reps in camp and in games. (see above)
    2) CB Pairing….who works/complements each other best
    Gonzo & Besler look good, but so has Besler & Goodson. JAB is a talent, but can he
    leapfrog Goodson/Gonzo in 9 months?
    3) CM Pairing….who works/complements each other best
    Jones & Bradley are the 2 most gifted, but can they work well together? Cameron, Edu,
    Kljestan, Diskerud, and even Williams & Beckerman are all in the running.
    4) Best formation(s) for the players available
    4-2-3-1, 4-4-2, or 4-1-3-2….which is best for this team?
    5) Where to play Fabian Johnson (LM, LB, RB, RM)? Find a spot and get him reps.
    5) Team chemistry…cannot tinker too much longer or you risk losing the understanding between players. KJ and staff need to get to 30-33 players in short order (NLT Feb 2014) to insure they have time to fully integrate into the team come May/June send off series.

    • Dawwilly says:

      Great analysis

      • Judging Amy says:

        Agreed. Well said L.I.S.

      • Jj says:

        +1 very well described

      • biff says:

        With all due respect to Lost in Space, difficult to take seriously an analysis of the USMNT right back position that does not mention Geoff Cameron, who played exceptionally well last weekend for Stoke at right back on a back line that held Man City scoreless. Geoff has been starting at right back each game so far this season under new coach Mark Hughes and played there 3/4s of the time last season under Pulis. Cameron is starting at RB in one of the top three leagues in the world and at the current time is the best right back in the US player pool. Why do some USMNT continue to insist that he is not a right back?

        If Klinsmann had started him against Costa Rica at right back and paired Beckerman with Jones, we would have faired much better, maybe even won the game.

        • GW says:

          If JK thought Geoff was the full time solution at RB he never would have given Evans a shot at it.

          It’s obvious that Geoff is going to Brazil as JK’s version of Phil Jones.

    • Nihal says:

      What about Geoff Cameron at RB? He’s really come into his own at Stoke.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      disagree with two things:

      – cameron needs another look at RB (as others have said)

      – fabian has shown that we do *not* “lose some of the attack” when he plays at LB (instead of LM). he actually contributes just as much offensively at LB as when he plays at LM.

      • biff says:

        Yep, correct on Fabian. Funny. I quit reading when I saw that Cameron was not mentioned in the right back section of the comment so did not get to the part about Fabian.

  25. Creige says:

    He should play all the newbies and players that didn’t get a full WCQ game or didn’t fare well against CONCACAF opponents. For all the talk of pedigree for the Chandlers, johannsen’s, Brooks and Castillo’s, playing in a hostile environment with dubious refs shows what you are made of. Then we can talk about them making the final 23.

  26. sams says:

    We need to lose against Panama.

  27. AC says:

    Just hope a Gooch vs Costa Rica injury doesn’t happen

  28. KingGoogleyEye says:

    For those worried that MLS stars will be taken away from their teams during late-season games:

    Put yourself in, for example, EJ’s shoes. He’s competing for a spot on the WC squad against guys like Gomez and Johannsson. If you’re EJ, do you want to see either of those guys get minutes with the USMNT so Klinsmann can start to wonder if maybe they’re a better option than you?

    (Not that what EJ “wants” should matter to Klinsmann—just as what EJ wants shouldn’t matter to Sigi, or Sigi’s wants matter to Klinsmann, or Klinsmann’s wants matter to Sigi, etc. They each have a different job to do, and sometimes that conflicts with the other guys’.)

    • John says:

      I doubt MLS will shy away from pointing to it’s players starting in a World Cup next summer. In the big picture it’s still very important to the growth of the league, so clubs will just have to deal with it.

  29. Tensnake says:

    He should call up the roster we had against Bosnia, minus the MLS players ofc.

  30. Nihal says:

    I think we should call in Arriola. He’s getting more time than Joe Corona.

  31. Chris says:

    This would be my roster for the October games:

    GK- Howard, Guzan, Rimando
    DEF- Besler, Gonzalez, Brooks, Goodson, F. Johnson, Beasley, Chandler, Cameron
    MID- Jones, Bradley, Beckerman, Diskerud, Zusi, Torres, Dempsey, Bedoya
    FWD- Altidore, Donovan, EJ, Johannsson

  32. shultz says:

    Wondowlowski’s favorite TV movie is The Boy In The Plastic Bubble starring John Travolta.

    • Jaquamini says:

      also Mary Katherine Gallaghers. They have something in common in addition to both being outcasts and overlooked for the big school talent show.

      God that was a terrible movie…superstaaaaaar

  33. JoeW says:

    I can’t believe the angst over this non-statement by Klinsi.
    1. Of course he wants to win the last two matches. Think of the high the team was on with the 12 game streak. More wins = more confidence = more aggressive play and more creativity and flare going forward.
    2. But Klinsi also won’t call in people when it might get them in trouble with their club (ie: cost them a starting spot and minutes). He’s also thinking long-term. So if someone like Parkhurst or Chandler suddenly starts competing for club minutes (and a NT callup might put him back on the bench) then he won’t get called in to the last 2 Hex matches.
    3. Klinsi basically has half-a dozen serious matches before the WC. He’s only going to call in people who are serious candidates for the WC team. No more fliers or trials. People that get called in are people who have proven their value and are almost a lock for a May camp invite or they are at the top of their game and have raised a lot of eyebrows.
    4. Saying “I’ll call in the best players” is a PR stunt to deal with the Mexicans arguing that the US will stick it to them by losing to Panama. I have no love lost for Mexico. But I see no reason to deliberately try to see them not qualify. The truth is that Mexico always has a good chance of doing well in the knockout rounds and it’s good for Concacaf to have teams advance and do well.

  34. Smitty says:

    I hope Klinsmann doesn’t call up that Besler anymore. Dude is a dirty player.

    link to i.minus.com

    • Scott says:

      Agreed. I hope Besler gets a ban for that hatchet job. Has anyone heard anything on the investigation? I doubt anything will come of it because CONCACAF is corrupt.

    • Joe says:

      I’m not sure that was a total accident now that I see that replay. Besler’s step that causes the contact looks odd and his quick glance to his left immediately after the contact is suspicious. Of course, the Costa Rican player goes down like he has been shot in the foot, but I think Besler is not entirely innocent here.

      • louis z says:

        ???????

        • Joe says:

          I’m a Matt Besler fan, but watch that clip with an open mind. Besler steps on the CR player intentionally. The quick glance at what is presumably the linesman who is not in the shot is very telling. When you accidentally make contact with someone of whom you are unaware; where do you first look after that contact surprises you?

          • Shawn says:

            The guy put his hand on Besler’s back and fell over. His first glance is where he thinks a guy passing behind him WILL be. He had no idea the guy flopped behind him until the referee turned around.

          • Lorenzo says:

            What???? I’ve seen people step purposely on peoples feet.

            1. They stomp on the foot, not casually and easily move their foot
            2. They look to see the foot/hand they want to step on first.

            Please… that dude looked for any contact whatsoever and fell over like he was shot.

          • Sams says:

            You’re totally right. I’ve been following Besler for a while and this does not surprise me at all. Dirty players like him need to be kicked off the team. I wouldn’t have any complaints at all of Klinsmann took a stand and kept him off USMNT during his tenure.

            • John says:

              I hope you’re being sarcastic

              • Bac says:

                Anyone who honestly thinks Besler did this on purpose should immediately be forever banned not only from this site, but from being allowed to participate in any normal sane society.
                I hope you people are being sarcastic, otherwise please go away and join Mulder and Scully, or better yet apply to write for Dan Brown.. his conspiracy theories are getting more ludicrous

                I guess the aliens did build the pyramids and the moon landings were faked

                What a farce….

              • Sams says:

                Watch the replay! I watched it on loop for like 10 minutes and I think Joe is right.

              • Bac says:

                I did watch the replay for several minutes before I wrote my post.
                I stand by my original statements…

              • Johnathan says:

                That shot has actually changed my mind and shows more than the original replay I saw. Besler, decends back in a diagonal line towards the defender. Right at the time at which he makes contact with the opposing player he both steps back with his right foot and dips his left forearm into the opposing players chest. If you can’t see that, although the contact was clearly minimal , that Besler was the one that intentionally initiated it. Then you’re being biased and blind.

              • KingGoogleyEye says:

                @Sams
                @Bac

                You watched the replay “for several minnutes”? Puh-leeease! For the last four days, I’ve done nothing BUT watch that replay—24 hours each day. Caffeine pills, taped eyelids, whatever it took to immerse myself in the grand mysteries of what future civilizations here and on alien planets will refer to as “The Besler Paradox.” I can thus authoritatively tell you that you are both wrong.

                (I will not, however, attempt to correct your misunderstandings, for the video clip holds a truth only reachable through the painstaking ponderings I have here described.)

              • GW says:

                Bac,

                Don’t know about the moon landings.

                Aliens did build the pyramids.

                Besler might be an alien.

              • Bac says:

                @King.. I don’t know what you’re trying to say… Sams is calling Besler a dirty player and saying he caused the entire thing and I’m disagreeing..

                Whatever- This nonsense is ridiculous

          • Brain Guy says:

            Besler had his back to Campbell as they approached. How in the world could he intentionally step on the guy’s foot? This is getting kind of silly, folks.

  35. chris thebassplayer says:

    Nice to read JK’s comment about the WC being two levels up. I absolutely agree, it is a whole different animal than beating a vacationing German side or beating Mexico at home. It always seems to take us a game and a half to get our speed of thought and intensity up to the level we need. I’m optimistic JK will have us ready to play.

  36. DC Josh says:

    Impressive mentality. I like where he is going with this…

  37. MiamiAl says:

    Let Klinsmann’s words be a warning to all potential “Charlie Davies”- your screw up of the field could have significant ramifications. Don’t risk it! Stay at home and play FIFA instead of going to a nightclub…

  38. That Guy says:

    Ima do something stupid if Lichaj isnt called in

  39. D-Bo says:

    Would love to see Mixx get some extra time with the first team during these qualifiers. I think he has looked very good recently.

  40. Like the mentality of bringing the A team to get more familiar/experience (with a few exceptions):

    Hopefully JK considers leaving at home:
    1) leave EJ; want to see Aron Johannsson get some time/tryout. Maybe give Agudelo or McInerney another trial in camp at least. EJ has proven what he brings. Sounders probably would be ok with Demps and Evans only be called up.

    2) ? split the time Rimando and Guzan are in camp (1 for each match). Call-in Tally Hall or someone else to get more experience/look.

    3) Leave Torres and Davis at home (we know what they bring and they won’t play anyways). Give Corona another look.

    4) Bring in Brooks and all the CBs. Try new pairings out.

    5) Leave Parkhurst on the Augsburg bench. Bring in Chandler or Lichaj (or both) at least for a look in practice.

    I know JK probably won’t bring in this smattering of young players for tryouts, but I think that would be a huge mistake. I like the overall mentality to continue bringing the best players to compete, but need to start trialing some new blood at certain weak positions NOW, not in friendlies a few months from now.

    • Birgit Calhoun says:

      I am sometimes wondering whether the Sounders are only great when the fans make a lot of noise. What happens when there is no noise? And even Brad Evans is beatable. What about Donovan sometimes being injury-prone? It’s starting to happen again, just like last year.

  41. Hayes says:

    MLS cannot be taken seriously when they are playing end of the season matches between to WC qualifying dates. It sends the wrong message because it basically means that MLS is not worried about players being away then because a) the best players in the MLS will not be good enough to play for their national teams or b) the MLS season is so meaningless that we do not care if teams have their best players on the field.

    Either way, this is just one of the issues the MLS has with getting complete buy in from serious soccer fans.

    • swift says:

      Pull your head out of the sand and realize MLS can not compete any other time of year College Football, NBA & NFL are far to strong. Any change in the schedule will likely lead to a decline in attendance and viewers on tv. The huge difference in attendance from Saturday games to weekday or Sunday game says it all. As much as we want to think we are becoming more popular were not there yet.

  42. beto says:

    Jurgen works in one direction; more competitive, more power, more wins.

    Once the time comes to negotiate with club managers and the players we will see how close they get to a 100% A Team.

    Personally i see it as you have 4 games coming up that are essentially friendlies/tune ups. Two of them are on this continent and the other two are in Europe. We have a pretty good core group and a lot of fringe guys on either sides of the Atlantic..

    Time to make some serious decisions. Barring injuries opening up some positions, next spring’s game vs Bosnia and the 1-2 games before the WC Jurgen is going to have his 23 picked. Now is the final 4 games of try outs!

  43. away goals says:

    Altidore, dempsey and donovan have shared a field for all of 19 minutes in 2013. During the entire JK era, the three have played together on four occasions for a grand total of 66 minutes.

    Let’s maybe let those guys play a little more before we start demanding auditions for the kids.

  44. krolpolski says:

    Um, how about the leading American MLS goal-scorer? He might help some, no?

  45. Birgit Calhoun says:

    I presume Klinsmann is going to check out more US players. It’s interesting how Dempsey hasn’t scored recently except in penalty kicks. I would prefer seeing seasoned US players being given another shot. Eddie Johnson is great in the air, but how does he do when it comes to serving the ball to people when he prefers scoring himself. There are jealousies involved in all the players. Even in the World Cup each player has to be completely unselfish, and that’s what Klinsmann should be lookig for, players who can score and who also will forgo their egos in order to win.