Klinsmann discusses pre-World Cup preparations for USMNT

Jurgen Klinsmann

By CAITLIN MURRAY

The World Cup is 54 days away.

The 30 U.S. Men’s National Team players named to coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s preliminary World Cup roster will arrive May 14 at Stanford University to begin a month-long training program, and Klinsmann sat down with U.S. Soccer to discuss preparations.

The closed-door trainings will include more sessions than would normally precede a friendly as the USMNT works on reaching peak fitness, Klinsmann said.

“If it’s tactical, if it’s physical, if it’s a lot technical work, if it’s a lot of team bonding and understanding the defined partnerships all over the field — if you take that in a positive way, those four weeks will fly by,” Klinsmann said.

Though players are likely to find the training intense, Klinsmann said he isn’t worried about them not being ready for the hard work that lies ahead.

“They are hungry for that,” he said. “They are embracing it. They want to do well. They want to show that they deserve to go to a World Cup.”

Watch video of the interview below:

——

What do you think of Klinsmann’s comments? Do you think the month-long training plus three friendlies can get the USMNT ready to head to Brazil? Do you feel good about the USMNT’s approach?

Share your thoughts below.

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120 Responses to Klinsmann discusses pre-World Cup preparations for USMNT

  1. downintexas says:

    They are all going to get back tattoo a few days before the Ghana game.

    • Sammy Nishi says:

      :)))))))))

    • USMNT says:

      Well played sir

    • Luetchy says:

      Matching tattoos or will they be of each person’s home state?

    • MisterJC says:

      Now see, you can’t play around like that. If something like that actually ends up happening, the Internet will never forgive you for messing up the USMNT’s chances. Never!!!

    • Ali Dia says:

      I’m thinking it’s good Klinsi has been reluctant to cap-tie him — quite frankly he hasn’t earned it. A back tattoo is not the problem– a questionnable move in my view, but entirely acceptable as it is a personal choice, and we do tolerate (and encourage) that sort of thing here in America– but when you are in season, on the eve of a World Cup, as a bubble player… and you are missing games for ink?

      I’ll check in on this kid in a few years… for now he can keep Brek company on the see-saw.

  2. Mike R says:

    Well, these are the questions that need to be answered in 4 weeks and 3 friendly’s:

    Who is going to play alongside Beasler? Who’s going to be our right back? Even at left back, will it be Beasley or Johnson? What about right wing… is it Suzi or Donovan? If Johnson plays left back who’s playing on the left wing? And lastly, is Jozy Starting? I mean, somebody with more knowledge on the sport tell me if 4 weeks and 3 friendly’s will be enough to answer all of these.

    You can add, who will be your best 3 replacements. Lots of unknowns…

    • NC Jeff says:

      Your question appears to assume that 11 players will play the entire game for all games. That, obviously, will not be so. Some will come off the bench, others will start the middle group game to keep everyone fresh, some may get hurt, and you might see someone serving a second yellow card (or, God forbid, a red card) suspension. So, I expect the answer to a lot of your this one or that one questions to be: both.

      Personally, I’m not sure the USMNT’s top XI’s ability is clearly superior to that of their 2010 team, but I think the depth is miles ahead of where it was then.

      • alf says:

        I think the team as a whole is better than ever before. There are players in previous cycles that we would say are better than some on this team and I wouldn’t disagree. This team has the potential to do great things(first half of mex game) is the proof. Surely there’s no dodging that.

    • Ali Dia says:

      I guess the short (cop-out) answer is “it is never enough” . All managers have to deal with form and injury.. I don’t know how many teams will be fortunate enough to have full confidence that their best XI on at the start of the first game, but I doubt its more than a lucky handful.

      I think the question you have really flows to the issue of incumbency (or lack thereof), which does appear to be a theme in our current group at the moment. We don’t have a “golden generation” or similar such theme moving through that can account for 6-8 of first choice XI. So in this sense, there are certainly a lot of questions to be asked. But incumbency is a problem in itself as has been shown many times– usually the framework and talent atrophy far faster than anybody is willing to admit, and the side stagnates and goes “a tournament too far” (or more)

      I think we are in decent shape here because we have a large and competetive group from which to select, with a high degree of familiarity and observational data, and very few “wild cards” (outside of Green). Most guys are now known quantities with an expected role — almost all have gotten some meaningful minutes in the past 18 months and almost no position has seen an Ashley Cole type figure draining the first team minutes. Interchangability is not always a good thing but it has been established the extent it should during the WCQ, Gold Cup, etc. This is gives a foundation to solve the questions you have outlined, since selecting personnel to fill a role – rather than devising a system from scratch — is the critical task, which is reallly an exercise in trusting your depth chart (plus some limited tailoring), and we have a fairly robust data set.

      Hopefully, JK is nearing a decision on some of these (CB is most pressing, for me, as these guys really need reps together). Obviously There will be disagreements everywhere when the lineup for Ghana is released, but the process seems to have been reduced to picking among known options now. For me, this is a good enough approach.

    • Josh D says:

      Plenty of time because Klinsi has spent the last three years experimenting and choosing for this moment. All your questions have been worked over the past three years and will continue until the first whistle because anyone following soccer long enough realizes that things happen at the last minute.

      We went into 2010 with a CB partnership which placed second in the Confederations Cup and two young, up-and-coming strikers. Both of those key elements were ruined by the first whistle.

      Klinsi already knows what his starting 11 is. As fans, we’ll be guessing until the day of, but he knows. And we’ll have an indication by the third friendly.

      Also, the World Cup is a very unique event which other sports don’t have. You have a tournament whose participants have been qualifying for for two years; you have games played in a different country away from what they’re used to; you have real opponent fans who really make a psychological impact on your team; you have a very aggressive schedule with little time to rest and recharge; and you have the emotions of a whole country on your back.

      Some of our would-be starters just aren’t ready for that. Donovan, Jozy, and Gonzo are the three that come to mind most, and bring the three biggest question marks.

      • k obrien says:

        Yea, the all-time CONCACAF leader in scoring World Cup goals isn’t ready for the psychological impact of playing in the world cup

        • Josh D says:

          My Donovan comment was in reference to him not being at his peak and not a guaranteed starter, not about him not being prepared for the World Cup.

      • Justin El Matador says:

        “We went into 2010 with a CB partnership which placed second in the Confederations Cup and two young, up-and-coming strikers. Both of those key elements were ruined by the first whistle.”

        Aaahhh, what could have been. Could we imagine:

        ————————Jozy or Deuce———————————
        Davies—————————————————–LD———–

        ——–MB90————Stu Holden—————-JJ————-

        Or some variation thereof… definitely would’ve been a better starting 11 with Stu and Davies at the top of their abilities!!

      • beachbum says:

        how much MLS do you watch Josh? seriously

      • Mitch says:

        euro-creep

    • Gary Page says:

      In short, yes it is enough. Remember, along with all the qualifiers and friendlies, JK has had a couple of camps to further evaluate players. I think the main questions involve who is in form or out of form at the time the preparations are held.

    • Joe D'Hippo says:

      One bad game and Omar is suddenly out of the lineup….girls

  3. MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

    Man JK is always wearing awesome USMNT gear

  4. Scott e Dio93 says:

    Two friendlies short for me, not enough to get some players back to rhymth.

    • ernj says:

      They will play more friendlies when they get to Brazil. The US played 3 before the group stage in South Africa.

  5. FRANK says:

    JUERGEN KLINSMANN HES A GOOD COACH

  6. Adrian V says:

    It’s really annoying how Ives leaves J.F. Torres out of every USMNT article or puts him on the complete back burner. He’s a better option at Left midfield than Shea, Davis, and Green and connects will with Bradley, Donovan, and Dempsey because they all love the quick game. I dont see why he wouldn’t get a call into the prelim 30. He’s playing well and consistently.

    • Josh D says:

      Torres had a whole year to make his case for playing left midfield and was terrible. He’s not athletic enough there. His quick passing game is only utilized when he’s played deeper and in the center.

      Unfortunately for him we have about six players who are better there than him. I was a big Torres fan four years ago. He hasn’t progressed since then.

      • Adrian V says:

        You’re telling me that in all the games he played under klinsy he doesn’t deserve a final shot? He’s been played out of position almost every game and even has played left back. I’m not saying he should start but if you put him agains Davis, Shea, and green I’ll take torres bc we already have enough muscle at midfield. And torres is very quick.

        • beachbum says:

          if we have a result we need late in a game I’d feel comfortable with Torres entering; tired legs mitigate the physicality thing some, a true issue for him imo, and his ability to link could be a plus. he’s not a bad defender but has run out of gas over the years I’ve watched him from Pachuca to present (just a couple of games this year). another thing also noted is he seems to play better facing straight forward seeing the game n front of him, not facing back (wherever on the field)or looking in from the wing. I’d like to see him win a spot for the role described above if he can

    • Big Chil says:

      And he’s a veteran of the last World Cup, with 1 start (Slovenia).

      • user222 says:

        yep… a World Cup game where he got out muscled off of the ball every time he had possession…even coach Bradley picked that up immediately.

      • Ryan in NYC by way of NC says:

        And was subbed out at the half b/c he made 0 impact on the game. I’d much rather see Benny in the 30 at camp than JFT.

    • Four Cents says:

      I like Torres a lot, but I believe he still has a couple things to learn (keeping a coolhead, playing out of he’s preferred position, etc..) before he’s makes the cut. He still have a long career ahead of him…

    • Bellus Ludas says:

      Agreed…and he gets hate on this board. How many haters have watched him this season. Has simply been incredible and deserves a look.

    • TomG says:

      This is kind of a tough group for Torres. It’s filled with big, physical midfielders. He is best in a central role but he’s really too small to body up against some of these teams.

      • Four Cents says:

        Inesta can do it, so can several other under sized futbol stars. He’s simply lacking a couple key elements to complete, and compete.. That’s all…

    • biff says:

      Count me among the members of the Gringo Torres Fan Club. He is highly experienced (including the WC), his technical skills among the best of the USMNT along with Fabian Johnson and Edgar Castillo, and at the current time he is in a$$-kicking form–including scoring more goals in the past three weeks than Jozy has scored all year. Torres is much better than Mix Diskerud and at the very least deserves a call-up in May. I also have my fingers crossed for Joe Corona, who at the current time is light years beyond Julian Green. Maybe that will not be true next year, or even this autumn. But it is true now and I still cannot grasp that some USMNT fans want to gift Green, who plays in the Germany’s fourth league, a ticket to the World Cup. Unfathomable and if he goes to Brazil it will be unfair and a slap in the face to every player in the USMNT pool and I don’t think Klinsmann is gonna risk it.

      P.S. @Josh D: “Not ture that “was terrible” at left midfield for a whole year. Torres actually put in some good outings in the Gold Cup playing out of his club position on the left.

      P.S.S. @TomG: Do not buy this argument that Torres is too small. A lot of good soccer players are small, including Mix.

      • Lucas says:

        Right on biff I’m with you. Gringo Torres and Joe Corona have technical skill, vision, and the ability to create scoring opportunities. I still think the speed of play, not running speed, is quicker in Liga MX than MLS

      • beachbum says:

        always a good read biff

        on Green, if he wins a spot in camp by balling and proving it then it’s fine, but otherwise I agree with you about him.

        on Torres, have watched his career for about 6 years now, could see him winning a role on the team if given a chance

      • biff says:

        agree, beachbum, that if Julian would outperform others than the door to Brazil is open to him. I am happy he chose the USMNT over Germany. The kid obviously has talent and at some point in the future he has the potential to play in a top league and to develop his international game, which we saw against Mexico is not very good, certainly not good enough to be one of 23 Americans to be chosen to play on the USMNT in World Cup 2014. His time, like that of other under-20 Americans, will come in the next Olympics and in WC 2018–if, just like other younger players, he actually proves that he is good enough on the field. Folks, to quote Jurgen, Green ain’t done stuff yet. We do not know how he is going to develop.

        In any case, back to the present, I personally feel he does not deserve a a to be called up for the May camp after his poor showing against Mexico. Would not compute and big deal that he plays fourth league soccer for the Bayern reserves. If he is called in again in May and guys like Gringo Torres and Joe Corona who actually play for their club first teams in top leagues and who actually have international experience are not called in, then I would seriously question Klinsmann’s judgment.

        • Justin El Matador says:

          Yes, agree with all of this, Biff and Beachbum. Gringo over Green, Corona over Diskerud. Could really see one of those 2 rounding out a 3-man midfield with MB90 and JJ in a 4-3-3.

        • Dman says:

          I agree that Corona and Torres should get a shot, but you also have to consider players with higher ceilings.

          Liga -MX is a good league, but hardly a “Top League” If Torres was doing in a top league what he is doing in Liga-MX we wouldn’t even be having this debate.

          Game changing potential also has to be considered with Green. He has some things that cannot be taught, and he certainly would not be the youngest or least experienced player at the world cup. He was clearly affected by nerves on his first big game, but I think most people could still see his potential.

          We need our Workmen (Beckermans, and Wodos) but we cant ignore a player with Greens potential. He deserves another shot.

        • Bac says:

          @ Biff & Beachbum:
          Regarding JFT, I agree that his technical skills are better than most of the players in our pool. I thought he should have gotten more PT in 2010, especially considering the other mid partner options to MB. Even when he was quote unquote outmuscled he looked like the only guy who could quickly move the ball. To me that spot was either Benny or Gringo…
          And I love his passion, he is always as proud as a new father when he pulls on the usmnt jersey.
          I don’t know why he hasn’t shown better in his chances under JK. Aside from being out of his natural spot, I just don’t know. Everyone who is a fan of his has criticized JK for not playing him in CM enough… well maybe it’s because we’re so loaded there and JK was trying to get him as many chances as possible??? I don’t know

          Regarding the Julian Green issue:
          Biff u have made your feelings known strongly and loud and clear.. But there is a flip side that hardly nobody seems to mention- If he makes the 23, it’s easy to say it’s because JK promised him a spot… But I would submit that since JK took over he’s pushed everyone to their respective limits and outside their comfort zones. And anyone you name as a fringe player that would be competing with JG has had every chance to “force” themselves worthy of a spot on the plane.
          And frankly, I don’t think a lot of guys outside of the core… or spine… have shown so impressively that it’s made JKs selections easy. The reason people are thunderstruck by Greens decision is because we aren’t exactly overflowing with attacking options.
          So he has a camp and a couple of friendlies to make his case… if he’s on the plane I would submit to you that it’s just as much of an issue to say ” Hey, player XYZ didn’t make the cut, but after a lot of chances under JK, he didn’t perform well enough to force JK to keep him”
          And if Green doesn’t make it, you can easily say JK teased him with a WC spot but didn’t give it to him… OR, you could say, “Player XYZ showed so well he forced his way on the plane” and Green just isn’t ready.
          Bottom line, imo there hasn’t been enough guys that have played so well that Green should even be competing for a spot with them… the only difference is if Green makes it, anyone who doesn’t can’t say they didn’t have ample opportunity to take one of those spots
          I’m optimistic JK will make the right call, whatever it ends up being

          • beachbum says:

            always a good read Bac

            hey, I hope Green wins the spot, my point, or whoever it is wins it by balling. Klinnsman plays favorites like every coach, has favorites and non-favorites, guys to whom he shows seemingly endless belief and trust, and also those he seems to show very little to. It’s his job to make those calls and we all trust he makes good decisions, like in this case

            Klinnsman likes to bring on the left sided attacking force late in games, someone to take on that tired RB 1v1, and maybe Green’s the guy for that. we’ll see.

            it’s not Torres, but if we’re winning or in a result we want late in the game, a guy like Gringo might be nice to pull off the bench too. someone needs to win that role as well, maybe more than one guy

            anyway, off to the skate park with the boy

      • TomG says:

        Small on the wings is fine. Small in the middle of the field where he has to win balls? No thanks. Kroos and Schweinsteiger will just run right over him and keep going.

    • Felix says:

      First and foremost, Paco Torres is a deep lying center midfielder with a good left foot, not a left sided midfielder, despite being played out of position there by JK.
      Second, because of Torres’ prefered position, he has to shoulder a lot of defensive responsibilities, which at the international level, he doesn’t excel at (case in point, the US away qualifier in ’09 to Costa Rica and the ’10 WC game with Slovenia, two games where JFT started and we went down big and early from movements or shots that started or came from his spot in the midfield).
      Third, despite some USMNT fans really truly hoping that Paco Torres was the next Andrea Pirlo, El Gringo’s passing was never incisive enough to justify his starting position. He shows for the ball well, and has the technical ability to work out of pressure and connect to the offense, but it never made up for the deficiencies in his game at the international level. Also, when you have players like MB90 and Beckerman who can do all those things AND play effective defensive, Torres is ‘surplus to requirements’ has our English friends would say.
      If

      • Gary Page says:

        The next Pirlo? Heck, I was just hoping he might be the next Reyna. I remember about two years ago when he had a game where he flashed some of that potential, but, alas, has not showed it since for the national team.

    • John says:

      THANK YOU.

      JFT is one of the best players in our pool. He has only played a grand total if 45 minutes at his natural position under Klinsmann. Not his fault. And even at LM he was figuring it out…thought he played well in the Gold Cup. I certainly prefer him to Davis.

      And people pointing to the Slovenia game…he was used as a DM covering for Bradley. Not his thing.

      Let’s also not forget he’s our best set piece taker.

  7. MiamiAl says:

    In Klinsmann we trust! He’s da man!!! Our program is known for two things: our guys are always extremely fit, and we’re coming to give you a fight! If there is any team that can shake the balance of power in soccer, its us! All we need to do is get out of group stage (I personally think we can win against both Ghana and Portugal), and it potentially could be smooth sailing to make a deep run!

    • PESSIMISTFRANKinHumboldt says:

      GER 0:1 POR
      GHA 1:2 USA
      GER 3:0 GHA
      USA 1:0 POR
      USA 0:2 GER
      POR 3:1 GAN

      • William the Terror says:

        We do not advance in this scenario.

        • GinHumboldt says:

          Hence the PESSIMISTFRANK moniker. It was supposed to be a sarcastic responce to the previous post about winning both Ghana and Portugal games and still missing out.

          • William the Terror says:

            Figured. But wanted it clarified, since you are in Humboldt and under the influence of local agricultural commodities.

        • sony says:

          Yeah, USMNT will not advance.We have to wait for 2018.Sorry guys it’s true.

      • Josephnsantos says:

        You folks under estimate Portugal and their coach Paulo Bento.
        Just reflect how they took Sweden in the last qualifying game in Stokolm.
        Portugal is a lot more than Ronaldo.Lookout for William Carvalho, a young powerful midfielder and Moutinho a super skillld schemer.
        My prediction is Portugal will advance in its group.
        JS

    • Maykol says:

      No s***, any team at the world cup can beat any team

    • Ali Dia says:

      +Yes

  8. Ryan in NYC by way of NC says:

    If you can pick ONE USMNT player to play absolutely out of their minds this summer, who would it be?

    My pick: Tim Howard

    • MemRook says:

      Oops didn’t reply to you first time:

      For me it’s Deuce or Bradley. Monster games from them would greatly benefit us IMO

    • obxfly says:

      for me it would be a centerback. Howard will be one of the best keepers there even if he just plays average. We’ll need something special from one of the centerbacks to keep the goals out. I think the offense may score a few but keeping the ball out of the net and maybe a header goal from a centerback on a corner will go a long way towards advancing

    • BrianK says:

      I’m going to shock,…Landon Donovan.

      • James says:

        I’ve got a suspicion about this too. Maybe it’s wishful thinking, but I really think Donovan could have a huge WC.

      • GinHumboldt says:

        I agree with both obxfly and BrianK, and add whoever plays left back.

        Assume everyone performs at the WC to their average-to-high-average level for the last year or so.

        433 or 442 diamond
        Goalkeeper – Howard is world class
        Attack – USMNTAltidore/Dempsey/Johannsson can compete against world class
        Center mid – Bradley is world class
        Wide mid – Donovan/Zuzi are good (one needs to play world class- either Donovan is at the top of his game of Zuzi plays out of his head good)
        Wide defence – Cameron/?? (Cameron can compete against world class; whoever plays left back needs to be at least okay)
        Center defence – Besler/?? (either Besler plays himself onto Barcelona covering for ??, or ?? plays out of his head good)

        • Maykol says:

          Aaaaand another example of people overusing the words “world class”

        • Justin El Matador says:

          I like your attacking front 3 of Altidore/Dempsey/Johansson, but if this is a 4-3-3, you’ll need 2 more strong central midfielders with Bradley. In that case, Donovan is competing for a spot in the front 3. Then you would have Bradley, JJ, and any 1 of Edu/Beckerman/Bedoya/Zusi, depending on the opponent. In a 4-4-2 diamond, you would need a holder like JJ (if he decides to actually play like one he is quite good), Bradley at the top of the diamond, and 2 hard-working side midfielders who can pinch in and also defend. This would include Bedoya, Zusi, FJ, and even Donovan on his good days.

        • Troy in his apartment says:

          Not one player from the US is world class. Some are capable of having a game like a world class player. Howard is probably the closest but he is merely abover average in an overrated BPL.

    • beachbum says:

      Gonzo

    • Since 82 says:

      That’s easy. Altidore. If he does we go far, real far.

    • Ali Dia says:

      Good question- kind of invites two families of answers.
      (1) Younger guys and potential “weak links”. The standard for these guys is lower and often more specific/tailored. The basic job is to learn their role, be consistent, na and make zero mistakes. In a successful USMNT effort, we will almost certainly need an unexpected contribution or two above this
      (2) Established first team guys and long-term contributors. These are the guys who need to outperform the global standard. For this group (Howard, Bradley, Dempsey, Donovan, Jozy, F. Johnson probably Jozy) success means being better than their opposite number(s) in every game we play, and probably in the top to 15-20% among players at at their position over the tournament.

      Getting out of the group probably means 2-3 guys from each of those two groups went above and beyond on these standards, with the others meeting the targets or coming reasonably close.

    • Dman says:

      Id rather see Bradley or Kevin Bacon Play out of their minds, Howard playing out of his mind just means our D is predictably getting thrashed!

    • Gary Page says:

      The way that Dempsey has played the past couple of MLS games, I have a feeling it may be him. I think Bradley will also be crucial. I think we can all expect that Howard will be very good or better.

  9. MemRook says:

    Deuce or Bradley for me

  10. BC says:

    I know this much… those players are going to run their b*lls off in Stanford. Recall the training regiment JK uses where players don’t eat the night before, then he runs them into the ground the next morning? All to train the body to learn how to draw energy from unconventional sources like the liver in the 80th – 90th minute, thereby giving you a fitness edge?

    Whoever ends up making the plane is going to earn it, that is for sure. And we will be one of the fittest teams in Brazil. We’ll need that advantage at least!

    • beachbum says:

      the USMNT was the model for fitness training last cycle under Bradley, it’s not new for our guys to be incredibly fit

      • BC says:

        Teaching your body to draw from your LIVER in the 80th minute is very much new to the US team. Not discrediting our prior fitness practices, but this is old school German industry at its finest. I appreciate Klinsmann sharing this technique with us. We’ll need it.

        • beachbum says:

          fitness has never been an issue with team USA, other things have, the point link to espnfc.com

          it is great to have new techniques for winning, no arguments there, those are always appreciated by us all

      • Increase says:

        We were in better shape than almost everyone we played and it showed.

  11. the original jb says:

    Well I hope no one gets injured. Presumably the training will be lighter and more tactical/technical in Fla and Brazil. I can’t help but think about how tired the team has looked at times after JK camps, but for sure he knows more than me. It sounds like a good plan.

    • EspinDOHla says:

      yep

      Sometimes it seems like the players are exhausted out there after the extended camps

    • Gary Page says:

      My thought was that the team should spend more time in Florida to get ready for Brazil, but I trust JK knows what he is doing. He has so much experience as both player and coach.

      • Bac says:

        Yea I hate to use the word assume… but I’m assuming that his thinking is he needs the extra push and extra sessions in a milder climate because
        A. He’s got a lot of decisions to make, both on personnel and positioning (remember originally he said he was only calling in 23, now he says 26-28)
        B. He’s gotta get these guys playing as a unit, we haven’t had a full squad in quite some time, and almost none of these guys play together like many other countries, where there is more familiarity amongst players…
        Then I assume once he’s picked his 23, they will lighten up a bit for the time in Fla and game in Jax

  12. Goalscorer24 says:

    The thing that makes me nervous is if you look at the pattern in World Cups we have never done well in a World Cup in which we did well in the previous World Cup. Basic example 2002 we did so well then 2006 we did awful. 2010 we did well, so will we be awful in 2014?

    • John says:

      You could perhaps look at it that way. The other way would be to say since 94 when gotten out of the group every time the host wasn’t in Europe. We’ve gotten out of the group in 94/US
      02/Korea, 2010/South Africa, but failed to at 98/France and Germany/2006.

    • beto says:

      Thought about that… We will see

    • GW says:

      One possible reason for that is because the US has never had a lot of depth.

      If you do well in 2002, then you have X number of guys at their peak, like Sanneh, Reyna, JOB, McBride,and Berhalter for example.

      Four years later some of them had not aged as well as the others and some had gotten injured. And most of them were not adequately replaced.

      The question for 2014 is will JK’s new guys break that cycle and equal or better the guys they replaced.

      Of course even if this team is twice as good as the 2010 bunch they are in a Group that is conceivably twice as difficult to get out of.

      The World Cup draw is such a big part of it.

      I would argue that the 2010 Group was the easiest draw of the last four WC draws (2002, 2006, 2010, 2014). The US advanced and probably should have beaten Ghana.

      In comparison, JK could do twice as good a job as BB and have a team that is twice as good as the 2010 edition was and still lose all three games.

    • Kevin_H says:

      What is the sample size? I bet it’s too low to draw any statistical conclusion whatsoever. If 2014 is bad, it’s because we’re in a group with Germany, Portugal, and Ghana, not because fate has it that it will be a bad year for US Soccer.

    • Ali Dia says:

      Historically, the most meaningful thing lying amongst all of this is “Did we get a result in the first game?” Psychologically this is of paramount importance and historically it has shown (for many other teams as well). Needless to say, we cannot afford a loss against Ghana given the strength of the group.

      As a side note, some have mistakenly made the case that “only a win will do”. Certainly three points would be a great start and probably a “best case”, but mathemetaically/strategically, it may not help incrementally much more. Ghana needs to have something to play for in the third game or it will be all-too-easy on Portugal.

      Anyway, it’s worth noting that this schedule represents something of a departure from our successes in 2002 and 2010, when we played the “strongest” team in the group first.

  13. Dennis says:

    In 2002, Chris Armas was the defensive central midfielder who owned the starting spot until injury took him out. Many thought that would doom the US to failure in Japan/Korea.

    Paplo Mastoeni took over mostly as a consequence of his play during the pre-world camp (in fact, he actually played CB for a half against Jamaica in the send-off game and did not look that good there). His hard-nosed defending made him an important player that led to the success of the USMNT in Japan/Korea.

    Prior to the camp, Mastroeni was not widely expected to play much if any role.

    It just illustrates how plans are plans, but reality has a way of rearing its ugly head. The depth of this squad does provide some cover. Reality has a way of changing things from the neat little pictures we have in our heads.

  14. Dan says:

    Jk needs to get rid of Jozy Altidore. He sucks! I don’t why he keeps him on the USMNT when he has better strikers, Aron Johannsson, Wondo, Eddie Johnson, even Julian Green. Altidore is a big choke, and needs to be “out the door”!

  15. Dan says:

    And Timmy Chandler for Right Back. He is back from injury and training with FC Nurnburg. He may even play in a couple of games. Klinsy needs to include him on the USMNT roster.

  16. Charles Polanski says:

    TIme to get a Kickstarter Campaign started so Garrett can join Ives in Brazil for the World Cup. I would love to hang with them throughout the World Cup. Bottle Service in Natal, then the Amazon, then Recife. Would be beyond EPIC!

  17. Maizupath says:

    I’m just eagerly waiting for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Also waiting for May 14, when 33-men United States squad will be declared

  18. Dan says:

    Jozy can’t handle the pressure. he’s a head case! And stop the race baiting. It’s like if you criticize Obama you are a racist. How racist that is in itself (politically correct black racism)!!!??? I don’t care if Jozy were purple. Plain and simple he cannot score goals under pressure in big games! He needs to be off USMNT.