USMNT believe back line can get the job done despite inexperience

DeMarcus Beasley

Photo by David Bernal/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

SAO PAULO — Inexperienced. Shaky. Lacking chemistry. Weak link.

Criticism about the U.S. Men’s National Team’s defense has been abundant in the run-up to the World Cup. Some of it is understandable given a few of the back line’s recent performances and how short they are in terms of World Cup appearances. But if you ask the Americans about that inexperience and how it will affect the likes of Geoff Cameron, Matt Besler and Omar Gonzalez once Group G play gets underway against Ghana on Monday, they will tell you that far too much is made of it.

After all, it is not like they are young players at the start of their professional careers.

“I think they might be a little nervous in the beginning, but once they kick the first ball they’ll be fine,” said left back DaMarcus Beasley – one of the veterans expected to help lead the U.S. back line – in a recent interview. “They’ll forget about the fans, the crowd and just go out their and play football because at the end of the day it is a game of football.

“It is a very high level, important game, but at the end of the day it’s a game of football and just try to be exactly what you’ve been doing for the last 2-3 years that got you on the team.”

All signs are pointing to the back four against Ghana being Beasley, Cameron, Besler and right back Fabian Johnson. Beasley is the only one out of that group to have previously played in a World Cup, but none of his seven tournament appearances dating back to 2002 have come with him playing in defense.

That has led to much scrutiny from media and fans, especially since games against star-studded attacks like Portugal and Germany also await the U.S. in the group stage. But the Americans have remained confident in the face of that outside noise. There is a belief from within the group that this set of defenders might even be better equipped to take on the physical and speedy Ghanaians than the veteran-laden back line that was unable to do so four years ago in a Round of 16 match at the World Cup in South Africa.

“I think we’re younger and we’re more athletic,” said goalkeeper Tim Howard, another veteran who will be heavily counted on to provide leadership. “The way we pressed teams – particularly late on in qualifying – was really, really good. I think we can cause them trouble in that regard.”

On top of being more athletic, the much-maligned U.S. defenders are also better now at passing out of the back than their experienced counterparts of four years ago. That’s a key attribute in head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s system and something that has improved in recent years with the introduction of technical centerbacks like Cameron and Besler.

Even so, it is how the U.S. defenders fare against the talented opponents they will meet that ultimately will decide how they are judged this summer. One player who will likely help them in their cause is defensive midfielder Kyle Beckerman, who has recently pieced together some consistently-solid performances in front of the back four. He looks a safe bet to start against Ghana after doing a fine job in his No. 6 role in the Americans’ 2-1 win over Nigeria in their final pre-World Cup friendly.

“Kyle’s a guy, he loves to make that [stuff] work for the team,” said midfielder Jermaine Jones. “He’s always one of the guys who pushes the team and pushes the players and he never gives up. Sometimes you need that kind of player in the team.”

If it is occasionally necessary to have a “pure giver” – as Klinsmann often describes Beckerman – to achieve success, it would appear vital to also boast some veteran leadership. Howard and Beasley have that to spare, and they will be leaned on to help provide organization and guidance through the ups and downs that tend to come with World Cup games.

The other, less-experienced players in the back will need to do their part as well, but the belief is that they have more than enough talent to do so.

“I know what they can do,” said Beasley. “Jurgen, he knows what they can do as well. If he didn’t think they could do the job, he wouldn’t have selected them to be a part of the national team, moreso probably the World Cup team. We all have confidence in our back line, myself included. … I have all confidence in the 7-8 guys that we have defending, that whoever he picks will get the job done.”

——-

Think the American back line can get the job done against Ghana and the rest of Group G? Confident in a starting back line of Johnson, Besler, Cameron, and Beasley? Hope Klinsmann starts Beckerman for additional protection?

Share your thoughts below.

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88 Responses to USMNT believe back line can get the job done despite inexperience

  1. espada says:

    Really haven’t been impressed with defending at this tournament, so they’ll be fine.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      See I take the opposite tack which is that it may not matter how well they play, bunker strategies have not looked successful to me. If our aim is to sit back and defend for 90 and counter-punch, Bosnia lost 2-1 yesterday playing tough defense and waiting for their one chance.

      But the US has been training 8 days a week, 25 hours a day, at oxygen limited conditions of 30000 feet under the instruction of shaolin soccer monks. They have bested in a scrimmage Andromedean space aliens skilled at playing sports derived from kicking the skulls of their vanquished enemies. Compared to that playing Ghana is a walk in the nebula.

      We’ll see what we do. I’m anxious.

  2. Troy says:

    Finally the day of reckoning is near. Tomorrow by this time the boys will be separated from the men.

    • SBI “I Told You So” Invitational 2014 says:

      Indeed. I guess this is last call for predictions. How about a template so everybody can agree definitively who had called it from the beginning, and who “just doesn’t know football” . Here is a suggestion:

      USMNT Team Results
      1. vs. Ghana: (examples: W-2-0, D 2-2, L 0-2)
      2. vs. Portugal:
      3. vs. Germany:
      4. Position and Exit (examples: Group 2nd/Quarter Final; Group 3rd/DNQ)

      USMNT Individual
      5. Top Scorer:
      6. Overperformer (Subjective):
      7. Underperformer (Subjective):

      Tournament Overall
      8. Champion/Runner Up:
      9. Golden Ball / Golden Boot:

      Additional Prediction (No Prompt)
      10. [Open topic--Try to keep it brief]

      • Don't mind if I Freddy Adu says:

        USMNT Team Results
        1. vs. Ghana: L 1-2
        2. vs. Portugal: D 2-2
        3. vs. Germany: L 2-3
        4. Position and Exit: Last, Group Stage

        USMNT Individual
        5. Top Scorer: Altidore, 2 gols
        6. Overperformer (Subjective): Alejandro Bedoya
        7. Underperformer (Subjective): Tim Howard

        Tournament Overall
        8. Champion/Runner Up: Germany / Brasil
        9. Golden Ball / Golden Boot: Neymar / Mario Götze

      • Too Easy says:

        1. W 3-1
        2. D 1-1
        3. D 2-2
        4. Group 2nd, QF Exit
        5. Altidore
        6. Besler
        7. Wondo
        8. BRA def. NED
        9. Van Persie, NED
        10. Brad Davis will score directly from a corner

        Where’s my prize?

      • Dawsaw says:

        1. W 2-0
        2. W 3-2
        3. L 5-2
        4. Group 2nd/Semifinal

        USMNT Individual
        5. Top Scorer: Altidore 4 goals
        6. Overperformer (Subjective): Cameron
        7. Underperformer (Subjective): Dempsey

        Tournament Overall
        8. Champion/Runner Up: Ivory Coast/England
        9. Golden Ball / Golden Boot: Gervinho/Sturridge

        Additional Prediction (No Prompt)
        10. Rio riots move the final to Marcana

        • Tony Meola says:

          1. W 4-1
          2. W 1-0
          3. L 3-1
          4. Group 2nd/Round of 16

          USMNT Individual
          5. Top Scorer: Jozy
          6. Overperformer (Subjective): Junior Jones
          7. Underperformer (Subjective): Deuce

          Tournament Overall
          8. Champion/Runner Up: Argentina/Germany
          9. Golden Ball / Golden Boot: Messi/Messi

          Additional Prediction (No Prompt)
          10. We actually get a call to go our way for a change from the referee.

      • Byrdman says:

        1. W2-0
        2. W 2-1
        3. L 1-2
        4. 2nd n group, exit quarters
        5. Altidore
        6. Jones
        7. Zusi
        8. Argentina / germany

        9. Messi/????

      • KingGoogleyEye says:

        Fun idea.

        USMNT Team Results
        1. W 3-2 (1-2 at half)
        2. D 1-1
        3. L 1-3
        4. Lose to Belgium 0-2

        USMNT Individual
        5. Top Scorer: Jozy (2)
        6. Overperformer: Mix
        7. Underperformer: Dempsey

        Tournament Overall
        8. Champion/Runner Up: Brazil/Netherlands
        9. Golden Ball / Golden Boot: Fernando Torres

        Additional Prediction (No Prompt)
        10. Everything is Klinsmann’s fault. Everything.

      • Paul says:

        1. W 2-1
        2. L 0-1
        3. D 2-2
        4. Group 3d
        5. Top Scorer: Bradley
        6. Overperformer: Diskerud (playing creatively as CAM in 4-2-3-1 against Germany)
        7. Underperformer: Beasley
        8. Champion/Runner Up: Argentina/France
        9. Golden Ball / Golden Boot: Messi/RvP

      • didoson says:

        USMNT Team Results
        1. vs. Ghana: 2:1 US
        2. vs. Portugal: 3:1 US
        3. vs. Germany: 1:2 (Germany win)
        4. Position and Exit (2nd, Quarterfinal)

        USMNT Individual
        5. Top Scorer: Altidore
        6. Overperformer (Jones):
        7. Underperformer (Dempsey):

        Tournament Overall
        8. Champion/Runner Up: Argentina
        9. Golden Ball / Golden Boot: RobbenUSMNT Team Results
        1. vs. Ghana: (examples: W-2-0, D 2-2, L 0-2)
        2. vs. Portugal:
        3. vs. Germany:
        4. Position and Exit (examples: Group 2nd/Quarter Final; Group 3rd/DNQ)

        USMNT Individual
        5. Top Scorer:
        6. Overperformer (Subjective):
        7. Underperformer (Subjective):

        Tournament Overall
        8. Champion/Runner Up:
        9. Golden Ball / Golden Boot:

        Additional Prediction (No Prompt)
        10. England do not make it out of the group.

      • Snack Time says:

        1. W 2-1
        2. W 3-2
        3. L 1-3
        4. Group 2nd, QF Exit
        5. Wondolowski
        6. Beasley
        7. Dempsey
        8. Germany/France
        9. Benzema/Di Maria
        10. A Mexico player fails PED tests.

        • A Goose says:

          USMNT Team Results
          1. vs. Ghana: L (4-2)
          2. vs. Portugal: L (2-0)
          3. vs. Germany: L (3-1)
          4. Position and Exit: last in group (a pessimist for sure)

          USMNT Individual
          5. Top Scorer: Dempsey (2)
          6. Overperformer (Subjective): F. Johnson
          7. Underperformer (Subjective): Beasley

          Tournament Overall
          8. Champion/Runner Up:Argentina/Germany
          9. Golden Ball / Golden Boot: Messi / Robben

          Additional Prediction (No Prompt)
          10. US picks up 2+ red cards

      • MikeV says:

        1. W 2-1
        2. W 2-1
        3. W 2-1
        4. Group 1st / Semifinals I Believe
        5. Jozy 5
        6. Johnson
        7. Davis
        8. Brazil / France
        9. Neymar
        10. Lalas gets Laryngitis, Ballack looks pleased.

      • g-dub says:

        USMNT Team Results
        1. vs. Ghana: W 2-1
        2. vs. Portugal: D 1-1
        3. vs. Germany: L 1-2
        4. Position and Exit: 2nd, Round of 8

        USMNT Individual
        5. Top Scorer: deuce, 3
        6. Overperformer (Subjective): Yedlin (as attacking sub)
        7. Underperformer (Subjective): Tim Howard

        Tournament Overall
        8. Champion/Runner Up: Argentina / Brasil
        9. Golden Ball / Golden Boot: Messi / RVP

      • Falsify says:

        USMNT Team Results
        1. vs. Ghana: W-2-0
        2. vs. Portugal: D-2-2
        3. vs. Germany: D-3-3
        4. Group 2nd/ Dream run to semis.

        USMNT Individual
        5. Top Scorer: Bradley
        6. Overperformer (Besler):
        7. Underperformer (Julian Green):

        Everyone else has been depressing me with their uber realistic predictions.

      • Nate Dollars says:

        wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

        USMNT Team Results
        1. vs. Ghana: W 3-2
        2. vs. Portugal: D 2-2
        3. vs. Germany: L 3-1
        4. Position and Exit Group 3rd (on goal differential)

        USMNT Individual
        5. Top Scorer: dempsey
        6. Overperformer (Subjective): mix
        7. Underperformer (Subjective): besler

        Tournament Overall
        8. Champion/Runner Up: brasil/netherlands
        9. Golden Ball / Golden Boot: neymar/neymar

        Additional Prediction (No Prompt)
        10. nothing is klinsmann’s fault. nothing. (hi kinggoogleyeye!)

      • Sean says:

        W 2-0
        W 1-0
        L 3-1

        2nd in group/quarterfinal exit

        Top scorer: Dempsey
        Overpreformer: Bedoya

        Champion: Brazil, runner-up Argentina
        Golden ball and boot: Messi

      • twosevenstreet says:

        USMNT Team Results
        1. vs. Ghana: 2-1 win
        2. vs. Portugal: 3-3 tie
        3. vs. Germany: 1-1 tie
        4. Group 2nd/Quarter Final

        USMNT Individual
        5. Top Scorer: MB90
        6. Overperformer: Jozy
        7. Underperformer: Dempsey

        Tournament Overall
        8. Champion/Runner Up: Brazil
        9. Golden Ball / Golden Boot: Ball – Neymar, Boot – Neymar

        Additional Prediction (No Prompt)
        10. Ronaldo will not score.

      • USMNT Team Results
        1. vs. Ghana: W 2-1
        2. vs. Portugal: W 3-2
        3. vs. Germany: L 3-0
        4. Position and Exit Group 2nd/Quarter Final

        USMNT Individual
        5. Top Scorer: Clint Dempsey
        6. Overperformer (Subjective): Kyle Beckerman
        7. Underperformer (Subjective): Jermaine Jones

        Tournament Overall
        8. Champion/Runner Up: Argentina / Brazil
        9. Golden Ball / Golden Boot: Neymar / Messi

        Additional Prediction (No Prompt)
        10. There will be less PKs as the tournament continues and defenders learn that the referees mean business.

      • KingGoogleyEye says:

        A tally of who received the most votes for over/underperformer:
        (I only listed those who received more than one vote)

        6. Over
        Bedoya x 2
        Besler x 2
        FabJo x 2
        Jones x 3
        Mix x 3

        7. Under
        Howard x 2
        DMB x 2
        Dempsey x 6

        • KingGoogleyEye says:

          fwiw: the correct answers are Mix (over) and Deuce (under), though Beckerman is a good second choice for overperfomer and Jones is a good third. FabJo and Bedoya are not good choices because they will both accomplish exactly what we all expect: solid defense, several dangerous runs, and one goal (FabJo); running like a wild horse on steroids and painkillers (Bedoya).

          Deuce will underperform…meaning that he will only score two goals—a solid performance, but below his level.

    • Sam says:

      USA will win the World Cup. Jozy will score 7 goals. The US team will do their duty and create a plethora of dual-national options for World Cup 2034

  3. Ga1atic0 says:

    No Demerit no Bornstein no Bocanegra …we’ll be okay. Timmy I still question for Ghana’s goal in the last WC I felt he came out to early on the play..

    • Chris says:

      Definitely we should judge him on one goal in one game.

      • Don't mind if I Freddy Adu says:

        Timmy was an average to below average keeper after the first game against England in that tournament; let’s be honest here.

        • usaalltheway says:

          Below average is harsh but your point is well taken.

          • Don't mind if I Freddy Adu says:

            Perhaps a bit harsh, but yes: he was not that good in the last World Cup.

            And everyone anointing him as a “top 5 keeper in the world” are overstating it a bit. I don’t think he’s yet shown anywhere to be THAT GOOD, but we’ll see what he’s got in this tournament.

            • Roy says:

              Having seen Keller and Friedel play, I don’t think Howard has put in better performances in the World Cup. USA desperately needs him, though.

              • kara kartal says:

                Let’s not forget it was Timmy’s perfect throw that started the break for the Algeria. Few keepers in the world make that.

    • Bac says:

      Who gives a $h!t what Timmy did or didn’t do 4 years ago.
      He’s in the best form of his career right now, and that’s all that matters…

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Howard is a good keeper on his line or in your face. He can get caught in no man’s land, though.

  4. usaalltheway says:

    As long as Omar isn’t our center back, I will feel good about things.

    Let’ see both Beckerman and Jones together. That was a very smart move by JK.

    Jozy, Bradley, Dempsey and Howard need to play on high gear in all games. They are the keys to success. That is how I see it.

  5. Roy says:

    Who will see more time playing. Green or Gonzalez?

    • Ga1atic0 says:

      If we’re winning by 2+ goals and it the 89th minute I don’t mind either of them to get some fresh legs in.

  6. Siberian says:

    I actually like the those four defenders (Beasley, Besler, Cameron, and Johnson). I certainly don’t think the defense is any worse than four years ago. If anyone on the back line goes down or gets carded, then things could get interesting with the backups.

  7. Mason says:

    JJ’s quote is shirt-worth material.

    “Kyle Beckerman: He makes that s**t work.”

  8. Finn says:

    I hope we can win despite clueless Klinsmann. He brings Chandler, the enigmatic guy who deserted us during qualifiers and Brooks who has played one good game and several bad ones in a US Jersey. Also Gonzalez who now seems totally out of form and basically unusable according to pretty much everyone posting on this site. Why not Parkurst or Goodson. Both of these guys have been consistently reliable. It’s obvious why he brings Chandler and Brooks since they’re Germamerican and anyone who merely plays in Germany has to be better than anyone in the MLS right? Plus they’ll suck up to Jurgen and drink his kool-aide unlike Parkhurst or Goodson. (But at least German-wunderkind is clearly better than Donovan.)

    It was interesting to listen to Kasey Keller talk about the importance of a back line playing together and cohesiveness and then saying that that this back line has two games together.

    Klinnsman is such a self-centered douche. He comes out and says we can’t win the world cup. What’s the point of that, is that supposed to motivate the team? Look at the contrasting attitude of Mexcio our CONCACAFF rival who barely squeeked through qualifiers. They played a great game against Cameroon with their coach and players now saying they feel they can beat any team in the world cup and like their chances against Brazil. Or Costa Rica another CONCACAFF team brimming with confidence after defeating Uruguay. Do you think their coach has been talking about how they can’t win the world cup?

    This guy is a poseur and a liar and has nothing but disdain for American soccer. Regardless, of how the team does against Ghana, Jurgen is bad news and we need someone who has the real respect of the players and understands the uniquely American mentality like Peter Vermes or Jason Kreis.

    Far from revolutionizing the face of US Soccer with some great new attacking style that is a hybrid latin and American liked he talked about, Klinnsman has decided to play defensive, counter attacking football because he’s recognized that’s the best way to get out of the group. Yet he’s tinkered with the back line incessantly, made head scratching choices re defender selection and left the one person who could really help on the counter attack at home because of his personal petty grievances and gargantuan ego.

    It’s time to sack Gulati and his man crush Klinsmannn. Guy was a world class striker but a totally horrendous self-centered coach and man manager.

  9. Tibu Copra says:

    I’m sure the defense will be fine, Klinsmann is doing a good job.

  10. Bac says:

    Over/ Under on the number of times Taylor Twellman says,
    “For the first time in 20 years the usmnt goes into a World Cup with zero experience at the CB position”

    P.S. ( considering Boca is too slow and old, Gooch is a shell of his former self, & Demerit has spent more time in a walking boot than on the field the last few years, I’m totally supportive of going with who we got)

    I believe!

  11. petro4ever says:

    It’s strange, but for all of the attention our backline has gotten this time around, I actually think we’re in better shape defensively than we were in South Africa in 2010. Back then, we were still shuttling Bocanegra between CB and LB to cover for the fact that we had no credible LB option. It was also unclear whether Onyewu was fully healthy going into the tournament and we ended up dropping him from the 11 by the last group stage game (moving Bocanegra back to the middle and pushing Bornstein into the starting line-up). Because of those two issues, our CB pairing was actually pretty unsettled for that tournament, much as it was leading into this one. Making matters worse, Bob Bradley started Rico Clark next to Michael in front of the back 4 in our opening game and against Ghana. Clark wasn’t fully healthy either and proceeded to blow an assignment in the opening minutes of the England game, leading to an early goal. And of course, everyone remembers his turnover against Ghana.

    By comparison, we’re actually a little *more* stable this time around. We did have to convert Beasley into a LB, but we did it over a year ago, and he’s played there exclusively through qualifying and the Gold Cup. While many of us (myself included) wanted Cameron to get time at RB, for the most part Klinsmann resisted that call, treating him as a nearly-fulltime CB and making him fight for minutes at that position. That means nobody’s going to be shuttling back and forth between positions as Boca did in 2010. Fabian Johnson isn’t nearly as experienced at RB as Cherundolo was, but he’s faster, more technical, and reliable enough defensively. And if Besler is this year’s Jay Demerit, he has the advantage of being more mobile, something that becomes important when you realize how slow the Onyewu-Demerit tandem was to close off the space of on-coming attackers (see, for example, the second goal of the US-Slovenia game). The central midfielders that we will play in front of the back-line are also better. Beckerman isn’t particularly mobile but if Jones and Bedoya start along with him, that’s certainly an improvement defensively (in both numbers and quality) over Clark-Bradley in 2010, particularly given that both Clark and Bradley were expected to be two-way players in the 2010 line-up. So our security blanket of defensive midfielders should be better positioned to cover for mistakes along the back line.

    All this isn’t to say that our backline is perfect. And certainly, it would have been better if we had settled on this line-up a year ago instead of during the send-off games. But I think people forget that there is always a certain amount of line-up shuffling that goes on in the weeks before a World Cup. At the very least, I won’t be cringing at tomorrow afternoon’s line-up announcement like I was in 2010 when I saw Bornstein and Clark starting against Ghana in the Round of 16.

    • Bac says:

      Well said Petro.. I guess we all assumed The Mayor would play forever..

    • Brain Guy says:

      These are all good points. For what it’s worth, I believe the key is Besler. If he can avoid “rookie” mistakes and keep his wits about him, especially in the first 15-25 minutes, the US’s chances will improve dramatically. I think that, especially for the defense’s sake, the US needs to start the game in a very conservative (no, not bunkering) mode, keeping the gap between the back line and the midfield small. The back line needs some time to settle in. An early mistake that leads to an early deficit could make the wheels come off.

  12. bryan says:

    i’m so anxious! is it 3pm PT yet?!

  13. Fire Klinsman Ban Jr says:

    Unfortunately, I think a US win against Ghana is likely. The win is bound to come regardless of the coach at some point and if it happens under Klinsmann’s watch, it’s going to give him credit where credit may not really be specially due.

    The US is becoming a team that can compete and make it to the round of 16. It would be that way under Klinsmann and any other coach. I don’t think this side will make it to that round however and I’ve never before rooted against the US but I’m doing so this year and it’s all due to Klinsmann.

    I was 100% behind Klinsmann at the beginning. Now, I just want him gone and I want US soccer to secure his son’s allegiance to the US, cap him, solidify him, and then never again let him wear the jersey.

    • bryan says:

      “I’ve never before rooted against the US but I’m doing so this year and it’s all due to Klinsmann.”

      grow up you baby. if you aren’t going to support the team 100%, then please don’t bother coming back.

      • recovered amishman says:

        Not just a baby, but a vindictive baby. Probably was hoping someone would get injured too.

    • quozzel says:

      Wow.

      People have real short memories. Anybody else remember how dire the US talent pool looked in 2011 after Mexico smacked us around 4-2 at the Gold Cup? I sure do.

      Everybody knew our backline was way on the wrong side of the 30 (and not athletic enough to begin with) and would have to be completely re-tooled. As far as quality went, we had Dempsey, Donovan, Bradley, Howard, and Guzan…and other than that, literally not one single guy anybody regarded as a potential answer. And then Donovan decided to take his “sabbatical”…and things got even more dire.

      We had gaping holes everywhere, and zero obvious answers.

      Make no mistake, with a whole lot of less capable managers we could be looking exactly like Australia looks right now.

      We’ve got a pretty durn good generation of U23’s – though they flamed out in Olympic qualifying – and the U20’s probably look even better, but there’s a good 8-10-year gap between the U23’s and the Donovan/Dempsey/Howard generation. For whatever reason, the USA didn’t produce any impact domestic guys in that age group and it’s a big freaking hole. Those German-Americans the xenophobes are frothing at the mouth about are a huge boon because they fill in that age group where the USA talent pool had a massive problem. And there is not an infinite supply of these guys. The wall fell in 1990, and the US Army downsized dramatically in Germany once the Red Army fell apart, so that pipeline to German talent will slow to a trickle in future years…Julian Green, born in 1994, is probably one of the last ones we’ll get.

      We were distinctly lucky to get these guys, and they came around at exactly the right time for the USMNT, in terms of where our talent gap was. And having Jurgen certainly greased the rails to get them – and no, I do not believe any manager we could have hired could have gotten all these guys.

    • BamaMan says:

      You make Bowe Bergdahl look loyal.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      hey fkbj. f— you.

    • Wood Chip Zip says:

      Im with you Fire Klinsmann. Unfortunately, an embarrassing World cup is the only way Klinsmann gets the axe he deserves. Gulati has a man crush

  14. KingGoogleyEye says:

    “I’m doing so this year and it’s all due to Klinsmann.”

    I’m sure you had some part in the decision.

    • Alex says:

      Klinsmann has never made a mistake in his life.

    • Troof says:

      JK should replace Gulati in US Soccer. The Donovan decision was single-handedly the best soccer decision ever made and ballsy at that. Here was a guy who deceived everyone with all of his accolades and scoring and assist records and Klinsmann had the balls to call BULLSH*T! and discard him.

      This is the kind of guy we need in the presidency of US Soccer. He makes decisions to highlight himself and prop himself up. That sheer self-centeredness is what we need to take the US to the next generation.

  15. g-dub says:

    So do we root for a Germany Portugal tie?

    • bryan says:

      i would think a German win. we need Portugal to drop points and we need to get 3.

      • Jack says:

        What we need is Germany to have nothing to play for in the last match and not want to risk injury or cards. Perhaps even Klinsmann to make a little call to his friend Low if he has to.

        • Falsify says:

          Take him out to Ponderosa steak house and make a deal.

        • empty space says:

          Agree. Best if Portugal doesn’t find any confidence in their first match, and if Germany has 6 points before match 3… Especially since the US has 1 fewer rest/prep day than Germany ahead of the final group fixture.

          However the US needs to take care of its own business… If we’re relying on Ghana to win over the Equipa das Quinas then we haven’t done enough.

        • Vince says:

          The problem with that theory is that we got Germany’s fourth stringers. First, second and third still play for them.
          If we lose against them I’m blaming them twice. First for beating us and second for not developing enough good player for us.

      • chris says:

        Yeah we root for a German win. Only problem is that Portugal will be in a true must-win scenario when the play us. We might be too…

  16. chris says:

    So who will be taking penalties for us? Any guesses?

  17. Robbie says:

    I believe

  18. Brett says:

    Alternate headline: USMNT back line delusional.

  19. Sean says:

    Can’t wait for this Germany v Portugal game!

    USMNT Team Results
    1. vs. Ghana. 1:1 Draw
    2. vs. Portugal: 2:0 Loss
    3. vs. Germany: 1:0 Loss
    4. Last in group, exit following group stage

    USMNT Individual
    5. Top Scorer: Aron Johannson
    6. Overperformer (Subjective): Johannson
    7. Underperformer (Subjective): Jones (and Klinsmann)

    Tournament Overall
    8. Champion/Runner Up: Netherlands/Brazil/Argentina
    9. Golden Ball / Golden Boot: Van Persie

    Additional Prediction (No Prompt)
    10. US will go next with a US coach and Klinsmann will not be permitted to complete his final four years. Maybe Kreis, Porter, or Donovan (ha, but wouldn’t that be something? Lol)

  20. Chip S. says:

    Been waiting 4 years for today!… Words fail to express my anticipation… Even if you don’t love (or even like) the beautiful game, this is YOUR team, America. Your national team who are about to embark on an arduous journey taking on some of the world’s best in a sport where we are looked at (& possibly rightfully so) as woefully inferior. …They mock us. They ridicule us. They say we’ll NEVER amount to anything in a sport watched by more people on this planet than all other sports combined… But what they fail to realize is that that’s what Americans do best: We rise up. We beat the odds…. We NEVER back down from a challenge… & when the odds are stacked against us; when everyone says we can’t do it; when the rest of the world doubts our resolve… WE BRING IT.