Johannsson entered World Cup with ankle knock

Aron Johannsson

Photo by Perry McIntyre/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

The injury Aron Johannsson left the World Cup with is one that he carried into the tournament as well.

AZ Alkmaar team director and former U.S. Men’s National Team player Earnie Stewart told ESPN FC on Wednesday that Johannsson had been dealing with an ankle knock prior to the start of the World Cup. Stewart said that playing with the injury wasn’t an issue, and that he had gone through the same type of problem during his playing days.

“He’s had this injury for a longer while than at the U.S. National Team,” said Stewart. “It was something that you could play with. It wasn’t a problem. I’ve played with the same problem myself. Once it’s time to rest, it’s something that can aggravate you every time you step out on the field.”

The injury would seem to explain why Johannsson was surprisingly limited to just 67 minutes in a World Cup that saw the Americans reach the Round of 16 and lose top striker Jozy Altidore to injury in their tournament opener vs. Ghana.

Altidore sustained a Grade 2 hamstring tear in the 23rd minute of that 2-1 win against the Black Stars, and U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann summoned Johannsson off the bench in what was the 23-year-old forward’s lone cameo in the competition. Chris Wondolowski was the forward brought off the bench in two of the remaining three matches.

Prior to the World Cup, Johannsson had played in one of the Americans’ three send-off series friendlies. He was substituted into the first game against Azerbaijan and contributed with 28 minutes and a goal in the 2-0 triumph.

Johannsson had surgery on his hurt ankle this past Tuesday. Stewart believes Johannsson will be forced to miss the first month of AZ’s season but should be back in time for the the Sept. 13 match against Heerenveen.

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What do you make of this development? Should Johannsson have been selected to the USMNT’s World Cup roster? Would Klinsmann have been better served taking someone like Terrence Boyd?

Share your thoughts below.

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179 Responses to Johannsson entered World Cup with ankle knock

  1. chris says:

    Shouldn’t have made the team then

    • William the Terror says:

      Just another roster selection failure by the untouchable, godlike, golden boy who coaches the team.

      • Brian I says:

        Why can’t USA fans just admit that he, like every coach, has made great decisions and bad decisions. Why do you guys want to trash him at every turn…clouded by some weird hate for him and/or his decision to leave home LD, who wouldn’t have changed anything that happened this tournament. It’s ridiculous.

        • William the Terror says:

          That’s crap. It would have changed a lot. With LD, we don’t play Bradley out of position. Donovan is the most composed player that we have with the ball at his feet,and he certainly would have helped massively with our struggles in maintaining possession. That would have lessened pressure on the defense and Tim Howard.

          Klinsmann stinks.

        • bottlcaps says:

          you are defined by your decisions.JK made it HIS team by HIS selections and should garnish the praise AND the criticism. By leaving LD off the team, Klinsmann took away a leader, creator and scorer, a player who can play center midfield, forward, withdrawn forward or as a winger. There is little doubt had we LD on the field at this WC we may have advance and maybe even won the group.

          Selecting players who come to the team hurt is always a dicey position. Yet JK used that same reasoning for leaving some players home. Did AJ keep the injury to himself or was he given a “pass” due to favoritism.

          This is all water under the bridge now. Most people who follow the USMNT felt that this was the year we would make a breakthrough, we had the talent. But like many, we were sold on JK bringing us to that point and we failed as a team and he failed as a coach.

          I will give JK credit for bringing in some key Germericans to the team, they all contributed and under the guidance of a better coach, will do well for the US. But lets face it, if you only strive to get out of the group, no matter which one, you will usually fail in the group of 16 as the team will always be facing a seed.

          We should be planning to WIN group stages, no matter who we get. Germany was ripe for the taking in the group stage, They had only a very small chance of missing the play0ff stage and they had chosen to rest some starters. But the US came out with little offensive imagination and chased the game and probably added to its demise against Belgium.
          The onus on this lies at the top, no one else.

          • James says:

            No one is reading your novels of posts. I did read the first paragraph however, and came by this gem:

            “There is little doubt had we LD on the field at this WC we may have advance and maybe even won the group”

            Way to really take a stand there. Had LD been there, we may have advanced? BRILLIANT!

            • Tyrone says:

              I read his whole post. I also read your whole post. His post is comprehensive, while yours chooses to pick out one line from his post to belittle. Brilliant, indeed.

            • Increase0 says:

              No way we win that group. Germany won the bloody World Cup like 4 days ago… They have too much talent and focus as starters and on the bench.

          • Sup says:

            Was it favoritism, then, to bring in Omar Gonzalez, and MLS player who was injured coming into the 30 man camp? And shouldn’t we praise Klinsmann for making this decision, as Omar was huge for us against Germany?

            If you are going to comment on Klinsmann’s performance, be consistent. Taking players with minor knocks is a little risky. It can payoff (Omar) or not (Aron). Klinsmann wasn’t playing favorites, he was taking the best options. Get over it.

            • bogie8 says:

              Aron needed surgery. That is not the course of rehabilitation for a minor knock.

            • Increase0 says:

              Good point, about Omar.

              It really is amazing that how much the LD selection is remaining a “problem.”

              Urg, I don’t want to talk about it anymore. For my part though, I really think it is a matter of motivation with LD, He got cut, he got angry, he scored a bunch of goals. Then…. he lost motivation again.

              I really don’t know what to say about it. I would have liked to see LD at the WC but… I don’t feel very strongly about it.

              • Michael says:

                LD actually hasn’t lost any motivation. He’s been high on the chance creation list, Keane and Zardes just couldn’t score most of them.
                If you actually watch the games, and don’t believe the rumor mill, you’d know Donovan is in midfield and has been running his legs off.

          • MIdwest Ref says:

            i don’t want to pick out one aspect of your post, but I will:

            “Most people who follow the USMNT felt that this was the year we would make a breakthrough, we had the talent”

            Who are these people? Most people thought we would not make it out of a very tough group.

        • beto says:

          +1 he made great decisions in Brooks, Yedlin, Dempsey and Jones’ roles, Beckerman, overall team moral/spirit –> resulted in a great group stage.

          he made bad decisions in Davis, Wondo, Johannsson, lack of a backup target striker,–> resulted in us being outclassed by Germany and Belgium and not being built to go further that 2 great games in the beginning of the tournament. does anyone actually think we; with any 23 Americans, is actually going to beat Germany and Belgium in elimination games more than 1x/10?

          in conclusion, Jurgen, Bob and Bruce made plenty of roster/in-game mistakes too. Change a couple mistakes in 2014 and 2010 and we would have been in the quarterfinals..Hindsight is 20/20 but don’t discount the great performances made.

          • Brian I says:

            That’s what I was saying, he has made good and bad decisions like every coach, but people trash him like he has only made bad decisions left and right.

            • beto says:

              i think there has been plenty of pats on the back too for the good decisions!

              as fans isn’t this our primary job duty outside of game days?

              • Brian I says:

                I agree…what would I do to pass the time while at work if I couldn’t talk about the US team??? Lol.

              • inflated ego much? says:

                fans? job duty? hahahaha
                Fans simply consume an entertainment product; they obsess over it, get into mind-bogglingly stupid arguments and call each other names over players and coaches’ decisions, and end up with a delusional sense of self-importance.

              • Brian I says:

                Yet, here you are making a comment with the rest of us “delusional fans”…your screen name must be referring to yourself.

              • Travis in Miami says:

                I like to think the fans in sport are tliek what the press is SUPPOSE to be to government. It’s that extra pressure that provides an outside influence on and check on what is produced within that team.

                If as the “inflated ego much” posted we are consumers than it only proves that we do have a job/duty. without the consumer there is no team. this is obvious right? (maybe this is my ego talking)

        • Wood Chip Zip says:

          Because Klinsmann’s bad decisions are avoidable or personal (as in Landon). There not just a matter of you win some, you lose some. He brings in injured players, he over trains a team which has always been regarded as one of the most fit on the planet, he doesn’t bring a back-up for Jozy, he spends too much time and media hot air motivating a team which has always given 100%, and he lets his kid be an entitled brat. Basically, he gets the simple stuff wrong.

        • David M says:

          Because he has made very few great decisions (if any) and lots of bad ones. Because under him, the USMNT took a big step backwards.

          • chg says:

            “Because under him, the USMNT took a big step backwards.”

            This certainly seems like a reasonable claim that would not be laughed at by anyone outside of the United States.

            • MIdwest Ref says:

              is that sarcasm? How did we take a step backward? We made it out of a tough group, with very few pudnits choosing the US to advance over Ghana or Portugal.

              I may disagree with JK’s decision to take LD, but I don’t think that 2014 LD takes us any further.

      • Old School says:

        This kind of hyperbole is nauseating.

        • Kosh says:

          + 1

          But the cycle just reset and it’s a long way until the GC so remember to bring a barf bag…a really large one…we’re going to be here for a while.

          • Brian I says:

            Yea, I don’t remember everyone thinking this was the breakthrough year especially after the draw we got. I thought we had a lot of questions in our player pool going into this cycle and I think we performed well. People act like Landon is Messi, he’s not even bossing MLS midfields this year let alone a team like Belgium. I respect what Landon has done in his career and would have taken him if I was coach, but he wasn’t going to change anything.

            • foooo says:

              I watched LD last night come on as a 2nd-half sub against the Revs. He is nowhere near his 2013 GC form.

              • beachbum says:

                based on what fooo…he’s been in a nice groove since before Jurgen called him up, playing in a variety of roles, and it’s not just me noticing these things, and it coincides with the team playing well too. it’s not just him of course but he’s in the middle of it with the others. in the 5-1 blowout, how’d you like his defending from the center mid role? since you’re commenting on form, what did you think of the tactical adjustment by Arena to stick LD on Beckerman in the 2nd half of their game and how that affected the game?

      • PD says:

        yes if only LD had been picked we would have won it all. totally JK’s fault.

    • Kosh says:

      Easy to say now but, as was the case with Ronaldo, coaches have a plan and sometimes it involves gambling and bringing a player with a knock along.

      AJ ain’t Ronaldo – let’s get that out of the way before the thread hijacking begins – but we don’t know how he fit into JK’s plans. So your post, while easy to make, disregards that key factor.

      • Brain Guy says:

        In addition, as Stewart points out, it’s an injury that you can play with. It’s not like AJ was effectively unavailable or drastically hampered. It sounds like it was a longer-term, annoying condition that could wait to get fixed.

  2. Reboot says:

    Cue Landon Donovan conspirators… now

    • That_Guy says:

      They play the same position and Donovan could have helped the team more than an injured Johansson.

      Still, Klinsmann’s biggest gaffes were bringing Davis and Wondo.

      • Clint says:

        Klinsmann really didn’t have any gaffes… its just low information posters who can’t get out of their own spin cycle

        • William the Terror says:

          Everybody has the same information. We simply have different ways of interpreting the data, I.e., different opinions.

          • Anthony says:

            No we don’t all the same information. Klinsman has A LOT more information than we do. Klinsman wants to win more than anything. He would do anything to win. He would have brought LD if he thought he could win. The one thing I blame him for is NOT bringing Boyd or EJ as a backup to Jozy. That being said even the announcers say that we do not have a Jozy backup and Boyd was not ready.

            Keep in mind that even LD said that Wondo looked great and unstoppable in training. Why would you praise your competition? He had to know that was his competition. He cannot play wing anymore from what I watched of him. He’s simply a (withdraw or not) striker now. He can’t play wing because Klinsman requires a lot more defensive work from his wingers. He can’t play hold up — only Jozy does. His main support striker competition was Aron, Mix, and Dempsey. With a two stirker front, it’s him, Aron and Wondo.

        • That_Guy says:

          If Wondo was a confident stiker, the USA would have played Argentina

          • PD says:

            I’m sorry. From where I sat (the couch) Wondo had soe great goals during qualifying, but he also had a number of sitters. I was no surpised that he missed, probably wouldn’t have been surpised if Higuain or Klose missed it either. Strikers miss, but it’s not like Wondo was know to be a stone cold finisher. It happnes.

        • SBI TroII says:

          Lol nobody is perfect. Klinsmann certainly made some roster selection mistakes and has room to improve. Sure they probably didn’t cost us ultimately but to grow as a footballing nation it is critical to have these discussions and hold everyone accountable. If he makes similar mistakes in Russia it might or it might not be the difference in advancing. Hopefully he has learned from this experience.

        • beto says:

          and how many ppl said:

          Donovan over Davis
          Boyd over Wondo or if they knew about Ajo’s knock

          before the WC?

          • Jack says:

            The injury was known about and reported on. AJ even missed a few matches due to it and even at the time was said he’d been carrying it for months.

        • Increase0 says:

          A gaff is subbing off Lavezzi. Hey most effective player. We don’t need you anymore.

          =/

      • sam says:

        It was not a mistake to bring wondo, it was a mistake not to start him.

        Wondo is a 90+ minute player and anyone that tracked him should have known that. He declined a scholarship to ucla for mid distance running. His effectiveness comes from constantly moving and making runs in the seams and from behind players’s shoulders for the duration of a game.

        It is one of the reasons wondo was so much more successful in the gold cup than in qualifying games. He was starting during the gold cup having a full game to ply his trade, not coming in off the bench.

        True, wondo missed a sitter, but it was one with the goalie in a good position to make a save with the ball dropping to his foot such that he needed to one touch it above or to the side of a forward leaning goalie. Dempseys miss late in that game was just as bad in my opinion.

        Given Wondos performance starting vs. coming off the bench I think Jurgen should have brought him with the intent of using him as a starter or backup starter or not brought him at all.

        I In the limited minutes wondo played in the cup I thought he played well, we were certainly creating more chances when he was in and he was holding up the ball enough to get the other middies and forwards involved. When Jozy went down I was sure wondo would have gotten a start or two and I believe klinsman completely blew it by using him in a sub roll instead of giving him a chance to excel in the format he is known for excelling at…especially in a game where Jones, Beckerman, and Bradley were not starting.t could have been an entirely different game against Belgium if wondo had started.

    • cformusic says:

      i read that as constipators at first..probably would’ve been more appropriate

    • Alex H says:

      It doesn’t take a conspiracy theorist to wonder why Jurgen would take an injured AJ over a healthy LD. Clearly the decision was made for reasons other than what would most benefit the team and that is not a good thing no matter what players you favor or disfavor.

      • Mason says:

        LD basically said, “I’m on my own program. Take it or leave it.”

        JK left it.

        • Jack says:

          I agree, the more I think about it, Landon’s quote about not being able to train and have 15 great days is what got him cut. It came off sounding like I know more then Klinsmann what I need to do. I don’t think LD meant it that way but you just say I’ll give everything I have to give and end it there.

          • PD says:

            This. The logistics of this world cup emphasized fitness and more fitness and everyone being on eth same page with fitness. JK wanted folks leading by example I guess, not marching to thier own drummer.

            • Jack says:

              The cuts came pretty much the day after that ESPN episode aired as well.

            • US100Ebook says:

              Fitness? So you bring a guy with an ankle knock?

              • KingGoogleyEye says:

                Do you propose bringing only a squad of completely injury-free players? Because you ain’t gonna find them.

                Quick, go watch the opening matches of the World Cup and note how many players enter the field already taped or wrapped on some part of their body—and that’s only the kind of injuries that can be taped or wrapped.

              • Mason says:

                It’s possible that the guy with the ankle knock was putting in his best day-in day out and was better than LD, despite the knock.

          • Grant says:

            If I can’t practice, I can’t practice man. If I’m hurt, I’m hurt. I mean … simple as that. It ain’t about that… I mean it’s… It’s not about that… At all. You know what I’m saying I mean… But it’s…it’s easy … to, to talk about… It’s easy to sum it up when you’re just talking about practice. We’re sitting in here, and I’m supposed to be the franchise player, and we in here talking about practice. I mean, listen, we’re talking about practice, not a game, not a game, not a game, we talking about practice. Not a game. Not, not … Not the game that I go out there and die for and play every game like it’s my last. Not the game, but we’re talking about practice, man. I mean, how silly is that? … And we talking about practice. I know I supposed to be there. I know I’m supposed to lead by example… I know that… And i’m not.. I’m not shoving it aside, you know, like it don’t mean anything. I know it’s important, I do. I honestly do… But we’re talking about practice man. What are we talking about? Practice? We’re talking about practice, man. [laughter from the media crowd] We’re talking about practice. We’re talking about practice. We ain’t talking about the game. [more laughter] We’re talking about practice, man. When you come to the arena, and you see me play, you see me play don’t you? You’ve seen me give everything I’ve got, right? But we’re talking about practice right now. We talking about pr… [Interrupted]

            • Mason says:

              You know what? This was where my mind went immediately when I heard what LD had said. There’s a reason AI never won any championships.

              • Grant says:

                LD has championships though.

              • GW says:

                Grant,

                Is it harder the get a championship ring in the NBA or to be on a team that wins the MLS Cup or the Gold Cup?

              • Grant says:

                Hey GW,

                I’m not sure really, I think it’s difficult to get a championship in any sport. AI was a hell of a player (Great Player), that team he brought to the Finals against the Lakers in 2001 had absolutely nobody. Now you can make a case for Eric Snow and Aaron McKie, but then you realize that you’re making a case for Eric Snow and Aaron McKie lol.

                I think that over time, as a professional athlete you realize that your body begins to wear down. There is a conscious decision to be made that, pushing your physical limits in training/practice will detract from actual game performance. Is that agreeable?

              • Mason says:

                To the only man who mattered, it apparently wasn’t agreeable.

              • GW says:

                Grant,

                “I think that over time, as a professional athlete you realize that your body begins to wear down. There is a conscious decision to be made that, pushing your physical limits in training/practice will detract from actual game performance. Is that agreeable?”

                Basketball has some very serious differences from soccer.

                With 5 players vs 11 players, one player can be proportionately far more impactful in basketball.

                And because of unlimited substitutions, it is possible for a basketball coach to use aging, wearing down, players in a very specific fashion, in specific situations in a manner that is just impossible to replicate in soccer.

                So an aging Donovan is proportionately far less useful to any soccer team than an aging AI would be to any given basketball team. It is just the nature of the game.

                And in terms of this idea of LD as a late game impact sub, he had no record of success doing that for the US in the Qualifying campaign. In fact I don’t remember LD ever doing that for any team.

                I do remember LD coming on fat and out of shape as a second half sub vs Mexico in that last friendly and embarrassing himself.

                In terms of comeback or late game offense in the World Cup the US got what it needed from JA Brooks, JJ, Clint and Green.

                Is that agreeable?

            • Grant says:

              GW,
              Here is where we agree;
              “Basketball has some very serious differences from soccer.
              With 5 players vs 11 players, one player can be proportionately far more impactful in basketball.”
              Absolutely a superstar can highly influence an NBA game. In soccer there are only a few who can do that and they are truly are a rare breed; Messi and Suarez for Liverpool/Uruguay.
              “And because of unlimited substitutions, it is possible for a basketball coach to use aging, wearing down, players in a very specific fashion, in specific situations in a manner that is just impossible to replicate in soccer.”
              Great point! I will say though that I see soccer and basketball players have some of the same fundamental abilities; endurance, vision, and movement. I’ve seen a lot of basketball players pick up soccer very easily and vice versa.
              Now where we’ll just have to agree to disagree is on Donovan.
              “So an aging Donovan is proportionately far less useful to any soccer team than an aging AI would be to any given basketball team. It is just the nature of the game.”
              Don’t agree because an aging Donovan is still better than a significant number of MLS DP/All-Stars/Starters.
              “I do remember LD coming on fat and out of shape as a second half sub vs Mexico in that last friendly and embarrassing himself.”
              Very harsh. The entire team was horrible in that 2nd half, not a good game for him, sure. If anyone was embarassing themselves it was Omar Gonzalez. Free header given up to Marquez and not cleaning up the garbage on the back post. Is it a safe bet that you’ve never been a fan of Donovan?

              • GW says:

                Grant,

                “I do remember LD coming on fat and out of shape as a second half sub vs Mexico in that last friendly and embarrassing himself.”
                Very harsh.”

                Not harsh enough. LD insulted the team and the fans by showing so little regard for the shirt that he would turn up unfit for a Mexico game..

                “Is it a safe bet that you’ve never been a fan of Donovan?”

                Landon is something of a savant, the most talented US soccer player ever. As I write this he remains the most talented and the best US soccer player still out there.

                I wanted him in Brazil and had he been able to get himself sorted out, the team would have benefited. But LD never could get his head on straight.

                There is this myth that great coaches know how to get the most out of any player. This is BS. Not very player is OPEN to being coached. Landon is not open to coaching unless he agrees with the coach in the first place and LD has not been open to JK since JK got the job.

                LD wanted the Everton loan, wanted the sabbatical and Arena did not. Guess who won that battle? He did what he wanted under BB and Arena so JK was culture shock for him. You are an NBA guy, ever hear of coach killers? How many chances did Steve Francis or Stephon Marbury get after it became clear their games had dropped a bit?

                And for JK , for any coach, having a superstar of that magnitude on the team who isn’t entirely sure if he wants to be there is like having armed, unexploded ordnance in the trunk of your car. Who knows what happens if you get rear ended unexpectedly?

                Given his diminished talent level, the overall package was not appealing and JK declined it.

                I fault LD for not presenting a more appealing package, for not making a better sales pitch, for misreading JK and thinking LD could cram for the test and that a nice camp would make up for his previous behavior. Remember JK has known LD since 1999.and took him on loan to Bayern in 2009 so JK knows LD and his act very well.

                Maybe JK finally realized that particular well had run dry.

                LD never went to Europe because he had zero incentive to do so. As a kid he grew up dreaming about the World Cup not the Champion’s league. For him the ultimate dream was playing in the World Cup. And when he got on the 2002 team at such a young age he realized that he could make his dream a reality. Leverkusen gave him a big money contract when he was a teenager so money was not an issue. And when he came back on loan to the Quakes and won all those games and trophies he secured his money and playing time in MLS. And I haven’t even mentioned his sponsorship money.

                Why go to Germany and risk that some anti-American manager might not play him and endanger his spot on the USMNT?

                He became a USMNT player who played for a club, any club really, to stay in shape between World Cups. So he got to go to three World Cups, set all kinds of records, make a lot of money, travel the world, and help promote and advance his game in his home country. All while getting to live at home, which is important to him. What is not to like?

                Unlike most, I don’t believe he should have gone to Europe. Playing the professional for the short term at Everton in what sounded like an almost perfect environment for him was one thing. The harsher reality that he might have encountered had he stayed long term is probably another thing all together.

                And watching LD and JK these last two years tells me that LD might not have done well long term in Europe. Landon, a Special Golden Child, has never had to deal with demands from a coach in his pro career, not like most of the other USMNT Euro guys.

                Not like Clint, a blue collar kind of guy, who had to fight for a job every day of his life for how ever many years in Europe. No Golden Child handouts for him.

                LD was better off staying in LA. He can do his growing up at home instead of in some hostile environment.

                The short answer to your question is I am an LD fan but I have watched him closely for most of his career and am not terribly surprised by how this all turned out. The man is a spoiled diva and these sort of things sometimes eventually happen to people like him..

                By the way it is a LOT harder to hide an older player’s flaws in the World Cup than in the NBA. Tim Duncan, Manu and Parker all would have been done years ago if not for unlimited substitution.
                Unlimited substitution makes “designated hitters” of all kinds possible. Imagine what it would be like if you could bring on Cameron, Goodson, Gooch, Brooks, Besler, and Boca just for corner kicks at the other end? You’d have hockey line changes.

      • Wood Chip Zip says:

        +1,000. What happen to bringing the “in-form” players anyway? I don’t think that word means what he thinks it means.

        • James says:

          So…..LD was in strong form prior to the WC? You should probably check these things before typing them.

          • William the Terror says:

            Well, how’s this for checking things? During camp, and before the cuts were announced, Tim Howard stated in an interview that Donovan was one of the two best players in camp. Why does everyone forget that?

            • PD says:

              Straw man alert. When was the last time you heard a player throw another player under a bus in an interview? This is about that JK decided, not what TH thought. I’m Sure LD’s mom thinks he’s a great guy, but that has much to do with it as TH’s opinion.

              • William the Terror says:

                No. If you are being polite, you say a player looks good. You do not say he is me of the two best players on the field.

              • Paul says:

                You do know TH and LD are friends and that is part of the reason LD went to Everton. At the time, David Moyes stated that TH suggested LD. I discount what friends say.

                Now if it was up to me. the team would have been the same except EJ for Wondo and LD for Davis, but I was not in Camp.

              • GW says:

                Mr Terror,

                What makes you say that?

                How well do you know Tim Howard and the nuances of his speech patterns?

                .

              • eric lane says:

                If I’m not mistaken, Bradley said the same thing

              • Anthony says:

                I don’t remember Bradley saying that. I just remember Bradley saying he was surprised that LD did not make it.

            • beachbum says:

              the reason they forget is because it calls out their idea that LD is not good anymore and that that’s the reason Jurgen didn’t call him in…they forget because Wondo and AJ were determined to be better options, which is a joke of course that we all had to laugh at this World Cup, or cry over I suppose

              it also means Jurgen screwed the pooch on this one and some will never go there, period

              • are you LD in disguise? says:

                You call out people who have nothing but praise for JK, but I’m not sure your capable of handling anybody criticizing your idol LD. It’s creepy.

              • beachbum says:

                spin it however you want to and come after me personally with your new username to hide behind

                who is creepy?

      • Anthony says:

        Clearly, this type of knock doesn’t effect your playing ability. Ernie Stewart said so. Besides, if it really did or would have gotten aggravated, AZ would have made a stink about it. Maybe, Aron just looked better in camp. You don’t know. They only thing I am really going to slam Klinsman for is not bringing in EJ or Boyd as a backup to Jozy. LD does not look good at wing/wing forward which is what AJ and Dempsey are, really, but they can play inside, withdrawn forward. LD is no longer a winger and HE said Wondo,his competitor looked great.

        Do you know would have things better? (1) Jozy not going down and causing us to change our style of play because he does not have a back up, (2) Cameron having 2 howlers that cost us the Portugal victory and (3) Wondo putting is one shot away (but I’ve looked at again and it was more difficult than it looked at first glance). The only thing that LD could have helped was with #3, but Wondo looked like a monster in camp, according to everyone.

        • Jack says:

          AZ did bench him a few matches at the end of the season because of it. Also he finished out the season just scoring 1 in his last 12 matches. I agree, I would have taken Boyd and don’t think LD would have made much of a difference.

          • Paul says:

            ..but AZ didn’t complain about him being selected to the World Cup and AZ is an organization which speaks up (look at Jozy when they wanted him to rest from National team duty). They clearly did not think it serious enough for him to not continue playing.

            However, I agree with you that LD would have made that much of a difference because Dempsey would have played his position if EJ/Boyd had played Jozy’s once he went down.

      • chg says:

        “Clearly the decision was made for reasons other than what would most benefit the team…”

        I really like your new song.

  3. Old School says:

    If there was an agreement once he declared to play for the Nats, this makes sense. Small price to pay for a long term benefit.

  4. Brian I says:

    Am I the only one not completely sold on Aron yet? Now I think he has talent and should be a regular call up for the USMNT, but I just don’t quite see him being as good as we think he is or we want him to be. Again let me clarify, not saying he is bad or not talented, and I know he is still “youngish”, but I don’t see his ceiling as very high.

    • Old School says:

      I think that’s a fair assessment. Nothing wrong with not being sold yet as he’s still adding to his “body of work”. Quite frankly, o is his former teammate and fellow forward.

      Future is promising, though.

      • US100Ebook says:

        He’s kind of a poor man’s Donovan to be honest. Lacks the quickness and incredible closing doors of a young LD but has a bit better shot

    • Jack says:

      I’d like see him develop a little more in the midfield. For AZ he very much leads the line however I’d like to see him develop more, dropping in and connecting attacks. He gets lost on the ball far too often but I think its something he could get better at. A goal scoring kind of 10 would probably be where he could reach his highest.

    • beto says:

      +1 bad cup, apparently injured tho…

      still one of our greatest striker prospects. but going against top opponents he has yet to show it in his first few opportunities..

      so far he has ripped it up vs. small nations, Dutch league, Denmark, Iceland, etc.. yet to do so in a bigger league or vs. bigger national teams

  5. Jack says:

    Honestly I hope the ankle was a problem because his production dropped off greatly at the end of the season with just 1 goal in his last 12 appearances. The player that ended the season certainly wasn’t the same player that started it.

  6. Mason says:

    If I’d had to drop AJ, I’m picking up EJ or TB before LD.

    • Brian I says:

      TB would’ve been my pick. I would’ve taken him regardless. I have high hopes for The Cyclops.

      • Torvald Coolguy says:

        This. Boyd is the most Jozy-like player in the US pool, and we needed someone else like that on the roster. Yes, there was no way for JK to know that Jozy would get hurt, but it seems like a reasonable enough contingency to prepare for.

        • Mason says:

          I could get on board with that. Boyd must have really had to crap the bed to get beaten out by Wondo.

        • GW says:

          How many games have you seen Boyd play for the senior team?.

          I’ve seen almost all his late game second half sub appearances and they were largely disappointing.

          Jozy and Boyd are both black, both physical specimens but otherwise, at this level, have little resemblance to each other.

          When you only get a few minutes here and there you try to do something good every time. You do not screw up like Boyd did in the Germany friendly.

          Overall JK called in Boyd a lot and gave him plenty of chances to impress but he has yet to do so for the USMNT.

          If you think taking him to Brazil would have changed that , well that sounds like wishful thinking. Maybe in 2018 Boyd will have something to show.

  7. argh says:

    forget landon donovan. he’s a nobody.

    we’re better without him

    • Mason says:

      I don’t know that I’d call him a nobody. That seems a bit extreme for the best US outfield player player of the past decade.

  8. Bac says:

    Haters gonna hate. No one can deny that Klinsmann is a great coach and picked a perfect roster and led the USMNT out of group into the round of 16 unlike old bunker style soccer coach dinosaurs like Bob Bradly and Bruce Arena. History was made in Brazil. Klinsmann is the future and will probably inspire the team to do even better in Russia, maybe even make the quarter finals. Can the Landee Cake fanboys please move on. Just move on.

    • vlad says:

      Except bob took us to the round of 16? Go away until next world cup

      • William the Terror says:

        And won the group. And Bruce ook us to the Quarterfinals. Absolutely no history was made in this World Cup.

        • Bac says:

          Not me William

        • Anthony says:

          Are you willfully ignorant? Anyone who says a 2014 group of German, Portugal and Ghana is not significantly stronger than the 2010 of England, Algeria and Slovenia is willfully ignorant or just plain foolish! We were not going to win this group because we were not going to beat Germany (LD would not have made a difference). Cameron not making either one of two defensive errors cost us finishing with 6 points, which would have been the most points we would had in any group stage of a World Cup. EJ/Boyd playing hold up when Jozy went down would prevented Demps and Bradley from playing out of position.

          I like LD, but his time has passed. Dempsey plays his position and is better at it. and he does not provide the defensive cover on the wings that other wingers do.

        • Kosh says:

          It is quite clear that you love LD and hate JK. Agree with you or not, we know where you stand. Your point is made, so why you feel the need to make this kind of ridiculous post is beyond me.

          Trying to compare those two cups is nonsensical and trying to downplay that tough group is ridiculous, disingenuous and ridicules the effort and hard work put in by our team – and why would you go this far? To prove that JK is a horrible person? Seriously?

      • Bac says:

        Vlad… not me posting this comment…
        Again.. someone doesn’t like me and continues to post using my name.
        Pretty much a joke since my only post the last few weeks has been about the MLS and Jermaine Jones

        • Paul says:

          Yeah…it’s getting old. I was the only Paul on this site then all of a sudden there are 2 or 3. I know Paul is a common name, but it were me, I would have some like Paul17/PaulM etc. There are some immature people permeating this site as of late.

    • Wood Chip Zip says:

      okay, what ever you say Klinsmann fanboy who worships the golden boy diver and follows his teachings that Americans are incapable of understanding soccer so we must submit to his superior knowledge, whims, and hypocrisy.

      • GW says:

        You don’t have to submit to anything.

        You aren’t a player in contention for the USMNT are you?

        You just have to be able to read and use common sense.

        Then you would realize that many teams put players they value on their 23 ( Suarez, Kehdira, Scheweinsteiger, Cristiano R ) with injuries of one sort of another on the theory that they would recover in time, at least enough to contribute.

        You were not at the camp and you didn’t evaluate these guys.

        It’s obvious, like the other managers who gambled on their injured players JK gambled on AJ, a player JK values , recovering his earlier form for Brazil.

        This is not the same thing as LD who for the last two years has been sending the following signal: ” I want to go to Brazil but it will be under my terms and conditions”.

        If LD had still been the LD of 2010 JK takes him no question,. But it LD is not that good anymore and, in addition, is a management issue .

        F**k that.

      • Bac says:

        Wood Chip- please read above.. not me commenting

  9. Vic says:

    Klinnsmann made many good decisions and some poor ones(like all coaches) however his worst decision was not taking Donovan. If anyone read the NY Times article, its clear that Klinnsmann didn’t bring Donovan because he didn’t like his attitude, not his skillset. In my opinion that’s a shame because Donovan is NOT a cancer in the locker room.

    • Just one small detail... says:

      You have no idea of knowing what the locker room has been like for the past year, especially after LD’s sabbatical.

      • Vic says:

        From what I heard, the players thought Klinnsmann was a phony. They didn’t think he knew what he was doing tactically. Personally I think Klinnsmann has done a pretty good job judging by his win/loss record. However, I disagreed with certain decisions he made.

        • KingGoogleyEye says:

          From what I heard, none of the players talked to you.

          (Although at least one talked to ESPN: Yedlin. And he said he agreed with Klinsmann’s decisions.)

  10. KingGoogleyEye says:

    What I learned from reading only the title of the post, “JOHANNSSON ENTERED WORLD CUP WITH ANKLE KNOCK”:

    Holy cow! Klinsmann was such a fool to bring an injured player into the team—one that obviously would not be able to play and would just sit on the bench. What a terrible choice!!!!

    What I learned from reading the article,

    [AZ Alkmaar team director Ernie] Stewart said that playing with the injury wasn’t an issue, and that he had gone through the same type of problem during his playing days.

    “He’s had this injury for a longer while than at the U.S. National Team,” said Stewart. “It was something that you could play with. It wasn’t a problem. I’ve played with the same problem myself. Once it’s time to rest, it’s something that can aggravate you every time you step out on the field.”

    Oh, so he was okay to play on it and had been doing so for some time already. Huh, I guess that explains why he was able to play for ~60 minutes in the opener and this ankle injury wasn’t so bad that he should have been left off the team. Probably was a good roster selection after all.

    • Dr.K says:

      how does he know it was the same type problem. He is no orthopod, hes just a dumbass old soccer player trying to sound intelligent.He should shut up about injuries. Probably thinks concussions are not too bad because he had a few of those also.

      • KingGoogleyEye says:

        Dr.K,

        How does Ernie Stewart, the team director for AZ Alkmaar—i.e., the team that Aron Johannsson plays for—know it is the same type of problem he once suffered?

        Hmmm, I’m just guessing here, but: maybe Stewart goes to team management meetings where these kinds of things are discussed and team doctors can be questioned. (Also assumed: that Stewart’s own doctors told Stewart what Stewart had back when Stewart played.)

        • Dr.K says:

          Reasonable assumption but these things are usually not discussed. Doctors dont like to be questioned because ankle injuries are too variable. The pain is subjective , the damage is always difficult to asses so people who say “yeah I had one of those” are totally off base. Dont forget, he will need surgery ,,which is very ominous. VanBasten had surgery on his ankle and never played again. Ankle bones have very poor blood supply, so healing is difficult at best. His doctors or most likely doctor would probably say less rather than more not to burden him with hypotheticals

          • KingGoogleyEye says:

            Dr.K,

            “Doctors dont like to be questioned because ankle injuries are too variable. His doctors or most likely doctor would probably say less rather than more not to burden him with hypotheticals.”

            That’s preposterous. Utterly inconceivable. You suggest that a team doctor—i.e., the guy paid by the team management—would be reluctant to provide detailed information about a player’s condition. That’s the doctor’s job!

            Or do you think that the managers would just shrug and say, “Okay doc, you do what you gotta do. I guess our player will be back when he’s back, but we aren’t going to press for details.”

          • GW says:

            “Reasonable assumption but these things are usually not discussed.”

            Of course not. It would be a bad idea for Earnie, the man responsible for getting Van Basten the players he needs, to know anything at all about the health and potential availability of his players.

            It’s a good business practice to keep management as ignorant as possible about their players. No sense in cluttering up their heads with facts.

      • Hahaha says:

        Dr.K, huh? Where did you get your medical license?

      • Mason says:

        He knows because orthopods and physios report to him regarding the fitness of his team’s players. That’s what it means to be a “Team Director.”

  11. Dr.K says:

    Not Complicated here. JK is an excelent motivator, but never was and never will be a good tactician.
    His newage platitudes about the future are laughable but are part of his shtick. You can read here how some people love that stuff. Other coaches around the world are still stunned by his descision
    to leave off Beckerman vs. Belgium. Totally junior league if that was a conscious decision.Maybe it was the best he could think off. Probably trying to emulate VanGaal.

    • Kosh says:

      Sunli fire JK and hire this master tactician – STAT!! He normally hangs with other coaches around the world and knows (and cares) about exactly what they think and feel about US Soccer.

      Fellaini was Cameron’s reason for moving in the midfield in that game – but I am sure you knew that. I have no doubt that Beckerman could have marked him but I also can see and understand where JK was coming from with that section. Tim Howard saw tons of action come his way and I don’t see how Beckerman changes that. But for a Wondo miss we were in that game.

    • Anthony says:

      …but to recognize that Beckerman had the technical ability to match up with world cup opponents when other coaches would not do so and make a key cog of your team is what….? You have to recognize the good and the bad. If you are going to criticize some of his decisions, praise the rest.

      By the way, you forget to see that perhaps he choose Cameron because not only can he play D-Mid, but he had the big, athletic body to match up with the big central midfield of Belgium.

      The man made good and bad decisions. Overall, I am pleased, but the one thing I do blame him for is not bringing a back-up for Jozy (EJ/Boyd).

      • Dr.K says:

        A few things to ponder. 1) how does Belgium attack? high balls into the middle. Sorry, not at all.Belgium mostly plays to the feet. Fellani is tall but not a headball threat so USA has plenty to cover re. high balls. What the USA did not have was ANY constructive possesion or distribution from the defense because all 3 central defenders were incapable of that. Totally lacking in ball skills. Also because the USA was not matching up , but playing a kind of zone, Beckerman had zonal responsibility which he is excelent at. What he would have given is some constructive passing out of the defense to relieve the incessant pressure on Howard. This caused Bradley to be adrift with too much responsibility. Did you know that Bradley ran THE MOST of any player in the WC? Only one modestly technical player down the spine is not enough and it showed. The problem here is that JK envisioned a threat that was actually non existant. Also, I”m sure you know that high balls into the box are the most inefficient method in trying to score statistically. Go ask England how that works

        • GW says:

          “Fellani is tall but not a headball threat so USA has plenty to cover re. high balls”

          Which explains why Fellaini scored the equalizer vs Algeria in Belgium’s opening game with a header. .

      • beachbum says:

        besides his recruiting/outreach to new/young talent, his motivational skills, and his general media savvy connection with the new/next/younger generation which have all been praised, and rightly so, he got many players right, also praised for and rightly so. his subbing can be remarkably effective, lots of evidence, and that has tactical/strategic aspects to it so it’s not like he’s tactically unable although that wrap seems to follow him a bit. I don’t think that’s accurate tho, more like he has blind spots that cloud his vision on some decisions, even big decisions, that can negatively affect things. it’s not just the LD thing

        fair and balanced?

        • Bac says:

          Apparently fair and balanced is disallowed here now..
          But revisionist history is applauded, every story is a referendum on The Devil or Mr. Cakes- without impunity, stats are created only to be disproven, players resume’s are altered to fit a narrative , strong opinions become absolute facts, posters are now experts on both medical issues and locker room secrets, false 9’s and inverted wingers grow on trees…. and hijacking other’s names are commonplace…
          Sound about right??

          • beachbum says:

            yes it does :)

            • KingGoogleyEye says:

              beachbum, “fair and balanced?” Yes. Well said.

              FWIW, I’ve stated that my guess is that his “blind spot” (as you put it) is that his subbing is often “remarkably effective” (also as you put it), leading him to over-confidence in his sometimes crazy decisions. The same guy who relied on Beckerman (genius) also relied on Davis (heh, um, not-so-genius).

              Bac, great comment. Nicely done.

              • Bac says:

                Sorry I forgot to add in the various aerial methods for transportation throughout the jungle ..
                But I still stick with my 007 jetpack..that woulda made the difference

    • GW says:

      Dr. K,

      Cameron was in to shut down Fellaini which he did.

      And towards the end of the game with the score 0-0, something you may have missed, Cameron makes the pass to Jones that leads to what should have been Wondo’s game winning goal only it wasn’t.

      You want to tell me how Beckerman could have done any better?

      • KingGoogleyEye says:

        I think Cameron did a fine job, but I still think Beckerman would have done better. That pass, for example, is a Beckerman special.

        I think that Beckerman links up better with the team than Cameron does. I also think that Beckerman’s superior positioning would equal Cameron’s superior athleticism.

        Overall, I see several pluses to playing Beckerman and no drawback—except, of course, that there may be some unknown-to-us reason that Beckerman was unavailable to play (which is why I’m not all up in arms over Klinsmann’s decision).

        • GW says:

          I’m as big a fan of the Crofton Flash as anyone, but your whole position is based on a hypothetical that can never be proved.

          Cameron did play and what we do KNOW is that the game was 0-0 when Cameron kicked off the play leading to THAT miss.

          • KingGoogleyEye says:

            GW,

            You wrote:

            “You want to tell me how Beckerman could have done any better?”

            and

            “but your whole position is based on a hypothetical that can never be proved.”

            Granted, the first was directed to Dr.K and the second directed to me, but I find those statements incongruous.

            • GW says:

              Extremism in the defense of liberty is not a sin.

              However, this is not liberty. We are talking about whether Geoff did a better job than Kyle would have. I’m just saying that whatever the difference might have been between the two in terms of how that would have affected the game, it will forever be unknowable.

              However ,if you want to debate it as endlessly as the hypothetical question of whether LD would have made a positive difference to the USMNT cause in this World Cup, then I’m happy to spend the next few years writing about it.

              • KingGoogleyEye says:

                GW,

                Of course it will forever be unknowable. It’s so obviously unknowable that there is no reason to point that out. I don’t understand why you would even bother…

                …especially after you asked the question that necessitated an unprovable answer. Why ask the question if you’re going to dismiss the answer?

                “if you want to debate it as endlessly as the hypothetical question of whether LD would have made a positive difference”

                Well, I don’t know about “debating endlessly.” I was just answering your question.

                But on that point, the comparison to LD is somewhat appropriate: both are untestable hypotheticals. What if the USMNT had fielded a team of centaurs?

                However, in Beckerman’s case, we actually have three World Cup games in which to consider his performance and how it might stack up against Belgium. Can Beckerman play against fast, physical teams? See Ghana. How about well-organized teams built around a superstar? See Portugal. How about a World Champion team with multiple dangerous attacking threats? See Germany.

                Belgium is some blend of those three.

                Yes, it’s all hypothetical.

              • GW says:

                KGE,

                I’m not sure how good JK and his staff would be with centaurs.

                Do centaurs get hamstring pulls?

                They did have Dolores Umbridge given to them but has her “sacrifice” been enough to settle things between humans and centaurs?

                I think you are really playing with fire there. I say stick with Cameron.. .

                sure that

  12. Dr.K says:

    LD is no worse than Pirlo ( who is now pathetic) so if one is good enough for a WC team, so is the other.

    • Brian I says:

      Is this a joke!? Landon is one of the best US players ever, no doubt about it, but he can’t hold Pirlo’s jock, not now, not ever.

      • Dr.K says:

        They are both past their prime,Both a slight liability to their WC teams at present and both deserving of WC status, although Pirlo right now is SO BAD (just check his statistics) that he deserves a nice sendoff game this year. Please retire with some dignity left and then go play in the USA. At this moment LD is a better player than Pirlo. Lets not believe that past is still present.For Pirlo , the past is a memory.

        • Brian I says:

          Well they play different roles so don’t have stats that will be comparable. Pirlo is a deep lying playmaker who sprays the ball all around. I’d take Pirlo over Donovan in a heart beat. All Landon ever had over him is his athleticism, and that’s the part of the game LD is loosing quickly right now.

          • KingGoogleyEye says:

            Pirlo > Donovan

            Pirlo’s beard >> Donovan’s beard

            Pirlo’s mane >>>>> Donovan’s receding hair

            It’s not even a contest.

        • GW says:

          Pirlo’s a World Cup winner, a Champion’s League winner and has won five Serie A titles and was a big reason is teams won those titles.

          Landon is an exceptional soccer player but besides being essentially a completely different type of player, the next time LD belongs in the same conversation with Pirlo will be the first time.

          Pirlo did not have a good World Cup but compare the teams that will go after his signature vs the teams likely to go after LD and then tell me how that goes.

  13. Dirk says:

    I read above the “Klinsman wants to win and will do everything he can. He wants to win”.

    Yes, that is indeed a true statement, but one that needs clarification. Klinsmann wants to win HIS game. You know, get HIS way. He doesn’t give 2 twits to winning a game at the world cup. Besides he is a terrible soccer coach, always has been.

  14. KingGoogleyEye says:

    “He doesn’t give 2 twits to winning a game at the world cup.”

    Does it say that on his business card? his Facebook page? the doormat at the entry to his home?

    Where are you pulling this information?

  15. Dawwilly says:

    This has been circling around for a while. Why didn’t you all pickup on it sooner? Ives grade for Aron’s cup performance on goal.com didn’t even come with a qualifier. Overall U.S. soccer coverage and reporting really has along way to go. Ives chastising Beasley for not giving a ton of interviews is rather hollow when you all do this. Beasley has always struck me as actions over words type. Some guys just don’t communicate a lot with the media. Some don’t feel comfortable. But not covering Aron’s situation better and then giving him a crap grade, obfuscates the poor decision making by Klinsmann. The roster had too many holes and you all put way too much stock in the Donovan debate, when other commentators and USMNT followers were calling out the coach for decisions to exclude Eddie Johnson and Terence Boyd. Frankly, I am not sure that Timmy Chandler was 100% either. C+ for SBI.

  16. Michael says:

    I’m not going to say that Donovan would’ve of difference, but you do have to ask the question why he wasn’t called in given the AJo injury? I’m not saying it was Klinsi bias, but it does beg the question doesn’t it?
    All I’m saying, is that enough fans should ask why Donovan, or even Boyd, Johnson, or some other forward wasn’t called it.
    As much as I like Donovan, if Klinsmann doesn’t want him, at least he should have called Boyd. Who would’ve played better than an injured AJo

  17. Lando says:

    Boyd for Wondo… I suppose there’s a legit argument there. Same thing for Landon over Davis or AJ or whomever. But why the HELL is anyone saying EJ should
    have been on the squad? I’m a DC fan and have been
    agonizing over his play all year. He had a good run reinvigorating himself until 2014, but, really, he shouldn’t be in any of these discussions. At all. EJ was not an option.

    • Bac says:

      Because people subscribe to revisionist history..
      Anyone who actually watched EJ would have to agree with you. And it wasn’t just that he hadn’t scored a goal, or his negative commentary regarding his team.. his entire play was terrible. His touch made Brek Shea look like Iniesta, his laziness made a goalkeeper look like Insane Bolt, even his stepovers made Chumlee look like Edwin Moses…
      Yet revisionist history turned him into a hold up “like for like” replacement for Jozy…
      Everyone forgets that JK helped resurrect his career.. gave him plenty of calls and playing time.. just like he did with Beasley. People should direct their disappointment at EJ for falling off a cliff
      EJ shouldn’t even be in the discussion

  18. mikeg says:

    It will come out in time that that both have massive egos and Klinnsman had the upper hand.

  19. Ty says:

    And I quote…”I have to make the decisions what is good today for this group going into Brazil, and there I just think that the other guys right now are a little bit ahead of him. And I told him that, and he understands it, but obviously he’s very disappointed.”

    Sooooooooo bringing in a forward who is hurt is good for the team? Need I mention the early Christmas gifts to MLS vets Brad Davis and Chris Wondolowski.

    • Bac says:

      In all fairness, AJ did train every day. After this story was updated today I spoke to a buddy who attended 3 of the closed door practices before they left for Brazil and asked how he looked, and he told me he had no issues, looked good. I only remember Davis missing a session or 2 where they played 9 vs 9.
      JK felt he was healthy enough to sub him in over Wondo vs Ghana.. So entirely plausible that he was good to go and aggravated it sometime during or after that game.