The Wall Street Journalhas a lengthy interview with U.S. men’s national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann, covering a range of topics, including: the need for a January camp for MLS players, the connection between culture and a country’s style of play on the field, the dominance of Spain, Landon Donovan’s future with the U.S. team, and the importance of never settling at the club level.
On Landon Donovan’s future, the German was coy: “Landon wanted his time off. He made certain decisions throughout the last couple of years that are his decisions. I watch that. I evaluate that. I could have evaluated him a few times when he was with us, not that many times, but a few times. I will make the call at the end of the day if he fits into my plans or not. I told him in December he’s not part of the January camp, and I told him in December he’s not part of the Honduras game. From his perspective, he’s still on his break.”
According to Klinsmann, the biggest problem with American soccer is the idea of settling at club level. “If a player makes it to MLS when he is 18- or 19-years old, he thinks he made it. This is the problem we have ... my whole talk to Clint Dempsey for 18 months was [about how] he hasn’t made s***. You play for Fulham? Yeah, so? Show me you play for a Champions League team, and then you start on a Champions League team and that you may end up winning the Champions League. There is always another level." [Dempsey moved from Fulham to Tottenham in August.]