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Klinsmann's lauded depth nowhere to be found
by Paul Kennedy, January 29th, 2013 8:41PM

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TAGS:  canada, men's national team, world cup 2014

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[USA-CANADA] The USA and Canada played to a 0-0 tie on Tuesday in Houston in the USA's only test before opening the Hexagonal on Feb. 6 at Honduras. The game was a chance for veterans and newcomers alike to show Coach Jurgen Klinsmann they need to be on the plane to San Pedro Sula next week. Following the three-week camp at the Home Depot Center, Klinsmann praised the depth of MLS player pool, but it was nowhere to be found in one of the worst January performances by the national team since winter camps began at the HDC in 2004 ...

-- Graham Zusi and Eddie Johnson, the two starters from the final two games of the semifinal round of qualifying, were a shadow of the players who injected such spark into the U.S. attack in the fall. They'll still likely be in the squad that will face Honduras next Wednesday along with Kyle Beckerman, the only other player in the January camp who played in the semifinal round of World Cup 2014 qualifying.

-- The same can't be said for MLS veterans like Chris Wondolowski and Brad Davis, for whom their World Cup train may have left the station. Neither showed much as the U.S. attack failed to break down a Canadian defense that had allowed 12 goals in its last two games.

-- Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler had little to do in the middle of the U.S. backline -- Canada managed only two shots in the game -- but they should both be headed to San Pedro Sula to help out against Honduras.

-- Of the five players who made their international debuts, only Besler should be thinking about pulling his passport out of his drawer for the trip to San Pedro Sula. Tony Beltran and Justin Morrow won't trouble the outside backs ahead of them on the U.S. depth chart. Alfredo Morales and Tony Bruin got cameos in the last quarter of an hour.

-- Sean Johnson appears to have won the January sweepstakes to claim the No. 3 spot behind Tim Howard and Brad Guzan in goal for the Honduras game. He earned the nod over Bill Hamid and Tally Hall and made a big early save on Dwayne De Rosario.

January Friendlies
2013: Canada 0-0
2012: Venezuela 1-0, Panama 1-0,
2011: Chile 1-1
2010: Honduras 1-3
2009: Sweden 3-2
2008: Sweden 2-0
2007: Denmark 3-1
2006: Canada 0-0, Norway 5-0
2005: no game
2004: Denmark 1-1

Jan. 29 in Houston
USA 0 Canada 0.
USA -- S.Johnson; Beltran (Gatt 46), Gonzalez, Besler, Morrow; Beckerman (Morales 74); Zusi (Bedoya 63) Evans, Davis (Agudelo 63); Wondolowski (Feilhaber 46), E.Johnson (Bruin 74).
Canada -- Thomas; Ledgerwood, Attakora (Henry 62), Jakovic, Morgan; Dunfield (Stinson 50), Bourgault, Bekker (Porter 90); Ricketts, Teibert (James 88), De Rosario (Jonke 80).
Referee: Raul Castro (Honduras).
Att.: 11,737.

Next up:
Feb. 6:
Honduras vs. USA in San Pedro Sula.
Kickoff:
4 p.m. ET.
TV:
beIN SPORT.



27 comments
  1. cisco martinez
    commented on: January 29, 2013 at 11:41 p.m.
    I must say one of the ugliest games I've ever seen. I dare say, not many players that played improved there spot on our national team. Coach klinsmann needs to light a fire under these kids asses.

  1. Chris St. Hilaire
    commented on: January 29, 2013 at 11:46 p.m.
    Not an ounce of creativity and with the exception of Omar, the future of US Soccer looks bleak.

  1. Robert Kiernan
    commented on: January 30, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
    The Future looks just fine... it's the future of MLS based players like these on both sides last night, that I'd question. Look at Joe Corona or Jose Torres or any of a bunch of other players in their late teens or mid twenties, no look to Terrence Boyd or maybe even a few of the guys who played last night,say Joshua Gatt or Juan Agudelo... oh and there always is the prospect of Stuart Holden's return later this year... but MLS just isn't turning out players above the "Work Rate Wonders" it has done in the past... (ICE)

  1. Tom Nilles
    commented on: January 30, 2013 at 7:53 a.m.
    The only disappointment in this tilt was the total lack of quality in the 18. Chance after chance went begging as crosses were mis-hit, headers were barely contested, with a general lack of "want to" from our side. When Canada decided to put all 11 behind the ball, you knew it was going to be ugly. How we responded was the disappointment. AFWIW, why there was no yellow for persistent infringement against Eddie Johnson on the right flank (5 fouls in about 10 minutes time) is beyond me.

  1. Brent Crossland
    commented on: January 30, 2013 at 9:19 a.m.
    I agree, Robert. As long as MLS and NCAA play emphasize "work rate" & "physicality" over ball skills and creativity domestic players are going to fall short. Twellman kept talking about players who were having a "great game" but I just didn't see it. How would Zusi, Johnson, and Beckerman's performances have looked against Mexico? Like last night -- no highlights. Step it up, gentlemen we will be "3 and out" once again.

  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: January 30, 2013 at 10:50 a.m.
    Both squads showed little aptitude and many of its players lack the "soccer brain" for keeping it simple and maintaining team shape and movement. What ruled the pitch was ineptness, lack of concentration, poor execution, and no imagination...PITIFUL. And let's thank Twellman for his smokescreen of platitudes when none were deserved. Bloggers should open their eyes and stop finding excuses for such a performance(s). Too much talk about how player quality has improved; when in fact their technical and visual abilities are at a stand still.

  1. Walt Pericciuoli
    commented on: January 30, 2013 at 11:38 a.m.
    Fellows, we can all take heart in the fact that almost none of the players we saw last night will see the pitch vs. Honduras.My real complaint is that we are wasting time and money evaluating players for international play among older retreads from the MLS that have never in the past shown that they are those kind of players.We need to be bringing in younger players that could benefit from the experience.Gatt and Agudelo should have been given starts. More players like them should have been brought into the camp and been part of the match.Do we need to keep seeing Johnson,Beckerman,Wondoloski,Davis etc????

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: January 30, 2013 at 1:24 p.m.
    Are we scouting the very best young talent at U14/U15/U16 to season them at International competitions to better prepare them for our USMNT someday?? Or are scouts taking certain reccomendations from friends in bigger $$ clubs that will someday maybe employ them and turning a blind eye on the small clun players?? I wonder how many U14,U15, U16 US National Players end up becoming pro players Historically ??

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: January 30, 2013 at 1:28 p.m.
    We dont have a deep enough pool yet for future USMNt players ?? Why?? How come countries like Honduras, Panama, Guatemala, El Salvador seem to be developing a stronger pool than us lately ??

  1. Todd Cramer
    commented on: January 30, 2013 at 1:30 p.m.
    Sorry to say any credit you have as a journalist ha been revoked. Tony Bruin?? His name is Will Bruin. If you knew soccer you might have heard if him. Nice article.

  1. Bryan Kempf
    commented on: January 30, 2013 at 1:32 p.m.
    I would like to see more of Josh Gatt and Benny Feilhaber. Feilhaber brings creativity, which he did show last night. And it was obvious that Josh Gatt brings a new dimension... A true winger. It was clear that the talent on the field held him back. He was behind the defense a few times waving his arms, hoping that someone would wake up and see him. As for the rest... I'd give Gonzalez, Morales, and Evans another look. The rest are bums. And Taylor Twellman is a horrible commentator.

  1. Phil Kellogg
    commented on: January 30, 2013 at 2:07 p.m.
    Agree Josh Gatt and Benny Feilhaber played with energy. US Team seemed to have an aversion to playing wide through the 11 players packed in.

  1. James Froehlich
    commented on: January 30, 2013 at 5:58 p.m.
    MLS is a failure as an identifier and a developer of talent, which shouldn't be a shock since they continue to tout the college draft as a showcase of future stars -- yeah right! MLS teams would be better off dropping their scouting of college players and heading out to watch the various young ethnic leagues/teams throughout the country -- that's where the lovers of the game reside, not in the colleges. Regarding last night's performance R Kiernan hit the nail on the head. One thing not mentioned was the appallingly slow pace of the US ball movement. You will never break down a bunkering team with the 2 or 3 touch passing exhibited by this team.

  1. Bill Anderson
    commented on: January 30, 2013 at 9:01 p.m.
    We needed to see ANY player take somebody on the dribble. With no threat of anybody taking anybody on in a 1 v 1 situation, it was very simple for Canada to maintain their defensive cohesion. This was an opportunity completely wasted for everyone except Agudelo, who showed a little spark.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: January 30, 2013 at 9:23 p.m.
    Academies encourage 2 touch and frown upon 1v1. I will never understand this in the development of a player.

  1. Gonzalo Jouan
    commented on: January 30, 2013 at 10:30 p.m.
    Luis it is pretty sad but most, if not all the players that represented the US yesterday were developed in the US academy system. What is really alarming is how uncomfortable these players look on the ball, how bad their first touches were and in general their technique was very bad. Also commentators and klingsmann praising a defensive mid that never tries to play positive soccer, every ball that Beckerman played was back, never forward. Not sure what direction US soccer is going with their protocol for player development, when I was on December in Disney showcase I saw what were supposed to be the best academy players going against each other but what you saw last night is the exact reflection of the level of the academy players in this country. Want to see great youth soccer, go check out the likes of olney rangers, non academy team, mainly composed by foreign kids or the Florida sunrise U 15 team or the U15 Bethesda lions team, all teams composed by minorities. Than compare these teams with academy teams....

  1. Gonzalo Jouan
    commented on: January 30, 2013 at 10:36 p.m.
    James: Agree with you. MLS identifying talent is likesteve Tyler judging American idol. FYIZ, they were two twin brothers from argentina that grew up playing soccer in Virginia., MLS thought that they were not good enough to be drafted by a MLS team. Both of them, today they start for power house River Plate in buenos aires, argentina. Rogelio and Ramiro Funes Mores !

  1. Paul Bryant
    commented on: January 30, 2013 at 11:33 p.m.
    A couple of comments. Alexi Lalas had it right during halftime when he said that the U.S. being so large (population) is both a blessing and a curse. It's a blessing because we should have a large pool of players, but also a curse because it's difficult to identify all the talent. All of us who blog have seen lots of talent that goes unidentified. Soccer in America is still very parochial. If you could stomach some of the programming from the NSCAA Convention of FOX Soccer, you can see how entrenched and hopelessly backward the American soccer philosophy is. One guest actually said there are too many club teams in the U.S. How shortsighted a statement. More teams means more players, hence more talent is developed.

  1. Dennis Mueller
    commented on: January 30, 2013 at 11:38 p.m.
    Klinsmann's tactical setup was laughable. He had 5 defenders watching DeRo and left the other 5 players to attack the 10 canadians camped in their defensive third. No forward will look good when so badly out-numbered, midfielders so outnumbered will be unable to play decent balls. The only thing I learned from this game was a new-found lack of respect for Klinsmann.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: January 31, 2013 at 11:14 a.m.
    Paul, not only have we all seen unidentified talent but some of us have reccommended them to National Scouts but still go unnoticed because there is a very strong effort to push the Academy system as the only way to make a National Team, no matter what they say. Brazil is not a small country, 2/3 the population of USA and almost the same size. They seem to do a great job in identifying the best talent. They are also pretty good at Volleyball and now basketball. Brazil does not have the tecnologoy, network, money, etc. that USA has that would facilitate scouting. Not even close. We probably dont have the talent pool that Brazil has in soccer but we defenitely have the advantage in the ability to scout in every corner, hands down, big time.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: January 31, 2013 at 11:31 a.m.
    Paul, USA club soccer is gearing to Monopolizing it. We are killing competition just like we did with the economy. The top league in Illinois, NISL, has clearly stated that they have been successful because they run it like a business. They run a Premeirship division that every top team wants to play in which was great. But now they changed the rules. No more top teams only becuase they had too many small club teams that were a $$ liability. Therefore, Premeirship is now for "Top Club" which means you could be a B Level team but if you are in a Big $$ Club you automatically get the spot in Premier over an "A" Small Club Team. This destroys any underdog story. It secures the league top $$ from it's best clients. It secures the top clubs undeserved status so they can Market they are a "Premier" Club so they can easily recruit the best players from anywhere. Nobody cares that many times small clubs develop better players than the big ones. It's an ungly business. Academy is a bigger version of this menatlity. How can this be good for soccer ?? A doctor should be rated on how many lives he saves and not on what school he came from. These Big clubs have historically depended greatly on the smaller ones in stealing their best players. Smaller clubs focus on the individual player. Big clubs focus on results sacrificing individual development.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: January 31, 2013 at 11:57 a.m.
    Gonazalo, interesting info. Those 2 Argentinians are a great story that Soccer America should be writing on if they truly want to help US Soccer. Since they won't lets help them out and keep posting those stories that everyone should know. I too have a developing potential story in my son, the best 99' player in Region 2. He is 13 years old, 6'1", strong, fast, incredibly skilled and coordinated for his height. He has been to 5 USSF Training centers where he always scores vs the best 98' defenders in the entire Region. He scoredand assisted on most of the goals at ID2 Camp in Phoenix 2 months ago but was not picked to go to Spain. When I asked for an evaluation I was told I was a "Pain In The Nuts" by these guys!! They would not tell me how he compared to specific players picked from Illinois that they did like and happen to be in an Academy. I have asked for Evaluations from USSF Camps as well and it seems to anger them. Why?? They invite potential talents but wont tell them what they need to develop?? All they have said is my son "should play in a more competitive environment" without asking him or me where exactly he plays. What they are trying to say is join an Academy. They dont know my son has always played 1-2 years up in the highest divisions and always plays with a top club in addition to playing for his small club. This way he trains every day. Nope, they see this as a negative, saying that he plays toomany meaningless games. The truth is he plays high intensity games with his msall club where he loves to play because he has full reigns to take on 3-4 guys off the dribble and try crazy moves but at the same time he has the team's outcome squarely on his shoulders. With the big Academy club he is always the target player where he plays Premier and is usually more of ashowcase than anything else. Difference is his teammates are more liable for theirmistakes, they play more defensively, mor2 touch passing, less mistakes, but he is usually the one to hold the ball and create for the others. We just left an Academy that wanted him to play on an all 99' team in NPL that killed every other 99' team in the Region. He hated it. No competition for him. He played acouple 98' games with them where he scored and assisted but winning and rankings are more important for this club. Bye Bye. My son needs to develop. Winning is a small bonus in our eyes. This is what USSF is pushing as the place to be in ? My son is getting offers to tryout in other countries as well. Oh well.

  1. Gonzalo Jouan
    commented on: January 31, 2013 at 4:26 p.m.
    Luis, exactly! is all about money for the US academy system. Yes, they want to be the only game in town, We have a kid that is a phenom in our team, he goes to every national team camp because he is so much better than any other 98 in his position and all what he hears every time he goes is that he needs to start to play for an academy team, even if our USYSA club team gets much better coaching than all the academy teams combined and our team will put 4 or 5 in any academy our age group. Take your son overseas, like most of us do. My son also did the ID2 98 shit, training center and so on, never a call to a national camp even if by most he is much better than most kids on his position. That or get a job with US soccer or an academy program and your son will be in next US 99 camp at Home depot center....

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: January 31, 2013 at 7 p.m.
    Gonzalo, we must hook up. It certainly seems that way. I asked a scout what Academy he recommended after telling me my son needed a more competitive environment. I asked him which Academy he reccommended. He told me he had never seen any of the Academies train or play in my area. ??? He was a scout out here!! He also didnt know anything about our small club's training or games for my son. So why did he make that reccommendation ??

  1. Gonzalo Jouan
    commented on: February 1, 2013 at 7:37 a.m.
    Luis, send me a note to gonzalojouan@hotmail.com

  1. Paul Bryant
    commented on: February 1, 2013 at 9:26 p.m.
    Luis and Gonzalo, I commend both you gentleman in being public concerning your dilemas. Unfortunately, it only gets worse if your sons play in college. I won't bore you with my son's college experience.

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: February 2, 2013 at 9:27 a.m.
    Paul, I have seen many college games and know exactly what you mean. What a dilema. What do you tell your son that loves soccer and has pro potential? Follow your dreams overseas so you can truly develop as a soccer player or get an education first?? Nothing is ever perfect.


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