Thank you, Jurgen. And good bye. Time to Move on from the Sterile Klinsmann Interlude.

By Paul Gardner

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Buried under the tumult and clamor of the USA's performance against Belgium -- most of it focused on goalkeeper Tim Howard’s remarkable performance -- are some uncomfortable truths for the American game.

The fact that Howard had a great game should surprise no one. The USA has always had good goalkeepers. Beyond that record-setting stat of 16 saves, questions bristle. A record number of saves must also mean something like a record number of shots by the opposing team. Fact. As the BBC’s Ben Smith put it, Howard’s “teammates were simply outclassed.”

Stats that show a goalkeeper as your MVP are great for the goalkeeper. But they invariably mean that you’re not that good a team. The USA, by now, should be well past the stage of relying on good goalkeeping. Evidently it is not -- to the point of setting a World Cup record for keeper-dependence.

We can probe further. Jurgen Klinsmann’s team has departed this World Cup at the round-of-16 stage. Is that to be considered a triumph, or even an achievement? This is exactly what Bob Bradley’s team did last time around, in 2010. Come to that, Bruce Arena’s 2002 team got to the quarterfinals. So where is the progress?

Possibly, it is to be found in the quality of the USA’s play. If the USA, under Klinsmann, has developed a style, if it can be seen to be playing consistently skillful, attacking soccer that would certainly be a huge plus. I don’t want to spend much time on this matter, because I regard it as patently obvious that the USA, under Klinsmann, has made no advance at all in either the caliber or the style of its play.

In fact, Klinsmann has led U.S. soccer astray. His insistence on ignoring young American talent while he brings in primarily German players with little or no connection to the USA, his preference for Germans on his coaching staff, have moved American soccer away from the much richer ethnic diversity that is the country’s natural talent base. Are we supposed to believe this statement of Klinsmann’s? -- "We are doing everything we can in every corner of the country to find the talent.” So he brings in players from Germany, from Iceland, from Norway -- areas not hitherto known as corners of the USA.

Only one outcome can justify this gross distortion of American soccer -- in particular, the youth development area. That would be success. Clear, unarguable, success.

Well, the results are in, and they are poor. We shall have to wait a while longer, I suppose, for all the overwrought emotional posturing to die down. I’m referring to the USA’s terrific comeback at the end of the Belgium game. Praise indeed to the players -- but is there anything new here? Did Klinsmann invent the tremendous competitiveness of American athletes, their abiding desire to come through as winners?

That spirit has nothing to do with Klinsmann. It can be taken as a given in any American team, particularly when the U.S. flag is involved. Tiresome is not too strong a word to use when the praise starts pouring in about the great American fighting spirit. Not because that spirit does not exist, but because it is so heavily overemphasized. Are we to believe that the Germans don’t want to win? That the Argentines have no fighting spirit?

The Italians, the Spanish, the Uruguayans . . . all lacking cojones?

And what about the Costa Ricans? Their remarkable performance in this World Cup -- better by far, be it noted, than the USA’s -- puts everything that Klinsmann has been doing to shame.

We can start with this: Costa Rica, population approx 4.5 million. USA, population approx 317 million. In terms of the number of potential soccer players, in terms of the money and resources poured into youth development, it’s no contest. Then there’s the coach -- the USA’s foreign celebrity version flying his helicopter, using his dubious gurus, raking in headlines with his undoubted charisma; and for Costa Rica we can offer you Jorge Luis Pinto (also a foreigner, he’s Colombian not Costa Rican) with a successful but not spectacular 30-year coaching career.

Pinto, with fewer players, less money, less resources, has done what Klinsmann has utterly failed to do -- he has produced a team of Costa Ricans, 14 of them playing for foreign clubs (not major clubs -- and there are no German-Costa Ricans on this side) that has played attractive, coherent, intelligent soccer. Watching the USA, one is often left wondering whether Klinsmann has even tried to do this.

I think you can argue that appointing Klinsmann -- a top world coach with considerable World Cup experience -- was worth a try. But he has comprehensively failed to deliver. This is a good moment to underline that the Belgium game -- the center of all the current shouting -- was a loss. Of its four games in the World Cup, the USA won only one. That is not success or progress. Klilnsmann should be dumped.

His replacement? Must be an American. Must be someone who is going to give the Hispanic players a fair shake (something Klinsmann badly failed to do). The obvious candidate here is Tab Ramos. Too young? Possibly. But a risk worth taking, I think, to put right the distortions that Klinsmann has so damagingly installed. Ramos has experience, he has shown, with the under-20s, that he has an eye for talent and he is admired for the high degree of professionalism that he applies to his coaching duties.

The time to make to change is right now. If ever that hackneyed phrase “we’ve decided to go in a new direction” truly applied, this is one such moment. The Klinsmann bandwagon is getting us nowhere.
162 comments about "Thank you, Jurgen. And good bye. Time to Move on from the Sterile Klinsmann Interlude.".
  1. Randy McKee, July 2, 2014 at 9:19 a.m.

    Pipe dream.

    Sunil is intimidated by Klinsmann, so he lacks the cajones to fire him.

    Ramos is not a good choice. He was a great player, but has not been able to make the quantum leap to "skipper."

    You should use your own argument about the incredible resources Ramos has at his fingertips. What he has produced has fallen short of excellence.

    Ramos is not the solution. He is part of the problem.

  2. Eric Shinn, July 2, 2014 at 9:32 a.m.

    This is possibly the stupidest column yet, and for Gardner, that is truly a high bar to clear. Klinsmann just led the US through a group that NOBODY thought we could escape, and did it without his best attacking option. Every single "controversial" inclusion in the team contributed, including Julian Green. Know who didn't? The sure-fire MLS inclusion all the self-styled "experts" said HAD to be included.

    Did you see the list of teams for the starting lineup for Belgium? Top clubs from all over England, Italy, and Spain. Anyone thinking Klinsmann is a failure for taking his group of MLS'ers and second tier talents and youngsters and pushing that group of stars to the absolute brink is probably too stupid to have their own dedicated column.

  3. Gary Wien, July 2, 2014 at 9:34 a.m.

    Ah yes, another anti-Klinsmann piece by Soccer America. I'm surprised it took several hours, much less minutes, after the final whistle to put this online. After all, it was most likely largely written in advance.

    Stuff like more criticism of the German players brought in... yes, that's a great comment considering Jermaine Jones was one of our best players and Jones, Julian Green, John Brooks all scored -- three of the five goals scored by the US.

    The US had a largely older team compared to most quality World Cup teams. I think Klinsmann recognized that and sought ways to train the younger players in the World Cup environment. Maybe this will improve our chances in 2018, maybe not.

    But let's face it, few at Soccer America ever gave Klinsmann any credit and seemed to want him gone early on. He got us into the knockout round from the Group of Death. That, in itself, deserves some credit.

    Should we have gone farther? I think so, but Belgium deserves credit. They played a great game. Sometimes you lose to a better team...

  4. Eric Schmitt, July 2, 2014 at 9:36 a.m.

    Not a word from Paul Gardner when the US was winning 12 straight matches last summer, but when the US had a poor match in Costa Rica, he was all over that. Not a word from PG either, when the US dominated Portugal with good possession football and plenty of attacking verve only to give up the equalizer in the final seconds. But they take an absolutely stacked with talent Belgium team to the brink and he's all over that loss. You bring up the US making it this far in 2010. Yes, but just barely and from a much easier group. Your facade is thin and transparent, PG. You hate JK. We get it. Leave the rest of us out of it.

  5. j bapper, July 2, 2014 at 9:37 a.m.

    I couldn't agree more with Paul's comments. It was embarrassing to see the lack of technical ability in our players. To lose possession time after time because of a poor first touch or lack of confidence on the ball is not acceptable at this stage in our development. We had more technical ability on our 2002 team. And to think Landon wouldn't have helped us is delusional thinking... Zusi was so bad yesterday - his lack of pace and skill was so obvious to see. I'm sorry, but Wondo does not belong on our World Cup team. We need to find some midfield players that can control the tempo and dictate the play... why can't we find any?

  6. peter mcgowan, July 2, 2014 at 9:40 a.m.

    The US will never develop the degree of home grown talent that European or central/South American countries provide, too many other recreational opportunities and not enough passion for the game. How many times have you passed soccer fields or other open areas where U.S kids are playing pickup games just for fun. Those pickup games you may rarely happen across are most likely composed of kids from recent immigrant families, mostly Latinos in my area (some great talent being displayed). I know as kid growing up in England, we played pickup games every day of the week, on grass fields as well as school parking lots. Its in these pickup games where creativity and skills are truely developed. I hope I'm wrong, but I think it will a long time before we see the USMNT in a World Cup Semi or final.

  7. Mario Araujo, July 2, 2014 at 9:41 a.m.

    Where is all the American talent? Team USA has very few USA born players. Klinsmann started out well and then did what many other coaches have done which looks for foreign born talent. The results? Not impressive. Where was the USA attack against Belgium? Is Klinsmann afraid to win? The team never attacked against Belgium until they were losing. We need an exciting team that attacks from the Kick Off until the final whistle.

  8. Mark Konty, July 2, 2014 at 9:52 a.m.

    The US technical ability IS better and we are playing a style that is not the bunker-&-counter or kick-&-chase tactics of Klinsmann's predecessors. Let's not forget that he is still working with inferior stock and give him credit with an eye for that development, including home-grown Yedlin,
    This entire article is fatuous and grossly inaccurate. I think I'm done with SA.

  9. Jerry Hendricks, July 2, 2014 at 9:54 a.m.

    I agree with Eric Shinn - sounds like more ramblings from a bitter old man - why does Paul Gardner even still have a column?

  10. Todd F., July 2, 2014 at 9:57 a.m.

    The USA made it out of the group of death thanks to Germany blanking Portugal 4-0. The USA made it out of this group b/c Portugal did not show up to play. We were outplayed by Ghana, Germany, and Belgium. There has been little improvement, if any.

  11. Bob Escobar, July 2, 2014 at 9:57 a.m.

    If the "best" player in the US team was the keeper, tat tells you how "terrible" our defense and midfield was...they were TERRIBLE, but somehow the announcers made it sound like they were doing great, great at what, watching Howard make save after save and enjoying the food and scenery in Brazil? clueless color and play by play commentators add to the "crappy" display of soccer we saw this world cup from the US side, TERRIBLE!!!!!

  12. Joe Linzner, July 2, 2014 at 9:59 a.m.

    This guy is a schmuck

  13. charles davenport, July 2, 2014 at 10:03 a.m.

    Best game of Klinsman era was against Turkey, possibly?

  14. Soccer Bloke, July 2, 2014 at 10:10 a.m.

    What JK HAS done is to shake up the establishment of the coaching staff down through the youth ranks. No one's job is a job for life any more. That was long overdue.

    Agreed. The US does not have enough technically excellent players and relies on handful of genuinely international level players. That is NOT JK's fault. He has done (much) better than expected with what he has.

    The root of the issue with the youth soccer an its emphasis on winning meaningless cups from ages 10-14. Elite teams at these ages are selected to win via athleticism and early physical development rather than real teaching and technical development. It's all about winning next weekend.

    The Academy is a partial response and has had some effect. But Youth soccer is still dominated by for profit clubs (many run by Brits) and community clubs and state associations that only care about their silly cup rules.

    That is changing but Oh so slowly. USYS should be disbanded and reconstituted as a national organization where state lines are irrelevant.

  15. John Roode, July 2, 2014 at 10:10 a.m.

    Clueless... always have been... always will be. I used to try to read through your entire articles. I've stopped doing that. Now, if I read them at all, it's usually 2,3 maybe 4 sentences. Then I get sick to my stomach. Paul, I'd like to know your background. Have you ever played the game, coached the game, attended a game? I'd like to say that your writings are, at least, a little amusing. But honestly, they've become simply nauseating. Jane... you ignorant slut.

  16. David V, July 2, 2014 at 10:27 a.m.

    Agree... Tooo German...sack Klinsmann... hunker down and survive is not thriving in the sport... in the end, the USA was playing hunker down and survive... a couple observations... the possession game of Spain is not dead, Spain is not dead, it's just and end of a cycle for them... this cup is much more enjoyable with goals because of the attacking style the Spanish brought over the last 8 years (no, not Spain's fault for hunker down anti-football teams that played them from 2006-2013), and world greats attest to it, such as Tostao. Soccer in America is $ at the youth level... what we lack at the base is the pick-up game of yesteryear that was played in america until $ took over the sport... the other great countries still have myriads of kids playing pick-up ball every day on street corners, dusty lots, backyards, neighborhood parks... somehow, in youth soccer, if we don't regain that, or a form of it (clubs encouraging kids to do that, while not discourging the technical TRAINING in the clubs)... it will still be a very long road... I'm sure the "jump on the bandwagon" types think Spain and Barcelona are yesterday, they aren't... silly myopic Americans, and/or EPL-only watching types may think it is dead, but it isn't...that said, ask Barcelona how to overhaul a program, it starts at the youth level... and we can't fix it with the too-German Klinsmann (I don't blame JK... he knows German football, so what would you expect from him? the importation of what he knows... but that doesn't make it the right fit)

  17. Ali Kayhan, July 2, 2014 at 10:28 a.m.

    Paul needs to stick to baseball or other sports as he seems clueless what Klinsman has done for USMNT! No other coach could do what he did for us here in America. Also- I support his decision about Landon as other players were more focused than him. I really hope Klinsman will coach USMNT again in 2018.

  18. cisco martinez, July 2, 2014 at 10:30 a.m.

    Gardner, really? Klinsmann was a "failure?" I am a big critic of Klinsmann, but to say he failed by getting out of the group of death and battling Belgium into overtime, and then propose Tab Ramos with little coaching experience, really? Klinsmann brought back the old school European mentality that we as Americans can do anything and accomplish anything. Klinsmann tactically brought different systems of play, 4-2-3-1, 4-3-2-1, and 4-4-2 diamond, Wings overlapping, and stronger defensive shape. Garnder I know this country was in a depression economically and after the US loss, but they are highering at WALMART!

  19. David V, July 2, 2014 at 10:32 a.m.

    Portugual - USA discussion... Portugal was a battered and handicapped team playing the US... Ronaldo burned out from a long season nursing injuries, not fully fit... Pepe thrown out and not available, Coentrao injured... don't count the great result as a great performance against a great was a result against a handicapped squad... jury can't convene on Green, too short of a time to assess him, even though he scored a goal... but Yedlin did play enough, and we KNOW he has a future, and he CAN play in Europe... he's a bright spot for the future... Kudos to ESPN for running their month long programming and the US Team's Run Up to Brazil... that's a culture influencing happening...

  20. jack rozier, July 2, 2014 at 10:33 a.m.

    Zoom out.

    Klinsmann is a symbol and a signal of intent by our Federation. A point in a rising trajectory over time.

    Our back line was always our Achilles heel after the last WC. Klinsmann's true value is in perception rather than reality. His experience at the highest level and subsequent stature in the game helped create a perception that we were better than we were.

    It's that simple and it was nearly enough to get the result against superior competition.

  21. David V, July 2, 2014 at 10:34 a.m.

    Gary Wien... don't kid yourself, as many have... the USA was not in the group of death (it's popular to say that, as so many Americans have, because we/Americans were in that group... it was a tougher group, but not the group of death.... Spain, Holland, Chile, and Australia had the lowest combined FIFA ranking...

  22. David V, July 2, 2014 at 10:41 a.m.


  23. Miguel Dedo, July 2, 2014 at 10:41 a.m.

    The DELUSION that there are better players somewhere in the US (the Hispanic community?) that a better coach would have formed into a better team. Klinsmann found the best we have, organized them to do the best we could do.

  24. David V, July 2, 2014 at 10:41 a.m.


  25. David V, July 2, 2014 at 10:42 a.m.

    Sayonara, Klinsmann!

  26. David V, July 2, 2014 at 10:42 a.m.

    Adios Klinsmann!

  27. David V, July 2, 2014 at 10:43 a.m.


  28. David V, July 2, 2014 at 10:46 a.m.

    Hey Miguel Finger... Clint Dempsey said he had to go play with the local Mexican players to pick up his game when he was a youth... I don't think he was hanging out in stuttgart looking for American/German kids to play with... Yedlin is a product of the good old USA and he did better than any of the half German Half American kids who were recruited by JK!

  29. Darin Greenwood, July 2, 2014 at 10:47 a.m.

    All US talent pickers base their decisions on 13-14 year old kids. Politically they have to pick Kids that are big for their age. Once these kids are picked they give them all the training and throw away the rest of the kids. How many american kids are fully grown or talents fully flushed @ 13 or 14?

  30. Chester Grant, July 2, 2014 at 10:48 a.m.

    1) The reason we advanced from the group was the Pepe red card which killed Portugals goal difference in their first game ans kept him out of their game against us.
    2) I do not regard as "progress" the inclusion of a large number of German/Norwegian/Icelandic players at the exclusion of the likes of Donovan and Feilhaber.

  31. Al Gebra, July 2, 2014 at 10:50 a.m.

    Shinn is clueless as are most of the other commentators. The USA outcome was predictable. Any win/loss records in friendly matches and FIFA rankings are meaningless. Case in point is Portugal's ranking. Technically we stink and you can thank the past coaches, etc that have failed miserably in developing our youth players. I first noticed that years ago when I went through the USSF National B coaching course. It was a complete joke. Where I think JK went wrong is that he didn't look hard enough for other foreign players with US genes other than the Germans. The US military is deployed in 150 countries around the world. We could have put together a team completely made up of only half-Americans. Then we could scrub the US youth development system and put the money elsewhere. Like hiring scouts to scour the 4 corners of the earth for top players. Two points to make: PG ball playing/coaching experience has nothing to do with making the comments he does. It's like saying a doctor has to have had cancer to cure it. Secondly, when I lived in Mexico I saw many more basketball and tennis courts filled up with players than soccer "pitches".

  32. Brian Holson, July 2, 2014 at 10:51 a.m.

    Soccer Bloke has it right. The youth clubs are only worried about $$ and tournament wins, not player development. When "soccer parents" are only worried about what level & team their kid should be on (usually the wrong one) and not concerned about how their development is progressing, it only adds to the stunted growth of our players. Yes the US mids did a horrible job of defending and maintaining possession to feed the forwards, and the back line was suspect, but that's all JK had to work with.

  33. Kirsten Allen, July 2, 2014 at 10:51 a.m.

    I agree with Soccer Bloke. The US soccer program is so rife with profiteering has-beens that real soccer and creativity is lost. It costs too much to play in a club or an academy. Really good players from less than affluent backgrounds cannot afford this level of commitment. Also, young early-maturing players are fast tracked to big clubs and academies while late bloomers are cast aside, many of which could be great players. Cost is a major factor in the USA progression in the world of soccer.
    Also, the reason US was not good in this world cup is the inability to control the midfield. How many times did a buildup fail due to Bradley being bumped off the ball, or an errant pass be made due to the middie just trying to pass the ball so he would not lose it himself, or the inability to find someone open to pass to while the other middies stood around. This was a dismal world cup but it is not Klinsman's or his coaches fault. Sometimes the players have to show up and compete, clint, Michael, Geoff, and (fill in name here).

  34. David V, July 2, 2014 at 10:52 a.m.

    Darin, you're so right... our American mentality is flawed... some of the world's best players would have never made it in America because of the American picking philosophy... consider this, for size and the American picking philosophy, Pele never would have made it, Maradona wouldn't have, Lio Messi wouldn't have, Xavi wouldn't have, Iniesta wouldn't have, David Silva wouldn't have... etc, etc. that problem is related to American parents wanting to win at young ages at the expense of development, so you pick the biggest, oldest in their age group, etc. Most coaches say they buy into development over winning at young ages, but only a small fraction actually do so...

  35. Greg Morris, July 2, 2014 at 10:53 a.m.

    So Mr. Gardner, how, in 3 years, is JK suppose to develop the technically gifted players to match those of Belgium and Germany? Development starts down at the youth level, not with players in their 20's. The fact is that the U.S. is starting to see players with more technical skill at younger ages and JK has pushed for the type of changes in our system to find and develop them. The reality is that the real impact of JK will not be measured by this cup or even the next one, but by 2022 and 2026 when players inspired and developed by the current regime hit their peak. As for the anti-German rant in the piece, simple question. Where would the U.S. have been in this cup without Jones and Johnson?

  36. David V, July 2, 2014 at 11:01 a.m.

    I hear Xavi may be retiring... pay him $4M a year to run our youth development program... I guarantee you if we did that, we would be in the elite club of the top 6 teams withing 20 years... I guarantee it

  37. ROBERT BOND, July 2, 2014 at 11:05 a.m.

    Hispanic kids will not be molly-coddled thru the $y$tem the way FB & BK kids are so the nzaa can prostitute themselves to e$pn $port$ by serving as minor leagues with kids who are not really college material. MLS must follow the MLB model...

  38. David V, July 2, 2014 at 11:06 a.m.

    And PLEASE don't bring in any Brits... Soccer Bloke has it right on them and the youth clubs... I'm so tired of seeing 4th division UK types come to America and get soccer jobs because of the mystique of "across the pond"... to unwitting, ignorant US parents thinking these guys are something... remember... only 2.3 Brits start, on average in EPL teams, they aren't producing... they got lucky 48 years ago, but that's it... I love you Brittish fellas, but don't important any more of 'em to train our kids!

  39. David V, July 2, 2014 at 11:08 a.m.

    Robert... American parents don't get it... when the carrot called college soccer is dangled in front of them, American parents don't get that failure is the carrot they are being tempted with.

  40. David V, July 2, 2014 at 11:11 a.m.

    Let me be clear.... College works for AMERICAN FOOTBALL and that MODEL.... College Soccer is a FAILURE ROUTE FOR WORLD FOOTBALL (or what we Americanos call Soccer)

  41. Chester Grant, July 2, 2014 at 11:24 a.m.

    David Y....College Soccer is NOT a failure at all....keep it and just change the silly NCAA rules governing practice hours and semester allowed for league play.

  42. Millwall America, July 2, 2014 at 11:27 a.m.

    The only time Paul Gardner writes about the USMNT is when they lose a game or go out of a tournament -- which means for the most part he hasn't written much about them during the Klinsmann era. When they won 12 games in a row - no comment. When they won the Gold Cup - no comment. When they won the Hexagonal - no comment. When they beat Ghana, the team that typically knocks the US out of tournaments - no comment. When they got out of the Group of Death - no comment. But hey, lose 2-1 in extra time in the last 16 against a team packed with superstars, PG is ready to comment. PG has an agenda, and anyone who didn't see this column coming hasn't been paying attention.

  43. Frank Delle, July 2, 2014 at 11:38 a.m.

    Disagree on most points. Each good coach has a preference which players are featured and which not. Like a hiring manager in business, you hire the people you are most comfortable with and who can get the job done. Second point, how exactly has Klinsman and US team failed ? Not only does the US play better under Klinsman, but so does the rest of the world. If you ante up, so does everyone else. The article is stupid IMHO and it's not the time to criticize Klinsman's attempt to elevate US soccer at the world stage. That was achieved and the US now a force to be reckoned with.

  44. Frank Schnur, July 2, 2014 at 11:39 a.m.

    Paul, did you watch just the one game against Belgium? To say there is no progress is ridiculous if you watched all four games. This team was, by far, the best the US has ever produced. With the exception of the Belgium game, they played extremely well. There were sparks of it in the Belgium game as well. Excellent ball control and defending, passing and creative attacking beyond anything we've seen before from a US side before. But US Soccer will never compete for a WC victory until the youth program is fixed. Our kids are still being coached my parents that have never played the game before and there is little or no instruction on technique. Worse yet, we are importing young English "coaches." Clearly, as they have repeatedly proven in every WC I've seen, the English know less about soccer than we do. Not even the EPL employs English coahces. US Soccer's strategy seems to be, let the kids develop on their own, without instruction and then the few that raise to the top due to natural ability make it into the development programs where they will finally get some decent instruction. Unfortunately, by the time they get decent instruction, many of the best athletes have been sucked into other sports or spent too little time playing soccer. The college "problem" may keep us from becoming competitive forever. All kids going to college may be good for them and good for our country, but its hurts the development of our players. In other countries, kids dedicate themselves to being professional soccer players when they are 16 years old. Eden Hazard never went to college. I'm not sure this is a "problem" I want to fix. I'd rather see US kids go to college than win a WC. So let's take Klingsman's advice and lower our expectations and enjoy the fantastic showing our guys provided. Fantastic not because of heart and courage (although we had plenty of that), but fantastic because of great ball control, excellent passing and defending and creative attacking. Not the best in the world, but better than most and getting better.

  45. vs 9101, July 2, 2014 at 11:40 a.m.

    I hope the reality of the situation gets serious attention and I am posting this under different articles for more viewership. The formatting is in correct since I had it in bullet points.

    ___ As pointed out earlier, Academy system is the new ODP, this is based on personal experience with my kid for a year after which I decided not to pursue the academy since there is limited prospects for an academy player. There are various issues with the current system and some of these are as follows: - The money involved and the time spent driving in this vast country for this unique concept of "travel soccer" . The time is better utilized elsewhere. Do you want your kid to practice with the ball 10 hours a week or spend 10 hours in the car? In elite academies around the world, they stay put and practice with limited travel. - Other than the MLS academies, most are pay to play and geared towards college soccer, not professional soccer. Even the success percentage of MLS Acedemies is very low. In other countries, students go to college for studying , not for playing soccer. There the top talent get paid a lot , not so in the US. - About the low quality of college soccer coaching, look no further for the kick and run mentality in US and lower level English soccer. If you watch a D1 college game, you will be lucky to see five passes in a row. Case in point, Belgium, a country the size of Ohio was completely dominating the US. If a kid plays college soccer, the odds are very high that he is going to fall out behind European and Latin American kids in the world stage because of poor coaching. - In other countries, talented eighteen year olds are paid a lot to sign up for a professional club, in US there is no such path with MLS importing low wage African players. IMHO, if you think your kid is top technical talent, take him to Europe and stay away from Youth Academy and college soccer. Otherwise, is it better off pursuing something else.

  46. vs 9101, July 2, 2014 at 11:43 a.m.

    And to Summarize, the author of the article seems to be a newbie, soccer starts from the ground up at young age, not a team put together in a few months.

  47. Daniel Clifton, July 2, 2014 at 11:47 a.m.

    I agree with Peter McGowan that children learn the beautiful game best by playing pick up games. That was the way I learned how to play games as a child. Now you rarely see children playing pick up games. Soccer is perfect for that. I also agree with Soccer Bloke as so many other commentators have. For Gardner to blame Klinsmann for the lack of technical ability of the American players is sort of ridiculous. The international half Americans all appear to have one quality many of the home grown Americans lack, and that is technical ability. Soccer Books hits the nail on the head. This is an old story. There is a lot of talent in the US that is overlooked because the children come from families that can't afford pay to play. The children that do come from families with enough money do not have their technical abilities developed. The ones who do have their technical abilities developed end up playing for coaches who don't appreciate such skills and therefore get frustrated. I know of one such young man who gave up soccer to become a football placekicker. The emphasis on winning at the youth level, which not only comes from the coaches bit also even more so from the parents has to change. That takes soccer organizations that are willing to stand up to parents who have misguided and even delusional ideas about what youth soccer is all about. Finally I want to say I was really disappointed with the play of Zusi and Bedoya. Neither one of them added anything offensively. The US would have clearly been better off with LD, even as just a substitute. Using Dempsey as the one forward was a disaster. Eddie Johnson or Terrance Boyd would have helped Dempsey up top and then the US would have had some offense. The one forward formation only worked somewhat in one game, Portugal, and that was the game where Jones had his golazo. The one forward formation needed a target forward such as Altidore, otherwise forget it.

  48. Mark Zimmerman, July 2, 2014 at 11:50 a.m.

    If Klinsmann emphatically tells the American Soccer Community that we MUST develop players with Skill and big Soccer Brains, then maybe we'll get somewhere. Klinsmann seems good at spinning things to be seen in a favorable light, but now he needs to be a leader, be honest and tell it like it is. The USA can do this and whether you like him or not, JK has the clout to move us forward.

  49. ROBERT BOND, July 2, 2014 at noon

    Chester, did I read somewhere nzaa soccer allows fee subs? V, college all we have, my kid can handle the academics, but MLB has always had minor leagues, as does every major world football club, MLS must do the same unless we want to plateau here...btw, nike does not even have a USA goalie jersey for sale.......

  50. ROBERT BOND, July 2, 2014 at 12:01 p.m.

    All the top-seeded teams have a player who would have made the late reg shot Wondo missed......

  51. Amos Annan, July 2, 2014 at 12:07 p.m.

    All of the negative comments are the result of losing. If the USA had advanced, Klinsmann would be a "genius".

    It is really about having talent, not coaching.

    Need more top athletes going into soccer instead of "American" sports.

  52. tommy mcleod, July 2, 2014 at 12:07 p.m.

    I think mr gardner should stop writing such ignorant silly articles.i doubt he has ever kicked a ball in hi a former pro soccer player in
    Scotland England Canada and . America i think i
    Know a little about the game ,and for him to criticize Juergen kinsman is unbelievable.
    Everyone in America should be very proud of this team so they were outplayed for periods in the
    Game but if you look at the second half of the
    Overtime ,the way they came back and played i thought brilliantly was a credit to them and klinsman.their fight and the set piece that almost tied the game alone was worth a draw .
    No i think Gardner is well named and should go back to gardening.Juergen klinsman was a great
    Player and he is going to be a great coach.
    By the ,where did you see a set piece like that from any of the great teams in the tournament?
    That alone was a credit to the coaching of klinsman.plays like that dont just happen.they are practiced and practiced with other set pieces.
    Give up please Gardner and dont subject us to reading such nonsense

    Tommy Mcleod

  53. Mark Hardt, July 2, 2014 at 12:13 p.m.

    There was some progress and some mistakes. Leaving home Terrence Boyd was the biggest. He is a carbon copy of Altidore and had better numbers last year. As for Klinsman going I think we are stuck with him till 2018. At that point I would like to see an American. Tab Ramos should take the first available MLS job to get some experience.

  54. Amos Annan, July 2, 2014 at 12:19 p.m.

    Most American parents assume if you have an accent, you know more about soccer and have a "secret" to success. Unfortunately, soccer is really about the thousands of hours actually playing the game, not coaching. Most American kids still only play soccer when at practice or games once a week. Kids in every other country play soccer every day (with no coach).

  55. Amos Annan, July 2, 2014 at 12:21 p.m.

    good points from Mark Hardt (above)

  56. Lou vulovich, July 2, 2014 at 12:22 p.m.

    Sorry to disagree with you Paul. Klinsman got the most out of this group. There is nothing wrong with the German imports they all have American Fathers and they all performed very well. The problem lies within the US youth development or lack of it. Please don't blame the fact that there are other youth sports for soccer to content with in finding great talent. Each sport in the USA has this issue but in a country of 300 million people that is not the problem. There is talent in the youth here, but the failure to identify it and nurture it into a star does not exist. IF. Lionel Messi, Pele,Maradona, had grown up in the USA the would have all become college players or Sunday league players. Oh and I mean Division II college or NIA. As the college coaches would not recruit them for being too small and not physical enough.

  57. bgix , July 2, 2014 at 12:26 p.m.

    Paul Gardner will remain a bitter impotent blowhard. Big Surprise.

    Jurgen has American soccer on the right track.

    If we are going to jettison failed dead weight, I think it is SoccerAmerica that needs to stop inflicting Gardner on us. A guy who thinks he knows more about soccer than anyone because he happened to be born in England... a country that hasn't been a true force in International Soccer for 40 years.

    I'll take the German, thank you very much.

  58. Soccer Bloke, July 2, 2014 at 12:29 p.m.

    I hear that Roy Hodgson will be touring the US the Fall looking for boys who because they are children of English coaches who married local women, can get a British passport.

  59. Mike Lastort, July 2, 2014 at 12:29 p.m.

    Klinsmann is an American. Julian Green is an American. Jermaine Jones is an American. John Brooks is an American. Tim Chandler is an American. Fabian Johnson is an American. Mikkel Diskerud is an American. Aron Johannsson is an American.

    In fact, every member of the USMNT is an American.

    And Paul Gardner is a disgrace.

  60. Soccer Bloke, July 2, 2014 at 12:37 p.m.

    PG's job is to be controversial. Often he is right. Inasmuch as JK did what Arena and Bradley did: run the team so as to have the best chance of advancing with the best talent we have.

    He did that better than his predecessors, and there is no reason to think Tab would do any better (or worse) But we want the MNT to be better than that.

    For that, grass roots restructuring is needed, and we need to stop running the youth game by and for the benefit of college coaches.

  61. Dustin Johnson, July 2, 2014 at 12:41 p.m.

    Paul. Have you ever considered that this was a part of plan? If Klinsmann had thrown caution to the wind, opened the style and given a real chance to young players we would have flopped in the group phase and the American public would have ignored this World Cup.

    The fact is no Latinos besides Bedoya no Latino stood out over the last 4 years. You need stop harping on the management of US Soccer and start pounding the Diego Fegundez' and Giuseppe Rossi's of the world who are turning their backs on the country nurtured them.

    Also, as a foreign-born American you should know better to question the meaning of being American. America is not a place, its an idea and if you listen to the comments of every player who's joined the team from overseas they buy in, and thats good enough for me.

    As Teddy Roosevelt said, "We should insist that if the immigrant who comes here does in good faith become an American and assimilates himself to us he shall be treated on an exact equality with every one else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed or birth-place or origin." I ask you, was there anyone on that field more American than Jermaine Jones?

  62. Delroy Wallace, July 2, 2014 at 12:43 p.m.

    I have never read a more acerbic article than what I just read as written by Paul Gardner.
    This is not an article worth defending, this is a totally puerile diatribe . Let's have an intelligent discussion based on soccer!

  63. Xavi Hernandez , July 2, 2014 at 12:49 p.m.

    Personal experience with US soccer and youth development. Super-technical son told he's too small and slow for soccer, quits organized soccer at 15 and plays informally with immigrant teams. Goes to Brazil at 17 for the summer and impresses. Offered a one-week trial at Gremio at 18, gets a gap year from college to give it a try, tickets purchased, decides at the last second that he loves soccer but can't stand any of the people in it, cumulative effect of the toxic US soccer environment . Takes up track and field and at 18 as a 5'9" college freshman runs a 50.3 open 400 and 1:55 open 800m. Not so small and slow anymore, soccer's loss :)

  64. Gole goal, July 2, 2014 at 12:56 p.m.

    After reading this article I can only agree with Gardner's assessment of US Soccer and his suggestion and reason to replace Klinsman. We all know that the US team gave it their all just like every other team in the WC did and is still doing. What this article is stating is a clear critique of Klinsman as a coach in the WC, the lack of finding the quality talent, and the lack of any progression (better results) to that of the 2010 WC. I have been a US supporter since 1998 and have enjoyed the growth of US soccer (MLS, USMNT, Youth USMNT) and one can see that American-talent has gone up and that's because it has to. The fact remains that USMNT results in the WC haven't been the greatest or anything to yell out we are the best, this is due to poor coaching ( tactical strategy, selection, style of play). It's time we become critical thinkers and stop being blinded by pride, so-called American athlete grit, and the praising of a hard fought game where we got out played. Let's try to answer some simple questions to give a true assessment of Klinsman's work and the teams performance. 1. Were we really in the group of death? 2. Did we really play that we'll. 3. Why not us and yes to Costa Rica?

    1. No we were not in the group of death, in order to be in a group of death every team has to be a top quality team. Ghana is not a top quality even though they out played the US. Portugal was at 70% because Ronaldo was 70% at most, also Portugal didn't have their starting center back and had key injuries. In saying this the US didn't beat Portugal. Germany completely out played the US with a number of their starters rested they still dominated and beat the US. Will the real Group of Death Please Stand Up. Costa Rica, England, Italy, Uruguay or maybe it's Brazil, Croatia, Mexico, and Cameroon. We were not in the group of death,
    2. We didn't play that we'll average at most. We played games where we got out played and luck was on our side. Ghana out played the US chance after chance wave after wave of attack and all the US did was wait for a counter and play D. Yes this was smart but we didn't deserve to win nor did we display any control of the match. We only had Luck. Against Portugal we didn't show any control of the game as well, yes we out ran them but let's face that's because they were a wounded dog before the start of the match. Against Germany we got out played by a squad that had some of their starters rested. No possession was displayed no confidence and pretty much the German held back in fear of getting injuries. Against Belgium we got out shot, out played, and we played with no confidence. Belgium attacked at well and if wasn't for Howard's play the game could have been4 to 0 or more.

    Klinsman choose a team that was more physical to that of confident on the ball. He played not lose against Belgium to that of winning. Also, hi left the a

  65. Fingers Crossed, July 2, 2014 at 1:01 p.m.

    If I ever want to get pissed off, all I have to do is read one of Paul Gardner's pieces. Honestly, this is one of the most thoughtless pieces of journalism on soccer that I have ever read. So we departed the World Cup at the same stage as Bob Bradley in 2010, so what? Two different teams, two different coaches, different opponents, different contexts.....everything is different. To argue that the US has not improved its style of play or performance is off the charts ludicrous. We were 20 seconds away from beating Portugal and played about as well as we could against Germany and Belgium given that they were clearly superior sides to ours. Some level of pragmatism going against these sides is needed. You can't just say "We're going at Germany" and leave yourself open in the back. Let's be real in how we need to approach these games. I can not for the life of me see how Klinsmann "failed to deliver." The US was placed in the toughest group in the tournament in which no one gave them a shot of getting out of. Yet despite Klinmann's supposed incompetence and the US team's alleged lack of style, they made it of the Group of Death? How did they manage to do that? I mean if there has been no progress and Klinsmann is a terrible coach, we should have gone 0-3 in that group. Yet somehow we didn't. This notion that Jurgen did not give Hispanics a chance is farcical. Are Jose Torres, Edgar Castillo, Michael Orozco Fiscal, Herculez Gomez, Luis Gil not Hispanic? He gave more opportunity to Hispanic players than any other American coach in the last 25 years. He has Tab Ramos on the bench right next to him and up until a month ago, Martin Vazquez. I would suggest Mr. Gardner to have another cup of bitterness and a bowl of pessimism in his troll cave while he thinks about what else he can do to suck every last shred of joy out of anything.

  66. Randy McKee, July 2, 2014 at 1:14 p.m.

    Lost of insightful comments here! I am happy to read the impassioned discourse. I think one disconnect here that I see is that so many think that all the facets of football in America should serve the national team structure. That's just not the way it is in our country with any sport. Most soccer players know that they have absolutely no chance to make the national team, but there are many other avenues out there for them to pursue - to enjoy the game (and for some to compete at the highest level they are able to play at). For this reason, we must look at the college game for what it is - a chance for players to play at that level. I have not once heard a college soccer program espouse that their top goal is to develop players to play in a national team. As the MLS clubs continue to grow and emulate the international clubs, we will see better development. And you can curse the youth clubs as much as you want, but many of them are focused on skill and soccer brain development. While our financially-disadvantaged kids do not get the opportunities they deserve, that condition exists all over the world - except that the clubs have people connected in every corner, looking for the young phenoms. That network is still undeveloped in the US, but it is beginning to take shape.

  67. Andres Leza, July 2, 2014 at 1:29 p.m.

    Some good points and bad points. The fault here is not with the coach. It is with the federation, who is the real force in dictating how youth are developed. Every nation that had a resurgence on the world level revamped their youth system and got everyone on the same page. That is where we should start and point the finger first. Also, there has been some progress but not enough. Part of the problem is our kids don't go watch their adults play soccer like the rest of the world. Instead, our parents are watching the kids, so who do they learn from? That is changing slowly but we still have a long way to go. If you see what needs to change do so regionally and locally instead of just gripe online. If you can positively influence 1 or a small group of kids, it is better than none. Go USMNT! Critique but don't forget to support!! Go USA!

  68. Tim Gibson, July 2, 2014 at 1:30 p.m.

    Once upon a time, Paul Gardner had something valuable to offer us, an opinion & guidance on many noble things Soccer when there were few. Now?.... is more like the Howard Stern of Soccer trying to gain the most clicks to appease the advertisers.

  69. Matt Reuschle, July 2, 2014 at 1:46 p.m.

    So usually I am 100% in opposition to the bitter old man rantings of Mr. Gardner. However in the case of the lack of Americans and the increase of German-Americans I agree with his concern although not in quite the same way. I do have concerns that he feels the need to go to Germany to pick out 2nd tier German talent with US passports to play for us. What this says about our player development is telling. What I see coming from this World Cup cycle is that Klinnsman obviously felt we were lacking home-grown talent and has gone elsewhere to strengthen the team. This should serve as a warning to US Soccer and to the USYS that our player development systems are just not good enough. If Belgium can take 3 million people and develop that much talent, than why is it the US can't develop that much talent in 300 million. The main question here is the system not the coach. I do agree that some of his selections and tactics are not to my preference but then again it has always been that way and will continue to be. What is indisputable is that the US lacks the technical efficiency needed to play a proactive, attacking oriented style at the World Cup level. We are still not developing players with the technical proficiency to avoid costly errors in possession. As well we looked devoid of the athleticism in past teams as we lacked the pace and strength of our opponents and its was one of the main factors in our being forced to defend deep as we did not have a strong counter attacking threat.

  70. Tyler Dennis, July 2, 2014 at 1:53 p.m.

    Stats are interesting to look at. MLS and FIFA have them on their sites. For the tournament, the US as compared to Belgium was very close:

    For the game, the US actually had more possession (54 to 46%).

    Sorry, the USA is playing better than under Bradley.

  71. Gio Gonzalez, July 2, 2014 at 1:53 p.m.

    Belgium played REALLY WELL. PG is basically punishing JK for a superb performance from Belgium. Also, making judgement call on Wondo is too premature. He just didn't have enough minutes in this world cup to warrant any decision. Even Fred (Brazil) missed a similar opportunity against Chile- so is Fred out of the Brazil roster? obviously not.

  72. brett wyatt, July 2, 2014 at 2:09 p.m.

    Bob Bradley's tactics, and terrible team selection, wouldn't have gotten us out of this group,in fact they wouldn't have gotten us a single point. Paul Gardner, you are a fool. Do us all a favor, taken a few weeks off, then quit. Our only losses were to 2 all-star teams, and both only by a single goal. I don't think Tab Ramos would be a bad replacement, but we don't NEED a replacement.

  73. Kent James, July 2, 2014 at 2:18 p.m.

    As a columnist, PG's job is to stir interest, and from the comment's he's done that well. I happen to agree with his assessment; JK was pretty efficient in using a relatively limited pool of American talent, and JK is certainly not to blame for not producing a generation of Messi's, but I think the program needs to go in a different direction. Where JK is to blame is that he promised to play attacking soccer, and he didn't. He played the kind of smart strategic games that Bradley and Arena did (defend tenaciously and look to counter, rather than trying to maintain possession). I have no problem with German-Americans (or other people with claims to US citizenship) who want to play with the national team. But if you're trying to build the US talent pool, you don't put all your efforts into searching the Bundesliga for people with US passports (that the German national team didn't want). What I would like to see is a coach who finds and nurtures technically skilled players, and who attacks with abandon. It may lead (at least initially) to few wins, but it will be more exciting and I hope lead to greater things in the future.

  74. cony konstin, July 2, 2014 at 2:35 p.m.

    After coaching for 39 years internationally and domestically, reading this article and peoples comments I came to this conclusion. The truth is that the USA did a good job. JK made a good effort. But in end in the USA it doesn't matter if you play beautiful or ugly football. If you finish second, fifth, or last. You are a still a doormat. Americans love winners. And at this moment in time we are losers. If General Patton was coaching the US National team he would never tell the American people or the world that we are not good enough. He would tell the American people and the rest of the world that we are going to conquer the world and we are coming to kick your butts straight to hell. That's what he told the American people and the world in 1944. General Patton is not here today but the US still loves a winner. Question that we need to ask ourselves is how are we going to become winners, champions, number one, the best, GOATS? Because for the last 40 years people have been saying that the US is going to be great one day in Soccer. We have always had good players in the US but we never have had any superstars to take us to the next level. Why? Because our system is wrong. We don't need more coaches, $300 mesh soccer shoes, coaching curriculums, coaching dvds, tournaments, nice multi color uniforms, private trainers and all the gimmicks out there. What we need is a place,a sandlot, play ground environment for kids to play 7 dyas a week for free, starting at the age of 5. We need a soccer revolution in the USA. We need 100,000 futsal courts especially in the inner cities. When we see this happen then we will start to see magical players appear throughout our nation. Then phase two can kick in. Then We can create a NEW SPARTA for these magical players. Meanwhile people will keep blaming the coaches, too many German Americans, no Latino players, bad college system, the MLS has too many internationals, and blame game keeps on going. Special Players win championships not coaches or good players. The US team and their staff did a good job but they are still doormats. If we want to be number one we need to change our environment. We need radical change and this change is not going to come from the system that is currently in place. That is the truth!!!! So instead of making excuses or playing the blame game go out and change US SOCCER!!!!

  75. Matt Reuschle, July 2, 2014 at 2:47 p.m.

    Gio, Wondo is at the end of his career and was never good enough for this level. Fred has been a disgrace and using him as an argument is a very poor example as the only person on Earth that seems to rate Fred is Scolari...

  76. Peter Martini, July 2, 2014 at 2:48 p.m.

    While I agree that JK has not done much (if anything) to advance the USMNT, Paul Gardner is misguided… every other national team either has or has had a foreign national as a coach who has also brought their assistants with them… he’s a soccer coach – he’s not running for political office.

    So what if there are "Germans" playing on the team? Even Bruce Arena had Dooley on his team – also a dual citizen.

    Comparing Costa Rica to the US is fraught with problems… Does Costa Rica have all the competing sports that the US has? NFL, NHL, MLB, NBA, PGA, etc… Their country's GNP does not allow their people to have the opportunities to play many other sports… soccer is a part of their countries heritage…
    Who are the people that largely become soccer stars in the US? Sons of immigrants… those that come from other countries (like Germany).

    Paul just proved to me what most other “Americans” don’t get… soccer is not an American sport… it’s a World sport.

    BTW – Klinsmann may have been born in Germany, but he has lived in California for several years before taking the job at USMNT coach… his kids are American… he’s just as American as my parents, and probably half the country… we’re supposed to be the “melting pot” – right?

  77. aaron steele, July 2, 2014 at 2:55 p.m.

    The regards to the style of play: I began to feel like the old Bruce Arena/Bob Bradley USA: defensive-minded, pack the box in, 8 or 9 behind the ball at all times, & advance on quick counters. Against Ghana, I cheered for relief (because we survived the relentless offensive pressure) but feared the technical ability of the Portuguese in the next match. But we showed more gritty tackles and quick pressure at the center of the field rather than brace yourself defense of old. We deserved a better result but we got a tie against a highly regarded European side. Against a heavily favored German team, we had 0% control of possession and compacted until Mueller's late brilliance around the box put us behind. Klinsmann's tough calls have been spot on; please tell me how going with a youthful defense was wrong? When you look at the player pool, was there someone better than Fabian Johnson out right? Regardless of birthplace, your argument works IF Fabian had a bad WC. John Brooks, for a brief moment, an unknown 21-yr old playing his first minutes on the International level - propels the US into its only group stage win. Jurgen even challenged my beliefs. I felt Beasley was always too easy get hurt and was in his 30's. But he proved (as well as Jurgen) that he was far better than Timmy Chandler & Edgar Castillo? Edgar Castillo would tell you that DeMarcus was the right choice.

  78. aaron steele, July 2, 2014 at 2:56 p.m.

    It was highly controversial, but the Donovan dismissal got the American people talking leading into the WC. But if you are tracking the MLS and his lead up games into the WC, Donovan has lacked pace and the Galaxy are at the bottom half of the MLS standings. Speaking of MLS, Jurgen's appointment of Besler, Beckerman, and Yedlin as mainstream players (and Dempsey as the captain) has shown his faith in the MLS system. But players must continue to look for higher challenges ("overseas"). The MLS still fails in comparison to our neighbors in Liga MX. We have rarely competed in the CONCACAF Champions League. Spain's WC victory in 2010 was the result of the shift of focus specifically at the youth level. Firing Klinsmann would look foolish and terribly impatient. WC victories aren't won by luck. George Mason and even Butler didn't win the highly coveted NCAA tournament. But the US on the international level isn't "Cinderella" status anymore. Just simply take notice of the exposure and interest. Soccer is here in America, it is still fighting the mainstream BIG 3 media (football, baseball, basketball) along with hockey. Klinsmann is still searching and tracking our players overseas and this WC was a warmup to 2018. Think about the blueprint. Julian Green, ON HIS FIRST TOUCH, scored and restored faith in what some whispered already a loss to the Belgians. This highly controversial "in-experienced, young" squad just survived the group of death & 80% are young enough to be back more experienced & hungrier for 2018. How about the qualifying? We were almost flawless compared to the rest of the CONCACAF region. You brought up a tough argument with Costa Rica, but our playing styles are similar and they played with their starting striker - as we lost ours in the first match. If you compare populous, consider the choice of sport. The US offers so much for our young athletes that we LOSE future athletes and stars for the beautiful game. Almost every other country views futbol as the answer - not the 2nd or 3rd choice sport growing up. To sum it up, 2018 will be Klinsmann's critiqued WC. He will return a majority of the team, Howard can still play if he is willing or Aston Villa based - Brad Guzan, The US has opened more academies and opportunities for our youth which helps the MLS, and the 2014 performance will inspire more future players or players overseas to change citizenship. Recently, Joeseph Gyau has signed with highly-touted Borussia Dortmund and, recently cut from the National team, Terrance Boyd has packed his bags for Germany as well. We still lack a creative, aggressive assist maker (Andreas Iniesta types) or a game-changer like James Rodriguez or Arjen Robben. I can argue on and on about the development of American players (watch an under-8 league game at a local park then watch the Catalans of the under-8 Barcelona youth system) but have faith in Klinsmann, controversial or not, he had a nation believing.

  79. Gio Gonzalez, July 2, 2014 at 2:57 p.m.

    Matt, my point is simply that Wondo did not play enough minutes to make any conclusion. That miss could have happened to even the best strikers - yes perhaps using Fred is not the best example. Can't judge a player from just one play.

  80. Phil Hardy, July 2, 2014 at 3:09 p.m.

    Let me reply with numbers: 5 (total number of goals scored); 4 (total number of goalscorers;) 3 (total number of German-American goalscorers). More numbers: FIFA U-17, US did not qualify. FIFA U-20, US got 1 point. 2012 Olympics, US did not qualify. So Gardner, where are the young US players coming from for JK to select? JK did the right thing. And for all the people who said, why take Julian Green vs Landon Donovan, who could come on late and poach a goal, ooops! I'm realistic. The US was on a nose dive in the FIFA rankings until JK stabilized the ship and then turned it around. The success of this tournament in America and a successful future for an MLS capable of paying players enough money to choose to play football instead of other more glamorous high paying sports is the only way we will ever have the players we need to compete. JK can't change everything overnight. He's done a terrific job based on what he has had to work with. To suggest otherwise, as you have done, is really worth my last number, 0.

  81. William Heiden, July 2, 2014 at 3:18 p.m.

    Goodby Paul Gardner . Hire "Men in Blazers" , they have a better attitude and are better for the sport.

  82. Matt Reuschle, July 2, 2014 at 3:27 p.m.

    Cony, the great players in Europe are not made in sandlots. They are groomed from ages 7-10 up until they play professionally. The sandlot prepares them for the grooming. While you are correct that we need casual play, the fact is that what separates us is more the professional preparation as our clubs, coaches, and state direction are not of the same caliber as even small European nations. The soccer culture of nations means a lot but the US cannot compare culturally to Latin America or Africa and must look more to Europe as its model for progress and Europe has better coaches and better player growth models that we have or implement in the US. That is the difference at the elite professional level.

  83. Matt Reuschle, July 2, 2014 at 3:32 p.m.

    Gio, I agree that he cannot be judged on that single instance. However, judging from his level of play in among the US team and in MLS he is not of the quality to lead the US attack to success. We definitely lack quality in the center forward spot regardless as only Jozy is even passable at that level.

  84. soccer talk, July 2, 2014 at 3:33 p.m.

    Paul is a old blow hard that sits on his pencil perch waiting for USMT bashing. America is still behind most countries that grew up with and bleed soccer. Soccer will never be numero uno in our American life span. It has however made leaps and bounds over its formidable beginnings. Heck we didn't even have a blog for soccer then which speaks for itself w/ all the opinions. To scrape JK now for Ramos... would be dumb. Give it another WC to let the Greens, Jones...
    take shape. There are players in the "hood" that need $ or an avenue
    to excel and be brought into development. I don't know how to get them there, but they exist. I see them at my school yard. Kuddos JK! Viva La Klinsi! GO USA!

  85. Matt Reuschle, July 2, 2014 at 3:34 p.m.

    Oh and Cony, you are dead on right 100% that the US only follows winners and that the coach must say we will win and the nation will support as long as we win. The US as a nation is a bit of a fair-weather fan in regards to sports and prefers to follow the sports we are best at.

  86. ROBERT BOND, July 2, 2014 at 3:38 p.m.

    Increasingly, the parents of the kids my kid plays fussball with played it themselves, that will folks used to tell me to come home when the street lights came on, now they post lists of the pervs in the elementary schools, more sandlot is not going to happen.....

  87. Kyr-Roger St.-Denis, July 2, 2014 at 4:32 p.m.

    Y'all shouldn't post responses to this tired old man's europhobic rantings; it just encourages him. (But, as long as I'm posting this: THANK YOU, JURGEN, AND I HOPE YOU STAY FOR YEARS!)

  88. Thomas Hosier, July 2, 2014 at 4:44 p.m.

    I believe Paul Gardner is dead wrong. Klinsmann and our currently USMNT have done much to put soccer on the USA Map. We will see a lot of new faces in 2018 and some of the current young ones this world cup will have grown up. Make no mistake our guys will continue to be more and more competitive in World Cup play. How many countries didn't even qualify for the World Cup ... our guys made it to the final 16. Howard standing on his head gave our guys a chance to win the game. There were enuf near misses by our guys that had the found the net it could have been in the win column no matter how ugly it might have been. Our teams are getting better don't be a doubter.

    This link takes you to a happier team and coach review .... Tim's playing rating a 10. GO USA

  89. Steven SIegel, July 2, 2014 at 4:53 p.m.

    CONCACAF soccer progressed a great deal since four years ago. Costa Rica, Honduras, and Panama all made great strides, although Mxico was pathetic (before the WC). WIth a little luck, Honduras could be in the position Costa Rica is in now. The US qualifying first was already a solid scheivement. Getting out of the group of death was an acheivement. The main problem for our lack of attack could not have been foreseen: Bradley having a mostly awful WC. I was surprised he played against Germany. Add to that Altidore's injury, and I can't blame JK, except for leaving Bradley in. Still, a tough call to make since he was such a mainstay for so long.

  90. cony konstin, July 2, 2014 at 5:10 p.m.

    Matt Reuschle

    Players are made naturally. No body can not make a great player. First of all a great player must be born with something unique then the environment takes over. The soccer environment that exist in the USA has come to an end. We need to create a playing environment and get away from a coaching environment. Coaching is totally overrated. But playing everyday 4 to 6 hours a day is priceless and that is the only way to develop magical players. The USA will never have magical players until we start a revolution. We need new leadership and a 21st century master plan. JK is not the solution or any other American or international coach. We need radical change and radical change is not going to come from the status quo. The status quo is like Moses. It got us to promise land but it can not continue. Their time has come to an end. We need a new generation of unorthodox personalities that fear no one and are willing to go for it 24/7.

  91. soccer talk, July 2, 2014 at 6:13 p.m.

    Someone is dreaming beyond the realm of this side of the world's box. Sounds good in theory, but too broad a vision. Nice thought however.

  92. Robert Robertson, July 2, 2014 at 6:39 p.m.

    io think PG is wrong. JK did as good of job as possible with the talent he was presented with. How many US players have played in the Champions league compared to Belgium? Germany? Portugal? Ghana? The USMNT coach can not change the fact that there is still a gap in talent. MLS while making great strides has a long way to go.

  93. Santiago 1314, July 2, 2014 at 6:45 p.m.

    Frank Schnur**7/2 11:39am** I want some of what your Smoking through those Rose Colored JK Glasses…“by far, the best the US has ever produced.” “Fantastic not because of heart and courage (although we had plenty of that), but fantastic because of great ball control, excellent passing and defending and creative attacking.”

    Fact is; we are no better off than we were under Lothar, Bob G., Steve, Bora, Bruce, Bob B., JK… Some years a little better, some years a little worse…..30 years and No Improvement to Show… A VERY Marginal rise across the board, but still NO Game Breaking Player… Good thing is; NFL Parity has set into World Soccer and the Rest of the World has COME DOWN to our Level, Except for a few Exceptional Game Breakers… Messi, Robben, Alexis, Ronaldo, James, Neymar, Lukaku, Muller,… The other 9 players on the Field could change Jerseys and YOU WOULDN’T NOTICE THE DIFFERENCE …!!!! All the US lacks is a Game Breaker…. As for JK, Let him Stay FOR NOW… After all, he finally got some “REAL GAME” coaching experience… Remember he had NONE, before taking over Germany in 94.. All his Games in Preparation for WC96(in Germany) were Friendlies(Confed Cup95??)… at WC96(as Home team) he beat those “BIG” Powers; Costa Rica, Poland, Ecuador, Sweden,… only Toughie was win vs ARG on PKs…Lost in Semi’s to Italy… as for Coaching Bayern Munich??? ++ 22-9-8 in UEFA/Bundesliga before being FIRED with 5 games to go in Season….
    Sunil, Keep his feet to the FIRE..You fired the Women's Coach, Don't put up with this Lack of Style from USMNT.. WE BELIEVE WE CAN WIN..Question is???? Do we have a Coach that BELIEVES IT?? If NOT!?!?... FIRE HIS ASS, LIKE BAYERN DID !!! Sunil, Have "THE TALK" with him... You and I had a similar discussion on a Walkabout in San Diego, back in 1988..We are still needing to get Players and Coaches that Believe in US SOCCER

  94. Mike Jacome, July 2, 2014 at 6:46 p.m.

    Those defending Klinsmann, happy because of glimpses of a great performance and because surviving group of death, need to really reorganize their values and ambitions.
    US performance was not enough, even if Wondolowsky last minute shot would have end up in the back of the net I wouldn't have been impressed nor satisfied, since Klinsmann made everything possible to demonstrate Belgium was the better team regardless.
    Klinsmann plan to advance in this world cup, is to always take the place of the underdog, and advance against all odds and overcoming a stronger and better team failing to translate power and dominance into numbers in the scoreboard. When is the US going to start taking risks and lose the underdog facade? KLINSMANN's "Confidance" in his team was not based on his trust that they were better or at least comparable in strength to any of the other 31 teams in the tournament, his confidence was based that "HIS" strategy would make this "weak" team survive as many stages as possible...
    Klinsmann needs to go home!
    I do not agree with the RAMOS option, we also need more experienced coaches, what about an Argentinean coach type of Bielsa, Martino, SanPaoli, or Bianchi?

  95. Dan Gautieri, July 2, 2014 at 6:51 p.m.

    I remember Bruce Arena coaching the team to the quarterfinals in 2002. He focused on having American born players. He may not have had as much talent as the current team, yet his team took it to the Germans in the quarters, as opposed to simply trying to defend for an entire game. As much as I admire the current team, they didn't show much of an ability to string consecutive passes together in either of the last two games. While Klinsman said he wanted to play an attacking style, there was little evidence of that in the tournament. That said, the German kids on the team looked a whole lot better than many of the established US players, even though they have little experience with their first teams in Europe. Klinsman wanted players to compete in Europe at the highest level, yet few of his American born players showed an inclination to do so this past winter. I don't think Donovan's decision to rest during the MLS offseason helped his chances of making the US team. I'm not sure that the team is making great progress, but the attention the team received and the growing interest in soccer will hopefully encourage some younger athletes to take up the sport. I'm not convinced Ramos will be a decent coach.

  96. futbolisimo, futbolisimo, July 2, 2014 at 7:18 p.m.

    The New Deal, Part 1 – by Fútbolisimo

    Almost every player on all the Round-of-16 teams in this World Cup has been trained in academies to be a professional fútboler since roughly 8-12 years old. Some even earlier, I would imagine. In the past 24 years, since the 1990 Cup in Italy, guess how many native-born American World Cup players have had this kind of exposure and pedigree? One. John O'Brien, who began his apprenticeship at Ajax Amsterdam at the over-the-hill age of 14.

    What the U.S. faces is really a cultural dilemma that involves truly embracing the vocational trade-school system of fútbol which is employed all over the world: academy training schools which are tied intimately into youth and amateur teams that feed pro teams in leagues driven by promotion and relegation, often referred to as the "fútbol pyramid."

    The American Dream is driven by the idea of limitless and boundless opportunities for our children. And in this vein, it is also driven by the illusion of a society in which so-called upward mobility is almost a birthright and just one college degree away. Fútbol in the American landscape is dominated by the middle class. And within the ideology of the American Dream, the middle class has its feet planted firmly with much at stake.

    Why would middle class parents send their kids off to academy to suffer loneliness, hardship at a tender age, and a reduced set of life and career options? Outside of an extraordinarily driven and precocious child, there is no discernible reason.

    American families relish the luxury of sending their children off to play college soccer on scholarship, maybe getting a PDL or MLS contract if they’re lucky, or if that doesn't work taking a gap year to frolic and ski in Aspen, all while maintaining the eventual option to go to graduate school and pursue white-collar careers. Early, dedicated vocational-skill training is just too risky for the middle class.

  97. futbolisimo, futbolisimo, July 2, 2014 at 7:18 p.m.

    The New Deal, Part 2 – by Fútbolisimo

    So, it may be perverse to suggest the following, but for now suspend socio-cultural habit and think of it as a thought experiment. As in most other sports in the U.S., fútbol must migrate to the working class in order for it genuinely to flourish (of course, all in the context of the academy-to-pro system). The game, as it does everywhere else on the planet, must offer something of concrete value to the American working class: job-training for actual jobs. The dilemma can only be solved with something akin to a federal works project. I'm not kidding.

    I give Paul Gardner pundit-props for his gadfly attacks on the guys at the top of the U.S.S.F. food chain – Gulati, Klinsmann, etc. As well, I couldn't agree more with him that praise for the American spirit is tiresome. At this point in the game, it is pedestrian and only serves to inculcate and mask the dilemma. However, I must note it seems he confuses ethnicity with social class. This is forgivable. He's on the right track.

    The U.S. must experience losing with home-grown talent until it can bear winning fruit. In a country of over 300 million, it will pay unimaginable dividends. Winning World Cup matches – or, seemingly almost winning – with what is effectively a make-shift squad is merely a cheap ploy or smoke and mirrors, if you will, that serves only to market the game to a fandom that is largely unaware of the true nature of our failings (and I mean no offense by this). It is a shallow exercise. It is a mechanism of illusory development that merely achieves wins at the cost of meaningful long-term success.

    I understand that these are likely sensitive talking points for the American psyche. However, I have faith. Americans hate to lose and that is one of their greatest assets heading into the long-view.

  98. Glenn Auve, July 2, 2014 at 7:24 p.m.

    And of course there was no real plan "B" when Jozy got hurt. I think that may be the biggest indictment. When the system relies on one player, it's too one-dimensional.

    PG has been beating the drum for a more Latin style for years. No surprise to see it reprised here.

  99. aaron steele, July 2, 2014 at 7:40 p.m.

    The many that defend Klinsmann are even those who just finished the WC with him. The "values and ambitions" of those like Tim Howard, Michael Bradley, and the 21 others who stood in those locker rooms still believe in him and we simply reached the end of our rope. If Chris "Wondolowski" hits that shot, he's a hero - but what magic would we produce against the triple (or even quadruple) threat of the world-class, Ballon d'Or winning, Argentinian attack? Higuain, Di Maria, Aguero, oh and I forgot, the phenom - Lionel Messi. We could barely contain Lukaku. Discussions about a new hire and change in direction are simply pointless and over-analyzed opinions. I don't need to offer up the many points that favor the work Klinsmann has done but who in the world is lining up for the US job? Those thinking a new hire is the solution, do you hope names like Mourinho are willing to take the job as well? Let me guess, you just got a copy of FIFA 14 and are now an expert on US Soccer (every 4 years). Give it a rest, 2018 is his real evaluation year, begin the talks of revolutions and replacements when we leave Russia or worse, not qualify. Until then, stop being like most laptop cowboys and find better arguments.

  100. Dan Phillips, July 2, 2014 at 7:51 p.m.

    JK should have gone to the 2 striker formation. With Wondo and Aron Johansson up top. He stubbornly stuck with Clint Dempsey the lone striker even though that was obvioulsy not working. Should also have included Brek Shea, Landon Donovan, and Eddie Johnson on the roster. How are Brad Davis and Wondolowski better than those guys? And Gardner is right where is the offensive play promised 3 yrs ago? It looked like Bob Bradley football to me!

  101. Rich Blast, July 2, 2014 at 8:03 p.m.

    I pretty much agree with the column.

    We have no creative players. Are we developing any? For those of who complain we only care about bigger, stronger, and faster. I found us to be pretty much slower and less fit than any team we played. To top that off, pretty much less skilled. With all the hamstring problems on our team, we better look at the strength training a little bit closer.

    I think we did okay in spite of the coach. The players that played gave great effort. It all starts like some said at the younger ages teaching skills and creative play.

  102. BJ Genovese, July 2, 2014 at 8:11 p.m.

    "All US talent pickers base their decisions on 13-14 year old kids. Politically they have to pick Kids that are big for their age. Once these kids are picked they give them all the training and throw away the rest of the kids. How many american kids are fully grown or talents fully flushed @ 13 or 14?" Darin you are spot on with this point. They are identified and they generally stick with this group. They need to hold open sessions or tryouts twice a year every year and you will see the gems. But now they are only going to look at DA kids. They will find gems but not all of them for sure. They must identify on a continuous basis. Also they need to bring back kids they saw at 12 or 13 for another shot after they grow.

  103. New WorldOrder, July 2, 2014 at 8:22 p.m.

    If Klins does what he said he was going to do, play an attacking style of soccer, then he would have to completely replace most of this team with new players. Does anyone here think he is going to do that?? If he doesnt that would mean he lied to us and his intentions. I was looking forward to what he promised. Am I alone??

  104. Claudio Garcia chamorro, July 2, 2014 at 8:32 p.m.

    STOP the complaining endeavor display here If we would have gotten further Klissman would have been the man - not ??? I, personally do not agree with Klissman 100% BUT REALITY IS .... He did better than expected !!! We are not sore losers !! Our team played with heart and determination ... And the boys did their best !!!! So high five the efforts and ACCEPT that we did not go out like the Gods of Football ... ITALY or SPAIN or ENGLAND .... Teams that were expected to WIN IT !!!! Look into the Latin Communities - large % of these kids are poor and CANNOT spend the $2K - $3K + a year expense mandated by the so called Academies of Football in this country !! If they were BONA FIDE ACADEMIES - they would be FREE FOR ALL PARTICIPANTS !! Then and only then - you would see the real talent under our noses !!!! BUT we are already so caught up in the money making idea that if I teach the sport I must charge !!! Those that REALLY KNOW the sport .... How much are players charge in Holland, Spain, Belgium, etc. For maturing young talent ???

  105. Mike Jacome, July 2, 2014 at 9:36 p.m.

    New WorlsOrder You are not alone. i think JK did not deliver or remained faithful to hi promises. Although I want a winning team, but I would never compromise possession and attack for the sake of winning at all cost. Had Wondo scored we would have gone trough. Let's pretend we start winning all the remaining games that way and win the cup. Would any of you had felt that we were the better team and that we deserved the trophy? This bunkering down JK tactic is appalling.

  106. cony konstin, July 2, 2014 at 10:07 p.m.

    Attack Attack Attack relentlessly in waves like the pacific ocean. Defensively and Offensively. When all of our US national team attack like this then the US has finally arrive. Meanwhile we still have to park two 747s in front of our goal. We need a soccer revolution and it can only occur in our inner cities. The suburbs is strictly about making money and not warriors/champions.

  107. Mario Araujo, July 2, 2014 at 10:50 p.m.

    For those people that thought the US played well against Belgium, if Belgium could shoot straight, they should have scored 10 goals or more. They finished terribly and the ball was always in near hte US goal. The US had very very few chances because JK was hoping that Belgium would make a mistake and the team could score and they did have one change but they missed. That is not how you play. Go and play to win. Do not play hoping the other team makes a mistake. I am sure we have plenty of talent here. Mexico actively recruits Mexican American players here and two were playing on the Mexican National team. The Mexican scouts are telling teams in Mexico that there is tons of talent here in the US. Beasley who plays in Mexico was one of the few outstanding players in the Belgium game. We do not look for talent in our country plain and simple. Why? I have no idea.

  108. Derek Armstrong, July 2, 2014 at 11:13 p.m.

    Paul raised some very valid points regarding comparisons between Costa Rica and the USA performance related to resources .
    On the credit side Jurgan did galvanize the media ,he exuded confidence to the press ,to the fans, and more importantly the players .I thought that he lead he team to a more than credible performance with the players he picked . He was short of forwards and the injury to his main CF did not help . He and his staff decided that discarding Beckerman for a more physical player was the way to go to beat Belgium, he was one kick, from 4 yards which nearly proved him right.
    I wonder if he thinks that now ?
    We all can second guess, but we really do need to produce, sooner than later, some creative and attacking players who can go out into the top leagues and get some experience to help the National coach play somewhat differently . Their are technically gifted players in the youth ranks who need to be nurtured and given a chance in the MLS . Unless they are whisked off to foreign lands these players are not being given their necessary grooming at professional level
    Young players who are gifted need to be in teams if they are good enough ,learn on the job with older players around them .All too often they are back on the bench . The MLS player of the future has to include the types of midfield and attacking players that were evident in the Belgium or Costa Rica teams .How do they produce players that look and play differently than the typical American player .There is an answer and someone should be asking those questions apart from Paul Gardner .
    Winning at the Academy level should not be paramount for the MLS clubs . Take a chance MLS on some young american talent. Does the academy games resemble anything like the average Ajax academy game ?
    Strength and power appear to be winning over technique and it generally does at youth level ,its a shame
    Bravo for Paul and the people who are interested enough here to have a voice in this great game

  109. G O, July 3, 2014 at 2:05 a.m.

    The US only got out of the group stage because Ghana and Portugal underperformed. The Group of Death turned out to not be as difficult as, say, for example, the group that Australia had to contend with. Team USA has such wonderous resources. Klinsmann is just a frontman like the one needs to have a top billboards pop group raking in millions. People should not confuse players with World Cup wins and a UEFA Euro win in 1996 as the captain with a guy who can then go on and coach. Klinsi is likable, yes. But he's not a coach. Add my name to those who wish him gone. Please hire someone who will cost the USSF less. A very high priced contract (with all sorts of complicated and lucrative clauses) does not make for a good national team coach. Just the fact that Bradley was not benched for the match with Belgium makes me wonder about not just Klinsmann and Andreas Herzog but all others in the USMNT staff and camp.

  110. G O, July 3, 2014 at 2:10 a.m.

    Thank you, Mario Araugo. I agree wholeheartedly with your comments. And echo them. Bravo. The Belgian game with no offense from the US except haphazard forward movement at times was pathetic to have to endure. It is only the abysmal shooting of the Belgians Mertens, Miralles, Hazard, Fellaini, De Bruyne, Witsel, and Origi that kept the scoreline 0-0. Nothing else.

  111. peter mcginn, July 3, 2014 at 2:26 a.m.

    I don't understand all the hate for Klingsman though I was not happy about leaving Donovan off the squad. I agree the team was outplayed by Ghana, they solidly outplayed Portugal Period and lost to Germany - like most sides do. I guess if Mr. K was a German he would be outraged at the poor play of the National team. tie with an inferior African team and my word barely beating the beastly Americans with all their lack of technical skills. Who on the team is sufficienly skilled technically and who is not? I never hear that and frankly I'd like to know. Is Demsey a Texan lout w no skill? Beasley? The team was lauded by many foes in the tournament, press and frankly many of my overeas friends who were impressed with the squad and its accomplishments. Are they Germany, Holland.. no .. is is Klingsman's fault that Costa Rica with its Colombian coach did better in a tough group...winning it and then lucking out and drawing Greece...Greece was not that impressive. I think your article is really simplistic and overwrought with angst and seething antipathy that is really unprofessional. By the way I know nothing about soccer and have no problem admitting it but I think he is doing a good job. He will have his run and they'll get another guy in there...GO on you worry regarding the dough they're paying him don't worry NIKE is happy to pay him what the NBA pays a journeyman small forward to get soccer on the map. Klingsman is well connected internationally, well respected and not perfect but I think he deserves 4 more years.

  112. Jogo Bonito, July 3, 2014 at 7:49 a.m.

    Well said ... Well written. I agree with 99%. I'm not quite sure if Tab Ramos (one of my all-time favorite players) is the answer as coach, but I don't have a better one yet. However, much like the players that never were never discovered, I'm sure there's an excellent US coaching candidate out there as well. Excellent column from PG.

  113. Bryan Kempf, July 3, 2014 at 8:42 a.m.

    You guys all fell into this f@cktards trap. It's the ESPN effect. You don't have to know anything or say anything that is correct. All you have to do is say something controversial. Congrats PG, it worked. You got more people commenting on your complete BS piece than any other.

  114. futbolisimo, futbolisimo, July 3, 2014 at 8:56 a.m.

    CONY KONSTIN, I like what you have to say. I recommend you read my piece above - two parts, titled "The New Deal". It is a propos your thoughts.

  115. futbolisimo, futbolisimo, July 3, 2014 at 9:03 a.m.

    BRYAN KEMPF, above, say more. It's unproductive to so sourly disagree and then offer no edifying thoughts.

  116. Kent James, July 3, 2014 at 9:27 a.m.

    Firing JK is probably too harsh; but I do think Sunil should have a discussion with him about promoting the open, attacking soccer he promised when he was hired. I would have thought that having a contract through 2018 would allow him to focus less on winning this WC, which would have allowed him to engage in the open, attacking soccer he promised without fear that not making it out of the group would lead to his dismissal. Maybe JK really is thinking the long game, and went for the results (instead of style points) this time because he knew that results would encourage more American support, that would encourage the development of the kind of soccer culture that produces top notch players. We'll see in the next few games the national team plays against quality opponents. If JK continues to scan the world for foreign talent not good enough for their native country's national teams, and hunkers down against better opponents, then he's sold us a bill of goods. But if he opens up our style and attacks, and uses young players who are technically skilled, then he deserves to stay until 2018.

  117. Tom Symonds, July 3, 2014 at 10:22 a.m.

    Julian Green's goal was spectacular and every kid in the US who watched that kick will want to do the same...that's what JK gave us -- he gave us Julian Green. Why is that a big deal? Because if Green grew up in US Soccer, he wouldn't be able to do what he did against Belgium. Go to US Soccer's website; read the coaching education player development guides; and then ask yourself the question if this cookie-cutter, everyone-gets-a-trophy approach will ever produce players who can compete with the rest of the world. When I read what US Soccer projects our high school aged players should be doing, well, it's no wonder that while our 17 year olds are most concerned about prom dates, Belgium's Lukaku is starting for Chelsea. No thanks to you Claudio Reyna for the drivel being passed off as US Soccer's education program for coaches and players. We've been mired in US Soccer's failed development programs for at least the 50+ years I've been involved in the sport...a nation of 300 million and US Soccer, for all its high sounding, self-proclaimed leadership and organizational concepts, can't develop eleven quality players! US Soccer stifles development, it doesn't create it. Clearly, JK can't fix US Soccer overnight (there's a half century of US Soccer inertia to overcome) -- BUT -- he has given us a glimpse of the way out by selecting players who have developed outside of US Soccer; and when we see the skills and techniques those players bring to the game, we cheer. JK knows that having seen Julian Green's goal, US kids by the thousands and their parents will no longer be satisfied with the sterile approach to youth development they are currently enduring...they will want to play with 'mad' skills and flair. Maybe, just maybe, this WC will be the beginning of the end of the Reynas, Lalas's, Gardners, etc., who push and defend the stodgy, old, failed programs of the past 50 years. If JK has done nothing more than to open the US soccer window to the fresh air that Fabian Johnson, Julian Green, Aron Johansson, Jermaine Jones, and others can give us, then I will surely consider him to be our most successful coach.

  118. Mike Mcglynn, July 3, 2014 at 10:37 a.m.

    If you followed Juergen's coaching of Germany 2006 when the German MNT finished 3rd in the world cup 2006 the German press assaulted Juergen in the lead up to the tournament.
    Juergen is a quality person and as the leader in many aspects of the USA soccer program. Long range I believe Juergen will develop all the channels, for all our serious youth players across the wide spectrum of US society...Latino, urban, rural, suburban - the biggest soccer mess to review and draw from of any soccer nation. MLS youth programs are finally starting to solidify, young players are looking everywhere around the world for playing opportunities and IT will come one day ...

  119. TK TK, July 3, 2014 at 10:37 a.m.

    Why so many people here so sour on JK?? Its good to have people that question the system so openly and publicly. Wish we had more people like him doing the same in governement. How else do we make our USMNT accountable to our expectations?? PG makes some solid points no matter how much anybody disagrees. Many here frown on Hispanics born in USA that root for Mexico because it means they are not patriotic but yet are so open to having German born Americans play for our USA team even though everyone of these players would pick Germany over USA in a heartbeat if given the chance. One of them was waited on since his first option was to play for Germany but once he lucked out on that option he picked USA and very very few of you complained or called it unpatriotic. Some of you complain about too many Hispanics on the U15, U17 U20 team as not "representing our demographics" but say nothing about all these German born players. Why is that?? One is bearable but not the other?? PG prefers more Hispanics than German born and he correctly points out that at least more Hispanic players play skilled soccer in USA and are born here. One can disagree with him but he makes valid points. Look at all the response he got!! No other writer on SA gets this attention and thats good because it gives us all perspective on what our soccer society thinks. I say lets clone PG and get more people disagreeing and agreeing about this wonderful sport and lets hold our USMNT coaches and USSF accountable as to what we expect. The time has come where we start applauding great soccer plays, individual skills, superstar players and not the same old "we played hard and spirited" only because we held the other superior team scoreless for most of the game by parking the bus in front of the goal. Here is a question for all of you that still think this was the group of death. What team in this world cup would we have played straight up against and had more shots on goal and cornerkicks?? I bet you cant name more than 2. Case closed.

  120. TK TK, July 3, 2014 at 10:40 a.m.

    How many here complained when Martin Vasquez got replaced by a German assistant coach?? Who here pointed out that our greatest American, Donovan, got replaced by a German born player, Green, in outrage ??

  121. Fake Klinsi, July 3, 2014 at 11:13 a.m.

    You can't be serious? I told you we wouldn't win the Cup, and we didn't. Promise kept.

  122. G O, July 3, 2014 at 11:17 a.m.

    Mr. Symonds (one comment above), JK did not give us Julien Green. Julien Green and his parents gave us Julien Green. Just like with Chandler (and hundreds of other players around the world like the now Manchester United Belgian Adnan Januzaj - who could have played for Serbia, Kosovo, Turkey, Albania, possibly England, but elected for Belgium), the question would come up as to which nation Green would choose. It's pretty tough to get selected into the elite for Germany's U19, U21 or full national team squad. It's also tough to be selected for the USA's squads - but still easier by comparision. The USA has already had dozens upon dozens of US players who wore the US jersey and colors but couldn't (and sometimes wouldn't) sing the national anthem or give interviews in English. We've had dozens of latinos from nearly every country in the Western Hemisphere wearing the US shirt. One of our best midfield/forwards over a long period of time was named Earnie Stewart, with his upbringing in the Netherlands. Fernando Clavijo. Tom Dooley. Roy Wegerle. Preki. The list goes on and on when one looks at the U21, U19 and U17 players of the last 25 - 30 years. So JK has offered us nothing new, he merely has more insights into his own native Germany and prospects there with dual parentage. Our teams usually feature about 1/3 of the squad at least with "soccer education" outside the US. This is totally nothing new. A fair number of the US players have earned their chops in Mexico. Guys like Claudio Reyna, Peter Vermes, Tony Sanneh, Carlos Bocanegra, John O'Brien, Joe-Max Moore, Oguchi Onyewu, and Steve Cherundolo were/are just about half Europeans strictly by the sheer number of years of their adult lives prior to age 30 spent in Europe. Landon Donnovan had a stint at Bayer Leverkusen in Germany as did Frankie Hejduk. Same for GKs the likes Guzan, Howard, Brad Friedel and Kasey Keller. Once more: Easily 1/3 of the typical US squad features those developed outside the US. I'm not saying whether this is good or bad. What I am saying: JK isn't offering us anything new by selecting some players with resumes that primarily feature "outside the US" development. So maybe I misunderstand what you write, but I don't grasp the "fresh air" that you refer to.

  123. ROBERT BOND, July 3, 2014 at 1:59 p.m.

    does this set a record for responses?

  124. Terence Chu, July 3, 2014 at 2:30 p.m.

    Holy fuck, where do you guys find these writers? What a shit column. Might as well have Ann Coulter write here if youre just looking for web traffic.

  125. Santiago 1314, July 3, 2014 at 2:58 p.m.

    For all you Whiners who don't think it's FAIR to Criticize JK...Take it from someone who has Toiled in US SOCCER, since 1974...Someone with an “A” License, National Championships, and who has been in the Fires of El Salvador, The Pitch Invasions of Trinidad and Pissed-On in the Dugouts of Guatemala…Let me Spell it Out for You...
    I have been to 6 World Cups, including 2 Finals,’82 and ‘86...
    THIS IS THE WEAKEST WORLD CUP EVER !!!!… We Could have Won it…
    Take 9 players from any team, change their Jerseys and You Wouldn’t Notice the Difference...
    Only Messi, Neymar, James, Muller, Robben, Lukaku, are the Difference Makers…
    You just have to Man Mark them Out of the Game, and it’s a Toss Up… They don't Hold any Position, They Float..
    Dempsey could have been our Difference Maker, Except He was Forced to Play “TIED DOWN” as Hi-Forward...KLINSMANN SCREWD IT UP !!!...HOW you ASK???.......

    #1. No Sub for Altidore,...Causing Ripple Effect of Dempsey & Bradley out of Position..
    Causing YEARS of Preparation of Team Structure and Rhythm, to be Thrown OUT THE WINDOW.......SUNIL, You should ask for our MONEY BACK!!!!!....

    Leaving aside the fact of Hamstring Injury…

    What if Jozy got 2 Yellows, or a Red??? We would have been Screwed for Next Game...
    What if Jozy got Tired??? Who was going to Sub in for him???...
    What if Jozy was just being Jozy, and Played Lazy and Crappy???...
    To not bring a Substitute for Jozy was STUPID!!!...
    QUIXOTIC is a better expression….Tilting against the Windmills….
    No Sub for Altidore and NO Donovan(Doubtful LD would have helped much)...

    JK was going to do it his Strange way… Ask the People in W.Germany 96 or Bayern Munich......
    #2. Starting Besler instead of Brooks… Lukaku was always going to ManHandle Besler…Brooks is also Taller, Besler was getting Out Jumped by Taller Belgians…JK was worried about the Size and Speed of the Belgians...Besler had shown through Cramps and Injuries that he wasn’t up for 120 minutes......

    #3. Starting Cameron as Def Mid over Beckerman…
    I do not like Beckerman as a Player, BUT why do you FIX what isn’t BROKE???...
    Cameron did OK, But there was a better way to get Cameron on The Field...
    JK wanted Cameron on the Field for his Defensive Heading, On Set PlayS I guess, Because Belgium didn’t play the Ball UP to Fellaini’s Head during Run of Play...Remember neither Jones or Dempsey could head with Broken Noses......

  126. Santiago 1314, July 3, 2014 at 2:58 p.m.

    #4. Cameron should have started as the “Altidore” forward… Zusi OUT…
    Cameron was the only one left on the Roster with the Size, Range and Skill to be “Hold Up” Player...Cameron was an Offensive Player coming out of College and when he first started with the Dynamo…He didn’t start Playing Defense, until Kinner forced him to. (Out of Necessity, due to Dynamo Injuries)...This would have let Bradley & Dempsey move into “Normal” Positions....
    Go back and watch the Tape,… US was EXCELLENT when Bradley was Deeper… **And why didn’t JK Switch Bedoya and Zusi(who was getting Manhandled),Like he switched Zusi and Davis(who was getting Manhandled in Germany Game)...
    And if the Cameron Experiment didn’t work, you could have always moved Jones Up, and Cameron Back...
    It would have been hard for Belgium to Out Head Gonzo, Brooks and Cameron…...

    #5. Yedlin should have Started for Bedoya.
    Seriously, The Kid is BIG TIME….Bedoya--So, So--Doesn't hurt you, Doesn't help you......

    #6. Why did JK WASTE 45 seconds putting in Green, with One minute left in the 1st Overtime??? ...At that point why not wait until the Change Over....But Really, WHY didn’t he make the Change as soon as Belgium scored the 1st Goal at 2 minute mark of 1st OT...

    A Good Coach is always thinking;.. "If they score, I do this Sub".."If We score, I do this Sub"… WHY did it take 13 minutes to get Green on the Field??? Watch the Tape…JK was Deer-in-the Headlights......

    But what do you expect from someone who has Coached so few REAL games….... The Klinsmann Record before he became US Coach;...Remember he had NONE, before taking over Germany in 94.. All his Games in Preparation for WC96(in Germany) were Friendlies(Exclude Confed Cup95??)…at WC96(as Home team) he beat those “BIG” Powers; Costa Rica, Poland, Ecuador, Sweden,… only Toughie was win vs ARG on PKs…Lost in Semi’s to Italy…as for Coaching Bayern Munich??? ++ 22-9-8 in UEFA/Bundesliga before being FIRED with 5 games to go in Season…....

    Remember, JK was supposed to be the Risk Taker Coach that was going to Change the Face of USMNT…...

    HAHAHA..JOKER is on US(US SOCCER)......

    Having said all that… I would NOT Switch Coaches at this stage…

    We have Gold Cup next year/The Copa SurAmerica after that, to see if JK has learned anything…...

    But, Sunil must hold him ACCOUNTABLE, as He did when he Fired the Women’s Coach…...


    If the Coach Doesn’t Believe, GET RID OF HIM….!!!

  127. jonathan wright, July 3, 2014 at 3:30 p.m.

    This article gets in wrong in a few ways IMHO, but I think this article from the Telegraph in London sums up my disagreement well:

  128. Frank Miller, July 3, 2014 at 3:32 p.m.

    Want to build on Julian Green's goal and attract other dual citizenship players that have been brought up through actual professional development programs? Keep Klinsmann. Want a bunch of guys who play for Sporting Kansas City? Hire someone else. It's so deluded to pretend that we have footballers on an equal level with the teams we played. To wit: Lukaku was a SUB for Belgium. He would be EASILY the best outfield player on our entire team.

  129. vs 9101, July 3, 2014 at 3:40 p.m.

    Santiago, US A license is a complete joke and dime a dozen, it mostly means a more qualified kick and run college coach in most cases, sometimes with an English accent.
    As a person involved in youth soccer for many years, I can say youth coaching in US is a joke compared to Europe and Latin America, see tiny countries like Belgium and war torn Bosnia playing superior soccer.

  130. Frank Miller, July 3, 2014 at 3:45 p.m.

    I love all these idiots saying that you can't win a world cup through defense/counterattack. Let's just ignore the 7 won by Italy and Germany doing exactly that.

  131. John DiFiore, July 3, 2014 at 4:06 p.m. had to be said. There is A LOT of truth to this...

    As a USMNT fan for 20 years, I expected more. I expected better play.

  132. Santiago 1314, July 3, 2014 at 4:57 p.m.

    vs9101... I actually agree with you on the "A" License.. And thank goodness I don't fall into any of the Categories you names,.. But "Back-in-the-day" it was a lot tougher to wget.. Just ask Cubillas, if you know That Story, if not, It's in Paul Gardner Archives somewhere... Paul, What date was that article from???

  133. Wayne Root, July 3, 2014 at 5:41 p.m.

    With Mr. Gardner's name on it, we knew that it was going to be a familiar rant. Besides all that Paul, Klinsie has a contract.

  134. Jeff Gingold, July 3, 2014 at 5:44 p.m.

    Disappointed that we did not go further but certainly not surprised by it. Blaming JK for bringing in Americans who grew up and play in Northern Europe is nuts. Julian Green made no sense to me but then he scored our only goal against Belgium. Yedlin didn't come from Germany. From my view of the matches, it had a lot less to do with defensive tactics than it had to do with inaccurate passing, insufficient control of the ball, and missed chances. That's soccer. Right, we had no answer for injured Altidore. You know why? We don't have another Altidore. I say give JK more time. It's not like Jason Kreis is ready to make a move anyway.

  135. John DiFiore, July 3, 2014 at 6:35 p.m.


  136. Mark Landefeld, July 3, 2014 at 6:36 p.m.

    INACCURACIES -- on makeup of coaching staff

    INACCURACIES -- on who brought in some players with foreign background (bordering on xenophobia)

    This column is a sad diatribe

  137. Karl Ortmertl, July 3, 2014 at 7:12 p.m.

    Altho' disappointed in where the team is right now, I'm willing to give Klinsmann another four years. This was a cynical world cup where Klinsmann didn't think the US had enough talent to compete - he admitted as much, so he just defended and picked a squad for defense (and to prepare for the 2018 World Cup). Leaving off Donovan was a real tell as to where his head was at and where it wasn't. That being said, I believe that Klinsmann will now try to bring us the attacking squad he promised for the next world cup. One that is comfortable on the ball and can pass crisply and accurately while on the move. There are already a number of pieces around such as defenders Johnson and Yedlin and forwards such as Green, Boyd, Johannson, Agudelo and Altidore. What we need is the most crucial part - midfielders. We've got one young one in Gil who I'm surprised (not really, actually) that Klinsmann didn't bring along to this world cup. Zelalem would be nice to snag. Hopefully, a few others will turn up. Anyway, I believe that now that Klinsmann has gotten this World Cup behind him, he'll actually try to deliver on what he's been promising the next time. I would definitely give him that chance - not that it's up to me, he's going to be here, anyway, no matter what Gardner whines about

  138. TK TK, July 3, 2014 at 10:25 p.m.

    frank, so why did Germany change their tactics then ?? Why is Italy already out?? Italy attacks and defends as a team. Usa does not. You can compare USA's tactics closer to what Greece did only that Greece had a better target forward. I love it when people defend a tactic that is only used by teams that have less skill or was used a long time ago. Makes no sense. We have 300 million god damn people. We have more soccer players than any other country !! As a country we root for high scores and we love the guys with the scoring titles and our kids look up to the go to guys!! Some of you guys defend that garbage soccer because you either dont think we can field a skilled team or you wont like the demographics of the team.

  139. David Mont, July 3, 2014 at 10:35 p.m.

    Mr. Gardner is absolutely right. The US performance in the last two games was embarrassing. With Klinsmann, the US team took a large step backwards. It's amazing to see all the klinsmaniacs in such a state of denial. In 2010, the US team actually played some attacking soccer with "bunker Bob" at the helm. With Klinsmann, was was supposed to bring us attacking, possession-oriented soccer, the team neither attacked nor possessed, the only exception being the Portugal game when it was forced to due to the early goal by Portugal. We can also compare the two games against Germany: in 2002 and this year. In 2002 the US actually dominated and outplayed Germany, playing offensive soccer, creating multiple chances, and losing largely thanks to Hugh Dallas. Now, just compare that to the game played a few days ago. Klinsmann, for petty personal reason, left our best player at home, while bringing multiple tourists, like Zusi, Davis, Green, Johannsson, Diskerud, Wondolowski -- who are nowhere near Donovan's level, and either not ready to play at this level, or were not trusted by Klinsmann. Under Klinsmann, the alleged fitness guru, the team did not appear to be any fitter than any of the teams it faced, and probably had more pulled hamstrings than any other team in the WC. Most likely, Klinsmann just wore players out with his intensive practices just prior to the WC. Klinsmann liked to talk about making players uncomfortable -- well, he certainly succeeded, making most our top players -- Dempsey, Bradley, Cameron -- play out of position. And what was the brilliant strategy for the Belgium game? Have Howard singlehandedly win the game by parking the bus and taking the 0-0 tie into the penalty shootout?

  140. Mark Johnston, July 4, 2014 at midnight

    Can not believe Soccer America still employs this guy.
    Same old crap from him. Considering the heat , the travel compared to other teams, injuries, JK was still willing to take some risks and drop a couple kids in. A lot more than our prior coaches would have done.
    4 more years for JK will give time for all the behind the scenes program building to improve. Lets have this talk again in 4 years and hopefully, Gardner will have retired by then.

  141. RAMON ZAPATA, July 4, 2014 at 1:21 a.m.

    Yes, great saves but a goalkeeper shouldn't have to be doing all that work if he has a team that's also doing some productive attacks on the other side. Think many are missing this point and think Mr Klinsmann, who knows this of course, is using the wonderful deed of our great goalkeeper to keep the attention of everybody far from his failure to form a competitive team.

  142. Allen Olczak, July 4, 2014 at 5:50 a.m.

    I agree with the author, the usa team was rather awful with a few good stretches. Surprisingly tactically and player selection n management poor, i expected more from Klinsmann. Having picked only 1 striker was risky, and with the injury it was then hopeless. I would have liked to see more of the young kids who shined. At least Klinsmann is better than Hodges of England, poor fans they were really screwed.

    The Brits like Klinsmann, lets trade him for Sturridge or Sterling!

  143. Gary Wien, July 4, 2014 at 9:41 a.m.

    Where was this venom when the US was winning game after game?

  144. Joe Linzner, July 4, 2014 at 9:48 a.m.

    David V. superlative grasp of language, certainly marred by by a startling lack intelligent thought.

  145. Joe Linzner, July 4, 2014 at 10 a.m.

    what these Xenophobes seem to ignore is that man for man except in perhaps two positions the Belgians were incredibly more advanced technically, on ball, off ball, vision, movement, use of negative space, shape and execution. The fact that they failed to score over such a long period was because keeper is one of our superior positions. We were outplayed by players period. tactics did not enter the picture. WE WERE FORCED to play defense, had no choice but to rely on counters. Think if JK had these Belgian kids to coach, would he have lost. Tactics are limited to the personnel available. Taking nothing away from our players but you certainly cant make them play like Belgium.

  146. cony konstin, July 4, 2014 at 12:15 p.m.

    futbolisimo, futbolisimo What we need in the US is not more gimmicks. We need a home, a sanctuary, a place, a slab of concrete with two goals, where kids can play everyday without 2x4 adults interfering with kids lives. You ask any kid why they do skate boarding? They will tell you straight up, no stinking coaches are involved. I have been all over the world with football and futsal. Kids just want to play. So if we are to have one day magical players then we must set the players free. Coaching in the US is the problem and not the solution. You and I can not change suburbia youth $$$$ soccer but we can make a difference in the inner cities of the US. That is where the future gold is . Suburbia is a lost cause. Why? Because that environment is about making money and not making future warriors/champions. Another major problem in Suburbia is the Parents. They want their kids to be well rounded. Which a nice thing but not if your goal is to make magical players that will bring you US glory. To be a magical player you need to eat sleep and live football 24/7 365. The suburb kids are jacks of all trades but masters of nothing when it comes to soccer. So again I repeat myself. US soccer needs a revolution and it must be started in the inner cities of the US. 100,000 futsal courts should be USSF motto. USSF mandates this concept then tomorrow the movement to create magical players can begin so that one day we can win a world cup for the US. We need radical change. It is not going to come from JK, other domestic or international coaches or the status quo. It will come from a new generation of radical and unorthodox thinkers and doers. Our generation has nothing to offer because it dried up and deeply set in it's ways. In the words of JFK. "It is not what your country can do for you. It is what you can do for country." So you young people out their, you want change, go out there and kick butt and take no names. So go out and Create a NEW SPARTA for the next generation of footballers. Meanwhile PG keep writing the truth. Even if it pisses people off. I have been pissing people off all my life. My parents didn't bring me in this world to be a sweet and loving child. They brought me into this world to be a pain in everyone's life. So PG keep doing your thing. I love it.

  147. Julio Vargas, July 4, 2014 at 2:22 p.m.


    I do not understand why most people are happy with the way how the USMNT played during this world cup. Personally, and for the reasons below I feel kind of ripped off.
    1. The USMNT did not play any better than the way how they used to play under Bob Bradley. The same defensive style or just wait in the back, hold the pressure, until the other team scores and we start losing. Then, once we start losing, the team finally starts playing forward and tries to score. So, what happened with Klinsmann’s speech about Germans go to attack from the beginning, we are the ones that go for the goal first?
    2. Klinsmann did not take us any further than B. Bradley. Actually, the last gave was an exact replica of the previous world cup when we went to extra time with Ghana, and Ghana scored as soon as the extra time started it. Nothing different than what we had before.
    3. Klinsmann keeps giving priority to international players by default. Geoff Cameron play so poorly against Portugal, that both goals were his fault. He forgot how to clear a ball, and how to mark the only forward that was attacking in the box. And then, Cameron is his best choice against Belgium?? Gonzales and Yedlin, still MLS products perform at a higher level. I do not think Klinsmann trust on his own players...and if a coach does not believe on his own players, then that coach has nothing to do managing the team.
    4. How many forwards/striker Klinsmann took to Brazil? Dempsey, Altidore, Johansson, Green and Wondolowsky. Out of the 5 forwards, Dempsey was the only one that played regularly. Yes, Altidore got injured, but how many minutes did the other sticker get to play during the 4 games? I agree, that Donovan has not been playing at his best lately, however he still has the touch and the experience. Donovan by far was a better option to replace Altidore against Ghana, and Wondolowsly against Belgium. Personally I never like Wondo, he can have all the interested, drive, excitement, etc, but he does not have the skills to be a world class player. And he showed that against Belgium. Klinsmann made a mistake by leaving Donovan out of the world cup. A mistake that he will never admit!
    In summary, we did not get what we paid for. Now, the million dollar question….do I think Klinsmann should get fired? Well, no. I think this process should continue until the Copa América Centenario coming this 2016. If Klinsmann decides to keep this defensive style, without taking risks and poor performance, then yes, he needs to get out from US soccer and enjoy his retirement watching soccer on TV.

  148. Allan Lindh, July 4, 2014 at 4:09 p.m.

    Coaches don't win soccer matches, players do. Coaches don't develop technical skills, young kids with the ball on their feet develop technical skills. Follow the 10,000 hour rules. Three hours a day for 10 years. Start when a kids is 5. At 15 he is ready for technical coaching. The USMNT performed better in Brazil than any reasonable person expected, got the game good exposure. If enough kids went out in the back yard, or to the park, to play after each match, it will improve US soccer -- in 15 to 20 years. Don't whine about the coaching, get a ball, go to a park, kick it around with some kids. That is the ONLY solution to the lack of technical skills in the US.

  149. Vendetta diPirlo, July 5, 2014 at 12:32 a.m.

    Kman was out foxed by Wilmots in the 1st overtime of the Belgium game, the Belgians sat back and did a fast break with Lukaku.
    Some of Ks players were not up to it (Suzi, Wondo). How could these guys be on the field and Yeltsin (sic) and Green be on the bench?
    Relying on German players seems lazy, an easy way out, there were other players on Yelin's Akron team that could have developed - I remember Sannah (sic) the defender from the 2002 team, that kind of story will not happen under germanoholic coach K.

  150. Joe Linzner, July 5, 2014 at 12:36 p.m.

    Mike Jacome you said it yourself, Belgium were the better team and yet our inferior players held them and actually threatened...and yes, coaches do not win games better players do...

  151. Margaret Manning, July 5, 2014 at 5:08 p.m.

    Where to start? I guess most point shave been made. But: First, comparing resources devoted by Costa Rica and the US is pretty silly, given the fact that every kid (probably every boy) in Costa Rica grows up living, breathing and playing soccer. That doesn't happen here. Second, assuming that your long list of complaints were accurate, WHO exactly do you have in mind? For fans, JK has been a far better coach than Arena or Bradley. For one thing, he seems to CARE about what happens. It may be a no-brainer to come up with a Dump JK column; let's see a Here's the Answer Column, naming names.

  152. Brian Something, July 5, 2014 at 6:01 p.m.

    Gulati clearly has a schoolboy crush on Klinsmann and his cool accent. I don't think JK is a bad coach by any stretch but I haven't seen anything special. At least not in games that matter. I don't think we've been completely outclassed in 3 games at a single World Cup since Italia 90 like we were vs Ghana, Germany and Belgium (only one of which was a world class team against which getting outclassed was not embarrassing for a team like ours). This team did not look in any way significantly different than previous World Cup teams coached by unfancied Americans without cool accents. And in some ways, looked worse. We played like a plucky underdog just like US teams usually do in the WC. Hardly the evolution USSF was talking about. Baby steps would've been fine, but I didn't even see those.

  153. Kombiz Salehi, July 6, 2014 at 12:43 a.m.

    It is my belief that those who publicly attest their view through articles, must do so based on knowledge and facts rather than hearsay, emotions and faulty analysis.This article is one such example where Mr. Gardner demonstrated unprofessional behavior by expressing numerous flawed statements. Below represent what I believe Mr. Gardner’s point of view to be fundamentally incorrect.
    1. He considers lack of progression to the next level up as a faulty coaching judgment.
    a. He neglects to consider that the USMNT would have reached quarterfinals, had it not been for two gross lack of concentration by Mr. Dempsey & Mr. Wondolowski(wondo). I have tremendous respect for Wondo and watched him play ever since he was playing for Dynamo. If I am not mistaking, he won the golden boot award in 2012 and scored more goals in one year than any other US player. He was the primary cause for the Earthquake to win the coveted Supporter Shield.
    b. If a soccer-familiar person examines the performance level of the USMNT in 2014 & compares it with any other year, he would conclude that our current team played far better than the teams from before.

  154. Kombiz Salehi, July 6, 2014 at 12:59 a.m.

    Continued from the above page:
    2. He damns his selection of the team members.
    a. He blames the selection of the players by German-American players. He does not recognize the last goal scored was from such a player. That is one of 4 goals that USMNT scored during the WC considering he only played less than 20 minutes. If we divide by the total number of minutes he played, he is a much better player than others.
    b. It is possible that if Mr. Greene had been brought to the match in lieu of Wondo, US would have been in quarterfinals.
    c. Other than Wondo, weren’t Dempsey, Bradley, Gonzales, Suzi, Besler, & Cameron full-fledge Americans? Were they fully effective during these matches? Did they not make glaring errors resulting in not winning games? If you watch all the games, you can identify that had it not been for errors by the above, the USMNT would be in quarterfinals. Where was Gonzales during the last moments of the match with Portugal? What was Besler doing that resulted in the first goal in the Belgian match? Why did Cameron lose concentration during the match with Portugal that resulted in a goal? Why couldn’t Dempsey score a goal when the ball was right in front of him during the critical moments of the last 15-minutes of the overtime? That would have forced the Penalty Kicks. Wouldn’t it? Why did Wondo make such a huge mishit?
    3. Mr. Gardner compares that under Mr. Arena, the USMNT got to quarterfinals whereas Klinsman’s team did not. He implies that Mr. Arena must necessarily be a better coach than Mr. Klinsman simply because his team got to quarterfinals.
    a. Does the author believe that Arena is a better coach than Klinsman? I have one question for him. Why is Galaxy the seventh ranked team in a nine-team Western Conference in the MLS? This is in light of the presence of Donovan, whom many people believe to be the best player US ever produced? In addition Mr. Arena has benefitted from Mr. Keane who is a far better player than all other American players in that position. I might add that Galaxy team did not even get to the playoff during the 2013 season, even though they had won the MLS Cup in 2011/2012 with the presence of Mr. Beckham.
    b. When the author uses the ascension to quarterfinals as the only yardstick to compare the past coaches, he demonstrates how narrow-minded he is. 4. Mr. Gardner points out that Mr. Klinsman should have tapped into Mexican American players rather than regular white American players. He overlooks that Gonzales (Mexico), Bedoya (Colombia) and Rimando (Mexico) are Mexican Americans or Colombian-American.
    It is the ingratitude and short-sightedness of individuals such as Mr. Gardner that makes the job of any coach that much harder. It behooves Mr. Gardner to first become well-informed on a subject prior to entering his thoughts on an article to be published for general public use.

  155. Greg Morris, July 8, 2014 at 10:58 a.m.

    Wow! I didn't realize how close we were! If only Santiago 1314 was our coach we would be lifting the World Cup trophy on Sunday. Fire JK! Hire Santiago 1314! Somehow the world soccer powers have overlooked this magical soccer genius who can turn our players instantly into world class dynamos thru his tactics - tactics which would be so awe inspiring that the teams we play, who only allegedly have much more gifted players, would be unable to respond to. Fire JK! Hire Santiago 1314!

  156. Chris Mathew, July 9, 2014 at 9:52 a.m.

    Paul: read this...Does the US Soccer Federation have a 14 year plan?

    Forget who the coach is...this is what is needed to get the US to the next level.

  157. vs 9101, July 9, 2014 at 8:55 p.m.

    Does this English newbie author understand anything about soccer/football ? Speaks volumes about English soccer.
    Paul, please read all the comments.

  158. Santiago 1314, July 10, 2014 at 1:24 a.m.

    Right On, Right On, Thanks Greg...Now that we see Germany in the Final from our Group and WEAK Argentina, maybe you will Believe me when I say, USA could have Snuck into Winning World Cup if JK Hadn't Screwed up the Player Selection/Line-Up...etc..etc ***RePosted from Above***((THIS IS THE WEAKEST WORLD CUP EVER !!!!… We Could have Won it… Take 9 players from any team, change their Jerseys and You Wouldn’t Notice the Difference... Only Messi, Neymar, James, Muller, Robben, Lukaku, are the Difference Makers… You just have to Man Mark them Out of the Game, and it’s a Toss Up… They don't Hold any Position, They Float.. Dempsey could have been our Difference Maker, Except He was Forced to Play “TIED DOWN” as Hi-Forward...KLINSMANN SCREWD IT UP !!!))***Just Saying :)

  159. Santiago 1314, July 10, 2014 at 10:44 a.m.

    Quote from Jurgen Klinsmann in article by Randy Harvey of the Houston Chronicle Sports..7/10/14 pgC1&3….”It makes them feel accountable, not just walk away with a bad performance and nothing happens,” he said. “If you have a bad performance, then people should approach you and tell you that, to make sure that next game is not bad anymore and you step it up.”… The Article is about the National Humiliation that Brazil feels and How (THE USA PLAYERS) don’t have that kind of pressure…***JURGEN*** FIRST, YOU Parked the Bus In-Front of the Goal(Didn’t BELIEVE USA Could Win)… THEN, YOU Re-Arranged the Chairs on the TITANIC(No Sub for Jozy)…and NOW, YOU are Throwing the Players OUT of the Bus, for the Dogs to Eat…<<< THROW YOURSELF OUT >>>…OH, but Knowing you, You will Take a Helicopter Ride Off the Top of the Bus, so you don’t have to face the Wolves…I was for Keeping You, Hoping you would Learn some Humility…But Asking for Fans to Accost the Players and Frighten them into Better Performance!?!?!?…WHAT AN ARROGANT, JERK, PRICK, You are !!!!...What a Hypocrite!!!…YOU Left Germany because YOU couldn’t take the Magnifying Glass that YOU were under and because YOU liked the anonymity that Athletes have in the USA… NOW YOU WANT TO HAVE THE FANS DO YOUR JOB !!!… <<<< Come on SUNIL… Enough is Enough…GET RID OF HIM!!!! >>>> THIS IS AMERICA!!! and WE BELIEVE WE CAN WIN and WE CAN DO IT OUR WAY… so PISS OFF back to Germany…Oh, They don’t want you their either…!!!

  160. vs 9101, July 12, 2014 at 7:05 p.m.

    santiago, are you watching some matches in your dreams that everyone else is not watching on TV?
    Park the bus is the only option for a team that lacks a good first touch and technical skills. These come from age 8 and up and is a long term process.

    Good teams like Netherlands, Chile, Columbia, Germanay, Belgium etc have players who can DRIBBLE and pass. On many occasions , 20 to 30 percent of the time, a good first touch, dribbling to open up space and THEN passing opens up the game, not rushing into getting rid of the ball at the earliest opportunity.

    Other than Dempsy and Julian Green, none of the US players can hold the ball for five seconds without getting dispossessed.

    No hot air balloon tactical genius can make US win the world cup.US went into the second round only because of Klinnsmans shrewd tactical moves.

  161. Rick Estupinan, July 21, 2014 at 7:15 p.m.

    The best American World Cup Team the USA ever had was the 2002 team,Very solid in all it's parts.Who can forget that forward line of K.Mathis,McBride,Donovan,Brad Friedel in goal.And Bruce Arena did not bring any foreigners,they were all American born,and they made it to the quarter finals.'They were brothers,and they were all valient"

  162. Rick Estupinan, July 21, 2014 at 7:24 p.m.

    Mr.Vs 9101,Colombia is the name of the South American country you are trying to refer to.Columbia is the name of some institutions,like Columbia University in NYC.Please,be careful.

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