My advice to Jurgen Klinsmann

By Paul Kennedy

I'll begin by saying Project Klinsmann is too big to fail, so Jurgen Klinsmann is going nowhere.

With that said, the U.S. men's national team reached a new low with its 4-1 loss at Ireland on Tuesday. It's hard to remember a game in which the USA played so poorly and lost so badly to such a weak team as the Irish, playing their second-stringers, threw out.

You probably have to go back to the U.S. Cup in January 1997 for a similar performance. The USA -- with the likes of Brad Friedel, Alexi Lalas, Claudio Reyna and Cobi Jones in the lineup -- fell, 4-1, to a Danish "B" team that got a career game -- all four goals -- from Per Pedersen.

The problem with the Ireland game was the outcome was entirely predictable. In each of the three previous games, the USA fell apart, blowing leads in all three games.

What's Klinsmann to do to restore confidence? Here's my advice.

1. Come clean on the Donovan decision.

Whether anyone will admit it or not, the cloud of Klinsmann's decision to drop Landon Donovan from the World Cup team hangs over the program. Indeed, the USA is playing like a jinx has been cast over the team. Its last good outing was the 40-minute start to the Ecuador game -- Donovan's last appearance with the national team.

More so than most, I gave Klinsmann the benefit of the doubt on his decision to drop Donovan. In fact, I wasn't surprised it happened. The problem is, a belief has taken hold within a segment of the soccer community that the decision was personal -- Klinsmann had it out for Donovan, he never intended to take him to the World Cup and he brought him into camp so he could humiliate him.

I don't believe that, but nor do I accept Klinsmann's explanation he gave at the Stanford camp: "I just see some other players slightly ahead of him." That opens the door to ask why he took a player, Aron Johannsson, who had a bad ankle and couldn't play more than the first game of the World Cup.

Klinsmann doesn't have to do it now -- he should wait until after the MLS season so his comments won't be a distraction to Donovan's final title run with the Galaxy -- and he doesn't have to say he regretted not taking him -- even if he does -- but he has to say something more.

2. Take some of the blame.

Klinsmann is great about saying what his players should or shouldn't do. Avoid soda. Keep their cell phones in their pockets. He has a million pet peeves. All good things to live by. But when should, should, should, becomes should've, should've, should've -- past tense -- you have to start to question the messenger.

Whether you agree with Klinsmann's "nastier" remarks or not, you have to start questioning if the players are getting his message if he has to repeat it.

Those remarks aside, little of his message relates to what takes place on the field. "A lot of the work down the road will be done for us off the field,” he said again after the Ireland game. But it begs the question, are the players good enough? Are Klinsmann's tactics good enough?

The closest Klinsmann comes to taking blame concerns all the off-the-field stuff. “We have to educate the players better," he said after the loss to Ireland.

At halftime of that 1997 U.S. Cup debacle against the Danish league XI, U.S. coach Steve Sampson was so upset he stormed off the field. "I have no excuses whatsoever," he said afterwards. "Our effort today showed a complete lack of respect for our fans."

No one would have faulted Klinsmann if he had come out after the Ireland game and said, "Today, the performance of our players was unacceptable. Us coaches should have prepared them better."

How could you have faulted him for being honest? Everyone wants the USA to succeed, so he would have been given the benefit of the doubt.

3. Make peace with MLS.

The back and forth between Klinsmann and MLS owners is going to continue until he makes a strong statement of support for MLS. Just Saturday night, Seattle Sounders majority owner Joe Roth ripped into Klinsmann, saying the U.S. coach was devaluing MLS with his remarks -- and on top of that Klinsmann was wrong. Roth is one guy Klinsmann doesn't want to mess with.

Whether Klinsmann is right or wrong is beside the point, the national team is going to rise or fall in the next three years because of MLS unless Rubio Rubin suddenly blossoms into the next Lionel Messi. It's as simple as that, and Klinsmann should accept that fact.

That doesn't mean he can't say players should aspire to the highest level possible, but Klinsmann should organize a January camp, require all MLS players to attend and open it by saying the future of the national team depends on MLS players. What better way to create competition within the camp and put attention on MLS at a time when the league might need a positive message (CBA negotiations reaching their head).

4. Find a new captain.

The January camp offers Klinsmann an opportunity to start a new era with a clean slate and begin that by naming a new captain. The USA is in desperate need of leadership.

There's been nothing wrong with current captain Clint Dempsey, but it is unlikely he'll be around in 2018. Carlos Bocanegra was an exemplary captain, but dropping him from the lineup created all sorts of issues at the beginning of the Hexagonal.

That commanding presence was sorely lacking in the Ireland game. Klinsmann was hoping young players like Mix Diskerud and Joe Corona might emerge as leaders in midfield, but Diskerud's performances have been -- well -- mixed, to say the least, and Corona had a quiet few games before getting hurt.

One of the problems is that many of the players in the back are soft spoken. That's why the conversion of Jermaine Jones to the backline makes sense, but he too won't likely be around in 2018.

Michael Bradley would be the logical choice, but he is coming off a very difficult season. Another option would be Jozy Altidore, but that would depend on his being in the right situation, secure in a starting job somewhere. In a crazy way, a move back to MLS for Altidore -- just what Klinsmann has been preaching against -- might be in the national team's best interest.

5. Stop scheduling games in Europe.

The days when the nucleus of the national team is based abroad are over. Only a handful of European-based players remain automatic choices. Brad Guzan in goal. Alejandro Bedoya if he stays in Europe. Altidore, despite everything. The German-Americans Fabian Johnson and John Brooks if they can regain their form. A couple of the youngsters, DeAndre Yedlin, if his move to Tottenham goes through, and the promising Rubin are in the picture. Throw in Greg Garza in Mexico, and that's it for the foreign brigade until all the U-20s and U-17s in Europe start knocking on the door.

But scheduling games in Europe simply for the sake of convenience has to stop. This fall, Klinsmann has needed every European he could find, whether he deserved to be there or not, because the best MLS players were unavailable. All the more reason for Klinsmann to make peace is to convince MLS to shut down for the September and October fixture dates. (The league has no choice in November because it can no longer afford to compromise the playoffs without foreign players called up to their national teams.)

Klinsmann should use the three fixture windows to organize friendlies in the United States -- plenty of Concacaf and Conmebol teams will want to come ahead of the 2016 Centennial Copa America -- and build the team around MLS players. Those foreign-based players who are playing well should be called up. All the better to create true competition within the team.
41 comments about "My advice to Jurgen Klinsmann".
  1. Allan Lindh, November 21, 2014 at 6:43 p.m.

    1. It was a mistake not taking Landon Donovan, admit it. Until you do we can only assume you are a liar or a fool.
    4. Michael Bradley is the only choice. And Jurgen Littleman owes him an apology.
    6. Shut up. Your blither just makes things worse.

  2. Pat Sharp, November 21, 2014 at 6:57 p.m.

    very good analysis. It won't happen, but the ideas are sensible. Klinsmann is too arrogant to, 1. take the blame for the current situation, and 2. admit that it was a mistake not to take Donovan to Brazil

  3. Allan Lindh, November 21, 2014 at 7:46 p.m.

    Yes but if JK talked straight up like a man for once, we could decide if he is a liar or a fool. And if it were me, I'd fire him, take the financial hit, and offer the job to Philipp Lahm right now. He might be tired of having his legs broken, and trust me, he will be getting other offers.

  4. Edgar Soudek, November 21, 2014 at 8:47 p.m.

    Klinsbubi's supersized ego will never let him admit any mistakes, much less express regret at a blatant stupidity like leaving LD off the World Cup roster...and even less will he ever be man enough to resign; he is hell-bent on driving the USMNT to utter ruin - when will the crazies who hired this jerk realize their mistake?

  5. Jeff Gingold, November 21, 2014 at 9:01 p.m.

    I realize this is somewhat beside the main point, but I remember that US-DK match in California in '97 and the DK "B" team probably was better than their current "A" team . . . and Per Pedersen's 4 goals were each masterpieces.

  6. James Froehlich, November 21, 2014 at 9:09 p.m.

    Ric -- time to move on to another site! You're trying to talk reason to xenophobes and know-nothing's. This place has become an intellectual backwater for people like Mr. Soudek to spew his psychotic ramblings. I realize that several of the columnists are old acquaintances but they have become mired in an AYSO mentality while US soccer tries to become professional. Soccer America's business model is tied to colleges and AYSO and they have allowed that to impact t heir editorial position. Best of luck Ric! I always enjoyed your perspective.

  7. Allan Lindh, November 21, 2014 at 9:18 p.m.

    Dear James, last time I checked "real professionals" might try to hire as their national team coach one of the smartest players of recent years, rather than one of the dumbest.

  8. James Froehlich, November 21, 2014 at 9:21 p.m.

    Thanks for helping to make my point, Allan.

  9. Richard Beal, November 21, 2014 at 9:23 p.m.

    Our players are not very good and you can't make chicken salad out of chicken sh*t.

  10. Reuben Valles, November 21, 2014 at 11:04 p.m.

    Paul, I think this was very well written and you made alot of very well thought out plans for our beloved US Nats program. Before i continue with the point i wish to make, I realize our player pool of world class talent might be low at the moment. It most likely doesnt matter who our head coach is. However...........

    I have to completely agree with the Landon Donovan snub issue. It is impossible to take JK seriously when he has yet to come clean on this issue. Forgive me for sounding arrogant, but i dont have to be the US Mens head coach to know that we do not/did not/and still dont have 23 players better than Landon Donovan. I have been watching our player pool for a longer period than Jurgen. No disrespect here, but Brad Davis and Wondo have never been better than Donovan. They were not better in Palo Alto back in May either. We all know this, Davis and Wondo know this, and US Soccer knows this.
    This brings up big time issues for me. There is a dirty little lie and secret here (and one that in my opinion cost our country a birth into the quarterfinals b/c LD does not miss that sitter....just my opinion blast me if you must) Now the bigger problem for me is......if we all know that Jurgen is full of sh#t on the Landon Donovan snub trying to feed us all a line of BS that Landon wasnt good enough (which every red blooded American knows is a flat out lie) think about all the other ways he must be deceiving us on the issues that we cant prove or see. The behind the scenes things like tactics, coaching, or over training.
    To finish this thought, when somebody lies to you about something, and you know you've been lied to, its almost impossible to trust or believe anything that person says going forward. This would be true of our neighbors, or collegues or corworkers, or our Mens US National Team coach.

    GO USA! US Nat for life!


  11. Frank Cardone, November 21, 2014 at 11:05 p.m.

    Excellent article by Paul Kennedy. At first I was pleased with the appointment of JK. Now I must agree 100% with readers Allan Lindh, Pat Sharp, and Edgar Soudek. JK committed a cardinal sin: He let his enormous ego affect his player selection for the World Cup squad. He wanted to prove a point when he intentionally left Donovan at home. The only point he proved was that he does not deserve my respect or support. His on-going search for anyone who is legally able to play for the US bordered on the pathetic. His emphasis on "nastiness" is misplaced and very tired. I hope the USSF gives JK his walking players and that he takes that thug Jermaine Jones with him in the way out.

  12. Kevin Sims, November 21, 2014 at 11:22 p.m.

    # 1 - Disagree. Utter nonsense to think the LD matter contributed to tough results in Europe recently
    # 2 - Agree. Any coach of value embraces this ... team first; humility
    # 3 - Disagree. JK employs creative tension by raising expectations ... player pool will rise to expectations
    # 4 - Disagree. Not a weighty matter at this juncture.
    # 5 - Disagree. Absorbing two losses @ Europe better in long run than notching two wins @ home v lightweights.

    Why also the repeated references to Irish "B" team? As if USA fielded its "A" team for 90 minutes. Really?

  13. beautiful game, November 22, 2014 at 12:33 a.m.

    Gentlemen, much ado about the wrong topic. No coach make the USMNT any different than what it is. Too much mediocrity and not enough quality to carry the team.

  14. Kent James, November 22, 2014 at 1:12 a.m.

    Good column, Paul. I didn't think about the need for JK to use European based players for the last two friendlies, which explains the presence of a lot of guys who I didn't know (and who didn't seem that impressive). Reuben, well put. I was not in favor of ousting Bradley, but when JK was the replacement, I thought it might be worth it. JK has shaken things up, and tried some new things, but has not lived up to my expectations. I'm not yet in favor of axing him, but I'm concerned. A lot of his defenders argue we don't have a lot of world class players (which is undoubtedly true), but we never have. And I feel like previous coaches did more with what they had. I feel like JK is always experimenting with new players, and players out of position. While there is some merit to trying new things, at some point you need some stability. I also don't mind JK honestly assessing situations in a critical way (though I do think players, even professional ones, perform better when there is some praise mixed in there, and at least the feeling that the coach supports and respects them). What I think grates people the wrong way is that he seems to be critical of everyone else, but not so much of his own performance.

  15. Mark Konty, November 22, 2014 at 1:27 a.m.

    Ummm, you boot lickers realize that Klinsmanmalready holds an annual, new-years winter camp for MLSers, right? Surely you know this has been a U.S. tradition that Adolph Klinsman kept alive. Look, he didn't t Take Donovan, get over it, he probably needed EJ more as things turned out.

  16. Leonardo Perez, November 22, 2014 at 1:31 a.m.

    You too Mr Kennedy? Enough already! JK is the national team coach, I don't think he has to explain or give reasons to anybody, other then to Mr Gulati, about what he does with the national team. Especially, not to the haters and trolls that constantly complain and whine about Donovan. It's pretty obvious that LD threw a tantrum because he was not made Captain of the National team and JK gave it to Dempsey, so LD went on a "trip" to Cambodia, when he was needed to qualify to the WC. Who needs "team" players like that. I don't know why he dropped LD from the team, he is the coach, he can do what he wants to---and I don't think he has to give reasons for it to anybody, least of all haters/trolls and SA writers who want to stoke the fire to keep selling subcriptions. I'm pretty sure you have more productive things to do then doing this trolling.

  17. Dennis o Gould, November 22, 2014 at 2:01 a.m.

    Didn't have a problem with Landon Donavon not going to Brazil, but to take Josie Altidore that is a problem. Past time to find his replacement. Josie went Landon should of went. nuff said

  18. Claudio Garcia chamorro, November 22, 2014 at 6:51 a.m.


    He is nothing but an egotistic SOB. Period.

    Not worth going into all these scenarios nor analysis.

    Ha has ran his course.

    He is done.

  19. Andres Yturralde, November 22, 2014 at 10:47 a.m.

    Decent advice, PK - I agree with most of what you're saying. At the same time, I can't help but think it's been a very long and exhausting year - like never before - for both Klinsmann and the USMNT - and the last few performances seem to show it. Once the new year rolls around, though, we should start seeing progress again; otherwise, we can only assume that something is really wrong and changes must be considered. That said, I am one of those who is very glad to see more people getting involved and talking about these issues. It can only make things better!

  20. Tim Gibson, November 22, 2014 at 11:06 a.m.

    Aw Jeeez....When is America going to get over Landon Donovan? "IF" he even thought he is still good enough, then why did he retire? Yes, he finished his "LAST" MLS season in good form & was fit. But go back to the try out videos before the final cut was made and compare THAT LD to the 1 in the season finale. He Was FAT & Outta shape which is why he was cut from the WC team. Move On Paul & everyone else, it's OVER & time to look fwd. GO USA!

  21. beautiful game, November 22, 2014 at 11:14 a.m.

    Some of these histrionic comments are beyond belief; EJ ? He and LD did too many disappearing acts and coach K expected and demanded more. If a players consistency comes into question, than it's mental preparation and lack of focus which sets in, and the team suffers. Giving moments of efficacy on the pitch is not enough. Look at Ks professional career, no moments, just all out play. Perhaps LD's moments make him 'great' to many pundits; IMHO, that's tunnel vision.

  22. Lou vulovich, November 22, 2014 at 11:28 a.m.

    These ( FRIENDlY'S) are played so those professional players you childishly refer to as second stringers ( I can't believe anyone would use that term to describe international players) have the opportunity to become regulars and often that is where stars are born.
    Unfortunately the new US players are not breaking through in a big way but it's not as easy as couch quarterbacks think.
    The only thing I would like to see is more young players making their debut in these game.
    As for Klinsman taking blame what coach does I
    Think the most overrated thing in sports is the true value of a coach at this level. There is a lot of managing and very little coaching.
    As for players being nastier I don't think Klinsman
    Is referring to punching and kicking he is simply saying he would like to see more intensity more resolve and determination not to get beat.(what I think is Americans best quality)
    As for the constant complaining about Hispanic players and coaches getting overlooked. Respectfully I disagree there are plenty of white black and Hispanic players and coaches who never get an opportunity in the current USA system.
    No criticism for any individual coach, just that the whole youth system is a great failure.

  23. cisco martinez, November 22, 2014 at 11:50 a.m.

    Mt. Kennedy, to ask Klinsmann to take responsibility for any mistakes is hopeless, tell us something we don't know? I've had coaches like Klinsmann, they lack loyalty, aren't personable, and prefer competiviveness amongst players over trust of players. As a coach, you have to trust players on the pitch, clearly that wasn't the case. Look at when Bocanegra was bench and never returned, the centerbacks during the World cup were never established, asking players to play at the highest levels and not bringing some of them, {Oneywu, Ream, Shea, etc) and the Landon Donovan omission left me speechless, especially Klinsmann's rationale for not bringing him. Klinmann's suggestion that other players were "slightly ahead of him," like who? Wondolowski is not better than Donovan, Julian Greene is a dissapointment, Graham Zusi performed well defensively, but lacked the penetrating runs that Donovan posses. Let's put it this way, I am not holding my breath for Klinsmann to admit fault.

  24. Miguel Dedo, November 22, 2014 at 3:05 p.m.

    US players on European teams return after training with Klinsmann and the MNT even farther away from starting positions. What gives? When was the last time a US player did something in an international match that enhanced his position as a European player?

  25. Edgar Aldana, November 22, 2014 at 6:23 p.m.

    Paul Kenndy, my advise to you is get off the Landon Donovan wagon and get over it like the rest of the whiners. Your dislike of JK is obvious, you waste no time to get a dig in to JK where ever there's an opportunity. This was a friendly with little meaning and both teams used mostly inexperienced players mixed in with a few old faces. We didn't play good guess what Paul so what! Get over yourself and write something worth reading regarding the sport or better yet let someone else do it.

  26. Vince Leone, November 22, 2014 at 10:31 p.m.

    Landon Donovan Landon Donovan Landon Donovan Landon Donovan Landon Donovan Landon Donovan Landon Donovan Landon Donovan Landon Donovan Landon Donovan Landon Donovan blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah Landon Donovan Landon Donovan Landon Donovan Landon Landon Donovan Landon Donovan Landon Donovan Landon Landon Donovan Landon Donovan Landon Donovan Landon Landon Donovan Landon Donovan Landon Donovan Landon

  27. beautiful game, November 22, 2014 at 11:40 p.m.

    Amazing that so many pundits believe that LD was a great player. Same can be said about the MLS TV announcers that throw around "great" like confetti. Greatness is reserved for the best of the best, and anything different is winded speech without merit.

  28. Kent James, November 22, 2014 at 11:44 p.m.

    Well put Cisco. Great coaches need to have enough competition between players to keep them sharp, but ultimately, players need to know a coach has confidence in them, and if the atmosphere is too competitive, it can impact both individual confidence and team cohesion. These guys are professionals, but they are human. There are people posting here both for and against JK, which is, I think a healthy development, since JK has clearly provided evidence for both positions. But criticizing JK does not make someone a whiner, so let's focus on the criticisms rather than the supposed mindset of the people making the criticism. Lou is right, the National Team coach is more of a manager than a coach, but JK is also the Technical Director (I think that's his 2nd position), and in that capacity, he has been touted has the man who will create a system that produces better players. That will clearly take some time, but sometimes it is difficult to see the progress or even the direction. I think part of JK's problem is that he has emphasized holding people to high standards, and being honest about results, which leaves him vulnerable by his own standards.

  29. Murray Braun, November 23, 2014 at 3:35 a.m.

    JK seems clueless.
    His constant placement of players out of position is one sign that his "experiment" is failing.
    In addition, he has a personality problem that can but lead to polarization of everyone, players, MLS, and the fans.
    He has none of the composure that say Peckerman might have brought. Unfortunately Peckerman didn't
    speak English.
    I'd preferred someone speaking only Spanish to
    a German with poor English and a personality problem.

  30. Richard Weishaupt, November 23, 2014 at 11:05 a.m.

    Here's the thing about LD and JK. While it is over and it would be nice to put to rest, it and the MLS feud has a negative effect on the locker room. The players know that JK had it in for LD and that he deserved to be on the team. When you couple that with his attacks on the players who came to MLS how does an MLS player volunteer to be captain? How do they trust the coaching staff or listen to some good advice, which I'm sure JK can offer, but who wants to listen? Look I've played for coaches who I didn't trust and who I knew would throw us under the bus if we lost. Without a conscious choice, it still made it impossible to give 100% or listen. With a coach you trust you do what he says; with a coach you don't trust you always have that nagging question.

  31. Bill Jones, November 23, 2014 at 6:12 p.m.

    Can any of you Klins haters admit that USA was completely outplkayed in every match of the world cup except maybe vs Portugal who they were evn with, if anything, and who was the worst team of the 32?? getting lucky to not lose by blowout is not the same as competing. There would have been a very good possability this team lose all 3 games with LD starting every game. I would put my money on it as good odds. We are in a country that wants to use the LD situation as an excuse for not doing slightly better instead of realizing our player pool has gotten worse. Should Klins have taken LD?? Of course!! Did it really matter given our talent level and play??? Hell No!!!

  32. James Madison, November 23, 2014 at 7:16 p.m.

    For those who are interested, the frank statements by LD in the Sunday November 23 NY Times article about him say everything anyone could want to know about the decision not to include him on the 2014 WCup team. Altidore as the team captain would be about the worst selection JK could possibly make.

  33. Daniel Clifton, November 24, 2014 at 9:20 a.m.

    I accepted JK's explanation for not including LD on the WC roster. LD was not playing well at the time. As someone else pointed out his big mistake was not including Eddie Johnson (or someone else like Terrance Boyd) on he roster to replace an injured Altidore. I think the bigger challenge for Klinsmann is rebuilding the youth soccer system in this country. He is the guy who said: "The soccer pyramid is upside down in the US." If he can turn that soccer pyramid rightside up I don't really care how he fares as USMNT coach. I think he does overtrain the players. I think he makes some faulty decisions about formation, tactics, and the positioning of individual players. He is willing to try young guys with talent, which applaud him for. It is interesting how he has become a flash point for soccer debates. Look at all of the comments on this article. That is a healthy sign, which quite frankly Klinsmann is glad to see according his own statements on these discussions. People in the US care about this subject.

  34. cisco martinez, November 24, 2014 at 1:05 p.m.

    Bill Jones, you are living in your own world if you think that Landon Donovan wouldn't have made a positive difference? Name me another player that has accomplished more than what he's done in a World Cup for the US? As far as USA's performance in the World Cup, sure we played a 4-3-2-1 formation, tried to counter, and played a low risk, low reward type of game imposed by Klinsmann. Now do you prefer that type of system or what we did in 2002? It's no different that what Bora did in 1994, but if you compare that to Bruce Arena 2002, that I might add included Donovan in a 3-5-2 formations that took us to the quarter-finals and could have beaten Germany,it's a no brainer that having Donovan we would have done better.

  35. Noe Bastidas, November 24, 2014 at 1:31 p.m.

    The conversation is interesting, but the energy is misguided.

    First, the attention given to JK takes away from the more important success factors of the USMNT, beginning with the development of world class talent. For example, I was hard pressed to identify a starting XI for the USMNT with the quality of the Colombian squad. They look like they have a bright (not so far away) future, while our star is barely twinkling.

    Second, the MLS vs. leagues of Europe angst is bizarre. Perhaps JK can be more tactful and quiet in his advice to players, but the MLS will never produce a Messi or Ronaldo--in the same way that the Argentine and Portuguese leagues will not. Perhaps a young talent may sprout out of the MLS, but ultimately his professional dominance will be forged in Europe’s top leagues (ala Neymar from Santos to Barca transfer). Think MLB to baseball and NBA to basketball--nothing else in the world compares.

    Lastly, perspective is missing from our collective assessment of the USMNT on an evolutionary scale. We are NOT yet the trendsetters. Instead, we are importers of talent and knowledge capital, including players, coaches, trainers, and referees, as well as training curriculums, tactics, and overall player development. We cannot import our way into world class, we need to become exporters of US-designed, US-developed, US-based soccer expertise in all areas of the sport.

    My two cents.

  36. Bill Jones, November 24, 2014 at 2:50 p.m.

    Cisco, never said the contrary. I think he should have been picked and even started but I also think the team was extremely lucky in their results given their play and the play of their rivals. SO in other words, Landon could have had the best 3 games of his life but at the same time this team could have easily and deservedly lost at least 2 games. vs Ghana and Germany and killed by Belgium. All 3 of those teams had much much better players in it's entirety and they completely dominated USA. WOuld dominate USA with or without LD and thats what you all fail to admit to. We had a completely different team in 2002 and Bradley's system is earily similar to Klins. there isnt much a coach can do differently with the players we have now. But hey, keep blaming it all on Klins, on Joy being captain and LD not getting picked !! Maybe that will get you somewhere

  37. beautiful game, November 24, 2014 at 10:22 p.m.

    Cisco, u forgot to mention that coach Arena had a better squad to complement LD. As for Bora, he played not to lose.

  38. Robert Heinrich, November 25, 2014 at 11:04 a.m.

    PK, your analysis points to the obvious recognition by all US supporters that "something" is not working. Clearly we lack the three or four "world class" players around which you could build a more dominant team. Klinsmann is desperately searching for more talent. We had 50 different players for the Nats this year, from many different countries, many different systems. Play is disjointed, not surprisingly. Could those "special" players emerge in the next 3 years? Yes, possibly. That would make a huge difference, particularly since we have lost one of the elements that has made us a respectable opponent in international competition, at least since 2000, which is the pride and determination that comes from wearing the shirt. In my opinion, many of the current players have marginal allegiance to the U.S. as a cultural and political entity. Camraderie (and leadership) is certainly lacking and in a team game requiring top level communication and organization, that is a significant obstacle to success.

  39. Bill Jones, November 25, 2014 at 5:08 p.m.

    Robert, well said and it isnt said enough. It looks like we are too willing to fill our team up with non USA born Americans to field a better team. As a patriotic fan, I dont see how much you can get behind a team like that. The only way the MLS can really show its fans how great a league it is is by scouting, developing and "Playing" top talent to fill the USA roster. Allowing for so many foreign players on each MLS teams gives us a big hint it is not.

  40. Allan Lindh, November 29, 2014 at 3:15 p.m.

    As patriotic fans maybe we ought to pay a little respect to the German born kids whose fathers were US service men stationed in Germany. Hard to remember now, but when those patriotic Americans were doing their duty, facing down the Russian tanks stationed in East Germany, their expectation was that if war broke out, and the Russians rolled west, almost everyone on the battlefield would die in the first few days. Cut the jingoistic crap, eh?

  41. Andrew Kear, March 1, 2015 at 8:09 a.m.

    Klinemann is a fool and has failed as USMNT coach.

    Case closed......

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