Black Saturday isn't the only reason why Klinsmann's time is up

By Mike Woitalla

It was Black Saturday for the USA. Mexico thoroughly outclassed Jurgen Klinsmann’s team after the U.S. U-23s, aiming to qualify for the Olympics, got schooled by Honduras.

Coaching the American Olympic hopefuls was Austrian Andi Herzog, assisted by German Matthias Hamann. Both handpicked by Klinsmann, who is also U.S. Soccer Technical Director.

Herzog, who previously coached in the Austrian national team program, is a former Bayern Munich teammate of Klinsmann. Hamann, the brother of former Klinsmann teammate Dietmar Hamann, previously coached in the German lower divisions and had a six-month stint with Austrian club LASK Linz.

As Technical Director, Klinsmann should have interest in developing American coaches. If he prefers to appoint foreign coaches, they’d better be fantastic, yet now the USA is in danger of not qualifying for the Olympics. Even if it beats Canada on Tuesday, it must still defeat Colombia to qualify for the Rio 2016 Games.

It was actually a bad week for the U.S. national team program that Klinsmann insisted on having complete control over. It started on Tuesday when the U.S. U-20 national team fell to Germany, 8-1, in Klinsmann’s hometown of Stuttgart. On Saturday afternoon, Herzog got ejected during his team’s dismal performance in a 2-0 loss Honduras. In the evening, Klinsmann’s own team delivered a dour brand of defense-minded soccer while losing a chance to go to the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia.

“Winning now this Concacaf Cup is really crucial,” Klinsmann said before losing to Mexico, 3-2.

That latest Klinsmann failure comes after another major disappointment -- a fourth-place finish on home soil at the Gold Cup, a tournament Klinsmann said “is very, very important to us.”

So, just within the last couple of months, Klinsmann’s team failed at the very important Gold Cup and the crucial Concacaf Cup while U.S. U-23s struggle in the hands of his appointees.

But it’s not just the recent results that indicate the national team should no longer be run by Klinsmann. Remember the 2014 World Cup?

It was in qualifying play for Brazil 2014 when the USA last played Mexico in official competition. The USA won, 2-0, on Sept. 10, 2013. Landon Donovan scored and assisted as the USA clinched a spot at the 2014 World Cup.

Then Klinsmann dumped Donovan, the greatest player in U.S. soccer history, from the World Cup squad.

Klinsmann brought to Brazil an injured Aron Johannsson and lost another striker, Jozy Altidore, 20 minutes into the first game. With the USA’s top scorer and assist record-holder left home, the USA finished no better than four years earlier under Coach Bob Bradley and not as good as in 2002 with Bruce Arena.

The U.S. national team is not better off than it was four years ago, when Klinsmann was hired. It’s not even better than it was 13 years ago, when using the World Cup as a measure. As far as the style of play?

The way Klinsmann’s team plays, it’s not even up to the standard he aimed to reach. When he was hired and asked about striving for an American style of play, he said "you would like to impose a little bit the game on your opponent instead of sitting back and waiting for what your opponent is doing and react to it."

Six months into his tenure, he said, “We are moving away from a reactive style of play to a proactive style. We want to play with the big teams; we want to take on the bigger nations and play like they play.”

On Saturday, Klinsmann’s team took to a new depth “sitting back and waiting.” It's not just about Saturday. The USA played “reactive” soccer throughout the 2014 World Cup but also for much of the 2015 Gold Cup, where the USA was outshot by Honduras, Panama and Haiti (75-25).

The gamble U.S. Soccer took on hiring Klinsmann is clearly not paying off.

Gamble? That’s right, because there was nothing in Klinsmann’s coaching history to justify the great expectations many had for him.

Remember, he coached only twice before. He didn’t last a season with a Bayern Munich that was defending Bundesliga champion when he took over. The other stint was taking a traditional world power to a third-place World Cup finish on home soil in 2006.

Those who try describe Klinsmann's stint at Germany's helm as a great accomplishment will point out that Germany was in crisis, having been eliminated in the first round of the European Championship two years earlier. They forget that Germany was eliminated from the 2000 European Championship but finished runner-up at the 2002 World Cup in Japan, with Coach Rudi Voeller at the helm. And they forget Germany faced only one tough opponent (Argentina) before losing to Italy in the semis in 2006.

But Klinsmann -- a World Cup-winning player who chose California as his home -- was for some an enticing choice for a national team that seemed to have been stuck on a plateau. Nothing wrong with rolling the dice, but you gotta know when to cut your losses.

As Technical Director, Klinsmann has likely lost the faith of the American coaching community that has witnessed his affinity for imported coaches and foreign-raised players – besides witnessing how poorly Klinsmann’s team has been playing.

As U.S. coach, he’s failed in four years to lift the team higher than his predecessors and within the last few months presided over a disconcerting decline. The usual solution in the soccer world, when a team is in such a rut, is to change the coach. Especially when you can’t point to any evidence that he has the potential to get more out of his players.

78 comments about "Black Saturday isn't the only reason why Klinsmann's time is up".
  1. Santiago 1314, October 11, 2015 at 11:42 p.m.

    Bingo...Ditto..You nailed it.!!!

  2. BJ Genovese, October 12, 2015 at 12:27 a.m.

    C.C Sunil Gulati

  3. R2 Dad, October 12, 2015 at 1:16 a.m.

    You want to bring in replacement coach(es)? Fine. Let's make sure they're an upgrade. Played on a club team that won the league/champions league during their tenure-check. World Cup playing experience, preferably having gotten out of the group stage-check. Has coached at the highest level of professional or international level-check. The only qualified candidates are not American. Now what?

  4. Santiago 1314, October 12, 2015 at 7:36 a.m.

    The only Foreigner I would be interested in would be Pep Guardiola...Maybe Cruijff will come in as Special Advisor...That would really Shake Up the Stylistic Status Quo. .. The Rest of the Extranjeros, will just be The Same 'OL, Same 'OL..

  5. RG Silver replied, October 12, 2015 at 9:50 a.m.

    USA fan:

    * We (USA) are always over achievers. We do not have a talented team. Please name one player on the USA that could play/start at a UEFA champions league side. (do not include Tim Howard)

    * Pep, Jose, or Sir Alex couldn't extract miracles out of the talent we have.

    *Before Klinsmann playing on the National team was a tenured position. The national pool of players has expanded.

    * 1 loss to Mexico and only coach to win in Estadio Azteca

    His faults as a manager pale in comparison to our issues as a country developing talent. Why we continue to look for guidance from the Brits is mind boggling.

  6. Santiago 1314 replied, October 12, 2015 at 10:01 a.m.

    NOT Disagreeing with you...So HIRE a COACH that wants to be an OVERACHIEVER, Not someone who wants to Look Down at you as a Player...

  7. Santiago 1314 replied, October 12, 2015 at 11:38 a.m.

    Easti; Everyone agrees our Talent is Not Greatest Skills and Tactical...National Team Coach has Little he can fix at their age and Limited time with them...So Work with what You have, Athleticism, Intensity, Endurance and "AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM"...Don't try to "Re-invent" the Wheel...just use the one we have, and ROLL OVER SOME PEOPLE...

  8. Daniel Clifton, October 12, 2015 at 8:18 a.m.

    My concern at this point is that if Klinsmann remains as the head coach of the USMNT they will fail to qualify for the next World Cup. As Woitalla states they are regressing in their play. This game was very difficult to watch. The lack of possession in the second half was unbelievable except that I watched it. The failure of the U23's to qualify for the Olympics again is an even bigger red flag. I think Gulati needs to hire an American coach.

  9. Santiago 1314 replied, October 12, 2015 at 11:48 a.m.

    Easti; You are Talking about Losing Some Serious Money and Exposure for Soccer if we Just Abandon the Current Qualifications...Staff People will lose Jobs, Pro Players will not Make Bonus Money, TV Revenue will Dry up, Soccer America could go Under(How many people going to Read/Blog about Slovenia vs Ecuador. ???)...You have some good ideas for Future Development, But "Come Back to the Future"...What we going to do this WC cycle.???

  10. Nancy Jones, October 12, 2015 at 9:30 a.m.

    Have agreed for a long time that JK is all ego! How would you like to play for him? How could you respect him? After 4 years of I made the team, no - I didn't. I'm back on,no off, no on! Playing what position??? Who made the roster this time - seriously. Our men deserve better! Our country deserves better. Get rid of Gulati and JK will be gone.

  11. Santiago 1314 replied, October 12, 2015 at 10:35 a.m.

    Starting to Look that way...Hopefully at the FIFAfia Emergency meeting, they will ask Sunil to run for President...He is a Smart Administator, Fair(to a Fault), Loyal(also to a Fault)...Financial Wiz(Finance Professor at Columbia U.)...and CLEAN OF CORRUPTION.!!! (SO FAR)...Face saving for Everyone...Then someone else can FIRE JK...

  12. beautiful game, October 12, 2015 at 9:38 a.m.

    Guradiola and Cruyff would not touch the USMNT with a 10-foot pole. Our youth development and college soccer is all about winning, mostly through physical and fast players. The development of quality skills and soccer IQ takes a back seat. Being the fastest player on the pitch and lacking the ability to make somrthing happen does not contrbute to team success.

  13. Santiago 1314 replied, October 12, 2015 at 11:57 a.m.

    Probably True,...But a guy can Dream!!!..Sigh...

  14. Robin Goodman, October 12, 2015 at 9:41 a.m.

    The only person that I know of who cannot see how poorly JK has performed is Sunil Gulati. Unfortunately he is also the only one who probably matters. But we need change, and we need it now; not later. I no longer see the competitive fire in our NT players that we became so accustomed to seeing. That tells me that their confidence in JK is gone as well.

  15. Mike Cobra, October 12, 2015 at 9:46 a.m.

    The team is just awful to watch. What happened to our attack? Altidore has digressed the past 4 years, Dempsey only moves if the ball is at his foot. What happened to our attack? Dempsey has magic in his feet but rarely is involved. When was the last time you had Dempsey and Altidore work well together?
    Our former American coaches did not have the world cup victories that Klinsmann had BUT THEY NEW AMERICAN SOCCER. Can anyone reading this tell me that Mexican, German, Italian, Dutch men are better athletes than Americans? Of course not. If you take our players and train and coach them properly we will succeed in any environment. Then why are we still dreaming of having a great team after decades of waiting and watching. It is all about Coaching!
    You cannot tell me that John Brooks is the answer for our defense. He is an experiment that is not worth waiting for. I believe we have as many American players as John just waiting to be trained and provided the experience to be a part of the American National Team experience. What about Julian Green were has he been and what are we to expect with this young man. His he truly that far ahead of Bobby Wood? We have American players that need more experience. Let’s win or lose with our young players and prepare for the future. We have been doing this for years and always looking for the answer from some hidden son in Europe with an American military parent. We have these players here in the USA!
    We must the same young players as those from around the world looking for the right youth coach to direct his talent to be viewed by the top American Coaches with the vision for moving his talent to the correct path to the National Program.
    I would take my chances again with an American Coaches Mentality than a failed developmental process with German old thinking.
    During the summer we won against The Dutch and German national teams. Of course the European teams did not have their top players at all positions BUT the US Squad was young, energetic and hungry to show they have talent and MOST IMPORTANT the Heart and will to win! They were successful.
    What happens next…. Most of those players that impressed were not selected for the important games in the qualifying matches for the Gold and Confederation matches.
    How many European or South American Coaches have lived in America and totally understand our culture. Klinsmann left his mother land for California. What does that say about his love for his country? IF the German way is the best than go back and train the youth in your birth place.
    Sunil you should also resign your position! Yes, you have been the man who has been involved in the selection process for years and you have overseen the youth development for well over 20 years! You need to be held accountable!
    Before you clean house let’s see who in America is willing and MORE IMPORTANT ABLE to get our country back to an American Style that we can all be proud of!

  16. Santiago 1314 replied, October 12, 2015 at 12:03 p.m.

    Well Stated...You can change 9 of the 11 players and NOT Notice the Difference...Time for Younger, Hungrier Players

  17. Delroy Wallace replied, October 13, 2015 at 1 p.m.

    If having an American Coach is the answer, you've got me there. However, if the answer is in the quality of the players (speed of thought and action, technically good, good vision, and how to use the space when defending especially when the ball is on the "opposite" side, near our goal , or mid third OR when attacking , how do they go forward! They are afraid because some stupid play by Bradley, Dempsey or Jones is going to turn the ball over, and create danger ! The players give up on the pitch when their abilities are exposed! The players are averaged! Players make runs, and the ball doen't come because the player is struggling to control the ball and cannot pass accurately , with weight or early enough! We need better quality players technically first!!!

  18. Shaun Howe, October 12, 2015 at 9:53 a.m.

    Why does he have to be a former international? How about Bruce Arena or if you want fresh blood Jesse Marsh. JK was definitely a great player, but as a coach his tactics suspect, player management confusing and frustrating. I have no doubt the two coaches mentioned work harder and have far greater knowledge of the game ( you could add Bob Bradley to that list). America's biggest problem is that we are in love with the foreign coach and if that coach an accent they must be really good. We see this at the youth level all the many coaches have you seen with an accent that know nothing about coaching a team. Like JK, they start off gang busters because there is great excitement and the team was left in good shape, only followed by a slow and steady decline as their work takes shape. We need people who hire national coaches who are qualified and recognize the difference between fluff and real quality.

  19. Santiago 1314 replied, October 12, 2015 at 3:05 p.m.

    Doesn't have to be a Former International, But that is an Intangible Bonus, if they have the Coaching Pedigree to go with it...Hence VERMES or Kinnear...Marsch has still to Win anything...Disaster in Montreal(But isn't Everyone) Hahaha... ( Maybe they gonna make the Play-offs With Player Coach DROGBA)

  20. James e Chandler replied, October 13, 2015 at 8 a.m.

    OMG, Please not Vermes. His sideline behavior is an embarrassment, a poor example of sportsmanship.

  21. Santiago 1314 replied, October 13, 2015 at 11:34 a.m.

    Like Herzog!?!?!?

  22. RG Silver, October 12, 2015 at 10:12 a.m.

    USA fan: * We (USA) are always over achievers. We do not have a talented team. Please name one player on the USA that could play/start at a UEFA champions league side. (do not include Tim Howard) * Pep, Jose, or Sir Alex couldn't extract miracles out of the talent we have. *Before Klinsmann playing on the National team was a tenured position. The national pool of players has expanded. * 1 loss to Mexico and only coach to win in Estadio Azteca His faults as a manager pale in comparison to our issues as a country developing talent. Why we continue to look for guidance from the Brits is mind boggling.

  23. beautiful game, October 12, 2015 at 10:16 a.m.

    Either Kinnear, Vermes, or Marsch should be in line of succeeding coach K, sooner then later. They can get the mental part of the game straightened out. As for the player soccer IQ development, that needs to be incorcorporated ASAP, as the #1 priority in youth development.

  24. Santiago 1314 replied, October 12, 2015 at 3:11 p.m.

    I w; You are Speaking so much and so Coherent and so Correct

  25. Shaun Howe, October 12, 2015 at 10:18 a.m.

    Have you watched that game lately where we "won" at Azteca? We sat back, looked to counter, and were dominated in terms of possession. Maybe that is part of the result oriented. We should be demanding proactive soccer and wins. I do think we have the players to beat the likes of Mexico. With that said. JK has been a part if this huge shift to academy programs. Is this making us better. If so, why the recent u20 and u23 embarrassments?

  26. Greg Giese, October 12, 2015 at 10:20 a.m.

    By the logic mentioned above Michael Jordan should be a great basketball coach. Hmmm No. They are two completely different jobs in the same field. Our team sucks technically. JK is bad for saying MLS is bad for our players (TRUE however, ask Michael Bradley, Three shots on goal mis-kicked). His vision for the field is gone. Clint......No comment. I'm 60 with more energy than he showed. C'mon! I thought Josie played decent he dropped back a LOT for help out defending rather than his usual sit up top and wait with two defenders for the ball. JK I wouldn't be upset if he went but c'mon the national team coach has them for a month each year training-wise. Your skills are your responsibility. And regardless of what Lexi says, Besler was outa shape last spring and these guys need to learn OUTSIDE of the NATL team camps. Get real.

  27. Shaun Howe, October 12, 2015 at 10:45 a.m.

    I agree, the national coach does not improve players technically. His job is to set them up tactically for success. Have you ever been fixed to play low pressure. Basically says you are not good enough to compete. Perhaps some of this low energy from our better players is a lack of motivation or confidence in self and the plan. We need a coached who gets more from their players.

  28. Santiago 1314 replied, October 12, 2015 at 3:22 p.m.

    We can Gain alot...Even JK said we could have been in the Semi's Last World Cup...WondoLoserki Doesn't miss a Sitter versus Belgium and We play A Weak Argentina Team in the Quarters... Look at the Weird Results from Gold Cup, Euro Qualifiers and Brazil lost their First Game for Russia 2018..

  29. Santiago 1314 replied, October 13, 2015 at 11:30 a.m.

    They used to say that about USA, when Donovan was Playing.!!!...World Cup, Gold al...Nobody Remebers HOW YOU PLAYED...THEY JUST REMEMBER THE WINNERS!!!...Remember Brazil '94, W.Germany '90, Italy '06...Nobody Remembers those Games...JUST THE WINNERS!!!...You know; Little Stars you get to put on your Jersey... That's what Counts

  30. Bob Ashpole replied, October 14, 2015 at 2:38 a.m.

    Brazil? Hardly. Man U's facebook page has over 66 million likes. I don't think Brazil's MNT has a facebook page.

  31. Shaun Howe, October 12, 2015 at 10:49 a.m.

    Win or lose,we should go at people/teams. Isn't this a fundamental aspect of being American? Going into a game with a setup that says we are in over our heads does not create am atmosphere conducive to fundamental American principals and does not motivate our players.

  32. Santiago 1314 replied, October 12, 2015 at 3:28 p.m.

    Bing, Bing, and Ditto, Ditto...Spot On!!!

  33. Richard Bzdek, October 12, 2015 at 10:52 a.m.

    It was not great soccer to watch...we seemed old and sluggish in our play.The team is in transition, and we'll see some younger players in the next World Cup...hopefully. JK brought up a lot of new and young players over the last couple of years, and he'll need to blend them in.I'd still give JK the opportunity to see where he takes the team. If we don't make the WC or don't go deep enough, then look to America for the next coach. Marsch has the Red Bulls playing a nice brand of soccer...see what success he's had in a couple of years, but let me enjoy his style of play at RB for at least a year or two more.

  34. BJ Genovese replied, October 12, 2015 at 11:09 a.m.

    Curious as why we need to blend players in. Do other countries do this? From what I have always seen from other national teams is that world class players who are in top form are just brought in. There is not pampering and chemistry. Thats not what a national team does. Those types of players are on another level. They are expected to play top form. That part of our problem. JK is trying to develop a senior national team. Thats not his job. A national team coaches main job is to just bring in red hot players. Then be really good at chess.

  35. cony konstin, October 12, 2015 at 11:31 a.m.

    It doesn't matter who coaches the team. Coaches don't win championships. Talented and magical players win championships. We don't have neither. We had one his name was LD. He was a national treasure but when he was dumped to one side the country didn't care just like the country doesn't care that we lose to Mexico, Iceland or to Brazil. Why? Because in the U.S. Soccer is treated like a hobby. It is not a way of life. That is why we need a soccer revolution in the U.S. We need radical change. We need 600,000 Futsal courts which will become our version of streetball. So kids can play for free, 24/7/365, be challenged everyday to see who will be be king of the court, and with no overrated coaches or any other adult interference. You want to revolutionize soccer in the U.S. Create an environment that kids can develop their love, passion and talent naturally. Our players are being trained to be robotic. They stiff in the hips and have no rythmn or style. Why? Because our coaches are force feeding the players with this pay to play model. NO MORE GIMMICKS AND SMOKE AND MIRRORS!!! The kids need a place that is theirs. We need new leadership. We need a new vision. We need a 21st century master plan. We need a revolution. Then we move to the next phase. We create a NEW SPARTA to conquer the world of football.

  36. Santiago 1314 replied, October 12, 2015 at 3:43 p.m.

    Correcta Mundo mi amigo Cony!!!...But we got to Compete HOY!!! World Cup Qualifiers start Next Month...How best to do it Today, with what we have???

  37. David Mont, October 12, 2015 at 11:33 a.m.

    Finally! A soccer journalist in this country (besides Paul Gardner) saying the things I've been saying for years.

  38. johnny c, October 12, 2015 at 11:46 a.m.

    I will repeat this experience :
    Yesterday I went to see a U12 team in a predominantly Latino area. The kids wore a USA national team knock off uniform and were playing in a local league that cost $35 dollars a season. I saw 11 INCREDIBLE American players. US Soccer Federation, where are you??? We need to scout and find these kids, we need to completely revamp our entire administration!

  39. Adrian Gonzalez replied, October 14, 2015 at 12:38 p.m.

    Bingo !, I just said that in too many words. Nicely done !

  40. Kent James, October 12, 2015 at 11:54 a.m.

    This column makes a pretty strong case; of course it is not JK's fault that we are not a world power, but he isn't helping our cause either. And by looking at the big picture (not just the one game), it looks much worse for JK. The one thing I'd be curious about is how the players feel about him; do they respect him and believe that he puts them in the best position to win, or do they think he's part of the problem?

  41. Santiago 1314 replied, October 12, 2015 at 3:47 p.m.

    I Don't think they Would go public...But Sunil should send Someone to ask them "Off the Record"... I Volunteer Myself...Jajaja... And then Sunil can pay me 2 million dollars 7 years later, When he becomes Head of FIFAfia..LOL!!!

  42. Joe Bailey, October 12, 2015 at 12:14 p.m.

    We made it to the Quarter finals of the 2002 World cup beating Mexico along the way. Mexico had better players then. We beat them in the 1993 Copa America, they had better payers then. We beat them in the 2007 Gold Cup final, they had better players then. We beat Egypt and Spain in the Confederations Cup in 2009, Mexico STILL had better players than us then. See where I'm going with this???

  43. Santiago 1314 replied, October 12, 2015 at 3:59 p.m.

    It can be Done...Just got to Wind them up the Right way...Ball is Round and "On Any Given Sunday".!?!?!!!

  44. Kenyon Cook, October 12, 2015 at 12:41 p.m.

    1) The US Soccer leadership need to stand for developing an identity that comes from within our futbol culture. A culture that is not German or European (no disrespect intended). It is a culture that has many faces from the influx of coaches from all over the world over time, but one that is increasingly Hispanic due to its changing demographics. Isn't it curious how so many of our younger USMT teams have a high percentage of Hispanic players. Players with high technical abilities.

    2) The US Soccer leadership needs to have the "cojones" to do the right thing and change the out of hand youth soccer business club culture.

    3) That said, the recent small sided futbol initiative taken be US Soccer, was a long time coming. Kudos!

    4) There is talent out there that we are not allowing to blossom at all levels in this country. Stop stifling creativity and true passion. Put young players in a position to grow their Soccer IQ, technical skills and futbol fitness.

    5) The US Soccer leadership should go out and hire coaches that really care about the US Soccer Nation and its game, at all levels. Coaches that will be part of the big picture and not "their picture". Our Soccer Nation is growing but it lacks an identity to rally around.
    JK did little to create passion in our game and certainly did not let younger and talented home grown players, have enough time to mature. Long term prosperity in US Soccer will only come from the growth of talent from within its Soccer Nation, not from overseas.

    "The simplicity of giving the beautiful game back to our kids, is the essence of a more natural process of player development." WFT

    What we have seen from players in the past few years that have played WFT 3v3 games in the offseason, is remarkable. We have rules to keep the adults (parents and coaches) quiet (we punish the players if adults misbehave with a 60 secs power play creating 2v3)and consequently, the parents shut up. They are accountable to their children, not to the referee. The kids are eating it up and their higher Soccer IQ and technical skills are blatenly obvious when they go back to the "grind" of club soccer.
    Just imagine if our young kids could play 100's of uninhibited and challenging small sided games on 15x22 yds (U6-U10) and 20x30 yds (11-U15) fields with the option to just put the ball down and dribble in on all GK's, CK's, kick-in)each year. And loving every minute of it!
    Unfortunately, that would take jobs away from many paid coaches who are all about winning the next league match or upcoming tournament. Don't get me wrong, technical training is an important component, but so is letting our kids "just play" without all the pressure, but still in a competitive and very challenging small sided game.

    The WFT simply wants to be a part of the solution of a more natural approach of allowing our young players to develop total comfort with the ball.
    We care.

  45. Kevin Sims replied, October 13, 2015 at 10:23 a.m.

    JK's World All-Stars approach has been entertaining at times and has produced some positive results at times. However, has there been positive development of American soccer? of American soccer players? of American coaching? I think not. Utilizing some dual-citizenship players is okay to a point, but we must take a long-term perspective and invest in American players and coaches as well. Yes, the USMNT coach is to win and to qualify for major competitions; but also Yes, the USMNT coach is to develop players and coaches to advance the nation's play and growth in the sport. I do not see progress on the latter. If a foreign coach can lead in such a way to accomplish both goals, fine ... but I think we have domestic talent at hand. It is not the coach's fault that the team struggles to solve problems in tight spaces well. That's a soccer culture issue. JK has been right to suggest Americans sharpen their skills by pursuing play in the world's elite leagues and the lack of sharp play against the best is evident. BTW ... ironic it seems to read people declare the need for American culture in the sport while using "futbol", "football" and "FC" references so much.

  46. Allan Lindh, October 12, 2015 at 1:12 p.m.

    It's not quite this clear cut. Without Landon we're lacking creative genius and speed and finishing ability. And throughout the lineup we're certainly not as talented as we were in 2002. But cutting Landon from the WC squad in 2014, and his bizarre lineup "experiments" at the Gold Cup are too much, adios Smiley, you egotistical clown.

  47. Daniel Clifton replied, October 12, 2015 at 6:18 p.m.

    Allan Lindh writes about the positive effect of Landon Donovan on the US team and the negative effect of him now not being available. The 2013 Gold Cup team playing cohesive, fluid, beautiful soccer with Mr. LD. What did they look like in this 2015 Gold Cup? A joke in comparison.

  48. Joe Bailey, October 12, 2015 at 1:22 p.m.

    And yet who dropped Landon and replaced him with nice but mediocre players to whom he would put on the field when an attack-minded player was sorely needed?

  49. Joe Bailey, October 12, 2015 at 1:36 p.m.

    I agree with you, Allan, adios!!! or is it Auf Wiedersehen...

  50. Matt Dishongh, October 12, 2015 at 2:35 p.m.

    But we will still have the change in youth soccer age groups from academic year to birth year as a lasting legacy to enjoy for years to come.

  51. Xavi Hernandez , October 12, 2015 at 2:43 p.m.

    Until a gifted but small and physically immature 13 year old without money to burn and tons of connections can make it to the top levels of American soccer we will continue to struggle.

  52. Allan Lindh, October 12, 2015 at 3:01 p.m.

    And for all of you who complain that USSoccer doesn't fix the reality that US players don't have the foot skills that Mexican players do, and actually most other players in the world, you're looking in the wrong place. Kids learn foot skill, love of the ball, at the ages of 5-8 -- playing in the back yard with their parents, siblings and friends. USSoccer can't fix that, it's up to us.

  53. Matt Dishongh replied, October 12, 2015 at 11:34 p.m.

    Amen, brother! Our kids need to learn to fall in love with the game above ALL ELSE -- and that includes winning.

  54. Albert Harris, October 12, 2015 at 5:04 p.m.

    I don't really know if anybody can do a better job with the players we have as a coach than JK. But I'm sure others could do as well for less money. And keeping him as technical director is a joke. He was brought in to change things, not recruit passport Americans.

  55. Santiago 1314 replied, October 12, 2015 at 9:55 p.m.

    Well put..

  56. Kent James replied, October 13, 2015 at 11:53 a.m.


  57. R2 Dad replied, October 13, 2015 at 12:43 p.m.

    Given the landscape of youth soccer in this country, the easiest step was to develop academy teams to try and give the same advantage MLS has nationally to their teams at the local level. Unfortunately, this only works when solidarity payments are made to non-MLS affiliated clubs. So far MLS has refused to make those payments (unlike the rest of the world). No solidarity payments, no pro-rel. How does US Soccer expect youth soccer to cooperate?

  58. Daniel Clifton, October 12, 2015 at 6:14 p.m.

    We clearly need to revolutionize our youth development. Get rid of the pay to play model and start scouting for great potential talents at a young age regardless of size or ethnic make up. The commenters who are calling for that such as East Coast and others are right on. It is way overdue. I thought that is what Klinsmann was brought in to do, but it is obviously not working. I think MLS is going to have to have alot to with this development. Anyone who watched this game could see the lack of energy on the part of the US team. They stay back and watch the Mexicans play with the ball. It was pathetic to watch. It seemed to at times in the first half we were playing a man down (Dempsey disappeared). I like the American coaches mentioned, Kinnear, Vermes, and Marsch. I think Marsch probably needs more seasoning but he is a potential great coach who is still working out the kinks. Look at what he has done with the Red Bulls in what is supposedly a rebuilding year. Allan Lindh is right kids need to be playing in their back yards or anywhere ages 5 to 8, playing with their friends and learning the foot skills on their own. I see kids doing this in my neighborhood as I am driving home (Hispanic kids, for whatever that is worth, while next door Black kids are playing basketball.)

  59. Santiago 1314 replied, October 12, 2015 at 9:58 p.m.

    Hugo Perez tried to do the Smaller Quicker players...Look where it got him...FIRED by JK...

  60. Bill Morse, October 12, 2015 at 6:31 p.m.

    Yes, Yes, and Yes! Juergen needs to go! German experiment over!

  61. Alex G. Sicre, October 12, 2015 at 7:31 p.m.

    To the man who got rid of the USAs best player, Landon Donovan, Adios Kleensmon por siempre.

  62. Matt Dishongh, October 12, 2015 at 11:35 p.m.

    U.S. Soccer, if you are serious about it, the massive and unprecedented soccer outreach to public schools across the country would have started yesterday.

  63. R2 Dad replied, October 13, 2015 at 12:54 p.m.

    Yes, especially where I live. Female principals don't want kids to get hurt so soccer/basketball/baseball is not allowed from K-5--only 4 Square--I kid you not. The kids don't even know how to play a team sport in school. Kickball involves all the kids lined up to kick and 2 or 3 in the outfield to shag balls. Laaaaaaaaame. And we wonder why Millenials are called Team Wuss. "We can't have losers, so there must not be winners. So let's just eliminate all those nasty boy sports and knit".

  64. R2 Dad, October 13, 2015 at 12:28 a.m.

    Although I didn't get to see the entire match, it had its moments. Not pulsating end-to-end, but exciting and close. I'm not happy the US lost, but on sunday I did 2 matches and the kids, over half of whom are hispanic, watched the game. They all had big smiles on their faces when we talked about it and that makes me happy. That alone is progress--they all watched the match. Once we have a world class hispanic on the USMNT, the kids will follow. It won't happen immediately, but I've waited quite a while already--what's another decade or three? It could be worse; I could be a Cubs fan. It's the trip, not the destination. If there is a sports positive from this huge influx of foreigners into the country it will be the large injection of hispanic passion for the game.

  65. Adrian Gonzalez replied, October 14, 2015 at 12:55 p.m.

    Love this comment ! Not just the Hispanic influence, that they watched ! Bottom line is the Hispanic influence is real and needs to reach the MNT. Tall, strong, fast has us nowhere !

  66. F B, October 13, 2015 at 1:21 a.m.

    Folks, you are forgetting one thing in your JK piñata party frenzy. The guy who invited that "guest of honor" is Gulati. This guy is the problem at the top. He is an economics geek (respectfully, that's a good thing if your main interest is running the business of soccer), and a foreigner by birth, just like JK. He sees none of the concerns that nativists place on having a native born coach lead the USMNT, or on not having imported, "passport players" on the team. Further, as long as he is in control, you will have great business initiatives that will turn a tidy profit for the prodigious industry that is US Soccer today. This industry will grow, perhaps not as fast as it would if the US could win a WC, but it will grow enough to keep the investors/owners/sponsors happy. I think most will agree, especially now, that the JK hiring was yet one more high dollar splurge with more flash and name recognition than merit. Finding talent in the rough and developing it conscientiously is not easy or quick work. This economist has no idea how to do it, and no idea who can do it for him. In expressing his thoughts about the potential for a successful women's professional league, he revealed his approach to development of the game as a whole. He said,"There's no right to exist, so to speak, of any sports venture, or any business venture, for that matter. In the end, the market will decide." The market? Does that sound like what you guys writing in above are after? Market penetration and ROI??? Some talk about "defining the American style" of soccer. Gulati's vision is to find the "Wall Street style of soccer" in this country. How can the USMNT play with heart and spirit, if its leadership is itself guided only by the business of the game? More importantly, a system designed to reap a profit at every opportunity will never have the necessary awareness and respect for the talent lying dormant in the less advantaged portions of our society. Without the personal resources, those diamond in the rough players not fortunate enough to play for elite club soccer teams on well manicured fields wearing sharp, sponsor-facilitated uniforms will never see a development system put together by this leadership.

  67. Adrian Gonzalez replied, October 14, 2015 at 1:02 p.m.

    I will repeat, Bingo ! Capitalism at it's Best / Worst ? I believe if we focus on the development of players and get the right players in place, regardless of economic status, the game improves, more people are involved for the right reasons (not money) and eventually winning takes place. Then the game markets itself.

  68. Santiago 1314 replied, October 14, 2015 at 9:20 p.m.

    I disagree on 2 points otherwise, you are Spot on... (1) I don't not agree on attacking Sunil or others on being "Passport" Americans...You have a USA PASSPORT You have ALL THE RIGHTS that the Constitution Entitles you to...Dicrimination Based on Race, or National Origin is ILLEGAL..(2) While Sunil was instrumental in the Development of MLS and now WSL; "Wallstreet" Leagues are VERY Important to the Long Term Stability of Soccer in the Country.
    .He also spending USSF Money on adding more National Youth teams and Scouts...Those are Money Losing Situations...

  69. BJ Genovese, October 13, 2015 at 9:54 a.m.

    Im sorry but Hugo Perez absolutly did not bring in those types of players. If anything he brought in a u14 squad that was mostly already fully grown kids that matured early. Granted those kids did have skill.

  70. Dan Phillips, October 13, 2015 at 5:11 p.m.

    Get rid of Jozy Altidore too. He sucks!

  71. Kevin Leahy, October 13, 2015 at 5:35 p.m.

    It bothers me a little that Tab Ramos is tied to J.K. but, he knows this country and it's assets as well as anyone. I don't believe that you need all this pedigree as a player to be a great coach. There are hundreds of examples that, have had great success as a coach or manager. The biggest concern is the whole program from top to bottom. The future is scary right now!

  72. F B, October 13, 2015 at 6:34 p.m.

    DP, you mean Jozy "Out-the-door", right? I agree. He's just another flamed out prospect. Too bad. His physical attributes are superlative.

  73. Santiago 1314 replied, October 15, 2015 at 1:23 p.m.

    Jozy Got RED CARDED; Sitting ON THE BENCH for Toronto..34th Minute!?!?!?...What the "Fudge".?!?!?...When you "Lose It" it can All Fall apart FAST...Pray he don't end up at "The Ranch" like Odom

  74. Jeromy Allsop, October 13, 2015 at 7:17 p.m.

    You can not coach no talent players!!! Our team is horrible and lack skill. We suck at passing and are the worst at shooting acutely. Look at other countries like Germany they have the worlds best keeper and the rest of the team any country would love them to be on there team. You can not start winning in a couple of years he is trying to build a program that produces skill players from the bottom all the way to the pro level. This is why he wants his players to play in Europe where the talent is the top in the world. Our pro teams could not even beat a second tear team from Europe lol.hell we have our summer programs that don't keep score or have different talent levels!! Our programs are a joke and will always be unless we change them like coach k is trying to do. Besides Bradley everyone on our team is a second rate player. Landon was our best player but did not try hard enough in practice and the coach did not like that. Landon practiced like that because our coaching program also sucks.

  75. Santiago 1314 replied, October 15, 2015 at 1:33 p.m.

    You can "Coach" "No Talent" Players...You can Coach Anyone,!!!....Now, it may not Look like We want it to...But, At Least give your PLAYERS A Formation that doesn't have them Chasing Shadows all Night...Give the a Style that suits their "Limited" Abilities. ..Wind'em Up and Let them Hunt...That's The American Way, until we have a Messi or Ronaldo...

  76. Adrian Gonzalez, October 14, 2015 at 12:20 p.m.

    IMO, I'm not sure that the youth system needs a complete overhaul. My son plays for an excellent team here in Northern California, one of the top ranked teams in the nation, for what that is worth. He is 17. With his team and most of his opponents I see very good quality of the "beautiful game". My definition of quality ? Excellent first touch, excellent ball control in tight spaces as well as open field, HIGH SOCCER IQ, working the ball out of the defensive third not playing kick ball. Many of these traits come naturally (playing when young and paying attention to detail) and many are taught by excellent trainers. How would these young men fare against European competition ? I honestly cannot say, I don't get much opportunity to watch our U17, U20, U23 teams play. Maybe an overhaul of leadership is needed but I believe many of the important aspects of the game are being taught correctly right here at home. The ability to continue to pay to compete in these leagues, or to afford to send these players to top colleges are a huge issue. Capitalism is built into our economic structure and too many times those without resources are simply crushed by the inability to continue to stay on the ride. I believe we have excellent players right here in our backyards, they are not being seen by the right people. The process is convoluted and lots of gold is left untouched at the bottom of the river.

  77. Bob Ashpole replied, October 15, 2015 at 6:34 p.m.

    I don't want you to answer these questions, just think about them. How much do you pay the club so that you son can play? The excellent touch and control--is that with both feet? How about your son's 1v1 skills? Can he hook a pass around a defender and onto the path of running teammate? With both feet? Did the club develop your son's team mates or did they obtain them from other clubs? Is the club focusing on making your son a better player in the future or focusing on winning matches and their national ranking?

  78. Bob Ashpole replied, October 15, 2015 at 6:42 p.m.

    Oh and I last question to consider. How much of your son's development can be attributed to his family and friends?

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