Commentary

Klinsmann has molded a team that resembles himself

By Ridge Mahoney
(@ridgemax)

First of all, let’s sum up the last few months for the men’s national team and its subset, the under-23s.

Put aside the Brazil game, though it must be said that trying out a new central defender pairing (Ventura Alvarado, Michael Orozco) and assigning defensive midfield duties to a primarily attacking type (Alejandro Bedoya) against the greatest soccer nation isn’t bold or brave, it’s downright crazy. Yes, Brazil probably beats the USA anyway but how do such bizarre decisions build spirit and confidence, especially in the wake of a fourth-place Gold Cup finish?

Why Coach Jurgen Klinsmann believed such decisions would help prepare the USA for a daunting test against its bitterest rival is no longer relevant, since he instead chose Matt Besler and Geoff Cameron -- to face Mexico. Extensive changes to the squad for the next game yielded a listless display that contrasted sharply with the committed, purposeful play of Costa Rica.

The 2-1 defeat of Peru is greatly outweighed by other recent results, a gauntlet of failure against Concacaf foes. Klinsmann’s best available team fell to Mexico and a younger group could barely muster a serious threat in losing to Costa Rica. The under-23s were outclassed in their Qlympic qualifying semifinal by Honduras. In the latter stages of the Gold Cup, the Americans were beaten by Jamaica (in the semifinals) and fell to Panama on penalty kicks (third-place game).

So the greatest feat attained in the last few months is the under-23s twice defeating Canada: once in group play, and then again Tuesday in a playoff to reach another playoff, which will be against Colombia in March. Olympic hopes are thus still alive but just about everything else points to programs that are losing ground to regional rivals not named Mexico.

This is not progress. This is stagnation at best and regression at worse. Too many experienced players such as Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore are under-performing, and more and more, the younger candidates like DeAndre Yedlin are revealing their inexperience.

Both Klinsmann and U-23 head coach Andi Herzog are dependent on the players available to them and their performance at the club level. Herzog, an Austrian international in his playing days, played in the German Bundesliga, but there’s little he can do about the plight of Jerome Kiesewetter, who at 22 has played only two first-team games for VfB Stuttgart. Unfortunately, in the U-23 pool players like defender Matt Miazga, who deservedly starts regularly for the Red Bulls, are the exception.

For the first few years of his regime, Klinsmann’s churning through players and systems and formations made sense. His search for players who could adopt his philosophies and implement his ideas of play would take time. But more than four years is a lot of time. What has happened in the past isn’t as important as what the future direction is, and all directly head seems murky and shadowed.

One can point to Klinsmann’s decisions regarding individual players and agree or disagree with them, but continued success cannot be attained at the national team level without certain basics, such as a solid back line. It’s all well and good to tinker with roles and personnel, but since the World Cup, Klinsmann has failed to establish a back-line solidity that is essential no matter what attacking style is implemented.

Possession game, counterattack, combination play, flank dominance, etc., all require a strong foundation, a bedrock of stability and support. For the Mexico game, Klinsmann reverted to the same back four he used for much of the World Cup, but the U.S. couldn’t contain Miguel Layun and Paul Aguilar on the flanks, nor contain Andres Guardado and Hector Herrera in midfield, and seldom crossed the midfield line confidently after halftime.

The alarm bells rang loudly enough after the Gold Cup yet Klinsmann chose to ignore them. So seldom have players such like Benny Feilhaber and Sacha Kljestan been selected by Klinsmann it’s puzzling as to how he expects to integrate a more skillful, more polished style of play while ignoring their abilities. Both of them struggled through lean times with the national team, but both are in their primes and possess traits all too rare in most American players. If they fail in a friendly, they fail, but isn’t that what friendlies are for? Does it really mean anything to beat Germany and the Netherlands in friendlies if that success can’t be carried over to competitive Concacaf games?

The purported emphasis on finding and fielding more Hispanic players has produced consistent calls for, wait for it, defenders Michael Orozco and Ventura Alvarado, and occasionally left back Greg Garza. None of them have held down a regular place.

One can argue that Bedoya – who plays in France for Nantes – is a better option, and Michael Bradley is indispensable, but with all the moving and shifting and trying things out, can Joe Corona really be that far behind everyone else? And why did an emphasis on youth not accelerate the phasing out of Jermaine Jones and Kyle Beckerman, both 33 this year, immediately after the World Cup?

Wittingly or not, Klinsmann has achieved what often occurs with a national team: the coach has molded a team in his own image. As a player, Klinsmann made up in grit and determination the gracefulness and elegance he lacked. He was remarkable, no question. He rang up goals regularly for Germany (47) and won the World Cup and European Championship, and excelled at club level for Stuttgart, Bayern Munich, Monaco, Inter Milan, Sampdoria, and Tottenham. (Part of Klinsmann’s dilemma is that few of his players have turned out for clubs such as those in their careers, but the same can be said about Costa Rica, not to mention Panama and Jamaica.)

Yet American players have never lacked for grit and spirit and intensity. Klinsmann played with a polish honed by decades of intense training and tough competition, and perhaps his scouring of available players has persuaded him that’s the best that he, and the USA, can do. If so, that would represent a major change in emphasis and a return to the past and raise questions as to why Klinsmann is needed to perpetuate a traditional, already entrenched style.

His latest buzzword is “proactive,” which can mean just about anything except “passive.” A team can be direct and batter away at teams while being proactive, or it can move cohesively and smoothly as a unit both in attack and defense, and dictate tempo and flow in a proactive manner.

Now he’s embroiled in a “he said, he said,” with Fabian Johnson, who is not a player Klinmsann can afford to exclude long-term. He is woefully short of players he can count on to do a good job most of the time, with his back line constantly in flux and Dempsey not the go-guy he’s been in the past.

Good results in the World Cup qualifiers next month are essential yet even if attained, they won’t mean much unless solid evidence of Klinsmann’s purpose and vision are also on display.

52 comments about "Klinsmann has molded a team that resembles himself".
  1. David Mont, October 15, 2015 at 8:20 a.m.

    Of course there will be good results next month. After all, we're playing St. Vincent and Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago. A couple wins, and Klinsmann will be the messiah again.

  2. Santiago 1314 replied, October 15, 2015 at 6:34 p.m.

    Yes, they will try to Bamboozle us again, with a couple easy wins...Remove JK and put Tab in-Charge for the 2 games; While USSF Waits for MLS to finish...I Prefer they Hire VERMES...

  3. Stephen Sonderegger, October 15, 2015 at 8:51 a.m.

    Leaving Klinsmann in his position is Einstein's definition of insanity.
    i.e. “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
    However, and most importantly, the soccer that the USMNT plays is very amateurish.
    Additionally, I find that the players, even though many are not performing up to snuff, are being done no favors what so ever with Klinsmann's ad hoc approach.
    We have seen before and are seeing again that Klinsmann is no X's & O's guy.
    Cut the losses and move on.
    Please!

  4. Santiago 1314 replied, October 15, 2015 at 6:27 p.m.

    Well said!!!

  5. Mike Cobra, October 15, 2015 at 8:58 a.m.

    If we are to make a change then let it be an American who over and over has consistently won. Bring Back Bruce Arena!
    His teams always over performed! He understands the USA players. I do not care what Tim Howard said yesterday about the players are behind JK! IT doesn't SHOW ON THE FIELD!
    Bring back a proven winner!

  6. Miguel Dedo, October 15, 2015 at 9:25 a.m.

    Given JK's vindictiveness, what player would risk anything but praise for him?

  7. Walter Burenin, October 15, 2015 at 9:55 a.m.

    The last 4 USMNT matches v CONCACAF opponents have resulted in losses to Jamaica, Panama, Mexico and Costa Rica. The U23s lost to Honduras. World Cup qualification will not be easy. The team is in disarray. No one knows who will be in the line-up or what position they will be asked to play. The time for change is NOW. PLEASE.....before it is too late.

  8. Brian Kraft, October 15, 2015 at 11:06 a.m.

    Personality dictates a player's role on the field. Cocky, swaggering dudes and adventuresome types play farther forward. They must always be trying different things to try to break through and get that goal. For every success they fail many times. Steadfast, reserved, um, gentlemen bring up the rear. Dependable and prudent, arguably better decision makers. They dare not put a foot wrong during a game, because one slip makes the difference. I want to know how many coaches - particularly successful ones - come from the former and from the latter groups. Klinsmann comes from the former and I'd bet on the latter.

  9. Brian Kraft replied, October 16, 2015 at 10:17 a.m.

    No thoughts on this? JK coaches like a forward: try this, try that, maybe this will work, here's a crazy idea! I'm sure there are exceptions - Jason Kreis has had a little success - but attacking mentality doesn't translate to coaching, where prudence and consistency count the most.

  10. Santiago 1314 replied, October 16, 2015 at 12:34 p.m.

    My thought Would be; If your a "Flake"; Your a FLAKE.!!!... Doesn't matter whether you were a Forward or Defender...Maybe that is what Disappoints Fans the most about JK...At least if The Team Played with some "Flakeyness" and "Un-Predictabilityness" we would understand that he is trying something different...But To Pay all this money for Poorly Arranged "Chairs on The Titanic"; Ridiculous... RIDICULOUS.!!!

  11. Brian Kraft replied, October 17, 2015 at 1:15 p.m.

    I just ran into Len Oliver (Google him, Hall of Famer, he coaches coaches) at my farmers market!
    "Coach, who makes better coaches, guys who play further forward or further back?"
    "Goalkeepers. The see everything!"
    "Then defenders, then midfielders, then forwards?"
    "Never hire a forward as a coach. They're too quirky."
    That is the definitive word.

  12. Sean Patrick Kersten, October 15, 2015 at 11:42 a.m.

    Lets fire Klinsman bc our player development sucks, we have a system that is bacically pay for play, so we have the best surburban kids whose parents can pay for them to play on select teams and get noticed by the US development coaches. I think Klinsmans mistake in the Mexico game was Beasley, Beckerman and Zardes, he needed more speed and creativity at midfield to go with grit Jones provides. Zardes experiment at mid field is a failure, Beasley was caught out of position too many times and lead to Mexico goals. Dempsey was lazy up front and lacked to spark and creativity he had at WC, Altidore is best in space on breaks where he can use size and power to overcome defence. A change may be necessary, but our system is not developong talent, the best MLS stars are Europes has beens who are retired. Klinsman is at fault for some, but he searches for talent overseas speaks to ptoblems developing talent at home.

  13. Santiago 1314 replied, October 15, 2015 at 6:26 p.m.

    And your Solution to our Problem at Left Back and Left Midfield IS.????...Zardes was doing acceptable Job at Outside Left Mid...For Mexico, JK moved him from Lt.Mid to Basically Rt.Def, to Cover Layun...Beasley was Trapped in No-Mans Land; Covering Space at Left Def. and Having to Sprint out to Cover Aguilar; Because Jones was too far Inside to Help...

  14. cony konstin, October 15, 2015 at 11:43 a.m.

    JK is not the problem nor the solution. I have been coaching for 40 years. I have coached in 5 continents and what I have discovered is that the ball is round..... and that talented players win championships not coaches.... So the question that I answered 40 years ago and still preaching it today. What must we do to have talented players? First we was must admit that you cant make chicken soup with chicken menusha. This is exactly what we have been doing for many years in the US. We have had a lot of dedicated people who have made a huge effort in trying to make players better and try to make the game better but guess what. It doesn't work anymore. Our system the pay to play model is awesome if your goal is to fight youth obesity, teach kids team work or learn social skills. But to create 21st century soccer warriors? No!! It is an abomination, a travesty and a total disservice to our kids. What our kids need is place to call theirs. Just think if Magic, Bird, West, Lebron, Jordan didn't have a place/basketball court where they could go an play until their hearts would explode. Would these guys have evolved into the magical players that they became? No!!! They would have been chicken menusha!!!! The US has always had good players but never special players. Why? Because the kids need to have a place where they can play 24/7/365 for free, no adult interference, and where they can be challenge to compete to see who will be king of the court. 600,000 futsal courts in our inner cities and suburbs... Then and then will we create magical, talented, skillful bada@@ players. Meanwhile if we continue the same old system we will continue to make more menusha!!!!!

  15. Bob Ashpole replied, October 15, 2015 at 2:36 p.m.

    I agree except that you are focused on the long term problem: how to improve the player pool. My conclusion is that generally the youth development process is worse today than it was 20 years ago. The more that USSF organizations get involved, the more oversight, the less kids ever get to actually play and learn. Because of the soccer boom, there are fewer good coaches per child. Now focus on the short term problem: how to get the best performance out of the current player pool so that we are talking about the same topic. JK has failed to do that.

  16. John Polis, October 15, 2015 at noon

    Ridge, thanks for at least some semblance of a logical discussion about the recent performance of the national team. Honestly, I've felt that what appears to be SA's obsession with firing the technical director and head coach is a bit over the top. As a longtime reader and supporter of SA, I'd like to see you guys spend more time with some true evaluation of the performance of the players.

    For example, one thing that hasn't been brought up is the fact that our players are not playing at a high level in club play. Of the players on the field the other night, here is how their club level broke down:

    USA: MLS: 8, Premier League: 2, Bundesliga: 1

    Mexico: Liga MX: 3, Portuguese Primeira Liga: 2, Dutch Eridivisie: 2, La Liga: 1, Serie A: 1, Bundesliga: 1, Premier League: 1.

    In the Champions League seven Mexican National Team players are competing. The USA? Zero.

    The notion that some of our players get huge paychecks to compete in a league that won't maximize development is, while understandable from the personal financial perspective of the player, but absurd from the standpoint of development or keeping players sharp for international play.

    I'm hoping that SA and other pundits can move the discussion away from the coach (whether you like the guy or not) and truly evaluate how well they compete, day-in and day-out with their club teams, and whether or not their careers are growing, blossoming, or stagnating.

    I watched a lot of MLS games this last season, and I didn't see any of our national team players really tearing it up in league play, which frankly says a lot about how they'll perform when they face tough competition.

  17. :: SilverRey :: replied, October 15, 2015 at 12:58 p.m.

    Why does everyone leave out the fact that Fabian Johnson is in the UCL this year?

    You want to say that our talent level isn't as high as, say, Mexico? At that point it is precisely on the coach to make the team better.

  18. Santiago 1314 replied, October 15, 2015 at 9:27 p.m.

    John, why do you continue to be a Shill for USSF.???...Are you still Employed by them.???...Seems like your Loyalties should lie with MLS and the Colorado Rapids...But, you just Bashed them. !!!...Take off the Rose Colored Glasses and pick up the phone. ..Hopefully some People in USSF will listen to You;
    .EVERYONE Knows this JK "Bismarck" Ship is Going Down...

  19. Dan Phillips, October 15, 2015 at 12:09 p.m.

    Yes, we need more talented players. First thing is, bench Jozy Altidore! He sucks! Eve though he is still relatively young, he plays like an old man. lazy, plodding, ineffectual. Leave him home. Never pick him on the USMNT roster again. We need a complete over- haul. Give the younger, faster guys more playing time, like Aron Johansson. And no more lazy/Jozy again! Please!!!

  20. Bob Ashpole replied, October 15, 2015 at 2:47 p.m.

    I don't blame Jozy completely for his ineffective play. I don't think it is laziness either. I rather call it a lack of the desire to improve. He simply has no clue as to how to play with a partner. I blame his lack of basic fundamentals on coaches. I do blame Jozy for not figuring out the fundamentals on his own. Usually that indicates the closed mind of someone who achieved early success. And if a closed mind is the case, he really isn't coachable at this point.

  21. Santiago 1314 replied, October 15, 2015 at 9:30 p.m.

    Jozy got RED CARDED; SITTING ON THE BENCH for Toronto. !!! ... 34th minute...Can you stay Meltdown? ??

  22. Allan Lindh, October 15, 2015 at 12:16 p.m.

    Cony and John frame the problems well, and indeed JK is not our main problem -- our lack of talented players is. However JK's bizarre lineup experiments have degraded our performances since the WC. And his failure to settle on a back line has been catastrophic. Cameron is clearly our only centerback who performs regularly at the top level, he should be the anchor, and he is getting better. Fabian Johnson is our most talented outside back, he should be penciled in every match. Brooks and Beasler are current best candidates for other center back, and one should be given a chance to be the regular. Leftback is up in the air. And clearly if we are to stand any chance in WC qualifying, we need to schedule as many friendlies as possible in coming months, and stop tinkering, and build a solid squad, starting from a stable back line. And if we are going to pay millions for a head coach, isn't it time to give the job to Bruce Arena, who is solid, steady, and has achieved the best results of any US coach at both international and MLS levels.

  23. Bob Ashpole replied, October 15, 2015 at 3:18 p.m.

    The problem I have with your statement is the same problem that I have with most people's comments. You are focused on developing a consistent starting lineup. For the world cup, the coach should be focused on 20 field players not 11. Success requires depth. Which is why Brazil and some other countries has been competitive over the years. And because the competition is spread over years, not weeks, the coach must have a pool closer to 40 in order to have 20 field players from the pool available at the end. Developing a B team is just as important as developing an A team. Otherwise you are using different pools for qualification rounds and the finals. Camps, friendlies and the U23 team are all important aspects for development of the pool.

  24. Kent James, October 15, 2015 at 1:47 p.m.

    Many of JK's supporters argue that the poor play is not his fault, it's that the players aren't good enough (an argument JK also uses). First, for any coach, there is a fine line between being constructively critical and being destructively critical, and unfortunately, I think JK crosses that line too frequently. There is also a fine line between being creative and being crazy, which is another line JK seems to cross more than he should. But as for the players and the system that produces them not being good enough, I will agree that both could be better, and that's not all JK's fault. The problem is, when JK was hired, he was depicted as a savior who could change all that. And he didn't. But that was our fault, more than his, thinking he could. While it is important for the national team coach to have input in the player development system, national team coaches change too frequently (most last less than 4 yrs) to allow them to remake the system every time a new coach comes in. The system needs to be more of a group effort. And that's on the soccer community, not the national team coach. But I do think other coaches could have gotten better performances out of the talent available than JK did, especially in the last few months. And because of that, we need a new coach. He doesn't have to be an American, but he does have to be familiar with the American soccer landscape (and the challenges of American soccer), because they are somewhat unique.

  25. Bob Ashpole replied, October 15, 2015 at 3:24 p.m.

    I am not upset about the bad results. I am upset about the poor coaching.

  26. Vince Leone, October 15, 2015 at 1:52 p.m.

    I agree with much of what Ridge writes, but the U23s were not outclassed by Honduras. Honduras had little possession and scored on 2 counters, both against the run of play. The U.S. was denied a legitimate goal, and there were other significant issues with the refereeing. The biggest issue with the U.S. was their inability to break down the Honduras bunker.

  27. Brian Gualano, October 15, 2015 at 1:54 p.m.

    Instead of firing Klinsmann, US Soccer should find new hair stylists for many of the players. The hair on some players' heads appears to be an aerodynamic drag on their quality of play. For example: "Backpass" Beckerman - horrible. Can't jump because of the weight of it. Zardes - flat/boring. BrekShea - no touch/awkward. Nguyen - ridiculous. Tim Howard (no hair) - played great as usual. Can he be the starter again please?

  28. James Madison, October 15, 2015 at 2:05 p.m.

    Good job, Ridge. Now if only Gulati will read it.

  29. Dan Phillips, October 15, 2015 at 2:31 p.m.

    Gulati, JK, and Jozy Altidore need to go!

  30. K Michael, October 15, 2015 at 3:55 p.m.

    On a tangential, albeit loosely connected note, the Belgians are top-ranked in the world. Imagine how good they would be if their best athletes played soccer instead of track and field or tennis!!!

  31. Al Gebra, October 15, 2015 at 4:14 p.m.

    I don't understand it when some are saying that it's not the coach's fault for bad play, it's the players fault. Wrong! The coach (JK) picked the players - the wrong players. There are a lot of good players in the US not picked by JK because they have skills that are outside JK's comfort zone when it comes to coaching.

  32. Bryan Kempf, October 15, 2015 at 5:45 p.m.

    Everyone keeps whining about losing to Mexico... Why? They've struggled since 2012, but this is a very good team. Remember that they won the gold in the 2012 Olympics and were being dubbed the golden generation. Look at the quality they have at every position. Players that play for Porto, PSV, Malaga, Real Sociodad, Bayer Leverkusen.

    That being said... What do we have? A bunch of guys that wanted to be the face of an inferior league. All modeled off of everybody's hero, Landy Cakes.

    One more thing... Clint Dempsey was an embarrassment the other night. No better than a pylon.

  33. John Hofmann, October 15, 2015 at 6:48 p.m.

    Themes that come through include a problem with coaching in the U.S., especially since it is often tied to pay to play. Exactly where would someone go, if in charge of the MNT, to install a huge number of different youth coaches with better coaching philosophy? (I'm assuming that would mean, as an example, youth coaches who are coaching outside the U.S. established system, for example Hispanic teams/players, perhaps other nationalities outside our pay to play system). How would an outsider (or, for that matter, Bruce Arena or the like, accomplish substituting coaches on a broad scale to institute more effective youth coaching (ie, ball control, wide field vision, etc., not focused simply on big and athletic)? How would any broad changes be instituted, in an established U.S. youth system that has a huge number of supporters (ie, the current soccer establishment and soccer parents, numbering in the millions, who no doubt feel the current system is working well (they are not the ones commenting here)? Anyone want to come up with a process for starting the 'revolution' in soccer in the U.S. that everyone, in one form or another, appears to be calling for? As always, the devil is in the details, and those are missing.

  34. Ken Johnson, October 15, 2015 at 7:51 p.m.

    Go easy on me guys, I'm a chat room virgin so please be gentle, LOL

    I was frustrated beyond belief after the 2006 World Cup when we didn't immediately offer JK the gig because like many Soccer loving Americans I believed he would be the best candidate to lead us to the promised land.

    So you can imagine my exuberance four years ago when we finally landed him as our USNNT coach. I lived in Germany for four years as an American Military Dependent, where I attended high school and got to experience world-class soccer in a soccer obsessed nation first hand during the 74 World Cup. It's there when I developed my love for the game.

    That said, I was wrong. Turns out the Germans are no different from the English. Having a foreign accent does not make you a better soccer coach nor does it guarantee a national team's success.

    I agree that for long-term success youth soccer has to be free and it has to be played 24/7 without adult interference. there should be at least as many Futsal courts as there are tennis and basketball courts throughout the country. But for short-term success, break the bank and hire a guy like Jose Mourinho and let him raid the world looking for young hungry world class foreign trained players with American ties.

    We won't care if they can't speak English cause we like to Win and Win now. Winners get attention, winners get sponsored, winners get PAID and winners get emulated. You can't expect great results by taking Gemany's best of the worst.

    America is the Worlds melting pot. Spain, Brazil, Argentina, Nigeria, France, Ivory Coast , Costa Rica and yes MEXICO all have plenty of young world class players with American ties. A great coach can gather them like the Pied Piper.

    I'm tired or waiting I want to win now!

    Let the abuse begin

  35. Santiago 1314 replied, October 15, 2015 at 11:32 p.m.

    I got no Problem with what you said..Mou is a 3 year Cycle...1st year lots of Turmoil as he gets the Bit in their Teeth..2nd year, Wins IT All...3rd year FLAME OUT; MELTDOWN.!!!..So, Dec of 2016 seems about right...But I would still prefer Peter Vermes...Though Pep would be Revolutionary Change

  36. Kent James replied, October 15, 2015 at 11:44 p.m.

    I was with you until you said to bring in Mourinho; he would make things infinitely worse (he's a less likable JK). And as for the scouring the globe, JK already did that. Trying to build a world class team based on other countries' rejects is one of the things that I disliked about JK's approach (hey, I don't mind finding a player here or there, but always prioritizing such players over domestic products is simply insulting, and failed on its own terms).

  37. Alfrick Hunt, October 15, 2015 at 8:32 p.m.

    Dan Phillips u are crazy to think u can replace antidote defence go crazy when he plays cause he is fast and strong the problem is that everyone don't realize that the players do not wanna play for the coach because he doesnt instill positivity and confidence...the players do not wanna say it but u can see they don't wanna play for him

  38. Alfrick Hunt, October 15, 2015 at 8:32 p.m.

    Lmao altidore

  39. BJ Genovese, October 16, 2015 at 12:26 a.m.

    In my opinion Zardes is a perfect example of why JK has no idea what he is doing. A player he brought in who has absolutly everything we are trying to get away from. All speed no touch. He could not formulate beyond two touches on a 1v1 unless hes going to shoot for the corner space to cross. Our national team players cannot even pretend to shoot to fake a guy out for another move or though. He picked him, he said he was going to bring in more techical players.

  40. Eric Dibella replied, October 19, 2015 at 12:44 p.m.

    At this point, I would like to see a midfield comprised of Feilhaber, Bradley, Lleget and Shipp just so we can have technical players who possess the ball and move it around.

  41. Santiago 1314 replied, October 19, 2015 at 1:16 p.m.

    Sounds Interesting. ..Line Out their Resonsibilities for us???

  42. Vince Leone, October 16, 2015 at 1:16 a.m.

    Ridge writes: "Possession game, counterattack, combination play, flank dominance, etc., all require a strong foundation, a bedrock of stability and support." Maybe. They definitely require players with better technical skills than the U.S. has. That's not JK's fault. It's also notable that all the players who participated in the U.S. goals against Mexico play or have played in Europe. That seems to support JK's emphasis on playing in the best league you can.

  43. Eddie Rockwell, October 16, 2015 at 8:38 a.m.

    I think Connie has the right idea. Whether it's feasible or not, I am not sure. Most of the USA's best athletes aren't playing soccer. And cost is likely a contributing factor. But so are video games and television baby-sitting. Until our kids are out playing without adult interference daily, we will continue to regress. Technical skills are not developed in two x 1.5 hour practices a week...

  44. K Michael, October 16, 2015 at 11:03 a.m.

    Eddie, I hear you, I wish US Soccer were able to attract superior, big, fast, muscular prototype athletes like Messi, Xavi, Mertens, Silva, Lahm, Aguero, Modric, Nolito, Dos Santos, Hazard,; you know, their respective country's best athletes...Instead, we have tiny, slow, weak guys like Jozy Altidore, Yedlin, Zardes, Bradley,Brooks,Johnson...,

  45. R2 Dad, October 16, 2015 at 11:44 a.m.

    "Does it really mean anything to beat Germany and the Netherlands in friendlies if that success can’t be carried over to competitive Concacaf games?" If you're JK, and believe CONCACRAP is to be survived instead of dominated, then you don't care too much how you play against them. Yes, Panama, Costa Rica and the rest are getting better, but JK values how the teams play against the world powers--all the rest are scrimmages. If we replace JK before Russia, we'll be back to Bunker Bob and all will be lost. But everyone on this site seems to think that is preferable.

  46. Santiago 1314, October 16, 2015 at 1:56 p.m.

    "The Revolution" might be Starting TODAY...Supposed to be a Meeting Between USSF and Youth Developmental Clubs...Seems that MLS Clubs, with the Support of USSF, have been HOLDING BACK 5% of the Transfer Fee that Pro Teams are Obligated (under FIFAfia Regs) to pay to the Players Youth Club(s) SINCE THE PLAYER TURNED 12...What will Player Development Model look like when Clubs get PAY-FOR-INDIVIDUAL PLAYER DEVELOPMENT versus current Pay-for-Trophy Hunting Teams..???

  47. Soccer Madness replied, October 16, 2015 at 8:59 p.m.

    Maybe thats why they in such a hurry to push DA to U12 now?

  48. Raymond Weigand replied, October 19, 2015 at 12:25 p.m.

    haha ,,, the fees will begin as soon as all the MLS teams have their development teams in place.

  49. johnny c, October 19, 2015 at 11:38 a.m.

    Inside our soccer Federation, how can the president be fired?
    Does anyone know the procedure?

  50. Raymond Weigand replied, October 19, 2015 at 12:32 p.m.

    The President is a 3 time elected figure head ... he is an Economics Professor at Columbia University. The decisions for the USSF are primarily influenced by the same administrators of the MLS. The two organizations share the same decision makers ... the real clue as to who has the most decision making authority are the folks collecting a couple of executive sized paychecks and also have either (or both) organizations under contract to their service companies to provide marketing / consulting / revenue sharing / etc. Perhaps you should follow the money ...

  51. Santiago 1314 replied, October 19, 2015 at 1:21 p.m.

    I like where your going with this...Please Expand...I Don't think Sunil is a Figure Head...He is the One setting all the Wheels in Motion...For Many Years now..

  52. aaron dutch, October 19, 2015 at 12:59 p.m.

    2 points --

    1- the national team has a player for 30-50 days a year, subtract travel, match days and you have maybe 15-25 days of real training/development. Does anyone think you can turn that into magic when the players refuse to grind out a 5-10 year jedi skill set in europe to improve or just hang in MLS and collect 10x check and become avg. How is this any national team manager's fault. We have to admit we are stuck where we really are.

    2- Raymond Weigand is 100% correct that is the real problem. MLS/SUM/USSF is a closed process that is a financial feedback loop. Nothing will change until that process is open and a real national plan is put in place. We are not a culture of national plans or breaking financial feedback loops so no of this will chance. We will can JK bring in the usual MLS hacks and a way we go 25 more years of avg. play.

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