Replacing Klinsmann is the lower-risk option: Time for a fresh start

By Mike Woitalla

First of all, throw out of any equation to rate Jurgen Klinsmann's job performance the USA’s 6-1 win over St. Vincent & the Grenadines, which was captained by a coast guard officer and started a fisherman at forward.

Trinidad & Tobago does start a midfielder who plays fourth-tier soccer in England, but is still a respectable foe. The Soca Warriors have been to a World Cup (in 2006) and they tied Mexico twice this year.

In Port of Spain, the USA wrapped up a year in which it flopped at the Gold Cup, got completely dominated by Mexico in the Concacaf Cup, and fell to Costa Rica at home in a friendly. Klinsmann, who in four and a half years has failed to produce a U.S. national team any better than what we’ve had before, wasn’t going to make that right with one game.

But we still looked for any signs that Klinsmann might be capable of reviving this squad. Maybe we’d get a sense that these players wanted to prove the coach’s critics wrong. Or a spirited display that implied a rebound from the performances over the last few months.

It turned out to be a 0-0 tie. The U.S. players toiled joylessly for 90 minutes while T&T played so tamely in the second half -- the Soca Warriors, having won at Guatemala on Friday, appeared quite satisfied with one point -- that a tie should not be deemed “all right,” as Klinsmann said afterward.

For anyone to feel confident that keeping faith in Klinsmann is the right course, something exciting needed to come from his team. Instead, this performance deserved the most dreaded of descriptions for a soccer game: boring.

One could nit-pick about Klinsmann’s approach. Leaving Clint Dempsey, the team’s leading scorer with a long history of vital goals, at home while Gyasi Zardes blows chances. Not starting Bobby Wood, the guy who this year scored against Germany, the Netherlands and Mexico, and the equalizer against St. Vincent & the Grenadines.

But most importantly, the display didn’t reveal any signs that this is a team on the upswing.

When a team is stuck in a rut like the USA is in, the chances of the current coach pulling it out must be weighed against the effect a new coach will have on the team. To be considered is that simply changing the coach can have a positive effect because it creates a different atmosphere.

Also to be considered is the worst case scenario: That the players have lost faith in the coach and aren't responding to his methods.

Because we’ve gone long enough without evidence that Klinsmann can raise the national team to a level higher than his predecessors reached -- we know that a coaching change is the lower-risk option than the status quo. That the national team could use a fresh start for 2016.


72 comments about "Replacing Klinsmann is the lower-risk option: Time for a fresh start".
  1. Paul Estrada, November 19, 2015 at 1:52 a.m.

    But this is just nonsense. In a broad sense, no coach is going to be able to make the national team "much better" than they are now. Its not possible. As has been clearly evident, both in the T&T game, and just about any game the US plays against a reasonable opponent, is that the US continues to lack players with even the basic technical set of their counterparts. What they do have is tactics and, on occasion, can execute those well. But clearly nothing is changing. The current crop of youth players are demonstrated the same lack of basic skills that are essential to be able to play in the way Klinsmann, and indeed most of us would like to see the US play. So sure, making a coaching change if you want. But it will not change a damn thing. So stop whining and write about what the real problems are in US soccer.

  2. Sean Patrick Kersten replied, November 19, 2015 at 10:55 a.m.

    Agree completely, there are no creators nor do they ever really show basic skills. US soccer is too structured and kids need to be allowed to develop skills. US soccer tried to impose a structure on a for profit system that has multiple leagues competing for players and prestige. USMNT players are those whose parents who can pay for clubs to promote their kids. Article this week about Academies was right on, not enough allowed for creativity.

  3. Richard Brown, November 19, 2015 at 7:09 a.m.

    I think the manager can make a difference. When he takeover a team does he just start fresh. Or will he take something that the old coach did that he likes and adds it to the game he likes.

    Example what kind of game he wants to play.

    What kind of players does he want to recruit.

    What is his personailty do player want to gravitate to him and his team concept.

  4. Richard Brown, November 19, 2015 at 7:13 a.m.

    I was not a big Bruce arena fan when he first took over the national team. But I did notice he wanted a team full of winners who were used to winning and not losers.

    Plus he was a sneaky coach even in a friendly he wanted to try and win them all. So I started to like him more after I saw that.

  5. Greg Giese replied, November 19, 2015 at 1:33 p.m.

    Didn't they crash out of a WCup under Bruce in last place with a single goal?

  6. David Mont replied, November 19, 2015 at 5:19 p.m.

    Yes, Greg, and Bruce Arena also took the US to the quarterfinal of the WC.

  7. Daniel Clifton, November 19, 2015 at 8:34 a.m.

    I think this is an article that speaks about what many people are thinking. The writer I believe has hit the nail on the head when he says: "That the players have lost faith in their coach and are not responding to his methods." I believe what we are seeing is the worst case scenario. That is where a coaching change makes a difference. Paul Estrada is right that the real issue in the US is our failed youth development system. However I think the team now is more skillful than they are showing in their performances under Klinsmann. He as a coach is to an extent bringing out the worst in his players. That is not good coaching. He needs to go in my opinion.

  8. Brent Crossland, November 19, 2015 at 9:07 a.m.

    Mike - All of this talk of replacing Klinsman is just that -- talk, talk, talk -- unless you suggest viable options. I'm certainly not enthralled with the way they are playing but don't tell me we should bring back Bruce Arena, etc. Suggest an alternative that will move the team AND THE PROGRAM forward or just post your words to fill up the column.

  9. Greg Giese replied, November 19, 2015 at 1:34 p.m.

    Spot on comment!

  10. Matt Riggs replied, November 20, 2015 at 10:12 a.m.

    Here's a suggestion, Sunil Gulati should go since this is his fault and a new national team coach should be interviewed. One who can actually coach, not a German Tony Robbins.

  11. Scot Sutherland replied, November 23, 2015 at 11:10 a.m.

    This is THE question. Who would be a good replacement for Klinsmann? Schmidt, Arena and Bradley the best proven coaches the US has produced. Schmidt has not yet had an opportunity to coach the USMNT. There are young coaches that need more seasoning, Pareja, Berhalter, Peky, Olson, Kreis, Marsch, Robinson, etc. There is also the need for a technical director, because I doubt JK would continue as TD if he isn't the head coach. It could be that the identity of the replacement is the main reason JK isn't in more hot water. Personally I would like to see Schmidt get his shot, but he hasn't proven to me that he is a winner in the vein of Arena and Bradley.

  12. Tim Mulloy, November 19, 2015 at 9:43 a.m.

    The options for new coach are not clear but it is time for US Soccer to take a hard look at the great coaches in the world who might be interested. We are certainly no better than we were under Bradley. In no other sport in U.S. would this level of mediocrity be accepted. The current coach appears to be more interested in his control i.e. leave Donovan off team, Dempsey at home and not keep Howard as full-time starter, then really building a team. Here is hoping for better times next year but no successful business is not looking ahead at what is available if this staff truly derails in first half of 2016.

  13. Greg Giese replied, November 19, 2015 at 1:39 p.m.

    Dempsey is a slacker of late. Never saw so much walking. Donavon decided to publicly state he can't train after a match cuz he's tired. (Just what a coach wants to hear.) Timmie needed to walk away from the team "for a while". (another thing your coach and teammates want to hear). Maybe they should take a year off playing so they are ready for the World Cup. Sounds kinda familiar. How about showing up to a USMNT with a first touch like you had in Europe but lost now that your are earning 5 times as much.

  14. Bob Ashpole replied, November 20, 2015 at 10:48 a.m.

    Greg, your assessment is not realistic. I could direct you to a quote of JK years ago saying he was weary and needed a break from football with his family. It is widely accepted among coaches and sports scientists that rest is very important for competitive athletes, including for example a month away from competition during the year.

  15. Andrew Kear replied, November 20, 2015 at 2:31 p.m.

    Unfortunately, US men's tennis is starting to resemble USMNT soccer. The resources directed towards American Football is the real cause of America's decline in international sports like tennis. Why spend so much time and money on a sport (football) nobody else in the world plays. All football does is perpetuate provincial American thinking. Some American's actually believe the world cares about the super bowl. There are even some on the far right that think soccer is a threat to American freedom and liberty. This is the narrow minded mentality that has hindered soccer's development in this country for years. I believe it also explains why soccer get so little coverage from the mainstream media.

  16. David Sterling, November 19, 2015 at 9:55 a.m.

    I think the worst case scenario is that our players aren't any good. If that's the case, it won't matter who the coach is. That is a worst case scenario, and sadly, possibly the correct assessment.

  17. Kent James, November 19, 2015 at 10:19 a.m.

    JK was not the savior his supporters thought he would be, but then again, that's a lot to ask of any coach. Yes, the US player pool is not filled with world class stars, and again, that's not really the coach's fault. On the other hand, managing the players so you get the most out of them is on the coach, and JK has been mediocre at that, at best. I think he has shown that by constantly bringing in new players and playing people out of position it is difficult to build team cohesion that allows players to help each other play better. When every teammate might potentially take your job, it is difficult to always be a welcoming and encouraging teammate; there is a temptation to try to make yourself look good rather than work selflessly for the achievement of others. JK has had a decent run, but if there are good alternatives out there, now would be the time to pursue them.

  18. Bob Ashpole replied, November 20, 2015 at 10:51 a.m.

    Well said.

  19. Wooden Ships replied, November 20, 2015 at 1:41 p.m.

    Kent, I think JK bringing in new players, expanding the pool is what we need. It's suppose to be competitive. He has provided countless opportunities to players to claim/own various positions and mostly the players have not done that. As far as players not as welcoming/accommodating to their teammates due to uncertainty, cry me a river. More modern player hand holding and feeling management. Some of his player/position decisions I disagree with for sure and I also think he is overmatched when it comes to assuaging the US soccer player.

  20. Kent James replied, November 23, 2015 at 10:01 a.m.

    Wooden Ships, I don't have a problem with JK bringing in new faces, and I agree, that's what he was expected to do, and he certainly did that. On the other hand, I think he went overboard in that department. I think part of the national team coach's job is to be able to ascertain who will work well with the team and who won't (and it's not always who is a better player; it is more important to get the players to fit together as a team). And JK brought in so many players I think it hurt the team's performance. He should have used more discretion. An example is his choice of centerbacks; I actually think most of the centerbacks he considered are pretty good players (so I don't fault him for considering them), but certainly always changing the pairings has hurt the team's performance. As for your dismissing the psychological difficulties of players having to always compete for their spots, I'm not suggesting national team players need to be coddled. Any player who has gotten to the national team is used to competition, and competition keeps players sharp. But too much competition can create doubt and uncertainty in the back of a player's mind, and can hurt performance (making players hesitant to take risks, e.g.). And I think JK went to far in this department as well. So JK did shake some things up, which was fine, but it's time to move on. 4 1/2 years as a national team coach is a long time...

  21. Mike Jacome, November 19, 2015 at 10:30 a.m.

    We would have been far better if we had kept Bob Bradley...Nothing else to say.

  22. Joe Bailey replied, November 19, 2015 at 4:17 p.m.

    While I agree with David, I think the real question or subject to be asked is, can a coach (of the US) be successful in TWO World Cup cycles? To me, this is an overarching issue that's not talked about. While we made it to the quarterfinals under Bruce Arena, the 2006 run was a failure. I do think he was better suited to coach the US more than Klinsmann. With Bob Bradley, we won our group. With Klinsmann we were able to get out of a group that no one gave us a chance to. But there's also negative stuff with Klinsmann. The Donovan issue. Then you have people saying we don't have creative players but we do. Klinsi just won't pick them. I can go on and on...

  23. A. Torres, November 19, 2015 at 10:30 a.m.

    When JK took over the US team the idea was that the team needed to find its identity, its unique style of soccer that would represent what US soccer is all about at this point in time. So what is JK to do??? He starts to recruit oversea players that had or can obtain American citizenship but clearly grew up playing in Europe. Nothing against the imports but realistically they have not taken the team to the next level. If anything I think this has set the team back a few generations, first because it undermines the players that are being produced in the US and second because it kills the confidence of those already established.
    At least with Arena and Bradley the US played to its strengths and was gradually changing for the better. However JK wanted to implement a complete overhaul when a more measured and paced overhaul would have been better.

  24. Sean Patrick Kersten replied, November 19, 2015 at 11:02 a.m.

    The US system does not develop players, it is all about profit. Klinsman wanted to redo they system, but was shot down, so he goes and finds players who have skills and passion for global game. Lets be honest, we are a bit player on the world stage, our national league is a shadow of the youth system, profit first. Soccer should be played fall through winter, until powers that be change the system any coach will be limited in success. We are expecting a team to compete with Europe when the best players in our home league are also rans in Europe, lets get real folks. Bring in a new coach and win/loss will not change.

  25. Kent James replied, November 19, 2015 at 11:36 a.m.

    Well put, A. Torres.

  26. R2 Dad replied, November 19, 2015 at 10:29 p.m.

    The US had an identity, it was just an insufficient one for the modern game. Bunker and counter is what you do at the international level when you can't maintain possession and build an attack. There is no measured overhaul of identity or style, and that was JK's point. The skill sets of the past have to become plan B, and plan A is to play like the big boys. We're stuck in between at the moment because so few of our players can keep the ball.

  27. VIC Aguilera, November 19, 2015 at 10:45 a.m.

    I agree with all the comments above except for the notion of bringing Bradley back as coach. Let's face it, after watching these last few tournaments the the US has played in it is obvious the US is regressing not progressing. On the other hand teams like Panama,Costa Rica and Honduras have improved. Our youth program is in shambles which makes our future bleak. Maybe a new coach with a different approach is the answer. Mexico just hired a Colombian national which upset many Mexican supporters, yet the team has not missed a beat and that is in part due to their superior youth programs.

  28. Dean Mitchell, November 19, 2015 at 10:48 a.m.

    Give the other JK a shot—Jason Kreis!

  29. Nalin Carney, November 19, 2015 at 10:59 a.m.

    Let us replace Klinsman immediately if not sooner ! The U S team responds well to a fellow american. If not Jason Kreis ... than Tab Ramos who is familiar with the players and intracacies of the USSF.

  30. Walt Pericciuoli, November 19, 2015 at 11:16 a.m.

    Many of us have been saying the same thing for years now. It's not the manager, although I think Klinsi could have handled the crop of present players better, it's the players. It's always the players. Our youth development system does not work. When we produced players like Ramos, Reyna, Donovan and Dempsey we appeared to be on the rise as a soccer playing nation. Since then, it seems to me, our decline in player development began with the proliferation of the super clubs and academy system. That began before Klinsman's arrival. With perhaps the exception of Bradley, (Bradley's story is by itself unique) we have not produced one single player of that caliber.

  31. Richard Brown, November 19, 2015 at 11:18 a.m.

    That is not always true Kreis no.

    Tab Ramos I never thought of him as a coach. When he was a player with the Metrostars. There was a lot of young players on that team. He wanted nothing to do with them. To interested in his own game to care about any other player on his team.

    Very surprised when he got into coaching.

  32. Kent James, November 19, 2015 at 11:43 a.m.

    JK's defenders blame the youth system for not producing great players, rather than JK for mediocre results. While they are right that better players would probably produce better results, and certainly the youth system needs work (the pay to play model focused on the wrong things), these are separate issues. We can't expect the national team coach to create a youth system, then benefit from it's production. Even if the national team coach could revamp the system into a perfect youth development system, it would take 10+ years to see results at the senior national team level. And I would argue that there is no reason to believe that the best national team manager is also the best person to develop a youth system. We need a national team coach who will gather the best players we have, inspire them to play better than their skill level, and help them achieve tactically what they might not be able to achieve on individual skill alone.

  33. Wooden Ships, November 19, 2015 at 11:45 a.m.

    Wished it hadn't come to this. I do have trouble with his player selections and his reluctance to change with a few players, namely up top and the central mid pairings. I'm also troubled to think that some of our players need a change and maybe they would play harder. Man up, its your national team for goodness sakes. Reminds me of college age and younger and their feelings. That requirement does appear all to often with US players compared to international, in my playing and coaching career. I'm not sure who the best successor would be, even if SG was to change his mind. Unfortunately, we are at risk of qualifying for 2018.

  34. Bob Ashpole, November 19, 2015 at 12:24 p.m.

    Coaching the MNT and managing the youth development program are two different problems. Replacing JK now may lead to improved MNT play, but it will not change the youth development situation. Regarding the MNT, the key points are that expectations for JK were unrealistic and JK has been less successful than both Bruce Arena and Bob Bradley who were replaced. Unrealistic expectations are not excuse for regression in the program. The abilities of the players is not an excuse for regression either. Historically the MNT have been overachievers, performing better than expectations. Under JK, they have been underachievers. In these situations you can replace the players or replace the coach. Replacing the players is not going to improve the team. Regarding the youth development situation, the problem is one of scale. Germany is the most recent example of success, but it has 82 million people, 26,000 clubs and 2 million registered players in an area the size of Montana. The German FA has funding and spends it for 400 FA coaches providing supplemental training to the top 14,000 teenage boys on a weekly basis at centers spread no more than 20 miles apart across the entire country. These coaches are not training teams to win competitions; they are scouting and developing players. After 10 years, the difference in the player pool showed dramatically. The USSF has little money and about the same number of registered players spread across an entire continent (daunting even without considering Hawaii and Alaska). From a management perspective, we need state programs to emulate what Germany did. Out of 50+ state organizations, none are even trying. Professional club youth academies training a total of a 1000 elite youth players are great, but not the answer because we cannot reliably identify future talent. Success comes from broader programs. Regardless of how the program is organized, we need many more trained youth coaches, but the USSF doesn't train coaches, they license them. For whatever reason the licensing process is a bottleneck. A recurring component of various countries' youth system reforms has been to greatly increase the number of trained youth coaches. To be successful, the USSF needs to focus on training a much larger percentage of the best youth players, say 8% like in Germany in player training centers, not 1% or less in the USSF DA team and league approach. They should focus on player development and fundamentals and leave team development to the clubs.

  35. Allan Lindh, November 19, 2015 at 12:28 p.m.

    It is true that the core problem is our lack of high level creative players. BUT the coach does pick the lineup and the squad. And at critical junctures, Klinsmann's choices have been appalling. The bizarre experiments at centerback, the relying on Beckermann and Altidore far too long, the lack of trying Feilhaber at centermid, the list goes on. We are now ranked 33rd in the world. Sure the rankings are suspect, but this one reflects reality. How long is it since we have fallen so low?

  36. Bob Ashpole, November 19, 2015 at 1 p.m.

    As for the player pool critics, I can remember in 2010 thinking with great expectation that the MNT would have a great midfield for the next cycle with Donovan, Dempsey, Bradley, Torres, and Feilhaber. Didn't happen. Adding the new German-American players Jones and Johnson to the mix would have been great. 3 of the 5 didn't even go to Brazil. I cannot help but think JK wasted an opportunity to improve play last cycle.

  37. Ginger Peeler replied, November 23, 2015 at 12:10 p.m.

    Bob, I remember I couldn't wait to see Donovan and Dempsey play together. But something always seemed to happen to stop their teaming up. An injury or illness to one or the other, I don't know. It was a looong time before it finally happened. By then, it was more of a ho-hum moment. Too bad. They could have been awesome together!

  38. Nancy Jones, November 19, 2015 at 1:23 p.m.

    Too bad the players don't have a say in whether JK stays or goes. I don't thing there is any doubt that they have lost faith in the man and his methods. You don't have to like him, but you have to feel there is mutual respect. He makes it apparent that he doesn't respect his players (with a few hand picked exceptions. They deserve better. A new coach would lift the cloud from them and let them play with a new attitude - a new spirit. It DOES make a difference.

  39. Bob Ashpole replied, November 19, 2015 at 2:48 p.m.

    At this level players do influence decisions, but it is better for former players like Ramos and Reyna to have a say. They see the inside view and don't have a personal stake at risk for voicing an opinion. Former players don't have to worry about future selections and are more likely to see the big picture clearly.

  40. michael robinson replied, November 19, 2015 at 4:56 p.m.

    If Michael Bradley is our best hope, we're doomed.

  41. David Marshall, November 19, 2015 at 1:39 p.m.

    US Soccer should view the Jurgen Klinsmann era as an experiment that failed in its main purpose, to raise the level of national team soccer. We should recognize that it will take two generations for the culture of soccer to change in the US, which will be when the children of kids playing now grow up in a soccer heavy culture. In the meantime, JK's methods have not motivated players to reach their potential, individually or as a group. Until we have players that compete in the best leagues at the highest levels (still 30 years off) we have to be satisfied with teams of second tier players that reach their potential and overachieve as a group. This is what Bob Bradley was able to do regularly and we did not appreciate at the time. Time for a change.

  42. michael robinson, November 19, 2015 at 4:46 p.m.

    It's not the coach. It's the players. Our national team does not represent the best players in America. We do a terrible job at identifying and developing the best talent. Unless you live in certain states, and unless a player's family has enough money to afford club fees in our "pay to play" system, we will continue to get rich kids and coaches sons, who will have fine careers in our third tier MLS.

  43. michael robinson, November 19, 2015 at 4:54 p.m.

    Feeding into this is our crappy and confusing national professional league system. MLS is considered top level. After that, we have at least three other professional levels - can you name them? Also, if an MLS team plays poorly, is there any danger of relegation? Of course not. Where's the true excitement of pursuing a championship in the lower leagues? Where's the drive to compete in the MLS, when you know there's no real jeopardy for finishing at the bottom of the table? The changes need to occur in our national governing organization. Are you listening Sunil?

  44. James Madison, November 19, 2015 at 5:39 p.m.

    Bravo, Mike!!!

  45. Andrew Kear, November 19, 2015 at 7:40 p.m.

    What is astounding is that under Klinsmann the USMNT has regressed. This is just the opposite of what was supposed to happen! As I said before the USMNT is going to have to win despite Klinsmann.

  46. R2 Dad, November 19, 2015 at 10:40 p.m.

    No one here seems to care that we're no longer parking the bus and counterattacking like the bad old days. "we used to overachieve","bob bradley something something", "we beat spain blah blah". Look at the style of play we are trying to implement. Look at the players we have to do it. We're not there yet. Yes, we can revert to the overachieving counterattacking strategy like we used to. We might get an occasional result but the country is supposed to demand better play, a better style, more attacking, not the same lame play we used to be known for. I'm sorry you don't see it, but I'm glad our kids do. I can't wait until parents of U8s stop cheering long balls--that's when we'll know we're making ground against kickball and making progress towards the beautiful game.

  47. Bob Ashpole replied, November 20, 2015 at 12:35 a.m.

    I don't think we have been watching the same matches if you have haven't seen the US counterattacking out of a 442 with a low line of confrontation. When the team has had a lot of possession, it has been against opponents who didn't press aggressively. Even in friendly games. Like last match against Mexico for instance. And you seem to forget the Bob Bradley sometimes used a 433 against the lower ranked CONCACAF teams.

  48. Matt Riggs replied, November 20, 2015 at 10:10 a.m.

    Not sitting back and counter attacking? Didn't you watch the game against Belgium? How about our recent pitiful performance against Mexico? There's NO difference from Bob Bradleys team, in fact they may be a little worse.

  49. Scott Johnson replied, November 20, 2015 at 1:57 p.m.

    Don't discount the long ball. I seem to remember the Netherlands kicking the crap out of Spain last WC with a steady diet of long balls. The biggest problem with long balls is that over-reliance on them in youth clubs may retard development of footwork and technique. But some of the comments here regarding long-ball play remind me of American football dinosaurs complaining about the forward pass, and asserting that REAL teams hand it off to the fullback.

  50. Bob Ashpole replied, November 20, 2015 at 6:30 p.m.

    Scot, were you referring to Matt's and my comments about counterattacking as criticism of "long ball" (your phrase, not mine)? Neither of us said anything negative about counterattacking. Neither would I (and I suspect Matt too) say that long passes are only used in counterattacking style and not possession style play. Long passes are as much a part of combination passing as short passes. Combination passing is one of the foundations of team tactics for every style of play. I have never criticized long passing in youth games, rather it is aimlessly booting the ball up field which I criticize.

  51. Ric Fonseca, November 19, 2015 at 11:36 p.m.

    Michael Robinson says it best: "It's not the coach.... It's the players." Enough said.

  52. James Froehlich, November 19, 2015 at 11:37 p.m.

    Thank you R2 Dad!! Soccer America has been a shill for the US soccer establishment for as long as I can remember. It's not hard to understand since their revenue base is the college coaches and their profitable camps as well as the entire pay-to-play clubs with their money making fees and tournaments. While R2 Dad's comment is measured and rational I no longer have the patience to confront the narrow-minded, America-firsters and their short-sighted, naive perspective on the US soccer scene..

  53. Thomas Brannan, November 19, 2015 at 11:50 p.m.

    All the comments above are excellent. Now, who within US Soccer is responsible for addressing them? Is it Sunil Gulati? Has anyone ever written an article as to what he brings to the situation. I believe he teaches Economics at a University. How does he find time to do that and run US Soccer and serve on FIFA also. Everyone above is correct, I believe, to one degree or another. It is a dual problem. We don't produce players and after 4 and 1/2 years evidently this is not the proper coach.
    If there is to be a new coach would an MLS coach be up to it. Would an MLS coach be any better than MLS players. Nothing against Jason Kreis personally but where has he coached. What happens when Jason Kreis comes up against Gus Hiddink et. al.? In the middle of qualifying T&T gets Leo Beenhakker. How did they do that. An organization of that size. He got them qualified and pushed England to the end. (Strikers pushed them to the middle) Where is the leadership here. It seems the ship has no rudder. What is the knowledge of the person or persons that are making the key decisions?
    In regard to the DAs. What is it? The same players with the same coaches. What has changed. What professional development is required of the DA coaches? There was info on twitter as to the fact that the vast majority of coaches don't even have the 10 day "A" License. Also that it is not even known if some coaches have a license at all.
    How about getting a coach educator to educate the coaches. Later.

  54. David Sacio, November 20, 2015 at 1:19 a.m.

    Here's my 2 cents; I wanted Klinsman to be coach long ago but the bloom is off the rose. I now believe that Tab Ramos
    should be the next coach because I think he would utilize the wealth that Latino
    Soccer in this country and combine it with
    the prevalent English soccer mentality
    and create a very good team that would love to play. Personally I favor Latino midfielders, with European wingers and staunch East European type Defenders.
    Thanks for listening. Good Luck to USA Soccer. We're going to need it.

  55. Richard Brown, November 20, 2015 at 8:39 a.m.

    In the bad old days yes we parked the bus especially when we got a lead, but we did not counter attack we kept clearing out the ball to no one for 40 minutes. That is crap football. But you can still win or draw games playing crap football.

    Unforetunely, some of our coaches were satisfied playing crap football if it meant a draw or a win.

    I think there is nothing wrong after getting a lead and parking the bus. If you can get the opponent to be inpatient and push players up into the attack recklessly. Then counter with a real practice counter then go up 2-0 zip. Then keep doing it to you can't do it try to bury them.

    To do this you actually have to practice a quick counter. For a counter to work you need space, speed and skill. You start it ideally after an intercepted pass. If you can't start it by the third pass. Then you play a possession game.

    You need speed players to do it. Not average speed players. When Arena had the team he had beastly, and other fast players and speed coming off the bench as well.

    So ideally the team is capable of playing both.

  56. Winston Reyes, November 20, 2015 at 10:21 a.m.

    Klinsman message it got lost,

  57. Dan Phillips, November 20, 2015 at 12:36 p.m.

    And stop playing Jozy Altidore. He is a waste. Against better teams he down not score. Only against minnow. Cannot handle the pressure. Not to mention bouts of lackadaisical, lazy play. Play the other forwards more. Johansson, Bobby Wood, Jordan Morris. Put Jozy out to pasture once and for all.

  58. Tim Brown, November 20, 2015 at 1:03 p.m.

    well this horse has been beat to death. Definition of crazy is doing the same old thing but expecting different results. Lets get a new manager and a fresh start before it is too late. JK has had his chance.Did Phillip Lamm the captain of Germany not warn us of this guy? Not a JK hater but this is a results driven job and the results generally have not been there.

  59. Richard Brown replied, November 27, 2015 at 5:08 a.m.

    That's Right doing the same thing over and over again that doesn't work is stupid and still expect different results. Sounds like what see in politics now.

  60. Alex G. Sicre, November 20, 2015 at 1:51 p.m.

    I'm surprised at you Ric. I usually agree with you but not this time. It's the coach who picks the players.

  61. Ric Fonseca replied, November 20, 2015 at 2:27 p.m.

    OK, Alex, thanks for your comment, and yes, while it IS the coach who picks the players, a coach assumes the players will follow the game plan, and if the players do not, then the coach has to make the necessary changes. And while I agree that the many line ups that JK made throught this year, it is all too reminiscent to what some MLS coaches, e.g. Arena, has done during the season, what with injuries, etc. Granted the MLS team is static, i.e. coach has the same cadres of players at his beck and call, while at the NT level, the coach must put together a team usually within weeks before a schedule match, friendly or not. I remember all too clearly when a coach (in the 70's) would bring in the anointed few, - usually college players and some "pros", within literally days or just weeks before a game, with piss-poor results. Yes, JK drove me nuts with seemingly incessant line up changes, the only solid constant was the GK.So, Alex, yes the coach selects the players, supposedly all "skilled" professionals who ought to follow the game plan, from the fb to the fwd, then again, time and again I saw some of the more "vaunted" guys, CD, Bradley, Altidore, Wondolwsky, Zardes, et. al. appearing to go through the motions, not playing with a sense or urgency, on the field processes that drives a coach bananas-crazy. There's obviously more to this scenario than space in these comment boxes. In short, I enjoyed reading the comments, but if indeed and fact Sunil Gulati has the cojones to make a change, then it must be done now, but one thing for sure, I think I remember someone saying that US Soccer ought to go after a world-class coach who, if they dangle a very nice $$ package we will be stuck with a stale US soccer program.

  62. Andrew Kear, November 20, 2015 at 2:13 p.m.

    Altidore is the least of the USMNT problems. I still believe he is among the five best players on the team. Getting rid of him will just make the US less of a scoring threat. Until Johansson, and Wood start scoring key goals for the national team I say keep Altidore. At just 25 Altidore is not going anywhere.

  63. Wooden Ships, November 20, 2015 at 2:26 p.m.

    Andrew, obviously JK agrees with you. I don't. What style of play can we build with him. Our attack is poor and its in part due to Jozy. All too often he doesn't recognize the runs he needs to make or space to clear. He is reactive and that kills movement. AJ, Morris and Wood don't kill movement, which allows the mid some interplay. Mentioning his young age is, after all these caps, is proof enough that he instinctively doesn't understand the position. He has been the go to forward ever since JK's arrival. He is a hindrance to our attacking development. IMO. Striker in my previous life.

  64. Bob Ashpole replied, November 20, 2015 at 6:43 p.m.

    The way I describe it, Jozy plays like a nine year old, which I blame on his past coaches. Jozy, however, is to blame for not improving over the last 4 years while he has been surrounded by many good role models. To be fair against T&T, Jozy showed improvement in combining with others and in his defending. On the other hand, A professional forward should have cut through T&T at will. My big worry from the last two games has been how awkward the US attack looked against weak opponents in the final third.

  65. Ric Fonseca, November 20, 2015 at 2:32 p.m.

    Wooden Ships, spot on! Jazzy reminds me of a youth player who was told by his non-soccer playing dad that he's the new and next answer to soccer. Drives me crazy watching him trying to take on not one, but two or even three defenders - even with a team mate behind him - loses the ball and then stands watching with his hands akimbo while the opponents begin a counter.

  66. Andrew Kear, November 20, 2015 at 2:48 p.m.

    Altidore does have an instinctive awareness of where to be at the right place at the right time when it comes to scoring. That is why some of his goals look deceptively simple. Unlike a great player like Messi, Altidore needs balls feed to him. The worst thing you can do to Altidore is isolate him up front.
    Also Altidore is a bit too large. Compared to most players on the field he looks like a NFL lineman. Still, despite his excessive girth, Altidore occasionally makes some good moves and passes. He made an especially cool move against T&T that is on YouTube. He did a crossover dribble and put the ball between the defenders legs. Not a bad move for a player that looks to be at least a 180lbs!

  67. Wooden Ships, November 20, 2015 at 5:01 p.m.

    Andrew, I would love nothing more for Jozy than to be that effective forward you believe him to be. Yes, he can get on the end of a ball and crack it. I think JK has him mostly as a target forward because he can't play in tandem with another. His touch isn't consistent enough and he has to depend too much upon service. His skill set is limited and once defenders know how to play him, which are the good teams we are trying to get passed, they shut him down-on the run of play that is. In my mind Jurgen doesn't believe that some of our other forward options are good enough. I contend they are, especially if he'll get some different mids that routinely make quality passes. I do appreciate the dialogue, evidently too much time on my hands. Man, its going to be a long 3.5 months before we see the team again. Any friendlies sometime soon?

  68. David Mont, November 21, 2015 at 11:35 a.m.

    Four years ago, the USSF hired Klinsmann do take the USMNT to the next level. Four years later, having lost at home to Panama and Jamaica, we're celebrating a scoreless draw against Trinidad and Tobago. That is our next level.

  69. Jim Ngo replied, November 22, 2015 at 11:01 a.m.

    JK asked for the reins and he got it. Head coach and technical director of US Soccer. He oversees the entire youth development program. After 4 years you can now use the U17s to yardstick the progress he has made. 0-2-1 in the U17 World Cup, 3 goals scored, 8 goals conceded.

  70. Ric Fonseca, November 21, 2015 at 2:34 p.m.

    All american, wishful thinking re: Mourinho, but then again, it would be hilarious to watch this guy repeatedly spout and froth at the mouth while at the same time spit obscenities at our woeful player corps! And then what do you think will happen? All the former JK haters will reinvent themselves and call for Mourinho's ouster, 'cause we all know this fellow sure as heck calls it like it is for what it is.

  71. Ric Fonseca, November 21, 2015 at 2:35 p.m.

    I meant to add that Mourinho would make JK look very tame!!!

  72. BJ Genovese, November 23, 2015 at 11:38 a.m.

    Its about picking players who have "it". Start with T.I.P.S. Start picking these players at the youth level. Problem with you level is everyone is trying to get paid and work there resume. What gets you that in the US... wins. There are players out there. Why doesnt somebody start a USA development progam that only picks those playesr. Fully funded. Then sells them overseas. These players are out there and they are everywhere from border to border. Scouts for US soccer could care less about anyone that not in there academies. Academies are just ODP on steroids. People building there coaching resumes to have a career in the game. Cant blame em when we dont have academies with fully funded residential academies.

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