Klinsmann: Soccer is 20 years behind NBA and NFL

U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann says soccer shouldn't be handicapped by the lack of instant replay that prevented the refereeing crew from determining Raul Ruidiaz's goal should have been disallowed for a handball in Sunday's Brazil-Peru game.

“For big decisions, like last night with the handball," Klinsmann said of the goal that gave Peru a 1-0 win and knocked Brazil out of the Copa Centenario, "you want to be able to know, Was it a handball or wasn’t it a handball, was it a penalty, yes or no? Why not take those extra 10 or 15 seconds with the fourth official on the sideline? He can watch the replay really quick and make a decision -- yes, it was a penalty, no it wasn’t, yes it was a goal, no it wasn’t."

He said goal-line technology alone isn't enough.

"I think we’re 20 years behind sports like the NBA and NFL," he said. "Let’s give the referees all the help they can get to make the right decision."

Klinsmann was speaking on Monday during a Facebook session with fans at Seattle's CenturyLink Field, where the USA will face on Thursday.

Since the disastrous first-half performance against Guatemala in Guatemala City, the USA has run off six wins in its last seven games, including two of three at the Copa Centenario to move into the quarterfinals. It marks the most consistent run for the USA since the summer of 2013 when it opened up a lead in the Hexagonal and won the Gold Cup.

Only four players who were regular starters in the June 2013 run of qualifiers -- Fabian Johnson, Jermaine Jones, Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey -- remain in the team, and the USA has almost completely rebuilt its defense. (Johnson started in midfield against Jamaica and Panama and moved to left back against Honduras because DaMarcus Beasley was suspended.)

Klinsmann says a big reason for the USA's success has been the consistency of the backline and the availability of Geoff Cameron  and John Brooks.

"All of our backline players, especially out center backs, they all went through ups and downs over the last year, which is just totally normal," he said. "John Brooks went through a learning curve. Remember last year's Gold Cup: here and there a little bit of a mistake. Geoff Cameron was not part of it. Geoff was injured. Then John Brooks was injured in the World Cup qualifiers. Finally we had a stretch of time then when they were not only healthy but fit and they sent out signals. Right now, the partnership with Geoff Cameron and John Brooks looks very, very good, looks intimidating for the opponents."

PUNISHMENT FOR YEDLIN. Klinsmann said the USA's success was a credit to the team's strong chemistry. He said at each stop during the Copa Centenario, or on foreign trips for that matter, the team tries to connect locally.

In Philadelphia, where the USA beat Paraguay, 1-0, the players climbed the Rocky steps. In Seattle, they'll go to the Pike Place Fish Market.

"Maybe we'll throw a fish," Klinsmann joked, "and have DeAndre Yedlin catch it because he made that mistake with the two yellows [that heave him out of Thursday's game]."
6 comments about "Klinsmann: Soccer is 20 years behind NBA and NFL".
  1. beautiful game, June 14, 2016 at 11:14 a.m.

    I beg to differ with coach JK. We are only behind because the youth development and senior systems are not co-joined and funded for specific results.

  2. Ginger Peeler replied, June 14, 2016 at 8:18 p.m.

    I W, JK was talking about soccer being behind pro football and basketball because we're not using camera technology available to determine play on the field. He was saying we're behind in using technology that would resolve the issues we currently deal with.

  3. Richard Brown, June 14, 2016 at 1:52 p.m.

    Go to Germany your traveling back in time about 20 years they still play with hula hoops. They still have happening there. Want a laugh go see the German production of west side story.

  4. Richard Brown, June 14, 2016 at 1:54 p.m.

    Does anyone think Klinnesman would be hired to coach in the Bundeslega ever again if he went back to Germany?

  5. Kevin White, June 14, 2016 at 4:53 p.m.

    ...and MLB as well. Paul Gardner would be horrified. I think he misses the leather ball with a bladder and I'm sure he doesn't like the 3 substitutes.

  6. Andrew Brown, June 15, 2016 at 1:31 a.m.

    IF an American-Born coach made the same comments the Euro press would have a hoot and holler with this comment.

    IF a crotchety old SI writer made this comment, US soccer fans would have their panties in a wad.

    Good thing we have a foreign coach to help us face reality from time-to-time.

Next story loading loading..

Discover Our Publications