USA-Argentina Takeaways: Hapless in Houston

It is hard to remember a more one-sided loss the USA has suffered in a major tournament or a more disastrous result for the image of the national team program than its 4-0 loss to Argentina in the semifinals of the Copa Centenario.

This is a special Albiceleste and a special Lionel Messi -- two goals and four assists in two starts at the Copa Centenario, plus a hat trick in 19 minutes off the bench -- but the match exposed the huge gulf between the USA and the top teams of the world.

Argentina had a 625-191 edge in completed passes and held the USA without a shot, let alone a shot on goal. But the stats tell only part of the story. The USA looked hapless as it chased the Argentines in vain and sprayed passes to no one in particular.

1. USA suffers worst defeat in Klinsmann era.

The result was the USA's worst defeat in the Jurgen Klinsmann era and the worst defeat in the finals of a major competition in the modern era when it fielded its full national team.

The USA lost to Mexico, 5-0, in the final of the 2009 Gold Cup, but it was playing with a "B" team drafted after the USA finished second at the Confederations Cup. You have to go all the way back to the 1934 World Cup when the USA lost to host Italy, 7-1, in the first round to find a worst loss.

Worst U.S. Defeats, Major Competitions:
1-7 Italy (1934 World Cup)
1-6 Argentina  (1930 World Cup)
*0-5 Mexico  (2009 Gold Cup)
1-5 Czechoslovakia (1990 World Cup)
0-4 Argentina (2016 Copa Centenario)
0-4 Mexico (1993 Gold Cup)
*USA fielded a "B" team.

The USA exited the 2014 World Cup after being badly dominated by Belgium, but at least it took that game to overtime, put on a furious comeback in the second overtime period and got a memorable game in goal from Tim Howard, all allowing the U.S. performance to be labeled as heroic.

There are no redeeming qualities to be taken from Tuesday's game -- which makes the performance that much more stinging.

2. Argentines are simply better players.

The suspensions of Jermaine Jones, Alejandro Bedoya  and  Bobby Wood  forced Klinsmann to make four changes in the U.S. starting lineup.

In addition to DeAndre Yedlin, who returned to the starting lineup in place of Matt Besler, Klinsmann started Kyle Beckerman,  Chris Wondolowski and Graham Zusi for the first time at the Copa Centenario. Beckerman, Wondolowski and Zusi are all players who go back with Klinsmann to the 2014 World Cup.

The Wondo pick, in particular, was derided, but all three players were badly outmatched in what might be their last competitive matches with the national team.

Even if Jones, Bedoya and Wood had been available, though, or even if younger players like Christian Pulisic or Darlington Nagbe had started, it is hard to imagine the result being any different.

“At every position on the field, they were just better than us,” Klinsmann said afterward.

3. What now for Klinsmann?

The defeat follows a string of wins over Costa Rica (4-0), Paraguay (1-0) and Ecuador (2-1) that marked the first time the USA had won three or more games in a row in a major competition other than the Gold Cup.

The USA had played confidently throughout the tournament, but it had a huge home-field advantage set up by the tournament organizers -- an extra day of rest on Costa Rica and Ecuador and a far easier travel schedule than Paraguay had.

Argentina played Venezuela on Saturday -- two days after the USA played Ecuador -- and had to travel from Boston to Houston, but it was the far fresher and stronger team. From the opening moments, the Americans looked timid and confused, unable to make up for the huge difference in skills and savvy between them and their opponents.

Probably the last game as one-sided as Tuesday's loss was the USA's 4-0 defeat to Spain in June 2011. It was only a friendly game but against the reigning World Cup (and European) champions. Two months later, Bob Bradley was out as national team coach.

Will Klinsmann suffer the same fate after an equally humiliating defeat but on a bigger stage? If the USA had not advanced to the knockout stage, he'd have likely been fired. Those three victories against Costa Rica, Paraguay and Ecuador might have inoculated him, but the manner of the Argentina defeat -- not the defeat itself -- will again raise serious questions about the direction of the program.

Klinsmann's boss, Sunil Gulati, said after the 2-0 loss to Colombia he didn't want to get too high or too low based on one game, but it will be hard for him to ignore the depths of the Houston debacle.

109 comments about "USA-Argentina Takeaways: Hapless in Houston".
  1. Richard Brown, June 22, 2016 at 3:29 a.m.

    I think we have guys and a coach that are so afraid of losing the ball close to our goal that we do clearances instead of passing to team mates when we are close to our goal. Plus we do not have enough pass options close to the ball.
    When we do complete a pass from our back along the flank and that was rare. Then what? we should have a square pass option close to the receiver inside the field. No one was ever there.
    It was watching a bunch of kids who can't play.
    Argentina does not have enough good players on that team to beat a team like Germany.

    Argentina are not a team like they had in 1986 when they had a ton a great players with Maradona. They don't have a coach like Bilardo either.

    We the US will never get even close under Klinnesman

  2. Thomas Sullivan replied, June 22, 2016 at 7:34 a.m.

    Richard, Agree with your assessment. Every team around the world has figured out that they only need to immediately pressure the ball and our back line will cough it up. Watch how they attack our "play from the back" vs. how our front line handles opposition build up. They give us no space and our d predictably panics and either gives it up or drives it up the field in desperation. We do look amateurish. But JK has never done anything to address this and it has been going on for years. Even ConCaCaf minnows have our number on this. JK has to go.

  3. Bob Ashpole, June 22, 2016 at 5:35 a.m.

    I want to be optimistic and find something good to say about that game, but I can't.

  4. Dan Eckert, June 22, 2016 at 6:35 a.m.

    Bob - I can. We only let 4 in.

  5. Andrew Kear, June 22, 2016 at 6:40 a.m.

    What bothered me the most for the US is that they had no shots on goal.

  6. Andy Cap replied, June 22, 2016 at 10:40 a.m.

    How are we going to get looks at goal when we cannot hold the ball for even
    three/four passes. The one sequence in the first half,after the first goal
    where we had maybe five passes we actually got inside their 18.

    Their counter press killed us all game long. They had six guys pressing in our half. There is no US player technically capable of playing under such pressure.
    Bradley gave the ball away on so many occasions.

  7. Kenneth Barr, June 22, 2016 at 7:19 a.m.

    Why is anyone surprised? This is Argentina we are talking about. No, we don't look very good last night but who really didn't expect the Albiceleste to be too bothered with us and they weren't. We were over-anxious and sloppy. A learning experience to be sure.

  8. Raymond Weigand replied, June 22, 2016 at 12:24 p.m.

    Cheers! Well commented.

  9. Ric Fonseca replied, June 22, 2016 at 2:05 p.m.

    Ken I couldn't agree more!!! Someone in some other page said, it ain't any shame to lose to the number one team in soccer, though, your points are so very spot on! Lesson learned, now I say to the USMNT, get your heads up and go "step on some toes!!!"

  10. Tim Gibson replied, June 22, 2016 at 3:27 p.m.

    I feel good we somehow got to the Semi's & ground it out that far. C'mon Mr Kennedy = the Grim Reaper of the Hex, it's Argentina Vs a depleted USA squad for chripes sake. Even Timmy Howard on Steroids wouldn't have helped.
    Stand Tall Yanx & feel good for getting to where you did. Just look to Brazil, Uruguay & Mexico who all wish they got to where we did & likely would have been equally out-matched. GO USA!

  11. Kent James, June 22, 2016 at 7:59 a.m.

    When you play poorly against the best team in the world, you get spanked. I'd say that's a lesson learned, but I'm guessing we already knew that. Given Argentina's superiority, I'd like to say that one positive result was that they really didn't get that many shots on goal (I think the only save Guzman made (other than on Iguain's first shot the rebound of which he put away) was Messi's. On the other hand, given the score, the Argentinians didn't really need to put shots on goal.

  12. Kent James, June 22, 2016 at 8:08 a.m.

    As for JK, I thought he generally coached this tournament pretty well, though not so much in this game. For Wondo to be effective, he needs balls in the box (not break-aways), so I'm not sure why he started him, since that wasn't going to happen. Zusi and Beckermann were also not great calls (and Biernbaum (sp?) makes no sense; we have loads of CBs, why develop more?). I did like it when he moved Cameron to defensive CM; he should have started him there (for Jones), put Besler with Brooks (leaving Johnson & Yedlin on the flanks, where we'd need their speed). In MF, pair Dempsey and Bradley with Cameron (all central, Dempsey up top), then use Zardes & Nagbe on the flanks, with Pulisic up top (though maybe switch Dempsey & Pulisic).

  13. Robert Lame, June 22, 2016 at 8:35 a.m.

    Same fundamentals are missing at the National level that are missing at the youth. First touch: We have no ability to kill the ball dead. Shielding: We can't protect the ball. Possession: We give the ball away due to the first two and also because we can't pass under pressure.

  14. F. Kirk Malloy replied, June 22, 2016 at 8:57 a.m.

    Spot on. Starts with U 8-12 coaches. Generally untrained and inexperienced in the game. Worry about W-L record, which is meaningless then. USYS should INSIST on certificate or license at all ages, with player ID and development #1-10 priorities. Time to grow up as a country if we seriously want to chase medals.

  15. Kris Spyrka replied, June 22, 2016 at 10:45 a.m.

    Ridiculous comments here about youth soccer and it's development in the USA. Youth (let's say Club) soccer are doing just fine. We have thousands of kids (boys and girls) on the ball, and they are coached by coaches that know the game inside and out, because they immigrated here from countries and grew up with the game as it is currently played elsewhere (outside the bubble of the USMNT)! We have coaches that even possess licenses from abroad, i.e. the UEFA licenses. And lest I remind everyone, the women are doing just fine, check out the coveted stars on there kit. If you are an international female player, you actually want to play here!! No one wants to address the elephant in the room, and that is the two gentlemen running the show are the least qualified for their positions, Gulati and Klinsmann. Had we vetted either, they come up excruciatingly short of experience for their respective roles. Klinsmann was sacked from Bayern in (I believe) less than one season. On the Bayern All Time Manager Ranking, he was somewhere near the botton. He didn't have credentials to coach die Mannschaft during 2006, so they called him a consultant, and even here he hired the help of Berti Vogts. Had anyone here bothered to research testimonials from ex-players, (Lahm, Kroos) they would have done another pass however many years ago. Not only that, but we got his flunky Austrian friend as the U23 as the coach, and you saw the results, no Olympic game. The US men (NOT the women) are losing generations, because of mismanagement at the top, not the bottom. I coach in California, where I can tell you no self respecting kid with Mexican parents wants to play for the USMNT, rather they would look towards El Tri. IMO, the USMNT and USSF's leadership is nothing short of FRAUD!

  16. Seth Vieux replied, June 22, 2016 at 11:50 a.m.

    Good points from all three of you. A) It does start with the youth programs, and U8-12 is the base...but Kirk is wrong to blame the current youth system for the failures of 25-35 year old players. I coach U10 and U11s and while there are certainly some coaches who are still clueless, that is by and large no longer the case. It is truly impressive how far youth coaching has come since I was a boy. Back then a youth coach who knew anything at all about the game was nearly a mythical character. Now, the majority of youth coaches in club/premier organizations are very experienced players themselves. We've finally made the generational flip of coaches who played their entire lives, not well meaning parents or hobbyists who spent a year or two abroad.
    B) Licensing is an interesting issue. USSF has A-F licenses. In most youth cases only an F class license is required, and it's online absolute basics. The problem I have seen, is that to advance too far in licensing requires an immense amount of time, so you have in some (many?) cases well meaning parents with time on their hands to get advanced licenses, but are new to the sport and cannot properly teach technical skills and certainly don't understand tactics. Placing the licensing requirements too high for youth coaches can absolutely rob programs of experienced former college players who want to give back, but don't have weeks at a time to get advanced licensing just to give back. Who do we want teaching our young players the proper techniques to develop great first touches, and ability to shield and hold the ball, how to maintain possession, how to play with real pace? A former college player who only has time to get an F or E license, or someone who never played competitively but has gone through several weeks of coaching clinics to get a D/C license?

    C) We are still many years from delivering a generation of players who have a great feel for the game and are technically advanced to a level comparitive to most of the rest of the world, but the kids currently in the youth system are getting there. The criticism as it applies to focus on wins/losses vs player development for effective 11v11 play is largely still correct, regrettably. There are plenty of youth coaches out there who do not focus on wins/losses, but we are definitely more of the exception than the rule. I tell our boys that winning is definitely more fun than losing, but if we play quality soccer results will usually (not always) follow. As an example, I restrict my keepers from punting the ball. The team MUST play out of the back. The keeper does not have the option to rob himself of diagnosing the tactical situation and distributing the ball to the proper player. He does not get to rob that player of the chance to make a good first touch, make a quick decision, and be decisive with the ball (whether that is with a pass or an attacking dribble).

  17. Ric Fonseca replied, June 22, 2016 at 2:20 p.m.

    All American, this sorta reminds me of one politician said (Scy of Def) one time, "that you go to war with the army what you have..." And so, Klinsmann went into the fray with the players that were there. And BTW how long has he been head honcho? You don't develop a world class team in the time he's had the charge, US soccer is frought with what Mike Woitalla has called, an alphabet soup of soccer organizations, and we've been mired in recreational soccer, and yes I will say it, since ayso was born in the late '60s with its recreational mentality. Folks here and elsewhere time and again call for a "soccer revolution (Konstin)" with hundreds and thousands of small soocer fields, yada-yada-yada. Yeah so we got our ass kicked by the number one team in the soccer playing world, but ont thing for sure pilgrims, it aint a Siete a Cero!!! 3rd or 4th place in this tournament, ain't bad, the only CONCACAF team to advance, and in the entire Western Hemisphere of the Soccer Playing World! Just saying, now PLAY ON and steop on their toes!!!

  18. cisco martinez, June 22, 2016 at 8:38 a.m.

    It's an odd feeling, we played well throughout the Copa and then get thrashed in the semis 4-0 to Argentina. Do we expect to lose? One can argue maybe, but if US is going to make it deep in the World Cup or any tournament for that matter we have to be competitive, that obviously didn't happen. I still would argue Klinsmanns personale for this game was weak, his decisions to bring on Beckerman and zusi were defensive, puliisic and Nagbe would have been better, however again we need a feilhaber type of midfield in the middle linking play out of the back and with the forwards.

  19. Seth Vieux replied, June 22, 2016 at 11:53 a.m.

    Nagbe is the only current player capable of doing that, and it drives me nuts how little he and Pulisic have played. Not remotely surprised by JK's decision to go with Wondo and Beckerman...hell I expected it, and the result was as predicted. I think Zusi was the best option available however. I wouldn't have hated leaving Besler on at LB and moving Fabian into midfield either.

  20. cisco martinez, June 22, 2016 at 8:41 a.m.

    Robert, completely agree. We in this country don't emphasize technical ability, tactical awareness and more importantly speed of play, we emphasize physical attributes, speed and strength, not enough of technical stuff. We were chasing shadows.

  21. K Michael replied, June 22, 2016 at 11:33 a.m.

    Bingo! Something tells me lil' Messi, if he was an American u13 player, would have been told "kid, you've amazing skills but you just cant help us win now..maybe try cross country or another sport.."

  22. Seth Vieux replied, June 22, 2016 at 11:56 a.m.

    Both of you are spot on. I'm hopeful that Pulisic will be the leading edge of the vanguard of US players with the technical level to be able to play with real pace. We shall see, but I'm pretty encouraged with what I see at the youth level - gonna be many years before players with a truly high technical level start arriving to the adult level in any great number though.

  23. F. Kirk Malloy, June 22, 2016 at 8:51 a.m.

    Wow. How clueless Ridge. We had ZERO chance against Argentina. We're not in their class. The fact that JK got us to Copa semis vs top 1-3 in the world should be celebrated. Also proves JK is spot on: if we want to compete at top level national tournaments, US players must compete in top leagues. The game is played at a different level and speed there, as it is in top tourneys. No pre-game speech or formation will change that stark fact.
    So, CONGRATS USMNT! Reached a lofty goal of making semis at a serious tourney. Now go grab that podium spot!

  24. Julio Moreira, June 22, 2016 at 9:09 a.m.

    Gulati MUST go, together with Th German if we want to see Soccer progress in this Country. In reference to the shameful loss last night and the upcoming loss to Colombia or Chile, how in the World do we have this German line up with Wondo and Beckerman, it is hard to imagine such a disgraceful move, that's the main reason why he was fired in Germany. The advancement of soccer in US took a dive last night, it was just an embarrassment and to hear JK press conference was worst, he's a real clown.

  25. R2 Dad replied, June 23, 2016 at 1:15 a.m.

    While Gulati is a bureaucrat, he has a much longer timeline than we do. He makes short-term noises but isn't losing his job because of a crummy gold cup or copa. JK has done OK with the USMNT but the shortcoming is addressing the hodge-podge, wild west of amateur/youth soccer. I suspect US Soccer is just lazy, hoping this will settle itself in another 20 years. But we've already seen 30 years of profiteering with no hope the DA is any better than ODP etc. If US Soccer was brave (which they are not) they would put together a committee of youth and lower-level professional league representatives to rationalize the systems we have, but this would only jeopardize the MLS hegemony US Soccer has been so busy putting in place. Of all the presidential interventions we've seen over the past 4 years, none would be more welcome than a carrot and stick approach that would divorce US Soccer from MLS interests over the next 20 years. A roadmap is not too much to ask, regardless of the sensitive ROI timelines of monopolistic MLS club owners.

  26. trebor gt, June 22, 2016 at 9:17 a.m.

    I agree with nearly everything said here today. It was hard to watch, but we had several things going against us. First and most obvious was the lack of three players who were key for our positive games. Second, the replacements were poor choices, Beckerman in particular. Slow and sloppy. Had Jones been in the game that first goal would probably not have happened. Zusi is experienced and has been reasonably sharp as a sub but was over matched. Wondo was a surprise and also a bad choice, he is a threat in the box but we were never going to get that many balls to him to put away. Bradley was awful - again. I like him generally but he seems to choke quite a bit in big games and he has not been very good the entire tourney and our wins were in spite of him. Third - its Argentina. Best in the world, best player in the world. Our best everything was not going to be enough to win but it hurts a bit more when you know you can be better than what you saw even if it was a doomed cause. Thus far we've had a good tournament so I'm going to shake this one off and look for a good outing vs (likely Colombia who I think can be beaten). With regard to our youth programs a lot has been said but I have to say I do not necessarily agree that we're not emphasizing technique, speed and passing under pressure, at least in the clubs I work with. If you look at some of the U-XX's USMNT I see a lot of positives.

  27. K Michael replied, June 22, 2016 at 11:43 a.m.

    Well said; I agree completely; the younger age groups have a load of skilled players. Its a matter of time, really. it appears the corner has finally been turned on the over-emphasis of size, speed rather than technical skill, agility, quickness, and speed of play/vision. The young uns have it, these senior guys do not.

  28. Bret Newman replied, June 22, 2016 at 12:21 p.m.

    Trebor GT brought up, most of what I would have said. He is spot on with his comments. I expect We will have a better showing in the 3rd place game, now that we get 3 good players back, especially Jones and Wood. The high pressure we faced against our backs is nothing new. Only the good teams are able to do it well and expose our backs. We need to improve on that going forward.

  29. R2 Dad replied, June 23, 2016 at 1:20 a.m.

    Good points all. JK has to transition these old guys out, and that's rationalized by failure in these matches. A purge between now and the Hex is now justified. My only concern is that Nagbe won't be the player he needs to be without a transfer to La Liga, Serie A or the Bundesliga.

  30. Ray Almubaslat, June 22, 2016 at 9:22 a.m.

    With all respect to everyone who seems shocked at the US loss to Argentina you must have never seen or lived through international cultures of Soccer who play the game day in and day out from the age of 5 on the streets, in the parks, at schools and in clubs. I say this because if you did you would know the real problem with US Soccer. It is not about stomping on players feet or playing nasty that is going to make us a better Soccer nation (I always felt we have always done a fantastic job at that all along :) But rather it is about raising a generation from the age of 5 on playing, living and breathing the game day in and day out. It is about turning our public parks into pickup Soccer venues for children at all ages to play the game together without the constant supervision of parents and adults so they can learn to feel the ball and cherish the game in their soul and develop the real connection that should exist between them and the Soccer ball. This is where kids learn how to play Soccer, not on organized sessions with the constant interference of coaches and clueless parents, and certainly not while spending their time sitting on couches playing FIFA video games.

    In the United states we believe that we can program kids to become top Soccer players and end up coaching them minute by minute and holding their hands play by play without letting the kids figure it out on their own through trial and error and learn how to create and innovate for themselves on the Soccer pitch. This is the only way it can be done and if you try to cut corners like we have been trying for the past 20-30 years we will continue to fail.

  31. trebor gt replied, June 22, 2016 at 9:39 a.m.

    Ray, you are correct. The generational challenge is real. But I have to say that at no time in history has it begun to change like it has right now. I see pick up games in parks near my house often enough and I think culturally we're changing. The mix of youth players who start playing young and sticking with the game (as opposed to getting sucked away into another sport), coupled with the influx of immigrants whose children are soccer first is changing the landscape. I think there are reasons to be optimistic about our future as a competitive soccer nation. In downtown LA they are ripping all the tennis courts out and replacing them with footsal for example.

  32. Junhua Wu replied, June 22, 2016 at 10:16 a.m.

    Ray, well said. I have seen that the young kids have been over coached from a very young age while not playing enough pick up game. The pick up game is a better way for cultivating passion and feel of the game. I am trying to let my boys play more pick up games, but barely find time and fields to do that when the soccer season is on.

    US also need better coaches from outside who knows how to play possession soccer. Some kids have decent skills in US, but barely know how to play possession soccer, which needs the whole team to share the same philosophy. The can only be drilled by the well qualified coaches.

  33. jo rev replied, June 22, 2016 at 11:22 a.m.

    @Ray Almubaslat YOU ARE SO RIGHT! I have been saying this for more than a decade. Pickup games (cascaritas) are what's missing in our country. It would be nice to make tennis courts with futsal style courts so they can be used for both. Our country good at basketball because basketball courts are accessible in every neighborhood at every school in USA.

  34. Kent James replied, June 22, 2016 at 2:18 p.m.

    You are right; the problem is that we lack a soccer culture. I coach a HS soccer team in western PA, in an area that while it has a local soccer program, has a very limited soccer culture. Kids on the HS team will watch football or hockey (Steelers & Penguins, so granted, exciting choices) before soccer. They play fantasy football, not fantasy soccer (and they're on the SOCCER team!). There is a professional team in Pittsburgh (the Riverhounds) with a beautiful, brand new stadium, and most kids will never go. And trying to get them to watch soccer on TV is like pulling teeth. Things are changing, but in this area, painfully slowly.

  35. Richard Brown, June 22, 2016 at 9:24 a.m.

    You heard what Klinnesman advice to his players were in this game step on their feet. :)

  36. Gary Levitt, June 22, 2016 at 9:25 a.m.

    Losing to Argentina is 5 team in the world. Losing the way we did is unacceptable at this stage of JK's reign. Just my observation:
    - Wood not available so our option is to start Wondolowski? If JK is also our technical director than something is seriously wrong with the development of our player pool.
    - Forget the "style" of play...we had no poise, no class and were physically outmatched. Unacceptable.
    - 5 minutes into the match, The best player in the world left alone on top of the 18 with no USA player within 8 yards. No tactical awareness. Unacceptable.
    - Wondo having to start...unable to receive and hold a simple pass, tracking back and fouling outside of OUR 18. Unacceptable.
    - I have been a supporter of JK but no longer. Though in a WC cycle, and with qualifying for Russia solid, Gulati needs to have the perseverance to make the change now. Two months until our next qualifier. Perfect timing.
    - Wondo, Zusi, and Beckerman....they have served us well and it is now time for them to leave.
    - With all that said, coming in 3rd or 4th in a Copa America is a very good result. It is just too bad the world had to see last night's performance.

  37. Richard Brown, June 22, 2016 at 9:39 a.m.

    I wish I did not see it. They could not string 3 passes together before they lost the ball. Remember when Bob Gansler had the national team same thing.

  38. Philip Carragher, June 22, 2016 at 9:40 a.m.

    We simply have a bad player development system.

  39. K Michael replied, June 22, 2016 at 11:39 a.m.

    Changing dramatically as we speak, though. The DA, in its 9th year, is beginning to hone in on player-centric training, ie. let the kids figure things out; they are emphasizing technical ability, quickness in at least the same measure as size, speed. Our first generation of "natural" soccer players are hitting their teens (Pulisic is a harbinger of things coming). Keep the faith, the next 4-8 years will be eye-opening.

  40. Seth Vieux replied, June 22, 2016 at 12:09 p.m.

    Michael I see it the same. It's still a few years out, but player development is making HUGE strides. I believe that Pulisic is the best player on the team RIGHT NOW. I have watched nearly every minute he's played with Dortmund and the kid is LEGIT. Incredible technical level (far beyond any US player ever IMO) combined with confidence (from his elite technical level) and decisiveness with the ball. The ball never stops moving and neither does he. Outstanding vision and perfectly comfortable stringing together a dozen short passes or attacking defenders on the dribble 1v2 with real PACE. The kid is a revelation and I'm hopeful that he won't be the last of this type of player we produce. The disappointing thing to me is that JK refuses to acknoweldge just how good the kid is. Shameful how few minutes he's played in the tournament. Just behind him is Nagbe in technical ability, and again, almost no playing time. We have precious few players with a technical level and advanced understanding of the game required to play a fast paced possession game, and JK has elected to leave the two most capable on the bench.

  41. Daniel Clifton, June 22, 2016 at 9:56 a.m.

    Up until this game Klinsmann did a good job of coaching. I am not going to say he should go now after this one game. Even with their best players on the field the USMNT was going to have a headache dealing with Argentina. As so many people have pointed out above our youth development is way behind. It is encouraging to see young kids playing the game in their yards. That is the way this will change. You cannot blame Klinsmann for not having skillful players to choose from. I do believe his decisions to start Beckerman and Wondolowski were poor choices. I knew Beckerman was going to get overrun by the Argentines. He does not have the pace to keep up with them. Wondolowski is only good when he can plant himself in the box, which obviously wasn't going to happen in this game. I believe Klinsmann should have given Nagbe a chance to start. What was he doing bringing on Birnbaum, just to move Cameron up to defensive mid. That is when he should have brought on Nagbe. Hopefully the US will show up for the 3rd place game.

  42. Kris Spyrka replied, June 22, 2016 at 11:04 a.m.

    Ridiculous comments here about youth soccer and it's development in the USA. Youth (let's say Club) soccer are doing just fine. We have thousands of kids (boys and girls) on the ball, and they are coached by coaches that know the game inside and out, because they immigrated here from countries and grew up with the game as it is currently played elsewhere (outside the bubble of the USMNT)! We have coaches that possess licenses from abroad, i.e. the UEFA licenses. Not to mention, you have Arsenal, Bayern, Real Madrid and Barca all running affiliate clubs along the West Coast and elsewhere. And lest I remind everyone, the women are doing just fine, check out the coveted stars on their kit. If you are an international female player, you actually want to play here!! No one wants to address the elephant in the room, and that is the two gentlemen running the show are the least qualified for their positions, Gulati and Klinsmann. Had we vetted either, they come up excruciatingly short of experience for their respective roles. Klinsmann was sacked from Bayern in (I believe) less than one season. On the Bayern All Time Manager Ranking, he was somewhere near the botton. He didn't have credentials to coach die Mannschaft during 2006, so they called him a consultant, and even here he hired the help of Berti Vogts. Had anyone here bothered to research testimonials from ex-players, (Lahm, Kroos) they would have done another pass however many years ago. Not only that, but we got his flunky Austrian friend as the U23 as the coach, and you saw the results, no Olympics. The US men (NOT the women) are losing generations, because of mismanagement at the top, not the bottom. I coach in California, where I can tell you no self respecting kid with Mexican parents wants to play for the USMNT, rather they would look towards El Tri. IMO, the USMNT and USSF's leadership is nothing short of FRAUD!

  43. Goal Goal, June 22, 2016 at 10:24 a.m.

    As a team we have a lot of good athletes but few who have the ability or skills to play on this level. It all reverts back to our youth programs and the inability of US SOCCER to see the problem.

  44. Winston Reyes, June 22, 2016 at 10:38 a.m.

    Klinsmann can do no more,time to to change USA

  45. Goal Goal, June 22, 2016 at 10:45 a.m.

    All American you are correct with your view that when playing upscale competition we play not to win but to not lose badly. That is the coaches problem not the people on here. I want to play to win but we don't have the tools to do it with. When will US SOCCER figure out that it starts out at the youth level.

  46. Charles Stamos, June 22, 2016 at 10:47 a.m.

    Some great comment here, the USA lacks some basic skills, first touch precision, getting open without the ball, poise under pressure, not fouling when tackling, creative attacking, lack of depth in personnel, all will take time to overcome - starting at the youth level, basic skills and each player becoming a complete player able to play any position or side, each coach contributing to the goal - total soccer!

  47. Jack Niner replied, June 22, 2016 at 11:36 a.m.

    PS: I would ask Bruce Arena to come back - his tenure at the LA Galaxy has been impressive.

  48. R2 Dad replied, June 23, 2016 at 4:10 a.m.

    JN, Bruce Arena would be a backwards-looking appointment, would rather go with Tab after 2018 and see how he manages.

  49. cisco martinez, June 22, 2016 at 10:55 a.m.

    All American, we are holding Klinsmann to the same standard that he holds himself to. Klinsmann wants his team to go after the best in the world and be competitive, did anyone that watched the Argentina game thought we were even competitive? No shots on goal? We didn't even connect 4-passes, pass out of pressure, short-short long, counter on transition, speed of play; all of that was lacking. The uproar is the way we played and the fact that we've beaten Argentina before in Copa America 3-0, granted they have Messi, but we all could say in 2002 when we met Germany in the quarter-finals that we could have won, we were competitive, we held our heads high, can we say that against Argentina?

  50. R2 Dad replied, June 23, 2016 at 4:21 a.m.

    AA, there is a subset of USMNT fans that don't care about style of play, only concerned with scores as a measure of performance. So how they play (possession vs counter) means nothing to them. I regularly read here about Bob Bradley and Bruce Arena fans who pine for the Good Ole Days, as if injecting them into the current day set-up (because soccer remains unchanged!) would resolve our problems.

  51. John Soares, June 22, 2016 at 11:11 a.m.

    Consolation: It WAS Messi, I mean Argentina....and It WASN"T seven.

  52. Jack Niner, June 22, 2016 at 11:26 a.m.

    It's disappointing that Mr Kennedy does not take JK to task - his tactics, given the loss of two of his hottest offensive starters Wood and Jones, were simply terrible. A Y12 coach would have recognized that a VERY defensive approach was really the only option for the USMNT. A 4-5-1 with Yedlin simply told to man-mark Messi would more likely produced a 2-0 or 2-1 loss rather than trying to play straight-up against Argentina. JK is not a good game coach.

  53. Goal Goal, June 22, 2016 at 11:37 a.m.

    I am in Dallas this week watching the DA SHOWCASE and the DA CHAMPIONSHIPS and what I see is very concerning. I don't know what these clubs are teaching but it isn't the game the way it is supposed to be played. There are a few players here that standout with their skillful play only to get hammered into the ground by fast big physical players who have little skill or soccer prowess and their only attributes are big and strong. Takes so much away from the game. Where does this style of play come from and why is it allowed by the clubs, US SOCCER and the officials. When we get to international play this kind of play doesn't work, we look silly and status quo continues. You particularly see it coming from MLS associated teams and it mirrors the play we see with MLS play.

  54. Jack Niner replied, June 22, 2016 at 11:49 a.m.

    So why is the game be called that way!?!?!? Physical play/ hacking is the easiest way to overcome a lack of foot skills - but the rules of the game do not allow hacking!!!

  55. R2 Dad replied, June 23, 2016 at 4:35 a.m.

    For the longest time Spain played that way, and they managed to eventually overcome their massive baggage: "In La Roja: The Roots Of Soccer's Spanish Fury, Jimmy Burns writes: "During Franco's dictatorship, between 1939 and 1975, soccer was a pastime that was actively encouraged by the state - that is, as long as it was not exploited by the enemy. And the enemy ranged from communists, Freemasons, and freethinkers to Catalan and Basque nationalists, most of them decent human beings whose clubs were rooted in local cultural identities. It gave Spanish soccer, when I was growing up, its political edge; it separated us soccer lovers into democrats and fascists." Franco chose big/beefy/"manly" Madristas to the exclusion of Catalonian players, and it's part of the reason why they did nothing internationally for 40 years. "The Ball Is Round, by historian David Goldblatt, quotes Falangist newspaper Arriba in 1939, a few months after Franco had emerged triumphant from the Spanish Civil War, as saying: "The furia espanola is present in all aspects of Spanish life, to a greater extent than ever. In sport, the furia best manifests itself in soccer, a game in which the virility of the Spanish race can find full expression, usually imposing itself, in international contests, over the more technical but less aggressive foreign teams." Sound familiar?

  56. K Michael, June 22, 2016 at 11:50 a.m.

    One moment in particular really stuck out to me, and it encapsulates the state of senior team: In the second half, I believe, a ball was sprung into our half and Messi was sprinting towards it; Yedlin turned on the Turbo jets and raced by him and cleared it out of danger. Yet, that is the only thing raw speed can do. Skill gets you a world-class free kick goal, and three assists. The US is beginning to see the light in this regard, proof being the emphasis in picking skilled players (even if under-sized) to seed the new u12 DA age group. I am familiar with the rosters of a couple of these new young DAs, and it is refreshing to see that size and power (due to nothing more than early puberty) are secondary to skill, agility, etc.

  57. cisco martinez, June 22, 2016 at 11:53 a.m.

    All American, I would recommend watching the Germany v USA game in 2002, we played a 3-5-2 and we could have and I would argue should have won that game. We didn't bunker against Germany. Know your history, I am citing the 2002 quarter-finals of a World Cup against Germany, what do you mean they had nothing to play for?

  58. cisco martinez, June 22, 2016 at 12:09 p.m.

    All American, when you say "You guys are just happy with scores when they are close but choose to ignore playing styles are same as when we get killed 4-0." If you check any of my comments they have been about style and how we played, if we lost 4-1 like we did against Brazil under Klinsmann's first games , if you watch that game we had chances to score and hit the post twice, referee made a bad call on Oneywu and we were in the game.

  59. Goal Goal, June 22, 2016 at 12:12 p.m.

    Jack, physical play is fine. It's a physical game. But aggressive intentional hacking and physical intimidation of players is not part of this game and why it is allowed I don't know. All American is right. I the three days I have been here I have seen players shoved to the ground from behind while dribbling forward. I have seen a player slide tacked from behind and leg wrapped. I saw one player picked up and thrown to the ground directly in front of the official and in not one case was the whistle blown. Now I know everyone sees things differently especially if it's your team involved. In these cases the only interest I had was trying to see a good game. I did not have a dog in the hunt on any one of them.

  60. Rusty Welch, June 22, 2016 at 12:17 p.m.

    Here's why everyone is upset at the result - it's NOT because we lost to the world's #1 team - it's because we came out and thought we could play the world's #1 team without much hustle. The guys were shagging it last night - NOT running. We can't seem to figure out that if you hustle OFF the ball, if everyone is moving with a purpose, then you open up passing lanes for teammates and can actually string more than 3 passes together. How many times would we get possession, then have a couple Argentina players press, and when you look around guys are slow-shambling, not hustling into open areas for connections? The performance was a disgrace for U.S. Soccer - not the result, but the lack of effort. We didn't just 'play scared', we played lackadaisically, and there is no excuse for that. If Argentina had hustled throughout the game like Chile did against mexico, the result would have been closer to 8-0 - it ended 4-0 because they didn't.

  61. Rusty Welch replied, June 22, 2016 at 2:19 p.m.

    All American -
    I completely disagree. A huge part of looking so wildly inept is the fact that when pressured, there WAS no outlet (either kick it long or get dispossessed). Had we hustled off the ball and moved into open spaces, it would give our guys options to pass out of trouble - not hustling and jogging around, not getting open is a key part of why we can't string more than 2-3 passes together. Regardless of the opponent, if you're hustling off the ball and providing passing lanes, you at least don't look like a rec team against pros, and that is the correlation that I was trying to make.

  62. Richard Brown, June 22, 2016 at 12:19 p.m.

    here is my question have we gotten better or worse since 2002? If the answer is worse cut Klinnesman loose. He can't do the job.

    I left my daughter's wedding to come home and watch the US play in 2002. Would I do that today no way. My kids get married to new people every few years so I may have a chance again. I would never want to with Klinnesman managing the team.

  63. Raymond Weigand replied, June 22, 2016 at 12:24 p.m.


  64. Raymond Weigand, June 22, 2016 at 12:22 p.m.

    Expectations lead to frustrations. Argentina and Chile play at a faster pace with more fitness and finesse. Chile will beat Columbia and they will beat Argentina. If you want to see 'bunkering' down better ... wait until you see Argentina play against Chile.
    The USA players will all benefit from the experience - then we will see if they are serious about taking their game further.

  65. cisco martinez, June 22, 2016 at 12:27 p.m.

    All American, I am looking at your other comments and there is a big difference between bunkering in (parking the bus) and playing tactically against an opponents. In 1994 World Cup, we bunkered in against all of the team, against Brazil we lost 1-0 and played a 4-5-1, we were outshot nearly 10-1 in the second half, against Ecuador in the Copa America quarter-finals, we played a 4-4-2 and tactically we had great defensive shape, we countered well with Woods making inside out runs, and we kept possession when we needed to. Against Argentina, I would argue Klinsmann's personale and game plan was utterly wrong, we need to press Argentina defensively, mark out Mascherano, have our forwards defend the out side backs, press as a team, and counter in the midfield.

  66. Greg Morris, June 22, 2016 at 12:33 p.m.

    The only thing more predictable than the result was all the blame JK for everything responses. Fair to criticize selections - I disagreed with Wondo and Beckermann as well - but any fair minded observer has to admit that they would have made no difference. Pulisic - I loved his fearlessness and attitude but he looked like what he is - a kid. He was easily dispossessed, knocked on his backside repeatedly and a defensive liability. Starting him would have made no difference. Nagbe: I would have started him and thought he looked good with the ball but he does not defend his position and work rate is mediocre.
    According to Kris Spyrka we have a fantastic youth system - ridiculous. There are pockets of quality and I have seen much improvement, recently, but if we truly had a top notch system, with the massive number of players we have, you would see far more American kids pulled into top academies around the world and succeeding there. You don't. If we had top talent that simply is being mismanaged by JK there would be far more Americans playing top flight soccer around the globe. There aren't. Btw, the affiliate clubs he mentions are profit, not development centers.

    Again, more than fair to criticize JK choices but I found it interesting that some of his most vocal critics - Landon for one - praised his choices. The plan was clearly to use experience and work ethic early to keep the game close - effectively shortening the game. Then bring in the fresh talent and go for it late. It didn't work so blame away but it wasn't a ridiculous approach given we faced a vastly superior foe.
    How about we all remember that we are taking our shots from the sideline with the benefit of never being wrong - in our own minds. Go back and take a look at many of the assertions made here in the past. I've seen numerous "saviors" who were later torn apart by their former promoters. What about the anti-German crowd? Or if only we used this formation all would be right. All of us need to keep some perspective, challenge our own positions, admit when we were wrong as well and understand that there is not some magic bullet - or coach - that will take 25 year old Americans and make them world class.

  67. Raymond Weigand replied, June 23, 2016 at 12:16 p.m.


  68. Gary Roberts, June 22, 2016 at 12:54 p.m.

    This was a disappointing result, but hardly the humiliating one that seems to be suggested by many commentators. While not very effective, our team played hard, but were completely outclassed. The worst player on Argentina's starting line up (and several on their bench) is better than our best. What do we think will normally happen when we play them.

    As to all of the U-8 youth analysis, until our U-8's and younger are dong what 5 and 6 year old kids in places like Argentina are doing we will never have adult players like theirs. We are behind in soccer for the same reason that the rest of the world is behind us in basketball. Their best athletes grow up with the game as a part of their DNA. They don't just play the game, they live it. Ours typically grow up with it by being taken to a place where a coach, able or not, teaches them the game. The next time I see a bunch of kids playing a pick up game behind a school or in a park, without adults there overseeing it, will be the first. (Unless their families are fairly recent arrivals to our company. Maybe one generation)

    It's not likely that our best will be as good as their best any time soon. We seem to get the best result when we have a coach who understands that and develops a system that maximizes the strengths that we have, rather than bemoaning what we may never be.

  69. Nick Prodanovich, June 22, 2016 at 1:02 p.m.

    I get the idea that we were playing Argentina and the "What do you expect? comment. But after 5+ years of JK is this it.

    At the least I would have expected to give Argentina a better game than Venezuela. While Venezuela lost 4-1 the score was flattering to Argentina and Venezuela at times put Argentina's defense at considerable pressure, connected with their passing and were unlucky not to be much closer perhaps even leading Argentina in the first half.

    The US by contrast were flattered by the score and it could have been much worse. Argentina dominated every aspect of the game and we played as if this were the first time we were on the field together. We were disjointed, unorganized, could not put passes together. Somehow we seemed tired, less physical and unsure of our game plan.

    These types of deficiencies fall squarely on the coach. This team was not prepared, and the substitutions did not fit whatever plan was implemented.

  70. Terry Lynch, June 22, 2016 at 2:16 p.m.

    One thing no one has commented on is our GK play. IMO, I think all of the first three goals were saveable by a world class goalkeeper. BG could have/should have stepped up and caught (or at least punched) Messi's floater, he anticipated Messi's DK before it was struck by taking a step to his right which made it impossible to make the save back to his left in his own half of the goal, and I think he could have caught the direct shot, not deflected it for a tap in. Guzan is not world class, and we need to be looking for one who is. He is not in Keller's or Howard's class, in their primes. He is an adequate keeper but not one who's going to take us to the next level. Time to move on here too.

  71. Ric Fonseca, June 22, 2016 at 2:28 p.m.

    Hey folks, I wonder if Osorio is available? Jeepers, he went to a US University, speaks darned good English, Portugese and Spanglish, and to top it off, he's coached in the MLS! See if he can do any better!

  72. cisco martinez, June 22, 2016 at 3:04 p.m.

    All American, I am not a Johnny come lately to soccer. Klinsmann was the technical director and US national coach, it's his job to pick players that can play against World Cup winners. Klinsmann has a history of lack of tactics, not picking technical players such as feilhaber, no Donovan in World Cup and have coaches that emphasize technical ability, tactical awareness, and more importantly speed of play. There are too many English coaches that bring up some of our talent and focus on physical attributes, speed, athleticism over technique. Being a former assistant coach at a top D1 school, part of region IV pool as a youth and former college player it's disheartening to see technical players left behind because some players don't fit in a coaches philosophy.

  73. Jack Niner, June 22, 2016 at 3:08 p.m.

    Fanfor - I can't figure this board out so hope you see this - My point was physical play is fine when in the confines of the rules of the game. But the rules of the game, as you pointed out, are NOT being enforced. So what we have is rugby with a soccer ball. Why are the rules of the game NOT being enforced!?!?!? Straight reds need to be given for hacking, that's why it is in the rules.

  74. Richard Brown, June 22, 2016 at 3:40 p.m.

    Ric if Mexico let him he'll yes I would take him. Anyone is better then Klinnesman. He said he was sorry to his countries fans. Did Klinnesman say that yet or ever. I am still pissed at him for cutting Donovan before the last WC. He could have helped with our passing and with a counter that we did not have then or now.

  75. Raymond Weigand replied, June 23, 2016 at 12:23 p.m.

    I think Donovan cut himself ... especially when he voluntarily chose to leave the team to 'find himself'. Tim Howard chose to voluntarily leave the team after 2014 and you see how many Copa games he has played. Tough coaching decisions related to discipline sets a tone for (hopefully) constant and consistent improvement.

  76. Richard Brown, June 22, 2016 at 3:45 p.m.

    Klinnesman has he ever built on the game we already had. He has been with us for 5 years. When he came to us he started from scratch instead of building on the game we had before.

    I think he let Donovan go because in his head he thought German national team let me go. So why should I keep this guy I was better then him when I was let go.

  77. Raymond Weigand replied, June 23, 2016 at 12:26 p.m.

    just research landon donovan and self imposed sabbatical I think you will see that LD left the team on his own accord.

  78. cisco martinez, June 22, 2016 at 3:47 p.m.

    All American, even if I agree with you that we have B/C players, there are examples of many teams that had those types of players that had success in World Cups, Ireland 1990 quarterfinals, Korea 2002 Semi-finals, USA 2002 quarter-finals, 1998 Turkey Semi-finals, 1986 Belgium semi-finals, Denmark quarterfinals 1998..I can go on.

  79. Goal Goal, June 22, 2016 at 5:23 p.m.

    Jk has to play the cards he was dealt. He can't improve their skill set most likely but he can influence the way they approach the game and I did not see any improvement last night. I saw a team that was over cautious and more or less afraid.

    1 question on the first goal. How do leave Messi alone in the box 18 yards from the mouth of the goal? Help me with that.

  80. cisco martinez, June 22, 2016 at 5:24 p.m.

    All American, I have thought about whether some of our best players in high school should even go to college or play professional. Klinsmann's tenure as a technical director has been a joke. I had 4-5 friends that were on the U-17 team of 1999 that went to the Semi-finals and there were many players I played with that could have been professionals if college was replaced by Club programs similar to Europe and South America. I agree that our youth system is broken and specifically our lack of development from U-14-17, however what I worry about is what Alexi Lalas has suggested which in a NSCAA speech. Lalas suggested that we players need to fit the needs of the coaches philosophy in where we could possibly leave an exceptional player off a team.

  81. cisco martinez, June 22, 2016 at 6:05 p.m.

    All American, I agree. It happens in college too where we have freshman that are looked down upon by upper classmen and there coach and aren't given the opportunity to start or play for that reason alone. I can name numerous players that were All-Americans that were getting looked at by professional teams but went play college on a scholarship and then they couldn't play due to grades and stopped playing, its absurd.

  82. cisco martinez, June 22, 2016 at 6:28 p.m.

    All American, not too sure money is the solution. I see it hindering development and the "pay to play" attitude disenfranchises players with a low income bracket. Moreover, more teams in N. California that are going toward academy teams can get great players, but some of those players can't afford to play on those teams despite there talent. ODP is a good idea, what needs to be implemented is a lead up to professional opportunities for those that are on the Regional teams and National Teams at U-16-18.

  83. Delroy Wallace, June 22, 2016 at 9:16 p.m.

    I keep reading this incessant call to fire "the coach", and presumably that will make Bradley run faster, not give the ball away so much, pass so poorly , etc. etc., Let Dempsey show some worthwhile ability against quality opponents. Changing the coach will make Dempsey work harder, win some balls up high for his team, I suppose! The truth is we are too weak technically!! That limits us as to vision, passing, and everything else! If all those "veterans" cannot show improvement in the simple ball handling ability, then do not blame your coach. Try and locate players with better technical ability !! Bradley, & Dempsey are too slow to play in this game! The next level will be achieved when and only when we have players with real pace, and they can dribble and pass with real pace! We simply haven't attained that level yet.

  84. cisco martinez, June 22, 2016 at 9:44 p.m.

    All American, I agree with some our your assessment regarding club producing players and selling them for a profit, but that encourages teams to make money not develop players. We are trying to develop our players and at the same time have a US team that competes. The AJAx system and Barcelona try to keep there players and develop them so when they turn 17 they have a shot with training with the senior squad. as for ODP, I can speak personally that no one made the Regional team or National team soley because of money. The problem with ODP and developing players are that you have regional or national players playing in the college level and not getting a chance or playing with players that are not technically good. When I was 15 I was playing on a PDL team starting with guys from the top schools in the bay area, Stanford, SJSJ,Santa Clara, and Cal. When I entered college i couldn't start, I had a friend on the U-17 national team that went to Fresno State and didn't have grades and his soccer career ended. I had another friend Fausto Villegas whom marked Ronaldinho in the U-17 World Cup not starting his freshman yr, coming off the bench.

  85. Richard Brown, June 22, 2016 at 10:18 p.m.

    I dislike the Ajax system for a lot of reasons. One we had a kid John O'Brien from Ajax every time the US team called him up Ajax threathen him with losing his starting job if he left to play for the US.
    This is the Ajax system
    They have 10 youth teams of 16 players each.

    Plus 36 first team full professionals.


    So, a "unit" would be right back, right mid, and right striker.

    Players RARELY move between these units.

    So if you are the world's SECOND best right striker playing behind the world's BEST right striker, and perchance the Left striker gets injured.

    You still sit on the bench, and they fill in with another left side player or bring one up from a lower age group.

    That is what I was told any way.

  86. Richard Brown, June 22, 2016 at 10:25 p.m.

    Tell you what I don't like about on ODP very hard to make the team as an older player. You have a much better chance as a younger player. The coaches are more concerned with each other getting together then how important it is to their players and their parents.

    Where they practice is important to them. Harder to make the team if you live far away. They don't think you will get there so they take most of the players in the area they practice.

  87. Richard Brown, June 22, 2016 at 10:36 p.m.

    On playing in college guys from our club were for the most part terrible students but great players. Plus they practice crazy hours so they miss their meal plans. They give them books on how to exactly play their positions like a machine. Players hated it they would not read the book. I told them you have to play their way so keep the book in the bathroom. So when you go to take a dump read it. They try to treat all their players in the same way. You have to know people to reach a player they are not all the same. The college season is too short for another thing. Kids want to play professionally they don't want to go to college. It the parents dream for them to go to college not the player.

  88. cisco martinez, June 23, 2016 at 12:35 a.m.

    All American, they invest in players fro. When they are U-8 and develop top talent consistently, whether you agree on that is irrelevant because it works on producing players that teams consistently want. Who wouldn't want the AJAX team that won the champions league? Brown, not all true, there are players that don't make it at a young age but perform better at later years, since I was at a high level I can name many examples. As far as playing as a machine, yes it is true coaches that have a philosophy or a system want certain characteristics for their team and again I would refer you to Alexis LAlas speech to NSCAa where he argues whether coaches should have a system that would exclude "Johnny X." (the bet american player) I disagree with Lalas but he also makes some decent points on other issues, for example, what is success to you as a coach? Development? Championships? All Americans? National players? Teaching positions? Your philosophy?

  89. Andrew Kear, June 23, 2016 at 1:16 a.m.

    If the US loses to Columbia it will be another fourth place finish for the USMNT in a mayor tournament. Unlike Bradley and Arena, Klinsmann fields teams that simply cannot be upset the world's best teams.

  90. David V, June 23, 2016 at 8:46 a.m.

    USA got smashed by a better team... that's it... quit saying we played badly... USA players played badly because you know what? your average college basketball team is going to get ripped to shreds by the Cleveland Cavaliers... it ain't because the college team played poorly, it's because they don't even belong in the same stadium.

  91. David V, June 23, 2016 at 8:47 a.m.

    Look... first of all, hopefully you're old enough to what an analog clock is... apply what you know about it to the Spain game back in 2009...and the fact that even a broken clock is right twice per day...that Spain team was probably the best national team in history, certainly better than Argentina is now....sometimes you just get lucky... and USA keeps thinking the lucky times mean we are improving... WE ARE NOT! That said, why would anyone think we are close... JK wouldn't/couldn't say the truth the other night in the press conference after the game. As much as I don't like JK, He can't say it's because the US doesn't place a premium on the right things going all the way down to the youth levels (5 year olds)... it's ALL about athleticism in the USA (sure it's great to be fit, but that doesn't carry you to be one of the top teams... and on aggregate, US players is fit, not technical)... why do we think that we belong in the room performing brain surgery when we've filled the room with a bunch of pre-med students? Gee...we've put all our kids through the culture of pre-med and we're not quite close to doing brain surgery, who would have thunk it? NO ONE is SAYING IT... we just don't do the right things here...being the UK-West is not going to do it, you can't keep placing a premium bigger, taller, faster, the man-child beast, and expect to get to the top levels... quit picking the man-child beast and develop soccer savvy technical geniuses and influence the culture to have kids playing every day... then you can talk about closing the gap... all the money in the world is not going to take a pre-med student and make him into a world class brain surgeon overnight

  92. David V, June 23, 2016 at 8:50 a.m.

    all this talk of tactics and this guy or that guy or's all irrelevant ... it makes no difference... talk all you want about all your college basketball players and their coach, they are NOT going to perform well against the CAVs...they aren't.... go talk about how to get your team to a pro-level first... (it's all youth development people)

  93. David V, June 23, 2016 at 8:50 a.m.

    all this talk of tactics and this guy or that guy or's all irrelevant ... it makes no difference... talk all you want about all your college basketball players and their coach, they are NOT going to perform well against the CAVs...they aren't.... go talk about how to get your team to a pro-level first... (it's all youth development, people)

  94. David V, June 23, 2016 at 8:53 a.m.

    You're kidding yourselves.... "We would have shown better with the strength, pace, drive, and skills of Jones, Bedoya, and Wood." This is a 1% difference in performance. you mentioned SKILL last and "strength, pace, drive" first....that's typical USA approach, and that's only going to keep the country as a 2nd tier soccer nation... too much England football, and American football thinking is displayed by you, and most of our country... ODP coaches, premier coaches, EVERYWHERE this thinking is a poison to making it to world class levels

  95. David V, June 23, 2016 at 8:56 a.m.

    I heard talk of how far youth soccer coaching has come...99% of it is still jungle ball. How many can tell you where the back four and holding midfielder should stand on a goal kick? How many?

  96. cisco martinez, June 23, 2016 at 10:18 a.m.

    All American, we all seem to forget that Gulati placed Klinsmann as senior national team coach and TECHNICAL DIRECTOR, which means he is directly responsible for the development of our youth and Men's national team. So the fact that he has not made two consecutive Olympics is a disgrace and Klinmann must be held accountable for that along with many other things.

  97. David V, June 23, 2016 at 10:24 a.m.

    Cisco, I don't have a problem with you wanting to fire JK... no problem at all if that's what you wish, I'm really not a fan of his. BUT, two Olympic cycles is not the time frame we are talking about to turn things around... we're talking if we did the right things RIGHT NOW all across the country, it would take about 25-30 years to be a world contender

  98. cisco martinez, June 23, 2016 at 10:42 a.m.

    David V, I agree I am holding Klinsmann accountable to what he says and does. I try to be fair minded about things, but his lack of accomplishments have gone no further than Bob Bradley.

  99. cisco martinez, June 23, 2016 at 11:56 a.m.

    David V and All-American, I think the discussion needs to be geared toward what type of style suites USA? Do we just focus on our strengths and diminish our weaknesses on technical ability? We all want to win and develop players, where we all might disagree is how to get there? I disagree with Lalas and the Van Gaals of the world where we have coaches set there philosophy and if players do not fit within it are we willing to accept talented players that do not fit within the team construct? For me, as Americans we hate wasted talent, I think the U-14-17 should focus solely on development along with MLS academies and the senior team should be comprised of the best players where the coach can and should make the best team for what he has and play to our strengths until the development is there. Clearly we lack speed of play, technical ability, to have our players play with both feet, tactical awareness, how to defend as a unit and on transition, changing the point of attack effectively, creating space by either checking to the ball or going away, flexibility in formations, they only thing we do well is our athleticism.

  100. Raymond Weigand, June 23, 2016 at 12:58 p.m.

    News flash: Even the Dutch didn't make it to the Euro Cup ... these guys are my coaching heroes and have history of innovation and creative tactics ... and they just finished 3rd in the last world cup. So even these guys failed so badly in just two years. And probably this will be a brief disappointment because they have a history of finding the players who want to win but know that the quickest route to winning is a team framework where the players understand the only constraint to winning is the weakest link - and the challenge is not to be that weakest link throughout the 1000s of situations that are invited on and off the training fields / workout rooms / team travel / etc etc etc PS It is the highest honor in some countries to represent the citizens and this honor is taken very seriously - as it is so rare to receive such an invitation to such an exclusive club. A portfolio of talent gets you the invite and it is dedication and teamwork that keeps you on the short list of members.

  101. cisco martinez, June 23, 2016 at 5:16 p.m.

    All American, I think a problem with the current situation is that when clubs do refer players to the US senior team, Klinsmann gives them a camp and then says absurd things about them, for example, Feilhaber is not at International level, Donovan, not at the level as other players or a step behind, or lastly not giving Goodsen a reason why he didn't make the World Cup squad despite starting nearly all qualifiers. Moreover, when I was playing at the Regional Level coaches would give a player an assessment on three games. Also, My college coach refused to say why he played specific players over others and never gave player analysis of development on a yearly basis.

  102. cisco martinez, June 23, 2016 at 6:20 p.m.

    All American, I think Klinsmann is getting paid to stir things up, he's tried to adjust our youth programs to play 4-3-3, more attacking, playing out of the back, but what we lack in my opinion is the technical, tactical, speed of play, to do all the things he wants. Moreover, the coaches that are picking these players are not showing results, U-17 not qualifying for the World Cup, missing out twice on Olympics, the only coaches that have shown progress is U-20 coach Tab Ramos and Shaun Tsakiris U-14 coach. The other problem I see with Klinsmann's philosophy is that if you are trying to play a specific formation and base all your players on that formulation you are limiting good players that don't fit in your system. Van Gaal tried a 3-5-2 at Manchester united and tried to play Di Maria as a Winger, Klinsmann thought Donovan was a forward before the World Cup even though he played as a midfielder, most coaches nowadays play a 4-2-3-1, a player like Pele wouldn't fit in that system.

  103. Richard Brown, June 23, 2016 at 8:18 p.m.

    Cisco on 4-3-3 in it there is less movement then a 4-4-2. Tab Ramos should not even be a coach. He never wanted to coach he would never help team mates to into his own game to do that. In that regard neither should Maradona. He disliked his coaches and he said so publicly.

    Where is Shaun Tsakiris from in the US. Has he picked up any players from where he lives in the US not on the radar before?

    I have been watching Donovan since he was 16 yrs old. I always thought he was an offensive mid or can score goals.

    On Ramos he loved to play the flank. Because he always took on the first defender the second defender would do a job on him. So he always looked injury prone. In the last year they brought someone in who changed the way he played the flank. He could beat most first defenders so he was still incouraged to do it. But don't take on the second. He had great first step speed, but he was not real fast. He was quick in a small space and he was a good passer to either side of the field. So after he beat the first defender he was told to move inside the field. From their he could pass to either side of the field. He stopped getting hurt after that.

    On Landon when he was on the Olympic team he had no clue how to play a flank. So he would disappear for long periods of time. So his coach forget his name a college coach I think from Portland a black coach he did both men's and women's game at his school. In the Olympic took away his starting job he rode the bench.

  104. Richard Brown, June 23, 2016 at 8:26 p.m.

    On Pele the Brazilian leagues played no defense back then. So he scored most of his goals in that league. He had a great body type in those days. Everyone then had the lower body. But the upper body was weak not like know. Remember when he played for the Cosmos. Their were other players that played with him that were better scorers then him. Oh his son back then was a keeper for BW Gotschee.

  105. cisco martinez, June 23, 2016 at 9:33 p.m.

    Richard, tab Ramos took the U-20 to the quarter-finals and lost to the eventual champs in penalties, many of those players are producing in Europe. Look up Tsakiris, he was a good player as a youth, great professional, is developing good talent from the bay area and has decent results from the U-14. My main argument is coaching need to and have to adapt to the players they have and create they best system for those players. In contrast, coaches are creating a philosophy and formation for the players to fit in and they don't thy are left behind. Pele is not a typical #9 center forward, Di Maria is not a winger in a 3-5-2 formation as Van gaal tried at Manchester United, Bedoya is not a center midfielder nor I'd Bradley. In my opinion the USA could play well based on there players and strengths in a 3-5-2 and I hate this lineup.

  106. cisco martinez, June 24, 2016 at 1:31 a.m.

    All American, agree that wasn't my arguement, I was suggesting that a coach need to get the best out of the players that he/she has and create a system that works best for the team where they can get results at the senior level,however the level below that is where development should occur.

  107. Richard Brown, June 24, 2016 at 2:59 a.m.

    I have noticed once a player get older they stop working on their skills like they used to do before. So they become less skillful.Skills are like milk they start going bad after even a short time. So no matter what else they do they always have to work on skills.

  108. So Ker, June 24, 2016 at 3:22 a.m.

    American kids need to start way early and have pure love for the game just for the sake of the game. soccer moms hauling the kids after school and on weekends is not going to cut it. It needs to grow organically the infrastructure is there. Here in Seattle we got tons of fields wide open but no kids playing soccer. why!?!?

  109. Kevin Sims, June 24, 2016 at 11:38 a.m.

    Until, if ever, the USA is awash in the passionate soccer culture that exists in other countries, the USA will have no hope of competing with the elite. Speed of play can be taught a bit and we try; but the comfort the elites display and the decision-making on and off the ball whether defending or attacking is a function of culture more than any coaching. We will from time to time compete well enough to steal some big victories; but consistent play at the elite level is simply beyond our grasp now. JK is correct when he pushes players to aspire to play in the best leagues and with the best teams ... duh. Make no mistake, LeBron James raised in New Zealand never becomes The King.

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