Commentary

U.S. Soccer fires Jurgen Klinsmann

Jurgen Klinsmann is out as U.S. men's national team coach and technical director. The decision came less than a week after the USA lost to Costa Rica, 4-0, and fell into last place in its World Cup 2018 qualifying group.

No replacement was named, but U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati is expected to appoint LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arenaas Klinsmann's replacement. Arena had served as head coach of eight years (1999-2006), the longest tenure of national team coach.

Despite Klinsmann's success -- 2013 Gold Cup title, first place in the 2013 Hexagonal, second-round appearance at 2014 World Cup, fourth-place finish at the 2016 Copa Centenario and friendly wins at Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands and Germany -- his tenure as national team coach was rocky.

Since the 2014 World Cup, the USA suffered embarrassing losses to Concacaf rivals Jamaica and Guatemala -- teams that it has historically dominated -- was often badly outmatched against world powers like Brazil (4-1 loss in 2015 friendly) and Argentina (4-0 loss in Copa Centenario semifinals). Mexico's wins over the USA in the 2015 Concacaf Cup and 2016-17 Hexagonal opener were only by one goal but the gap between the two teams at the top of their games remained wide.

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In any other major soccer nation, Klinsmann would have likely been fired a long time ago.

Klinsmann came in with the promise of change, inclusion and a new proactive approach. While Gulati gave Klinsmann the bully-pulpit to preach his reforms, tangible progress remained elusive in the short term. A weak player pool hurt Klinsmann in his six years at head coach. Klinsmann departs as 18-year-old Christian Pulisic, the greatest prospect the USA has ever produced, has broken into German powerhouse Borussia Dortmund and the most promising crop of young talent in a generation is trying to break into first teams around Europe.

Ironically, Klinsmann's downfall may have been trying to push Pulisic too quickly. While the 4-0 loss to Costa Rica was the breaking point, the critical loss was not to Ticos, who have beaten the USA at home in nine straight qualifiers, the major setback was the 2-1 loss to Mexico.

Klinsmann adopted a new 3-4-1-2 formation that he said was aimed to unleash Pulisic's attacking potential. The Dortmund teenager hardly touched the ball before Klinsmann was forced to abandon the formation. After 25 minutes, Mexico led, 1-0, but threatened to run the USA off the field in Columbus.

Throughout the Klinsmann era, the USA had responded after major setbacks. It opened the 2013 Hexagonal with a 2-1 loss at Honduras and entered camp for the next game against Costa Rica with a report of major disharmony within the team. The USA responded with a 1-0 win over Costa Rica in blizzard in Colorado.

After the 2-0 loss to Guatemala in March, the USA turned around and crushed Guatemala, 4-0, four days later at home. In June, the USA opened with a 2-0 loss to Colombia at the Copa Centenario, and Gulati hinted strongly before the next game Klinsmann would be out if the USA didn't advance out of its group as host. It won its next three games, beating Costa Rica, Paraguay and Ecuador to reach the semifinals.

Unfortunately, the USA's resilience ended last Tuesday at the Estadio Nacional in San Jose.

Gulati's statement:

"Today we made the difficult decision of parting ways with Jurgen Klinsmann, our head coach of the U.S. Men's National Team and Technical Director.

"We want to thank Jurgen for his hard work and commitment during these last five years. He took pride in having the responsibility of steering the program, and there were considerable achievements along the way.

"Many are aware of the historic victories, including leading us out of the Group of Death to the Round of 16 in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but there were also lesser publicized efforts behind the scenes. He challenged everyone in the U.S. Soccer community to think about things in new ways, and thanks to his efforts we have grown as an organization and expect there will be benefits from his work for years to come.

"While we remain confident that we have quality players to help us advance to Russia 2018, the form and growth of the team up to this point left us convinced that we need to go in a different direction. With the next Qualifying match in late March, we have several months to refocus the group and determine the best way forward to ensure a successful journey to qualify for our eighth-consecutive World Cup.

"There has never been a greater time for soccer in this country, and with the support and efforts of the millions of fans, sponsors, media and friends, we look forward to continued progress in the game we all love."

68 comments about "U.S. Soccer fires Jurgen Klinsmann".
  1. cisco martinez, November 21, 2016 at 3:30 p.m.

    We in the US say good riddance and a long time coming. I hope Vermes or Arena get the position and actually start developing and make USA a stronger soccer nation.

  2. K Michael, November 21, 2016 at 3:44 p.m.

    Oscar Pereja, please. No dinosaurs like Arena.

  3. J Perla replied, November 21, 2016 at 8:06 p.m.

    If Arena gets the job,
    then it was the old club insiders that got Klinsmann fired.

    Arena's had his chance.
    We need new blood like Pareja.

  4. Fire Paul Gardner Now, November 21, 2016 at 3:47 p.m.

    Finally. Now let's give it to Bruce until the WC and then we can hire a longer-term replacement.

  5. Andrew Kear, November 21, 2016 at 3:54 p.m.

    Soccer is done in America if the US does not qualify for the next World Cup.

  6. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, November 21, 2016 at 5:13 p.m.

    Yes all of the millions of people who watch and play the game will just give up and never bother with soccer again. That makes sense.

  7. Eugene Lysak replied, November 21, 2016 at 5:20 p.m.

    Currently soccer popularity is falling in the bastions of soccer because of the over inflated fees TRANSFER and PAY fees for average players, saturation of games, competitions and expensive packages to European and Latin American viewers.

    In UK viewership of Premier League's as a whole (up-to-today) fell 16%!

    USMNT because of other sports and lack of soccer tradition (passion) will take as long as Chicago Cubs wait to win the first World Cup.

  8. David Trapp replied, November 21, 2016 at 5:36 p.m.

    Seriously? It's not done. There are too many children who now play the game. It may suffer a setback, but in the long run, soccer will survive and flourish in the United States. It is now an ingrained sport and getting stronger every year.

  9. Chris Forbis, November 21, 2016 at 5:06 p.m.

    Oscar Pareja is the man for the job. As an FCD supporter I don't want to lose him - but we don need to go back to Bruce Arena. Need to get Nagbe back in the fold too.

  10. Wooden Ships replied, November 21, 2016 at 6:53 p.m.

    Definitely agree Chris.

  11. charles smith replied, November 21, 2016 at 7:55 p.m.

    Chris, I agree Pareja would be great. However look what happened in the playoffs when his two star players were injured. The team couldn't respond. I think that FC Dallas is prolific and is amazing in developing the young players from the Academy. The several signings of 15 and 16-year-olds shows that we're moving in the direction that Europe has been in for years. I don't agree with the one gentleman that said that the academies are still teaching run and kick strategies. I believe if he spent more time looking at the Academy play and even the upper level premier play, he would see players playing out of the back possessing the ball using technical skills and using field vision rather than the run and kick philosophy. I think that mantra is gone at the upper echelon's.

  12. Sean Murray, November 21, 2016 at 5:06 p.m.

    If the next coach does not get rid of Bradley and Jones and Altidore there will be no change in results.

    U.S. needs to stop dependence on tactically inferior players brought up on the kick it to an athlete and run mentality.

    You can't split the squad with technical players like Pulisic and old school non-technical players and expect a different result.

    As long as I am ranting, it starts in youth soccer where the same coaches and players who were brought up on U.S. kick it and run soccer are still leading player development. Did you really think rebranding soccer under the Academy moniker was going to change anything when it is same leadership and same players on the field.

    Its lucky players like Messi and Sanchez and Iniesta, etc. didn't grow up in the U.S. They would have never made the field, not big enough.

    Good riddens.

  13. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, November 21, 2016 at 5:14 p.m.

    That's great but we aren't going to fix that in the next four months. A change needed to be made in order for the USMNT to have any chance of making it to Russia.

  14. Wooden Ships replied, November 21, 2016 at 6:56 p.m.

    Agree Sesn with your MB, JA and JJ views.

  15. Andrew Kear replied, November 22, 2016 at 8:24 p.m.

    You mean get rid of three of the US best players. Well, you are as stupid as Klinsmann.

  16. Edgar Soudek, November 21, 2016 at 5:11 p.m.

    I have waited for more than two years for this....Gulati should have fired him the minute Klinsmann left Donovan off his World Cup roster...

  17. Brian Kraft, November 21, 2016 at 5:17 p.m.

    Whatever Jake Savino says is wrong. Haha.

  18. John Lander, November 21, 2016 at 5:19 p.m.

    Nothing is going to improve or change. Same issues will exist, same limited talent pool, same results. 4 years from now you all will be calling for the firing of whoever takes over.
    Developed who, what?
    When are you guys going to understand the role of a national team coach. It is not develop players. Spain's National team coach don't develop players, he has a million fully developed players to select from.
    Player development in this country has to change for there to be success but it is not the national team head coach job.
    No matter who takes over the result will not be that different from what Klins would have achieved.
    Revamp the entire soccer, pay to play, mulit-million dollar, for profit, privileged based, exclusionary, prejudicial, good old boy ran system.
    It is insane to do the same thing over and over agin and expect different results. GET REAL SOOCER FANS !!!

  19. David Trapp replied, November 21, 2016 at 5:41 p.m.

    By the way John, soccer at the youth level is much stronger than it was thirty years ago. I've been a coach since 1976 and coaching soccer eclusively since 1986; the youth players now (at least in the club I work for) are much more developmentally sound at the earlier ages than they were back then. Much, much more!

  20. Bob Ashpole replied, November 21, 2016 at 6:22 p.m.

    I agree with you David. What I am concerned about is improving the process. For instance making youth soccer more inclusive. The introduction of select and travel in some states over the last 20 years to U10 and younger is the mistake I question the most. Rec soccer deserves more attention and respect as a source of future coaches, officials, administrators and soccer parents. The USSF soccer licensing process and the DA program are also exclusive and insular. To grow the sport we need more coaches and more coaching education. As for the DA I would have rather seen supplemental training for the best teen players like the German FA does. It, however, takes money.All of the things I mentioned are recognized as improvements on the current process by somebody. None of it originates with me. Japan, Iceland, Belgium and Germany have all successfully implemented reforms that have measurably improved player development.

  21. Kent James replied, November 21, 2016 at 7:02 p.m.

    John, you're right about the job of the national team coach; his job is not to develop players (since they don't spend much time with him) but pick the players who will make the best team, and get them to perform at their best. While JK did find some good players, I never got the sense that he was particularly good at picking the right players (and putting them in the right positions) and getting the most out of them. And David and Bob are also correct; players are much better now than they were (though the proper yardstick is how they compare to players in other countries now, not players in this country then), and excluding players at a young age through over-intensive selection processes will diminish the pool of great players, not increase it.

  22. Bob Ashpole replied, November 22, 2016 at 2:03 a.m.

    Jake, that is a good point that I had not considered.

  23. SG Robbo, November 21, 2016 at 5:20 p.m.

    Klinsmann was only a small part of the problem. Case in point his comment above where he indicated he moved to a 3-4-1-2, and yet our academies are mandating 4-3-3. How much time is spent in our youth ranks to understand when different formations are needed based on the opponent? Also, the real issue is top-down leadership. Can we please get a real soccer person in to lead USSF? Until that time, the radical thought of having a unified approach towards development in this country will fall on deaf ears. We will continue to covet athletic, strong players and not put them in environments where their creativity and spontaneity will be rewarded.

  24. Miguel Dedo, November 21, 2016 at 5:26 p.m.

    For me, the key memory of JK is his vindictive treatment of Landon Donovan.

  25. Kris Spyrka, November 21, 2016 at 5:31 p.m.

    Best news I've had all day!

    Please take his friend Andy Herzog with him, who screwed the pooch for the U23 qualifying for Rio last summer!

  26. Kris Spyrka, November 21, 2016 at 5:32 p.m.

    Next order of business, getting the Gals equal pay, and booting Gulati!

  27. Gordon Holt replied, November 22, 2016 at 10:06 a.m.

    Yes, Kris Spykra! Dead on goal. Take proper care of our talented young women NOW! They are a treasure!

  28. s@cc@r f@n, November 21, 2016 at 5:39 p.m.

    US soccer will not inprove significantly until more European/South Americans get involved as YOUTH COACHES. The players are there - no one knows how to train them, to find a players proper position early, show them how to see the field. If the MLS wants to prosper the 5 million dollar salaries they pay for washed up European and sub par South American players (the ones taking up bench time ahead of very hungry American players) should be spent on finding and hiring foreign coaches to work with our youth players and train our American coaches.

  29. David Trapp, November 21, 2016 at 5:46 p.m.

    I have to strongly disagree with you soccer fan. I believe the exact opposite is true. We already have plenty of coaches with accents, and many of them don't have a clue on how to work with kids, especially young kids. My suggestion is to take all the older coaches and put them with the young players in need of development, and guess what? The coaches won't be judged on their accent.

  30. Bob Ashpole, November 21, 2016 at 6:05 p.m.

    JK has his strengths, but USSF made the right decision. Finally. There is no shame in a professional soccer coach getting the sack. It happens to almost everyone at some time or other, including some great coaches. I look forward with optimism to March.

  31. R2 Dad, November 21, 2016 at 6:09 p.m.

    Sunil, please take your kneepads and get on a plane to england. Carter-vickers is now up for grabs and he will have never heard of Bruce Arena. Hiddink, yes.

  32. Ric Fonseca replied, November 21, 2016 at 6:26 p.m.

    R2D2 DAD: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!
    Please, por favor, per favore, NO NOMRE EUROPEAN COACHES!!! Ok, I'll even take a Bruce Arena, with his trusty buddy Sancho Pansa to assist him (Sarchen[sp]) and maybe even Tab Ramos. But please, all we'll get from Euro coaches is one or two years, then they take the money and run back home! But, hey what about Sigi if not Brucee? T.Ramos? Why the heck not?

  33. R2 Dad replied, November 21, 2016 at 6:51 p.m.

    Tab would be good, and cheaper. But he's not an MLS toadie, and I'm thinking Sunil is pulling back some of the power he gave to JK, and he needs an MLS yes man.

  34. Ric Fonseca, November 21, 2016 at 6:19 p.m.

    OK, more fodder for the forthcoming NSCAA Convention here in LaLaLand in January!!!
    Arena? OK, then who will take over the LAG? Well, pilgrims, none other than Sigi Schmid, what the hay, why the hay not?

  35. R2 Dad replied, November 21, 2016 at 6:58 p.m.

    What about Sigi as a JK replacement? a Euro with MLS experience?

  36. Caroline Lambert, November 21, 2016 at 6:34 p.m.

    Why did this take so long? I thought leaving Landon, by far the best player the US has ever produced, off the national team for the World Cup, for what seemed like purely personal reasons, was surely the nail in the coffin for his tenure.

  37. John Mcdermott, November 21, 2016 at 7:18 p.m.

    He enjoyed a degree of stability and support that the vast majority of his coaching colleagues can only dream about. Giving him a contract extension, and an expanded role, before a ball was even kicked in Brazil, was a mistake that has fortunately now been rectified. The talent pool is what it is. But Klinsmann did not make it greater than the sum of its individual parts, he made it worse. With no sign of possibile improvement or awareness on his part that there were things he should have done differently. That's what he is finally, thankfully, gone.

  38. R2 Dad replied, November 23, 2016 at 1:10 p.m.

    "The talent pool is what it is". WRONG. The talent pool starts out strong, and slowly, gradually, inevitably, withers on the vine due to lack of nurturing. To complete this metaphor, we end up with the strongest weeds because all the flowers have been strangled out of the flower bed. The drought of adequate coaching has killed off all but the sturdiest of weeds.

  39. Dan Eckert, November 21, 2016 at 7:26 p.m.

    This was the best news I've received all year.

  40. R2 Dad, November 21, 2016 at 8:11 p.m.

    I'm reading "Arena will need to call on a mix of veterans who have been cast off in some cases" ie retreads from the retread. So we're going to get take-no-chances, build the team to dominate CONCACAF-style play. The only downside will be the final performance at the world cup in 2018 and that's AGES AWAY. Prepare for more Charlie-Hustle, American Grit and Determination Kick-Ball! Yay!

  41. Gak Foodsource, November 21, 2016 at 8:18 p.m.

    Klinsi takes the blame for decades of failed youth development. I hope Gulati fires himself next. 10 years and we still aren't close to an environment that can produce players.

  42. Bobby Bribiesca, November 21, 2016 at 9:07 p.m.

    I vote for Tab Ramos. Tab has been around US soccer for years. He understands the American Culture. USA has good technical players. We don't have to go out of the country to find them. We need to find players in our youth and amateur leagues. Many of these players just need a higher fitness level to compete. Let's overhaul our system of finding USMNT. The college draft is not the answer!

  43. Brian McLindsay replied, November 22, 2016 at 12:31 p.m.

    I find agreement with a lot of R2D and you Bobby. I have seen a great improvement in the quality of youth players over the last 10 years. I have not seen that kind of improvement in identifying the few who should get pushed to the top levels of the sport. It is really hard to tell if the problem is in the processes in place, competence, money, politics or a combination of all those? What I do know is better soccer pplayers can be found at lower levels than the DA currently has playing in every club. I know most of the players invited to the regional and national training camps are better than we have ever had in the past, but they are not the best players in every position. Last, I know that the Technical Director position is more important than the Head Coach position for the future of U.S. soccer and Tab Ramos has been the best the U.S. has had in that position.

  44. Right Winger, November 21, 2016 at 9:37 p.m.

    Arena is a good coach but not the answer in this situation. New blood is needed for a coach.

    Next move should be immediate. Get rid of Gulati. This guy finds it very difficult to make decisions. At least good ones.

  45. aka Football, November 21, 2016 at 9:57 p.m.

    History tells us that it is difficult for national team coaches to be successful in two consecutive WC cycles. Perhaps it's the nature of the beast. Gulati should have given Kinsmann a contract only through the 2014 WC, and he should have never consolidated the national coaching job with that of the technical director. After s disappointing 2014 WC (it's only a Group of Death if the teams actually live up to the hype--Ghana and Portugal were quite poor), he should not have been re-signed Klinsmann. Every U.S. coach has to deal with players that come from a youth system that is not designed to produce professional or national team players. We all know this. That fix is still a generation away. But he got increasingly less from the ones he chose. Also, the rest of CONCACAF (and underdeveloped nations with strong soccer cultures) have improved in their professionalism. So the U.S. has to improve at an even faster rate just to keep up. Klinsmann initially seemed to shake things up, but then he just kept shaking things. Whatever vision he had for US Soccer, he never was able to translate it into how the team actually played. In friendlies and against minnows, for 20-25 minute stretches, perhaps, but almost never in competitive matches. Despite saying he wanted to have players who could control the ball and play at a fast pace, like the rest of the world plays, a lot of the players with those attributes were consistently absent from his lineups. He made indefensible player selections and employed bizarre tactical schemes, then was quick to throw his players under the bus when they under-performed. He apparently wasn't keen enough or humble enough to recognize his lack of tactical acumen. Instead of hiring someone qualified, he tended to hire his old pals. He did help change the culture in Germany, though that country is already blessed with a wealth of soccer talent. Perhaps he thought he was the tactical genius behind Germany's rebirth as well. In he end, he simply failed to deliver on his promises. Promises that Gulati and US Soccer should probably never have believed in the first place.

  46. Right Winger replied, November 21, 2016 at 10:03 p.m.

    AMEN

  47. Brian Kraft replied, November 22, 2016 at 9:59 a.m.

    Huzzah!

  48. Kent James replied, November 22, 2016 at 10 a.m.

    Yep.

  49. Julio Moreira, November 21, 2016 at 11:10 p.m.

    One down, one to go, when we get rid of Sunil
    Gulati, then we can try to reinstate competitive soccer in USA.
    Gulatti is an enemy of good soccer, not because he's a bad person, no, he is a grea bookkeeper, an economist that Rosenberg, the USSF past president left in his place, after he walked away with ten million.
    But in reality for Soccer to grow in our Country we need good coaches, young blood, officials at headquarters that know the game, that feel the game. American players, not a squad made of German-Americans and above all for Gulatti to resign

  50. aaron dutch, November 22, 2016 at 9:26 a.m.

    I like how the only things the objective banter says is that he did everything wrong. Why don't you add to his record some facts like..Klinsmann’s big wins: beating Italy, Germany and Holland. Finishing fourth at the Copa Centenario – it is no shame to lose to Argentina, after all – and got out of the Group of Death in Brazil. Winning the 2013 Gold Cup. USA’s first-ever win at the Azteca. I don't view that as a failure.

  51. Right Winger replied, November 22, 2016 at 10:29 a.m.

    Aaron you are correct with your stats and that is all good. However you have a trend with poor decision making by JK the last two games being a testament to that. No coach in their right mind would have done what he did in changing formations against Mexico. In my opinion he should have been let go immediately after that game. There is nothing wrong with losing a match but when you as the coach are the prime contributor to the loss you have to go.

  52. R2 Dad replied, November 23, 2016 at 1:16 p.m.

    So essentially, Fanfor, JK did well in the important tournaments but not enough in the small matches that individually didn't amount to much so far?

  53. Bob Ashpole replied, November 24, 2016 at 2:58 p.m.

    Aaron it is ironical that you mention the 2013 gold cup to feather JK's cap. That competition accounted for 6 of 13 victories in 2013, another mnt success commonly attributed to JK. The gold cup team, however, consisted largely of players that JK excluded from the world cup competition and led by Donovan, who was the best player in the tournament, not just on the US squad, and JK claimed he was not good enough to be even the 23rd player on the 2014 squad.

  54. aaron dutch, November 22, 2016 at 9:28 a.m.

    Julio, is a German-American an American? my understanding is yes, and If my kids were born while I was abroad serving in the Army then they would be German-American or Italian-American etc..

  55. Jeff Ginn, November 22, 2016 at 9:57 a.m.

    There are options out there.

    For example...

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_de_Boer

  56. Right Winger, November 22, 2016 at 10:36 a.m.

    The next move should be to clean house on these national team coaches partularly on the boys side who feel there is no room for technically adept players and want to continue to play air ball .

  57. F B, November 22, 2016 at 11:49 a.m.

    Too bad Mr. Gulati stopped with JK. He should have stepped down, himself. He is the main problem.

    Also too bad Roberto Martinez has bigger/better fish to fry as Belgium's skipper. He would have been a great choice for USMNT.

    Agree with the folks wanting to avoid the "retreads" like Arena and other MLS types. They've peaked and are in descent. I believe Mr. Fonseca likes Schmid a great deal. Perhaps he could work, but he falls into the same rubric, unfortunately.

  58. Matt Dishongh, November 22, 2016 at 1:45 p.m.

    Can we revoke birth year now?

  59. aaron dutch, November 22, 2016 at 2:38 p.m.

    Fanfor Soccer, the fitness & quality of the them for both matches where not great. The team is not very good, its old very avg. at best. Mexico is a better team then then US now. Costa Rica is a far better team then the US. These are all facts, Arena is not going to make the US better then Costa Rica or Mexico. Maybe we can get a draw vs. Mexico. Hondo & Panama will give us problems with speed.

  60. ROBERT BOND, November 22, 2016 at 3:20 p.m.

    history says folks from Iceland discovered us, let's say we belong to them & use their team!

  61. David V, November 22, 2016 at 4:12 p.m.

    Adios, Mr. Circumlocution

  62. James Griffin, November 22, 2016 at 5:41 p.m.

    I agree with the many who say we need an American head coach. Though Arena would not be my first choice at least he is a known quantity and has demonstrated his ability to manage American talent. I disagree with those of you who say our "style" is air ball or long ball. If you look at the Klinsmann era it was characterized by possession to the exclusion of an intelligent, or eclectic approach. How many times have we watched the MNT attempt possession out of the back only to lose the ball and award opponents an easy strike at our goal.Or watch our team possess the ball in front of the opponent's goal without any intelligent scoring attempt. POSSESSION without purpose looks good but is ineffective. How many times have teams scored on us with a ball played over our high defensive line? Guatemala and other inferior teams have no problem with playing a defensive game against us and then scoring on a counterattack. We need a coach who understands that tactics should be adjusted for the strengths and weaknesses of opponents we play. We don't need a European or South American coach. There are plenty of American coaches who can do the job. The USSF system has been fractured for decades and until we find a way to incorporate the multitude of good Latin-American players available in our country, we will lag behind in improvement. There are many of us American coaches who have worked successfully with our Latin players. Tab Ramos is such a coach. I fear he does not fit into the USSF mold and will continue to languish under Gulati. We don't need to create the German system, or the Brazilian system here. We must work within the system we have and figure it out. We have improved our youth system in spite of the inept USSF. Our WMNT has had unprecedented success because of our American values. Please note that many National teams send their women to the U.S. for the playing opportunities and to learn from us. The woes of our MNT can change when we stop trying to make our Men like other countries. I believe that we can do it.

  63. R2 Dad replied, November 22, 2016 at 5:56 p.m.

    When you play Mr Turnover as the #6, where all MB can do is backpass, what were people expecting?

  64. Andrew Kear, November 22, 2016 at 8:23 p.m.

    Why wasn't Herzog shown the door. The US for the first time ever missed two consecutive Olympic games. Of course, it was Gulati who hired these two incompetent coaches in the first place. In any other US sport Gulati would have been fired long ago.

  65. Brian McLindsay replied, November 23, 2016 at 11:34 a.m.

    Although our senior team is the most visible, we should also look closely at the success or lack of success with the youth teams. Can't say if the issues seen with them is a result of who has been put in as head coaches with each of them or if it is again a symptom of a poor identification system? Maybe a little focus on eliminating the often mentioned cronyism for positions within U.S. Soccer is in order and an independent selection oversight process should be started for filling top positions.

    As a side note, I had another soccer parent who is generally consider very knowledgeable suggest we may see a lot of highly talented youth come through the system now that the MLS teams and pay-to-play clubs don't have an outspoken critic at the top. It's surprising that others believe the available talent pool can or could have been manipulated in such a fashion.

  66. Right Winger, November 23, 2016 at 9:50 p.m.

    There are a lot of talented kids out there who technically far above the average player. They are scouted by US SOCCER and brought to the national camps only to be pidgin holed as low potential because they don't play the kick the cover off the ball game that these coaches want to play. Get it up the pitch fast and let the big physical players fight it out. The coaches stymie creativity and the kids thinking for themselves. The skilled players go by the wayside and are lost in the power and strength race for the ball. When the teams get to international competition they are lost because they lack in ball handling ability but they are very fast and strong. Example on the men's national team. The ability to handle the ball on the first touch is as poor as it can get. Almost embarrassing.

  67. Bob Ashpole replied, November 24, 2016 at 2:51 p.m.

    Fanfor, you have just explained why winning trophies at the youth level is not necessarily a good sign. The measure of success of the national youth teams is in the quality and quantity of players they produce for the senior team pool. When you have standout senior players who were not identified and included in the youth teams, that is cause for concern. The reason the player was not included should be determined.

  68. Right Winger, November 24, 2016 at 4:50 p.m.

    The fact is US SOCCER appears to not have a plan as to how they want to play. It's for sure the national team coaches do not know how to communicate to the youngsters thus you have total confusion and it grows as the kids mature. The national team and jk were a prime example of this. If you don't have one system how do you expect 11 players to be going in the same direction when it counts.

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