What They're Saying: Bobby Wood

“I believe that if Jurgen had not been the U.S. head coach, I might have quit football or would have played somewhere in the fourth tier. I was in a deep hole at the time, it was really difficult. But Jurgen Klinsmann gave me a lifeline so I could get back out of it.”

-- Bobby Wood, whose career was resurrected by former U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann when he brought him into camp after a falling out at 1860 Munich. Two years later, he plays for Bundesliga club Hamburg. (HSV live via Bild)
18 comments about "What They're Saying: Bobby Wood".
  1. frank schoon, March 28, 2017 at 9:44 a.m.

    This is why I find it highly unfair to criticize Klinsman for it so easy to do, especially by those who difficulty taking on a lamppost one on one. I just wish that SA would interview "FULLY" Klinsman and let him talk about the American soccer scene , the players, the development ,what should be improved and answer some of the criticisms that are justly or unjustly thrown at them.

  2. Wooden Ships replied, March 28, 2017 at 11:19 a.m.

    I agree Frank, but the interview should wait a couple months to allow the divorce to cool. I didn't take offense to many of his observations and comments he made. I don't think he was a good manager overall. His best contributions were expanding the player pool and encouraging professional growth of the players in the most competitive teams and leagues. The American (USA) player, most, come from relatively comfortable upbringings. Struggle, survival, isn't a feature of mainstream US youth players and JK trying to transition them to a tougher breed (mentally) was met with resistance. Your earlier observations about the U-20 technical defencioncies were spot on. The movement of the ball, the infrequent use of the outside of the foot are other indicators of the need for more/better insights of the game. And, because there is hardly any street, pickup-free play occurring in the states, perhaps JK or others with that knowledge will surface. We had those guys back in the 60's and none had licenses, they had game. Good luck tonight in Panama, I thought Villifana played well vs Honduras and now I have to figure out how to watch tonight's match.

  3. frank schoon replied, March 28, 2017 at 12:04 p.m.

    Ships, I got to look at that game again to see Villafana. I was concentrating at their new players at mid looking. Since I didn't see the line up ,I had difficulty finding him LOL. If you noticed his name was never was mention and I didn't know what he looked like. We have a serious problem with flank play...it is a big zero. A team has to have a good flank threat and we don't have any, too much emphasis is through the middle.

  4. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, March 28, 2017 at 1:46 p.m.

    He's been interviewed at length plenty of times. Those interviews should not be hard to find. It's not like everything he ever did or said is wrong. He had valid points sometimes. But he was a poor tactician, his roster choices were often bizarre and the way things were going the USMNT was in danger of missing out on the world cup. His departure was overdue by at least a year.

  5. Wooden Ships replied, March 28, 2017 at 2:24 p.m.

    I agree Fire, probably 18 months for me. Frank, for that game, the middle was more open. Take what the D gives you. We also used the diamond in the middle with the two wides coming in more than backs overlapping. I think once we went up a couple the idea of leaving Brooks, Gonzalez and Bradley potentially alone was too much to let Honduras back in it.

  6. frank schoon replied, March 28, 2017 at 2:41 p.m.

    Ships , yeah, the middle was open for we had midfield control. I don't know why Honduras played 532..was it to play defense for obviously this system in not made for offense. It would be very unrealistic to think Honduras could stop the US from scoring, the whole game. I have no idea about Panama, for you guys know more about all the going ons with these teams than I do. The diamond formation at midfield is always better than a flat formation for one pass can beat a whole midfield but not if it is diamond shape. That is why I'm not a fan of a flatback 4 but a sweeper type behind the defense for than one pass can't beat the flat defense and likewise I don't like a square or flat frontline .THe center forward should be behind or play ahead of the wings. This is why no one can convince of the usefulness of a flatback 4.

  7. frank schoon replied, March 28, 2017 at 2:50 p.m.

    ships, this is a good read http://thelab.bleacherreport.com/the-church-of-cruyff/
    Well written..

  8. frank schoon replied, March 28, 2017 at 4:03 p.m.

    Ships, just finish watching about 20 minutes of Honduran game for Villafana. I like him but he does moves in one tempo, not afraid of handling the ball but never chose to take advantage his man's lapse on defense to make a run downfield, down the flank, for that flank is wide open. I don't know if he was told make any runs, but he does move in a phlegmatic fashion. He does have a certain touch for a decent control pass. If I were the Honduran coach I would put a fast winger opposite Villafana because I have a feeling he's not in quick in the first couple yards.

  9. Ginger Peeler, March 28, 2017 at 11:17 a.m.

    Frank, I don't think anyone will deny Klinsmanns' ability to identify talent. He was very good at it. He also often showed a real knack for bringing in positive-difference-making substitutions during a game. However, that ability seemed to fail him for his last games. He also liked to position players outside of their comfort zones on the field. Not just in friendlies, but in qualifying games. And then he would blame the players for the loss. I had my doubts about him when he took over the team. And then we got better. At one point in time, we won 12 games straight. I was a Klinsmann supporter. Because he was doing a lot of mixing and matching with the players on the field during the run up to the Gold Team, a lot of SA readers were complaining about our play, but Jurgen said he was working out the best possibilies so he could field a winning Gold Cup team. I believed him. He lied. I guess he just couldn't help himself, because he conntinued his positioning experiments all through the tournament. It did not go well. We're talking about a man unable to admit that he made mistakes; deflecting all blame to the individual players, the field conditions, the referees, anyone/anything but himself. It doesn't take a genius to realize a lot of people don't enjoy playing for a coach who refuses to accept any responsibility for games lost. In turn, he lost the respect and confidence of the players. It showed on the field. I would agree that an interview back when he was winning 12 games straight would have been very informative. But not now, after he failed so badly at the end of his tenure. I give him all credit for the things he did well, but I also give him full blame for those things he did badly. He was an incredible player. I think he's probably a mediocre coach when you look at his total body of work. Why not give these DA facilities and MLS and colleges a little more time to coordinate their activities before we bring in more Europeans to "save" us?

  10. Wooden Ships replied, March 28, 2017 at 11:27 a.m.

    Agree with you Ginger, except for college. If the universities will be allowed to go to two semester seasons then that would be significant for late bloomers. I coached 11seasons in college and the Fall season wasn't sufficient to continue the development pace needed, if pro is your aim. Its now not true for women either.

  11. frank schoon replied, March 28, 2017 at 12:09 p.m.

    Ginger, we do need a good interview with him. We only only know half the story what all happened. That is why US soccer should fully seek Klinsman's opinions. It is good to know what he thinks about the US program and development for we can learn from it. I think the US fan needs to know. For me it is all about soccer, not his personality or his foibles or other snide opinions of him.

  12. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, March 28, 2017 at 1:47 p.m.

    College soccer is no place for serious players (i.e. future pros). There may be an occasional late bloomer but turning pro asap if the way to go for most.

  13. Bob Ashpole replied, March 31, 2017 at 2:08 a.m.

    JK was also very good at working with European clubs and players. His reputation opens doors for him in Europe. He also knows how to work a room. He was, however, the wrong choice as a coach for changing the MNT to a more technical style of play. That is not the style that he had played or coached. The expectations for him when he was hired were impossible for anyone to meet.

  14. Ginger Peeler, March 28, 2017 at 1:27 p.m.

    Frank, the announcers DID call Villafana's name throughout the game. But, he, apparently, goes by the Spanish pronunciation. Just as "Jorge" is pronounced "Horehey" in Spanish, so "Villafana", or "Villafaña" is pronounced "Veeyafawnya". I didn't realize it at first, (I missed the lineup before the game), but realized what I was hearing after a bit (and I took 4 years of Spanish many, many years ago, so I recognized it after checking the lineup on my phone).

  15. frank schoon, March 28, 2017 at 2:26 p.m.

    Ginger , ok, LOL, that's what it was....I kept looking for the back of the jerseys for the name and they didn't show of that either. And I have habit when rewatching the game to turn the volume very low in order not to listen to the puerile commentator's color commentary

  16. Ginger Peeler, March 28, 2017 at 4:55 p.m.

    Yeah, camerawork for our national teams' home games and MLS games leaves a whole lot to be desired. I think the best televised games I've seen lately are produced for the Mexican leagues. They seem to follow the play on the field better and give you more close ups, including the backs of the players' jersies. .

  17. frank schoon replied, March 28, 2017 at 6:07 p.m.

    Ginger, I don't watch mexican soccer and it is good to have close ups but I prefer more wide lens shots in order to see the movements off the ball. To me they need to more shots from behind goal higher to see the position on the build or attack. When you watch Barcelona, they have the camera high up and can watch a lot of off the ball movements.

  18. Bob Ashpole replied, March 31, 2017 at 2:13 a.m.

    What I hate the most is a close up of the kicker's foot on restarts. Yikes!

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