And Klinsmann It Is! Gulati Finally Gets His Man

Hi there...again...

Interesting that Jurgen Klinsmann only named coach of USMNT, no?

The release below.

CHICAGO (July 29, 2011) — U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati named Jürgen Klinsmann as head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team today, making him the 35th coach in the history of the program.

“We are excited to have Jürgen as the head coach of our Men’s National Team,” said Gulati. “He is a highly accomplished player and coach with the experience and knowledge to advance the program. Jürgen has had success in many different areas of the game and we look forward to the leadership he will provide on and off the field.”

160 responses to this post.

  1. WOW! Gulati was really flying under the radar this time…wonder who compromised more USSF or Klinsy?


  2. Posted by KickinNames... on 2011/07/29 at 9:39 AM

    Either way, I like it. He’s a smart guy who has strong NT and club program background with a broader (not to mention fresh) tactical perspective. All the hype aside, IMO that’s what you’re getting.


  3. Posted by FulhamPete on 2011/07/29 at 9:42 AM

    I’ll be happy if we qualify. I think he’ll be a disaster.


  4. I sure hope he has the power to hire who he wants for the U23 and U20 jobs.


  5. Posted by John on 2011/07/29 at 9:45 AM

    According to the response I have seen on various Internet sites..

    Klinsman is the second coming.
    He is never going to call in Rico Clark or Bornstein
    He is going to drop MB90
    He is going to fix the defence
    He is going to (most importantly) not be Bob Bradley.

    I say this in the kindest way possible, people on internet, “Some of you are absolutely delusional”


    • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/07/29 at 10:25 AM

      I doubt he’ll call Clark, and I’m nearly certain he won’t call Bornstein. I’m absolutely certain he’s not Bob Bradley. So at least two of those items are non-delusional.


      • Posted by John on 2011/07/29 at 10:38 AM

        My point is, that as a coach of this team with this talent pool he is an unknown entity. So you have no way of knowing that he isn’t going to call Clark or Bornstein… Just like no one knows that Dempsey is going to like playing for him or that Stuart Holden is going to stay healthy..

        There are plenty of suppositions about Klinsman but thinking that he isn’t going to evaluate the entire talent pool (and this includes bornstein, clark, kljestan et all) is silly.


        • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/07/29 at 10:59 AM

          Sure he’ll evaluate the whole talent pool, but honestly how likely is he to call in Clark or Bornstein? We have clearly better options at Clark’s position, and Bornstein is rotting away on the bench of a mediocre Primera Division team. It’s not “delusional” to think these guys won’t get called up.


          • i think he will call up Clark ,at the very least once for evaluation, in defense where I’ve heard he’s been playing with Frankfurt. We’re in dire need of defensive help. I’d like to think he’s seen enough of Bornstein to never call him up again, but it’s hard for a new manager to just never call up a fringe player for evaluation.

            With his youth philosophy, we might see much more of Adu, Altidore, Agudelo, Bunbury, Holden, Bradley, Ream, Torres, Lichaj, and Chandler. Maybe, or probably I should say, everyone, including myself, is just reading too far into this.


          • Posted by Martin on 2011/07/30 at 10:47 AM

            “We have clearly better options at Clark’s position, and Bornstein is rotting away on the bench of a mediocre Primera Division team. ”

            Based on what we saw at the Gold Cup , if Clark is playing well at Frankfurt, then only an idiot would rule out calling him up again. Bornstein may have a harder time changing his circumstances but as Adu and many others proved, stranger things have happened.

            The US talent pool is not the equivalent of what Klinsmann had inGermany and at Bayern so he would be a fool to rule out anyone.until he has had a chance to see for himself what is what.


    • Posted by KickinNames... on 2011/07/29 at 10:32 AM

      You might want to go ahead and prepare yourself for MB90 transmogrifying into MB?. Not dropped IMO but appropriate ?’s asked based on real performance, fitness and positional need.

      Not sure why others speculating on JK’s impact with a positive vibe attached is so difficult to take. It’s not like he’s some unknown with no major NT or club managing experience. And he knows the program fairly well from his previous flirtations I’m sure.


      • Posted by John on 2011/07/29 at 10:43 AM

        “It’s not like he’s some unknown with no major NT or club managing experience”

        He has had TWO major coaching positions.

        He earned plaudits with Germany.


        He got sacked a Bayern for running a championship team into the ground. Not to mention that Toronto has been relatively awful during his consulting tenure.

        Even one of the best coaches in the world (by track record) Fabio Capello has found it difficult to coach a talented England team. I’m not ready to knight Klinsman when he has LESS coaching experience than Bob Bradley.


        • Posted by KickinNames... on 2011/07/29 at 10:58 AM

          Your CAPSLOCK issue doesn’t take away from my referenced comment. He’s not an unknown with no major NT experience….
          Lots of sacking of quality mgrs has gone down at Bayern so I don’t know that you can exactly call that a major downer. Extremely challenging mgmt situation there. I don’t think this is a Bob Bradley comparison and no one here is calling for knighthood just looking positively at the arrival of a guy with established (and benchmarkable) program experience who also happens to have experienced first hand what a robust development program looks like in Germany 70’s and 80’s.


        • Posted by Jared on 2011/07/29 at 11:27 AM

          We will not see Bornstein in a meaningful game again. There are other options that are better just unproven (unproven because Bob repeatedly picked Bornstein over anyone else).

          Bayern is a tough club to manage especially if you attempt to make long term changes as Klinsmann wanted. It can’t be argued that they didn’t struggle but the Bayern upper management has lost patience with many very talented coaches.

          Are England really that talented? I’m pretty sure Capello took them about as far as they deserve to go. They are an overrated team that struggle with many of the same things that the US struggles with in that they don’t play a solid possession passing game and love to hoof it up the field when under pressure. Throw in the fact that there one truly class player (Rooney) was out of form last year and I don’t think Capello has done that poorly.


          • Posted by PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo on 2011/07/29 at 7:13 PM

            Who are the ‘better but unproven options” (which doesn’t make sense, but I’m not arguing that point), that Bradley did not give a chance to?


          • Posted by Martin on 2011/07/30 at 10:51 AM

            If they are “unproven”, then by definition you cannot know that they are better than Bornstein.

            You think they are better than JB and they may well be but no one , especially you, really knows.


    • Posted by kaya on 2011/07/29 at 10:38 AM

      I’m not delusional, and I wouldn’t expect MB90 to be dropped, but I found it incredible that BB had the gall to form a strategy based around his son whose play frustrates me to watch. That, at the very least, I can say I’m happy about… now whether or not we’ll have a sound strategy going forward is something which we’ll have to wait and see!I’m not delusional, and I wouldn’t expect MB90 to be dropped, but I found it incredible that BB had the gall to form a strategy based around his son whose play frustrates me to watch. That, at the very least, I can say I’m happy about… now whether or not we’ll have a sound strategy going forward is something which we’ll have to wait and see!


  6. As a Bob apologist, the one argument to hire a new coach that made the most sense was the stagnation of the team that occurs with 2 cycle coaches. I am not sold on Klinsmann’s pedigree…but I certainly hope he can give some excitement to this team (and the youth teams too?). Bob gets my respect for what he brought, and now Klinsmann will be shouldering alot of pressure. Not exactly Toronto FC.


    • Posted by PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo on 2011/07/29 at 7:17 PM

      In the end Klinsy will have a positive impact off the field, (as Beckham has done for the MLS), but on-field performance I do not think will be improved. I hope I’m wrong, but would bet on my hunch….


  7. Posted by Paula on 2011/07/29 at 10:10 AM

    [And let the pining for Sigi Schmid begin.]


    • Posted by dth on 2011/07/29 at 10:16 AM

      Speaking of coach infatuations I don’t get.

      Why Schmid again? His Seattle teams always seem to be worse in important games, it’s not as if they play particularly sparkling soccer otherwise, and it’s not clear he has some huge interesting ideas that will rock the world.


      • Posted by Paula on 2011/07/29 at 10:36 AM

        I think Schmid is liked because Seattle is liked … or something … He seems like he would have as much familiarity with US Soccer as Klinsmann does with actual coaching experience in this country. In any case, it doesn’t matter. As soon as the fanboys find out that Klinsmann is not all that and a bag of chips, they’re going to set their sights on some other foreign coach who will supposedly solve all our problems.

        Seriously, though, why hasn’t Klinsmann coached since Germany in 2006? (That’s bad, obv.) But did he really have a lot to do with restructuring the German youth system (that’s good). I can’t tell truth from hype on this guy.

        [Incidentally, I live near Newport Beach. As soon as I heard about the Bradley firing I made a joke about scouting around the area for Sunil Gulati, but per TSG’s tweet I guess I wasn’t completely off.]


        • Posted by Paula on 2011/07/29 at 10:38 AM

          Sorry … I meant: he hasn’t coached since 2008.


        • Posted by dth on 2011/07/29 at 10:43 AM

          Klinsmann had zero to do with reforming the German youth system; if he claims the contrary he’s being an epic bullshitter (which the Germans suspect him of).


          • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/07/29 at 11:00 AM

            I heard that he was *one* of the drivers of change, and helped sell the new philosophy to the WASPs at the DfB.


            • Posted by dth on 2011/07/29 at 11:06 AM

              Nah. DFB and the clubs started youth development reform in ’99 and ’00–that’s when they started opening their 100+ youth development centers (run by DFB).

              Klinsmann was good for morale and also introduced some new training techniques. It’s hard for me to believe he can contribute much by way of the latter for Americans. Which means we’re either hoping for Klinsmann to have Jogi Low Part II on his speed dial or that he’s a hell of a motivator.

            • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/07/29 at 2:23 PM

              You mean at a similar time as the USSF and Bradenton?

            • Posted by Martin on 2011/07/29 at 5:11 PM

              For me the simplest thing to do is look at the roster for Germany just before they fired Voller and replaced him with JK. Same with Bayern.

              Then compare the quality and quantity of those players with what he will have going forward with the US. Guys like Schweinsteiger, Podolski and Lamm were already established before JK got there.

              I have no idea how well Klinsi will do, but if anyone thinks he will replicate his Germany performance right away, again look at the players.

              My guess is he will do better than BB but then again, he may have the possible benefit of a fresh start, a new wave of players and maybe a return to form of guys who were chronically injured under BB (Onyewu and sicknote Holden, for example).

              His most important hire will probably be whomever he gets to be his Bierhoff and Loew.

              It’s a logical hire in the sense that the USSF was unlikely to be able to attract any other high profile foreigner (maybe Roberto Donadoni). In terms of the World game it’s not an attractive job.

        • Posted by KickinNames... on 2011/07/29 at 10:47 AM

          I think that what we have is a guy with a strong, positive personality and prior major NT and club program mgmt. His tactics have not been questioned very often. His tenure has usually been ended due to power struggles or personality conflicts. Bayerns mgmt is notoriously demanding and was coming off fairly successful run that put a ton of win now pressure on. He didn’t do poorly for the GNT while leading a transition from older established players to a new guard that continues with Loew. His mgmt style deserves recognition as he brought in a strong tactical coach who obviously was ready and wasn’t threatened by him.


          • Posted by dth on 2011/07/29 at 10:54 AM

            Somewhere, there are Bavarians laughing very loudly at the suggestion that Klinsmann’s tactics were never questioned.


            • Posted by KickinNames... on 2011/07/29 at 11:05 AM

              The suggested point is not that his tactics were never questioned. The point made is that most of his rumored departures were more due to mgmt conflicts in very high pressure environments. Much different than anything that Bob B has endured at DC United or USMNT. Expectations and pressure are vastly different. As the existence of this blog suggests, there will always be questioners of tactics and disagreements on strategy.

            • Posted by dth on 2011/07/29 at 11:08 AM

              There will always be disagreements on tactics and strategy but his tactics at Bayern were questioned more than most managers, even by Bayern standards.

              Discord among management was an important part of Klinsmann being deposed there, but U.S. fans are fooling themselves if they think that’s the only or most important reason he was fired.

    • Posted by Johninho on 2011/07/29 at 10:27 AM

      Twellman says Klinsmann should at least call Sigi – they worked together on the U- sides.


  8. Posted by Ryan McLaughlin on 2011/07/29 at 10:13 AM

    Would have liked to see an MLS type of manager, keepin’ it homegrown…..was Ziggy from Seattle not an option?!!?


    • Posted by Jared on 2011/07/29 at 11:30 AM

      I think we’re past the stage of putting MLS guys in charge unless they’ve proven they deserve it. Only guy in MLS that has a case right now would be Kreis and in my view he still needs some more experience.


      • Posted by Randy on 2011/07/29 at 11:46 AM

        Dominic Kinnear has a better case than Kreis.


      • Posted by Martin on 2011/07/29 at 5:27 PM

        The USMNT job is not an attractive one for the “big name” foreigners or even the new young gun foreigners looking to make a name for themselves.

        Poor pay, cutting out old guys who are looking for one last payday, poor player pool, cutting out the young guys who want to look good and win right away. Plus they are on a four-year cycle and are basically out of the world spotlight.

        All of which means, if you were going to get rid of Bradley, who is unarguably the most qualified American (unless you want Arena back), then you have to go big time foreign or it’s more of the same.

        Make no mistake it’s been a bad year for the USSF with men underperforming, the women choking and the USSF losing the World Cup bid. They had to make a big splash and this is about the only hire they probably could have done it with.

        Klinsmann is (although Queiroz or Donadoni might have been possible but they aren’t as sexy) probably the only foreigner who would have taken the job.

        IF JK flames out then I expect Kreis, Schmid, Olsen or the like to get a look.


  9. Posted by Crow on 2011/07/29 at 10:16 AM

    Gulati should be fired. If it took him 5 years to realize his “mistake” of not getting the job done to hire Klinsmann at the end of 2006 and at the end of 2010. Why make the concessions now? Sunil just turns out looking very weak.

    I’m in the middle of Klinsmann. I don’t understand the people who thinks he’ll help the USA win the World Cup and I don’t understand some of the haters. Is he really less qualified than MLS coaches? He didn’t pull a Joe Paterno and watch from a press box in 2006 while Loew did all the coaching like some accuse.


  10. Posted by Crow on 2011/07/29 at 10:19 AM

    Anyways, I’m fine with this for now. Hopefully, Kreis or Olsen will be ready for the next cycle. And maybe just maybe someday… Mourinho.


    • I’d rather have Pep. It’d be hard for me to root for a team with the Special One as the manager. That’s like rooting for Commodus in Gladiator.


    • Posted by Martin on 2011/07/30 at 10:56 AM

      Mourinho ?

      The guy who used Bradley’s how to beat Spain template to beat Barca when he was with Inter?

      His teams are even more tactically boring than Bradley’s ( except he has much bettter players).


  11. Posted by kaya on 2011/07/29 at 10:23 AM

    it’s been a long time since I’ve seen Klinsmann in coaching action, but I’m guessing Gulati’s fascination with him has to do with his energy and enthusiasm. In that respect, I think it’s a good match for our athletic/esprit de corps/punching above their weight/insert cliche group of boys. I’m hoping, but not counting on, Gulati having a sense Klinsmann’s actual coaching ability is at least no less sound than BB’s.


  12. Posted by Johninho on 2011/07/29 at 10:31 AM

    I’m all in. Chuffed about this hire. I’m calling my shot right now for WCQ: Klinsmann will be the first USA coach to win at Azteca.


    • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/07/29 at 10:53 AM

      If you’d like to place a wager on that, just name the amount. If I can’t cover it myself, I won’t have any problem finding investors.


    • Posted by Dan on 2011/07/30 at 1:48 AM

      I didn’t care who we put behind the bench for the upcoming WCQ, I just have had the feeling that this is the cycle we win at Azteca. Count on it.


  13. Posted by Alex on 2011/07/29 at 10:31 AM

    Anybody have any insight on the style of play and tactis of Bayern while JK was at the helm? I didn’t start following the Bund till about 2 years ago.

    I’m also going to reserve judgement until at least the end of this year and maybe Cupcake to see how he does in those 4 friendlies. At least I’ll finally get to see one in person (Costa Rica in Cali!!). But I’m not ready to say Klinsy is our savior. But I will say that BB, at least in my eyes, is a martyr for US Soccer


  14. Posted by Soccernst on 2011/07/29 at 10:42 AM

    USSF announces cash cow friendly with Germany, you know it’s coming.


  15. Posted by Soccernst on 2011/07/29 at 10:44 AM

    And.. Thank you Bob. Some great wins in your time. Right up there forbest results for a usmnt manager ever.


  16. Posted by chazcar2 on 2011/07/29 at 10:53 AM

    Klinsmann isn’t some tactical genius that will win games that way. I honestly think this hire isn’t that great for trying to win the 2014 world cup. Klinsmann will help develop and reinvent the youth system in the US and give us a personality to follow.

    Seriously its soccer: 4-4-2 vs 4-3-3 vs 5-3-2 vs 3-4-3… who cares as long as the team on the field plays hard, wins the ball back high on the pitch, maintains posession in the final third, and actually converts their chances they will likely win.

    Disclaimer: I do care about formations because they make it so you can tell what all the players are actually doing, but still all modern formations really look like a 2-7-1 to me.


    • I think we can all agree that winning WC 2014 was never really a realistic goal. But if Klinsmann can leave our youth systems two or three steps ahead of where they are now when his cycle ends, I’ll be thrilled.

      In my mind, 2022 is the goal. If we’re not serious contenders for a cup by then, we’ve got a major problem. Until then…let’s keep taking one step at a time.


      • Posted by Berniebernier on 2011/07/29 at 2:56 PM

        I think we need to be careful in mixing being a fan with being logical.

        As a fan I want to know we have at least a 1% shot of winning in 2014. Thats not a ton but to me that is what got people so disappointed in the loss to Ghana. They felt like we had a little chance. I was dying for one more weekend game in a packed standing room only bar to watch soccer. I was dying for a 35/65 chance to get to the semis. I was dying to pray that this would be our lucky day like it was against Spain in the Confed Cup (or the first half against Brazil).

        The Gold Cup destroyed that for me. I can handle being outplayed by Argentina and getting a draw. I can handle losing to Paraguay despite playing better. I can’t handle looking like crap against a country I can’t name a single player on.

        A realistic shot in 14 is crazy talk.


        • Posted by Rich on 2011/07/29 at 8:06 PM

          Is 2022 even realistic? We aren’t going to be a world soccer power until we have a world-class talent pool. And that isn’t going to happen until soccer is a major part of our culture–as big as, say, baseball or basketball. I hope it does happen some day, but it won’t be in the next ten years.

          When MLS teams can regularly sell out NFL-sized stadiums, and soccer is a third of Sports Center every night, then we can start talking about a world championship.

          Either that or a miracle…


          • Posted by Tux on 2011/07/30 at 2:23 PM

            Looking at the young guys right now (Agudelo-18, Diskerud-20, Chandler-21, Altidore-21, Bunbury-21, Lichaj-22, Bradley-23). I’m a younger guy – Lichaj and I have the same birthday – and I haven’t been following soccer for that long, only since just before the Confed Cup in 2009, but I gotta believe that this is a sign of things to come. This isn’t a wave of great young players – there are no Messis or Chicaritos or anything like that – but it seems to me that the stream of *good* young players is steadily becoming stronger.

            And while none of the guys I listed are going to be the reincarnation of Beckenbauer, Cruyff, Maradona or Pele, they are potentially going to be very good international players. Of the seven I listed, I would expect four or five to be playing for CL sides in Europe (Teal and Jozy are the two I am most hesitant on) by 2014. And while that can take the form of Mo Edu with Rangers, it can also be Stevie C with Hannover. You give me 11 guys who can play as well as him, and I say we’re a strong international side. We still wouldn’t be top five and probably not even top ten, but we’d be on the edge of that. And then, just maybe, the floodgates will open.


  17. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/07/29 at 10:57 AM

    Anybody know who his Management Team (No.2, GK coach, Opposition Scouts, US player scouts) will consist of?

    And least he will be able to stand up to any strong personalities in the squad who think they’re the Bee’s knees… his playing credentials should not be questioned. His managerial ones can be. I would love to be able to isolate JK’s direct involvement in Gemany06 and the Youth Development. How much was him, and how much was Low et al.

    I suspect his list of contacts is vast and I am sure he is resourceful enough to surround himself with the right team.


    • Posted by kaya on 2011/07/29 at 11:28 AM

      I imagine there might be some indications about that when JK makes an announcement on Monday. Grant Wahl tweeted that there is nothing being shared about the coaching staff at this time.


    • Posted by Berniebernier on 2011/07/29 at 2:58 PM

      I am curious how much his presence will help in recruiting players that are dual citizens. Lets just say I am very confident Klinsi is a much better recruiter than Coach Sweats.


  18. Posted by Charlie G. on 2011/07/29 at 11:00 AM

    Well, I wasn’t sure about this, but I think there are a few positives:

    – We probably won’t lose any up and coming German-American players.

    – Humility – got to love a guy with his background who played pick up games in LA under an assumed name

    – Wardrobe upgrade – no more “coach sweats”

    Glad Gulati had this done before letting Bob go. Thanks to Coach Bradley for his efforts.


    • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/07/29 at 11:17 AM

      With the possible exception of Huerzeler, none of the German-American up-and-comers is quite good enough to play for Germany, so I don’t think we have much to worry about on that front, anyway.


      • Posted by dth on 2011/07/29 at 11:22 AM

        Actually, I think if Chandler had been really determined to play for Germany, he could’ve gotten an Agudelo-esque shot at the right back position–with Lahm shifting over to the left side, they don’t have many good options out there.


        • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/07/29 at 11:27 AM

          Yeah, but I’m counting him as already committed to the US, given his unambiguous statements to that effect.


          • Posted by dth on 2011/07/29 at 11:35 AM

            Ah. My confusion. I thought your German-American up-and-comers list was the entire set of German-Americans.

            Actually, there is one guy who Germans are very excited about who’s another of the German-American legion: Shawn Parker of Mainz. We have a 0% chance at him, though.


  19. Posted by John on 2011/07/29 at 11:01 AM

    From DTH’s linked column above….

    “Ze Roberto’s admission that the coach had said nothing more than “you have to score a goal” at half-time may well have been the final straw: Klinsmann, who had come well short in man-management and tactics before, was now even failing his specialist subject, motivation.”

    Awesome… just awesome…


    • Posted by John on 2011/07/29 at 11:03 AM

      “Klinsmann seduced the board and many neutrals – including this column – with his reformist agenda. Sadly he did not have the means or a Jogi Löw by his side to put any of it into practice. “We need a sense of new beginning,” said Hoeness today. “There have been too many things holding us back recently.” Heynckes was exactly the right man now, he added. “He is a football teacher,” Hoeness said – as opposed to Klinsmann, he implied, who was sadly exposed as a pupil at this level.”


      • Posted by John Henry on 2011/07/29 at 11:25 AM

        That article contains a fair bit of nonsense, imo. He closes with a dramatist’s flourish by denouncing Klinsmann as a dictator… after he just conceded that the board had all the power and mostly thwarted Klinsmann’s initiatives.

        And, he ridicules Klinsmann with this: “Plenty of others, though, were plain daft. Dabbling with a 3-5-2 system, picking an assistant manager without Bundesliga experience, yoga classes for the players, Landon Donovan … “His concept convinced us – on paper,” said Hoeness pointedly.”

        I’m not even remotely a Klinsmann devotee, but if those are his daftest mistakes, then I’ll be quite happy with that. The 3-5-2 is making something of a comeback, yoga classes sound like a good idea to me, and I have no doubt LD had the quality to make an impact at Bayern (the mentality, on the other hand, meh – but the snide and condescending ignorance of that “pointed” remark is just that).


        • Posted by John on 2011/07/29 at 11:36 AM

          I find it hard to believe that people say he is going to take us to a European/Barcelona/Attacking style game, when most sports writers who have looked at Klinsmanns career with Germany tend to point towards Low being the tactician.

          Klinsmann did manage germany to a semi-final place, but after he left… so did the coach who was the tactician at that time … Low.

          Also I don’t know how many times I have said this but our big problem at the 2010 World Cup was giving up goals, not scoring them. Sure we could have had a forward or two score goals, but the biggest problem was a defence that let in goals frequently and at very poor times.


        • Posted by Jared on 2011/07/29 at 11:36 AM

          What’s wrong with yoga classes for players? If Klinsmann had been winning the yoga classes would have been hailed as a genius and every club in Europe would be doing it.

          3-5-2 works if the personnel is correct.

          LD showed at Everton that he can play in Europe. He was never given a chance by his teammates from a lot of what I read about his stint at Bayern because he was viewed as Klinsi’s pet.


          • Posted by sfshwebb on 2011/07/29 at 12:00 PM

            Two and a half months does not prove he can play in Europe, especially when you counter that amongst the much longer time and more spells he had in Germany in which he wasn’t very good. LD was certainly a success at Everton (though was absent in their bigger games) and I and many others would love(d) to see him actually play an entire season in the EPL. Personally though, I think LD lacks the mental fortitude to really challenge himself. I respect that he really wants to help the MLS grow, but his stint with Everton came with no pressure (for him or the club). If he failed then nothing changed for him. The fact that he did do pretty well, did wonders for his confidence and self belief and helped him have a great World Cup. After that though, he regressed to the comforts of playing with the Galaxy and IMO it showed in what i thought were poor standards for him in the Gold Cup.

            It would be very interesting to see if he could play an entire season with an EPL team and maintain the high standards that Dempsey and until injury Holden have.


  20. While we can question his tactical prowess, I think if nothing else Klinnsman is the ideal guy to bridge the gap between American soccer philosophy (or lack thereof) and a more European way of thinking and talent development. If he can do that successfully his tenure will have been worth it.


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/07/29 at 11:18 AM

      If he only manages two things in Youth Development, I hope he can change the training time / game time ratio, and your obsession with the W/L record at youth level… that’d be a great place to start.


      • Posted by dth on 2011/07/29 at 11:19 AM

        Well, the development academy mandates at least a 3:1 training:play ratio. And Bradenton barely plays games, competitive or otherwise. It’s the coaching that provides the training more than the frequency, IMO.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/07/29 at 2:44 PM

          But what about pre-academy? Or for those not in one of the few academy places?


    • Posted by Jared on 2011/07/29 at 11:38 AM

      If he only manages one thing in youth development, I hope it’s the greater inclusion of the Latino community in the US. He should have some idea of the potential and issues since he lives in Southern Cali now.


      • Posted by Seybold on 2011/07/29 at 9:51 PM

        Yes, yes a thousand times yes.


        • Posted by Tux on 2011/07/30 at 2:26 PM

          Of our entire player pool, I think there’s only six guys with Latin or South American roots. I would bet at least half of a farm that the number jumps within two years.


  21. Posted by Berniebernier on 2011/07/29 at 11:15 AM

    Whether you liked Bob or not… whether you thought that Klinsi was a good hire… things just got more interesting between now and the start of WC qualifying. Moving away from what would have been a fairly boring slog there are now at least a dozen questions I can’t wait to get answers to:

    1) What formation will we play now?
    2) What role does Bradley play in MF?
    3) What will Klinsman think of Bornstein?
    4) Can Klinsman being a former player help our young forwards like Agudelo and Altidore?
    5) How many of the old guard (Dolo, Boca, Dempsey, Donovan, DeMerit, Jones, Gooch, etc) are going to be part of the team going forward?
    6) Which new guys are going to get a bigger role moving forward?
    7) What finge players either move up or out (Gomez, Buddle, Feilhaber, etc)?


    • Posted by dth on 2011/07/29 at 11:17 AM

      I don’t understand why people are so fixated on Bornstein. I don’t understand why people continue to refer to a left back crisis.

      Lichaj looked more than capable this summer.


      • Posted by chris on 2011/07/29 at 11:49 AM

        Yes. Lichaj and Chandler are our pair of outside backs for the future. We ought to be excited. Both have speed and youth, and Lichaj will only get better and more comfortable at LB.


        • Posted by Berniebernier on 2011/07/29 at 3:05 PM

          100% agree it should be Lichaj at LB at least for now.


        • Posted by Seybold on 2011/07/29 at 10:01 PM

          I don’t think it’s a left back crisis, it’s a left side crisis. With right-footed left-side midfielders who cut in, a right-footed left back results in more of the same, and the USA having no width on the left side. Which is easy to defend. If we have a right-footed left midfielder, we need genuine left footed width from the fullback position. Lichaj doesn’t provide that (Timmy Chandler might be better used as a midfielder on the right in any case–he and Lichaj showed excellent understanding against Paraguay on the right together).

          I’d like to see Bobby Convey tried there. Not because he’s better–he’s not–but because he can stretch defenses, and create room for Dempsey, Donovan, and all the rest.

          Either that or we need a left-footed midfielder. Any suggestions?


      • Posted by KickinNames... on 2011/07/29 at 12:06 PM

        Ummmm…because he continued to show up not just in our nightmares but in person just a month or so ago against Mexico. With predictable results…


        • Posted by dth on 2011/07/29 at 12:17 PM

          Well, except it’s a bit illogical. Let’s say before the tournament Maurice Edu goes down to injury and Bradley calls up Ricardo Clark. Clark gets in at a critical moment and reprises World Cup 2010. Would you scream about how central midfield is a huge problem, or would you view it as unfortunate that we happened to have so many injuries?

          Probably the latter, right? Same thing with left back. The backup sucks–just like many of the positions on the national team.


          • Posted by Tux on 2011/07/30 at 2:29 PM

            It’s like the Miami Heat. Except, you know, without LeBron, Wade, or Bosh. Instead, we’d have Brandon Roy, who can’t stay healthy, and Rajan Rondo, who can’t shoot.


      • Posted by Berniebernier on 2011/07/29 at 3:03 PM

        I am more interested in getting a new view of Bornstein. If Klinsi keeps calling him in then maybe Sweats was right and the mob was wrong. If we never see him in a US jersey again then I think we can say Klinsi voted with the mob.


    • Posted by Jared on 2011/07/29 at 11:41 AM

      Donovan isn’t going anywhere while Klinsmann is in charge. Wouldn’t be surprised if he was named captain.

      Bradley plays central bench for the US unless he starts to get playing time at club level.

      I think a guy like Gomez will get a much bigger look with Klinsmann to start because he moves well as a striker. I would think that Klinsmann would appreciate that unless he thinks Gomez is too old. Hopefully, Torres gets more of a look going forward.


      • Posted by Berniebernier on 2011/07/29 at 3:14 PM

        I am just looking forward to finding out the answers and debating where things are going. Everybody gets a fresh start, everybody gets a new evaluation… thats got to be a good thing considering the train wasn’t going in the right direction. To me that makes the next 11 months much more exciting then they otherwise would have been.


  22. Posted by Gregorio on 2011/07/29 at 11:48 AM

    Lets get back to what JK brings to the table, (HOPE!) a limited but fairly impressive coaching resume. He did not feel threatened by Lowe and knew his own strengths & weakenesses. This an admirable quality for a leader, Think BB listened to his aides? Anyway this a breath of fresh air. lets inhale it and enjoy it before the LA smog reality settles in. Bob is a good coach and he will continue to do wonders for the US soccer program if he continues the exposure of it by coaching successfully abroad ( good luck BB). (Championship team will do). BB was a 2 cycle coach, he couldn’t get anymore out of this bunch (I find it hard to come home with flowers to my wife after yrs of marriage. but I’m working on it)
    Now what JK will bring is a new attitude that we should embrace, Americans have the talent!! and can play attractive football. We as a nation are talented athletes and will continue to do so, wait till the palyers start believeing in him and more importantly in themselves. The negative play and fear of creativity, and risks sucked the heart of our players. We do have players now who have the talent to play at higher levels but they doubt themselves and everyone tells them that americans aren’t really skilled. BULL, Is Rossi not skilled enough? Subotic? So we must stop putting limits on ourselves and our players. I think too many US players walk around with this mindset, . JK will help alter this mindset, there will be ups & downs but we are on the right path,
    JK ‘s enthsuasiam will help many players and fans free themselves of their mind forged manacles. (Blake had a disorder too!)


  23. Posted by dth on 2011/07/29 at 12:01 PM

    This endorsement makes so much sense on so many levels:


    • Posted by Martin on 2011/07/29 at 5:48 PM

      You are reading way too much into this.

      All Carroll said was JK is a great guy and JK certainly comes across that way.

      I didn’t see anyhting about JK’s technical abilities.

      Besides it takes a great BS artist to know one. Mnay great managers and coaches share that characteristic.


      • Posted by dth on 2011/07/29 at 6:06 PM

        I’m not reading anything into this: I just think Carroll and Klinsmann are highly similar. Both are charismatic, handsome-for-their-ages guys with two parts Southern California cool and one part B.S. It’s a personality observation.

        As a Stanford fan, I know Carroll is one of the great college football coaches ever. No judgment can be made for certain in any direction about Klinsmann.


  24. Posted by Arisrules on 2011/07/29 at 12:11 PM

    How we do all depends on who Klinsmann is able to snag as his assistant coach. We know the following:

    i) his last coaching gig was a disaster, where he was shown to be way in over his head, lost the team (Donovan was also mediocre)
    ii) his run at the WC in ’06 has been tarnished by the fact that it has come out that Loew was the mind behind it, as well as when you look at who he beat, you realize it was not that impressive.

    That is the extent of his coaching experience folks. Those here waxing prophetically about some sort of renaissance need to get a fucking trip.

    The bigger issue for me is the playing pool.

    All of the core guys except for Michael Bradley and Feilheiber (wow was he missed in the Gold Cup) will be in their 30’s by the next WC. That’s a fact. This group of players peaked in South Africa physically. They were never going to be in a better position. Unfortunately for us, Oneywu and Davies were injured, because with them, a run to the quarters or semis after we won the group WAS NOT OUT OF THE QUESTION.

    I also find it amusing that Klinsmann does not solve two of the biggest issues fans had with Bradley. The first is tactics. Klinsmann is 100% motivation. That’s what he is. Positive attitude, we can do this type bullshit that wears down on players after a while. If you guys think he’s going to do anything revolutionary with tactics, then you are out of your mind.

    The second thing that peopel are talking about here is that somehow Klinsmann is going to give a NEW perspective on our development system, etc. He has no experience doing such a thing! None. Yet he is credited with this. Why? No clue, just the normal delusional US national team fans (and journalists to be honest, who as usual are dropping the ball).

    I honestly would not be surprised if this blows up in Gulati’s face (who should be immediately fired by the USSF for his mishandling of the coaching search in the past five years, disgraceful).

    For me the Gold Cup and the past year wasn’t about it becoming “stale” as many journalists were claiming. It was clear to me that the team was in a very clear transition phase, where we don’t have enough horses right now. Even if cherundulo was healthy, I don’t think we could have staved off Mexico in the final. Can somebody realistically argue to me that Mexico wouldn’t have had us in a deathgrip with Spector on there instead of Bornstein? No they can’t. That’s just reality. That core group is done.

    Is Klinsmann the guy to shpherd this new group of players through qualification and onto the WC? By the way none of these guys are proven adn still have question marks (whether through injury or whatever): Lichaj, Adu, Shea, Ream, Davies, Diskelrud, Holden, Agudelo, Altidore, etc ,etc, etc, etc, etc, etc. Throw Gaven and Rogers in there as well. All of them aren’t proven. This despite bradley trying out a billion players.

    We have a black hole up top and a gaping wound at CB. LB and RB are nominally covered by Lichaj and Chandler for the future, but again. Donovan is good, when his mind is there (which isn’t often). Dempsey is a gamer (and for me the best player on the nats), but how much more abuse can his body take? The only guy who is young, fit, and has regularly played over the past 4 years is Michael Bradley.

    And he is the guys peopel want to kick off the team! Hopefully he figures out his club situation. He is a great player, and for me a must starter for the US in the center of the field. He is a freaking half-mid and has 9 goals for the nats. He’s likely going to break into the top half of the all-time goal scorers for the national team. That’s insane. His game isn’t always the prettiest, but it’s effective. Him and Holden together, with Holden playing deeper in the midfield, and Bradley pressing up top would be very effective. But as usual we have a problem here. Holden is several years older than Bradley, and has yet to put a full season where he has not been INJURED.

    so lets see how the Klinsmann era goes. I am hoping for the best, but when I objectively look at the player pool, my expectations are already tempered.


    • Posted by BK on 2011/07/29 at 1:09 PM

      On the injury to ‘Dolo in the final…I think inserting Spector instead of Bornstein could have made a serious difference. Putting Bornstein at LB shifting Lichaj over to RB messed with both flanks, and pretty much disrupted the whole back line. A straight RB switch at least would have kept Lichaj out left, where he had been doing well. Though Chandler might have solved the whole problem…


      • Posted by Arisrules on 2011/07/29 at 1:33 PM

        Theoretically you are right. But Spector has never convinced at RB, and outside of this tournament, Lichaj has not been great with the nats. We also have no clue how players looked in camp. So for me it is just that, a theoretical gambit, since you are dealing with such limited players.

        Bradley gambled on Adu, and it paid off handsomely (oh what a genius the pundits proclaimed!). He gambled on Bornstein’s WC experience, and that failed. EITHER WAY, he had to rely on flawed players, that exhibited how poor our player pool is (which is my larger point). People were ripping why Bedoya was not picked for the tournament. I agree, he should have been. But the player they thought that replaced him was Adu (and should not have been on the team), and yet Adu had a very important role (and was easily our best offensive player against Mexico). Which is why for me it’s not really black and white. In other words we did not lose the tournament because of the Bornstein selection, or because of Bradley’s tactics. We simply don’t have the horses folks. I’m sorry. Losing our best defender by a country mile so early in the game, was devastating to our chances. Mexico could withstand the loss of Marquez, because even after their doping scandal, they have bodies who can play. We couldn’t lose Cherundulo, and the backline soon collapsed when he was gone. Whether it was Bornstein fucking up or their strikers running circles around our CBs, we couldn’t handle Mexico’s offense with a half-dead Demeritt and an aged Boca.


        • Posted by Josh on 2011/07/29 at 6:13 PM

          Well said. I said the exact same thing to my brother after the GC final regarding Bradley: regardless of his player selection, tactics, temperament etc – the national side doesn’t have “the horses.” Or at least not in the GC.

          It’ll be up to JK to choose, find and develop a stable of horses. Now we find out if all the Bradley haters were right. I suspect they may be in for a rude awakening over the next 1-2 years. I pray not of course. Over time I do think the right manager will make a noticeable difference. We’ll see if JK is the right one.


      • Posted by Martin on 2011/07/29 at 5:43 PM


        Just prior to the Gold Cup final, look at the games Spector played at RB for the US.


        Jonny B’s last games for the US were good ones in the World Cup.

        Lichaj has played both RB and LB recently. And he made the USMNT as the so-called heir apparent to Dolo until Chandler came along.

        My disappointment with that game was not JB’s performance.

        It was Lichaj and how putrid he was.

        He’s a pro and I don’t want to hear about how terrible it is to have to move to right back after starting out as left back. Ever hear of Michael Essien, Phillip Lamm or Darren Fletcher? Hell, I’ve seen David Beckham move to right back during a game.

        What a weenie Licahj turned out to be.


        • Posted by scipio on 2011/07/29 at 6:28 PM

          I get what you’re saying, but I believe that dealing with a position change which reverses lateral positioning and orientation is more of a skill than you make it out to be. Much in the same way that some players have a very small discrepancy between their strong and weak foot, whereas other skilled players have an immense discrepancy (i.e. Maradona and his left leg).

          And while I assume you’re correct about Essien, Lahm etc. making a switch, you just named some of the top 50 players in the world. Lichaj is only 22 and relatively inexperienced at the position. He played poorly after the switch, but it’d be hard to argue that his average performance during the gold cup was not satisfactory.


          • Posted by BK on 2011/07/29 at 6:55 PM



          • Posted by Martin on 2011/07/31 at 3:12 PM

            Scipio africanus,

            “I get what you’re saying, but I believe that dealing with a position change which reverses lateral positioning and orientation is more of a skill than you make it out to be. Much in the same way that some players have a very small discrepancy between their strong and weak foot, whereas other skilled players have an immense discrepancy (i.e. Maradona and his left leg). “
            And while I assume you’re correct about Essien, Lahm etc. making a switch, you just named some of the top 50 players in the world. Lichaj is only 22 and relatively inexperienced at the position. He played poorly after the switch, but it’d be hard to argue that his average performance during the gold cup was not satisfactory.
            Some of my favorite national teams were from the 70’s, 1970 Brazil and 1974 Holland. Brazil had several players who used their “weaker leg” only to stand on but they also had guys who were completely two footed.
            Holland had players guys like Cruyff, Neeskens , Rep and so on, any of whom might be at center forward or maybe right back, left wing or center half during the course of the game.
            I mention these teams because it should be pretty easy for you to find see video of them play. Do so and you might find it enlightening. Soccer is a simple game because the skills required to play any outfield positions can translate easily into any position on the field. If you are a good all around player and athlete then you should be able to play anywhere on the field.
            I mentioned Essien , Lamm, et al. because they were players you could easliy find games of and see that what I said was true. The kind of in-game position switches I mentioned I’ve also seen happen in college, high school and various pro level games that you would be unlikely to have ever heard of. So please don’t tell me only the best of the best are capable of this.
            My comments on Lichaj only refer to the Final. Having him switch to right back, the postion for which he orginally made the US team and not that long ago, early on in the game is not like asking Tom Brady to switch to tight tend in the middle of a playoff game or having Derek Jeter pitch in relief in the ninth inning.
            If Lichaj, who after all is not some punk kid but a pro player in the pay of an EPL team ( until he gets traded),couldn’t do a reasonable job under duress then my respect for him drops just a bit and if you think Bradley is the only person responsible for Eric’s poor play then I would say you are pretty easy on your players.


        • Posted by BK on 2011/07/29 at 6:54 PM

          Good points, I can’t really disagree. I’m wasn’t trying to argue that Specs at RB would have been better than Bornstein at LB (though Bornstein had not seen much time since those solid WC games, especially at LB), Specs likely would have been torched…and yes, Lichaj should have been better. I still think disrupting the whole backline when Lichaj had looked so good on the left was questionable, and one of the reasons for the defeat. Sure, it could have easily happened with Spector in there, who knows.

          On the whole, I agree with what Arisrules said above, our pool of players is the biggest issue, and we were definitely overmatched talent-wise against Mexico. I was just taking issue with that one point, I think we might have been able to hold on to that (improbable) 2 goal lead had things played out differently.


          • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/07/29 at 9:49 PM

            Why are we acting like Spector was the only other option at right back? The problem was that we were limited by the roster selection. Ie, our cover at fullback being a guy who has about half the speed necessary to play the position effectively, and another guy who is gaffe-prone with neither playing fullback (when they were playing at all) for their club teams.

            We know Dolo is getting up there in years, and has had some injury problems. Could it really have been worse to have a guy backing him up that was at least playing that position well in MLS (*cough*, Sean Franklin)?


            • Posted by BK on 2011/07/30 at 6:51 AM

              I fully agree with the poor roster selection at fullback, I was just commenting on the in-game decision made with the players available at the time.

            • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/07/30 at 12:15 PM

              Sorry, I should have made it clearer that I wasn’t replying to your post in particular, but just the general thread of conversation that assumes the only options were bringing in Bornstein and Spector.

    • Posted by Texas 1836 on 2011/07/29 at 2:13 PM

      Who did you want?


      • Posted by Arisrules on 2011/07/29 at 2:35 PM

        As a replacement for Bradley?

        My thought was simple. I thought Bradley’s teams punched above his weight in his four years. I think he did a good job. If Gooch and Davies weren’t injured (or not at full strength), we would have made it to the quarters at least, probably semis of the WC.

        Having said that, from waht I’ve seen, it is really tough for a national team coach to continue for a new cycle. This is especially true when you have to rebuild a team, as the US has to do right now.

        What type of coach would I have liked to have seen? I don’t know what the US budget is, but I felt that Gulati should have hired somebody, who could have also have headed up our youth programs, and really re-positioned the program.

        A Rafa Benitez actually comes to mind, as he has had experience with the youth teams at Real Madrid for a while, and tried to institute several programs. But for me it is somebody, who is very smart tactically, but has experience with youth development. That would have been my criteria.

        Klinsmann fails both. Of course Reyna is heading up the youth side, so one of my criteria is irrelevant. But Klinsmann very clearly is not good tactically, so we now have to go after an expensive and smart assistant coach to make up for this obvious shortcoming.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/07/29 at 7:33 PM

          I think the way many people look at Bradley is very symptomatic of the problems faced with much of the youth development and football culture here: people tend to look at the over all results at a ‘total level’ too much. Sure they are very important, but sometimes when you drill down and look at performances, it gives you a better idea of what has really happened, and whether those results were skill or luck. I know that many people are going to say that they don’t give a shit [about what happened, it’s all about results], but surely you should when you’re appraising a manager’s performance, no?

          People keep referencing the 2009 Confederations’ Cup and the Word Cup last summer. On the face of it, you would think that his results were pretty impressive; got to the final in one, and the Last 16 in the other – both of which IMHO, I might add, that most people would have taken pre-tournament. But it is not until you start digging a little deeper, and start analysing that the real picture emerges.

          In the Confederations’ Cup, the USA got spanked 3-1 by Italy and then 3-0 by Brazil. In most tournaments, that would signal a 1st round exit. But to the USA’s credit, they beat Egypt 3-0 in their final game and had to rely on Brazil beating Italy by the same score line to advance, not even by goal difference, but goals scored. In the SF against Spain, which was an monumental effort, you scored two very very fortunate goals from two horrible personal errors – but they all count – and were lucky that Spain did not have their shooting boots on, because we all know that they created enough good chances that they should have done much better with. But they didn’t and Howard had a great game. So, the question is: can Bradley take credit for this as his skill, or is this blatant good fortune labelled as luck?

          In the World Cup, people talk about topping Group C. Yes the USA did and it was a great achievement at a ‘total level’ , but drill down, and you’ll see that they were seconds from not progressing to the 2nd stage at all – how can people talk about this as a mind blowing success? Again, the USA had a massive slice of luck through Green’s goalkeeping gaffe, which came against the run of play I might add. Was the 1-1 draw down to Bradley game plan or England’s inability to take advantage of their superiority? And Donovan’s injury-time winner as the USA faced exit? Again, the USA topped the group by goals scored.

          It seems like Bradley’s luck finally eroded at the Gold Cup and he got exposed as the limited manager that I strongly believe he is. However, I do concede that the lack of depth in the player pool will also hinder Klinsmann – it will be interesting to see what he does, and how he does it with a similar set of players available [assuming nobody retires immediately].


          • Posted by dth on 2011/07/29 at 7:39 PM

            But if you drill down beyond the scorelines in the Confederations Cup, they look a bit flukey: the U.S. carried play through the first half and took a deserved lead; it wasn’t until the introduction of Rossi that Italy began to get on the front foot. The U.S. suffered two red cards in the first two games, which is highly anomalous. The U.S. was not that bad.

            To me, if you compare Bradley Term I to, say, Arena Term I, Bradley looks dramatically less lucky. I’d say his luck, overall, was about neutral. Arena, on the other hand, owes his national team reputation to one of the more remarkable (and unremarked upon) runs of luck I’ve seen.


            • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/07/29 at 8:01 PM

              Red cards? These things happen a lot in the game, it’s not that usual anymore.
              I watched the games and did think where was the contingency for that? Surely, the team must have worked on shape and formation in the event of somebody getting sent off, right? Right?

            • Posted by dth on 2011/07/29 at 8:12 PM

              Sure. One red card. Two red cards in a group stage, though? How many teams suffer that? I’lll answer my own question and look at the 2009 CC and 2010 WC. In the 2010 WC, Algeria suffered two red cards in the group stage–but that’s because one Algerian became an idiot during the 93′ against the U.S. when it didn’t matter. Australia also did. That’s it. So one other team had to suffer the loss of two red carded players for significant minutes in the group stage out of 40. That’s a 1 in 20 chance (well, assuming that’s an accurate sample size, etc.). I think it’s fair to say it was unlucky. The most unlucky thing in the world? No, not really. If I were Bradley, I’d complain more about the injuries.

          • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/07/29 at 9:39 PM

            OK, but you can’t just consider the good luck and ignore the bad. How hard is it to top a group while having two legitimate goals taken away? If you take away Dempsey’s goal against England, but add Edu’s and Dempsey’s against Algeria, we go through with six points – albeit in second place – without even needing Donovan’s stoppage time goal. Which is probably how it should have been, based on quality of play and chances created. We deserved to beat both Slovenia and Algeria, and to have lost to England.


      • Posted by Soccernst on 2011/07/29 at 2:42 PM

        Alexi Lalas!


    • Posted by Gino on 2011/07/29 at 3:58 PM

      I gotta get in on this. What exactly is so disastrous about third place in the Bundesliga? Bayern were doing much worse this past season before closing ground and finishing…third!

      Maybe the Nats could use a different type of motivator. How many times did the US start out flat, fall behind early then need a late rally to tie or win? Maybe a pat on / kick in the butt could produce more early leads instead of deficits.

      I can’t remember which link to an article I read on this website a few weeks ago, but it explained how Gulati is pretty much a spokesperson for a consortium of 14(?) who make the decisions in the USSF. In other words, Sunil is just one voice of many who determine the course of US soccer. They make a group decision then hand Gulati the microphone.

      I don’t disagree with all your points but I felt compelled to pipe in about these.


      • Posted by sfshwebb on 2011/07/29 at 4:18 PM

        Bayern not winning the league is the equivalent of the Yankees not getting in the playoffs. They are the most prestigious and wealthiest club in the bundesliga. Third is quite an accomplishment, but not when you won it the previous year and are just about always pre-season favorites to win it. Bayern went from being a force in Europe, winners of their domestic league (and possibly their domestic up) to being out of the title race by March (the new manager got them to third place, not Klinsmann), losing in the quarters of their domestic cup competition and the champions league under Klinsmanns watch. Where as those results might be fine for some clubs, it was a big step down for Bayern.


        • Posted by Gino on 2011/07/29 at 10:28 PM

          I get the whole Bayern expect to finish on top every year thing. They’ve topped their table six of the past ten years. HOWEVER, Bayern were third, three points from 1st place with only five games left in the season when Klinsmann was replaced in late April of 2009. That doesn’t strike me as out of the title race (BTW, they actually finished second that season). What I’m getting at is that even Felix Magath was dumped after winning two titles in Munich. That Klinsmann couldn’t match Bayern’s unreasonable expectations shouldn’t deem him a failure. Have we become as cynical as the rest of the football world that second or third place deserves a tar and feathering, followed by a sacking?

          I am not a Klinsmann romantacist by any means. I’ve never called for his hiring, not before Bradley’s appointment nor anytime since. Personally, I’m not sure how much of an impact he can have without an overhaul in youth development. Maybe Reyna can make a difference there. I just can’t stomach reading post after post from USA followers dooming JK to failure before he even draws up his first lineup. At least his credentials are better than Bradley’s when he took over almost five years ago. It’s really not such a bad starting point.


          • Posted by LarryMontanez on 2011/07/30 at 7:43 AM

            A nice balanced retort, Gino. I’m also not a Klinsmann groupie, but i understand that as more and more of our players are playing all over the world, it’s not bad to have a name that is recognized all over the world. It might get some of our ‘stars’ reason to focus a little more during a Nats practice than they might with someone, as knowledgeable as Bradley might have been, that is more ‘famous’ than they are. Lets at least be optimistic to start, and we can make our judgements after a the first few games.


      • Posted by Arisrules on 2011/07/29 at 4:47 PM

        I disagree completely. It was not only that they finished third, but they won it all the year before, and spent heavily in the off-season. He lost both the lockerroom as well as the board. He couldn’t even finish a single season. I’m sorry, that’s a complete failure on his part. He hasn’t seriously worked since (even in Toronto, Winter has instilled the philosophy there, and is looking for players who fit into those roles, wtf is Klinsmann actually doing?).

        Combine that with the reality that he is more about “soccer philosophy,” than any actual hard work, this could end up being disastrous.

        At the same time, in the near term there is only so much a coach can do. Our player pool is just really shallow. The best players are all peaking or have peaked. We’re in for a rough period of time for 4 years or so. The question that Gulati needed to have asked himself is if Klinsmann is the right guy to lead us through this, and create a coherent squad for the future. I have no clue if this question was ever asked. Going by the way the coach selection process has gone, it is abundantly clear to me that it wasn’t, and there wasn’t any real thought given to the process. Gulati has a raging boner for Klinsmann, and Bradley was always expected to succeed Arena. He coudln’t get Klinsmann, so he went with Bradley…TWICE.


        • Posted by Martin on 2011/07/29 at 5:34 PM

          Actually, after the 2006 World Cup it is said that Gulati had Donadoni all wrapped to replace Arena and then Italy called Roberto up ( only to fire him not that much later).

          Unless you are an American,the USMNT job is not as desirable as you think.


          • Posted by Arisrules on 2011/07/29 at 5:37 PM

            Is that true? I hadn’t heard that before. I know of Gulati’s attraction to Klinsmann, because of his CA ties. That would have been interesting.

            But I agree, the US job is underpaid and just not that sexy. We throw out candidates names, but it is unlikely many of them will come, just because we don’t pay that well compared to european teams and national teams.


        • Posted by Gino on 2011/07/29 at 10:41 PM

          See my post above. Agree about the current shallow player pool though. Fortunately we still have almost two years to develop some fresh blood. Cherundolo, Bocanegra, et al have served us well but won’t be around for the next Hex.


  25. Posted by JW on 2011/07/29 at 3:08 PM

    I think JK learned something at Bayern, that he’s a manager and not a coach. He has a vision for how fußball should be played and seeks the personnel to implement it. I think his vision for soccer is more dynamic, and we can expect to see more flexibility in player positioning and position switching. Whether our players will perform in it is yet to be seen, but I suspect that Donovan, Dempsey, and maybe Bedoya will relish running to space as opposed to occupying areas. That doesn’t mean we will win, but should mean a different offensive mentality and less pressure on Jozy.


  26. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/07/29 at 4:12 PM

    Will Klinsmann be in Rio on Saturday night?


  27. Posted by John on 2011/07/29 at 4:17 PM

    In the 11 seasons between 2001 and 2011

    Bayern has finished 1st 6 times and 2nd twice. So 8 out of 11 seasons in 1st or 2nd

    The year that Klinsmann was coach was the worst finish in 11 seasons. 4th. They also missed out on Champions League qualifications which cost them an estimated 50 million Euros. They were knocked out of the DFB cup as well.

    The next year they finished 1st in the league, and won the cup, made it back into the champions league, which they finished in the quarter finals the season after.

    2006 – 2007 was also the lowest win total and highest loss total of the 11 seasons for Bayern. So let us hope that he learned something from that adventure.


    • Posted by John on 2011/07/29 at 4:24 PM

      I’m an idiot and reading duplicate technical whitepapers all day have fried my brain, ignore the above (or mods delete it) and carry on.


  28. Posted by Gregorio on 2011/07/29 at 4:50 PM

    Watch the return of ricardo clark at CB!! He’s tan, he’s rested. he’s ready!


  29. Posted by obxfly on 2011/07/29 at 5:01 PM

    Anyone know what his responsibilities are going to be? Player development? Hiring U20 coach?


  30. Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/07/29 at 5:57 PM

    I’ll be interested in seeing if Klinsy straight up drops fringe players like bornstein/klejstan from the recurring 23 and if he’ll start dempsey in the hole up top consistently. This definitely liberates our player pool AND starting xi


  31. Posted by Josh on 2011/07/29 at 6:02 PM

    Saw Panama group stage, semis, and final up close. Can’t say the US were impressive save the early finishing in the final. Also the final was closer than many pundits & fans described. Could’ve easily been 3-3 on Dempsey’s volley, if so who knows what happens.

    As a true skeptic about how much difference any manager can make anywhere, I must say I am thrilled about the change. Sweats did a good job all things considered. But I’d rather we strive for greatness and fail (the sense I have with JK), than just compete well and surprise now and then (sense I had with BB).

    One got the sense we’d never make a great leap forward under Bradley, and that among other reasons meant it was time for change. I’m just very keen to see what JK will do for US football writ large, from the youth level to the NT. I think we may see some youth get served on the NT, and that above all is what we need.


  32. Posted by dth on 2011/07/29 at 6:42 PM

    OK, one last contrarian thought and I’ll be done. A lot of people seem to believe Bayern is a poorly-run organization, and that therefore Klinsmann’s poor performance there doesn’t reflect so badly on him. Let’s leave aside the latter part–I mean, two good things sometimes don’t go great together–and focus on the former. It seems to me Bayern can claim two very rare things:
    1) They win a lot.
    2) They make a profit.

    How many other big-time football clubs can claim, right now, both of these things simultaneously? I won’t swear to it, but I believe the answer is zero. Is Bayern really that poorly run?


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/07/29 at 7:52 PM

      Doesn’t hurt the P+L when you get a public subsidy to build a brand new stadium, eh?


      • Posted by dth on 2011/07/29 at 8:02 PM

        True. Then again, it seems like most of the big clubs get public subsidies of one sort or another and still have awful balance sheets.


  33. Posted by scipio on 2011/07/29 at 7:00 PM

    Does anyone know exactly how much of a role Klinny will have beyond coaching duties? None of the press releases I’ve seen so far have touched on that, so I’ll be pretty interested to read TSG’s take on it. Because really, this is where the upside (if any) will be.

    The only thing that get’s me excited about this signing is that Klinsmann seemed to have a pretty grand vision for youth development in this country. The academy systems have started trending in the right direction under Reyna, as many of you have mentioned. But one of the other big problems for the US is how much potential and talent we miss. I think that the recent signings by Liverpool of young Americans demonstrate how ineffective our organization is at locating talent playing in low-key leagues across the country. We shouldn’t rely on the college system to propel players to the MLS, much less abroad to more talented leagues.

    Additionally, I would love to see the US take a more proactive approach to scouting and development of talent at a young age. Maybe set up inner-city scouting camps for young kids where evaluators look for those with athleticism and coordination, even if they don’t have a history with soccer. Introducing a new population of potential players to soccer at a young age, and then building skill through practice and training at the academies would have enormous long term benefits. We have 400 million people, decent nutrition, and arguably the best all-around athletes in the world. This is just an opinion, but I feel that a bottom up approach that builds the talent of the youth player pool will eventually make the MLS more competitive and therefore more popular. It’s more tedious, but importing old/mediocre foreign players hasn’t had a significant impact so far.

    Admittedly this is a very vague and general idea, and so many other variables are alsoin play. But on the whole, I want our organization to have a vision or long-term strategy with goals like this in mind. Not just thinking about winning the next friendly or world cup, but putting things into motion that would gradually increase the skill and numbers of Americans playing soccer, such that the popularity and appeal of the local game will resonate with and grow the American soccer fan base. It’s a mutual cycle: as the players get better and local soccer gets more respectable, the fan base will get larger, and that attention can intern generate more revenue and youth interest to improve the player pool


    • Posted by Eric on 2011/07/29 at 7:10 PM

      Just a thought, I fail to see how Liverpool’s signing of a few US players indicates just how poor our country is at locating talent. I’m not saying that we’re great at it, far from it, but these kids that Liverpool has signed are all US youth internationals (One even the team captain) so it’s not like Liverpool found these kids playing in the streets of a US city and pulled them from obsucrity. I just think that Liverpool’s signings are a pool example to use in order to prove a point like that.


    • Posted by Martin on 2011/07/31 at 2:45 PM

      “But one of the other big problems for the US is how much potential and talent we miss. I think that the recent signings by Liverpool of young Americans demonstrate how ineffective our organization is at locating talent playing in low-key leagues across the country. We shouldn’t rely on the college system to propel players to the MLS, much less abroad to more talented leagues.”

      Dear scipio africanus,

      Who do you mean by “we” and “our organization”?

      The USMNT is not a club team, it can’t sign and develop players. There is no “US UNITED”. That is up to the pro clubs be they MLS or EPL or whoever.

      MLS teams have only recently started to put real resources into their own academies. If Liverpool is signing young Ameicans then that is a good thing because it means they are spending the resoruces to scout over here and our young players will have a chance to develop in a competitive soccer environment.

      And if you are a US fan you don’t care whether they get snapped up by MLS or by a foreign team as long as they get the training they need.


  34. Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/07/30 at 6:33 AM

    I wonder if 12 months from now we feel differently about the aging talent of the team. Is the aging team a reality in the fact that we don’t have good younger players therefore justifying Bob’s constant inclusion of older fringe players (and in some case starters) or are we going to find out that players on the 2009 U20 team are better than we thought but weren’t being given a chance (Shea, Opara, Okugo, Garza, Bruin) with the USMNT. I know a lot of these guys are strong MLS players and will be curious to see if one or two of them can make the jump if give a chance.


    • Posted by dth on 2011/07/30 at 7:39 AM

      Bruin wasn’t on the u-20 team, and at any rate hasn’t been playing well since his DC United hat trick. Garza doesn’t have a team right now and is trying out for a second division Finland team, IIRC. Okugo is someone I like a lot but isn’t playing. Opara doesn’t play. Shea is the only one who’s playing with a high degree of productivity and given his poor first caps, you can’t necessarily have a high degree of confidence in his form translating.

      So, no, I don’t think Bradley was missing out on much young talent.


      • Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/07/30 at 8:37 AM

        US Soccer website lists Bruin as part of the U20 program so…

        Yes Bruin hasn’t been playing great but you can say the same for Agudelo.yet we look it him as worthy of a spot on the roster.

        Agree Shea looked horrible in his cap. Some of that I attribute to nerves and some of that goes to being in a rigid system and feeling like a defensive mistake is inexcusable. Mistakes and growth is what friendlies are for not Ws and Ls.

        One of the big issues I keep hearing about is the age of our team. We don’t have the next generation of talent coming through. Without Bradley holding on to some of his binkies I could see 5 players under 23 being regular contributors (Atlidore, Chandler, Adu, Agudelo, Shea) plus if we are looking at fringe players being bleed you could add (Gatt, Bruin, Brooks, Gayu, Teal, Wood, Mixx) to various rosters.


        • Posted by dth on 2011/07/30 at 10:00 AM

          Well, I suppose we should agree to disagree. I think Agudelo’s played much better than Bruin has this season to start with.

          While you may keep hearing that age is an issue, the 2011 Gold Cup squad was young than the 2010 World Cup squad, IIRC. And while there are a lot of young players who might plausibly become USMNT-type players, I think many of them aren’t there yet. (I would’ve taken Mix; Gatt needs more pro minutes; Brooks and Gyau haven’t played professional games; Teal has looked awful for SKC; Wood hasn’t played at all this season, strangely…so again, it’s not as if any of the young players you’re mentioning were making it obvious or even difficult for Bradley for the Gold Cup.)

          As to Adu…can we wait until he gets a club higher than the Turkish second division and plays for it before we start writing him into our plans? I’ve seen the assumption nearly everywhere and it’s the usual stuff with Adu of projecting him far ahead of where his modest achievements place him.


          • You don’t seem to think much of Adu. As I have become an avid reader of this site, I’ve notice over the last couple of months of your posts, that you almost always see the down side on him, or credit any positive play to another reason.

            Not ripping you, just making an observation. You may be right on the money. You obviously know a lot about the game. I just thought you may not realize your one-sided comments.

            Thanks for helping me understand the game in a much more indepth manner. That goes for all who post. I”ve learned a ton over the last year and a half.


            • Posted by dth on 2011/07/30 at 12:05 PM

              I wouldn’t say I’m negative on Adu–just skeptical. I contrast his situation to someone like Josh Gatt. Like Adu, Gatt played last year in a second division of a country with a modest first division (Gatt in Austria; Adu in Turkey). But Gatt got snapped up quickly–even more quickly than most observers thought–to a higher division, with Molde.

              Gatt’s situation is more typical of potentially highly successful players who happen to find themselves in a low level–they make it very obvious they’re in a level too low, and they are quickly moved out of that division. That makes sense: teams are so desperate to find bargains these days that they really search hard. Adu hasn’t seemed to have that kind of eagerness from interested teams. I can’t imagine it’s that expensive to get Adu. It’s really interest or lack thereof for Adu. Obviously, it’s early in the transfer window. But the fact that no one specifically seem to be interested in him, and no one seems highly motivated to get him, is not in my mind a positive indicator for his future.

              We’ll see, of course. Nothing’s written for sure. Nevertheless, it’s hard for me to agree with the consensus of a lot of people that he’s some sort of lock for the team in 2014, let alone an important player.

              (Did he look good in the Gold Cup? Suppose for the sake of argument he did. I’d argue that doesn’t necessarily indicate much–Adu played, what, 90 minutes total? That’s not a huge sample size. Moreover, most of those players are probably highly unfamiliar with Adu. As so many young players find out in all sports, it gets tougher when people start to understand your habits and your strengths and weaknesses. Look at Juan Agudelo: he started out the year absolutely dominant and then, in the middle of the year, began to get figured out a little bit. It’s only recently that he’s started to look good again–which, to be tangential, is a very good sign for his development.)

            • Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/07/31 at 2:13 PM

              Isn’t some of the anti-Adu related to what is a sizeable salary that he is still owed under his Benfica contract? I would say there are a number of teams that are salary constrained or don’t want to splurge on someone who isn’t going to get fans excited at the signing.

              dth… I agree that many of these players aren’t ready but I would rather give a spot to a young promising player who isn’t ready yet like Gatt rather than someone like Rogers (who I can’t see ever being a starter on the USMNT). Also if you look at the camp cupckae roster there were 4 or 5 guys that are not prospects and aren’t international level which in my mind really should never have gotten an invite.

  35. Posted by dth on 2011/07/30 at 12:29 PM

    by the by: we found out (part of) our qualifying draw.

    We’ll be facing Jamaica in Round Three (the round before the Hex), plus the winner of group E (you’d figure Guatemala) and Group F (you’d figure Haiti). Honduras is facing Cuba, plus the winner of Group C (you’d figure Panama) plus Group D (you’d figure Canada). That’s probably the most unpredictable group. Mexico has Costa Rica plus Group A (El Salvador) and Group B (T&T).

    I’ll guess a US-Mexico-Honduras-Jamaica-Panama-Costa Rica Hex.


    • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/07/30 at 12:52 PM

      Well that’s a relief. To be honest, if we had gotten Mexico’s draw, I’d be more than a tad nervous going into that group with Klinsi at the helm.

      And how ridiculous is it that Cuba gets a bye into the third round? They couldn’t have used the post Gold Cup rankings?


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/07/30 at 2:28 PM

        I generally take FIFA’s ranking table with a massive pinch of salt, but they’re so important in the UEFA region when it comes to qualifying for the WC [and Euros]. I hate to image the opponents England could face if we were ranked 30 [like the USA] and probably placed into Pot 3. Let’s just say it’d be trickier to navigate than going through CONCACAF. Just my honest opinion.

        Spain vs France looks a bit tasty. And politically, so does Croatia vs Serbia. England lucked out with their Pot 2 opponents – could have been much worse!


  36. Posted by Texas 1836 on 2011/07/30 at 12:38 PM

    dth, don’t you figure Adu’s contract situation was far different from Gatt’s?

    I’m assuming whatever club snapped up Gatt was doing so at a far cheaper rate than whoever would want to get Adu.

    For today, I’m positive on the Klinsmann move. I believe what US Soccer needs, more than anything else right now, is change. And he’ll bring it.

    It may end up looking nutty, but I feel certain what not making the move would’ve looked like, and it would’ve been miserable.

    I think Bob Bradley can feel quite proud of the job he did, and now–like almost every other national team manager, including those who actually win World Cups–step aside.

    Klinsmann may be the screwball his detractors would have us believe, but I feel confident he will invest heavily in our younger players, and I believe we need to be doing that right now, pretty much regardless of the results.

    It’s time to move forward. As others have pointed out, it’s not like world-class managers spanning the globe are beating down our door, begging to manage the US team.

    We needed a change, we made a change. The reality is Klinsmann will probably be better than his worst critics would suggest and worse than his greatest fans would.

    The bottom line for me is that US Soccer has sent the message throughout the organization, “We want to get better. We are not going to rest on what we’ve done.”

    And that is a good thing, even if we don’t see tangible results in support right away. We’re being ambitious. We’re trying to make moves to compete. That’s what I want to see from us.

    Stagnation is anathema.


    • Posted by dth on 2011/07/30 at 1:00 PM

      Adu’s currently paid more than Gatt, but in terms of transfer fees I can’t see Adu costing seven figures or even high six figures. Maybe I’m wrong; maybe Benfica is demanding an exorbitant amount of money for him. But given that Benfica’s been trying to chase him off for two years now, I doubt it.


      • Posted by Texas 1836 on 2011/07/30 at 3:45 PM

        Everything I saw always made it sound like that was Adu’s primary problem in finding work; that Benfica was asking the sun, moon and stars.

        At any rate, ultimately his worth will be borne out on the field one way or the other. I was certainly encouraged by his summer, regardless of where he plies his club trade.


      • Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/07/31 at 2:21 PM

        I thought I saw in ESPN magazine that Adu was making over $3 million per year making him the second highest paid American (ignoring Rossi, Subotic, etc).


  37. What’s going on with the upcoming game against Mexico? Seems like a short amount of time to prepare for a new coach, set up assistants, familarize yourself with the team, train, and put together a good opening performance, against who he certainly knows to be our rival+grudge match. It seems to me that’s an important statement win for him unless it’s just another B side contest that nobody cares about.


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