POWERED BY

U.S. Men's National Team

Klinsmann discusses Gonzalez, John and defends USMNT roster selection process

JuergenKlinsmann (ISIPhotos.com)

By FRANCO PANIZO

FT. LAUDERDALE, FLA. – Following the news that Omar Gonzalez was open to considering playing for Mexico, U.S. men's national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann was again asked about his roster omissions following Thursday evening's practice session.

He answered them in the same manner that he did following Tuesday's practice, though he went in more detail.

"We follow all (players), whether it's George John or other cases in the MLS," said Klinsmann. "Absolutely we have them on our radar screen. On the other side, we kind of develop our way of ranking the positions and we rank it in terms of we have our established one, and we have the challenger and then we have the third and the fourth and the fifth one. Is Omar a part of that? Yes. But I can only call in 18-22 players for a game and I go with the ones that have spot No. 1 and 2 right now."

Asked if having dual-citizenship players out there who aren't officially cap-tied to the United States plays a role in his decision-making, Klinsmann answered by saying that it doesn't.

"We have to make sure that the quality that we want to keep is the best," said Klinsmann. If they have the quality, we call them in if the moment is there. It depends also on other situations like if you're missing somebody, there's an injury there, you move up in that ranking. It could go fast and it could take forever, but it doesn't really necessarily play a role for us."

When asked, Klinsmann also said that he has not spoken with either Gonzalez or John. He also further elaborated on if he feels pressure to summon players who are eligible for the United States and another country.

"This will always kind of be a question that we have to face," said Klinsmann. "When maybe during additional stuff in order to have them become our player, but it also comes along with the quality that we kind of see in them. It's really kind of a juggle and it's case by case that we have to talk through that.

"I mean we have a list of players – if you look down to the under-23, under-20 ranks, if you look around what we have in Europe, it is mind blowing. – and you get your hands around all these kids, that's what we're trying to do step by step to do. Claudio (Reyna) plays a driving force in this identification process. Yes, we want to make sure that we don't have a kid slipping through, like Giuseppe Rossi that decides to play somewhere else, we want to have that next player play for us.

"On the other hand, on the senior level I have to make sure that we maintain the highest quality and getalso  our games together, so it is a case by case scenario that we discuss in a group and then when we feel like maybe we have to do an extra jump, we will do that."

142 comments
  • Answer

    LOL @ including a hack like Zak Whitbread in this group. He is NOT better than any of those guys ahead of him.

    Like

  • Braden

    Just a thought, but maybe [insert your favorite player here] isn’t good enough to play on the national team yet? Worrying about cap-tying a player who maybe has potential, but hasn’t proven anything is ridiculous. Klinsy’s right, this country’s got A LOT of young talent, playing in more countries than ever before.

    You young whippersnappers may not remember, but 10 years ago the term “Yanks Abroad” seemed like an ironic joke.

    Like

  • Greg

    If Omar or G.John want to play for the U.S. and havent gotten called, they should put their heads down and work harder and just go about your business. If they’re gonna get their feelings hurt because they haven’t been contacted and are now trying to switch countires, let them go. If you’re gonna go to Mexico then do it, don’t play media games and say now you arent happy. Sounds like garbage and J.K. should run the show, not unhappy players. Just my opinion. Peace

    Like

  • ted

    There’s a kid from Furman who I think is the U-21 captain…Walker Zimmerman. True freshman, just 18 years old, but a man among boys for the Paladins, who I think are ranked #20 in the country or some such. I’ve seen him play a couple times (including a couple nights ago against Georgia Southern) and the kid is absolutely legit…6’3″, 185, blazing speed and plenty of technical ability. Doug Allison – who also produced guys like Clint Dempsey, Ricardo Clark, Jonathan Leathers, and Shea Salinas of the MLS – is not knowing for starting true freshmen but he’s starting this one. I’d look for this guy as early as the next World Cup cycle and I’d be shocked if he made it past 19 without jumping to the MLS Superdraft.

    Like

  • Detroit!

    Jeeeeez Dude, calm down. There are alternatives to rooting against your country. For instance:

    1) You could admit that two national team coaches, who have a lot more soccer chops than you do, might be smarter about this than you;

    2) You could hope to be proven wrong–life’s fun when it’s full of pleasant surprises;

    3) You could hope for a win, but mediocre play from the guys you dislike, which would prove you right and open opportunities for others.

    All those are reasonable options for a fan, but instead you just want to wear the warm furry Bedrobe of Self-Righteousness. Good luck to you and your life.

    Like

  • Greg

    how can he choose favorites and he’s only been manager for little over 2 months?!?! How can he even have favorties yet!?!? sheesh, everybody wanted J.K. (or someone other than BB) and ppl complain more than ever now. Just give it a chance ppl, quit finding fault with every roster call/ommission. Let the man run HIS team. so tired of the complainers and “experts” on here.

    Like

  • FulhamNick

    Im surprised no one brought this up but based on klinsy’s response that would mean robbie rodgers was ranked as at least our number 2 winger in the pool at some point?!?! Wow thats bad….

    Like

  • bottlcaps

    It makes little sense to bring in Omar Gomzales right now. The Galaxy are in the middle of a very tough campaign, with not only the Supporters Shield in sight, but a spot in the CCL elimination rounds. Removing Gonzales to play a USMNT game and exposing him to injury during a key part of the Galaxy season is troublesome. Besides caping Gomzales for Honduras, a friendly, would not tie him to the USMNT anyway. It’s a friendly and would not count.

    That being said, if Gonzales would have been given a fraction of the opportunities that Orozco, Castillo, Ream and Bornstein have been given, he would be in the mix for at least the number 2 spot at CD. (and yes, I put him above Goodson)

    Omar Gonzales is one of the main reasons why the Galaxy defense is the best in the MLS (Goalkeeping would be another)

    The plain fact is that playing for the USMNT as opposed to the MLS is a set up in intensity and complexity and not all adjust well. But given the fact that Gonzales has been given only a fraction of the opportunities that others have enjoyed, I am concerned that he may not be given an adequate opportunity in the near future.

    Klinsmann need games and time to implement a starting back line in time for the WCQ. Let’s hope the OG can get the opportunities he needs and deserves.

    Like

  • JL

    My opinion on John and Gonzalez is both lack speed and positioning to play at the national team level. Ream lacks both too, but for some reason seems to get a higher grade based on his + level passing. Then you have Orozco who really doesn’t seem to possess any traits you would want in a national team level defender. It really is quite confusing. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think any of the 4 mentioned should be in camp now, but of the 4, I would say the two chosen would be behind the two not. Just for me at least.

    Like

  • TomG

    Yes, but cap tying is one thing while building up a player’s loyalty, keeping him in the loop, and making him feel part of the team is another. A young player, especially, is going to start looking elsewhere if he feels the door is closed here. Instead of having Ream sit on the bench, why not have Omar come in. Put your arm around him, let him feel the camaraderie with the boys, let him know what he needs to work on. You don’t have to cap tie to make the guys feel like they are part of the future.

    Like

  • marco

    Good catch. I disagree strongly with some ratings. I prefer the honesty over guessing why Bornstein was in every camp.

    Like

  • matt

    Ted, do you go to Furman? (Or live in Greenville?) I actually graduated from there with Shea and Leathers. I’ve heard of Zimmerman and seen on the stats sheets that he’s been doing quite well. But my point still stands that while this kid may be our top defender in 2018, he’s not going to be a starter by 2014, so if the best we can do is George John and Omar Gonzalez this cycle, then by all means let’s hang on to them.

    Like

  • SD

    Rossi fell through the cracks because he didn’t play youth soccer in the US and at that time playing in the US youth system was the only way to be found by US Soccer, so we should be quiet about Rossi. Subotic, we have some reason to complain because he came through the ranks but he also had an opportunity to play with the senior team and turned it down.

    gonzo is trying to force the issue. he should’ve waited until january to make those comments had he not been selected then. these friendlies are short windows and to have to re-teach a brand new set of 22 guys is just not feasible.

    everyone complaining doesn’t make sense either. we should save our breath for the january roster announcement. the time spent there is equivalent to the time spent in the sept, oct and nov camps.

    Like

  • SteveD

    ahh, in order to do this you need support of that countries federation.

    I don’t see a place for him with Mexico. He doesn’t fit their style of play at all.

    I, like most I am sure, would like to see some guys brought in like Larentowicz.

    Lets also get one thing straight, the MLS is far, far from proving international skill.

    Like

  • Michael F.

    It seems you’re missing the point. I think autonomy is his whole point. He is concerned about the depth and just said it all plays into his decision making process.

    Like

  • Goalscorer24

    Everyone has their opinions on talent. The only problem I have with this is let’s say Omar Gonzalez is #3 on the depth chart. If you have not brought him into the camp and he switches to Mexico, then when your #1 or #2 at that spot gets hurt, you just lost your #3.

    Like

  • Nigel Aghaincourt

    Your opinion is absolutely contrary to any statement Klinsman has made in the past.

    Like

  • bryan

    Orozco is the fastest CB we have. He’s good in the air for his size and he’s a decent passer. Honestly, he probably has the best traits. The problem is, he was absent from the program ever since the Olympics. He’s had to start all over. I think Orozco has done well, not amazing, but solid.

    Like

  • bryan

    WE CAN’T CAP TIE ANYONE IN A FRIENDLY!!!! Jesus mother of god. People are acting like these friendlies will cap tie these players…did everyone already forget the whole Chandler thing?! He’s played for us, but still not cap tied. So until we have a meaningful game, it WON’T MATTER.

    Like

  • abc

    Not just injuries, Bocanegra, Onyewu, Goodson and even Orozco Fiscal are not exactly young.

    Like

  • bryan

    dude, he’s battling Boca, Gooch and Goodson. All of whom are better than Orozco, Ream, John or OG. My guess is that the order is:

    #1 – Boca/Goodson
    #2 – Gooch/Orozco
    #3 – Ream
    #5 – John/OG

    Like

  • bryan

    exactly! people are acting like these games cap tie. people need to slow their roll and quick having knee-jerk reactions.

    and like Powderhorn said, at least he is providing us a reason. he doesn’t HAVE to do that.

    Like

  • bryan

    Larentowicz should NOT be here. he is not better than the other players we have in his position. Adu, Benny or Sasha should be there instead. Larentowicz call up is a joke. I like JK, but it’s a TERRIBLE call.

    Like

  • bryan

    it’s just you. Orozco has been solid and the majority of reports agree. he is quick, something we don’t have at CB, can pass well, has good positioning and is good enough in the air. pair him next to a goodson or gooch, and it’s a good combo. he’s done well.

    Like

  • bryan

    that’s your opinion. you act like John and OG are MILES better than Orozco or Ream. people are acting like these guys are Vidic or something. RELAX!

    Like

  • bryan

    they probably aren’t! they are all probably rated just about the same, but ream and orozco are better are certain things that JK needs for the system he wants. it’s not like he is saying John and OG suck.

    Like

  • bryan

    clearly he learned the truth quick though. haha same with castillo. and he’ll learn the same about Jeff L.

    Like

  • Centralscrutinizer

    Ream may (and I’m not even sure about this) have better skill. But he’s not better. These guys aren’t fact sheets, they have a body of work at this point. Gonzalez’s body of work is more impressive. He’s two years younger and he’s improving every year.

    Like

  • boosted335

    Your only partially right..Ream had a fantastic year FOR A ROOKIE.
    Hes making the same mistakes now as he did last year…the difference is people stopped giving him a pass because it was his first year. The problem with Ream is he ISNT improving his consistency or play.

    Like

  • Dennis

    I could not disagree more about Klinsmann’s impact. At least about his impact on the field rather than with the press. He talks about positive attacking, he talks a lot more than Bradley in general, but he has done precious little to change anything.

    He played Torres in the middle more than Bradley did, but it certainly did not result in any more goals for the US. His central midfielders of choice seem to be Beckerman, Edu, Bradley and Torres. None of those are used at their clubs as attacking midfielders. By all accounts he will start 2 or 3 defensive midfielders and “encourage” them to attack.

    I fail to see that he has done anything Bradley had not already done other than add Williams to the roster. He has fewer latin players on this roster than Bradley did for most of his rosters, so I am not sure where all the “latin style soccer” he talks about is going to come from.

    Like

  • Dennis

    Klinsmann is no idiot. Bradley called in over 100 different players in 2010. How many more do you think are out there? Klinsmann is simply looking at the list Bradley gave him (and added Williams and Hamid).

    The biggest argument I have is with the press who seemed to think that because Klinsmann talked to them and used words like “attacking” “possession” and “attractive”, the players available to the US would magically be transformed Inesta, or Messi, etc.

    Soccer is a player’s game, not a coach’s game. If you change the coach but not the players, not much will change, certainly not much in less than the time it requires for players to acquire new skills. (The impact of one player. Torres, does not make that big a change, he is not really good enough to carry the team, like a Maradonna might.)

    Like

  • Dennis

    Rossi did not “fall through the cracks’ USSoccer knew about him when he was young, but he (and perhaps more importantly his father) insisted from early on that he would play for Italy period end of story. If Italy had not come calling, perhaps Rossi would have changed their position, but it was their preference from the very beginning.

    Like

  • justin

    well you read it wrong apparently. he actually named 4 players being: FISCAL OROZCO….a 29 year old (GOODSON- who is actually now 30)….and TWO guys in their 30s (BOCA AND GOOCH). he wasnt saying fiscal was 29. read it before you weep.

    Like

  • proxy

    I hope you fail as well, in everything you do, just because I disagree with your opinion….

    absurd, ain’t it?

    Like

  • kissel6

    Yeah, that makes sense. I don’t see Orozco as much more than a physical presence. Ream can be decent on the ball, a fair linking defender, and make some great emergency-defensive plays, but I keep seeing him getting burnt by quality attacking players and making that “critical” mistake, whether it’s a blown assignment or that horrible pass that has led to a goal/loss. John and Gonzalez are good physically and in the air, especially Omar. I think with a little more seasoning, OG has a place similar to a young Gooch.

    Like

Add your comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More from SBI Soccer