U.S. Men's National Team

Klinsmann discusses win vs. Antigua & Barbuda

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

    • Datrufth

      The problem is his player selection

      Not once did I see anybody in the midfield take on an opponent while in possession.. For the love of god, make a move, this will create more opportunities for something to happen.

      We need to stop with the slow obvious passing. Bring in players that can move with the ball at their feet.


      • Josh D

        Unfortunately, this was also a bigger problem under Bradley. Almost every single goal scored in the first half during that awful streak at the World Cup happened because none of the midfielders or defenders stepped up.

        Stepping up takes some bravery and a system that allows a defender to do that, knowing someone around him is covering him if the attacker gets by him. That’s the high pressure we’ve seen encouraged under Klinsi.

        I would love someone to ask him the simple question: Why aren’t you bringing anyone in? Is having two keepers on the bench really helping when we have fringe players who can actually make a difference?


  • squirt-lover

    JK’s swagger is now gone. He realizes internally that he is not doing a good job. He looks worried, and he should be.


    • Ramsizzler

      If a DM was injured and Klinsi couldn’t trot out 3+ defensive midfielders for any of these games, why do I have a feeling he would have called in reinforcements?


    • solles

      Straight outta your hopeful imagination bud, Klinsmann didnt look any different in this interview than any other to me.


    • Kosh

      Me? I saw a coach that was very disappointed in his team’s performance. But I get it, JK is a rorschach test around these parts. So, yeah.


    • biff

      agree with you, squirt-lover, the swagger is gone and he does look worried, can see it on his face and hear it in his voice. A good sign, I think, will help him make better decisions.


  • Amru

    If we have another flat performance vs Guatemala then I definatley think klinsmann takes the hot seat. It is inexcusable for us to continue playing this way and at some point you have to point to the manager


    • mike

      if we have another flat performance against Guatemala we will not qualify for the hex and it will not matter.


      • Modibo

        A tie will get us through, and a tie will get Guatemala through. The only reason to really fight for either team is to prove something to the media and to fans. But a flat 0-0 draw would suit both teams just fine.


  • smits

    I said this to people around me while watching the game: “IF they somehow lose out on a World Cup spot every-single-person in the U.S. Soccer Federation should get fired, Gulati down to the ball boys.” Wondering what others think.


      • Sticky

        The ball boys are probably most at fault. they are in charge of the equipment, and we have to assume with Klinsi’s happy-go-lucky attitude that he has allowed them to take time off, to not properly inflate the practice balls, to leave them in the rain, etc. there is no choice, if we are serious about success, other than sending them out on their ears. and if they talk back and simper about “oh, I’m only 11 years old, and I’m not even paid, yadda yadda yadda,” then US Soccer will have to resort to corporal punishment. I think if we can get their parents to sign waivers, like they do for some school systems, that Sunil can personally cane them. Of course, Sunil will be out, so it will be his successor who will be doing the caning (wouldn’t Bob Bradley be good at that?), but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

        This could even be a fundraising effort for US Soccer – fans could pay a small fee to design the cane that will be used in punishing the ballboys. Imagine the creativity that would go into that! And the winning design could be sold online. They could even sell canes that were used for punishments, with signed photos of the actual ballboy who received the caning! You might even be able to pre-order the cane BEFORE the caning was administered, and specify things like what kind of stain to use on the cane, how the actual strokes would be administered, and what should be shouted at the ballboy during the punishment – custom videos would be a must.


    • Benjamin C.

      It would be an unmitigated disaster for U.S. soccer if they were eliminated this early in the World Cup qualifying process. What little coverage American soccer gets by the U.S. media would dry up completely. Can you even picture the thought of not hearing the U.S. national team and the World Cup discussed together from now to the beginning of the next cycle, years down the road? And we were literally a couple of minutes from needing a win against a team that would bunker for 90 minutes, without two of our most talented offensive players, no pure left back on the roster, and a stubborn coach with no consistent strategy or plan. It is maddening to think of how tenuous of a situation the team was in at the 90 minute mark in Antigua; we are not out of the woods yet, but thankfully things are not as dire as they could have been, and it was really close to being panic time, considering Jamaica has Antigua in Kingston.


    • Roy

      That’s just plain stupid. So a secretary should get fired because his/her employer makes mistakes? Plus, you used hyphens incorrectly.


    • jon

      Certainly klinsman gets canned, but otherwise I don’t agree with wholesale turnover. Firing everyone doesn’t magically give us a world class player pool, and any coach, with our players, always faces a legit risk of slipping up in a few away concacaf games, and not qualifiying.

      I think bradley got our guys to punch above their weight by motivating and inspiring them to play with incredible heart (albeit, maybe he stopped getting through after the world cup). Never understood the criticism of him at the time. Mourino or Ferguson wouldn’t transform this team overnght, and I’d opt for continuity in the US Soccer federation, rather than a lot of turnover – even if we don’t qualify.


  • PetedeLA

    I don’t get why SBI hasn’t really talked about Klinsmann’s use of the diamond.

    It has CERTAINLY been his most successful formation, but it gets no mention.

    I’m happy to see a bit of “Mea Culpa” on Klinsmann’s face.

    It’s slowly starting to register that a bunch of smiles will not do the trick. But this is what happens when you come from a soccer playing country and you coach an American football/basketball/baseball playing country.

    I hope we can learn from this match and make a huge leap forward.

    Go USA!!!


  • Sarasota

    I think Klinsmann is an exceptional “big picture” overseer type, and he has already demonstrated that with some of his sweeping, progressive programatic changes. I don’t think he has the right #2 in Martin Vasquez. Has he ever been successful as a head coach? He is certainly no Jogi Low! Maybe Juergen’s ideal future is as US Technical Director. I still like him better than Bradley though. We have to remember we won away games in Italy and Mexico under Juergen. Pretty impressive. Before we all commit suicide, let’s see how the team responds on Tuesday night.
    Vamos Corona!


    • Dillon

      We won non-competitive friendlies in Italy and Mexico. I would rather we dominate the teams we should in competitions and lose every single friendly.


    • golfstrom

      When Vazquez was hired I remember reading an article saying it was a _very_ bad sign. I think it was on si.com so maybe it was marcotti or Wahl. Anyway what you say is true. I don’t think klinsmann has any idea what he’s doing as far as tactics or coaching for game day.


  • Freegle

    I wonder how Gulati feels about this? He pined over, chased, begged and pleaded with Klinsmann for several years. People were disgusted with his hiring (and extending) Bradley because of the way he mangled it all. Now, he has “his guy” at the helm and it may be going even worse. Klinsmann is in the process of failing (apparently) as we speak but Gulati has failed multiple times over several years and is should also share the blame of this failure. When does he get shoved out the door?


    • GW

      Hiring and firing the USMNT manager requires a majority consensus from the 15 voters who run the USSF.

      Hiring or firing JK was/is not Sunil’s call to make. He is just one of 15 voters.


      • Freegle

        That’s a little naive/simplistic. Sunil is the public face of those 15 voters and he was the person that spearheaded the courtship and the ultimately convinced people to concede all of the things that Klinsmann wanted. He is without doubt the captain of the ship. And his vessel is taking on water.


  • Iggy

    Does anyone know who the list of players on standby even are? I’ve heard Omar and brand evans, wondo but that’s it. I dont understand why JK wouldnt call one or two guys in, just to make the training sessions more competitive. They can’t even play 11 v 11 in training because so many are out.


  • Didoson

    The curse of the internet: everyone is an (anonymous) expert. Not to mention that it empowers the trolls. Try rooting for the boys instead of rooting for JK to fail. My personal view is that Mr. Bradley had reached the limit of what he could do with the team, and that someone else was needed. Be patient and look at the overall picture:

    Will we advance?
    Are new players being developed?
    Does the U.S. play better or more professional soccer than before?

    The commenters here are so quick to dismiss players forever based on one performance, or to crown then after one good one. Folks, it’s not that easy or someone would be paying for your soccer advice . . .


  • tremendous

    If I am not mistaken, here is the math if we had lost, prior to learning the Guatemala/Jamaica game

    Guatemala 7 points +2 GD
    USA 7 points +1 GD
    Jamaica 7 points +1 GD


    So, let’s say Guatemala beats Jamaica by one goal. Not an impossible scenario by any stretch (it just happened).

    That would mean the standings would look like this:

    Guatemala 10 points at +3
    USA 7 points at +1
    Jamaica 7 points at 0


    So we go out there and play our hearts out and beat Guatemala in KC, but we hit the woodwork a few times and the little fish sneaks one and we only win by 1. But we win. We get the three points vs. Guatemala. Now let’s also say that A&B are so worn out from their high of beating us that they phone it in against Jamaica at the Office. And Jamaica wins by three. Ladies and gentlemen, we beat Guatemala but we don’t make the Hex. Even if Jamaica only wins by two there’s a pretty good chance it comes down to drawing straws to advance.


    So here is my concern. In the first half A&B were defending corners with 8 field players. We were attacking with 7. Fine. But then, in the second half, specifically with the game tied and 5 minutes to play, A&B is defending corners with only 7… But we keep sending 7. And from that corner A&B launches a counter attack that could have (should have) resulted in a goal. Blackstock was totally unmarked at Howard’s far post. So. It seems to me that ours was a team that had not prepared for or thought through the potential of such a scenario (tied late in the game). It certainly seems to me that a throw caution to the wind, attack-with-all-possible-numbers mentality should NOT have been the approach to close out this game. Not at all. Because a tie would have kept us in the driver’s seat, points wise, going into the final game. What bothers me about this is it speaks to Klinsmann’s overall approach to coaching, that it is less about tactics, or player selection or even skillsets, and more about “attitude” “belief” and “suffering”. It is somehow less about preparing your team tactically and more about preparing them mentally. Hey coach! You know how we’ve gotten by the last 20 years? Our mentality! Ask Jay DeMerit about it, that is, if you ever call him in. Dempsey, Mathis, Ramos, McBride, hell, Frankie Hejduk were beating teams with their mentality long before you started spreading your pop psychology around US Soccer like so much manure.

    Yes, sometimes coaching is about mental preparation… Other times it’s just preparation!!! X’s and O’s. If this, than that. If this happens, we do this.

    Well I shouldn’t complain. At least he was able to succeed where Bradley failed. It’s great to have Chandler as a mainstay of the national team.


  • whoop-whoop

    Tuesday won’t be a walk over, but I honestly think we are going to be fine. That said, in looking at what troubles me about this team, I can’t help but think back to the BB tenure, when it seemed most every game we came out flat, fell behind early or were content to play inferior opponents even for long stretches. There rarely seemed to be a sense of urgency, or aggression…. a hunger to go at an opponent or any life to their game it seemed, until their backs were against the wall. In what still is one of the biggest talking points of that cycle, the Confed Cup, it was the same story. The US was on the brink of elimination before they finally started to play freely.

    The core and leadership of our team is virtually the same now as it was then, and I see the same tendency. I am absolutely certain Bradley urged them repeatedly to come out strong, to play with aggression… to not fall behind. I am sure Klinsman has addressed many of the things that frustrate us as fans watching the game, he talks repeatedly of the need to go at the other team. In the end, the manager can only point out errors, preach an approach, but he can’t play. At some point, it comes down to the responsibility of and the nature of the players. Once they are aware… it is up to them to nut up and change!. I think a big part of why our team plays methodically… tight, nervous, timid… is fear of failure. I think this is why they never seem to open up, attack and play the game with a sense of freedom until they reach the critical point where there is nothing to lose in letting it all hang out. Only problem is, sometimes it’s too late or when you go to flip that switch… nothing happens. Well… I hope an appreciation for their situation and the sense of urgency is there come the opening whistle on Tuesday and that come the Hex, it doesn’t take the desperation of being on the brink to bring out the ability to play an assertive, confident free game. Cheers.


  • David

    You all need to relax. It would take a major catastrophe for us not to qualify for the hex. I don’t even see Jamaica winning by more than 3 goals at home. I do agree that he does not have the right number 2. But who could he realistically bring in? I also do think that Klinsmann would be a great option for technical director, as someone previously mentioned. I don’t think it will be pretty but I do believe we will win on Tuesday. Unfortunately we simply don’t have the players for the type of style that Klinsmann preached, at least not at the senior level. I do think that some of the young guys like Mixx among other youth players should be brought in for the hex so we can start phasing them in. I think he previously mentioned that it would be a good idea to bring these guys in for the January camp, and I think this would be a very good idea. We then can(and this is what i personally hope happens) form a roster with the best of these youngsters with the best of the senior squad for the gold cup. I know it will be risky when it comes to qualifying with unproven players, but I really think(maybe more hope) that the gold cup can help with this. By the time 2014 comes around we could have our best players from the senior team trotting out with the best from our youth teams. I know this is unlikely, but at some point we are going to have to bring in the next crop, and I’m willing to do it sooner rather than later and live with the consequences.

    Final point: I do think it’s great that all you guys are getting pissed off and calling for our manager’s head. I may not agree with it, but it’s good to see fans care and be passionate about our national team.


  • TGA

    Foolishness all. JK’s problem in trying to implement his style of play is that we currently don’t have a bench that doesn’t include a big drop off in talent….our best first 11 is pretty good. but when was the last time that those 11 were on the field together….


  • ImaGoalMan

    Well, it is refreshing to see a coach relate the game experience, rather than give a stony gaze, use coachspeak, and move on (yes, I still liked coach bradley). If anything, the candor is refreshing from an informational standpoint, though it doesn’t assuage the qualification fears.


  • 2tone

    All I see is the fickleness of fans. After we won in Mexico fans were falling at Klinsmann feet. Now that Klinsmann and the team have struggled a bit, the fans are calling for his head. All I know is that Bruce Arena’s team needed a last macthday win in this round back in 2000, and Bob Bradley’s team was a huge rollercoaster not only from match day to match day, but during games as well. In the end the USMNT will get through to the Hex, and fans will simmer down.

    But I do think Vasquez was a bad hire.


  • uDaMan

    I think you guys are wrong in nothing one key aspect.

    This team’s players are just not as good as previous cycles. Sure there’s a Dempsey who can always score (even in the bleak WC 2006.) But the players who should be firing on all cylinders to take over for the Donovans, Dolos, Bocanegras, Goochs, Ching, well they didn’t really “arrive” as we had all wished.

    Who scored in Mex? Castillo. Is he even in the mix. Of course not. There’s an injured Holden, injured Donovan (the guy who was never injured has suddenly been unavailable for a handful of WCQs) that’s just the was the soccer ball bounces. It bounces to the corner post!

    The other players Beckerman, Torres, Cameron, Gordon, the German US Nats, Gomez, and tons of other players “could” get in form for the Hex. But don’t count on it. The other aspect is the other CONCACAF teams are “way” better. Be it because of MLS or not, this is a much serious federation thatn 2002 or 2006. The US team just streamed to the 2006 WC. But that said, if this team does make 2014′ Brazil. It could have more flexible / adaptable players for the WC run. But they might also fizzle.


  • Matt C in Tampa

    Pathetic display of gratitude by the US team. I, along with about 75 other fans, were at the game in AB..cheering though the rain and Tropical storm …seats far from the field.

    I know it’s a little thing but it was down -right pathetic that the players didn’t walk over to the fans and at least give “clap” in our general direction.

    compare that with the AB players who chatted it up with us back at the hotel bar. Friendly, complimentary… The AB gaffer was there too. Dude was crestfallen….


    • bryan

      that’s weird because i saw a picture of Dempsey over near some US supporters and he was clapping.


      • Matt C in Tampa

        Ahhh. There was a small group on the southside of the stadium, which b/c it was a cricket ground, put the actual field near the southside. We were on the North side which was pretty removed from the actual field. Maybe a feel a little better knowing the team recongized some fans…but we were a pretty large group that were a bit annoyed that the team didn’t bother to trot across the field.

        oh well.


      • bryan

        oh i see. the picture appears to be the group that had the massive Dempsey face cut-out from his reaction in the Jamaica game.


  • Skeeter

    This team doesn’t even have the talent in all positions it had in the past.. Why blame Klinsy.. If anything he’s making wine outta water with some of these line-ups


  • Mat

    Wow, listening to the comments we’re on the brink of elimination! Last I looked we’re in first place and need a draw at home to go through. Things could be worse, calm down people.

    Every world cup cycle it’s the same fan hysteria if we don’t win 4-0. When was the last time you haven’t seen the USA struggle and win close games in WCQ? Fact is, the USA never breezed through WCQ, aside from the one leading up to the 2006 WC in Germany, and we know how poorly we did there. So your play in WCQ doesn’t dictate how you do in the WC. If anything it’s well documented that the US has had it’s best WC – 2002 -after arguably one of it’s toughest WCQ campaigns. Who cares how you qualify, as long as you DO qualify.
    So for all the end of the world naysayers, wake up and smell the CONCACAF: the USA always struggles in away CONCACAF games, in turn leading to some tense moments and pressure for its home games, which the USA tends to win.
    So give Klinsy the benefit of the doubt, his job is first to get us to the WC. So far we’re on the right track so no need to panic.


    • Matt C in Tampa

      Well in Mat. Yeah, prior to 02 we had to beat Barbados on their island to get the Hex..as I recall.

      And here’s the cherry on your analysis. In retrospect b/c we got so deep in the tournament, the perception memory is that we played well. The facts are that we got lucky to get out of our group. After going up big vs. Portugual, the group started slipping away right in them middle of the Portugal game. We tied SK and played like crap against Poland and needed someone else to lose..forget whom. Then we got lucky to draw Mexico—a team we were quite familiar with. Then played well against Germany and its two keepers.

      To go far in WCQ and the WC you need talent and luck.


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