By IVES GALARCEP
One thing Jurgen Klinsmann has never been afraid of doing since becoming head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team is speaking his mind. He will praise players, and criticize them, and speak frankly about the state of American Soccer.
Klinsmann spoke his mind again recently in an interview with ESPN, stating that, in his opinion, American players are held back from success in Europe by a lack of belief rather than a lack of ability. A statement that surely turned some heads in the American soccer community.
“It needs to take the U.S. team, in a World Cup to go into at least a quarterfinal, if not a semifinal, to give more credibility to American players,” Klinsmann told ESPN. “But it’s also the American players, when they go to Europe, to prove it, that they become big players in Europe. So it’s also down to do they have the belief? They have the qualities, but do they have the belief?
“Because you go into a European top club and if you want to play in a top five, six teams in England or in Germany or in Italy, you have 15, 16, 17 national team players on the roster. So you have to kick somebody out. I think the American player still doesn’t have this last belief that they can kick somebody out. This is something that they have to build.”
In my latest Goal.com column, I took issue with Klinsmann’s comments, stating that he missed the mark with the notion that it is a lack of belief, and not ability, that has led to so few Americans playing in UEFA Champions League.
Give the column a read and let me know what you think of Klinsmann’s comments. Agree with him, or think his comments were off the mark?
Share your thoughts below.