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Porter discusses USA’s Olympic qualifying elimination



  1. This is part of the problem. US mens soccer has no right to be arrogant about anything. People thought London was in the bag before any qualifier was played. People thought 2-0 against Brazil – Brazil! – was Confed Cup in the bag. People overlooked Ghana. Respect everyone you play, go one game at a time, and finish games. That’s the big lesson here.

    The other takeaway is this exposes how current US players were developed, which has nothing to do with Klinsmann being on the job for less than 1 year. It’s an indictment of the entire American system and our arrogance that just because we’re a big country we should be dominating international soccer by now. There is still much about US soccer thinking that is amateur and insinuating that Klinsmann or even Gulati are responsible for all of it is nonsense.

  2. I loved Porter coming in & still do. Its been argued all over since last night but it simply came down to the players. I worried about our defense coming in to qualifying because our back 4, goalkeepers, & defensive mids are no where near the level of our mids & strikers. He really didnt have better options. I would have perhaps argued Rich Balchan over Okugo but he picked the best of who he could have really. If you look at it we have great talent coming through but most of it was such good talent we couldnt even use them (Chandler, Altidore, Morales, Williams, Gatt). If we qualified we would have been quite good with the 3 overage & the others coming in & honestly thought this was a big chance to impress the world. We failed making it extremely depressing for me. Back to my original point though, some players on this squad seemed just too immature. Everybody is to a certain degree but the players I worried about from the beginning were also the players that seemed to have trouble mentally aswell. If you think about it, what can Porter do if his players just lack the drive. His coaching was obviously pretty good if he got them to come back 3-2. Im not letting him get off the hook completely but am simply dissapointed with the players along the backline, goalkeepers, & okugo/jared. They need to grow up. Its not all their faults though. They have only been in the pro game for a short while which seems to be a problem.

  3. I believe I quoted Klinsmann as the counterpoint to Ives, which Ives himself included in his column, so I’m not sure how I’m the one wrong, but whatever. As I said I am interested in hearing other points of view about this.

    You raise a great point in seeing the “operatic” quality of the loss (as a classically trained professional tenor I find that use of the word fun), and it was a gutting experience, but I still disagree about the idea that this was devastating. I’m not sure how many casual fans were tuned in to this–the fact that they’ll have nothing to tune into the Olympics later is a big opportunity lost-I could see how that would be devastating.

    But I still contend that more folks were watching us crash out against Ghana and Brazil, riding high on the euphoria of tremendous results and a surge of public interest. The loss to Gold Cup really knocked the wind out of the sails of the senior side (Tim Howard was weeping on the sideline for Pete’s sake) and set the stage for Bradley’s departure.

    This match was watched by a smaller group of hard core fans who will stand by this team through thick and who were already really edgy after the Canada debacle.

    Most frustrating match? Sure. Most unexpected result? Maybe. (USA women losing to Japan in the WC final might rival this) Most devastating? Weeeeeeell…. that strikes this opera singer as a bit melodramatic.

  4. Karma wouldnt allow El Salvador to tie the game and go through after punching Terrence Boyd in the face. If anything, Karma should have been on our side since the other side essentially deserved a red.

  5. And how many national titles did Akron win before Caleb Porter? How many national title games did they appear in before Caleb Porter? How many people could honestly call Akron a powerhouse program before Caleb Porter. The College of Charleston has a winning basketball program, that doesn’t make them a well known name in the college basketball community. Grab a dictionary and look up the difference between good and elite.

  6. again, I NEVER said that he should be chosen OVER Kreis. I never even compared the two of them and I’m not sure why you’re doing so. They’re both young coaches. That doesn’t mean that only one of them is eligible to get the job at some point. Caleb Porter is 34 years old, to say that he will never get the necessary experience is more than jumping the gun a bit.

  7. I didn’t say he should be coach for USMNT either. I just said why should Porter ever be considered OVER Kreis. Kreis is the one with the better qualifications than him to be USMNT coach. So anyone who says Porter is qualified etc., get pro experience then we can discuss when he actually is qualified.

  8. who puts the gk’s on the field? COACH…. ultimately it was his call to put him in, take him out sooner, and prepare them to stay focus (mental toughness). That is the job of the coach.

  9. Not a soccer savior but a coach who still has a bright future and could still become a soccer savior. Not a demon even though people will question:

    – His love of Sarkodie (Akron connection)
    – Subbing tired players too late into the ES game
    – Not playing Gyau and Boyd more (especially Boyd)
    – Misc lesser things such as lack of true defenders with pace and height to cover on set pieces

  10. Akron wasn’t a no name college. Ken Lola’s record as coach of Akron before Porter speaks for itself, look it up before you make ridiculous comments like that.

  11. Wow. A couple of months ago Porter was our Soccer Jesus. Now he is the demon who must be banished from US Soccer heaven. Which one is it people?

  12. Thank you for clearly seeing the point I was making instead of twisting my words.

    @Helium-3 I never said Caleb Porter should get the job over Jason Kreis and I never said that Porter would be the next USMNT coach. He has a ton of potential and he will reach it, it’s just going to take time. Caleb Porter is 34 years old, he literally has 30 years to continue developing as a coach.

  13. I would love to see how fit you are after playing 3 games over a 5 day period. Shea should have been replaced before the end of the game, but to say he, as a professional soccer player, is not well conditioned is completely asinine.

    And I would not call Caleb Porter over-hyped. He took a no name college and made it the most elite soccer program in the nation. He was the obvious choice for Olympic coach. He didn’t succeed this time but he’s only 34 years old. It’s not like this is the end of his coaching career. I don’t think you believe what you’re saying, you’re just trying to be a troll.

  14. What do you mean “thereis no shame….” Shame on you Porter for not managing the game when we had the lead. Did you not see that the soem of your players were running on empty and you saved two subs for the last minute? Idiota!

  15. Yeah, Mix looked spent. He had so many passing errors I wanted to slap him. I was disappointed with his performances in the second half of the Canada game and in most of the El Salvador game.

  16. Well not always the fans, it was the media/journalists and their ranking of the USMNT at #11 before WC 2006. Remember all that ‘they walked with swagger’ crapola, and they ended up on their culos.

    Soccer is played on the field, leave the ranking stuff for the baseball/NCAA statisticians.

  17. When Porter pulled Corona, I said Oh-Oh. I thought he should have pulled Diskarud…who was dead-legging out there for the last 30 minutes.
    Stephans instead of Jeffrey was a eye-brow raiser.
    But then when he pulled Adu rather than Boyd or Shea I thought…what is he thinking that Gyau is going to go flying head down at the defense? Is that how he is going to burn time?

    In the end, I think it is time that the MLS makes a bigger effort to keep our U-23’s in the country. Not going to be a popular opinion, but for me the Olympics and success at the Olympics is the key to breaking the heart and purse strings of the casual soccer observer.

  18. Havent you heard overhyping is the US fans thing, and even when the iverhyped subject failed some fans will still not see the truth.

    That goes for players like Shea and coaches like Porter.

    Can someone please put Shea in a conditioning program I have never seen Shea play hard for 90 minutes, he has always looked tired at the 60th minute mark.

  19. Your in dreamland if you think the U.S. is at a level that a loss in the round of 16 is anything but 50-50.
    I wish I could say differently, but we are not Argentina, Brazil, or even England.
    A loss like this sets back a program a while.

  20. It’s the OLYMPICS, of course they put stock into it. Why do you think McBride agreed to play 4 years ago.
    It may not be important to other countries ‘but is to the U.S. & Brazil’ (quote from an earlier SBI article). It means a lot to us as fans.
    Thanks Omar for the correction on Landon in 2000….seems so long ago.

  21. You don’t learn the subtleties of game management in the college ranks. What really is at stake at this level? Soccer is not life or death in college; nobody gives a ****.

    This is why you need a pro level coach for the U-23’s so you know when to make the subs, e.g., 70′, when to burn time off with more subs, when to take out tiring players, don’t let players make decision when to come if they are hurt. That was selfish of Hamid and he paid for it coming out slowly on that 2nd goal.

    Also, last but not least, have the balls to tell guys like Shea to not to be cute with the ball late in the game with the score so close. If we were up 3-0 then I wouldn’t care but Shea and his stupid antics cost us the ball which ES got to score the last goal.

    Watch the replay if you are too ignorant to see what lead up to the goal.

  22. He’s not saying he should be our next senior team coach, just that he will be ONE DAY. Kreis may be next in line, but Porter is a young and rising coach. He’s got plenty of time to coach at the pro level and potentially develop into an international-caliber coach.

  23. I doubt those three really put much stock in this anyhow. That’s their vacation and one time to have a break really. Plus, with qualifiers starting up I’m sure the Olympics was something that was of secondary importance at most.

  24. Why should a college coach with no pro experience even a consideration over Kreis for the USMNT ??? Kreis at least has pro experience and went through qualification for the CCL in Central America.

  25. It would have turned out differently if we had tried to keep the ball more rather than just booting it up the field and then waiting for the next onslaught. Seriously – I realize that you get anxious and lose focus at the end and keeping the ball is very difficult, but they were doing this way before the end. And not just near goal, even in the middle of the pitch, just kicking it forward.

    It was sloppy and poorly managed and honestly the goal at the end was not a shock to me.

  26. We shouldn’t have lost to Canada, but I’m nto sure I blame the coach — at least not totally. He probably should have mixed in some fresher blood. I suspect he foresaw problems with El Salvador and wanted to use his best players to get a win against Canada. Obviously, it came back to bite him.

  27. PD I don’t think any loss is as devastating as this one. Being up against Brazil was not supposed to happen, losing to them was in the script.
    Losing to Mexico in the GC was bad for sure, but not devastating. We lose to Mexico often enough. Losing to Gana…maybe. But the oddsmakers weren’t making us overwhelming favorites.

    Missing out on the Olympics after the efforts to build programs over the last decade is in a word, ‘devastating’.

  28. I’m very sad and disappointed but the team fight and fight but stupid mistake kills the hope of our national team. I think Caleb is a good coach but he need it to do better job putting the right people on the field and all happen against Canada that’s where everything went wrong. He should have a team ready for game one, another one with game two and one for the third game. And pick a strong team for the Semi Final. But it show in this interview that he know he made the mistake and he seen very sad and honest about what happen last night. Well I hope he become a MLS coach cause he look like a good coach and need more experience now at the Pro Level.

  29. What’s noteworthy there is that some of our best players are in Europe — which is good and bad. It makes it far less likely that they will be released for this kind of tournament. El Salvador came with their best. We might not have.

  30. The good, the bad, and the ugly- The Cuba game, the Canada game, and the El Salvador game. This tournament stabbed me in the heart, but I’m a US Soccer fan till I die…

  31. Ives is right and you’re wrong. It’s not the loss per se, but how it occurred. After the misfortune in falling behind following Hamid’s injury, the team made a successful heroic comeback, but failed to close it out 5 minutes into injury time. This was an operatic collapse. Much more devastating than prior losses — and I say that as someone who was at the game in Nurnberg against Ghana, holding a ticket for the next round game.

    On the other hand, it’s cool to see how gutted USA fans are. We may not have arrived yet as a soccer power on the pitch, but the fans are feeling it. This is promising because it means we will have a more committed. more knowledgeable and hopefully more experienced and better skilled bunch of players in the next generation.

  32. The only reason the US isn’t getting a chance at a semi-final game and a possible Olympic run is because of the poor goalkeepers that were playing.
    If we had decent goalkeepers, we would have not lost vs Canada and won last night.
    Sorry to say, but the blame is all on Hamid and Johnson for this elimination. The 2 Canada goals are for Hamid (100% his fault on the 1st on; 50% his on the 2nd), the second Salvador goal is for Hamid (he needs to go after that ball and not stay in no man’s land like he did), and obviously the 3rd goal last night is all on the GK, an easy shot that has to be blocked.
    You can’t do anything without solid GK, and the younger US generation seems to be lacking there.
    All said and done, it’s not the end of the world. Many teams have success on the senior level while lacking on the U23 ones. The main problem for the US is that we could have fielded such a stronger U23 team, by including Chandler, Altidore, etc.. so that this team was more our B U23 team with lackluster defense and subpar goal tending, and ultimately was our undoing.

  33. Porter failed a somewhat easy task. Losing to a Canada that had only practices 4 times and that could only tie Cuba is inexcusable. Going from first place to out in the last 30 seconds is inexcusable

    Back to the zips and don’t call us, we’ll call you …. NEVER

  34. Yes. There is no more U-23 team at this point, so in essence he is a ‘coach’ without a team.
    Next U-23 team will be in 3 1/2 years.

    I remember the last cycle, when the Olympics were in Beijing. Getting up at 3:00am to watch a game before work. Figuring out how to sleep in shifts so that I could watch the Adu, Holden, Bradley, team. Won’t happen this time. The London Olympics have lost a lot of their luster.

    I also feel for Boca, Landon & Deuce. They will not be able to play in an Olympics in their career.

  35. The only thing I could think of as that goal trickled into the net in the 95th minute was “Karma is a female dog”. I mean that’s the only rationale I have for that disaster – the soccer Gods demanded payment for their gift to the USA and Clint Dempsey via Robert Green’s error in the first game of the World Cup in 2010.

    Goddammit Shea, why didn’t you clear the ball? 🙁

  36. some important observations from Ives’ column on Fox Soccer:

    “The US national team program has had gut-wrenching losses before, but none this devastating. ”

    I can think of several, actually, all with the senior side, all within the last three years. (Confed Cup – Brazil loss after being up 2-0, WC – Ghana, Gold Cup – Mexico loss)

    “…Monday’s Olympic elimination has to raise questions about the decisions he has made and the direction he is leading American soccer towards.”
    “There have to be some questions asked about the direction of the national team program and whether the string of disappointing results are the product of bigger issues than lineup decisions and player errors.”

    I think Ives’ answers the very question as follows:

    For his part, Gulati has spent the past year making some major changes, starting with the hire of Jurgen Klinsmann last summer, and changes at the Under-20 and Under-17 level. Klinsmann was hired last summer to help bring about change, and transform the fortunes of the American soccer system. On Monday night, he tried putting the latest American soccer disappointment into perspective, insisting that the future was still bright despite the latest heartbreaker.
    “You just feel bad for them because it kind of slips away, a huge, huge opportunity to shine in an Olympic [tournament] and it’s not coming back anymore for them,” Klinsmann said. “That’s how football is.”

    “It can catch you really brutally in specific moments. I went in the locker room after the game and gave them big compliments for what they showed tonight, and to leave with their heads up,” Klinsmann said. “There will be many moments to come, good moments, and also similar moments to tonight.”

    I really think that’s all one can say, but would love to know if other folks think there are other options out there (other than typical cave-man speak FIRE SO AND SO)

  37. His job no longer exists since the U-23’s only convene once every 4 years for the Olympics. I’m sure he will learn from this. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Caleb Porter at the international level, although he may need another decade or two of seasoning.

  38. Despite such a poor showing, I still think he’s good coach with a bright future. If the US has it’s full allotment of players available (Altidore, Johnson, Chandler, etc.) for qualifying, then they advance without question. Caleb Porter will be the senior national team coach one day.

    That being said…he still failed with this team. They had the talent to win this tournament and they didn’t. No excuses.


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