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Bocanegra backs Klinsmann in statement addressing recent criticism of USMNT coach

Carlos Bocanegra

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The Sporting News story making big waves surrounding the U.S. Men’s National Team and Jurgen Klinsmann’s job as head coach has raised plenty of questions. Which players spoke out questioning Klinsmann’s job? Will the report of issues within the team drive the team apart before the crucial upcoming qualifiers, or bring the team closer together?

The story called into question Klinsmann’s decision not to start captain Carlos Bocanegra against Honduras, and with Bocanegra’s surprising exclusion from the current roster, the veteran defender was becoming a bit of a symbolic figure in the story questioning Klinsmann’s ability to coach the team.

Bocanegra responded on Wednesday evening with a statement issued on his Facebook page discussing Klinsmann’s standing as head coach, and gave the coach his backing. He also called for U.S. fans to back the team ahead of some very important World Cup qualifiers:

During the last 18 months Jurgen has introduced a lot of new ideas to the team and has a vision of how he wants to grow the program. Every coach around the world has his own style and methods. He has always been up front with players about where they stand and where he sees them going.

Not every player is going to be happy with all of the decisions and methods, but he will tell you to your face where you stand. From a coach, that is the best thing you could ask for.

One of the greatest strengths of this team has always been our unity and spirit, and we all remain committed to the cause of qualifying for the World Cup.


What do you think of Bocanegra’s statement? Think the U.S. team will work through the recent controversy? Impressed with how Bocanegra is handling the situation? Confident in the team’s chances of winning on Friday, or are you worried the team is doomed to fall apart?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I have it under good authority from someone behind the scenes that the story written is all most likely true. Yoga, Buddha statues, new wave nonsense… This person who has behind the scenes knowledge also described how JK was as a coach at Bayern and it wasn’t pretty.

    Anyone ever wonder why Donovan hasn’t played with the USMT much since JK arrived? Could it be more than just that he was “tired” of the game? Or does he just not believe in this guy?

    Either way, started two CB’s at Honduras with no experience should have been enough to fire this guy. You already knew the result before the game started.

    • Absolutely. This article raises a lot of questions, but perhaps now the biggest one is how much does/did this affect Landons decisions, and will we ever get him back with Klinsmann as coach?

      • I think Landon will be back. I’m not a hater of the guy nor a huge fan but he’s always played well for the USA in the big games. I just know in the back of my head that Lowe was the tactical guy behind JK and Germany was playing at home in that World Cup. He didn’t last long at Bayern and there has to be a reason for that. Bayern are typically very fair with their coaches if my memory serves me right.

      • Sigh. People act like what he did at Germany was great but you are talking about the semis with Germany at home. Germany had just finished runner up in 02. Mexico made the quarters and lost on PKs to Germany 86; Italy was 3rd 90; US made the knockout 94; France won at home 98; Korea made the semis at home 02.

        At Bayern, you’re talking about a juggernaut that was UEFACL runnerup last year, that he nearly had out of the CL altogether.

        He has some big names on his CV but not alot actually done while there, in context of the history of those sides.

      • What he did at Germany was to be expected. Germany is a strong Cup team and always has been. JK was a heck of a player but if we lose these next two games, he should be let go.

      • Won’t happen. Not with a 2.5 million contract for 5 years. USMNT pockets are not that deep…

      • It’s a good question but doesn’t relate to him playing with the National Team while he was NOT on his “sabbatical.” He was still playing with the Galaxy and was missing the USMT games anyway.

      • Its a rhetorical question and it completely relates to his relationship with the national team. What Donavan has communicated is not that he’s really committed and would play, but has problems with the way the coach is doing things. He’s communicated that he’s been reassessing his entire relationship with the sport, for both club and country.

      • People need to get over Landon taking a break. Many players play 2 world cups and retire from international football. Claudio Reyna had a two year break from intl football from 02-04. Donovan has played 3 World Cups and is willing to play a fourth. We can’t always rely on Landon Donovan. We have other players, its time for some to cut the umbilical cord from Donovan.

  2. Pure class, but we all know he doesnt back JK not at all. He’s doing that for his teammates and the fans to keep us together. JK will be gone soon enough.

  3. I’m with those that thank Boca for stepping up and calling for unity, but I’m not reading it as a rebuke of prior statements. He does nothing to defend what I consider the biggest and most consistent criticism of Klinsmann, that he’s not much more than a talking head, especially when it comes to tactics.

    Criticism for Strauss is absurd. Don’t shoot the messenger. The guy is doing his job, digging and reporting story with more depth then has been provided on the US squad in a long time. For years fans have begged for this level of access to be presented. The time of the article was spot on because as he stated in the article, the US is at a low point after the Honduras loss. If we get 3+ points from the next set the story will subside. If we get less, these stories will be a dime-a-dozen. And of course the sources are anonymous, that’s how things work when the coach is the point of criticism. Strauss did well to cite the number and association of his sources. I have a lot of respect for Ives and the level of analysis, tracking of players, insight and interviews, but even he apparently hasn’t been able to get players/staff to open up on this level. I’d love to hear Ives’ thoughts on both the story and the level of access/journalism (though I understand if he would only offer that ‘anonymously’).

    • Totally agree. The criticism of Straus is silly. If anything he’s a hero, an article like this really shows how deeply concerned the entire squad is about this operation, not just “a few sour grapes”.

      • Doing this on the eve of the big games? Hardly an apt exercise of authorial judgment or editorial control, if his real intent is to help. The timing is sensational, period. Self-aggrandizement, people are talking about him as much as the content.

        Plus, I think anyone who acts like Honduras was a lost cause from minute one is selling something. Or who acts like Boca should be playing and captain. That’s not the way the match went. That’s not field play reality. It’s playing upon emotionalism.

        There is some useful stuff in there but the fact that it trends rant rather than concise problem list suggests it’s intended as much to raise his profile and stir the pot at the press level as actually to air player concerns in constructive fashion.

      • Maybe not from minute one, but consistently in these qualifiers we have looked shockingly, disturbingly incoherent and disjointed. Also I disagree about the sensationalism or timing. He reported the items players spoke to him about, this wasn’t an opinion piece. Also I suggest you read Straus’s twitter, he explains the timing and all that. In a way it seems that the players WANTED this to get out, cries for help, in a way.

      • So, let me see if I understand. You wouldn’t have cared if he had published it immediately after the Honduras game? Then it would have been OK? Of course, the story hadn’t been developed yet…
        Or would you have preferred after these two games…when more story lines would have emerged that he would have to go and track down.
        Or, you would have wanted in the dead period two weeks ago perhaps? But how does this story fit into the US Soccer stories in ‘rivalry week’ or ‘champions league week’?
        Face it. You don’t like the article because it reveals some weaknesses in our USMNT team.
        By the way, Tuesday before a Friday game is hardly the ‘eve’ of a big game.

      • Read the article and tell me whether anything in it is novel to the past few days other than the decision to publish.

      • It’s not a journalists job to “help” a particular team. Their job is to dig and report news. Strauss has done that and should be commended for it. That doesn’t mean anyone has to like what he uncovered, but I for one appreciate it. How many times has Ives answered Q&A questions about how he, as a journalist, isn’t a fan? Sure if the US wins and heads to the World Cup his job may be more fun, but ultimately is duty is to cultivate and share information, analysis, etc.

        Also this isn’t some government report of facts. It’s a journalists job to connect dots and help the reader understand the story, in this case team dynamic.

      • This is not pure reporting, it’s a mix of editorial and report.

        For example:
        What is this:

        “It was one of those things where Jurgen woke up the next day and wanted to try something we weren’t familiar with,” a player said.

        Versus, what is this:

        “Sure enough, the U.S. played like a team lacking leadership and an appropriate, coherent plan throughout an ugly 2-1 loss to Honduras.”

        This first is reporting of a sort, although it is airing out subjective feelings. The second is editorial.

        Go through his piece, it’s a mix.

        Once he starts editorializing I think it’s fair game whether it’s an ill-timed cheap shot intended to raise his own profile or beneficial discourse. After all, even he claims to be trying to help, in a way: “Klinsmann now must win back the locker room. Walking on water might be easier.”

        Your argument would have more force if this was an AP article with no by-line reporting essentially player quotes. Then no one is benefitting from the article specifically and the editorial aspect is lessened.

        But this is someone with an agenda publishing on the eve of the games under his own byline, not purely reporting but piling on with his own two cents and broad brush strokes.

        And, while as a former reporter in school I grant what you are saying about not his duty to help, his own approach suggests/implies that is his intent. In which case, it’s his moral duty to decide whether his presentation or timing helps or hurts.

        At which point, I want to say, does he think Gulati’s going to fire Klinsmann before the big game? Never. Which makes this feel like muckraking and self-aggrandizement.

      • I don’t think it was an editorial stretch to say the team lacked a sense of leadership and plan in Honduras and I don’t think he ever suggest he is trying to help. I also questions your judgement of what makes a reporter/columnist moral, but it’s probably not worth arguing further.

        I guess we’ll disagree on this one.

      • The problem with Straus basing the story on so many anonymous sources is that there’s no way to read it and know what the entire squad really thinks anything. The sources are anonymous. There’s no way to know if Source A is a real regular like Cherundolo or someone who hasn’t really played that much lately like Spector or Feilhaber. It leads to too much speculation and let’s the reader fill in all the blanks with whatever bias they have, instead of informing them of actual facts.

      • Exactly. And I forget which poster it was yesterday who made an excellent point that Strauss’ alleged “cross-section” of player categories surveyed could overlap, making it difficult to know how representative the article was of actual team feelings. I believe the example they used was for Veteran and Fringe Player, Feilhaber fits both categories. Or that the quotes used from Howard and Bradley (which don’t condemn Klins at all) could fulfill both Current Starter and Veteran for example.

        Too much leeway to put so much stock into such a potentially damaging article.

      • I get what you’re saying, but I think if you read straus’s twitter, he basically says “look, I can’t reveal the sources, but trust me it’s representative of the teams feelings.”

        Based on what I’ve seen on the field, I tend to believe Mr. Straus. Others may not and that’s fine too.

      • But you notice how that builds up Straus and depends not on something that he reported but instead trusting things unsaid, assumptions about the identity of the interviewees, Straus’ reputation or perceived horse sense.

        It is useful for airing some thoughts and subjectively connecting dots. But since it’s unsourced it’s effectively pot-stirring because it doesn’t tell me in any technical depth why Klinsi’s team isn’t playing well, or identify specific players with specific concerns, so that I can consider the source.

        For example, back when Jozy was beefing about JK, he was on the margins of the pool. Ditto Boca right now. We are in some flux and transition and I’m sure some people don’t like that. But if this is Dempsey or Donovan or Bradley, hmmmmmmm. You have my full attention now. We plainly have some problems and if the same people leading the team want to go ahead and say it, well, that suggests we need an immediate fix.

      • I disagree. I understand your point. Perhaps if the attributed and unattributed quotes were taken in isolation, I may be more inclined to agree, but in the context of previous criticisms of Klinsmann I’m inclined to accept Strauss’s story. I’m not saying this is a team wide feeling, but stating that he talked to 22 sources, 11 “current players” is certainly damning. Getting much more specific may have compromised sources. In fact, I put little value in Bradley and Howard’s public statements, because they were public. That said, I thought Howard’s statement about a backline that had spent little time together was a shot (intended or not) at Klinsmann. He put that group on the field together. Bradley’s comment about lack of tactical smarts could be interpreted as either a lack of player focus or lack of coaching direction.

        Basically, we aren’t able to know everything from the article and it’s unattributed quotes, but to me the case is quite telling.

  4. If I’m Klinsmann, I pick guys I can trust and who I know can get the job done.


    Davis (Capt)–Dempsey—Zusi/Corona



  5. Oh yeah, and as for Brad Davis, seems that he and Klinsmann get along well and if I were Klinsmann after this devastating news article, I would start Davis against Costa Rica and name him captain to show the world who is boss. Would you want to risk naming a captain who was one of the anonymous sources for the article? No way.

    • And being captain of his club team, no on can accuse Davis of not having leadership qualities. And maybe this is exactly the sort of shake-up the team needs, an outsider coming in to take the armband.

    • ‘start Davis against Costa Rica” so that he can put on a stellar performance and control the mid-field just like he did against Canada.
      Davis is a fine dead ball deliverer….but that is where his international level of play ends.

  6. I definitely did not dwell on the German American statements. Other than Timmy C, who we just havent seen much of yet, they all love America and am happy they are representing us.

    The issues that get to me are the quotes like “overtrained and undercoached”. It seems like he doesnt command much respect and therefore is not a great leader. Also, we know that he isnt a great tactician and I don’t think that is acceptable. If it were just some writer out to get someboyd, no it would not be a big deal. But, Strauss is a very well respected journalist and he is not the first person to echo these sentiments. Not to mention, he had 22 sources that all followed the same themes. I like JK but we are kidding ourselves if we think he is a great coach. If he is a big picture guy, fine; but we need to get him an assistant who is a great tactician and all about the details.

    • Ok they may love America, that’s great. But the statements call into question their true passion for playing for this country, and the locker room and even on-field chemistry is suffering as a result. I think some apologetic fans may need to accept the possibility that the German-Americans aren’t into it as much as you like to believe.

    • Also let me be clear. Fabian Johnson and tim chandler are the best fullbacks in our pool, period. But passion and commitment matter in the international game, especially for the core guys in our squad.

      And by “you” I mean posters on here who basically say the German-Americans can do no wrong.

  7. These are the types of comments that build unity rather than destroy it although it’s not really a strong defense of our manager other than mentioning how he’s honest with players. But, Klinsmann could learn a thing or two from Boca. Jurgen seems to fluctuate between pep-talk mode and insulting mode with nothing in between. It’s interesting that the only genuinely positive remark about Klinsmann in the Strauss article came from Davis, a player with little national team experience. Unless Strauss consciously and dishonestly edited out positive player comments, something unfortunate is going on with this team. Let’s see if there’s a rush to defend Klinsmann. Can’t Howard at least use twitter?

    • Nice comment, pjsmoov. As for Straus editing out positive comments, I cannot be sure about this, but in reading that article and previous articles by Straus, he seems to be to be a quality journalis. And unless proven otherwise, I don’t think he would be the type of journalist to manipulate information in order to push a personal agenda.

  8. Wow–just wow! The Bocanegra statement is a “non-statement”. Okay, maybe it’s not what say…John Harkes…would have said after being disposed from “Captain for Life” by Sampson. But Bocanegra’s statement isn’t nearly as detailed or supportive as it could be. He’s basically saying that he disagrees with the coach, but the coach is the coach (and every coach gets to choose their own path), he was told to his face about where he stands (which is what Klinsi said–that he and Bocanegra talked about his non-invite to this camp), and that we all hope the US qualifies.

    Nothing about supporting the method, nothing about the article is out of context or exaggerates differences, nothing about how he feels Klinsi is a great coach, nothing about how the pressure of the HEX will get some second-guessers, nothing about how he believes that Klinsi’s approach will get the USA to Brasil. Bocanegra’s statement refutes NONE of the article. That’s why I say it’s a “non-statement.” That’s not criticism of Bocanegra, it’s just that this statement makes the Strauss article even stronger in my mind.

  9. Well, I see a lot of posters above who want to crucify Brian Straus for reporting the truth and at same time are praising Carlos Bocanegra for issuing a brief message urging team unity.

    Question: Is it possble that Boca was one of the anonymous sources for the article? Just asking.

    • And, likewise, for those of you angry at Straus and touting M-B as captain, is it possible that he was one of the anonymous sources for the article? If yes and you were Klinsmann, would you name him captain? Just asking.

    • I’d say it’s likely Los was one of the sources, along with Michael and Tim. Also, one source was described as someone close to the team who makes his living in soccer.. My hunch is that it’s Jeff Bradley the writer, who is MBs uncle and Bobs brother..(I think..)

    • Why are you so certain it’s the truth, biff?

      (btw just want to say how much I enjoy reading your contributions to sbi. a true original and fearless but respectful in what you say, even if i disagree 99% of the time.)

      • That’s getting pretty philosophical, Judging Amy, you know: What is truth? I guess we could divide it into two categories:

        1. Did Straus truthfully report what players told him? Or did he make up the quotes (or withhold pertinent quotes)?

        2. Were the players who spoke to Straus speaking the truth (at least how they perceive the truth)? Or were they making up a bunch of lies?

        In both cases, I tend to think that the article reflected those truths, if you know what I mean. In other words, Straus accurately reported what he was told and the players actually reported to Straus what they saw in camp.

  10. Really what Klinsmann needs is an assistant coach who knows tactics. There’splenty of examplesof managers who are good man-motivators but not particularly good tacticians. Martin Vasquez is not the man for that job, as he proved amply at Chivas.

  11. Basically the article reveals this, via player sources:

    We thought Klinsmann was going to come in and bring an invigorating style of soccer to the US with his brilliant plan that has never been proven anywhere or ever been successful. Well, it turns out that, there is no plan..Klinsmann is completely full of sh_t, and you guys are all suckers.

  12. Moving on from this whole debacle, JK needs to make MB the captain and listen to his input and everything will fall into place. Any player that has a problem with MB as captain gets cut.

    • With all due respect, chris_thebassplayer, I strongly disagree. Do you have any proof that M-B commands respect in the locker room? We don’t know that. I see no proof of this when he is on the pitch. He strikes me as sort of a lone wolf cerebral type who might not really fit in with the rest of the guys.

      • Well, we disagree my friend. I think he personifies what an American soccer player is all about. Gritty, stout hearted, never say die…he’d probably take a bullet for the team.

    • This. Not only is MB pure class, but the man has played in numerous international locations and speaks like 5 languages. Michael’s time is now and for the next 10 years or so.

      Said the biggest Michael Bradley fan on SBI.

      Go Nats!

    • I think you guys are forgetting that a coach has to feel comfortable with his captain. And I am not sure that is possible in a situation where the captain would be the son of the former coach who was fired and who still has rabid supporters who will never-ever be satisfied until Klinsmann is gone. We had a guy on the SBI board the other day claiming that Klinsmann is a afraid of MB. That is not a recipe for a successful coach-captain relationship.

    • And when Klinsmann took over, I think one of his major mistakes was to try to appease the BB faction and I think that sort of poisoned Klinsmann’s whole strategic thinking and is the main reason we ended up with that explosive news article yesterday. With all cards now on the table after the news article and Klinsmann’s job hanging by a thread, Klinsmann has absolutely nothing to lose, but a second chance to seize the bull by the horns and do things his way and name his own captain and not worry about the fallout. With the current roster, I could see Clint, Jermaine, Beckerman, Herc or Brad Evans. And I think this is the only way Klinsmann survives as coach–making a strong statement to his haters. IMO if he names MB captain, he is as good as gone. Give ‘em an inch and they will take a mile.

      As PD said on this board yesterday in a moment of pure genius about the next two games and Klinsmann’s future: “…6 points forgives all, 4 points forgives most, 3 points buys him time, 1 point buys him less time, 0 points spells trouble.” Time for Klinsmann to go for a Grand Slam to try to keep his job and solidify his authority.

  13. Those of us that are going to be in the stadium are really going to have to be LOUD because the team really needs us now.

  14. question: does anyone know if us soccer fed can terminate a players contract with USMNT ?

    if I am Gulati and do have the power to terminate the contract , I would get rid of all whiners regardless. I would call all players in and ask them if they spoke out and terminate their contract pronto. promote kids from U20 or U23

    these scrubs are just that , scrubs, bench warmers at best

  15. for months people wanted to get Chandler. Well, now that Chandler is on the team, people started hating him and other german born players.

  16. Boca just showed why he should have been called up and also why he needs to be team captain. He commands respect and brings stability to the team particularly to the backline.

  17. I’m with Klinsmann on this. He’s the right coach. Who will be the right players? Hopefully ones that do care about style of play.

    • If you’re with Klinsmann on this…then you want players that ‘talk’ about caring about style of play, but ‘play’ without it. That is what Klinsmann has shown he values.

    • I’m mostly with the Klins supporters crowd, but here is where they and I diverge. You’d have to be a Klins-loyalist to see this care about “style of play” based on the games we’ve played. We’ve had some nice wins (at Mex, at Italy), but they’ve almost exclusively been ugly grinds.

      Now, I don’t necessarily blame Klins for this as I think the player pool has a lot to do with it. But I also don’t stand with those who believe “Express yourself” and “Turn the team into Barca” and all that other frou frou bs are justifications for why Klins is a great coach.

      I just don’t see this transition into a sexier, more possession oriented Nats taking place before our eyes. To me it looks like Klins is making some (often very smart) pragmatic choices to qualify and doesn’t care if it’s ugly. Maybe I’m wrong though and by Brazil we’ll be magically passing the ball like Peru ’70 with Cueto.

    • I see the problem as more of a TFC issue, you can’t just plop a random system on top of a specific player pool mostly already in place. Barca plays their style but they also train kids from U10 upwards to play roles in it. Some games nearly everyone out there was academy.

      This bunch has been playing 442 for generations and it suits the type of players in the pool. You can try and change that with a coach but that’s top-down and hard to accomplish. Klinsi sees these guys once every few months for a week or less, most of the time.

      I don’t think we need an American coach, I just think we need a better one who is not trying to force change. If you want to make us some Barca team you really have to take decades and start with U10s. You can’t just take a coach and say plop, you’re 433 now.

  18. I don’t know about you guys, but Boca’s comments left me nearly as concerned as before. It felt forced, and political. Klinsman has told Boca he is out, which is perhaps the best thing moving forward, but you can tell that he doesn’t feel it was handled well. But at least he turns the teams sites back to the hex with the last statement. I sure hope Klinsi has some words for the situation. Certainly he has experience with these kind of articles, right?

    • Klinsmann has actually commented on the matter and said that Bocanegra is in no way out. They’ve spoken several times recently about his situation and Klinsmann made it known that he is wanted, but he needs to get fit and find playing time.

      • You may be right, but I think I have heard Klinsi say that about all of our players at some point.

        Hey Ives….is it to soon to repost Landycakes goal against Algeria? I could use a boost before heading back to Denver.

      • After re-reading my posts, let me be clear, that I consider Boca one of our greatest players/warriors that has ever worn the colors.

        I just felt that needed saying.

  19. Most fans have been calling for Boca to be replaced. Then it happens, and US fans go nuts.

    Look the guy hasn’t played in like a month and half for his club team. No doubt Boca is a class act and a damn fine leader of men, but for me I understand why he wasn’t brought in, and why Klinsmann went with Gonzo and Cameron against Honduras. If Gonzo is the future CB for WC 2014( of course the USMNT has to still qualfy) then it absolutely was the right time to start building chemistry and a relationship with Cameron and other players on the backline.

    Fans now have to suck it up, and let events unfold.

    I think the defense will be just fine; I worry about the disjointed offense more. Boca wouldn’t be a catalyst for helping the offense even if he was still starting and the captain.

    I like that Brian Mcbride was brought in to help out with the striking corps.

    • 2tone, Well said and much agreed.

      In other news;
      Last we all checked an American, is an American. is an American,
      if they so chose and have been bestowed the privilege to do so.
      Try to respect all nations, their people, their country, and their flag.

  20. People question the allegiance of the German Americans but no one questions the fact that Jozy is the only player that doesn’t put his hand over his heart during the national anthem.

  21. After reading this article, I really dislike Brian Strauss. His prior columns have been used to endlessly criticize Klinnsman and the German-Americans players on the team. At the same time, he offers no other alternatives for those positions. Brian could not have picked a worse time. A few days before two of the most important games in recent times? Brian could have chosen last week or the week after the games. Brian obviously has an ax to grind.

    • I have now seen this post three times and I am not to the bottom. Any chance you could maybe quit posting the same thing over and over and add some different thoughts?

      • Thank you Scott it appears that it is the persianfilipino in Chicago is really the one with the axe to grind. Btw if I read axe to grind one more time I’m coming to Chicago with an axe to grind…

      • Sorry guys! This was my first time posting, and I thought no one was going to reply to my comments. Lesson learned.

  22. I hope this story makes the team more united and hungry for these upcoming games..Now is the time for the team to rally together. Yes, JK may not please everyonebut he is our coach.So lets go out there and support him. Class Move by Boca. Punk move by “anonymois Players”..Man Up.

  23. There is something to be said for the fact that there are many currently folks who become dinosaurs if JK actually succeeds in evolving soccer forward. I suspect we’ll see a lot more stories like this.

    Not that he should get a pass and not to say that constructive criticism isn’t beneficial, but there are folks who would gain quite a lot if JK fails.

    • All due respect but I think either (a) we don’t have the players to justify the system or (b) he kills the system with how he plays it, eg, 3 DMs. It DOES NOT WORK as presently configured. The results are going backwards, eg, we beat Honduras away last cycle.

      He needs to either start using specific players to implement a system, or trend more in the direction of getting results. But right now I can’t tell if he’s promoting offense or defense, an attacking 433, a defensive 451, or a traditional 442. And beyond that I think he has only half a clue who his better players in the pool are.

  24. Dude is class and shows why he is a deserving captain. I was stunned when he didn’t play last time.

    The quote from the article that caught me was “overtrained and undercoached.” That’s exactly what the team looked like. The team looked tired– always a step late, and nobody was on the same page.

    • I generally agree but I think they also lack team speed at some important spots, eg, wing mid. Gatt may not be ready but we need a Gatt-like presence who can run by a defense. We have to work too hard to create chances. At which point if you are slow or overtrained that shows.

  25. Carlos is class! Amid all the drama and negativity, the most useful article I’ve read all week was Jeff Carlisle’s 6-Point Plan for turning things around. I especially agree with making Michael Bradley the next Captain and finding a stong Xs and Os guy to be Klinsmann’s #2. Martin Vasquez (nice guy) is the weak link in the chain and needs to reasigned. Klinsmann is a visionary with great ideas for US Soccer and needs to be supported by a Jogi Low type game-day strategist. BTW, no one is more proud to wear the US shirt than Terrence Boyd. Right now the chips are down and we need to support our team.

    • Carlos is class! Amid all the drama and negativity, the most productivel article I’ve read all week was Jeff Carlisle’s 6-Point Plan for turning things around. I especially agree with making Michael Bradley the next Captain and finding a stong Xs and Os guy to be Klinsmann’s #2. Martin Vasquez (nice guy) is the weak link in the chain and needs to reasigned. Klinsmann is a visionary with great ideas for US Soccer and needs to be supported by a Jogi Low type game-day strategist. BTW, no one is more proud to wear the US shirt than Terrence Boyd. Right now the chips are down and we need to support our team.

    • +1 on Boyd, you can tell the guy is just giddy to be associated with the Stars and Stripes. He’ll be an absolute hero once he starts seeing more regular minutes

  26. Boca is class act. He knows that qualifying is the most important right now. But his statement is hardly any kind of backing or endorsement of Klinsmann.

    If the team wins on Friday, it will be in spite of Klinsmann, not because of him.

    • I think he is making sure Klinsi can’t leave him out solely on the basis of the Straus article a la Jozy’s Tweets. It’ll be sporting reasons only.

      And then he is saying don’t do anything dumb a la France 98/Harkes or the Domenech mess with South Africa 10 for France. Focus on business.

  27. Nice statement from Carlos. But seeing how he hasn’t played since the beginning of February, he can’t really be part of the squad at this point. Though, I thought he should have started vs. Honduras.

  28. “He also called for U.S. fans to back the team ahead of some very important World Cup qualifiers”

    couldn’t agree more. terrible distraction to have before two huge games.

  29. Pretty classy…especially as he is on his way down in his career and most certainly going give up the captaincy before the World Cup. I also agree that the Kraus article was a little slanted.

  30. Yep looks like to me he took exception to Straus’ article.

    Boca is a great leader. Wish him the best of luck. Chicago Fire need veteran leadership and a veteran presence on that backline. Would like to see Boca come back to MLS.

    • He may well agree with the article, but he still is a team player and wants the U.S. to seceded. If the players still see him as the captain he is sending those players a message.

    • i can think of 5 or 6 teams that would love to have bocanegra on their back line. hope santander is paying him well on the bench…

  31. F this Strauss guy. Tryin to stir up some unnecessary drama before important WCQ’s. this isn’t he said she said highschool anymore.

    • “F” him? Comment on his journalism if you like, but that’s all this is. He covered a story. He’s not invested in whether or not the team qualifies; he’ll always have something to cover. You’re right, this isn’t high school, so leave your immature evaluations out of it.

      • After reading this article, I really dislike Brian Strauss. His prior columns have been used to endlessly criticize Klinnsman and the German-Americans players on the team. At the same time, he offers no other alternatives for those positions. Brian could not have picked a worse time. A few days before two of the most important games in recent times? Brian could have chosen last week or the week after the games. Brian obviously has an ax to grind.

      • I mean, he’s a journalist. He’s paid for people to read his writing. Seems like a perfect time to me. Sucks for the team but since when was it the press’ job to coddle a team and make things easy for them? It’s not the job of the journalist to help the team.

      • Well then as a writer, he should write something worthy of someones attention. He should ask some tough questions, push for answers from JK, find a new slant, something that we call journalism. This is stirring a pot. Be a real journalist and investigate and gets some facts, details, quotes, people willing to take a stand. This is lazy and worthless and only news because of its sensationalistic attributes.

      • Disagree completely with your analysis of the article.
        ‘push for answers from JK’ – he did! But, he is tied to what JK said, not what his interpretation is of what JK said.
        ‘people willing to take a stand’? by ‘people’ I assume you mean players? Seriously, you want to cause a division in a locker room by naming players, now? And what is the likelihood of a player talking to you afterwards if you name them?
        The article was ‘worthy’ and was most certainly ‘not lazy’. Point me to another article that interviewed as many players as Straus did….that isn’t on the US Soccer site.

      • Quit repeating yourself please? We get it. You don’t like the guy. At least ADD something of value to your original post if you’re just gonna copy/paste it.

      • He didn’t cover a story. He created a story and divided a team with quotes from unnamed sources. It’s weak and doesn’t help the USMNT, especially a few days before a qualifier.

        Wrong approach. Spiteful and really underhanded.

      • Is it the press’ obligation to “help” the team? Not sitting here saying I like the article or that Strauss is a great guy, it’s just a little ridiculous to A, take personal offense to him, and B, say it comes at a “bad time to help the team” or something.

        He didn’t create a story if this is what players have said, by the way.

      • He created a story because this article didn’t just happen today. He’s been working on it for a while. And he also has the power to say that it’s ready for print. And so they sent it out a few days before the Costa Rica game, which if you care about the USMNT… well this doesn’t help.

        It’s true – he doesn’t have any obligation to help the team. He might just be out for himself.

        Basically, he’s a writer who stirs the pot before a big game. The article didn’t just write itself. He knew quite well what he was doing. Now everyone is talking about writer Brian Straus, while the USMNT players and coaches are all looking at each other wondering who to trust.

      • “he might just be out for himself.” ummmm, DUH. It’s his career, like it or not this was the only logical time to release this article because tensions are very high right now. If the US wins on Friday this article would have much less merit because the fact we have zero points magnifies the validity of the article. Your right, now everyone is talking about Brian Strauss, congratulations to him, he did his job, I would hope the players could do this same this week but only time will tell.

      • You don’t think the players and coaches were looking at each other before wondering who to trust?
        Did you watch the Honduras game? Or, the Canada games…? This team is clearly not on the same page.

        It is not Straus job to write a puff piece….it is his job to sell copy. Kudos to him for doing his job.
        Now if JK would stop trying to feed us his puff pieces and actually have a tactical plan…I think we’d see some improvement in performance.

    • I agree, great article but it should have come out right after the honduras game. We have a new group of 24 and it certainly sounds like heis trying to undermine the team’s support before a big game

      Someone said “here we come England” Exactly! This is what their blood thursty media always does. Sure there might be some serious issues in the US camp and Jurgen is not the most perfect coach but talking behind his back is not productive. I respect this journalist for digging deep and putting together a great story but Boca said it best “our greatest strenght has been our unity and spirit” dont try to ruin that too Strauss

      Thank you Ives for giving us factual and respectable coverage of our team!

      • What the heck? Strauss isn’t the one hurting team chemistry by doing his job, the players running their mouths and not dealing with it like men are the ones to blame. Too many Indians, not enough Chiefs.

  32. Thought the article was interesting, but felt it was slanted one way. Not saying Strauss’s slant doesn’t have any merit, but he often was reaching to support his points. Listen, any leadership change is going to have rough patches. Is it really that surprising that some players have issues with the new coach, system, operation, etc. after having 5 years of something totally different?

    • was actually closer to 13 years of the same thing. 8 with Arena and 5 with Bradley…Since Bradley was Arena’s assistant (at least for 4 of the 8) there wasn’t ever a significant change in approach or methods. In some regards that helped the 2010 team…but now we’re seeing the growing pains of a different mindset and approach to coaching and the game.
      Can the players addapt in time to qualify….I hope so. Is it going to be painful for the next 7 Months, most likely.

  33. that was the whole statement? I don’t really see the part where he backs JK. Maybe I missed it. I see him explaining why some players don’t like what may be happening and the requisite nod to unity.

  34. 100% Class from Boca, as would be expected. Thanks for your continued service, even when not on the roster!

    Hopefully this situation somehow makes the team stronger. Would have been interesting to know if the ‘news’ was referenced by Klinsi and staff today or not. If they really thought there was a problem, they could easily use this as a chance to wipe the slate clean.

  35. Pretty great statement, especially given the current situation. Friend of mine when discussing the earlier article reminded me that Fergusson took five years to get his system in place.

    Interesting perspective until I reminded him that we were in the middle of WQ qualifying.

    • Yes, but I can still see how he was totally dismayed when he wasn’t in the starting lineup against Honduras. It’s what I’d expect from him when he knows he’s not starting.

      He needs a change and playing and dominating MLS would probably earn him a place on the US again and perhaps a starting role. What MLS team would he go to?

  36. Carlos Bocanegra is a leader and a legend. I feel he has gotten the short end of the stick in some regards, but he has reminded me that no matter what, I will always have the USA’s back. Los is a class act and one in a million.

  37. Sounds like Bocanegra took issue with how he and the team were portrayed by Strauss. That article rubbed me so many wrong ways with its intentionally vague language asserting anonymous quotes.

    On one hand, we’re that much closer to being a top footballing nation–our press is now trying to destroy the national program and coaches 😀 England here we come!

    • After reading this article, I really dislike Brian Strauss. His prior columns have been used to endlessly criticize Klinnsman and the German-Americans players on the team. At the same time, he offers no other alternatives for those positions. Brian could not have picked a worse time. A few days before two of the most important games in recent times? Brian could have chosen last week or the week after the games. Brian obviously has an ax to grind.

      • Agree. How does this Brian Strauss article and the timing help the US National Team? I feel that it adds resentment, uncertainty. It divides the team in many ways. I think this article is really damaging. I also think Brian Strauss has placed himself on the outside. Who is going to trust this guy next time they see him? Hopefully, the team will unite despite this short sighted, self-serving piece of spiteful journalism.

        The USMNT has it’s problems but this article is the wrong approach in trying to highlight the deficiencies.

      • I don’t think Strauss has to be or should be a cheerleader. However, it appears more than a coincidence that he publishes this piece a mere three days before the matches.You’re telling me that this story “just came together” during the middle of camp? Please!!!

      • Baloney.
        Straus’s job is not to feed the US Soccer wire…his job is to find and explain story’s.
        Now if you find something that is not factual, point it out. Otherwise, enjoy the benefits of a ‘free press’.
        Sheesh….now we want to muzzle our journalists!

      • I don’t think it’s that man. I don’t think it’s about censorship or oppressing the press. Rather, it’s the flipside of freedom of the press, when the media takes advantage of its freedoms for its own gain/profit, ie, the notion of the timing of stories and fabricating or exaggerating controversy for the purpose of Sporting News page views.

        And I am not declaring that this is the case but that it’s a possibility that should be considered.

      • I agree 100%. Jones has been there every time, even coming to camp cupcake last year. He gives 100%; sure his performances haven’t always been great, but the effort has and he has literally bled for the jersey now. His commitment, Williams’, Johnson’s, and Boyd’s can’t be questioned. Chandler, unfortunately, still has a target. But the rest have been there and will continue to do so.

        They came to us because the place where they were born treats them like second-rate citizens. Each one of them talks about their hardships. Their fathers served in our military and we want to shun them too? Who are we to be so high and mighty? Embarrassing.

      • Xenophobia at it’s finest. Don’t blame the Germans for the locker room division. Blame it on the Americans who probably don’t try to make them feel comfortable and welcomed. (Rosetta Stone for German and English please)

    • I find it odd that the players are so cliquish, on twitter, at least, it seems like guys like Boyd and Jones hang out a lot with non-German-American players on the team, especially the other African-American players.

      Obviously people gravitate towards people of similar ethnic backgrounds and it has no bearing on their commitment to their common ethnicity, but it is worrying to see things like Tim Howard go up to the latino player’s table and say something like ‘you guys over here, huh?’ in a June studio 90 video. I don’t mean that in a ‘Tim Howard is racist’ way, just that it doesn’t help dissipate the notion that a large segment of the German and Latino players only play for the US because they couldn’t play for Germany/Mexico.

      • I saw a video interview with J. Jones and he talked about how his ethnic background presented problems for him growing up in Germany, not always the most tolerant society on the planet. Given that, it would not be surprising to see him want to spend time with those of a similar ethnic background who may have shared similar experiences.

      • If Jones hadn’t been treated as an equal by the others on the USMNT, then I don’t think the other German-Americans would have joined the US team. I worked in a place with lots of Europeans and all the Germans had a good command of English. Much better than my command of French, which I studied in school.

      • From a pure PERFORMANCE standpoint, most German-Americans (in particular Jones) have not earned their spot on the starting eleven yet. But JK gushes about Jones in the press, and rumors are now circling that he may supersede Bradley for the captaincy. That’s absurd!

      • Performance standpoint?

        Chandler, Jones and Johnson have all easily earned their spots. Easily. It isn’t even up for debate. They are the best we have at those positions.

      • Jones hasn’t earned a starting spot based on his performance? Seriously? That’s pretty indefensible.

        Jones is one of the top players that we’ve got in the whole player pool. His level of play has been as consistent for the US as anybody but Howard, Cherundolo, or Bradley. His club play is as good as any of our other top players.

        Who’d you suggest has performed better in the midfield that isn’t getting a starting spot?

      • I saw Chelsea walking out of a hotel one time. There were about four different cliques speaking four different languages. I’m sure this happens everywhere.

    • You see when Terrence Boyd literally bled for the USA shirt? You see the interview when Williams said he felt more American than German or when he said he literally cried tears of joy when he got his first call up? You ever see Fabian Johnson not be a class professional or ever get lazy? You ever see Jones play? He’s one of the hardest working players on the team, and moves to LA in the offseason to raise his children here. Ya he has a rash tackle in him but hes only gotten one straight red card in his career and at the time all journalists were calling it bs. I don’t have anything to say about Chandler. We will see where he stands soon enough.

      Not trying to get mad but try to get educated before you make rash comments about who does and doesn’t care about the USMNT. Oh and by the way, their American Servicemen fathers are part of the reason we can all sit at home safe and sound and talk about fun things like soccer.

    • Can you guys give it a rest with the Germerican bashing? It makes me so mad, I could spit nails. One of the main points all of our German-American players have talked about is how they never felt like they fit in as mixed-racial players growing up in Germany — how they felt marginalized because of their race and background. One thing we can offer them is whole-hearted acceptance, regardless of their background, and enthusiasm about their decision to play for the USMNT. I, for one, am grateful to have them, and as far as I’m concerned, they’re as American as anyone else who wears the colors. Full stop.

    • How can you say that? Terrence Boyd literally bled for the US shirt. Danny Williams said he feels more American than German and that he cried tears of joy when he got his first call up. Fabian Johnson has always worked hard and been nothing but professional every times he’s with the Nats. Jermaine Jones is one of the hardest working players on the team and he raises his Children in LA during the offseason. He may have a rash challenge in him but has only ever gotten 1 straight red in his career so people need to back off him for that. As for Chandler idk. Now that he’s cap tied well see. If he plays his heart out for the red, white and blue then ill accept him.

      I think it’s a ridiculous to blame our poor play on these guys. Oh and their servicemen fathers are part of the reason we can sit at home safe and sound so I don’t think you can go questioning their commitment.

    • Exactly. The last part could be a bit tongue in cheek. Just showing that he’s the leader that is completely lacking right now.

      • I like the statement, but I think to read this as “backing Klinsmann” may be a stretch. He is saying Klinsmann is up front, and he’s got that going for him. He is also saying Klinsmann brought some new ideas, etc. But it’s short of wholehearted agreement for the substance of the ideas / tactics, or even the direction that the team seems headed. I guess he wants to say that we should give Klinsi a chance, and the most important thing is qualifying, but on the face of it, the statement doesnt say Boca agrees with him on anything. (Nor does it say he disagrees). He doesnt even exclude himself from the statement “not every player is going to be happy…” From this statement, it is open to interpretation whether Boca is happy or agrees. It’s a solid statement of commitment to the team and the goal, but not the coach necessarily. Thats how I parse it.

      • Sounds like a man committed to his teammates. This is exactly why it is so shocking that Boca didn’t start against Honduras…

        This is all Klinsmann’s gamble, he’s going with youth instead of a two time World Cup qualifying experience..

        I am not confident that we will leave these two games with 3 points. We will have our 24th different lineup in 24 Games under Klinsmann.

      • I don’t blame him at all for skipping on Boca this season. Yes Boca is a legend, however, he isn’t playing on a second tier team who are fighting relegation. Something isn’t right. And his last few outing for the US were met with criticisms about a lack of pace.

        We need his leadership, but we also need him match fit. I hope he comes back to MLS over the summer, though it sounds like his heart is still in Scotland.

      • Definitely entitled to that opinion.. However, he’s played in these games in the past, and at this point in the Hex with the players that were chosen over him.. I find it inexcusable that he is not called in, and starting.. again, we will have no continuity.. we will start a new back 4 with Beasely, Edu, and Guzan in goal….. only god knows who Klinsmann will decide to start as the back 4..

        These positional changes should be tried in friendlies..not the Hex. If this weekend goes bad, Klinsmann’s better have some answers better then… we are Transitioning…

      • Bocanegra is on a crazy team on it’s fourth coach, but previously was a regualr starter. He is as solid a mental player as you can get.

        You know Bob Bradley would include Hejduk on rosters, not to start, but to be a motivating and mental force. I don’t see why Boca can’t at least fill that role. He would bring leadership and defensive cover.

      • I think this is Boca’s way of saying he wasn’t the article source, lest this turn from a merits issue into a Jozy insubordination “time out.” I think he gathers that his treatment is one of the triggers for the article, and he’s seemingly denying he was quoted, and asking for the team to chill on his behalf. If the central figure says can we concentrate on soccer, don’t make a Harkes Fit out of this, then it should get dropped.

        You can’t be captain if you can’t make the team or the dress roster but this is a noble act at a time when some noble acts would be nice.

      • I gather one of the triggers for this may have been the Boca omit from the upcoming games. Which is why it comes up now. But I agree, play the games and we can talk after.

    • Yes Bocanegra is a straight shooter with the big picture in mind. I applaud that. The Brian Straus article was really underhanded with unnamed quotes to make its point; really damaging, divisive to the USMNT right before a big game.

      • I agree, that writer is no fan of the nats. Why on earth would you write such a sensationalistic hit piece prior to one of the bigger games of this cycle. What benefit is gained by airing this divisive speculation at this time. Boca is backpeddling now, saying all the right things to smooth things over. He had to know his initial words would be made public. He was clearly upset by being phased out of a starting position and captaincy, but I really question his self-awareness. He would only risk blowing up the whole team, if he really thought JK made a massive mistake…if he thought he still had a lot to offer to the team. We’ve all seen him play. JK is right, other players have passed him by. Class would have been conveying the sentiments he expressed on facebook in the initial interview. He carried himself so well over his career. I don’t understand why he couldn’t bow out gracefully.

      • Agree 100%. There is no basis for comparison in the Strauss article. How did players react after losses under Bradley? Were their cliques under Arena? Etc., etc…Strauss would reaches and talks in vague cliches…

      • You’re assuming that Bocanegra made some of the comments in the article. There are no quotes attributed to him and I doubt he said anything.

      • Can someone tell me what Klinsmann has been saying?

        Everything out of his mouth is vague nothingness. He speaks is great general terms. “Change isn’t over night” “it’s a process” “some players will be uncomfortable”

      • It’s not the journalist’s job to help the national team. It’s his job to report information. The use of unnamed sources is widespread in journalism as you can see from the front page of any newspaper. Frankly, I think it was refreshing to see some incisive, inside reporting on the team–rather than the speculation/analysis articles that are far more common–even if the news isn’t great.

      • Amen JG.
        Why would you question a journalist? This isn’t the 70’s Russia or North Korea press corps.
        Secondly, why would players be criticized for their ‘anonymity’? They are not in a position to be upfront; if they were you would most certainly have a ‘divided’ locker room. AT THIS point there are only whispers…whispers will get louder if actions by JK are not taken to unify the group AND to be clear with his tactics of what he wants players to do….”Express Yourself” is not a strategy..

      • Why would you question a journalist?

        Journalists are wrong or inaccurate or have agendas or want to sell a good story all the time. Sometimes you can’t even blame them/their intent is good and professional (everyone has personal biases and experiences that inform our work no matter how much we try to be objective).

        There are good journalists, great ones (like Ives), but that doesn’t mean one shouldn’t be skeptical or critical or question what you read.

        I agree with your last point, though, that “Express Yourself” is not a substitute for tactical strategy. But are we sure that is what is going on with JK?

      • I take your point but not sure what evidence there is this reporter has a prejudicial POV he’s working or got any facts wrong. The article seemed pretty balanced to me, if a bit alarming. But yes, agreed, skepticism is healthy, most especially with unnamed sources who may have unspoken agendas of their own.

      • I think it needs to get out there because there seems to be a lot of disgruntlement and you even wonder if players are skipping on purpose. Which is not the foundation for a strong team.

        But did it need to get out there now, another question.

        And I do wish people put their names to paper because for the purposes of management decisionmaking and fan understanding, it would be nice to know where the discontent lies.

    • Yes, great leadership. But it was time to take the training wheels off Omar and Geoff. Boca will be 35 when Brazil rears its ugly head. His words are spirited, but our young defense needs these crucial games to build chemistry. If not now, than when?

      • after qualification is locked up.. there were many faces that contributed to qualification last cycle that didn’t participate in the World Cup.

      • He pulled up lame in Russia and apparently did not impress the coach as ready for the Honduras game. If you bet on the wrong pony maybe we don’t even make it to Brazil.

        I don’t blame Klinsi for what he did because Boca is barely playing and looks unfit when he does show. It’s how he went about it that’s the real issue.

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