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Klinsmann discusses USMNT’s successful Gold Cup, plans going forward

Juergen Klinsmann

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  1. I still don’t have full confidence in his roster choosing. He couldn’t choose a back line and stuck with the Bradley Jones pairing for far too long… And they nearly didn’t qualify for the hex because of it. I’m really anxious to see what he does with the midfield going forward. I know I will get crucified for saying it and I’m admittedly a hater, but the usmnt in the last 2 years has looked best when jones wasn’t on the field. Cameron looked better in his one chance than Jones has in ages

  2. I think Bradley got the boys to play a more organized back line. There was a persistent gap, though between the first and second line, which caused many goals.

  3. Talk is cheap results are what matter and at this point and time Jurgen Klinsmann is looking pretty damn good as the head coach of American Soccer.

  4. If you look at the heat maps and player positioning and formations between the time JK took over and up to today, you will see several noticeable changes.

    While JK still starts a formation with Jozy Altidore up front, he is complimented by a second withdrawn striker Sometimes this is Dempsey, other times it’s one of the wingers.

    Instead of route one balls up the center, JA receives more service from the WF and wingers, but gets some balls from the DB’s

    The whole formation, ie.the Mids are moved up about 10-20 yards. Although this may compress and congests the midfield and leaves a big hole between the misfield and defensive backs, BUT

    it allows through, fast movement on the ball, quicker penetrations into scoring areas.

    It has at least one midfielder (changes off) is a box-to-box and makes regular long trackbacks to cover the “hole” in the midfield.

    It uses the Corner backs as attackers more then at any time in USMNT history. This was started by Arena when he pressed Eddie Lewis into the role and continued by JK who now has Beasley/Johnson/Parkhurst fulfilling the role.

    The “holes” between midfield and the Defensive backs are covered by the Centerbacks dominating the box out to 40 yards from goal. Besler and Gonzales have been great at this. With Goodson in, sometimes allows him to push forward far more times than before.

    In short, Klinsmann has finally brought in an attacking offense by encouraging the players to move forward and side-to-side, although there is probably more back passing, it is designed to stretch the opposing defense rather than as a defensive tactic.

    For the opposing team JK has made ball control by the US paramount to try and force the opposing team who may have high pressure to chase the game. This pays big dividends when the opposing team, tired from chasing, apply virtually no pressure later in the game allowing the US to move the ball with impunity. If you look at the scoring, comparing the first and second half’s, you see how this strategy works.

    While this offensive strategy has worked well with US qualifying and the Gold CUP against primarily Central American teams. It will be teated against more sophisticated mid-tier Euro teams. If the US can pull of a win against Bosnia using this same offense, then Kudos to JK.

  5. I’ve gone back and watched some of the old matches when Bradley was our coach. I think Bradley was building a team to consistently win within CONCACAF, where we were consistently the no. 1 or no. 2 team in the region. I think Klinsmann is building a team to compete on a broader sense with South American and European teams. In previous Gold Cups, the US was willing to bunker in and play the same style we saw this year against us, waiting for the quick counter or a set play to score. Now we are actively attacking most of the game, controlling possession and tempo like Germany, Spain and The Netherlands do so well. Before Klinsmann, that was not ever our game. Are we ready to have an impact on the international stage,…..not yet, but maybe in another 4 years.

    • I would guess Benny Feilhaber might be in there, too, since he hasn’t really gotten a sniff and was a fixture under Bradley.

      I can’t see Donovan getting upset about the Germericans, at least. Apparently, LD was all excited to bust out his German to talk with them. He easily could have commented on the other supposed issues, though.

    • My optimistic side hopes that it was those who were no longer getting called in — Feilhaber, Agudelo, Gooch (pre-Gold Cup), Buddle, Findley, Bornstein, Spector, Demerit, Clark — and thus may have had a reason to feel hard done by. It could have also been people that got called into a few camps but never really made the squad (Strauss was vague enough).

      I really hope that it was not any of the guys that make up the heart and soul of our team. But I recognize that it could have been.

  6. Winning cures all and during a 10 game win streak its hard to find anything wrong

    Thats said this team does seem the most pro and consistant than any other US team in the past. There have been some great players and teams but this one just seems like the most “big league” of them all. Results aside this will be klinsy legacy

  7. So, let me see. We beat such world powers as Belize, Guatemala, Cuba, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, et al, all at home, and Klinsmann is now a genius and nothing less than a semifinal in Brazil is expected.

    • The greatest string of results in US Soccer history and you’re complaining. We get it. You don’t like “foreigners” and you don’t think Klinsmann is American enough for you.

      We’ve seen your posts about “not as American players” and German-American players–how you libel them as not worthy.

      • I am not complaining. I’m saying there is no reason for euphoria (unless you’re 18 years old and don’t know any better).

        And, btw, I am a “foreigner” (unlike, I suspect, all the internationalists here). I came to the US as an adult with no English to speak of. So, take your sermons someplace else. Maybe your high-school buddies.

      • Always funny when foreigners come here for work or whatever then have nothing nice to say. Try Philadelphia after dark, you might like it.

      • LALALA, I am from foreign country, and I think Americans are dumb and America sucks, and the soccer is so much better where I’m from, and so is the food, and the women, except for some reason I am here, but it sucks!

      • Del Griffin’s response is the one the teenager inside of me wanted to make.

        Instead, I’ll just ask you why we shouldn’t be “euphoric” about a 21-4-5 record since the beginning of 2012?

    • I can remember other coaches struggling against weak opponents because of their defense nature. You need another hockey stick?

  8. Wow, I appreciate the shout out to Bob Bradley, and then in the end to the support staff. Dude’s a genuinely nice guy who recognizes those who came before him and those who help him day-to-day.

    While we analyze what this means in the PROCESS of getting to Brazil and doing well there, lets not forget that winning the tournament is an achievement in and of itself. The competition was determined, and the knockout games were street fights. USMNT’s of old may have been content to sit on 1-0 leads, but this team played with abandon, trying to show their quality and, yes, dominate. The biggest lesson of this is Klinsmann doing a clinic on how to be a leader of men, with his handling of the LD situation as a textbook manager/sports psych/motivational accomplishment. Also, the victory now gives us a chance to be at the next Confed Cup. Not to mention the trophies in the case. Oh, and there’s that winning streak.

  9. Speaking of the Sporting News article, does anyone have any ideas as to who the players are that leaked the info? I remember hearing Jason/Jared on the Best Soccer Show insinuating that they knew who it was but they wouldn’t say on the air.

    I have to think it was from someone who got significant minutes under Bradley but was pushed a signed by Jurgen.

      • A journalist of high caliber like Strauss does not rely on one source for a quality piece like the one Strauss did for Sporting News. That was not your usual slapdash, bootlicking space filler of the sort you see so often in soccer journalism in the USA.

      • Strauss is that you?

        The actual sourcing of the article was–as noted by many in the media–very disingenuous. He intentionally obfuscated where his information came from using unnecessary and cagy ranges of numbers of how many people in different categories contributed. The actual breakdown could have had only a single person on the current team by way of his wording.

      • Nothing like calling someone disingenuous and accusing them of intentionally obfuscating information, by being disingenuous and intentionally obfuscating information. Go back and read the citing. You may not like it but it’s pretty clear without revealing sources. A lot has changed over the last four and half months. Lets just be happy for that.

      • “Over the past several weeks, Sporting News has spoken to 22 individuals with ties to the U.S. national team or its members—including 11 current players based in MLS or abroad.”

        And then he said this,

        “What emerged over the course of these discussions was near unanimity regarding the players’ flagging faith in Klinsmann”

        So which is it? Is it 11 players with “ties to US Soccer” or is it the entire locker room?

        Because a lot of players came out publicly strongly supporting Klinsmann and attacking these unnamed sources.

        So yes, he was extremely disingenuous.

      • It’s right in your quote. 22 people with ties, including 11 players. So 11 players complained as did another 11 non players with ties to the team. A few players spoke out after the article, not a lot. And if I recall, not all rebutted the article.

      • In fact none rebutted the substance of the article, except the part about the relations between German-Americans and others. There were strong calls for team unity (and complaints about the anonymity of the sources) and whatnot, but no player came out and refuted the assessment of Klinsmann’s tactical acumen or training methods.

      • Straus would probably spell his own name correctly unless he was being intentionally cagey and disingenuously obfuscatory. And maybe he was in fact the one person he talked too…hmm.

    • Good for them for not revealing sources. Hard to believe it was just back in mid-March. Winning cures everything but but Stu and JOB! By the way, Strauss cited 22 sources including 11 active players.

      • “Over the past several weeks, Sporting News has spoken to 22 individuals with ties to the U.S. national team or its members—including 11 current players based in MLS or abroad.”

        He says people “with ties to” the USMNT. He never even states that the people talking are even ON THE TEAM.

      • How much more clear can “…including 11 current players…” be? We all know the team is fluid so not everyone was on this squad or that squad, but likely just played during the JK era. I get it you didn’t like the article. All I’m saying is don’t shoot the messenger. We should be thankful reporters dig for such stories.

      • Current players means people currently playing the sport of soccer as a career and that have ties to US Soccer. It does not mean current players in the locker room.

        There could have been 1 current USMNT member.

      • A big leap you can make when you’re citing anonymous sources and being disingenuous. You can also count each syllable of Preston Zimmerman’s name as a separate source if you want to.

        This whole argument can go on forever, but the point is, nobody actually knows what they’re talking about.

      • Thank you. Damn, reading comprehension and analytical thinking skills are not highly regarded in the American school system, apparently. +1.

  10. Wasn’t just February when that Sporting News story came out? Now we see that it was perhaps more about players expressing their frustration that they weren’t as special as they thought they were. Bottom line is that Klinsy has taken these boys (A and B teams) from the days where they would consistently spot their opponents the lead goal, and into a period where they are always looking to score, even when they have the lead. That is one giant leap for USSoccer. A tidal shift.

    • Things weren’t going well for USMNT back then and many players were unhappy with Klinnsmann. When a team is losing players often are unhappy with the coach. This situation wasn’t any different.

      • As a fan of the US I ask myself has JK improved and built upon bob Bradley’s success? The answer has to be yes even there’s not any easy apples to apples comparison yet. The WC will be the biggest test of all because BB got the US pretty far in 2010 despite his Achilles heel being his roster selection.

        JK has a lot more firepower at his disposal now and a lot of that is due to his own hardwork getting new faces.

      • I wouldn’t say it was Bradley’s selection so much as the then still shallow pool of quality players. Many of the players Bradley first called up as young players matured and improve and are now on JK’s rosters. Some did not improve, and those were left behind by JK, just as Bradley did to earlier disappointments. In the last 20+ years since the before the 1994 WC, the USMNT pool has gotten better and deeper, that is some thing that has been going on since before Klinsmann was a world class player. Giving him credit for that is just silly since he has been in place for only 2 years. He has done a good job of putting good players in spots where they can succeed (mostly).

      • I agree, but I think that Bob Bradley can fairly be criticized for not expanding the player pool. He believed in HIS guys. And he got them to believe in him. That works, until you run out of depth in the pool. That’s pretty much where things were after the World Cup.

        And to say a lot of guys with Klinsi started under Bradley is only partially true. Klinsi has cap-tied more dual-nationals than Bradley ever would’ve. Rongens was infamous for losing more than his share of potential stars, and that was Bradley’s choice, and his call.

        There are guys that were playing, sporadically, under BB. But they were mostly fringe players, who remained on the fringe even when things started to implode. This goes again to Bradley being for HIS people, and if you weren’t with him, you were a liability.

      • From what little I know of Rongen, I think your assessment is a little unfair. Yes, he lost a few players on his watch, but he also actively recruited dual nationals. Quite successfully, too. Never thought I’d be a Rongen apologist – it just kind of happened.

      • I think he was saying that Rongen’s infamy was actually Bradley’s doing. Bradley probably lost many of those guys that were blamed on Rongen. Rongen only lost the most important one anyone can think of: Neven Subotić. (Giuseppe Rossi was lost as soon as Italy batted an eyelash and I cannot think of any other high-profile losses).

    • I agree with Dan M here and I think that you can look at the match against El Salvador we were leading 2-1 at the 60th minute and El Salvador had some nice chances to come back into it and cause some trouble. At this point, in the past, I would argue that Booo Radley and his predecessors would have opted for a safe substitution and sit back in the box and run out the clock. What did Klinsmann do? He put in Eddie Johnson who hadn’t seen a minute of play yet and didn’t even break stride before putting the death knell in ‘The Salvador’ (Thank Erik Wynalda for that quip…)

      I like how Jurgen adjusts. I think he is a very good tactician and I think he understands its about knowledge, fundamentals, fitness. The corner kick against Honduras is another great example. That was a designed play by someone….I think perhaps Donovan and the way they knew how to do it, they watch film and study their opponents. They also have diet regimens and two-a-days and everyone knows there is competition to play. I also like how Donovan earned his spot back, Jurgen was clear about what needed to be done and the challenge was met with grace and professionalism.

    • I don’t think it was all fringe players, but it got the team to think like a team and I think it made Klinsman reflect on himself as a coach. Look at how the book written about Becks. He had to come to terms that he was not here for LA. He changed his attitude focused on the Gals and as they say the rest is history.

  11. While I haven’t always been a fan of some of the player selections or omissions…Overall results have been good, and players seem to be energized. Looking forward to the European friendly in a couple weeks, and the continued run towards WC 2014.

    • Not sure I would call him a genius. Corona, Torres, Diskerud and Bedoya have been around before Klinnsmann took over and he underutilized them. I wrote on these boards before the Gold Cup that although our A team is a little better, this B team would play more attractive soccer. I was very unhappy with many of Klinnsmann’s selections when he first took over. We have more depth than ever. Now I think he’s making alot of the right moves. However, I wouldn’t call him a genius.

      • First off, Joe Corona received his first appearance in any competition under Klinsmann. So that’s just patently false to say he was around before. Both he and Mix were cap tied by Klinsmann–so please tell us about how they were “around” before him.

        Underutilized? Not according to anyone that matters. And in cases you were watching Mix starred in the Gold Cup.

      • Corona had 39 appearances for Tijuana in the 2010-11 season and he was rookie of the year in the Mexican League. Diskerud set up a goal in the South Africa friendly back in 2010. Why has it taken so long to give these players a real look since then? Wouldn’t a genius have done it sooner? There’s been plenty of other people that have argued for more creative players to be given a chance. I guess they don’t matter? Do you matter?

      • It’s a good thing Klinsmann doesn’t listen to fans who scream for “creative” players they’ve never seen to just walk into our senior team during qualifying.

        Who exactly was Mix or Bedoya or Corona going to unseat in the senior team during qualifying? Bradley? F. Johnson? Jones? Zusi?

        Hahah. And that’s your argument against him? That he ignored people calling for that?

      • You actually think Klinsmann gave one minutia of thought to a word that came from any pundit or fan?

        He told us why he played 2 “dmids” and it was to shield the backline while the team learned.

        And they certainly needed the shielding.

      • Mix could unseat Jones in the starting XI when he inevitably accumulates cards in qualifying/WC and must sit a game.

      • After 1.5 great games in WCQ matches, it looks like the first sub slot at DMid is Cameron’s to lose.

      • Not saying they should have been starters but they could have replaced the following as backups: Klesjtan, R. Rogers, Tim Ream, Juan Agudelo, Brek Shea, Kyle Beckerman and Mauricio Edu. Klinnsmann’s selections for a long time were poor. I currently like his choices but I didn’t for a long time.

      • This is utter *&(* nonsense.

        Robbie Rogers played–scored–had 3 more friendlies appearances for Klinsmann and then has never been called in again.

        Tim Ream has never been called up by Klinsmann.

        Kyle Beckerman was just the Gold Cup Finals MVP.

        Juan Agudelo is a forward who has something like 2 appearances under Klinsmann and he @ssisted on a goal against Russia in one of them.

      • I don’t have a problem with some of the players I mentioned individually but when you put too many hardworking less skilled players you wind up giving away possession. That puts a lot of pressure on our defenders and goalie. Beckerman was fine in the Gold Cup because he had a lot of creative players around him. That’s a lot different than putting him on the field with two other def. midfielders. Shea may be good coming off the bench when defenders are tired but he’s not a starter. We don’t really need Edu and Klesjtan either. I would much rather see Corona, Diskerud, Torres and Bedoya.

    • People were way too down on Klinsi when the team was stagnating and way too high on him right now. The team is doing well and lets be happy, but let’s not throw the g word around until we start beating good teams in games that matter. I’m being a bit of a spelling Nazi, but it’s pretty funny that you use the word genius and misspell it.

      • I’m not sure the criticism was unfair when we were losing. It wasn’t just that we were losing, the team looked awful. I don’t know if a light finally went on in the locker room or if we’re finally seeing the results of some of the changes JK implemented, but certainly the team is winning games they should win and doing it in style.

        I agree that calling JK a genius is a bit much, but all indications seem to point toward a team that is still trending up. Need to figure out the RB position though…

      • Not saying the criticism was unfair. He was playing 3 dmids after all. It was ridiculous. But calling for his head WAS unfair given that he was experimenting at the time and he had struggled similarly with Germany before figuring things out. I thought he always deserved the full WC cycle before being judged and still do.

      • Calling for his head wasn’t extreme at a time we were on the brink of falling apart in WCQ, which is the only thing that matters in the end.

        That said, I agree that our backline needed a lot of shielding while the side learned to play high-pressure. Just look at the MLS All Star Game for what happens when even gifted players can’t play High Pressure on the same page.

        I think enduring the criticism of that time woke people like Bradley and Deuce up. They took it personally that the US wasn’t fighting like they had under BB. And they went about making sure that wasn’t going to be said about the team again.

        So I give Klinsi credit for staying the course, even when his head was legitimately on the block.I also give him credit for taking criticism on board himself and becoming more open to the players in his lineup decisions and match preparation. And I give the players credit for stepping up when they needed to, and now for beginning to buy in to the whole package.

      • I agree with you that he always deserved a full world cup cycle before being judged. I also disagree with those that think he’s a genius now. I also think he has a lot more options than Bob Bradley ever did.

      • I hate correcting spelling because you have to go over your post a million times to make sure you didn’t spell anything wrong yourself. However, it’s worth it when genius or idiot is spelled wrong

      • Actually, I’ve been pretty high on Klinsi all along. It’s almost like nobody even considers the possibility that the last two years were part of a plan. Everyone is talking about the depth on the team now. Is it at all possible that part of the reason for that depth is attributed to the fact that Klinsi started 25 different lineups (or thereabouts) in a row while the natives grew restless? That he was willing to take calculated risks on players in high pressure situations to see if they could rise to the challenge.

        I’m not going to go so far as calling him a genius, but I give him a lot more credit for where the team is now than many. The numbers don’t lie, the team is better in every way than it was under Bob, and I’m not a Bob hater.

    • Not a genius. But I think he has actually GROWN as a coach through this tenure. People seem to think it’s either one way or another, he’s bad or he’s a genius.

      I don’t know how we can’t see it for what it is. He started rough, some things he was doing right by challenging the system and the players, and some things were mistakes HE made. Sometimes people come out of rough patches (like friends, couples, teams, etc) and become stronger and learn from it. I am glad that rough period is over for us.


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