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Klinsmann expecting Dempsey to start vs. Turkey

Photo by Don Feria/


Jurgen Klinsmann was apparently not bluffing when he said that Clint Dempsey missed this week’s match against Azerbaijan as a precaution.

Dempsey was a late scratch in the U.S. Men’s National Team’s 2-0 win over Azerbaijan on Tuesday due to groin soreness, but Klinsmann told reporters Thursday that he “definitely” expects the U.S. captain to return to full training on Friday and start in Sunday’s second send-off series friendly versus Turkey at Red Bull Arena.

”A lot of work yesterday. We kind of made sure he’s not going sideways,” said the U.S. head coach of Dempsey. “That was kind of bothering him and worrying him a little bit. He’s all good. Today they have an easy (regeneration) day, travel day. By tomorrow, full speed in training. Everything is good.”

Dempsey – who was replaced in the lineup in San Francisco by Chris Wondolowski –  is one of five players on the U.S.’s 23-man roster headed to Brazil that has previously played in a World Cup. The others are DaMarcus Beasley, Tim Howard, Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore.

What do you make of this development? Should Dempsey rest one more game or do you see it as vital that he plays against Turkey? Where would you like to see Dempsey deployed positionally?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. LD to JK

    You say you’re lookin’ for someone
    Who’s never weak but always strong
    To protect you an’ defend you
    Whether you are right or wrong
    Someone to open each and every door

    But it ain’t me, babe
    No, no, no, it ain’t me, babe
    It ain’t me you’re lookin’ for, babe

    So Klinsmann cut him. And rightly so.

  2. About midway in this thread someone mentioned X-Men, Magneto etc. Thought it might be fun to put X-Men names (current or new) to our team. As for the needed “maniac between the sticks”, I vote for The Green Monster for Tim ala the “Risk Everything” World Cup video. Maybe even a team nickname of X-Men? … was looking for something positive here, guys (i.e., no sniping). And no naming of coaches allowed (I shudder to think)! 🙂

    Any interest?

  3. A bit scary that a very average European team that finished only 4th in its qualifying group easily dismantled a CONCACAF power.

  4. Hey, Landon for Dempsey would be an improvement. It’s an attitude problem. Dempsey, although talented (never more than Donovan), tends to be negative and reckless.

  5. The German-Americans in the 23: Jones, Fabian, Chandler, Brooks and Green, are a very mixed bag. Most fans would agree that the first two have been important to JK’s overall good results during his tenure. Chandler has yet to prove himself. Green, idem. Brooks? Not steady like a rock, but may not play anyhow. Williams is injured and Boyd was sent home. So, 4/23 may save us from embarrassment in Brazil, but I don’t think so.

    • This is Klnsmann team, FC USA.

      This is not my USMNT, let’s make that clarification. It looks more like UNMNT, imo.

      A lot of people I know who cared about USMNT, don’t right now because they feel Klnsmann has hijacked it from them.

      Bring back Landon Donovan, and give Klnsmann the boot.

      • Baptista: it causes me no sorrow whatsoever to learn that I root for a different team than you. Farewell.

      • But it causes you sorrow to see USMNT supporters abandoning ship. After the WC is over, Klnsmann will be the reason US Soccer took a couple of steps backwards.

        No more FC USA. No more mercenaries. We want the team that won the WC. All American team.

    • Because that’s how things go nowadays. The most worrying part about the pre-world cup games if the potential for injuries. The next most worrisome thing is Kevin Prince Boateng stepping on someone’s foot and ending his career. It should be imparted on all the players that getting injured is not exactly the best way to have a successful world cup.

  6. Actually have a feeling they will do OK on Sunday and probably hold their own in Brazil but I don’t think things are going in the right direction in US Soccer

  7. Turkey just finished demolishing Honduras. Let’s see how Klnsmann’s team does against them. One thing for sure, this ain’t Azerbaijan.

    • Cobra Kai? I can smell them from here.

      You did good Baptista. Real good.

      From now on, you are known as “Paul Revere”

  8. This idea that Klinsmann has some how “revolutionized” US Soccer is completely false. What has JK done that’s been so different then previous coaches before him? Sport phycologists and treating USMNT legends with complete disrespect is about all that I can think of.

    Bob Bradley gave just as many players a chance as JK has done. This whole fitness propaganda is nothing new. The USMNT has always been known for its fitness and endurance. Bradley’s trainer was one of the best in the world. Has he changed much in the youth soccer landscape? Not really, the attacking curriculum was developed by Reyna and implemented before Bradley was even fired. The year long academy season has been talked about since the USDA was created. The newly implemented year round U-23 team or Olympic team has been in the works for awhile now. I don’t know where this idea that JK is changing the “old guard” of the USMNT came from either. Bradley had to replace more 30+ year old players from the 2006 WC than JK has had to.

    Did you really just say that no one has had to fight for roster spots in previous cycles or previous coaches never constantly evaluated players in the past? hahahahaha if you sincerely believe that then you must be a new fan. I swear these people that act like JK has never made mistakes or can never put wrong have gotten out of control

    All Klinsmann has done is talk a lot. Anybody claiming that JK is responsible for the deeper player pool (although I would argue our defensive player pool hasn’t really improved) I can’t agree with. The increased player pool has more to do with father time (most underrated factor of US Soccers growth), better youth soccer and MLS academies and an improved MLS than Klinsmann’s doing.

      • Jk just had the most winning tenure of all USMNT coaches. You act like he has done a bad job. Hes done excellent up ti this point. The h8 be real…smh

      • Great post Chris. Everything you said was right on the mark with the exception of Reyna’s curriculum
        Keep posting. Nice to read something from a person with real insight

    • Chris, if that’s a response to my earlier post, then you must not have read it correctly.
      A. I never said nobody had to fight for roster spots before or that no other coach has ever evaluated players. Never said that…
      What I said was in response to that ridiculous post that blamed JK for Bradley coming to MLS & blamed JK for all of Gonzos problems
      B. My point was that overnight this has polarized everyone to the point where they come up with this ridiculous nonsense because of his roster decisions. I never said LD, but let’s face it, if he hadn’t cut LD, would he now be blamed for Bradley’s decision? No…of course not
      C. Despite how BB or Arena before him communicated or acted when it came to the depth chart etc….JK has been much more vocal about it. And that’s turned some people off, which is fine, but when he cut LD, it polarized everyone.. and his critics post stuff like that as if overnight this is the first time we’ve ever heard it… hence my analogy to the other sports..

      I didn’t say a thing about him being responsible for creating that depth, or the academies, or anything about the trainers…
      In fact, I didn’t defend or criticize any of his decisions… not one….

      But that’s how everyone reads this, black or white…he’s the Devil and anything you post that doesn’t say the same makes you an apologist or a moron.

      I wanted Donovan on this squad, I get confused by some of JKs decisions, but I’m not going to crucify this decision to the point where revisionist history now makes him wrong in every decision he’s made the last 3 years, where overnight this has polarized everyone to this point.

      If you’re gonna take a shot at someone, read what they wrote first.

  9. Lost in all the hoopla over the Donovan snub…Damarcus Beasley will be the first American to play in 4 World Cups!!! Way to go Beas!

    • Strong point (Brad’s caveat is correct– I personally expect his chances of playing to be quite high).

      Regardless, it’s quite amazing. A few years ago people were making jokes about calling DMB up (I may have been one of them, for all I remember….). But he is here and he has earned all of it.

      I don’t expect to see him get forward much if he plays at the WC (other night I think he was a little bored by the lack of defensive action). But it would be interesting to see if he somehow got his first WC goal in this role.

  10. Good to hear Dempsey OK. If we really are going to do the 4-4-2 diamond in Brazil then he needs to play vs Turkey. The forward positions need to be hammered out ASAP.
    As much as I think he’d be OK alongside Jozy as a withdrawn forward, I would much rather see him deployed in the #10 spot underneath a pairing of Johansson and Jozy. Jozy as your target striker. Then Zusi and Bedoya on the wings, and Bradley as your #6.

    • I like the idea of Dempsey playing in Bradley’s role, but with Klinnsman naming Jones as part of the spine of the team he must be in the lineup so where does he go? I am actually finding myself yearning for the old 4-2-3-1 with a tendency toward the center triangle being inverted with Bradley more aggressive in the attack earlier in the game, allowing Dempsey to get more runs at the back line where he excels and take a bit of hold up duty off Jozy and let him run off of Dempsey higher. Just the thoughts of a nervous, rambling fan.

      • Brian,
        I think if we are going to pull off the 4-4-2 successfully, Jones has to sit out. Though his defensive discipline impressed me more than usual in the game against Azerbaijan, there were still quite a few moments where Bradley was telling Jones to stay back. IMHO if Bradley can’t trust Jones to defend, then it’s just too risky a prospect in general- then Bradley can’t be fully involved going forward, and we just lose too much there. Then regardless of stated formation,you almost have a pseudo reversion to the 4-2-3-1 anyway.

        Part of me says Beckerman is the one that is disciplined enough positionally that allows Bradley to play that #10 role, but I cringe at the thought of him going up against the likes of Klose, or Khedira.

  11. So, will we see the same lineup except Dempsey for Wondo? Maybe, maybe not.

    This is what I want to see:

    —————– AJ —————- Dempsey———

    ————————- Diskerud ———————-
    Zusi —————————— Bedoya
    ——————-Bradley ———————

    Johnson ——- Besler —- Cameron ——– Chandler

    ============ Howard ===============

    This is maybe more likely what we will see:

    —————– Jozy —————- Dempsey———

    ————————- Bradley ———————-
    Zusi —————————— Bedoya
    ——————- Beckerman——————–

    Chandler ——- Besler —- Cameron ——– Johnson

    ============ Howard ===============

    • Your back 4 is the same back 4 I’d pick. Still don’t get the inversion of Chandler and FJ…. you have FJ who is proficient on either side, and Chandler who is better on the right. Thing is, JK has mostly played Chandler at LB in the past. Would be nice to see him start at RB against Turkey. I don’t think we can afford to pull Jozy from the starting lineup, though. Even though he wasn’t scoring, his strength to hold off defenders, as well as his hold up play, was good in the last game. Even made a few dummy runs too, so it wasn’t a terrible showing for him overall.
      We don’t have another forward with his strength, which is why I think it would be good to pair him with AJ, even if he’s not putting them in the back of the net he can set up AJ, who is clearly on a finishing streak as of late.

      • I think FJ on the right has little to do with where FJ and Chandler have played in the past, and everything to do with Klinsmann trusting FJ more than Chandler to have the mindset and experience to handle Ronaldo and Reus.

      • Great point, Wispy.

        Coupled with Bedoya (who tracks as well as any winger), Johnson could give Ronaldo problems. Not to say he can shut him down… As no one can do that.

      • Ronaldo moves to either side during games so I don’t see how we’re considering this a strict 1v1 battle between FJ and CR7 all the time. If for some miraculous reason Ronaldo did get ‘shut down’ on one side they would just shuffle him around.

        Plus, if all our game planning and preparation thus far has been solely for Ghana then let’s prep for Ghana, not Portugal. Although they have a good striker on the left too it’s nothing like Ronaldo.

      • Cristiano also happens to be a pretty good center forward.

        His only weakness, if you want to call it that, is that sometimes he’s not big on tracking back. Which, to me, explains why FJ,Chandler, Yedlin and Cameron , guys who can turn defense into attack pretty quick matter are on this team.

      • To me the main good point that everyone is missing is that the Besler, Cameron CB, Howard GK trio is very, very good, and much like a hot goalie in hockey could give this team a chance to overperform. I don’t know USMNT history well enough to call it the best ever, but I remember Oneywu/Demerit had a really great stretch of play around 2008 2009 during the ’10 cycle that led to the best team defense showing ever at that Confed Cup, and this current group looks way more promising. RB and LB options are more than serviceable pieces that can attach to the core 3 in the middle.

      • Yes. This.

        Strong organization, dogged and relentless defending, and outstanding goalkeeping have always been our “secret sauce” — this is where we have always found overperformances when we have succeeded. Even when we fell short.

        Goals come from wherever, if at all… the 3 early goals against Portugal in 2002 are the sole outlier in our entire WC finals history. And even then, look at the goalscorers (two of which were wearing USMNT shirts), and you won’t find offensive domination. We weren’t running a possession heavy “half court offsense” a la Spain, etc.

        We focus so much on the attacking function here, that we forget that everything we have ever accompliished at a WC finals has been 90% product of a good holding midfield, a well organized defense, and a godlike maniac between the sticks. This enables everything else.

        Here’s to the guys about to step into those shoes this time around.

      • I thought about this and I think you might be right, Brad, although I don’t want to see that. In that case, we will probably see this:

        —————————– Jozy ——————————-
        Zusi —————— Dempsey ————–—— Bedoya
        ——————- Jones ———— Bradley ——————–
        Chandler –——- Besler —- Cameron ——– Johnson
        ============ Howard ===============

      • Agreed- 4-2-3-1 is our lifeblood and until our back line is 100% settled, I think the 4-4-2 diamond is out of question against Portugal and Germany. We would get punished leaving that much space for Gotze, Muller, CR7 to exploit.
        Hopefully JK is just working on the 4-4-2 to use against Ghana, where an early goal or two would be a huge boost before switching back to a more defensive minded game.

      • I agree, except that I think he will use the 4 4 2 against Germany, with Dempsey playing more withdrawn. It will slow Germany down some. I would definitely like to see him try both formations before WC. Green can only play in the 4 2 3 1, but I think he could be pretty good out on one of the wings. Otherwise it’s Bedoya in the 4 4 2.

      • In this formation, wonder if JJ is expected to provide cover for the backline (like in the 4-4-2 diamond) or he and Mikey are given freedom to interchange more?

      • If it’s JJ in the 4-4-2 then I sure hope that he doesn’t get the thumbs up to move around. He is strong in the tackle and taking on attackers, but he also thinks that he has the long passing range of MB90 and often sprays those 40 yard passes all over the field and squanders possession. That’s why that dynamic is crucial. We saw some positives from him against Azerbaijan but if he is on the pitch for the 4-4-2, he must be locked down in that CDM spot in order for MB to be effective.

      • It seems to me (at least from the AZ game) that Jones got the message about staying back and letting MB get forward.

      • Message, yes, but he still comes from awkward positions and chases the play a bit. Much improved from previous performances, though.

      • Beckerman only gets in over Jones if Jones starts getting cards or trying to get forward too often which would probably be going against JK’s instructions.

      • If this is Ghana, it’s not likely, but this is the second of the send-offs, so I see Beckerman getting 45 mins to show his worth and give Jones a breather. THAT is how it is remotely close to “likely.”

  12. It won’t matter whether Dempsey starts because Klinsmann has done an absolutely magnificent job of destroying the players’ self-confidence and sense of cohesion on the field. That has nothing to do with Donovan. That has to do with Klinsmann’s constant experimenting, mind games and condescending attitude about American players. Klinsmann views himself as the self-benighted emancipator of American soccer. Klinsmann cut Donovan (and, earlier, Bocanegra) because he’s afraid of players who have very good BS detectors, who have independent minds and think for themselves. You’ll see this in Brazil; the USMNT will play with its collective tail between its legs because they won’t know what to do when crisis strikes (cf, Ukraine and Mexico). I take no pleasure in saying that.

    If you think I’m wrong, then ask yourselves these questions. Why is Omar Gonzalez a worse player after playing substantial minutes for the national team than when he came in? Shattered confidence. Why did Michael Bradley — of all people — feel the need to leave AS Roma and have his agent call TFC to arrange a contract? Fear of being left off the World Cup team for sitting on the bench in Serie A — despite the fact that Bradley is by far the best field player on the team. Why did Klinsmann cut not only Donovan but also Parkhurst, Goodson and Edu? Because these are strong men who don’t buy into Klinsmann’s BS. Why does Klinsmann sprinkle the roster with players who have precious little international experience? He wants good soldiers who will feel that they owe him something. This will sound stereotypical, but there is something in the German mentality about “following orders.”

      • Luke, I’m not sure who shot him, but I’m disappointed that Magneto wasn’t able to save him. Makes no sense! He was able to bend it but not stop it?!? He’s freak*n Magneto!

      • UBG,

        Even Magneto can’t be everywhere. This sort of proves that Lee Harvey Oswald or the guys on the Grassy Knoll were not mutants otherwise Magneto and Professor X would have been around somewhere.

    • No, I think klinsmann is valuing industry as the top quality in players right now. That is I think he sees that we will have a skill gap with our opponents no matter what so he wants players that will press and work hard for the whole 90 minutes. Hence the huge emphasis on scientific testing and monitoring of fitness. I Bet Klinsmann is hoping we will ear teams down and that European players won’t be able to handle the conditions for a full 90.

      • I like the way you put it. It makes me feel better. I feel worse when I think of it as him imposing mannschaft mentality.

    • Tons of players all over the world leave teams to get playing time before the WC. Plus Bradley did it for $$$$.

      You are making a ton of spurious assumptions that you can’t prove and frankly you don’t make sense.

    • Has to be the best post I have read on Ives in a very long time.
      Please post again, my friend

      The guy is just full of BS

      My question is, WHERE HAS GULATI BEEN HIDING?
      The numbers show that of the last 3 US Soccer presidents he has the worst results.
      This is HIS BOY. He had a man crush on him and now he is in hiding.

      • Hello,

        In all likelihood, Gulati is “hiding” in his normal job as a a senior lecturer of economics at Columbia University. He actually really teaches there. Trust me on that.

        I have no idea what you’re talking about with the last three presidents. I’m dying to hear your “numbers” in the sense that I’m vaguely interested.

        Gulati has done amazing things for US Soccer. I’m not sure how you could make an argument otherwise. This is the same guy who used to drive the team van around in the bad old day of the early ’90s. He has been down since the beginning of this growth cycle and deserves respect.

      • dan,

        You are way off topic. So where do you think Magneto fits in all this talking about respect?

        How do you think the X men will line up?

      • Do you play Nightcrawler in goal or midfield? I can see advantages either way.

        Wolverine has all the characteristics of a forward: arrogance, aggression, and the uncanny ability to heal miraculously fast after being hacked—or brushed—to the ground. Definitely would not want Wolvie in goal though.

      • Hmmm. I don’t know… What if we’re ahead? Shredding a few balls could be a unique time-wasting tactic And it really could be the difference in a penalty shootout… sometimes gettting a fingertip to it just isn’t enough.

        What do the FIFA rules say?

      • LOTG say that if the ball bursts on a PK or Kicks from the mark before touching another player or the posts or cross bar, the kick is retaken.

        Otherwise… Dropped ball at the spot it bursts.

      • Mason: the drop ball would only be for an in-game PK, right? What about in a shootout?

      • Per the KFTM procedure, Law 14 applies unless overruled by that procedure. Since Referees decide when PK and KFTM are completed, thus referees decide when KFTM are dead (cf: any of the Youtube “Goalkeeper celebrates too soon” videos). If the ball bursts on touching the GK, because he has adamantium claws, I’d say that that kick was competed, and unless all the ball ends up a crossing the goal line, I’d say no goal.

        Of course… How a player with adamantium claws made it past the pre-match equipment inspection is anyones guess.

      • The claws are a natural part of Wolverine’s body; only the adamantium is unnatural.

        Still, I think the claws follow the same rule as shirts: as long as they’re “tucked in” upon entering the field, they’re okay.

      • I will say that I’m still upset that Coach Xavier dropped Cyclops in favor of Gambit. I mean, Cyclops was the captain for decades and then to replace him with a young and inexperienced teenager!

      • Gulati took over in 2006, which means he oversaw a disappointing 2006, and the 2010 where the US won their group.

        He also was in charge when the US came in second in the confederations cup, and won 2 Gold Cups. Gulati, nor Klinsmann are the problem.

        WHen Bradley was in charge all we ever heard was “it’s the same players playing the same formation, why doesn’t he ever experiment?”. Now, it’s quite the opposite, and yet no ones happy.

    • Yeah, that is JK’s greatest concern. I am so silly i thought in Bocanegra’s case, it had to do with being very slow, unable to play for a 2nd tier la Liga team, and getting owned in overtime vs. Ghana. I loved Boca!!! But his time was up! No doubt about that.

    • Well obviously the reason is Klinsmann is the Devil right?
      Wow you bring up some GREAT examples (saracasm) that are “coincidentally” timed with roster moves you don’t like.

      Since day one he has been driving home the point of constantly pushing the depth chart, constantly being ready, constantly evaluating every player and where they are in terms of fighting for a spot.
      Why is it that this has become a polarizing concept in American Soccer?
      Because it’s never been done here before..not really, and not with this level of accountability and exposure.
      Have you ever seen a football spring practice or NFL OTA? Or fall camp?
      How about baseball spring training?
      What are they constantly doing? Competing for spots… period.
      You think Pete Carroll or Joe Maddon or Nick Saban aren’t constantly evaluating every player and where they are in the depth chart and where they fit?
      But we know that’s part of the deal.. it’s in our sports DNA…
      So why is it different when the same stuff is now applied to our American Soccer?
      1 major polarizing roster decision later and we now have the answer huh….
      Klinsmann is obviously the Devil…

      • I remember something like this happening in the NFL sometime ago too…. The player that was benched Drew Bledsoe…..The replacement Tom Brady!!!! That seemed to work out ok.

        LD is past his prime and would do nothing but hurt the NT in the WC. Everyone that is calling for him to be the super sub is not thinking it through. Say that the US loses a close game, the press and the uninformed (about LD diminishing skill) would be up in arms about why he was on the bench and not placed in the game….. HE WOULD BE A DISTRACTION TO THE WHOLE TEAM. Let the kids that can play now make their mark on the NT not someone that (granted did well in the past WC) is past his prime. The previous WC don’t count toward anything for Brazil. Past means nothing.

      • The Drew Bledsoe to Tom Brady comparison would be apt if this whole fiasco with Donovan wasn’t infinitely more worthy of a comparison to the (hypothetical) headline: “Patriots Coach Bill Belichick, CUTS Tom Brady, and names ROOKIE Jimmy Garraoppolo as the starting QB.”
        Donovan at 32 is a step slower than 4 years ago, but is still a quicker field player than Dempsey, Davis, Wondo. To say he isn’t worthy of this roster is the same thing as saying Peyton Manning and Tom Brady aren’t good enough to lead their respective NFL teams this upcoming season. It would be great for us all if Klinsy pulls him back in, however doubtful.

        Again, the fact that is MUCH more troublesome to me is this obsession with J. Jones. Yes he is physically imposing and can win balls, but he foolishly loses a staggering amount of the ones he wins. Jones deserves to be on the team, but MB90 links up so much better with a true stay at home defensive mid like a Beckerman. I hate that I cringe nearly every time Jones has the ball and is receiving pressure. It’s almost like he panics or over thinks what to do with the ball. I would really love for someone, to put me at ease about this. Edu often loses the ball in much the same manner – if you rewatch some of those games from the ’10 cup you’ll see what I mean. If only JK had called Benny Feilhaber (and if only Benny had 15 more pounds of muscle mass). We would have had the best Defensive mid to paid with Bradley – ball skill wise. For now, someone please convince me that Jones is the wise choice here over Beckerman. I just don’t see it…

      • Jordan – Thank you for raising this issue about Jones. I’ve had the same concern about him since day one. He has one of the worst turn-over ratios of any player on the team, which is completely unacceptable from a CM whose job is to possess the ball. Although he was one of the better players on the field last game, he still had several so-called “passes” that were nothing more than line-drives at or over our forwards’ heads. I did detect a more stay-at-home mentality from him last game, and I believe that is what JK is pounding into his head, in order to spring Bradley forward. But you’re absolutely right about Jones. Unfortunately, I don’t think Beckerman has the pace to compete at a world class level. I love his composure on the ball and field intelligence. But he’s just a tad too slow, eh?

      • No. The Donovan-Bledsoe comparison is truly apt. Brady was a nobody in 2001 and there were still people in who wanted him traded in favor of keeping Bledsoe AFTER HE’D WON THE SUPER BOWL.

        The only question with this WC squad is that we don’t know who or if there’s a Brady on it.

      • Dan, what in my post would give you the impression that I dont follow soccer? This will be my fourth WC following the NT and third WC in a row that I am attending. (not counting the US WC since I didn’t have to travel.)


        DONOVAN: You will not! Begone! Begone, I say! (EJ and Lichaj rise, looking up.)
        GULATI: What is it, child? (He is transfixed—with all the men, in complete silence, he is open-mouthed, agape at ceiling, and in great fear.) Men! Why do you…?
        LICHAJ: It’s on the beam!—behind the rafter!
        GULATI: (Looking up.) Where!
        DONOVAN: Why…? Why do you come, yellow bird?
        KLINSMANN: Where’s a bird? I see no bird!
        DONOVAN: (To ceiling, in a genuine conversation with the “bird” as though trying to talk it out of attacking him.) My face? My face?! But God made my face; you cannot want to tear my face. Envy is a deadly sin, Julian.
        GREEN: Landon!
        DONOVAN: (Unperturbed, continues to “bird.”) Oh, Julian, this is a black art to change your shape. No, I cannot, I cannot stop my mouth; it’s God’s work I do….
        GREEN: Landon, I’m here!
        KLINSMANN: They’re pretending, Mister Gulati!
        DONOVAN: (Now he takes a backward step, as though the bird would swoop down momentarily.) Oh, please, Julian!—Don’t come down….
        EJ: His claws, he’s stretching his claws!
        KLINSMANN: Lies—lies—
        DONOVAN: (Backing further, still fixed above.) Julian, please don’t hurt me!
        GREEN: (To Gulati.) I’m not hurting him!
        GULATI: Why does he see this vision?!
        GREEN: (Rises.) He sees nothin’!
        DONOVAN: (As though hypnotized, mimicking the exact tone of Julian’s cry.) “He sees nothin’!”
        GREEN: Landon, you mustn’t!
        DONOVAN: (Now all men join, transfixed.) “Landon, you mustn’t!”
        GREEN: (To all men, frantically.) I’m here, I’m here!
        MEN: I’m here, I’m here!
        GULATI: Julian Green!—Draw back your spirit out of them!
        GREEN: Mister Gulati…!
        MEN: “Mister Gulati!”
        GULATI: Have you compacted with the Devil? Have you?
        GREEN: Never, never!
        MEN: Never, never!
        GULATI: (Growing hysterical.) Why can they only repeat you?!
        KLINSMANN: Give me a whip—I’ll stop it!
        GREEN: They’re sporting…!
        MEN: (Cutting him off.) “They’re sporting!”
        GREEN: (Turning on them all, hysterically and stamping his feet.) Landon, stop it!
        MEN: (Stamping their feet.) “Landon, stop it!”
        (Julian, utterly confounded, and becoming overwhelmed by Donovan, EJ, and Lichaj’s utter conviction, starts to whimper, hands half raised, powerless)
        GULATI: Where did you find this power?
        KLINSMANN: They’re gulling you, Mister!
        GULATI: Why did you turn about this past two weeks? You have seen the Devil, have you not?
        KLINSMANN: (Leaning across the table, turning Julian gently by the arm.) Julian, tell the president what they…
        GREEN: (Backing away.) Don’t touch me… don’t touch me!
        KLINSMANN: Julian!
        GREEN: (Pointing at Klinsmann.) You are the Devil’s man!
        KLINSMANN: Julian, how…?
        GREEN: I’ll not hang with you! I love the USA, I love the USA–
        GULATI: (To Julian.) He bid you do the Devil’s work?
        GREEN: (Hysterically, indicating Klinsmann.) He come at me by night and every day to sign, to sign, to…
        GULATI: Sign what?
        GREEN: (Hysterically, pointing at Klinsmann.) My name, he want my name; I’ll murder you, he says, if you don’t sign! We must go and overthrow the team, he says…!
        GREEN: (His sobs beginning.) He wake me every night, his eyes were like coals and his fingers claw my neck, and I sign, I sign….

      • I hated reading the The Crucible. Stupid highschool.

        Interesting note: My user name comes from Increase Mather who was involved in the Salem witch trails. Great names puritans.

      • Great name, Increase! You’re right about the Puritans’ gift for naming. What happened to good strong names like Kill-sin Pimple or Fear-God Barebone? I have an ancestor named Experience.

      • Oh those are some juicy names.

        Pimple being completely incidentally makes it even better.

        When I reproduce, I fully intend to get some good old fashioned names out there. I’m leaning towards a Austro-hungarian-Puritan blend.

        Something like:

        August Fear-Not

        He will prolly just resort to Gus in despair.

      • Is he related to Kim and Marshall Mather or is that Mathers? Or does it matter?

        Anyway Salem? Nobody burned at the stake, I man pressed (boulder on chest) and 19 people and 1 dog hung..

      • Ohoh, I need to say something about Mr. Eyeballs too instead of being all self obsessed

        . WELL DONE! I dunno how I feel about the nude dancing in the woods with these characters though.

      • King Googs,
        Time to take this to the next level. Xtranormal video, Make it happen.

    • +1 Joseph D’HIppolito. Insightful comment. He likes to have his *** kissed and a half dozen or so players who would improve the team and its chemistry are unfortunately not very good at it and they don’t speak German either. And he likes to blame others for his own short comings and incompetence.

      • This is JKs team. He doesnt even have Vasquez to blame anymore. He is far too suborn to change his starters, even though we come alive when he finally makes changes. This is a marginal team that has no creative force to drive it and like the captain of a ship, he will go down with this ship if he fails badly. Sunil will throw him under the bus in a heartbeat if we bomb and at this point…. I want a change. I want a coach that believes in American players, not looks down his nose at them and our league. Hell, I’d even take Arena back at this point

      • Yes, he hates American players and the MLS so much that he chose 10 MLS regulars, plus an additional 4 that got their start in the MLS.

      • So I’m guessing the new way to show you don’t believe in MLS players is to select 10 of them to a WC team. That sends a message

      • powell,

        Why do you say such bad things about Joe? You don’t even know him.
        And just because Joe likes his a** kissed, hey who does not love that?

        I mean can’t we all just get along?

    • I don’t ordinarily call BS, but this is more than just factually incorrect, it’s utterly wrongheaded.

      1) Omar Gonzalez wasn’t anything more than a raw prospect before he got called up…and won Jurgen’s confidence. He parlayed his exposure with the USMNT into one of the first multi-million-dollar DP deals that a domestic American has ever gotten from MLS…and he was able to do that because a bunch of European clubs were after him and LA didn’t want to just let him go on a free. You can wreck my confidence anytime, for that kind of money. By the way…Omar’s shaky confidence is not limited to the USMNT. He gets caught with committing some odd gaffes quite a lot for LA too, and considering Bruce Arena coaches Omar ten weeks for every one that Klinsmann gets him, I’d stare harder in that direction.

      2) Michael Bradley felt the need to leave AS Roma because Toronto was willing to throw $30+ million at him. When somebody offers you $30+ million (over the less than a million a year he was making for Roma) you tend to take it.

      3) You can argue about Donovan but he left off Parkhurst and Goodson, IMHO, because we’re playing some scary-fast teams in the group, and he went with more athletic defenders…which is a necessity when you’re playing a diamond midfield, because you’ve gunked up the middle but you need two-way players coming out of the back.

      Oh, and why a diamond? Because it puts the USA’s current best player, Michael Bradley, at the point of attack – features him, and builds the scheme around him – while simultaneously offering a lot of cover to what have been occasionally shaky centerbacks.

      • With Bradley at the point of the attack–do you see Germany and our other group opponents seeking to bully him like they did Claudio Reyna in 1998-point of the attack. Remember the 98 Germany game was also Frankie Hejduk’s coming out game-got him noticed enough to move to Europe.

      • Reyna was 5’9″. Bradley is 6’1″. Google says MB90 has 20 pounds on Old Number 10.

        They can try, but it will be less successful, because MB90 is just a bigger dude.

      • Quozzel, real good insight, thank you.
        Mason, agree MB is a bigger dude, who has been battle tested in the Bundesliga, and Serie A.
        Reyna also had a great overseas experience, but was far more of a finesse player, MB is a rock.

    • wow put you tin foil hate back on. Instead of looking at it like that try this
      Bocanegra- Old and Slow, Plus he would be behind Cameron, Besler, Omar, Brooks, Goodsoon, Orozco, and Gooch on the depth chart. I don’t think you want a guy like that on your WC team.

      Parkhurst- Plays CB naturally but I hope you’re no delusional enough to think he can play that position on the international level and he gives nothing going forward at RB or LB. He can barely send in a decent cross. He was clearly behind FJ, Beas and Chandler. His competition Yedlin ..So in this case he lost to an American not a German American

      Goodson- 4th CB battle, Do you take the young Bundesliga kid in Brooks or the Older MLS vet. (4th CB’s usually don’t get any PT)

      Edu- We have Bradley, Jones, and Beckerman ahead of him. If we go by your German argument do you really think dropping the German American Jones a penciled in starter at the WC who has probably played against/with a few players on all the teams we are facing for Edu (who will likely be on the bench) will help the team in any way?

      LD- TBD

      • JayAre – – I’ve clipped my bit about J.Jones above and am delivering it in response to your analysis.

        Jones is physically imposing and can win balls, but he foolishly loses a staggering amount of the ones he wins. Jones deserves to be on the team, but MB90 links up so much better with a true stay at home defensive mid like a Beckerman. I hate that I cringe nearly every time Jones has the ball and is receiving pressure. It’s almost like he panics or over thinks what to do with the ball. I would really love for someone, to put me at ease about this. Edu often lost/loses the ball in much the same manner – if you rewatch some of those games from the ’10 cup you’ll see what I mean. I was okay with Edu not making the final team. If only JK had called Benny Feilhaber (and if only Benny had 15 more pounds of muscle mass). We would have had the best Defensive mid to paid with Bradley – ball skill wise. For now, someone please convince me that Jones is the wise choice here over Beckerman. I just don’t see it…

    • I got really worried about Klinsmann a year or so ago when he brought in a motivational speaker who ripped a phone book into two pieces. There’s something passive aggressive about Klinsmann’s stated optimism.

      Of course, I’ll admit I was going along with him during last year’s winning streak. Just not feeling confident in him at all now. As I said last year, I can imagine his head on a platter, with his mouth jabbering on about how wonderful it is that people care enough that there’s controversy surrounding the national team.

      • Mr Trout or Paul if you prefer,

        In all this hoo-ha over the exclusion of He who shall not be named, I think people forget that JK has lived in SoCal for about 15 years now.
        Which means he has had quite a few opportunities to observe He who shall not be named in action, from up close and from afar. I would think he also has had more than a few chances to observe the dynamics of the teams that He who shall not be named was on.

        Most likely JK knows soccer side of He who shall not be named as well as anyone and better than most.

        In 2010 when JK was a pundit for ESPN after the Ghana loss he spoke about how the team went into the Ghana game still on a high after Algeria and winning the Group instead of coming in looking to go even further. He might also have remembered how those BB teams with He who shall not be named and Dempsey rarely ever looked sharp unless he who shall not be named was around.

        My wild guess is JK felt that He who shall not be named took up too much of that leadership oxygen. Maybe JK wanted a team that, rather than waiting for the hero to come riding in to save the day, that maybe he wanted a team where all of the players took the responsibility of saving themselves.

        And they were not going to do that as long as He who shall not be named was still around.

        Fans of He who shall not be named can argue that he came into camp all ready to go to play that hero role once again but there is that expression about going one too many times to the well. At the World Cup level He who shall not be named’s game may have slipped just enough to where JK saw him on a more mortal level.

        I take JK at face value that it was a hard decision.

        Bring old reliable, who is finally showing some cracks in the armor and who really hasn’t bought into the program but has come into camp looking good?

        Or force the vets like Mikey, Jozy and Dempsey, who have shown increasing leadership throughout the qualifying campaign and whoever else is getting ready to emerge, to grab the leadership mantle?

        In the end I think it came down to do you want to rely on the BB era “hold them until He comes through” or do you want the team to be really aggressive and take charge of the game themselves without waiting for one guy, the same guy to lead them out of trouble. Under this formula, maybe one day Mikey wins the game, maybe the next day it’s Jozy or Clint or AJ or Mix.

        Leaders, heroes whatever you want to call them emerge when the situation needs them. And given this Group the US is going to need more than one hero if they expect to advance.

        And now more than one guy knows he may be called upon.

      • Since the devil needs no advocate, I prefer unemotional, non-vindictive speculation like this. Under the assumptions you describe, Landon could arrive on the scene having made all the right moves to be ready to give his best – yet be deemed best utilized as an omission. In that case he deserves ZERO scorn. Mourning, sure; but it’s not his fault that at his best he’s been the quality of playmaker to leave teammates standing around slackjawed.

        Lordamighty I hope the heroes we have left are capable of rising to the occasion to that same degree or better. Otherwise, we may be wasting our last best foot forward in this tournament for many years to come.

      • The trouble with the Prince of LA expressing his doubts about himself, his commitment, his abilities,etc.,etc., ad nauseum , so publicly, in great detail and at great length over a long period of time is that eventually someone takes you seriously.

        And it gets a little weird when he then comes back and says, in effect, ” No, that’s not what I really meant”..

      • Scorn creeping back in.

        There’s what people sound like and there’s what they do; and what this dude’s done for over a decade (while sounding throughout like a bit of an oddball) is rewrite the record books and amplify the talents of the players around him.

        Hopefully someone else (or the collective) has that in them.

      • Like what you say, Zeke, but remember: saying IS a form of doing. Speech IS a form of action. Donovan DID say what he said, meaning he chose those speech acts at those moments in time. It’s not necessarily scornful to bring that up in case-making against his inclusion (though I’m inclined to give it less importance than others).

      • The most important comment from Donovan was his recent admission that he cannot train for 12 days straight. We all watched the Azerbaijan game and saw what the team looked like after camp. Those were the guys who felt that they could train that hard. According to Donovan’s own admission, we could expect that he would have made Bradley look rested and energetic by comparison.

        Donovan is great. It’s time to accept the fact that he is not the only one anymore.

      • Scorn?
        There is a time to talk and a time to shut up.
        Very little of what the Galaxy prince has said since JK took over has been helpful to his cause to make the 2014 World Cup team.
        Pointing that out has nothing to do with scorn.

    • If there were a Norman Vincent Peale Award for coaches (for those of you too young: “The Power of Positive Thinking” – it was a 60’s thing), it would be neck and neck between Juergen Klinsmann and Pete Carroll. Any talented player with shaky self-confidence probably never made it to this level in the first place, but if he did, he should lay down and kiss the ground for the opportunity to play for Klinsmann. He has his shortcomings but this definitely isn’t one of them.

      • This is dead-on. The Carroll analogy has been pointed out in a few pieces and it requires minimal explanation– spent a a bit of time watching how the two operate and communicate, and the similarities are overwhelming. It’s not an accident.

        The other piece of the philosophy involves competition, as specifically embodied in the the exhausitve, data-based evaluation of players on a near-constant basis (Stanford being the most recent observation period, although indirect observations are certainly gathered throughout the year). This is critical to the idea of confidence-building.

        The coach empowers the players through through relentless positivity, but he also shows those selected – unequivocally – that they have “earned” their place, and they can have no doubt that they are the best individuals to get the job accomplished. The backups are equally well-prepared… they have minimal paranoia about being overlooked for intangible or sinister reasons, and they are prepared to execute when called upon.

    • You are right on target here, sadly. Klinnsman was a great striker, but he’s a horrible manager, and man manger. He is destroying team morale just like he did 15 months ago. The players seem worn down, physically and emotionally. The beautiful game needs to be played with joy, not fear. The fact that he is still tinkering with the lineup at this stage is ridiculous. Regardless of talent or fitness, leaving Donovan off the team was bound to create an uneeded distraction. If Klinnsman could get out of the way of his own ego, he would see that.

      • Randall H: “The players seem worn down, physically and emotionally.” Where are you getting this information? What, do you have mood rings on all the players?

        P.S. I heard that Michael Bradley said that you are destroying team morale.

      • Yea I think what MB said last night was The truth is Randall wasn’t here for a lot of the qualifying and we have to focus on the group that is here..or something to that effect..
        Yea the team morale looked devastated on espn last night, those guys that made the team looked horrified and emotionally torn down, and there was even socializing between real Americans and dual nationals…
        Oh… the humanity….

    • Why is Omar Gonzalez a worse player after playing substantial minutes for the national team than when he came in? Shattered confidence.

      That can happen when you run up against the limits of your ability.

      Why did Michael Bradley — of all people — feel the need to leave AS Roma and have his agent call TFC to arrange a contract? Fear of being left off the World Cup team for sitting on the bench in Serie A — despite the fact that Bradley is by far the best field player on the team.

      Michael Bradley wasn’t going to be left off the squad if he took a dump on the German flag. He took the money, very understandably.

    • How do think you’d feel about it all on your bad days?
      Have you called your dad lately?
      The glass is really half full, of poisoned water…….jeeze Louise man. Relax!
      …………….look at our record since Klinsman took over.
      We beat Italy, in Italy for the first time ever. We beat Mexico in the Azteca for the first time ever. Etc. etc. etc., …… goes one day at a time, one opponent at a time.
      Good things, good things. Good things are coming.

    • Joseph, you gotta love it when you make an educated observation, and all these corny white boys can counter with are stupid jokes that snowball into more and more stupidity. They can’t counter with an intelligent argument… which means they have nothing to say lol… THEY LOSE

      • You consider Bradley’s move was because of Klinsmann, or Omar’s drop in form was because of Klinsmann to be rational arguments…. Wow…

    • We didn’t look particularly sharp against Azerbaijan, which was somewhat frustrating, but judging by results in WC qualifying, they were pretty stingy throughout the campaign. Apparently, they play a style designed to slow the opposition’s attack to a crawl. My only compaint is that we did not schedule an opponent that was willing to play a more open game, though I am guessing it was difficult to get anyone to come out to the West Coast.

      • Awkward is fine in your first friendly against a team that consistently got 9 or 10 men behind the ball. And nothing wrong with facing a very tough defense in the build up to the world cup.

        The US is going to play Belgium in a closed door friendly in Brazil a few days before the tournament starts. Belgium, in group H, is the most likely second round match up should the US secure 2nd in group G, and is incredibly talented, plays the most sophisticated tactics, and is a great last tune up for the USMNT.

        I can find no fault in the fixtures leading up to opening kickoff against Ghana.

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