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Yedlin disagrees with Donovan comments slamming Klinsmann’s approach

DeAndre Yedlin

Photo by John Todd/


Landon Donovan’s harsh critique of coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s performance at the World Cup has certainly intensified the debate over whether Klinsmann made the right choices at the helm of the U.S. Men’s National Team in Brazil.

But DeAndre Yedlin, the young right back who was one of the U.S. team’s pleasant surprises in Brazil, shot down Donovan’s criticisms.

“I don’t agree with that,” Yedlin said when asked by Sports Illustrated if he agreed with “any part” of Donovan’s controversial comments. “I think Jurgen did a great job with us. Ultimately it’s up to us to decide what we do on the field, so he doesn’t really have a say in that.”

“But I think he did his part,” Yedlin continued. “He did well. I think he put the right players on the field at the right times and I was glad he was our coach.”

Donovan’s review of Klinsmann’s choices was less glowing. While Donovan said the players’ performances were a mixed bag, the team had never been on a path toward success due to Klinsmann’s tactical plan.

“If you really look at the performances, there were some good performances by guys, some not-so-good performances by guys. As a whole, I think tactically, the team was not set up to succeed,” Donovan said from training with the Los Angeles Galaxy on Wednesday. “They were set up in a way that was opposite from what they’ve been the past couple years, which is opening up, passing, attacking — trying to do that. And the team’s been successful that way. Why they decided to switch that in the World Cup, none of us will know.”

For Yedlin, 20, the World Cup turned out to be a breakout moment. He was long a right back for the Seattle Sounders and USMNT, but Klinsmann made a surprise substitution against Portugal in the group stage, bringing Yedlin in as a flank midfielder to replace a beat-up Alejandro Bedoya.

Afterward, Yedlin admitted he had never trained as a midfielder for the USMNT. But the move seemed to be a stroke of brilliance from Klinsmann as Yedlin was able to race in behind defenses and put balls in the box, generating some of the best chances all game. He played a role in the USMNT’s second goal, which would prove crucial in leaving the match with a draw.

But Donovan said veterans Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey had been used all wrong and failed to make the impact they could have.

“Michael was put in the wrong position,” Donovan told “He was put in a position that he’s not used to playing. He does a better job, as you saw with Julian Green’s goal, being in a deeper position and having someone in a front of him. Someone to help Clint also makes him that much better because he’s got more opportunity to pick out different passes, more attacking options ahead of him. I think that was clearly an error.”

Watch Yedlin’s interview below:


  1. I believe this is the final WC when we will not have midfielders who lack the confidence to possess the ball. In the best circumstances, guys like Holden would have been available. Also some of the guys who got us through qualifying were not good enough for the WC-Zusi and Davis and Wondo. Thankfully we left Evans at home. Dempsey’s first goal showed the difference between him and Donovan. He has showed guts and grit. Donovan has never stood up when we were getting slaughtered by a superior team. He disappears. Slovenia? I said superior team.
    The future of US soccer lay in guys who are going to fight to improve their game. Think of Donovan – did his game evolve over the years? I don’t think so. He should have declined the ESPNN offer to be an analyst because he was going to be in a no-win situation. Everything he said, critical or complimentary, was going to be tainted by the history. That is the greatest lack of judgement of all. But it was always about Donovan (even if its just his future in broadcasting.)

  2. The problem with the analysis for many people is it came from Donovan. When the same analysis comes from a respected outsider, there isn’t so much debate. Other people (soccer media) had said some of the same things, but this gets the attention because of the person who said them.

    • Roy,


      Ironically, LD himself addressed this earlier when during an ESPN World Cup telecast early on he spoke about how he was concerned that people would see any criticism from him as bitterness but in the end decided to take the ESPN assignment because he is interested in a future in the media and this was an opportunity he might never get again.

      I don’t know what the circumstances were under which he made these comments but there is no such thing as bad publicity when you are angling for a pundit job. So it is clear he has made the decision to move on and focus on that aspect of his potential future.

      LD has always been very sharp. His playing days seem to be nearly done and certainly his USMNT career is done so why not focus on displacing Julie Foudy or the incompetent Lalas, who can only say “I love set pieces”? Twellman is getting better but you can’t tell me LD would not eventually approach John Harkes or Eric Wynalda.

      LD is, in fact, moving on and getting his shots in at the same time. Talk about having your cake and eating it too.

      By the way, JK loves all this as he is the one who spoke about how he wants the public to be really critical of the USMNT since it means they care.

      So it’s all good for everyone involved.

  3. I have not read all the comments because the Donovan topic is becoming mind-numbing, but i think anyone that thinks Donovan would have made a difference doesn’t watch many Galaxy games because his form is not good.

    • Thank you. Donovan couldn’t even lead Galaxy past the Carolina Railhawks, and people think he would have made a difference against Belgium? The mind boggles.

  4. Donovan has always had the courage of his convictions. As a result, he has been more willing than some others to express a reasonable and widely shared criticism of Klinsmann’s performance. Yedlin, on the other hand, is firmly under Klinsmann’s thumb and will remain there until either he retires or Klinsmann is replaced. We can be confident that we’re never going to hear anything from him that he thinks Klinsmann wouldn’t want to hear it.

  5. We needed a ball controlling, attacking midfielder to help transition from deep in our own end – where we spent the vast majority of the games – to the other end. We would never have won the possession battle, and our one-on-one defensive skills were glaringly lacking in the back line and defensive midfield positions, but it seems so, so obvious that Klinsmann’s ego got in the way of having Donovan on the team. It doesn’t matter that Donovan 2014 is not Donovan 2002 or Donovan 2006 or whatever. And he’s never been that good, and he’s always been overrated. All true. He STILL should have been on the team, and would have been a huge lift coming in around the 60-65 minute mark of every game. I can’t think of any of the games where he wouldn’t have been a big boost and we needed it. Ghana should have killed us, Portugal is a mess and still pulled even, Germany and Belgium ran circles around us and again our tenacity and spirit kept us from getting slaughtered. Donovan would have been a plus and Klinsmann was a moron for leaving him off the team.

  6. a) yedlin is a kid, how much does his opinion really matter; b) yedlin depends on klinsmann for his international career, hes not going to say anything that risks his chances of being on the 2018 team.

  7. DeAndre better shut his face trap before I start to dislike him. Of course he has to defend Klinsmann; he got a free ticket to Brazil after contributing absolutely nothing to the qualification campaign. Who is the next low life to take a shot at Donovan?

  8. Germany beat France. Germany’s relentless pursuit of the penalty area, compact play in offense and defense, short passing, and relentless pursuit of the penalty area with players off the ball supporting the player with the ball. Win, lose, or draw, Germany is playing a very high standard of the basic game. Germany has a good approach. If anybody cannot learn anything from that…

  9. Donovan’s comments are pointless, and proprs to Deandre for calling him out.

    Donovan and all those who claim to agree with him are pouting lo$ers. Jozy went down, and it’s not that Klinsmann failed to bring a replacement; there is none. Certainly not a 5′ 8″, 10lbs overweight, 32yo Landon.

    Jozy goes down –> Deuce goes up top –> Beckerman shows up and locks down the #6 spot –> Bradley plays worse than usual, and was the target of opposing teams from the outset (OF COURSE THEY WERE GOING TO TRY AND SHUT HIM DOWN… OTHER TEAMS HAVE TACTICAL PLANS TOO!) –> And most of the other teams we played were better. And Wondo shanked it.

    Maybe, if Donovan wanted to prove he could do better, he should have showed heart in March rather than taking pot shots at the team after his cut, and after the tournament. T.o.o.l.

    • I don’t mean to nitpick, QuakerOtis, but I wouldn’t say that DeAndre “called Landon out.” He replied to a direct question politely. “Umm, I don’t agree with that,” is not calling someone out.

      • Fair enough. But everyone else here gets to pick and choose, so let me have a little fun, eh? You can’t ignore that Jozy has no replacement, and you can’t play the “what if” game unless I get to throw out as many what ifs as I like to as well.

        And yes, Landon is a to.ol.

  10. Getting rid of Martin Vasquez, I remember that, seems a lack of deficiency in tactics at the time. He was just a symptom and not the source.

  11. Klinnsman made the most of what personnel he had with regards to collective defense and a counter attack starting from the defense. Klinnsman lacked in other area’s of the roster/tactics/formation. Bradley played more forward and in back. Jones played more forward and in back. Fabian Johnson played on Defense and the wing. Cameron played RB, CB, and DMF, Beasley played LB and LW, Dempsey played #10 spot, forward, and out on the wing. I will stop right here. I made my point. What happened when Jozy went out? No replacement? Change the formation and tactics because Jozy is out? Just about. Klinnsman had no real faith in the other 11 sitting on the bench. The non starters should be able to step in and continue the tactics without sacrificing the integrity of the formation. For large parts of WCQ and the WC Klinnsman lacked in player selection and use of tactics/formation. This is the heart and soul of the issues I had with Klinnsman. You cannot sit back on D for 90+ minutes. The levy will break in time. You need a balanced formation to take pressure off of the defense. You need more possession in midfield, beating players on the dribble 1 VS 1, one touch, and a shorter passing game, in short the US needs more compact play on offense to make effective use of one touch, give n go, overlapping, etc…longball, MLS style 50 yard passing will not cut it for possession.

  12. The chances of somebody commenting on this board know more about the game than Jurgen Klinnsman, with all his experience coaching and playing are pretty slim. You have to remember, not only did the US federation select him as the coach and leader of the entire program. But Germany, one of the most storied and successful nations in the history of soccer, also put him at the helm. As I understand it, they wanted him back. Did he fail miserably at Bayern, sure. Still he has had opportunities as a coach that NO ONE on this site has. So in the end, all you can do as a coach, shoot as a person, is: 1) investigate as best as possible the possible alternatives, 2) use your experience and that of other QUALIFIED peers to make a decision then 3) go forward with all you have. Sorry, but many of his decisions worked out wonderfully. Some not so well(Davis). BUT NO ONE knows how Donovan would have affected the lockerroom, as a sub. He obviously is not above throwing stones when he doesnt get his way. It is still quite possible with the injuries, Wondo’s miss, and failures by others that may or may not play his position, that the team was better off without him.

    • I used to live in Germany, and I can guarantee you, DFB definitely wanted him to stay. These people saying otherwise are just aimlessly ranting.

  13. Eh Donovan had some good points. It was pretty bad we had to wait to be scored against to finally start attacking. Klinnsy said the exact same thing too, trying to deflect blame on himself. It all ends at the manager though and while I think Jurgen has done a good job I think it’s wrong to say Landon is completely off on his comments either.

  14. Despite the fact that every US player gave 500% and left bits and pieces of their bodies on the field, they were unfortunately playing under the weight of a flawed strategy designed by Jurgen Klinsmann. The reality is that the Belgium debacle was one of the worst performances ever by the USMNT. Despite the fact Klinsmann put in seven defenders to play bunker soccer it did not work. 40 shots from Belgium and Howard forced to make 18 saves. Cameron playing out of position was a disaster. What no one up to this point is mentioning is that despite the sh!t roster Klinsmann named for the WC, a roster lacking half a dozen key players who got us to Brazil, why did Klinsmann not have the brains to try to compensate for his mistakes by doing some adjusting in such an important game? He could have moved Fabian Johnson up to an attacking midfield slot, either left or right wing, move Geoff Cameron to right back or even Chandler and then slide MB back to defensive midfield where he can make the killer pass. He also could have moved Beasley up to play left wing and Fabian to left back. Either of those changes would have made the USMTN much more competitive against Belgium.

    Another thing there is a story out that Johansson has to undergo surgery, but the story says it is not yet know whether the injury was pre-WC or not. And also Chandler did not play and that makes you wonder whether his injury in the friendlies never healed completely. If Johansson and Chandler were both less than 100% then Klinsmann should have replaced them. He had until 24 hours before the first games against Ghana to call in new players.

      • let him rant…he has pre-conceived notions and doesn’t like facts to get in his way. He chooses not to recognize that US came out to attack. He also chooses not to remember that people were clamoring to play with 3 CDM in the warm up games. He forgets how US was torn a new hole by Turkey when we played with 2 CDM and how EVERYONE loved it when US played with 3 CDM against Nigeria.

        US does not have true 10 or AM of world cup quality and don’t say Mix. He is not good enough, yet. Maybe we could have forced Holden into it if he was healthy enough.

  15. I guess I’m going to sound like a snob here, and I apologize in advance. I understand that every four years the world cup inspires a lot of new fans to the game, and that’s great. But so many of the stories and comments I’ve seen–including all the attention being paid to Donovan, seems like a re-tread job in order to have newbies catch-up. Again, the enthusiasm and interest is great, but at the same time, I really truly think that we need to accept a few “truths” about how this squad in order to form a proper context:

    1. Soccer is not a Rocky film. As Ronaldo famously said recently, “there are no miracles in soccer.” This squad of 23 played clubs that outmatched on paper in nearly every way, and stood in JK’s words “eye to eye” with them. Our domestic league is growing at a furious pace, but it does not compare to the major leagues in Mexico or Europe. the calendar is too short, the competition is not as frequent or as elevated or a fast paced. It’s getting there, but it’s not there yet.

    2. The US team traveled further than any other squad and was asked played in a “game of their life” scenario every four days. In the words of Tim Howard “we gave it everything we had.” I’ll take his words over any blogger and guest TV blabbermouth every day and twice on Sunday. Jozy Altidore out with injury. Deuce and Jones walking wounded. Finding out now Aaron Johannsson had a major ankle knock. Fabian Johnson, one of the few folks able to step into the offensive gap left by missing Jozy, goes down in the match where we needed him more than at any time. As if it already wasn’t a stiff enough challenge, the logistics and injury deck was also stacked against them. Every team faced it to an extent, but in the end it was a major factor in what prevented us from finding a way to overcome yet one more obstacle.

    3. Not a single one our players is currently playing at a club level that matches the intensity of training or frequency of high stakes competition that is comparable to deep running Champions league teams like the top four clubs of the major European leagues (and just because two teams that fit that definition crashed out early doesn’t mean this is any less significant, it only underscores how truly insanely difficult the world cup is). Excepting Colombia and Costa Rica, every other squad left in the WC does, often times key triangles are playing together at club level to boot. That makes the ramp up from club level to national level less intense. It also makes Wondo’s misses well as Davis and Zusi’s ceiling a lot more understandable.

    4. Landon Donovan DID NOT EARN A SPOT ON THIS SQUAD. Therefore, I don’t really take much stock in what he ha to say about the culture, strategy or preparation of this squad. He of course is entitled to his opinion, but frankly it’s just that. He had every opportunity to make himself a relevant force on this squad, and every step of the way he chose to run his mouth instead of just run harder. I can’t imagine the media circus that would have made this world cup his “lion in winter” story, completely burying the real stories of integrity — Deuce’s real word competence and grit in climbing the ladder one rung at a time without being anointed anyone’s golden boy or poster child, Jermaine Jones proving naysayers wrong one match minute at a time, realizing that we have some incredible youth in our pipeline, and that some of our assumed next-to-be captains have not reached their ceiling yet and have further to go if they are to reach their potential. Those are stories that will fuel tomorrow and move the sport forward, not serve as click-bait to ingratiate folks still living in the past and thinking that the best way to make stars is to anoint and coddle, not forge and refine through competition and uncompromising standards that require suffering and sacrifice.

    5. Your FIFA14 fantasy is not real life. Whether it’s dual nationals who were spat upon during qualifying by so many chubby has-been jingoist blogspotters who still suffer from the notion that the best years of US soccer were under Bruce Arena or that outcomes can be predicted by your favorite video game settings and think that their expectation of what an American should be able to do against world competition (win it all) trumps the reality of the two decades plus of preparation that can go into any single moment in a match of significance in a sport where we are still very much in the middle of the led pack is just so old. High expectations are well and go. Entitled ignorant fantasy is embarrassing and annoying. Educate yourselves before you form and share an opinion that makes you look like an ignorant a$$.

    6. CONTEXT MATTERS. The reason why I love following this sport that the world calls football and we insist on calling soccer is because it’s real. Unlike the sports that we had to invent in order to dominate, this is a sport played all over the world that we are coming late to. In the past 30 years we’ve gone from irrelevance to rising power against all the odds and an establishment that says “it’ll never happen.” So when our players take the pitch or the field of the patch of grass or the whoever you want to or not want to call it, it needs to be with a real understanding of what we’re facing. Its the only to appreciate what has been and is being accomplished. This country is not owed anything, nor does it have a legacy of dominance, yet we are WINNING. So in my opinion, every inch of progress and every moral victory that is earned is more precious than anyone who has been blathering in front of mics and cameras about how things “just should be better.” without taking the time to appreciate or understand or respect what was just done. If they did, Landon Donovan would have had the sh*t smacked out of him before the hot hair finished leaving his bitter self-entitled pie hole.

    • While I agree with many of your points, I have one problem a comment u made…the US invented sports to dominate? Ummm wasn’t soccer/football invented at one point or did it appear with the creation of the universe? Also, why does the word soccer bother people? We didn’t invent it and aren’t the only one who uses it…anyways, like I said, I actually agree with most of your post.

      • thanks for the feedback! I simply mean that baseball, football, and basketball are the there major sports here in the US and it’s not a coincidence that the best athletes in those respective sports come from here. It’s part of our culture and in some cases has been for nearly 100 years in the case of baseball, so it shouldn’t be a wonder these sports attract the majority of the most promising athletes in the USA. Again, it only underscores ever the more how remarkable and dedicated these current US soccer players are. For a lot of US fans and journalists, these sports are followed with religious fervor that the rest of the world devotes mainly to soccer. So again, the fact that soccer is making such fast inroads in spite of it being an outsider in the US sports world is actually something to celebrate, not belittle like so many mainstream sports mans and journos still tend to do.

        And I’m fine with folks calling it soccer, or using the term field, or cleats or zero. It just annoys me when some folks get annoyed when other fans use football, pitch, boots, or nil. We don’t think tennis fans are being elitist in referring to a court, racquet (british and french terms) or love (nihilist). Nor do we question why a touchdown is 7 points regardless of a pass or run and a field goal always 3 points no matter the range or 1 points or a safety is two. Each sport has it’s own vocab and its eccentricities. Acknowledging that shouldn’t make one a target for being called a snob. But I’m with you, call it what you want as long as you know folks know what you mean.

      • When I see comments like this from PD and bryan, I thank god for US Soccer. This is real, meaningful dialogue from people who care. Next time you find this kind of quality on some NFL, NBA, MLB website, it will be the first.

    • Donovan earned a spot in many ways, including stats. And, I’m not talking about just his career stats (which are the best overall) but his 2013/14 stats.

      Avg. Minutes Played per Goal Scored in 2013/2014 National Team Matches

      – Donovan: 1 Goal for every 140 minutes played
      – Altidore: 1 Goal for every 147 minutes played
      – Dempsey: 1 Goal for every 156 minutes played

      Also, Donovan contributed one assist or goal for every 66 minutes of play and no other player comes close to beating that.

    • As I pointed out above, Donovan’s 2013/2014 stats for the US National Team were better than starters Altidore and Dempsey. And, anyone else on the squad, for both goals and assists. These 2013/2014 stats were some of the best of his career. Here’s an example.

      Avg. Minutes per Goal (National)
      – Donovan: 1 Goal for every 140 minutes played
      – Altidore: 1 Goal for every 147 minutes played
      – Dempsey: 1 Goal for every 156 minutes played

      – Donovan: 1 Goal or Assist for every 66 minutes played

      • How did he do in the six months leading up to the world cup? For club and country? I don’t really care about his performance at the gold cup last year. That’s well in the past.
        How has he done in MLS this season?

      • and more importantly, how has he responded in training and in the locker room. This squad played team first. LD has been noting but me all this drivel is simply more of the same. Nasri and Tevez both watched the world cup from home in spite of their relative celebrity and individual talent. Both of them had to cash checks their attitudes had written. Why should LD be any different? Competition and uncompromising standards on the training field and locker over stat sheets and marketing strategies. That’s progress.

      • Donovan also picked up most of those stats at a watered down Gold Cup. I’ll say it again, he essentially gave up to his competition for a spot, Wondo.

      • And once again I ask,, because I don’t know the stats…
        What do these numbers look like without the Gold Cup?
        What do they look like in qualifiers?

      • Sean,

        So you’re saying that JK was right to take Wondo over Donovan.

        Wondo’s 2013/2014 USA stats:
        1 goal for every 54 minutes played.

      • He also played in the Gold Cup. Those other guys did not. Padding your stats against sub-par CONCACAF competition shouldn’t be used as your only argument.

      • I’m amused that so many of you are still defending Wondo after he simply choked. He might be a great person but proved again to be nit the WC quality.

      • I’m not defending him, he choked the best chance our team had in 4 games.
        I will defend his selection to the team, because at the time he deserved to go. And even though I never thought much of him or KB till the last year, I like others thought they both earned their spot.
        KB answered the call.. Wondo didn’t

      • “Donovan earned a spot in many ways, including stats. And, I’m not talking about just his career stats (which are the best overall) but his 2013/14 stats”


        You are easily impressed. Compare USMNT goals for Wondo with Donovan since the beginning of 2013 and you will see that these two guys look pretty similar to a neutral.

        DONOVAN ( No goals in 2014)

        Friendly Guatemala 2
        Gold Cup Belize
        El Salvador
        Honduras 2
        WC Qualifier Mexico

        TOTAL GOALS : 8

        WONDO 2013-2014 US goals
        Friendly Guatemala
        Gold Cup Belize 3
        Cuba 2
        Friendly South Korea 2

        TOTAL GOALS : 9

  16. Okay, I have had two days to think it over. imo, Klinsmann did indeed screw up, big time. It is true than Klinsi is a terrible on-field (both in training and especially during games) coach. He has a history of failure in this regard, both with the German national team and at Bayern. I know most here were not able to follow these two head coaching events however it was clearly displayed during the Ukraine friendly. There he was, on the sidelines while being out-played by Ukraine and all he could do is make hand and face gestures, he was not IN THE GAME at all. Talk about a deer caught in the head lights.

    It is true that he is a great politician, a great talker, in other words, a snake oil salesman. Bayern’s boss admitted as much, saying they bought what Klinsmann was selling and it was a big mistake. And by the way, he was not offered a contract extension by the DFL. Löw did make the tactical decisions and by agreement Klinsi resigned shortly after the world cup.

    I thought with Vasquez being sacked and Ramos and Herzog moved in that Klinsi would be brought under control, Ramos and Herzog would be mostly involved in game day events, player selection and tactics. But it is clear I was wrong. Klinsmann’s ego and total belief that he knows everything, better than anyone in the world. (his after game comments make this clear, it was the players’ fault, they gave too much respect, etc.)

    Even after what happened to him in 2006 and at Bayern it meant nothing. Yes, he could say he would go along with the coaching shake-up but unlike in Germany when his job was on the line he had to listen. However this time he was back in the USA, he and his family’s home, he talked his way into a contract extension before the world cup, and has Gulati in his back pocket.

    Here is the main proof, and I know I will be flamed for it, he did not play Julian Green, he put him in only for the last 15 minutes of the last game when we were down 0-2. (his excuse was lame, we only had one sub. left, etc.) The only conclusion I can make is that Klinsmann decided he was not going to play Green at all, no matter what was agreed earlier and no matter what Ramos and Herzog wanted.

    Although I am still p*ssed that Green did not play more, he would have made a difference, something happened that Klinsmann did not expect. Within 2 minutes Green got himself in position,made eye contact with Bradley and BOOM.

    Both Gulati and Klinsmann should be sacked, removed from anything to do with U.S soccer. The sooner the better.

      • This is a tough dilemma, because pre-world cup, hardly anybody wanted to see Green on the plane in place of Donovan. Green didn’t show well in the friendly games at all. Also, he was Klinsy’s recruit, so Jurgen deserves credit for that at least.

      • He was not Klinsi’s recruit, it was Herzog who handled all negotiations with Bayern and DFB. Klinsi made no contact with Bayern, Herzog made all the visits.

      • Of course he didn’t show well in the friendlies. He only played in one of the three, for 27 minutes.

      • How did Klinsi not recruit him or talk to him when Green said JK talked to him, but never gave him any pressure. Whatever…don’t let facts get in your way.

    • Evidence of this being since Low, the real tactician became coach, Germany has won every major tournament under the….oh wait.

      • His record is not bad, pretty good in fact.
        1. 2008 Euros: Lost to Italy 0-1 in final
        2. 2010 World Cup: Lost to Spain 0-1 in Semis, finished 3rd.
        3. 2012 Eruos: Lost to Italy 1-2 in semi final

        During that time only Spain did better.

      • Ya, but he has done some amazing boned headed things. That Italy game was terrible. It’s mostly recent issues and a tendency to play for too much procession rather than attack. Then dumb stuff like 4 CBs happen.

        Not much he could do about Spain in 2010.

    • This is something that goes in the opinion pages of a newspaper and still isn’t even close to accurate. I get your hate but we did overachieve on what we did. And you don’t even have your facts right on anything. Man just give it a rest and come back at qualifying.

  17. Yedlin has better hair than Donovan, is faster than Donovan, and is not quite as hobbit-like as Donovan. I’m going with Yedlin for those superficial reasons.

  18. Could this be the illustration of what kept LD off the team in the first place? Not purely his conditioning or current form, but the distracting impact contemporaneous, “keeping it real” comments about tactics and player selections might have on the younger players had it occurred during the last few weeks on the training ground, in the locker room, or at meals.

      • Yes, you should definitely assume their not having said anything means that they agree with whatever your opinion is, but are too scared to say it. That’s awesome.

  19. Donovan is correct and Yedlin is supporting the guy that picked him. He’s so new to the NAT scene, I’m surprised he opened his mouth at all. I would value comments from either Bradley or Dempsey more but there is nothing in it for them to slam the boss if thats what they thought

    • exactly, anyways sbi is starting to come across as a bit of soap opera website with these articles. it’s not sour grapes, donovan isn’t saying anything that none of us didn’t see with our own eyes.
      also, the title is a bit of sensationalism..”DONOVAN COMMENTS SLAMMING KLINSMANN’S APPROACH”…. ?!? so when speaking the truth nowadays it’s called slamming someone, got it, thanks.

      • True. I remember when SBI was a great site packed with informed articles and reader comments. Now it’s starting to seem like a college newspaper. SBI used to corner the market as far as I’m concerned. Seems like a niche is starting to open up again in US soccer reporting. He says as he begins his search on google…

  20. As an English person I must say I am amazed at the comments about klinsman.

    I would urge you to pay more attention to world football and you’ll understand that the players on your team are not that great, most of them are not good enough to play in the top leagues in Europe. Klinsman and his team massively overachieved. You were in what was called the “group of death” you were expected to come bottom yet advanced to the knock out stages through sheer fighting spirit and persistence. You held Belgium to a draw for 90 min, Belgium being probably the most talented squad in wc, individually every player on the Belgium team is technically better and more accomplished than yours so that shouldn’t have been possible. In fact USA was rated the 5th least valuable team in the whole tournament.
    You should pat your lads on the back and say well done lads and build for the future. And forget Donovan ( this sounds like sour grapes from him he should take notes from Ashley cole arguably a much better player who also shockingly was dropped from England’s World Cup squad to make way for youth and bowed out graciously) look to the positives hey you got yedlin and Julian green now! The future is bright!

    • Oh you mean like the players on the English, Spanish, Portugal and Italy teams? I’m sick of the Eurosnobs. The four teams named crashed and burned and we didnt

      • @ duke
        The European leagues are where all the best players play.And they aren’t all Europeans, it’s South Americans, Asian and African players so you being sick of Europeans is beside the point. And the point you make about the big European teams crashing out is exactly what I am saying. Teams with world class players and managers with a big rep crashed out in the group stage. Italy, reigning champion Spain, Russia and England. So this proves how well your team did.Everybody fell in love with the us team because of their spirit. I seriously wanted us to win (even though Belgium obviously is vastly superior skill wise ) simply because your guys played with so much heart and dedication.
        The problem is USA don’t possess the personnel to play expansive attacking football. It’s not a matter of the manager it’s a matter of the squad, if you look back klinsman played that kind of attacking football when he was the German national side manager and was widely
        credited with bringing back a more attacking style go the German national side.
        If the USA had tried to do that in Brazil they would have never left the group stages. Klinsman played to the strength of the team anyone with a football brain knows that ,even Donovan, as I said this is just sour grapes and proves why klinsman was right to not pick him. It’s similar to how deschampes did not pick nasri. You want positive players, team players in the dressing room, no one is bigger than the team. And no one can live on past glories in football.

      • When JK signed on, he promised to play attacking soccer. That hasn’t happened very much. There are better players in MLS than some of the ones he took. He took who he likes, even if they can’t help much, some not at all. He left Donovan off the roster when he could have helped. Instead he takes Brad Davis and Wondo. Wondo misses a sitter and Davis? Please…. After the last game, he threw the team he picked under the bus.

        Im tired of his spin and lack of confidence in American players. Nothing is ever his fault and he makes no mistakes. We need a coach that will first look to use players living here and who isn’t afraid to compete. If he continues this approach, he may not see the next WC unless its on TV

      • Mate! The future is bright for you guys.You have some great young talent coming up.Players that now have experience on the World Cup stage and that’s invaluable. It looks to me as if klinsman decided it was more important that those players that are the future of the team got blooded in at this stage than catering to the whims of ageing stars. And the young players for the most part exceeded expectation. Bayern Munich has great expectations for Julian green and Yedlin is drawing interest from inter Milan and a few other Italian and English clubs. How can that not be good for American football? Come 2018 I think you guys will be even stronger.
        Team spirit is great but you also have to develop technical skill, if you combine that spirit with skill you will be unstoppable.

      • Lol. Man, I want some of what you’re drinking. We have played attacking soccer when against concacaf teams, but do you really think we can play that against teams like we faced? I feel bad for you if you think that.

        The only players that you could argue that could be replaced are Brad Davis, or maybe Wondo. Wondos goal was not really a sitter. Even if he puts it on target, Courtois would most likely have saved it — he had all angles cut off. The MLS is just not good, and if we only used players here…well, we wouldn’t even be out of the group. Jones, Howard, Fabian Johnson, Brooks, Green, Bedoya, Cameron all don’t make it. All those guys were important to us making it out of the group.

        He didn’t throw the team under the bus, but he said he was going to start integrating the youth. You know, some competition, which is what you want. It brings the best out of players. Also, if you want to start to change the way the country produces players you start with the youth.

        Klinsmann is not going anywhere after the amazing last few years he has had. You know, first in qualifying, record winning streak, expanding the player pool, winning the gold cup, and getting out of the group. Your comment just reeks of xenephobia and has no real merit.

      • Player for player, Belgium is better than Portugal, France, Netherlands, Italy, etc. Sure, they don’t have CR 7 or Messi, but they have a collective strength. Lukaku off the bench. Need I say more?

      • I think we we’re being held back by JK and his conservative approach. Neither Bradley of Jones can generate offense and yet we have an attacking mid that never saw the field.

        Maybe Belgium is better player for player but NEVER underestimate American spirit. Had JK unchained the troupes earlier, we might have tied it up. The last 20 minutes we played like banshees and came close several times. Belgium may be better but we are not scared of trying to beat them. Not so sure that JK thinks that way or what was trying to do. Play for PKs? I don’t know. Not our style

      • Re-watch the match, specifically the early stages. JK had the team come out attacking. The BBC commentators were shocked that we were sending up to 7 or 8 guys into the attack at a time, leaving our 2-man defense exposed. Beas and Johnson were practically playing at the halfway line.
        If we had more technical players we would have pulled off the upset in regulation.

    • Jacob, great comments, welcome to American soccer fans, though. Hindsight always backs up their preconceived notions and the only reasons our guys don’t play in the big leagues is prejudice.

      • solles,

        The English person’s writing is what gives him credibility, not his national origin..

        As for Duke, you find him credible?

    • Probably not but that is the where he trained his whole life up until Akron when Porter tinkered with him. Sounders brought him in and knew he could be good RB and it worked out. Im guessing that he has played more as a midfielder than a defender and it shows. That is why I think the sky is the limit for him because he has been playing a defensive position for 2+ years

      • What does that have to do with Klinsi preparing this team to play in this World Cup? I think it’s odd that if Klinsi planned to play Yedlinny at RM, why didn’t he have the team train that way during the month long camp in Palo Alto or the weeks they were in Brazil?

    • If you watch Yedlin play right back, he essentially plays as a winger anyways. He gets up the field even more than FJ. So he was basically playing the same position he always does, with the difference of having FJ behind him providing defensive cover

  21. Yedlin is not going to say anything and have Klinnsman upset with him and have Klinnsman treat him the way Donovan got treated.

  22. Read some of the comments on the whole Donovan criticizing Klinsmann on the Guardian. Majority siding with Klinsmann. The tactics the Klinsmann used on the teams in the World Cup were meant to cope with the loss of Altidore. If we attacked, it would have been suicide because we don’t have those technical players to control the midfield and dictate play against the likes of Ghana, Germany, Belgium, and more or less Portugal. What I will ask is why didn’t Klinsmann bring Boyd as a possible replacement for a Plan B if Altidore went down and what type of training regime he put the US players through before going to the WC. It’s hard to say whether the tactics that we used during qualifying would work in our WC without Altidore. As for Donovan, he’s really not doing himself any favors to get back on the team…

    • Very good point. He was too concerned how 3 DM’s could be on the field at the same time. In doing so, any kind of attacking midfield/forward was ineptly unorganized.

      • I really wonder what Bradley or Dempsey would have to say about JK’s tactics. But come to think of it, would we be debating this had Wondo scored?

      • Wondo’s missed goal? Sure was a shank, but it would have been offsides anyway. People forget it would have been offsides. I have been complaining about Klinnsman tactics, formation, and player selection before WCQ, during the WC, and am scared about the future with Klinnsman continuing. I do not change opinions week to week like some fans on here do. I got standards.

      • It wasn’t offside. TT and Ian Darke said it was offside, but the linesmans flag was pointed to a goal kick.
        This has been confirmed.
        If Wondo buries it, we win.

        Wondo was playing well when the team was selected, most people agreed.
        Wondo was, according to Landon, playing well in camp.
        Wondo was-after AJ showed poorly vs Ghana- the one that fans were calling for.

        Wondo is- the one who choked

      • Wondo was *one of the ones* who choked. It’s not entirely his fault that he missed our big chance instead of merely missing one of several big chances.

        (Sorry, I just hate seeing the guy take more blame than he deserves.)

      • Linesman was signaling for a goal kick. He was onside as the commentators on ESPN elaborated. A better touch on the ball and that would’ve gone in. I’m really not concerned with JK at the helm because he was scrutinized with bringing players like Green, Brooks, and Yedlin, but they made a difference when the going got tough. Gonzales made a difference in the Germany game when he was perceived to be a weak link in that back line. While not bringing a second target man was a problem and the training regine brought issues, he and our team adapted well and got us out of a nightmarish group. If you compare the quality of the opposition from 2010 to 2014, then we really have progressed. The only way for JK to implement his attacking philosophy is to have the players with the right abilities. He truly is getting the best out of his players. Otherwise, I bet there would be more leaked info on how US players were unsatisfied in the WC camp. We just need the right youth coming in.

      • And this the exact point. The fault is 70% Wondo for single-handedly not getting us to QF when he was brought for just such situations and 30% JK for bringing him to WC. And I’m shocked how much US fans are willing to give Wondo free ride. Imagine that happen in any other country.

      • Wondo should have joined a team for the World Cup, instead of playing solo and making the loss entirely his fault. I’m actually surprised that FIFA allowed him to face Belgium all by himself. I thought 7 was the minimum number of players for one side.

    • You’re talking about a foreign site where most people think the US is piss poor and haven’t woken up to what is happening in the US. They’re falsely crediting Klinsmann for the growth of the US, it’s improvement, and the fight of the team – it’s American and has been here for years.

      Just because it’s the Guardian, it doesn’t mean the commenters know American soccer. They may know the game but that doesn’t apply if you don’t know the specifics of US soccer.

      • They never did credit Klinsmann with growing soccer here. They gave him credit for assembling a team. No one can grow soccer here in 3 years. It’s a foreign site, but it has US readers. How many of us here fully understand the quality of the Belgian side?

      • People don’t really understand how good the German and Belgian teams are. Germany is arguably the best team in the world right now and Belgium is, arguably, the most talented and deepest team in the tournament. The Belgium second team (off the bench) is good enough to arguably good enough to make it to the quarter finals. Don’t be shocked if Belgium make it to the Finals. I don’t think they will, but I think they could beat Netherlands.

      • I don’t know if we have a single player who would have even made either the German or Belgian teams. Maybe Fabian Johnson, but only because both teams are seriously lacking fullbacks.

    • Espada may only be quoting one foreign source, but that doesn’t make his point any less valid.
      Martinez, Ballack, RVN, Gilberto, Maca, Burley- all foreigners who aren’t afraid to mince words- were overwhelmingly positive about the US..
      And they weren’t alone…
      To break it down, they basically said we got a lot more right than wrong.

      If you avoid selective memory.. the biggest critics created their narrative 7-8 weeks ago based on “certain decisions” and rarely-if ever- gave any indication they were going to change those opinions

  23. Can we get Beckerman’s opinion on Yedlin’s opinion of Donovan’s opinion of Klinsman’s tactics? I certainly wouldn’t want this dead horse to get buried too quickly. And it would allow us to trot out Landon’s quotes one more time and hear all the collective genius that this board possesses on both sides of the argument.

    Give me a break already Although I agree that Klinsman may have made a mistake not bringing a backup for Jose, who should you bring? And if Klinsman didn’t play more defensive, and we lost by three against Germany or Belgium, we would have heard a chorus of people saying he sold out this year’s team in order to get experience in the new system for the next cycle. He wasn’t going to win over the naysayers no matter what he accomplished. Had we reached the semi’s, people would have complained that we did it in such an unattractive way.

    I do agree that Donovan would have been better than several players on the team. But after watching the women’s national team self-destruct from long-time veterans complaining about a new system that needs a different kind of player; as well as Gulati knuckling under to their whining, do I blame Klinsman for not bringing a potential cancer who wouldn’t be getting he kind of minutes he was accustomed to in the past? Nope. And no, I don’t know he would be a disruption any more than people who suggest he wouldn’t be. Nor do I, nor anyone else know whether he would have made a bit of difference in any of the games. However, I do know he is being disingenuous when he says that none of us knows why they switched tactics in the world cup. It is called Ghana, Portugal, Germany and Belgium instead of Trinidad, Jamaica and Panama. I get it, and I am glad Klinsman did as well.

  24. Wouldn’t have expected a different reply about JK’s coaching.

    The more interesting part of the interview was Yedlin discussing his preferred position. It’s too bad he doesn’t enjoy defending. Sure, there’s something pleasing about sending a beautiful cross into the box, but ruining a forward’s day? That can be more fun than scoring a goal.

    • Except that means Green should give way to the NEW next time around.

      I’m all for NEW. But, you don’t throw out the old when the OLD is:

      – the only US player in history with 50 goals and 50 assists
      – the highest scoring US player ever in the World Cup
      – has a higher scoring and assist per game percentage than Dempsey, Bradley, Altidore, etc.
      – just turned 32 and is comparable age to Davis, Wondo, Dempsey, Jones, Beckerman, Beasley, etc.
      – all-time leading scorer for both the US National Team and MLS
      – all-time leading assist for the US National Team
      – 2nd all-time leading assists for MLS
      – Has worn the Captain’s armband at the club and International levels

      One hundred more things AND…

      – Is a fan favorite
      – Deserved a World Cup Swan Song

      And a hundred more things…

      • cut and paste from my response above:

        “Lastly, I have been a HUGE LD supporter. I could not stand it when people called him soft and called him lady cakes, but he has really been on my last nerves for the past couple months. I understand you are bitter that you lost you spot to Wondo (that is who took his spot), but bailed on the team before, came into the pre World Cup training camp with a lackadaisical attitude sorts giving interviews saying Wondo (your competition) has looked amazing, saying you cannot train 12 days straight anymore..what???? Slightly. out of shape, relatively, for a coach that EVERYONE in the world knows LOVES fitness and you were shocked you weren’t picked! His actually has a history of letting things out (he’s kinda like an open book to the media). I wouldn’t want that in my locker room. I respect what he has done, but this guy deserves a smack. I have watched other former USMNT players give interviews but he is the worst. Just go away. You are now a slightly less annoying, shorter, but more squeaky voiced version of Erik Wynalda. Beckham’s response to you years ago was right on when you called him out, only to try to do the same thing a few months later with Everton.”

      • Yes he has many National Team records but that fact that Landon Donovan does is probably more of an indictment on the history of the National Team more than anything else.

        I find it odd that Donovan calls out the bunker and counter tactics when those tactics are exactly what made him excel for 10 years. Sure they may have been constructed differently (on field formations) but on the big stage they all did the same thing- bunker and counter.

        Does anyone truly believe we make it as far if we went straight up, blow for blow for the group stage?

      • That list is nice but if the Colts cut Payton Manning then no one is above being dropped from a team. Even LD. I feel like he’s trying to out do Alexi Lalas on the annoying scale. Everyone is trying to justify what LD is saying and doing but truth of the matter is no outsider knows the tactics only people on the team do. This is like a desperate attempt to feel amongst the cool kids. I’m going with what Yedlin says.

      • He knew this would be his last possible world cup ever in his life. Going AWOL was not good, but not then training to get into the best shape possible for one last chance to play in the big show is pathetic.

        Additionally. Please do not denigrate Beasley by mixing his name in a sentence with LD. Beasley was amazing. He was everything in this qualifying cycle that LD wasn’t. Not only did he take new challenges like going to mexico, but he also became a left-sided defender and beat out all competition to make it his own. USSF should build a statue to Beasley for his commitment to the team.

  25. Nothing wrong with Yedlin stating his opinion or Donovan for that matter. I’m sure Coach K is far more disappointed than he shows publicly because in his gut he knows a golden opportunity was missed. Yes our players need to continue developing by going to Europe and facing better competition but Klinnsman can also develop as a coach by having contingency plans, using players at their positions of strength, and always fielding the best 23 personality differences aside.

    • Yes he stuck up for his coach and Im guessing Yedlin, who never is one to shy from challenge himself (even if its for his own good to do so), doesnt mind stirring the pot for LA v. SEA either

  26. Just remember that, even in dictatorships and under illicit leadership, there are always a few chosen ones who gain power during a leader’s reign who will support him the leader no matter what.

    Yedlin was a chosen one. He was favored under this reign and it’s NO surprise that he would be swayed by the power of the leader.

    • What does this mean? Should not have been posted? I can agree it’s pretty irrelevent in the grand scheme of things– children are starving at this very moment and in that sense probably nothing any of us write should be posted,

    • Yedlin earned the opportunity. Look at Yedlins full body of work aside from a few defensive lapses which is to be expected of a 20 y.o he deserved what he got. Chandler was ahead of him last year and Chandler didn’t even see the field in Brazil

    • If Obama called Clint and Timmy and thanked them for their efforts… did John Boehner call Landon and praise him for Whining?

  27. My dark horses let me down, USA and Mexico. Mexico just got unlucky and they could of gone all the way to the final, and their coach made bad choices with the subs.
    As for USA, kilnsi could of done history and I lost confidence in kilnsi. How can kilnsi , who played top soccer and has German blood, the no mercy blood, can’t make any subs or right moves.
    I said it a thousand times, don’t park the bus, if you do, you need a perfect counter attack and kilnsi didn’t even have a counter attack.
    Why not risk green, johansson and diskerud against Belgium. There was nothing to loose in extra time but kilnsi could of won the game with attacking subs towards the end.
    If you have Howard having the game of his life, and a pretty good defense, why not give your goalkeeper and defense some bright light and life, by helping out Dempsey with green and johansson and diskerud with Bradley.
    Simple as that.
    I also said this before, kilnsi is more of an office guy, he should take over gulatis job but he’s an average coach and “good enough for USA”
    I would like bielsa, mourinho, even ex coach of Mexico Aguirre. USA will never suffer in the goal keeper position or backline, but we need a coach to develop a number 10 and 9 and some wings.
    If kilnsi fails by 2018 he will not be able to live in the US.
    USA has copa America in chile right, copa oro and hopefully they go to confederations cup.
    As for MLS, hire some nfl and nba people to make some MLS commercials to recruit all those rookie fans.

    • Also Johannsson as we find out today is having surgery on his ankle. An injury he’s had for months now. He probably shouldn’t have even been in the team.

    • Speak English! Besides that your rant is fairly illogical. I think you overestimate how good our defenders were as well. I have watched virtually every single of this world cup and virtually ALL of JK’s subs work. You talk about “Why not risk green, johansson and diskerud against Belgium. There was nothing to loose in extra time but kilnsi could of won the game with attacking subs towards the end” but clearly you have little concept of what was going on. Listen international soccer only has 3 subs we had used 1 for Yedlin to replace Johnson and we brought on Wondo to work with Clint up front before the end of regulation and poach a goal. Guess what it worked except he muffed it. We only had 1 sub let at extra time, so he could not bring all three you mentioned!!!!! He also had to wait in case he had to make another injury sub or change the game. Now we learn that AJ is having ankle surgery and we don’t know when he picked it up. Frankly, he did not look that good when he came in for Jozy in the Ghana game.

      It is funny how short people’s memories are. I like Boyd, but he HAS not looked that convincing yet on the MNT. EJ picked the wrong time to act like child and been in horrible form. That is it for target forwards. Jozy is it. Even the announcers and analysts all agree. They have been saying for over a year that Jozy is the only guy that is not replaceable, which is why they wanted him to get his scoring streak again. We had to play a more conservative style because when we opened up against a lesser (but still decent side) like Turkey, they lit us up and probably should have beat us. We let up opportunity after opportunity imagine doing that against Belgium or Germany. It would have been a lot worse than it turned out. We had (by far) the weakest midfield in out group when fully healthy. Ghana’s midfield would own us. Ghana had people coming off the bench (Kevin Prince) who were better than anyone on our team–seriously. Germany and Belgium have EVEN BETTER midfields. That is where the battle was lost…period. Given all of that we were still flubbed shot from going to the quarters.

      Lastly, I have been a HUGE LD supporter. I could not stand it when people called him soft and called him lady cakes, but he has really been on my last nerves for the past couple months. I understand you are bitter that you lost you spot to Wondo (that is who took his spot), but bailed on the team before, came into the pre World Cup training camp with a lackadaisical attitude sorts giving interviews saying Wondo (your competition) has looked amazing, saying you cannot train 12 days straight anymore..what???? Slightly. out of shape, relatively, for a coach that EVERYONE in the world knows LOVES fitness and you were shocked you weren’t picked! His actually has a history of letting things out (he’s kinda like an open book to the media). I wouldn’t want that in my locker room. I respect what he has done, but this guy deserves a smack. I have watched other former USMNT players give interviews but he is the worst. Just go away. You are now a slightly less annoying, shorter, but more squeaky voiced version of Erik Wynalda. Beckham’s response to you years ago was right on when you called him out, only to try to do the same thing a few months later with Everton.

    • No room for comparison of USMNT and Mexico. The latter is a feared world class team. The former can’t seem to cut it at the world stage, therefore rendering it a desirable foe for other knock out round teams. Belgium was so happy to get USMNT than Ghana and Portugal. That should tell you everything there’s to know.

    • Not in my seat. I will be coming talk about how Russia as well as all of you b*tches hate America. Happy 4th of July, ladyboys!!!!

      (I hate myself I hate myself I hate myself)

  28. The team definitely played better and controlled the ball more when Dempsey drifted into the midfield and Bradley drifted back toward Besler and Gonzalez/Cameron. It was clear as day, especially when Wondo came in and Demps was able to get more of the ball in midfield and that gave everyone one more steady ball holder to feed off. That shows me that it was more about the positions the players were told to play than which players Klinsmann put on the field. We have to face the facts that in 2002 Bruce Arena showed that the USA was capable of playing a well-rounded attacking game at a high level even against an elite German team, and Klinsmann did not set this team up to do that with his 2014 World Cup formation and placement of particular players.
    Therefore, Donovan is at least partially right in his assessments.

    • Bradley was getting criticized because he had the worst first touch I’ve seen him have for a long time and was treating the ball like it was made of plutonium.

      And Mikey has moved all over the field and played everywhere in his career . How does a position change account for what he was doing wrong?

      • True his touch wasn’t up to his usual standards, however its undeniable how much more confident on the ball he appeared in the Belgium match when he was playing deeper.

        I think confidence plays a part here as well concerning your question about position change. This is simply conjecture but I think him playing in an unfamiliar role didn’t boost his confidence. As we saw with Jozy, confidence affects everything from first touches, to scoring goals, and decision making.

        I also disagree with you about Bradley moving and playing all over the field. His spot for club and country has always pretty much been the same. Jozy going down changed our whole World Cup tactics. It had a trickle down effect. I think JK never planned for not having Jozy because he scrambled his lineups. He either should’ve brought Boyd or added AJ as a second striker for Duece. Then Bradley could have played in his preferred position and most likely we see an overall better team performance.

      • That’s great but his first touch in the attacking third was still terrible most of the time. It was almost amateurish.

      • I’m not saying he was amazing, but I think I would direct those statements at Bedoya instead.

      • I felt that MB simply struggled, and most especially with that first touch because he showed tremendous discomfort to the physical pressure created by tremendous opposition. That is why I’d never favored him playing up high as much as he was assigned this tournament. I think he worked his ass off and tried to succeed as much or more than anyone, but he’s just not that good on the ball. Given a bit of time as is normally available when coming from a deeper position on the pitch helps his game immensely. I would have really wanted to see how the shape worked out with another supporting MF higher up, along side or beneath Dempsey.

      • Even Kreis called him out. Bradley’s touch was missing for such lengths of time that was always going to make it difficult on the US, no matter what we did, nor how organized. The other thing is, much as I like Zusi, he is just very small for that level, and more than anything, we couldn’t cope with the speed and size of Belgium.

      • That is great but it does not explain why Mikey can’t control the ball anymore.

        These four games constitute the four toughest opponents, and the most pressure Mikey has had to face in a USMNT shirt ever.

        I also think the opposition focused on him and it’s not clear to me that the nerve damage surgery on his foot did not affect him in some way.

        Belgium was his best game which is consistent with him finally getting a handle on things.

  29. I agree completely with Landon Donovan. The team would have performed better with two forwards etc. Yedlin is trying to curry favors with Juergen Klinsmann. Since he has no clue what his own natural position is, he probably doesn’t know enough about strategy. He doesn’t know yet that he needs to let go of his ego before he can be a really good team player. Klinsmann was let go at Bayern because he does not know strategy. He is great at selecting talent.

    • So Donovan who wasn’t in the locker room and everything he says is taken as gospel truth and is lauded for his honesty..
      But Yedlin who was in the locker room isn’t being honest but instead is sucking up to JK…

      See here is an example of Donovan speaking his mind, but the fact is NONE of us were in that locker room. NONE of us were at the training sessions. We don’t know a dam thing, we just speculate. We’re all experts when behind the keyboard..

      Donovan blasts the decision to start in the 4-5-1 & says it sent the message we didn’t wanna go for it….and we set ourselves up for failure…

      Yet today we find out that Aron J is scheduled for ankle surgery right away, with no idea if he’ll be ready for the start of the season for AZ…
      so for all we know JK was down to 2 forwards. Then Fabian goes down, messing up our possible sub rotation. If we start with 2 forwards expected to be ready for 120 minutes and one goes down.. then we’re trying to finish with one forward.

      See this is the potential problem with shooting off at the mouth so quickly..
      Because not he, nor any of us, were in that locker room… and before anyone has two minutes to decompress now Yedlin is public enemy number one…

      • Indeed. Good comments Bac. There are probably 30-40 individuals (players/coaches/staff) who really have intelligent information here that could advance the story. All will have a different lens and none will match exactly, not that we are likely to hear any of it.

        But I guess everybody speculates. Part of the fun of a comment board. I think we’d all love to see the WC replayed with Donovan in the team to see what happened. Heck, I’d love to see the WC replayed without Jozy going down. Ain’t happening though. Maybe in 5-10 years some of these guys will publish books that will that will clarify everything. And by that I mean some ghost-writer will write sensationaliized books that will clarify nothing.

      • Wondo’s inability to perform in key games against top competition was well known before the WC. He just proved it once and for all. JK could have thought about it and bring the forward LD.

      • So where did all the Wondo fan boys go? Ah.. I see. There are the same as the LD fan boys. Great company to keep.

      • Howard also saved the US in what people are saying was the second best ever performance by a US goalkeeper. How do you say that about Wondo and not acknowledge Howard saved Klinsmann’s ass?

      • Any striker, from any team in the world, could have missed that shot.
        The soccer Gods intervened.
        That’s the way the cookie crumbled.
        Yeah, maybe if it had been Landon, or Jozy, or Dempsey for whom the ball fell to – they would have put it away. Maybe.
        The past is gone.
        The future is bright, fruitful and positive.
        We USA fans have a lot to look forward to.

    • LD = Past (You’ll all get over it soon)
      Yedlin = Future.

      LD seems to have always been a terrible teammate that people on catered to because he was the best player on the team. Maybe thats why Europe never worked for him. I don’t know. I’m just saying…..

      In other news Carlos Bocanegra the former captain of the team and a true and proven leader that I will always respect had this to say about the team.

      • Bocanegra gave the same compliments to the teams’ performance as Donovan did. Donovan praised the teams’ performance and effort. He criticized the tactics of Klinsmann which Bocanegra did not address

      • You’re making that up. Donovan has been applauded as excellent in the locker room by these very US players and many times in his career.

      • Selective Memory may disagree with you..
        Several people have resurrected the Strauss article, and it’s “unnamed sources” if it fits their narrative…
        But nobody seems to remember the “unnamed sources” that were not happy with Donovan taking his sabbatical..and then extending it- and the attention it drew away from the guys who were playing in those initial qualifiers…

        The truth is nobody here knows what goes on, or has gone on, in the usmnt locker room.

        Other than Lalas openly blasting Sampson on live TV after the 98 disaster, there has never been a culture of locker room disputes and criticism with the usmnt. Unlike many other sports in the US, the soccer locker room has primarily remained sacred..

        So the truth is we have no idea.. only our individual or collective assumptions that fit a narrative that matches our individual or collective opinions

  30. I don’t see anything wrong with Donovan’s comments. In my opinion he was spot on concerning his views on Bradley and Duece. Bradley struggled because he had to fill Duece’s spot and Duece was good but not as effective as usual because he was on an island playing in Jozy’s spot. Donovan was right about this one I think. If we review the games where Bradley has shined its when he plays deeper not in Clint’s role.

    I feel bad for Bradley because out of emotion most of us were slamming him about his play, but now I think we can see he was played out of his normal spot and it showed. Duece is Duece but even he had a hard time of making a difference. I think Klinnsman needed to provide another striker up top with him like AJ. AJ making runs off Duece would’ve relieved some pressure off of him.

    I can’t complain too much about the job JK did but I do think Donovan is right here. I disagree with Ives’ earlier article on this one as well. I don’t think it comes off as sour. Donovan has always been a straight shooter and I think him answering a question about JK’s tactics is no different.

    • Ugh. We already have a post on this site dedicated to Donovan’s comments. Maybe this post about Yedlin’s interview could be about Yedlin’s interview?

      • Yedlin speaking out as a 20 year old I guess we are already seeing who the new leaders are going to be for 2018

      • yedlin knows whos going to be buttering his international career toast for the next 4 years, you think hes going to agree to criticism of klinsmann right now?

      • solles,


        Yedlin is not objective.

        Are you saying Donovan is objective? That he has no axe to grind with JK?

    • He’s probably got a point. But really, it’s not like nobody was coming after JK’s tactics — friggin USA Today took a go and they are only halfway through reading “Laws of the Game”- It’s a sleazy fraternity, and I wish Donovan would’ve stayed out for a little while given he had no obligation to say anything to anyone. Unless you want to be a pundit, don’t behave like a pundit. Not while you can still play at a high level.

      Let the guys come home, accept their plaudits… no they did not win the World Cup but they deserve recognition for making us proud, and yes they deserve that spotlight to themselves for now Save it for later, LD– Yedlin’s response doesn’t surprise me (although he’d probably be called a “JK fanboy” around here… whatever that means)

      • The guys can’t come home and enjoy their plaudits because Klinsmann already felt it necessary to shift the spotlight and say the veterans won’t be featuring for a while. Of course we will see Yedlin because he said nice things about Klinsmann. Like “it’s up to us what we decide to do on the field so he doesn’t really have a say in that”. That sounds like the tactical genius Philipp Lahm was describing in his autobiography. I believe another article quoted Yedlin as saying something like before he went on the field, Klinmann told him to “attack and defend”. WWwhoooo, genius.

      • The veterans can’t enjoy their plaudits bc JK is going to look at younger players in the next year? What?

      • He means that JK can’t get out there and make the plays. Though he would have been able even that day to score the one that Wondo horribly missed, costing his team the game and letting TIm Howard’s amazing display become bitter sweet.

    • I agree. I personally echoed LD’s thoughts. If Klinsmann was so wedded to the one forward formation, he should have had a back up target man such as Boyd or Johnson. Otherwise with the players he had healthy he should have been playing with two forwards up top. Dempsey was out of position and isolated as the lone forward. The US was dominated in 3 out of 4 games as so many have pointed out. There is nothing wrong with honest criticism. That is what LD offered. I didn’t see it as bitterness, just an honest assessment. Klinsmann’s choice of formation and his player selections lead to the US playing defensively, which is the opposite of what Klinsmann has preached for three years now. I think Klinsmann should be called on this. He says one thing, then his actions indicate a different line of thought. You can’t preach offense and then go with a formation and selection of players that is defensive, which is what Klinsmann did.

      • Crazy comments. You can’t put Germany’s team in whatever formation you want and they will still beat us, because they have world class players, playing in world class leagues. The US does not, end of story. It is amazing that we got out of the group of death. The one person that is pushing our players to go and play in the best leagues for the best teams is JK. Words that Landon Donovan amongst some of the other veterans don’t want to follow. The good thing is that the younger players will hopefully listen, and as that happens then we will have a team that can compete.

    • The problem with Donovan is that he doesn’t know when to shut his mouth. Who are his comments helping?
      Amazing to me that people that because (they believe) his opinions are correct then there is nothing wrong with him expressing them left and right, as if that’s all there is to it.

  31. I remember when Landon Donovan was the speedy young American flying up the wings with a bad dye job. Now is he’s down to sniping from the sidelines. Its sad. I think Klinsman’s true failing was not having a proper alternative to Altidore up top, everything else I think it byproduct of that decision and the mentality of the US players independent of the formation they were in. Just like 2010 the team seems listless until trailing for whatever the reason, lack of confidence, I think.

    • A National team manager can only play what is available to him.

      Jozy made himself into a good target player. Boyd was given many chances but doesn’t seem to have gotten it yet and EJ went missing at he worst time.

      It is also worth noting that Clint and Jozy the two most likely solutions for a Jozy injury.suffered injuries themselves, not as serious but enough to possibly hamper both.

      And with all that they came were just a bad luck miss by Wondo away from winning that game and moving on.

      • It all came down to Wondo, huh? Not Howard’s 15+ saves that made Klinsmann look good? We were dominated this World Cup. Big time.

      • We weren’t dominated. We dominated Portugal. Ghana we punched in the face in first 30 seconds, then the American psychosis took over and we decided to turtle up until we needed to score again which we were immediately able to do once we tried. No one expected us to beat Germany and we did well enough their.

        The Belgium game was a disappointment to me. I thought we came out on the back foot like we were just trying to get to Extra Time or penalties. I would have preferred to see Yedlin in the midfield again after Portugal over Bedoya and AJ and Dempsey up top. But AJ got tossed around like a rag doll against Ghana, it would be hard to start him there.

      • If you don’t think we were dominated, then I want to know a few more things.

        1) How many beers were you drinking during the games?

        2) Did you happen to get up and go to the bathroom or to make or consume food multiple times during the match?

        3) Do you not view being under severe pressure and hanging on for dear life for a large majority of games to be strong soccer?

        4) Did you watch the games? Ghana’s failure was more due to their personal errors than our prowess. Our only strong game was against Portugal and they were missing multiple key players and had their one major weapon far under 100%. The Germans played like it was a friendly and we still suffered a 1:0 defeat. Belgium controlled the game, our backs were against the wall for that entire match, which Howard saved for us, and we only looked a real threat in the last 15 minutes.

      • I know a lot of teams were out shooting us in Brazil but don’t just look at the stats put it in perspective. We were very organized a lot of teams were shooting from a far and terrible angles against us. So of the shots where only called shot because they went towards goal even if it was a weak effort that would have never gone in.

      • If you think we WERE dominated do you think it was because:

        1) Klinnsman made bad tactical choices

        2) EVERY team we played had better, faster, more talented players than we did

      • I’d say 100% number one.

        The US played like a worried team. The only recurring fight they had was when Klinsmann’s tactics weren’t working and our US knack for rising up came in. I agree.

      • We were dominated for the majority of the first 90 minutes. We dominated in extra time after we went down a goal. People can’t forget–Belgium is a better team with better players. If both teams play to their full potential Belgium wins every time. We pushed them as far as we could push them and, but for a Wondo howler, we might have won the game. Where is all of the hate for Wondo? Why does Donovan blame Klinsman and not Wondo for blowing the chance of a lifetime. He could have been a hero.

      • Well first of all, I think a key part of dominating is winning. The point of the game is to put the ball in the net. So to say Ghana dominated anyone is a stretch. Ghana had the majority of possession and shots, but was that because the US were incapable of playing with them (thus being dominated) or because the US wasn’t trying to play with them and were just going to park the bus. Because as soon as the US needed a good we were able to get one.

        Second, whether Germany “tried” or not is sort of besides the point. What Portugal got is being dominated.

        I think you just have a low domination threshold is what we’re dealing with here.

        Belgium, as I said was the disappointment. I still wouldn’t say the dominated us. We weren’t handled comfortably with the outcome of the game never in doubt. It was zero-zero going into extra time, then it looked like it was over until Julian Green score. Belgium had a total of 10 minutes where probably felt as though they were safe.

      • Yep the US was dominated but considering we lost Jozy and had to turn an old attacking midfielder in Clint Dempsey into a target striker number 9 we did pretty decent. I must say when we introduced that hack loser Wondo it did help us with possession. Bottom line is this if we had Donovan instead of Brad Davis and a healthy Jozy we could have been much better.

      • We were dominated 85 minutes by Ghana We only did well against an injury ridden Portugal team…

      • You can take your 85 minutes of domination and go home early, I’all take the result and move on every time!

        That is the loser attitude too many have…”we outplayed Germany and if not for the uncalled handball, we would have advanced to the quarterfinals”; “we outplayed Italy and if not for the referees unfair red card, we would have won -Hold your head high!”

        I view this as a progression of our team learning how to get results.

        “You are what your record says you are!” – Boll Parcels

      • By better, most people mean more attacking soccer. That means both teams get better chances to score especially on the counter, obviously this is all hypothetical but when you have the class of players and wingers we played against coming off the counter, the chance of them scoring is so much higher. We would probably end up losing by 2 to Belgium in regulation time

      • Injury ridden Portugal team..what about us? Losing Jozy ater 20 minutes, early subs for Matt and Fabian really made things difficult to say the least.

        It ‘s the big what IF? But I feel like if Jozy had not gotten hurt we would have come out of the group in beast mode and beaten Belgium

      • Yes we were dominated. Hence the reason we basically had 5 defenders vs Belgium. 1 win 1 tie and 2 losses are not the signs of not being dominated. The 2002 WC team is the best team we’ve ever had. For you new hipster soccer fans go to youtube and search that WC and you’ll see us not get dominated.

      • Fan since 1994. WC 2002 team dominated no one in the group stage. We got outclassed against Poland, Friedel came up huge against South Korea, and some lucky breaks against Portugal (McBride has even said that if the game continued a few more minutes, Portugal would have equalized). Ironically we played our best against Mexico (with some luck on a no-call John O’Brien handball in the box) and against Germany, where the game was pretty even (and some bad luck with the no-call handball on the line by Frings). Hardly this domination you speak of.

      • When did I say we dominated? And how far did we get in the tournament that year?

        I’m just stating that soccer in US hasn’t gotten better because of Klinsmann and his tactics. Soccer is simple and Klinsmann brain has made our team take a step back this cycle. We will see what happens now.

      • Sean,

        You can talk about style and stats and domination and tactics all you want. A lot of people seem to have some weird notion that all that stuff matters more than the final score.

        I look at the clock and the scoreboard.

        And I’m pretty sure that the clock was at 92 minutes and the score board read 0- 0 when Wondo missed.

        If he makes that I’m pretty sure the game is over and we win.
        Had that happened would the Belgium have “deserved to win”?


        If that had happened would the US have “deserved to win”? I would not have cared. Losers talk about that sort of stuff.

        Would I have given the win back to Belgium? You might have but I would not.

        The World Cup is all about advancing. Advancing gives you a chance to put in a better performance the next time around.

        The reality is that Wondo, or just about any other player, maybe even you, probably makes that shot 9 out of 10 times. So as far as I’m concerned the US exit is down to bad luck. I did not feel that way about the Ghana game in 2010 so that is progress. Better luck next time.

      • “A National team manager can only play what is available to him.”

        The only player in US history with over 50 goals and 50 assists and is the all-time leader in goals and assists was available to him and he chose not to bring him.

      • Romario would certainly have accepted a Brazil call-up, and he has 1,000+ career goals, plus a World Cup. Weird and disrespectful not to bring him to a tournament on home soil.

      • You’re right, Donovan simply wasn’t good anymore.

        2013/14 US National Team Stats

        Avg. Minutes per Goal (National)
        – Donovan: 1 Goal for every 140 minutes played
        – Altidore: 1 Goal for every 147 minutes played
        – Dempsey: 1 Goal for every 156 minutes played

        Also, Donovan contributed one assist or goal for every 66 minutes of play and no other player comes close to beating that.

        Wake up, Morons.

      • Sean, I’m curious because I don’t know the stats, but what do the numbers look like without the Gold Cup?
        What do the numbers look like in qualifiers?

      • He had a nice few months burst of motivation and energy after an extended vacation a year ago for club and country. Recent history, the last 8 months or so, he’s been mostly invisible, scored 2 tap ins and had short flashes of his formal self with Galaxy against lesser competition. He certainly didn’t do much for them in US Open and they are playing well below their on paper potential… not scoring goals.

        I say all of this as a LD fan, as someone who thinks he had a place on the WC team based on talent. I however am not in training or locker room to see how his presence effects team chemistry. I don’t think he is a bad seed or anything of the sort, but there is a good chance the mood is different, players now asserting themselves might defer to him etc etc.

        I think there was a place for him as a late game sub. Ultimately, our team punched above it’s weight and the days of Landon pulling something out of his @$$ and leading us to the promise land have passed, along with his motivation, bravado and breakaway speed. A shame, but it was always going to happen.

      • Sean,

        In that final camp just before JK slit his throat, Donovan was effusive in his praise for Wondo as was JK. So I did some research:

        Goals since 2013 began:


        Friendly Guatemala 2
        Gold Cup Belize
        El Salvador
        Honduras 2
        WC Qualifier Mexico

        Total goals since 2013 began :



        Friendly Guatemala
        Gold Cup Belize 3
        Cuba 2
        Friendly South Korea 2

        Total goals since 2013 began :


        Wondo and LD look pretty close to a neutral and none of LD’s goals came in 2014.

      • He is the only player with 50 goals and 50 assists to bail on the team during qualifying. Can you imagine if Mueller did that for Germany? Or Pirlo for Italy? They would be vilified and cast aside. Donovan made his decision–he was tired and needed to go to Cambodia for a bit. He lives with the consequences. And, frankly, I thought his media/advertising blitz was a pretty pathetic attempt to stay relevant during the WC. Donovan has been great for the USMNT, but he is part of the problem when you look at mentality. He was content to settle rather than push himself at the highest level. Again, his decision. But, if the team is to move on a create a new and stronger mentality, Donovan must be left behind.

      • Bailing? Hardly. He announced what he was doing almost retired then came back. How much more wrong is that then Jordan or Favre? It’s not American sport fans still loves those guys. You all don’t get it. He is still our best player and would’ve been the best on the field in Brazil.

      • He knew this would be his last possible world cup ever in his life. Going AWOL was not good, but not then training to get into the best shape possible for one last chance to play in the big show is pathetic.

      • Look at Spain. They brought all of the players who led the to success at the last World Cup and Euro. What happened to them–they bombed out at the group stage in a substantially easier group than ours. Sometimes, coaches have to have the courage to turn the page before their team reaches a point like Spain–i.e., failed miserably. Stats don’t win you games. If they did, Spain and Italy would have advanced and the US certainly would not have gotten out of its group.

      • Completely agree. Donovan bailed and his selfishness cost him down the line. He lacked leadership and grit which is what we needed from someone in his state.
        Based on skills he wasn’t going to start and I’m sure would have made the 23 but my gut is that he would have been a distraction from the bench, if not an outright cancer. His vocal, public disapproval when he didn’t make the team validates that concern. That attitude from the bench, likely much more muted but still there could have divided the locker room. Good riddance to him. I can’t forget what he did over the past decade for the USMNT but I’ll never root for him again after his petty, childish rants.

      • Well, then you own the results. There is no doubt Donovan would have been more valuable to the team than Brad Davis and Chris Wondolowski. They had no track record of success at the World Cup level, and when called upon, failed to produce. Hardly unforseeable. That is what happens when you make decisions based on feel good descriptors like “heart” and “desire” rather than proven results. I dont give a darn about Donovan’s attidude. I want someone who I know will produce when the chips are down. There is a reason you rarely see 30 year old World Cup rookies.

      • Nate,

        Attitude matters.

        ” I want someone who I know will produce when the chips are down.”

        Cliché alert: Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

        I’m sure JK would too but obviously he did not see that in LD. You think LD is unquestionably entitled to his place on the USMNT. JK’s job was to make him earn it.

        You think Donovan is a machine that can turn the magic on and off whenever he wants. What evidence is there that, after a mediocre season with LA, that he can still do that?

        Clint went to Fulham and came back to dominate, MLS. DMB shifted to left back at JK’s request, a position he did not want and made it his own. Howard fought off a serious challenge from Guzan to put in a great season at Everton.

        Did LD even try to impress the new boss ON THE FIELD? He was anonymous on the wing, his alleged best spot, in the JV Gold Cup until he moved to Clint’s position.
        After his break, I expected LD to shut up, put his head down and destroy every other team in MLS to prove that Zusi and Bedoya were not better than him. Or maybe he would force his boy Arena to loan him to Everton or some other Euro team where he would prove his sharpness, like he did before 2010.

        Instead we get LD making a lot of mealy mouth declarations to the media about his inability to train, his willingness to accept a lesser role and just be one of the guys (??). The greatest US player ever, only 32 and with his talent intact and he begs for a cushy backup role, a golden parachute for his retirement tour in Brazil? Where is his desire, his heart?

        Remember JK was 33-34 when he scored three goals for Germany in his last World Cup. It’s also worth remembering that JK moved to LA in 1999 and took LD on loan to Bayern Munich. So please don’t tell me JK, who has watched him for the entirety of his career, doesn’t know LD and the deal with LD as well as anyone.

        In the end for LD to have made the team he was going to have to make some changes and it seems he did not want to. So there is no one but LD is to blame for his exclusion.

      • Amen to that. The coach said he replaced Donovan because other’s were playing better. Can someone tell who was paying better in the Cup? Was it the German recruits? How about the terrible decision to move Bradley? We need a coach that knows who can win for the U.S. UT coach Royal said we dance with him that brought us. Maybe soccer can learn from U.S. foorball coaches.

      • Juan,

        LD had very little to do with Qualifying the US for the World Cup. So he was not “him that brought us”.

      • Wondo had NEVER been in a situation like that before IN HIS LIFE. The trajectory of his career limited him to opportunities to play and deliver under that kind of pressure. If he had been a striker on a champions league side and missed I would feel differently.

      • He was never in a situation with that kind of pressure before, because he’s been in that scoring position myriad times before and missed the goal. No need for a high level team to hire him to score those goals under pressure when he can’t score them at all. The trajectory of his career was limited by his lack of skill.

      • JK tried to instill all the players with the highest of confidence. Some took it and excelled (Ex; Brooks, Yedlin). Some didn’t (Ex; Wondo)

      • Not a National Team managers job to instill confidence; he should select players who are prepared to perform.

    • LD has a right to make his comments and I still believe he is the future of this USNMT in the role of manager. He is one of the more intelligent people in the sport.

      • That very well may be the day I stop following this team. There is nothing about his ethic that want shaping a generation of America’s best a brightest. It would be our version of Maradona managing Argentina.

      • That is a bit overstated. Argentina had already seen international success prior to Diego. A more apt comparison might be Cryuff, who famously refused to play for his country at the 1978 World Cup and was certainly was no shrinking violet.

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