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Klinsmann planning on going with USMNT youth movement in coming months

Jurgen Klinsmann

Photo by John Todd/


Jurgen Klinsmann is wasting no time in planning for the future.

A day after seeing the U.S. Men’s National Team eliminated from the 2014 World Cup, Klinsmann shared some of his plans for the start of his next cycle in charge of the program. Klinsmann said on Wednesday that he plans on leaving veterans with their club teams during the coming months’ friendlies so as to tap further into the youth that is coming through the pipeline.

The Americans will not play a competitive match until the 2015 Gold Cup, giving Klinsmann ample opportunity to start a youth movement that he thinks might pay off in the long run.

“A good thing about this next year is that we kind of have the opportunity to see a lot of young players coming to our platform, coming to the senior team,” Klinsmann told reporters in his final press conference in Brazil. “We can give them time to show where they are up to right now.

“The experienced players, or the older players, we can tell them for the next couple of months, ‘Go play in your club environment, we know you inside out anyway, we know what you bring to the table. But right now maybe there’s time for the next couple of friendlies that come up and over the next year that we want to see the young players grow and see how they can make it.’”

Klinsmann has not been shy about fielding young, inexperienced players since taking over as head coach in 2011. He even played John Brooks, DeAndre Yedlin and Julian Green in key moments at the World Cup and each of them turned in performances that drew plenty of admiration and positive reviews.

Now, Klinsmann is hoping to identify which other youngsters are capable of contributing before integrating them into the full group at next summer’s Gold Cup.

“For Gold Cup we want to go with the strongest team possible,” said Klinsmann. “It’s going to be similar to a World Cup. We want to play our best team, and then we can see how many of the experienced players are in it and how many are out. But this transition year coming up is definitely the opportunity to bring a lot of young players now through the ranks and see what they’re capable to do.”

Some of the players Klinsmann might be keen on playing ahead of the bevy of competitions that will be played in the coming years are Mix Diskerud, Terrence Boyd, Juan Agudelo, and Luis Gil. Others in the conversation are Sean Johnson, Joe Corona, Alfredo Morales, Shane O’Neill and Will Packwood.

Those are not the only players in contention. There is an abundance of young talent coming through the ranks right now thanks to MLS’s continued growth and players finding stable homes at European clubs. Klinsmann thinks it is all part of the progress that the U.S. is making as a soccer nation.

“I think overall that we are going in the right direction,” said Klinsmann. “With the competitions we have now happening every year, it just will help us to become more consistent, and more demanding on the players. Not just letting them get away with things.

“We need to get critical in certain moments, making them aware that, ‘Listen, if you had put that ball in the net yesterday, we would be in the next round,’ without making it too harsh. They need that sense of accountability, that sense of criticism, and of the people around them that care about it.”


Excited about the youth movement? Which players would you like to see get extended minutes over the next year?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I disagree with this, with so many top competitions coming every year now i think we should be bringing in our best 23, or close to it, every time. That is something we struggled with in this world cup, there was no chemistry with the group on the field due to lack of minutes going forward. Young players like yedlin, packwood, klute, etc should be worked in and older players like goodson, beasley and beckerman will be phased out. My 11 for czech rep.
    —F. Johnson—-Besler—–Gonzo—————-Cameron——-

    Bench- Guzan, Cropper, Brooks, Ream, Castillo?/Klute, Chandler/Yedlin, Williams, Kljestan/Torres, Corona, Bedoya, Johannsson, Boyd

    • Chris –
      IMO the September friendly match(s) player selection will depend upon where the match(s) are played. If in the US I’d be fine with giving 2014 contributors a swan song in front of the US supporters (Wondo, Boca, Goodson, EJ, Gomez, etc…).
      If away from the US then the match(s) should be used to blood youth prospects with some of the 2018 Core players (Guzan, Bradley, F. Johnson, Jozy, Johannsonn, Chandler, etc).
      Young guns like Yedlin, Green, Brooks, along with some of the fringe guys from 2014 like Williams would make it competitive and interesting.

      • I believe the first friendly is already set up for in the czech republic, so i would think the other match would also be in europe

  2. It’s good to see Agudelo’ s name mentioned, I was wondering where he went in all of this! Granted as a Revs fan I’m slanted but I think two names to watch are Andrew Farrell (D) and Diego Fegundez (M). Farrell as defensive I think can stay in MLS and still be considered for WC team but I’m pretty sure Fegundez is going to go Euro, if he does he will be a real contender – will need to declare for US though.

  3. So I have been following this website for months and waiting until after the Cup to join the conversation. Waiting for the newbies to the sport to fade, yes, but also waiting for this very topic. It is with great joy and unending satisfaction that I join the conversation.

    First, what about these names that I have not heard mentioned yet: de la Torre, Barbir, and Palmers-Brown? I realize they may be on the young side, but certainly Palmers-Brown has a chance to be ready, especially if a club like Juventus succeeds in getting him.

    Second, just for fun, assuming JK brings three young guys again in 2018, who do we think they might be? I say Lederman gets a seat on the plane to Moscow. Who else might?

    • Urg, Guessing the 18-20 years old that go to Russia? Brown is the only one that would fit that age bracket that has actually played top tier soccer. I swear he is like 16 which is mental.

      If I had to bet, he would be the only one I would do so on.

    • Palmer-Brown (correct spelling) will be 21 so there is an obvious parallel to Brooks there, meaning he gets limited playing time in 2018. But if that age is an issue it rules out, or nearly rules out, Rubin, Arriola, Flores and certainly Barbir.

  4. I already thought Zelalem would choose the US, but I just realized a player like Zelalem probably is impressed when he sees Julian Green can come in and be a contributor already.

    • I like to think the Klinnsman was really looking towards 2018 with the Green selection and that he was thinking this was also an incentive for Zelalem.

  5. Picture this line-up for the 2016 olympics
    Agudelo McInery
    Green Gil Trapp Zelaem
    Acosta Brooks O’Neil Yedlin

    • Maybe Packwood over O’Neill…but a good line-up. Still not sold on McInery either, but can’t think of an option for him off the top of my head.

  6. It’s probably overly sentimental but I wouldn’t mind blowing a date to have a send off game for all of the players in the pool that are over 30 and probably won’t be back next cycle. Both those that went to Brazil and those that contributed but did not make the final 23. Sort of a “Service Appreciation Day”. I think the game would be well attended and it would be a classy way to end a WC cycle. More cynically it would be a nice, but very definite, way of saying “Thanks for everything, now get lost grandpa!” and thus allowing the team to move forward cleanly.

  7. This coward of a coach should have done this sooner. I can’t believe he brought Green just to give him a cameo.

  8. Freddy Adu is only 24 and if he gets consistent playing time under Bob Bradley’s Norwegian club he could come back, maybe.

  9. Am I nuts in thinking Edu is too young to still write off? He had a bad spell at Stoke due to coming off an injury, but at 32 ( 28 now I believe) he’d still be young enough to contribute and he will have a wealth of experience…including playing well in the Champions League, lots of qualifying experience, and least we forget, World Cup Experience. He could be the next go around Beasley. Anybody know what he is like in the locker room? In the interviews I’ve seen of him he strikes me as an intelligent and composed individual.

    • I see what you’re saying, but yeah he’s probably the wrong age to hope for much during the transistion JK is going to be working on. If he has a truly outstanding stretch for his club over the next 18 months and shows no signs of physical decline, I could see him perhaps getting some looks as an overage player for Olympics in the Beasley role you describe. The overage players are unlikely to be playmakers or forwards– this kind of defeats the purpose. But a guy with versatility and leadership who can provide cover and mitigate the inevitable mistakes could be a good choice, and it would allow Edu to keep his hopes of another WC alive. Low probability, but not impossible.

      • Absolutely did not. And he earned it and contributed. Frankly should’ve been starting vs. Belgium. But we need to have 25 year old guys who can do his job (and more). Nothing wrong with bringing an older guy, but we need to focus on why we aren’t getting these guys to the WC level earlier, instead of plucking them out of oblivion at the last possible moment.

        Beckerman was Project 40 (as were a surprisingly high # of the squad — have been on something of a Project 40/Gen Adidas kick today… surprised how much there is to learn about this supposedly unsuccesful program). Not under the radar at all. Just kinda wandered off and developed at the club level. This will happen, but it feels like we lost time with him.

  10. What about Marc pelosi from Liverpool. And josh GATT once he’s healthy. Joe gyau, lletget, the USA will be stacked with talent the next world cup and could be the next Belgium. Full of young talented players.

    • Is Lletget actually a realistic prospect who has a chance to break through, or is he just kind of a mythical player that will never materialize? I have always heard that he is a very skilled player, but you have heard for the last couple of seasons that he is about to get first team minutes and he never really does. I hope the best for him, certainly, but I was just curious what the reality is with his situation.

      • Even thought he didn’t break through at West Ham I believe he still has a bright future. The club likes him a lot and they put a lot of time in developing him as a central attacking mid. I would expect that this next season he finally starts playing and most of the reports I have read say he is one of the more technically gifted players. The areas they wanted him to improve on we’re being more consistent over 90 minutes, and being more aggressive when trying to win the ball

  11. I would like to see Green, Yedlin, Brooks, Diskeruud, Johansson, Corona, Gill, Fabian Johnson, Chandler, Altidore, Boyd, Gatt, plus some of the young right backs in MLS.

  12. Lots of US military bases in Asia, too.
    Wonder if Juergen is gonna find some cap-eligible asian americans?

    • If Asia consolidated all of their players into one country, that country would struggle to make it out of the group stage. Drop Australia, and I’d bet money on it.

  13. Also how far from citizenship is Fagundez? Has there been overseas interest in him. What do his plans seem to be at this point?

    • Believe he acquired his green card in late 2013 and, at earliest, be eligible for US citizenship in 2017 (4 years I think after obtaining residency). Ives – this right?

      • I think it’s close at least. He’s said he’ll play for whoever comes calling first but the US can’t call him in for a while so if Uruguay decides to pick him before that apparently he’ll play for them. I would imagine he’d be in strong contention for the USMNT this cycle if he became eligible.

      • To me Fagundez is the best FWD in recent years to come out of an MLS system. Hope he pix US

      • He won’t get it until 2018. Unless he marries an American girl. Its a long process with him and I really want him in our pool

  14. Serious question…has anyone seen Ben Lederman play lately? How good is he besides the obvious? When is he eligible for representing the US at youth level.? I believe he is 14. He will be 18 by 2018. I also understand there is an American with Real Madrid’s academy. Are there other notables like these two?

    • There’s also another guy who plays for Inter Milan’s youth team. He was loaned out to a Serie B team. Forgot his name (16-18 yo.), but he has roots somewhere in the Carribbean (Martinique?), but somehow has a US passport.

      • Dylan Alexis Romney. 18 years old, was on loan to Varese last season but now back with Inter.

    • Your question inspired me to search for the news of a recent American signing at Atletico Madrid. One to watch – Dembakwi Yomba.

      My iPad touch screen is really f***ing crappy so can’t copy and padre the link on


    • I doubt anyone on here knows how he’s doing but the vast majority of 14 year olds in the Barca academy (or any other big club) never play a minute for the first team.

  15. Notice in all the lists of midfielders there is not one potential world class or close to world class attacking central midfielder / creator/ #10. Until the US can develop several of this type of player who can control and create in the midfield we will be reduced to the type of game wemhave played in the last 2 world cups. Our other positions are actually not bad competitively.

    And I am afraid, despite everybody’s repeated mentions, Luis Gil does not and will not have sufficient quality to be the answer. Look at the difference between his play and true world class midfielders who are about his age, or who were playing at a much higher level when they were his age and you will see the gap we have to overcome in our midfield to go to the next level.

    • Perhaps Junior Flores is one to watch for the central attacking mid role as he, hopefully, progresses at BVB. Or maybe Nagbe, assuming US citizenship in his future and desire to represent the NATS, is worth a look (if he comes into the fold and continues to be a focal point of Timber’s attack though haven’t watched him a lot)?

      Just musing on a lazy, muggy New England day.

      • What’s the latest on Fagundez’s citizenship status? Other than Yedlin, I cannot think of any other 19 y.o. , in MLS, who are difference makers for their clubs.

      • Got his green card in October 2013. I think-?, and maybe a SBI poster or Ives can confirm, that it is, at least, 4 years from the date of residency before citizenship eligibility.

    • There is one young man on “all (or most) of the lists of attacking midfielders that will be close to world-class (if not pure world-class) by then. His name is Julian Green.

      In fact, he gave you a short preview of what he can do in attack and what affect his presence on the field has on all his teammates.

      • No, he is not a creative #10 midfielder. He is a winger. I am talking about a central playmaking midfielder.

      • I think Nagbe can do it. Amazing control with the ball, has the vision and can pass. Just needs to play that role more

    • +100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

  16. Now can we find a coach who knows how to actually coach, teach, define roles, etc.?
    This guy is a good front man/politician and he lives a charmed life with his subs
    However, I question his vision for US Soccer.
    Don’t forget he is Technical Director and has no plan for making us develop better players.

    • National teams don’t develop players per se. Clubs do that.

      The Argentinian FA who run their national team did not develop Messi. Barca did. You can go down the line and find that true for the vast majority of these teams.

      The USSF can put in place all kinds of programs to help development but ultimately, it is the pro clubs,MLS or otherwise who will develop the American Messi, Ronaldo, Mueller, Lukaku, etc., etc.

  17. It will be interesting to see what happens from here. It is key though no matter what that we push our talent pools level up. That us what will allow us to be in the running for the next couple of World Cups and beyond that.

    • Agreed as well as Perry Kitchen and let’s not completely forget Tim Ream who will be 30 and had a solid season at Bolton also keep an eye on Matt Miazga and Tyler Turner though I have to admit they may be closer to 2022

      • I think that if JK was going to call Ream, it would have happened by now. for some reason, he doesnt seem to like Ream (last Gold Cup maybe?)

      • Ream was called in for the European friendly earlier this year (February maybe)….He declined due to the birth of his child.
        Will get a shot again, but will have to beat out a number of quality players (Brooks, Packwood, Besler, Gonzalez, O’Neill, Hedges, Chandler, Acosta, Lichaj, Yedlin, F.Johnson).

    • Acosta looks very calm and not out of place in the MLS at 18. 4 years is plenty of time or even 8 when he will be 26. A lot of options floating around now.

    • I think a combination of the defensive issues, the age of certain key people like Dempsey and Howard, plus whatever went on with Bradley — and the basic fact that we had few standouts (Howard? Jones? and they may not be back), will push the doors wide open for a couple years. I certainly wouldn’t hand anyone in this backline incumbency.

      • Brad Guzan will step up for Howard, as for the rest of the defense they need more experience, and we have four years to see what they can do.

    • Put differently, it was a nice team effort, but the lack of quality may have dictated tactics, and what we need are some stars, not more lunchpail people.

    • I’ve been very impressed with this guy. A big, strong defender who has balls to dribble past people into the midfield. He actually has good technique and isn’t someone who just pushes the ball to the side and outruns them.

      NER have many good (underrated) players : Lee Nguyen, Fagundez, Rowe, Farrell, Mullins, Barnes. Also, they still got Bunbury who everyone has already given up on.

      • Yeah, the Revs have a treasure trove of young guys. Somebody at their front office has done a bang-up job (and seemingly without much attention from old Bob Kraft.) If the Revs can just get their SSS they could be something.

      • Hands off owners that stick to the 300-level are better than overly involved ones down on the field.

      • I saw Lee Nguyen absolutely school Yedlin in a club game. It’s a shame that JK has never given him a look.

      • I remember watching US v China like 6-7 years ago and Nguyen looked great, better than Bradley who played in the same game. Shame that he’s never been called back in.

      • Your boy is 27 yrs. old and couldn’t make it in, where was it, Denmark? When and what was that club match you saw?

        He’s making under $200k this year.

      • As I remember he was in Holland with PSV or maybe Ajax, but after a year got cut. After that he starred in Vietnam, hardly a soccer powerhouse.

  18. If you look at the pool, these guys were over 30 already:


    These guys will be over 30 by Russia:

    Besler/Cameron/F. Johnson/Evans/Beltran/Orozco/Castillo/Ream/Spector/Harrngton/Myers/Sinovic/Ashe

    Boca and Dolo, and their relation to some of our defensive issues, underline the need to be constantly freshening the pool.

    • F. Johnson will be over 30 in Russia? Thought he was younger. As for Guzan, early 30s is prime for a keeper.

      I’m pretty excited for the future, though, as we have a lot of young promising players coming up.

    • Voice –
      With all due respect to you and the players you’ve listed as over 30, come 2018 only a handful will actually be in serious contention to make the 23 in 2018. Namely: Guzan, Bradley, F. Johnson, Besler, Edu, Torres, & Holden. Of these 7 there are only 3-4 likely starters (Guzan, Bradley, F.Johnson, and possibly Besler). The others would be depth/back-up players….if they even make the cut.

    • I think population, demographics, and experience help.

      But I think the “recruitment” only offset our basic “development” issues. The article suggests we have benefitted from MLS stepping in for Bradenton, but the reality is we plugged many holes with players from abroad.

      Some of the MLS people like Cameron (URI) and Wondo (D2 soccer) were actually shunned by the US youth pipeline, and have only come into the team as senior players drafted by MLS. Some of the people like Green, Brooks, Johannson, Johnson, we did not develop.

      In particular, the defense of MLS projects was a constant nagging issue. To me it reflected more the poverty of development — that we were down to whatever stood out in MLS — than a purposeful training up of players to fill roles. MLS is a nice backstop for letting US soccer slip down past a point, but if you’re depending on the Dynamo to prepare youth players to be fnational irst teamers, good luck.

      • I think you missed the point. I think the point of the article is stressing is that the development is getting broader (for example MLS clubs) which creates a deeper pool than the 40 kids who sat in Bradenton ea year. Jozy is the last of those and even most of his development was with the Red Bulls/Metro Stars. You have to admit that playing for the Red Bulls was better than sitting in Bradenton at 16/17.

    • Nice there slow lefty. thanks for the story link.
      Anecdote to the article, once spent a day years ago before “internets” and global cable with the late great Luis Aragones.
      Had no idea who he was other than some Sancho Panza,
      looking guy who picked me up at estadio Calderon,
      to take me to my first practice.
      Go figure?.

      • That is pretty cool, Garrincha. Aragones was definitely no Sancho, but sounds like he was a genuine dude.

  19. Exciting thing is the unknown. 4 years ago no one had even heard of Brooks, Yedlin, or Green. Hopefully there are more like those, plus some of the guys on the radar now like Hadji Wright or Pelosi come good.

    • +1. This is exciting. What we know looks pretty good… there is every reason to believe that what is still lurking below the surface is enormous.

  20. Well he found a way to make the World Cup hangover friendlies exciting, I’ll give him credit for that. I hope we continue to grow.

  21. 2018 Roster:
    FWD: Altidore, Boyd, Agudelo, Johansson
    MF: Green, Mix, Bradley, Gatt, Johnson, Williams, Gil, Corona, Torres
    DF: Yedlin, Gonzalez, Brooks, Chandler, Lichaj, Packwood, Hedges
    GK: Guzan, Cropper, Johnson

    I just dont see Zelalem picking the USA. If he does, take off Cororna or Torres

    • Besler will still be there. Cameron will still be there.

      I should say “should still be there.” Especially if Besler gets some European experience.

      • I don’t think Besler will make it because he won’t go to Europe. To me, he seems like a real family guy who doesn’t want to leave Kansas City (which is more than understandable). If he stays in KC, I dont think he makes it. If he goes abroad, I definitely see him making it. I just dont think he goes abroad.

        Unfortunately, I see Cameron ending up like Edu. Should make the team, but won’t. Just a hunch.

      • From ESPN chat currently happening

        Chase Hart (Portland )

        Any interest in taking your new found prestige and moving abroad? there must be interest over the pond for your signature?
        Matt Besler (1:53 PM)

        After playing on the World Cup stage, I think there is always interest. I can’t really answer it right now, because right now I am very happy in KC. I am happy playing in the MLS. At the same time, any player, if there are opportunities that come up, you’ll look at them and make decisions.

      • Saw that too, I hope he really does look at those decisions. Should be a few coming his way.

      • I wouldn’t mind him in Europe probably Germany. I’d prefer if he stays out of England. The English fans always insult American players and low ball them. I heard some Fulham and Cardiff fans saying they could get Besler and Yedlin for about 5 million pounds. just felt insulted for them listening to that.

      • The league is less important than regular playing time. Would you rather play in League 1 on a team playing Champion’s League or on a club like Jozy’s that made the “Great Escape” and just missed relegation?

      • i don’t think he had such a great WC, wasn’t he the defender that got scored on for both goals vs. Belgium?

        I think the kid that will get calls is Yedlin.

      • Family guys have been known to take a run at the money, so I could see him taking a shot at overseas if the money is right.

      • Just for some perspective Besler is currently making 200 K.

        When Brek Shea left Dallas he was making about 310 K. So I’m pretty sure Shea is making a lot more than Besler right now.

      • Besler wherever he is playing will be starting in Russia, unless he has some injuries, other than that I don’t think there is a doubt

      • I wouldn’t guarantee Besler is starting in Russia, he may end up backing up Brooks

      • Cameron’s best shot is to find playing time with club at CB. He has all of the tolls and played admirably, but is just not seasoned enough at the position. Obviously, he has proven that he is a very capable FB in the right system, just not what our system calls for. At CM, I think he is at best a bench option.

    • Besides, Ives did a 2014 roster right after the 2010 world cup. I notice that he crows about when he’s right – will he swallow the crow and laugh about the fact that he got 16 of the 23 players completely wrong?

      • I actually don’t think that is that bad a job by Ives. Four years is an eternity in football. Most of the guys in the roster above are either in the team now or on the cusp. But there will be plenty of guys no one is thinking of that will emerge between now and 2018. In 2010, Yedlin was playing in high school for example. Green was 15. No way anyone could have predicted they would be in Brazil. There could be some high school kid out there now who will play for us in Russia.

      • I don’t think it’s a bad job either, and he also had to deal with different coaches. When Arena kept his job, 12 of the same players went to 2006 that went to 2002.

      • Be interesting to see how many he keeps from this team.

        Dempsey’s the only older 30+ field guy I could (maybe) see sticking, just because his game’s not based on speed, and I could see him being our answer to Miroslav Klose.

        Of the younger guys, Altidore, Johanssen, Green, Bradley, Fabian Johnson, DeAndre Yedlin, Besler, Gonzalez, and Brooks all seem likely to stick.

        The rest? Dunno. Diskeruud, Chandler, Zusi, and Bedoya have some limitations, and you certainly wouldn’t find those guys on a major South American or European roster. In particular our lack of quality on the flanks this tournament was glaring. Fabian Johnson, Yedlin, and even 32-year-old DeMarcus Beasley were by a bunch our best wing threats…coming out of the back.

        Personally I think Klinsmann goes out and recruits like Nick Saban on happy pills this next cycle and we’re going to see a roster that’s heavily, heavily dual-national.

        Youth development is nice, but Klinsmann knows what he mostly has to do to “wake the sleeping giant”, as it were, is to win. He wins, American interest in soccer skyrockets – and everything else takes care of itself.

      • Not seeing Chandler on a major European roster? He has been a 2 year starter in 1.Bundelsiga already.

      • Sorry…meant “International” roster.

        He wouldn’t be in the 23 for Germany or Belgium or most other major International sides.

      • Chandler could make the German roster. Not because he’s “german quality” or whatever you’re getting at here. Simply they’re fullbacks are horrendous. Germans I saw were stammering over the fact that Fabian Johnson wasn’t with them and all they had was Hoewedes.

      • German fans hate Low so much right now. For good reason too.

        Boateng is a competent Right back. He has played there quite a few times in his career. But hes still not really a fullback. The left back situation is comic. DMB is far better.

      • Throwing one more name I’m following very closely, Greg Garza. Plays a mean LB and has really toughened up in Liga MX.

        Hope he cracks the squad for one of these youngster tryouts

      • Let’s hope so. The pressure of Wenger tho and Zelalem being on a team with 3 German internationals is not comforting.

      • Zelalem’s dad has been seen wearing the USA jersey during the WC, so there is a chance there we get the kid, specially if he comes, there is very little competition for his services.

      • Venger has no idea how many of his three germans will be playing at Arsenal in 4 years, or if Zelalem would even be in contention for Germany’s 1st team to play with those three arsenal players. Gedion might just look at this world cup and see that 3-young players had the chance to come into a world cup and make a difference, and all three came into matches and DID make a difference, 2 of them scoreing goals and the other creating a goal and was one michel bradley touch away from creating a 2nd. USA looks like the land of opportunity for youngsters.

    • Agudelo needs to be sent to the Arjen Robben School for Vicious Efficiency.

      Gatt can’t stay healthy.

      Williams stinks.

      Torres disappeared.

      I would not be surprised to see cattle call trials at defense given the lack of quality in open play. Every time we got out of the bunker and a Ronaldo or Lukaku got some room to run we were giving up goals. We were giving up goals in quali at the same rate.

      Gonzo and Brooks have not proved steady yet.

      Chandler and Lichaj have not lived up to the hype of their initial cap-tie runs.

      Johnson is fumble fingers.

      • Thank god the next World Cup is in four years! Plenty of time for at least some of those problems to be worked out.

      • Player development and selection is a “long game” like draftng baseball players. You start off with a much longer list than yours and see who weeds out. People totally off the radar make themselves relevant. Yours is a fair list but then I’d be leery of running some of those guys out there again and again.

        Prime example, I can’t believe this defense is left intact. It was already being churned bringing Yedlin, FJ, and Chandler in. And then Cameron, etc. still couldn’t get it done.

        And then the midfield was strong on team defense but mediocre at attack. Jones who did play well won’t be back. Bradley will have to re-earn trust.

        And then Dempsey may be gone

      • There are some pretty obvious solutions to improvieour attack though. Healthy Jozy does wonders to help balance the team. Bradley sliding back will help link defense to attack. Continued progression of Johannson, Green, Diskerud, Agudelo, Boyd (surely 1-2 of them will emerge as a starter). How do we deploy Yedlin and FJ?

        The main issue for me were the lack of numbers forward once we got possession. Playing with Dempsey isolated and 2 defensive wingers killed us there. Simply getting Jozy healthy and introducing one more attacking player on the wing will solve a great deal of our issues in the attack.

        Like you said, players will weed themselves out over the next few years, but the list of quality prospects is much longer than it has been in previous cycles. Klinsmann has shown a pretty good eye for identifying young talent as well.

      • Well said! Sure I’m disappointed to not be watching our boys fight it out on Saturday, but I left that game THRILLED by the prospects of what’s to come.

        We got beat, fairly, by speed, strong midfield play and solid final 3rd skills. I think Klinsy is harvesting speed very well, I see some incredible talent coming up the ranks in the middle, and am looking forward to a healthy & in-form Altidore and who knows what else will materialize at the front of the field.

        Gotta be excited guys, just gotta be

      • Here’s where we note that both of Lukaku’s great runs were the result of mistakes by Matt Besler, who is now said to be getting “tremendous interest” from a number of clubs…

      • Besler who had played 90 minutes vs. Lukaku with fresh legs. Yeah he got beat, but he just needs to be in that situation a few times and he’ll get it. That’s why he needs to go to Europe, so he can play full games where strikers like that come off the bench….hopefully the interest is real and he’ll get productive time overseas. We’re going to need him in 2016 and 2018.

      • Lukaku made some big names in the EPL look foolish as well. It was a mismatch, magnified by RL’s fresh legs and Besler’s tired legs. That play is often called a foul.

        Two other things about Belgium’s first goal: The midfield gave the ball away and allowed the pass to Lukaku who was isolated on Besler, and Gonzales got his foot on the cross to DeBruyne but could not clear it.

        Lukaku’s goal was just a beautiful play by a guy who was very familiar with Tim’s tendencies since they were teammates last year.

    • I absolutely see Zelalem picking the USA. His alternatives are Germany and Ethiopia. In Germany he would probably be the one black guy on the squad (well, unless Boateng sticks), and he grew up in the US – not the German – youth system. He’s not even going to get a whiff of the German senior squad this cycle…whereas with the USA, he could slot in right now and probably start by the time Russia rolls around, and Jurgen has pretty clearly shown he’s not afraid to give young guys their chance. Easy call, on that one, IMHO.

      I think Zelalem is 90 or 95% likely to go for the US if he’s eligible.

      Also think Darlington Nagbe will be on the squad the second his citizenship comes through in 2015.

      Plenty of promising young guys we could easily see break through as well. Walker Zimmerman of FC Dallas, Shawn Parker, Joe Gyau, Gyasi Zardes are just a few who come to mind. Dubious on Gatt though I’d love to see it; the guy can’t stay healthy.

      • Thanks, completely forgot about Zimmerman for a second. I fully expect him to be a USMNT starter at some point.

      • Let not get ahead of ourselves. I think Klinsmann will bring in guys that are actually getting minutes for their clubs so look in that direction when you think of the roster. There may be a few raw prospect in the team maybe one or two but I think this roster will be a Zardes, Powers, Joya, Shipp, Nguyen, Trapp, Eric Miller, Jack Mac type of roster

      • Don’t forget Gil, Garza & Gatt. Remember, along with PT he puts a premium on Int’l experience, which 2 of 3 are getting (plus Gil holding it down in SLC)

      • Zelalem’s citizenship is in processing right now and has been for two months. It could be ready by Camp Cupcake.

      • Oh yeah? So Zelalem process could be settled within the upcoming year or next? That great news

      • Mind you: I don’t have any inside info on this. I’m only basing on on media reports that he was “finalizing his process of becoming a citizen,” in March. To me, that sounds like submitting the final paperwork, but INAIL*. If that’s what it means, the current wait time is five months.

        *I am not an immigration lawyer.

      • Much agree Q.
        also correct on Gatt, fast, can’t stay healthy, but I never have seen a quality handle out of him yet?,
        and speed does not mean much if you can’t do anything with it.

      • Well I just spat out my soda, The “number of other black guys” metric is pretty varsity, and probably underused.

      • If anyone can get Zelalem andParker to play for us it’s Klinsi. He can have Green, Brooks, the rest of team GermanAmerica and even AJ call him too.

        I’m much more optimistic about our youth movement and the future of the MLT than I was in 2010.

    • zelalem turned down German call up just prior to getting his US citizenship, playing for the US is a strong possibility.

    • Add Zardes, Flores and Rubin and maybe drop Agudelo and Williams, and that’s a great list. The 2018 team could be our strongest ever. It will certainly be the product of our deepest pool ever.

      • I don’t claim to be the smartest guy in the room – never saw Beckerman playing like he did in Brazil, for instance. But everything I’ve seen from Williams for a couple years now has looked pretty bad to me.

      • Ok but you cant just bring creative attacking MF’s. So which defensive player do you play in the Midfield?

      • Agudelo going to the 2nd best league in the world. I’m not dropping that. We have no forwards with the Colombian flavor he adds to the squad

      • Williams was often used out wide and he did not look great, however as a D-CM he would be a great replacement for Beckerman going forward

      • He didn’t look comfortable on the wing but did put in some nice performances at D-CM. I could easily see him at right back too.

      • Williams was Reading’s best midfielder last year. (supposedly) I do know that they had a tendency to lose games while he was injured.

      • Williams was voted best defender for his club team. I think you need get up to date on your views.

      • Y’all are giving up a little early on Beckerman.
        If he stays fit and dedicated he could play at this level for some time. He has no speed to lose after all and MLS won’t wear him out like playing in Europe would.

      • I wouldn’t drop Agudelo just yet. I think he’s more talented than Altidore if he can just solidify a good club situation.

      • Zelalem, Altidore, Johannson, Agudelo, Boyd and Green.
        That’s my law firm.
        Gonna pick a dream team.
        Take my case to the United Nations.

        “Zelalem to Altidore……..leaves it for Green! ” In Ian Darkes excited voice.

      • So is Fagundez. There should be a way to appeal to fast-track the citizenship process for kids who are as American as Apple pie. Teen idol, owns a big pickup, athletic, speaks English, mom drives him to soccer on the weekends…Can’t get more American than Diego Fagundez.

    • Zelalem turned down a U-23 German call up because it would have cap-tied him. If he were going to pick Germany anyway, why turn down the chance?

    • I’m sure you got 6 or 7 right. That usually how many we can predict. I think Zalalem will pick the US, the signs sure point to it.

    • why not? the real issue has always been how it affects his contract at Arsenal by switching to a non-EU youth player. when all the reports came out that he was in DC getting his citizenship paperwork in order, i believe WaPo reported that the lawyers found a way for the contractual issues to be worked out. that would allow him to stay at Arsenal even if he switched to US.

      what we do know is he has told reporters he feels American. when you hear him talk, he has no accent (well, he has an American one). i think it’s almost guaranteed he plays for the US if the report about his contract is true and he can become a citizen sooner rather than later.

    • Other players who will be in the discussion for the 2018 team:
      Attacking: Nagbe, Arriola, Gall, Gyau, Zelalem, Joya, Shipp
      Midfield: Powers, Morales, Kitchen, Trapp, Stanko
      Defense: O’Neill, Farrell, Klute, Acosta
      Keeper: Hamid, Clark, Irwin

      There are bound to be others who’s stock raises over the next 3+ years….including any number of duel nationals who’ll sign on with the US (Ventura, henley, Toljan, Parker, etc….)
      exciting times are ahead for the USMNT.

    • Predicting four years out is folly. What were yedlin and green doing four years ago? I’ll bet a month’s rent that there are at least six players out there you (or I, to be fair) have never heard of who will make that roster.

      Four years ago: Matt besler was playing at Notre Dame with one cap for the u-20 team. Zusi was a second round draft pick, Johannsen was playing for Iceland. Jones was playing for Germany if we take a roster of people we have heard of today to Russia, no chance we make it out of the group, seed or not. Four years is forever.

      • Technically Juergen is the anglacized version of Jürgen. The ü translates as ue…just sayin

      • so this kid is the next Cesc Fabregas? Is that what I’m reading? This youth movement should dominate the roster of the Gold Cup 2015, with Klinnsman making the point that if they want to be on the roster for Concacaf qualification for 2018 they should commit to Copa America 16. That tournament can be World Cup-esque in terms of atmosphere and following. If its a smash, Conmebol will want to invite 3 teams from MLS to Copa Lib. In fact, I think the Gold cup will become an every 4 yr event like Copa America…on odd years, followed by a Copa Americana on even years not on WC dates (2016, 2020, 2024, etc)

      • The youth movement should NOT dominate the roster of the Gold Cup 2015. If we win the GC ’15, we’re in for the Confederations Cup in 2017, which has to be the next goal(qualifying being a given goal). The Confed Cup is a prime warm-up for WC ’18 … don’t lose sight of the larger plan.

      • That’s what Jurgen said. The lead up to the gold cup will involve young players, but the cup itself will be our best team.

      • So what the deal with the Arsenal kid? If everything goes well…how fast can he become a citizen? Or is it a longshot?

      • Basically, they were in DC in March to “finalize the process of becoming a citizen,” whatever that means. Probably an interview with some nice USCIS folks, the exam, and the final submission of the I-400 Application for Naturalization. The current wait time for I-400s is five months. Assuming all went well, it should be processed by early Sept.

        [source 1=”USCIS” 2=”Processing” 3=”time” 4=”web” 5=”site” 6=”for” 7=”the” 8=”Washington” 9=”DC” 10=”Field” 11=”Office” language=”:”][/source]

    • “The Americans will not play a competitive match until the 2015 Gold Cup.”

      The USSF has officially lost its collective mind. Not one competitive match for about a year? Unreal.


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