OK I don’t think much of Jurgen and, yes, this is one of his more coherent interviews. Nonetheless, it is more than a little patronizing to suggest that professional athletes no matter how young need lectures on nutrition and sleep.
Still, ya know, I didn’t mention Donovan. For my money, Jurgen has much more to answer for than just leaving Donovan off the team. So can we conclude that some of you are feeling a little uneasy about Jurgen’s decision and feel a need to defend it at every turn?
Personally I am tired of the LD thing and try to stay away from it as bets as I can. But as far as your young professional athletes don’t need help on nutrition and sleep – have you ever heard of Bill Hamid? Heck even guys live Brad Davis would admit that when he was younger he didn’t take the best care of himself. Skill gets you there, yes, but even when you make it there is a ton of stuff to learn from the vets and guys who’ve done it before you.
“Nonetheless, it is more than a little patronizing to suggest that professional athletes no matter how young need lectures on nutrition and sleep”
Patronizing? Hardly. That is what these guys allegedly signed on for.
When you are a professional athlete getting paid as much as some of these guys are you make a commitment to a certain lifestyle designed to maximise your performance which after all lasts only so long.
Or you don’t make the commitment, in which case I’m guessing you are less likely to reach the highest level you might be capable of.
It’s their choice. No one is forcing them to try out for the national team. You can be Paolo
Maldini who took care of himself and played for Milan into his late 30’s or you can be Cletus Mathis who partied his very talented self right out of the game prematurely.
They can be true professionals or they can be chickens**t amateurs.Do you think Olympic level athletes what ever their age, eat whatever they want and party their brains out every night?
Wow, a little hostility towards young athletes! My point is, and was, that all the players in the USMNT are professionals and have been coached by knowledgeable professionals. They really don’t need another lecture about sleep and nutrition and so on.
The larger point is that Klinsmann and his staff don’t know anything that American coaches and other coaches in the US don’t know. Perhaps 30 or 40 years ago, it might have made sense to import some foreigners to share their coaching expertise, but the USA is long past that point. In fact, there is very little reason to believe that Klinsmann knows anything much about coaching. His one year in the Bundesliga was a bust and he was a figurehead at the German national team.
I am not suggesting that we go back to the past, but both Bradley and Arena have forgotten more about coaching than Klinsmann will ever know.
“Bradley and Arena have forgotten more about coaching than Klinsmann will ever know.”
This is ridiculous. I am a fan of all 3 and can appreciate the roles both Bradley and Arena played in advancing US Soccer. Both had more head coaching experience going into the US job than JK. Both were trailblazers in a way, and I admire that. But Klinsmann’s experiences as a player are unique and beyond anything that any previous US coach has ever had. And he played for some of the absolute world coaching legends during his career. His managing time in Germany can be debated, but the fact he built the team and put in place the eventual manager that won the world cup cannot. I think he knows a little something about the game.
Can’t argue that Bradley or Arena or many other successful coaches had better playing careers than Klinsmann or that he didn’t play for great coaches. But, so what? Believe me, the world is full of former soccer players, even great soccer players, who can’t coach their way out of a paper bag.
But we don’t need to speculate about this. Both Bradley and Arena have been successful coaches at several levels. Klinsmann had one, incredibly embarrassing year in the Bundesliga.
Evaluating coaches solely on the basis of their experience with national teams is difficult. In the case of the USA, almost any fool could have the USA qualify for the World Cup and almost no one could get them past the first knock-out round. Nevertheless, Klinsmann’s tenure has been characterized by disorganization and confusion. He talks a lot and some of it actually sounds sensible, but his selections and tactics have been all over the place.
But who did bradley leave off for Clark and Bornstein? And who did JK leave off for Davis and Wondo ?
Btw, it’s a stat to gold cup 2013. Donovan outperformed wondo and everyone else in the tournament. Of course it was forgotten because of JKs irrational view of the player.
This was a much bigger mistake than playing Rico Clark or Jon Bornstein, and should be remembered as much, and talked about much more.
Wondo and Davis are Klinsmann’s Bornstein and Clark.
Whatever you think of Bornstein as a player he played well at the 2010 World Cup. Davis was a train wreck in the World Cup. And of course there was Wondo’s miss. I like both Davis and Wondo a lot, but that doesnt mean they should have been there
Look at the stats, tell me Donovan shouldn’t have been on the team
Donovan 2013 US goals ( No goals in 2014)
Friendly Guatemala 2
Gold Cup Belize
WC Qualifier Mexico
Total US goals since 2013 began : 8
Wondo 2013-2014 US goals
Gold Cup Belize 3
Friendly South Korea 2
Total US goals since 2013 began : 9
The funny thing about this is that if you mention Wondo’s Gold Cup goals what the critics say is “well it is only the watered down Gold Cup”.
But if you mention the Gold Cup in the context of LD it is all about how dominant LD was.
I’ve paid attention. I agree with Ian above. And, I completely disagree with GW’s assessment about LD above.
“And, I completely disagree with GW’s assessment about LD above.”
Really? In what way?
Lie,lie,lie, that’s why I’m a coach of the year candidate,lie, lie, lie.
So you don’t like JK. Color me surprised. Not that has anything to do with it but to say he babbled incoherently or has no clue what he’s doing is just ridiculous.
He had some very interesting insight to share with us in this video – especially on what is expected of the vets and how they carry themselves in each camp. Its easy to suspect that camp is more than training and playing but this gives some insight as to what really happens in each camp – all the little things that we don’t see that end up bearing some wight on the final decision on who gets a call or not. Good stuff.
Sorry, I was responding to Ian Woodville.
It strikes me that Jurgen has missed his true calling. I see a series of short videos, similar to those that featured the puppet version of Jose Mourinho, perhaps entitled something like Kaffe Klatch with a Krazy Kraut. Jurgen could just babble on, as he so often does, pontificating and posturing. It might be a real hoot and then he could leave the national team to someone who know what he is doing.
Klinsmann on Donovan: “Maybe he is not the one now to go one-against-one all the time or going into the box or finishing off.”
I guess RSL didn’t get the memo. I guess our USMNT #3 keeper didn’t get the memo either.
History will judge JK’s decision. When people pull up LD’s wikipedia page in 10, 15, 20 years, they’ll look at his 2014 stats and try to reconcile those stats with the fact JK chose to leave him home. “What was it, exactly, that Jurgen Klinsmann saw in Brad Davis, Chris Wondolowski, and Julian Green, that he did not see in Landon Donovan?,” they’ll wonder.
We’ll have to keep wondering, I mean with you taking every opportunity to remind us. This is downright Pavlovian!
Sorry, Ian. I’m a huge LD fan, but your last two sentences above miss the mark. You, me, and everyone else know that Donovan’s great stats from the 2014 season are largely attributable to the time AFTER he was left off the WC roster. Prior to the 30-man camp, he really hadn’t done much of anything for the Galaxy in 2014 (I don’t think he had even scored), and JK has said time and again that he was looking at present form and that others were ahead of Donovan. I’m sure it was a close call and I, too, believe LD could have helped us in Brazil, but it’s hard to second-guess JK’s decision (or the team’s success in Brazil) without sounding terribly biased. And you may be right that people will wonder about it 10, 15, 20 years from now, but it will be because they’ve forgotten what actually happened or never knew.
Wispy, I fall on the other side of this argument specifically for the points you so wonderfully raised here. Thank you for this.
This is what irks me about the frequently revisited issue – to hear folks tell it LD was on fire and killing it game in and game out and JK just – out for some imagined pettiness decided to drop LD from the roster because they were no longer bffs. Folks want to berate the guys who got the call and yes, while they are not LD level they fought hard for the spot and earned it. But to the revisionist historians on here like to leave that detail out – like they do the points you raised.
I believe LD has scored and/or assisted on every game the LAG played Chivas USA, does that count? 🙂
In all seriousness, LD may have been in a slump before WC but he was getting in to his groove in training camp, his training numbers where one of top in the team. My guess is JK didn’t want LD to get to his peak at camp and called out the roster a whole week before so he could cut him. I pointed out in some forums that it was strange that JK had LD as a forward when he was really a mid and it was a setup to cut him.
So in this world of yours JK wastes a spot his and LD’s time to call him in, wait until he starts getting into form and then out of what – spite, hatred, stupidity…all of the above cuts him? You have to know how incredibly ridiculous that sounds, right?
LD has no say in the outcome whatsoever. He showed up and did his LD thing and the outcome was all on JK, right?
Come on, JK had to call LD in, even if he knew he was going to cut him. LegenD.
Anyway, LD is better than a lot of the dudes we brought, and was better at the time of the camp.
I say, oh well.
If JK says LD doesn’t fit what he wants to do on the field or with the group, okay. That’s his prerogative. It could have been a personal, more than personnel, decision, but that doesn’t really change anything to me. He made a choice I think was a poor one, something I’d call a mistake.
I’m not going to hate the dude for that, or think he’s incompetent.
It let me down, it downright pissed me off when LD didn’t go to Brazil, but at some point I let it go, and decided to just enjoy how the USMNT is today, and how the end of Landon’s career actually is playing out in a special way.
It is what it is. What use is it to keep bringing it up? Nobody has anything new to say about it.
Many journalists at the time pointed out that when Klinsmann described Landon as a player, he described a midfielder, yet he insisted he was a forward and that is why he was cut. The other forwards were just a little bit better. He couldn’t say that about the midfielders he took. In Green’s case we simply did not and still don’t know if he is better and it is certainly not the case with Davis. Klinsmann’s son stated this in his tweet that gets ignored because of the HHHAAAAHHHAAAA tweet.
Wispy, actually some of us hacks here reported that LD’s form was developing nicely and was not the out of form jive you’re revising here, and if we hacks could see it then the professional evaluators like Klinsi certainly could. turns out the hacks were right too
more than that, if you want stats just look what LD did for Klinsi’s USMNT in 2013, including vs. Mexico
what actually happened? we remember
You did not follow LD’s career very much.
If you did you would know that LD made it pretty clear from the moment JK got the job that he wasn’t buying into JK’s program. I can’t think of anything LD did before getting cut that said to me he was at all interested in playing for the USMNT unless it was on his terms.
Imagine for a minute that you are the new boss on the job and one of your top people immediately starts not showing up and, eventually, asks to take a long vacation, before you have really had a chance to work with them. Then when they get back they start to make pronouncements about how they can only work under certain conditions.
I wanted LD in Brazil and was dismayed at his exclusion. But I was not surprised particularly after that Mexico game where he showed up seemingly well fleshed, slow and not particularly seeming to care. That did not scream out to me “Hey I really want to be on this team”. I mean Clint put himself through a brutal loan at Fulham and then came back to dominate MLS to make certain of his place. DMB changed positions, even though he clearly did not want to and wound up being very solid. Timmy beat off a tremendous challenge from Guzan to go on and have maybe his best year ever to insure he would play in Brazil.
What did Landon do?
And for those of you who say he would have been a good bench guy, I say if I’m JK I want the best LD had to offer or not at all. Because taking along a super star who is just resting on his laurels and not giving you his best sets a bad example. His 2014 record, that you point to as proof he should have been in Brazil, only proves he actually might have been skating by earlier.
LD was not going to give JK his best.
Landon giving it his best now as an “I told you so” is a day late and a dollar short. The Galaxy and their fans are benefitting from it but as a USMNT fan it’s irrelevant to me.
He should have been doing it well before the WC. Landon is not stupid, he knew what managers, especially German managers want from players.
And JK is very, very clear about what he wants from players. He made a very big show of bringing in Stuey Holden for the Gold Cup. Why? Because besides being a very special player when he is at his best, Stu would run through brick walls and over barbed wire to play for the USMNT. A skilled Frankie Hejduk.
If any of you missed the stark contrast that set with LD’s ambivalent attitude about playing at the time then you were not very attentive.
For whatever reason he chose to not do what he knew needed to do, when he needed to do it. Maybe he figured his reputation would allow him to skate by. I don’t know. After all JK was more or less the first manager LD had who did not need him more than he needed them.
With this team LD’s lasting legacy is that he is proof that JK will cut anyone who does not really want to be there. And that is not necessarily a bad thing.
Superb post. May I never again have to read about LD/JK/2014 WC. (Yeah right)
superb at making a lot of stuff up.
1.”I can’t think of anything LD did before getting cut that said to me he was at all interested in playing for the USMNT unless it was on his terms.” – Helping Klinsmann win his only trophy as a coach. I guess that is nothing.
2.”starts not showing up and, eventually, asks to take a long vacation,” – He said he was battling depression and was getting therapy. Was it severe depression probably not but it probably was bad enough to prevent him from living up to Klinsmann’s expectations
3. “Because taking along a super star who is just resting on his laurels and not giving you his best sets a bad example.” – Again Gold Cup. How is playing with a mostly B team resting on his laurels.
4. “LD was not going to give JK his best.” How do you know this? He gave his best for Klinsmann in the Gold Cup, was named best player in the tournament. Why would he slack off in the World Cup? He did the best on the beep test in the 30 man camp. Tim Howard said Landon was the best player in that camp.
5. “Landon giving it his best now as an “I told you so” is a day late and a dollar short” – So him playing well is just an I told you so? That’s complete conjecture. Are you saying it has nothing to do with his team, his coach, the fans, the fact that he is retiring, and the fact that he is no longer depressed and is loving the game again. Let’s just ignore what LD has stated as lies I guess.
6. “And JK is very, very clear about what he wants from players.” I don’t know how you know this either unless you are in training with the team because there is plenty of evidence this is not the case. One of the big ones being Bocanegra went from being captain and starting to never getting called up again overnight and he has no idea why. How does your long time captain not know what he has done wrong? It was not his playing form because I was at one of his last WCQers and he was fantastic.
7. “He made a very big show of bringing in Stuey Holden for the Gold Cup. Why? . . . Stu would run through brick walls and over barbed wire to play for the USMNT. A skilled Frankie Hejduk.
If any of you missed the stark contrast that set with LD’s ambivalent attitude about playing at the time then you were not very attentive.” – You are talking about the Gold Cup right? The tournament in which LD was named best player. How is that showing an ambivalent attitude? And the fact that Stu would run through brick walls is part of the reason he has not been available to Klinsmann. He should not have gone into that tackle with Johnny Evans. Some players know better than others what you can do and not do if you don’t want to get injured.
8. “With this team LD’s lasting legacy is that he is proof that JK will cut anyone who does not really want to be there. And that is not necessarily a bad thing” And Chandler is proof some players can make it considerably more clear they do not want to be with the US team and still make the WC squad.
You’d think Chandler would understand what German managers want from players as well. However he pretty much went into hiding for a full year and shows up just in time to go to Brazil.
He was hurt and out of form a lot of that time.
My guess would be he made the team because he got it together in time to make a push for his inclusion and he was also trying out for a spot that was, at the time, considered very thin.
I greatly appreciate your post.
However, I think a lot of people, myself included, don’t think the falling out between LD and JK was LD’s fault alone. I think the dislike or whatever, was mutual, and we have no idea what sort of things JK might have said to Landon in that first meeting after JK was hired. Whatever the friction was, they are both deserving of some suspicion of blame for it.
“After all JK was more or less the first manager LD had who did not need him more than he needed them.” I don’t find that to be true.
““After all JK was more or less the first manager LD had who did not need him more than he needed them.” I don’t find that to be true.”
Care to expand on that?
I never said LD was the only the one with a big ego. Both gentlemen are eminently self assured. In fact I’d say just about everyone involved with the USMNT has an enormous ego.
But you seem to misunderstand the dynamics.
Maybe you think this is a “battle of equals”
JK was the boss, he was doing the hiring.
LD was the player looking for a job.
If you want a job you don’t walk in and start making demands before you have proved a thing.
In any line of work if you are looking for a job you have to convince the guys doing the hiring that you really want to work for them and that you have something to offer now.
Everything about LD’s approach was that of a man who was awaiting for JK to come begging him to play for him. Now if I’m JK and I think LD is a game changer, if I think he is still our Leo Messi, maybe I do that.
But LD is not that guy anymore and nothing he is doing in 2014 is anything he did not do in 2009 or 2010. But he did it better back then. So he scored a hat trick on a gassed RSL defence one that is a pale shadow of the great RSL teams . This makes him a World Cup game changer ?
And when your game has dropped that much you have to make an effort to show the manager you have other qualities that make your presence worth it. Like not whining about training.
It’s pretty obvious to me that LD believes he is different from the other USMNT guys and that he does not need to show the same desire and what not as the others because he is special. I have no problem with that because it is how he has operated all this time and it works for him. But maybe his manager would.
The problem is there is only one person here whose opinion matters and LD made the fatal mistake of not really trying to influence that opinion
This notion that there is blame on both sides is all well and good but it is irrelevant . Those who say JK made a mistake by leaving Landon out have to prove it was a mistake.
And they can’t prove that
Because there is no evidence that LD would have done any better than the guys who went. There is lots of opinion and that is great but that is not proof.
We will never know.
LD’s nice run of play post WC is no more proof of that he deserved to go than Matt Besler’s terrible run since returning from the World Cup is proof that he should not have gone.
“JK was the boss, he was doing the hiring.
LD was the player looking for a job.
If you want a job you don’t walk in and start making demands before you have proved a thing.”
What demands exactly did LD make? I don’t recall any.
You are also conveniently leaving out the fact that LD publicly stated he understood his sabbatical would cause him to lose his spot on the USMNT. He said he understood that he would have earn his spot back. When he returned to soccer, he behaved like a good soldier and played with a mostly B team, and did more than any other player to help Klinsmann win his ONLY trophy as a coach.
You also leave out the fact that LD later stated that the reason for his sabbatical is that he was battling depression at the time. Most employers consider that a mental illness and will give you a medical leave. That is why the Galaxy allowed it.
your whole premise lies on LD not wanting to be there
BS. Just look at what LD did for Klinsi’s USMNT in 2013 for proof of his output for Klinsi
what Klinsi proved is he will cut anyone that HE does not want there, whatever the reason and it does not have to do with soccer…not necessarily a good thing
Good to know that (WC semi-final finish + WC round of 16 finish) = incompetence.
I clearly didn’t do well in my Coaching Competence 101 classes in college.
This level of hyperbole is either an unrealistic, unattainably high standard or just ignorance – neither of which are charming attributes.
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