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Vermes on Klinsmann’s USMNT fitness complaints: ‘I think it’s utterly ridiculous’


Photo by Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports


U.S. Men’s National Team manager Jurgen Klinsmann repeatedly criticized his side’s fitness in the team’s latest camp, but Sporting KC head coach Peter Vermes believes Klinsmann’s criticisms were misguided.

Vermes called Klinsmann’s fitness expectations “utterly ridiculous,” according to The Kansas City Star, after the U.S. head coach criticized his team following a loss to Chile. Sporting KC was represented in camp by goalkeeper Jon Kempin and center back Matt Besler, who took a few weeks off prior to camp after playing 22 consecutive months due to last summer’s World Cup.

“To expect those guys to be in top form at a January camp — and I mean this — I think it’s utterly ridiculous,” Vermes said.

“Totally disagree with the comment,” Vermes added. “I have a lot of respect for Jurgen. Obviously he was a great player, and he’s done tremendous things as a coach, as well. But that doesn’t mean every time someone opens their mouth, they’re right. And I completely disagree.”

Besler also defended the group’s fitness, saying that his focus is on preparation for the upcoming MLS season, not January camp.

“My goal is to be in my peak fitness on March 1,” Besler said. “That’s when my season starts. It goes from March to December. So on Jan. 15, we devised an offseason plan for me to hit my peak fitness on March 1, and I think that’s what most of the guys did.

“If the expectation is different, that’s something that needs to be discussed so we know going into a camp where we need to be.”

What do you think of Vermes and Besler’s comments? What should Klinsmann expect from January camp in the future?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. i tried to post this twice:

    first, i’d like to say that i like JK as the our national team coach and i think that we’re very LUCKY to have him!

    second, i’d like to say that i don’t blame JK for not selecting LD to our world cup team last year. i think going into a wc, the usmnt coach’s success is measured (right or wrong) by one thing only: results (getting out of the group, making it to the semifinals, etc.). if JK thought LD was a step or two off his game last year and that’s why JK didn’t select him, i have no problem with that.

    so, anyway, here is my suggestion. can the next world cup squad (assuming the usa qualifies) be selected more like the way that the MLS all-star team is selected? maybe 2 or 3 players selected by fan/media voting. and give the commissioner 1 or 2 picks. then let the head coach (JK) choose all the rest.

    if a commissioner’s pick, or any kind of fan voting mechanism were in place last year, i feel almost certain LD would have been on the squad. now, whether he would actually PLAY or sit on the bench, and how many minutes, would still be JK’s decision, the way i see it. but at least LD would have been on the squad, imo.

  2. We really don’t give Gulati enough credit. Hiring a garrulous, indiscrete coach was truly a brainstorm. The best way to maintain interest in US soccer while nothing is going on. On this site alone, we have had going on to 300 comments about absolutely nothing — a verbal fart from JK. I tell you, Gulati is a genius.

  3. John, I don’t think the issue is the presence of a foreign coach. The issue is the impact the current coach has had on USA soccer. JK is a very positive individual who appears to have difficulty dealing with things from a realistic perspective. He makes excuses and chooses to blame others for his short comings. I don’t think he knows or has what it takes to lead the USA. There are ways to be influential but he is lacking in that ability. He appears to be out of his League as he was with Bayern. As a result some supporters of the Team are getting tired of his excuses and criticism. I’ve noticed an increased criticism from retired players from both the Men’s and Women’s National Teams regarding how their Teams are performing. I’ve seen comments on this site that the USA does not have a deep technical squad to choose from. I disagree. The player pool is deeper and more technical than ever. The problem is a player does not perform at his best when placed in a position he is not familiar with. JK keeps playing individuals out of position which is reflected by the lack of focus and cohesion on the pitch. That’s the reason so many players are getting caught out of position which results in the Team conceding goals.

  4. off season players expected to be in game shape in the offseason? come on, even the die hard JK defenders have to realize the contradiction there

  5. Bzzzzz. Landon Donovan is a God. Right up there in the pantheon of heroes. He is our soccer Babe Ruth and Ghandi. Jurgen is a Demon. End of. Now click link. Bzzzzzz.

  6. All public comments made by managers (like politicians) are ultimately tactical. The validity of what they say doesn’t necessarily matter, nor does it always indicate their beliefs; the fact that they choose to make public these statements (and the effects and reactions intended) is what matters. This is why you very rarely see managers comment on anything unrelated to their own job–their personal views on anything else in the world of soccer are irrelevant.

    For Vermes to discuss his own opinions on how Klinsmann is running the USNT only shows how unaware he is of how things work in the world of professional soccer, and like Nowak’s outburts from a few years ago, demonstrates how provincial these guys are. And of course none of them made these types of comments when Arena and Bradley were in charge, even though those two made many a cringeworthy statement. American managers view Klinsmann is an outsider who took a job from one of their pals and have no problem letting it be known.

  7. More SBI click bait using the words ‘Klinsmann’ ‘complaints’ ‘ridiculous’ and pitting him vs MLS

    It’s really not that crazy. Americans are just not very comfortable acknowledging that a foreign influence is right. This is what USSF is paying Jürgen to do, push the whole system for more. Really wish MLS would get with the program and stop being such a stick in the mud all while riding on the coat tails of the USMNT’s success.

  8. This debate appears to boil down to the proper length of a player’s post-season vacation. JK thinks it should be a bit shorter than Vermes thinks. This means your fitness drops by less – not that you’re at peak fitness all year round. So getting to peak fitness doesn’t take as long.

    When did Besler know he was getting called to the camp? If he knew well in advance, then in JK’s opinion he should have started working out sooner.

  9. I don’t understand the bickering. The person employed by MLS, provided they are not players, is always right. The other party is always wrong.

    It’s simple, really.

  10. So JK was right about fitness, and all the media were blasting him. That there is no way that was true, the US is always in top fitness. Bessler admits he was not totally fit.

    Then saying he did not know to be fit for the camp, you are going to be playing two games. Do they not matter?

  11. This is what they hired Klinsmann to do. To drag US soccer forward by force if he has to. Of course caveman like Vermes won’t like what he he has to say, after all, he’s making a nice living being a mediocre coach in a mediocre league and. Why change things?

  12. Here is a question.

    Why is it the technical director of US soccer, JK, seems to have anyone that is someone against him ?

    I saw something the other day, sorry dont remember what, where Arena answered, you will have to ask the Nat team coach that. Might have been an interview with Goff.
    Not hey go ask Jurgy, or talk with Klings. Nope, title only.

    Maybe he is as condesending with them as he is with us ? Sorry JK pet peave of mine as I slowly turn to hate JK as coach…I will quit answering my own question.

    • Quit,
      Here’s a few possible answers:
      1. “Everyone who is anyone” has actually consisted of a small fraternity of American coaches, players, broadcasters, & players turned coaches or broadcasters.
      -This fraternity has built soccer in the US. Along this journey it has done so with a bunker mentality. During this journey the US has garnered little International respect. All of this is embedded in their DNA.
      To have an outsider come in, say and do things differently, seems to have struck a collective nerve. It also seems that jealousy has reared its ugly head.
      Quote Michael Wilbon- Get the He!! out of my country

      2. JK cut Donovan-Right or wrong, the landscape changed that day. This point could create a novel..So I’ll spare it

      3. Since LD was cut, the small fraternity of writers/analysts has turned nothing short of hostile. Prior to that, most gave him the benefit of the doubt-except Strauss.
      To see the depth of this, you have to go beyond just the articles written-or what the analysts and broadcasters say. You have to listen to their podcasts, read their Twitter posts, and go deeper. You will see that since he cut Landon, there’s a deep hatred from most of them.
      -Example: If you listened to The Big Head Red Head podcasts, you will have heard a conspiracy theory that the decision to cut him goes all the way back to Berti, and how Berti cut someone in the Euros more than 20 years ago bc he & JK didn’t get along. And Lalas claiming this was a planned vindictive conspiracy going back years.
      This is just a tease of the entire discussion. There’s a lot more examples….

      4. The additional of dual National players-particularly the Germans. Yet people forget Jones, Chandler, Boyd, all started the process under Bradley. Fabian was ID’ed by Rongen, and his recruitment began by one of Bradley’s assistants.
      There’s also a huge jealousy factor here due to the insecure US fraternity.
      Don’t forget, 6 other guys were cut also, which caused an outcry-but does anyone still hate John Brooks or prefer Goodson to Brooks? The way Yedlin played in Brazil who would still insist he should have brought Evans or Parkhurst? No, they just remember LD.

      People have selective memory, especially when it fits their narrative.

      On that point, how quickly did people forget a few examples:
      -JK revived Beasleys career, who answered the call in Brazil
      -JK revived EJs Intl career- but EJ made the typical EJ move by getting out of shape at the worst time, selection time. He couldn’t trap a ball within 20 feet and gave lazy a new name
      -JK gave Beckerman his 1st real chance. Fans blasted him. Then the same fans blasted him for not starting him vs Belgium- selective memory
      Or the myth that starting Cam over the “once terrible” Beckerman cost us the Belgium game? How many fans know that Geoff Cameron was named to the FIFA best 11 that round, was the only US player named to the FIFA best 11 twice in Brazil, and the only player in any country to be named to The FIFA best 11 at two different positions?????
      -JK stuck with JJ throughout the loud voices of an overly aggressive undisciplined German.. who was our best player & now a cult hero.
      Has JK made every right decision??? NO! Do these critics have selective memory? YES

      5. JK promised a proactive approach, yet we haven’t really seen it enough. The loudest critics harp on this without end. But did anyone ever consider the following:
      – Maybe we just don’t have enough good players?
      – Maybe JK took a look at our opponents skilled players in our group, and built his team to counter them, knowing that we just didn’t have the horses to play with them.
      – Maybe that’s why he’s constantly tinkering?

      Let me ask a hypothetical question:
      US player has the ball on the wing, one defender is on him, US player is driving towards the attack and has to either beat his man to the end line and deliver a cross, or beat him inside and cut back to create his own shot
      -NAME THAT US PLAYER_________
      Who is the one US player who you could count on to deliver?
      Having trouble figuring out what player could best accomplish this? If not, who would your 2nd choice be? Hmmm?
      Does the insecure member of this fraternity really want to face this question???

      If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got…

      I could continue….. but there’s just a few reasons to answer your question

      • Bac, tell that to the people at Bayern Munich, OK?

        Regardless of any “bunker mentality” within the American soccer community, Klinsmann is showing himself to be what he is: a con man who isn’t half as smart or as experienced as he or his supporters claim.

        The American soccer community isn’t responsible for Klinsmann’s character. He is, OK?

        Besides, there’s another “bunker mentality” in the American soccer community among those who think Klinsmann is the be-all and end-all because 1) he played on a high international level 2) he coached Germany. Those two facts overwhelm any and all objective analysis of Klinsmann’s performance to date — because many of the people who support him are fundamentally insecure about American soccer, if not ashamed of it outright, because it’s not “European” enough.

        Well, grow up, people.

        Bac, the United States never has had the kind of players you’re talking about. Donovan, Reyna and Ramos come close but that’s about it. Yet even without those kind of players, the United States defeated Spain in the 2009 Confederations Cup and had a 2-0 lead against Brazil in the final before losing — all under the reviled Bradley.

        If Klinsmann were coaching that team, I seriously doubt the United States would have gotten out of group play.

        Klinsmann is great at two things: selling himself and engaging historical revisionism. He has a willing public — the people whom I described in the fourth paragraph of this post — who will eat out of his hand, even if it’s poison.

      • Those two facts overwhelm any and all objective analysis of Klinsmann’s performance to date

        I don’t mean to interrupt your lecture to a segment (however big or small) that like the current manager but if we’re talking facts: Jurgen has won the most games of any national team manager for the US in fewer games than his predecessors.

        Facts are funny that way when you try to blend them with opinion. Talk about “eating poison”, your entire post comes off xenophobic.

      • Old School, if I were “xenophobic,” I would say that only Americans should coach the national team. I haven’t said that. I haven’t said anything close to that. American coaches can be con men, as well. Just look at Steve Alford in college basketball, for example.

        Why hasn’t the fact that Klinsmann has won more games in less time than any of his predecessors allayed any suspicions about his knowledge of tactics, his fundamental understanding of the game or the way he treats players?

        Your accusation reflects the age-old tactic: If you can’t criticize the argument, then criticize the person making it.

        BTW, while you’re at it, look up “xenophobic” in a dictionary, OK?

      • excellent freakin post! and that is Old School’s thing. Take it as a compliment that he used that weak tactic with you 🙂

      • Joseph,
        In many ways, you helped me make my points:
        The question was, “why is anyone that is someone against him”
        1. This has NOTHING to do with his time at Bayern, neither the question, nor any of my possible answers-u chose to interpret my comments in a way that fits your narrative
        2. The bunker mentality of “anyone who is someone” in the US is by definition, a small number of people due to the brief history of relevant soccer in the US. They carry a large voice. To say that there is no jealousy or resentment – since he cut Landon or when JK talks differently – from these voices would be naive.
        I was answering Quit’s question, and to say this isn’t a possibility is naive. I didn’t say these voices were wrong, or right, but to ignore the topic and say he’s showing himself to be a con man who knows nothing shifts the paradigm of the conversation.
        I would argue the insecurity you speak of comes more from those few relevant voices who built soccer in the US that I spoke of, rather than those who want JK as the manager. I’d say there are those not afraid to say we haven’t done enough and need a different approach- Usually those aren’t people who are insecure, they’re not afraid of change.
        Read the Harvard business review called “Change Or Die” u may understand my point.

        I stated multiple examples to support my answer to Quit’s question.
        You gave one example of one game and made an assumption that JK as a coach would have lost that game….
        Then you state that we’ve never had that kind of player…

        You are making my answers to Quit’s question more valid.

        If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got.

        Can you actually give specific examples where JK has engaged in historical revisionism?
        I gave multiple examples of his critics engaging in revisionist history. And any time I’ve done that and challenged a reader I hear crickets chirping.

        In fact, that’s usually the case when you lay out multiple examples that don’t fit one’s narrative.

        It is entirely possible to disagree with some of his decisions but still support him.
        Example: Gary Page is a huge Donovan supporter and was very critical of him getting cut. But will also make comments supporting his decisions.
        The problem has become this: JK is either the Devil, or you’re a JK apologist…. there’s no middle….

        Now if you want to question his character, that’s your opinion. I responded to someone last week regarding “grading his job” and made several comments you would probably be surprised I made- but that’s an entirely different conversation. I think he has several shortcomings that could improve his effectiveness.

        I was answering Quit’s question- and frankly you validated a lot of what I stated.

      • Let me answer your points, one by one:

        1. Klinsmann’s experience as Bayern’s manager does matter because he hasn’t behaved any differently with the USMNT. Let’s not forget that he almost faced a Reichstag inquiry in Germany over his methods before the 2006 World Cup.

        What saved Klinsmann with the German national team was the fact that Germany already had a productive development program; all Klinsmann did was make some successful tweaks. That’s a lot different that what he’s trying to do here, which is restructure youth development fundamentally. I have no problem with the goal but I do have a problem when the U-20 team performs worse that it did before his tenure as technical director started.

        2. I don’t deny that many of Klinsmann’s detractors have their own agendas. My point about the “bunker mentality” is that those who support Klinsmann demonstrate as much of a bunker mentality — if not more — than his detractors.

        3. As far as historical revisionism goes, his supporters engage in than more than he does. But Klinsmann often talks as if the United States did nothing in soccer before he arrived. If that’s not a PR campaign, than tell me what one is.

        4. My point about the 2009 Confederations Cup is that Bradley got more out of his talent, as a rule, and prepared them better than Klinsmann does. I don’t see a USMNT coached either by Bradley or Arena allowing a goalkeeper to make 16 saves against any team. The only situation that came close to Howard’s against Belgium was Kasey Keller making 10 saves against Brazil in the 1998 Gold Cup.

        Besides, if the United States didn’t have the kind of world-class offensive threats you alluded to in 2009, it certainly doesn’t have them now. It remains an open issue whether Klinsmann’s approach can develop such players without having to go to Germany to get them.

        5. Your citing the Harvard Business Review is a non sequitur. The issue isn’t whether the national development system needs to change and grow; that’s a given. The issue not only is whether Klinsmann has the wherewithal to make the necessary changes but also whether he’s competent enough to do so in the first place.

        Read the following:

      • Joseph,
        I give you credit for responding in a detailed manner, whether I agree or not. Usually I hear crickets.
        1. I see the point you’re making about Bayern, but I also view it as apples and oranges. Here JK is the outsider. Agree to disagree.
        2.Sorry, I’d have to disagree. Reason being that the few small relevant voices carry a lot of clout-this pertains directly to my answer to Quits question. If you said, JKs supporters fire back with both barrels-sure. I don’t disagree. My use of the phrase BM points more towards those who’ve built the sport for a long time, and don’t like the outsider. Once again, this was a direct response to his original question.
        -And frankly my point about there being no middle ground shows the 2 sides. Either he’s the Devil, or you’re labeled an apologist.
        3. Based on my experience on SBI, and reading a lot of other sites, I’d say people in general remember what they want make it fit their narrative. My problem/gripe has always been when I lay out specific examples, I hear crickets. Originally u said JK, but now say it’s his supporters. I’d say the people you’re referring to probably called LD Landycakes, hated Bradley, didn’t like young MB, etc. – I try to think deeper than that petty BS, that’s why I try to back my statements with examples-even if I’m long winded.
        Whether you feel he’s constantly in a PR mode and bashes our history.. Well I haven’t given that much thought honestly, I’ve said in the past his communication could be better, but I wouldn’t go as far as you- I’d punt and move on.
        4. I agree BB got more out of his available talent, I never had a major issue with him, he made mistakes also. And in your example, who can say BB or Arenas teams wouldn’t have given up 5 goals vs that lineup? That’s too theoretical. No team ever played better “together” than the 02 team, yet 06 was a disaster. In any of the examples, we just don’t have enough good players
        5. You say it’s a given that growth and change needs to happen. My point to answer Quits question was the “reaction” to change by “anyone who is someone”. I see a lot of jealousy and hatred and insecurity. People don’t like uncomfortable change-even if they say they do.
        Example: The recent blowup about the MLS schedule-JK gets blasted. But when Casey Keller says the exact same thing on espnfc bootroom, it’s unnoticed.
        Example: When JK has had issues with MLS players and pulling them for Nat Team duty, Arena has blasted him several times. BUT ARENA did the same thing when he was coach! U see my point? It’s the reaction by the voices- which goes to the 2 articles. Strauss hates JK. And to my original point, when he cut LD they all seem to hate him-see my points above.

        If Herb Brooks would have failed with his addiction to fitness, rude demeanor, questionable player selection, and questionable tactics, he’d been kicked out of the sport forever. He was brave enough to do things differently. But he wasn’t an outsider. Everyone hated him till they loved him.
        It’s a fine line- but I’ll stick with my original quote: If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got.

        We can agree to disagree on several points, at least you responded in a manner that laid out your views, which is more than the usual crickets

      • Bac, JK was an outsider even at Bayern — not ethnically, of course, but in terms of his fundamental approach. Even a fellow German — Philip Lahm, arguably the best outside back in the world right now and captain of the World Cup champions — criticized JK in his autobiography for over-emphasizing fitness and leaving tactical decisions to the players. Sound familiar? Also, Lahm wrote that after a couple of months, the players at Bayern knew that it wouldn’t work with JK.

        Those players weren’t spoiled Americans. They were Europeans: Lahm, Franck Ribery, Luca Toni, Lukas Podolski, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Miroslav Klose, among others, plus a young Thomas Mueller. If JK lost those kind of players, what success do you think he’ll have with less talented and experienced Americans?

        As far as Strauss is concerned, if he “hates” JK (a verb so often misused and misrepresented these days as to be pathetic), at least he did his research about the man.

        Regarding Donovan, you must remember that Donovan was the only member of the U.S. player pool who experienced JK as a club coach. Donovan was training with Bayern on loan in the winter of 2008-09, so he saw first-hand what was happening. Whatever anybody thinks of his career, Donovan is a straight-shooter who has a pretty fine-tuned BS detector (I’ve interviewed him in person numerous times). My guess is that Donovan thought JK was a fraud, and Klinsmann knew that, so JK decided to “bury the evidence,” as it were.

        As far as JK being a con man goes, consider the following:

        1. He said publicly that nobody should expect a favored place on the team based on the past, yet he gave Altidore a spot as a starting forward despite lack of production and he gave Chander a place on the World Cup team despite one game — and a bad performance, at that — in the road qualifier against Honduras.

        2. He cites Robbie Keane as the ultimate example of professionalism (such as making trans-Atlantic flights to play for Ireland) but JK declined a chance to play in MLS because he didn’t want to make cross-country flights!

        3. He disapproved of Donovan’s sabbatical yet resigned as Germany’s manager citing “burnout” (which was probably a cover for something else, like his wife telling him to come home).

        If a foreign coach replaces JK, I hope it’s Carlos Queiroz, now with Iran. His coaching CV is far more impressive and has far more substance that JK’s — whom, you can argue, has done quite well for himself with limited coaching experience.

      • Thx- I try to be consistent, use examples I see fit etc.
        That’s become the biggest problem imho, as I’ve said before- you’re labeled an apologist or he’s the Devil. I like healthy debate, I don’t like outlandish nonsense like someone last week trying to blame JK for Joe Gyuas knee injury when he stepped on the ball & hurt himself!!
        In fact- I had a healthy debate w someone last week grading him as a coach- you’d probably woulda been surprised at some things I said, despite my “label”

      • if it means anything to you, you’re not labelled by me.

        so on which thread did you have the debate? I’d like to read it man

      • No idea- coulda been a few weeks ago.I basically laid out what I perceived were strengths/weaknesses, decisions I agreed/disagreed w/. It was brief, I coulda gone deeper-I ramble.

      • “Let’s not forget that he almost faced a Reichstag inquiry in Germany over his methods before the 2006 World Cup.

        What saved Klinsmann with the German national team was the fact that Germany already had a productive development program; all Klinsmann did was make some successful tweaks. That’s a lot different that what he’s trying to do here, which is restructure youth development fundamentally.”

        From where did you get those informations? As a German I’ve to regret but to tell you, this is utterly wrong.

        The “Reichstag” (today we name it ‘Bundestag’ 😉 ) inquiry took place but not on account of Klinsmann but rather at the time before Klinsmann took over as NT coach, after the German team shamefully bowed out at the group stage against a Czech B team in the 2004 Euro and no coach wanted to do the job with the NT.

        DFB already targeted the league clubs to install a youth development program in 2001 to also ensure new blood for the NT. But it was Klinsmann who rejuvenated the German NT, implemented a new style of play in the senior team and the youth academy. His time with the NT was a complete success, and DFB & German fans wanted Klinsmann so badly to stay with the team after 2006 WC, which he denied.

        The campaign against Klinsmann started in spring 2006 initiated by a famous mighty German tabloid (who was excluded by Klinsmann from reporting about the German NT in the 2006 WC) – a good friend of Bayern Munich and a opponent of Klinsmann. But that’s a long story which already started in the 80’s. (If someone want to give it a try, there is an informative German article,cntnt01,print,0&cntnt01articleid=179&cntnt01showtemplate=false&cntnt01returnid=29 .)

      • ann, I stand corrected about the term “Reichstag” and about the circumstances of the inquiry. But what do you think of Philip Lahm’s criticism?

        “We practically only practiced fitness under Klinsmann. There was very little technical instruction and the players had to get together independently before the game to discuss how we wanted to play. All the players knew after about eight weeks that it was not going to work out with Klinsmann. The remainder of that campaign was nothing but limiting the damage.”

        Given Lahm’s credibility and Klinsmann’s behavior, those appear to be damning words.

        Besides, ann, as you well know, Germany failed to reach the World Cup quarterfinals only once since 1962! In the past 14 WC’s, Germany reached the semis 10 times! That, to me, sounds like a pretty remarkable development program. By comparison, Brazil missed the quarterfinals three times and reached the semis only eight times in the same span.

      • Joseph D’Hippolito,

        JK’s tenure and subsequent firing at Bayern has little relevance as far as I’m concerned. Being fired all those years ago means very little. Belichik got canned at Cleveland, Pete Carroll got canned at New England, Tom Coughlin got canned at Jacksonville and they wound up doing okay later on. Bayern has fired a laundry list of great coaches like Van Gaal and Heynckes.

        Lots of coaches have been fired and lots of coaches get criticized by their players. It’s the cost of doing business.

        What happens today and going forward is of more concern.
        Here’s JK’s response to Lahm, who is a great player but has yet to prove he knows anything about how to coach a team. Yes, it is different once you are on the other side.

      • Joseph D’Hippolito, I’m sorry yet not have answered. I caught a bad flew (high time spring will apear here) which makes me handicapped ATM.
        I’m still on the answer but perhaps need another day.

        I thank GM for his answer with containing facts I absolutely agree with.

        But one think hasn’t been discussed like the role of the mighty ‘Bild’ in it (see the in my before mentioned ‘Rund’ article) and how was and is the relationship of the club Bayern Munich and particularly Lahm to this mighty tabloid who (Bild) is also able to let politicians rise or stumble in their career.

        I regret I leave you alone to an German article and some ‘plastic’ translation machines. But this is the basic to understand where the origin of the modd against Klinsmann did come from.

        Preliminary to my answer I recommend the following article showing the mood in Germany during Klinsmann’s stint with the German NT in 2006, when interestingly, Chancelor Merkel stood behind him (How could she do differently when parallel going on with the using of U.S. business advisors like McK to bring firms and some sorts of German laws on track!?) … and not only her.

        The opponents of Klinsmann were former athletes with a special binding to Bayern Munich and the tabloid ‘Bild’.

    • Whining,

      How often have you seen Arena interviewed? The man is a great coach and can also be a self centered arrogant pr++k. There is a reason he is not on TV as much as his record and talent might otherwise indicate.

      If you think he doesn’t have his share of enemies you haven’t seen very much.

      Many of the people you could be referring to seem to have some sort of axe to grind. After all it’s a small community.

  13. I say good for Vermes. He would make a great nat team coach.

    A US guy, VERY important, as we are finding out. JK’s non- stop whining and excuse making is making guys like me who were very indifferent/supported him turn into borderline haters.

    He has won….many times. In a competitive league, level playing field league.

    He is a leader.

    • I say good for Vermes. He would make a great nat team coach

      I don’t fault Vermes for sticking up for his players, and league. I do, however, fault any assumptions he’d make a “great” national team coach.

      Quite the leap in assumptions. Also, stop whining in

    • “because Kansas City leads the league in fouls committed. By quite a wide margin — its total of 511 fouls is 46 more than second place Chivas USA. KC averaged 15 fouls per game during the MLS regular season.”

      is peter vermes a leader? i would say ‘yes’. is he the kind of leader that i want for our national team? i would say ‘no’.

      • i don’t ever want peter vermes to change. to me, in mls, he’s like the ‘villain’. his team is the team i love to root AGAINST.

  14. he is the coach of an mls team….remember MLS is Minor League Soccer….what would you expect him to say….”we play in an inferior league and our players dont need to be fit”

  15. of course klinsmann is going to tell the players to work harder, take shorter breaks, etc. he’s the coach. (i agree with gary page – it’s a ‘motivational tool’.) what’s he supposed to say? “come fat and out of shape.”

    nothing to see here.

      • That’s right . JK never said anything about expecting these guys to be in game shape 24/7/365;

        From SBI:

        “Extending that season of MLS would solve my issue that I have right now, but we’re working on it.”
        Klinsmann says that the MLS’ extended break, which could be up to three months for non-playoff teams, is one of the causes of his team’s current fitness struggles. Having been unable to close out games, Klinsmann is hoping American players learn to put a bigger emphasis on their offseason programs and develop a culture of constant preparation.
        “I don’t blame anybody. It’s just reality,” Klinsmann said. “What happens here is that maybe soccer isn’t as far as American football, baseball, basketball where athletes in their offseason go specifically for their own preparation before they join their preseason with their professional teams. We don’t have that culture yet.
        “The MLS season goes nine months and they should take it and go back to preparing themselves for the next year. A couple of guys haven’t done that and that’s why we’re looking a little bit shaky right now, but we’re going to get back and hopefully get out of it.”
        The German-born head coach went on to say that his players’ improvements come down to individual efforts. With many of the nation’s biggest stars returning to the states with MLS moves, Klinsmann understands that respective clubs and the national team will need to work hard to maintain the highest level possible.
        “It’s down to their attitude. Obviously, they’re the big stars coming back and the big fish in a small pond,” Klinsmann said. “Meanwhile, in Europe they’re the small fishes in the big pond. I get that, and obviously the financial reasons are behind it as well so it’s understandable in one way. It’s a challenge then to those players on the other side. We’re going to help them, their clubs are going to help them, to hopefully keep the higher standards up to push the envelope there.
        “Obviously it’s a process. It’s a learning curve. The game will get bigger, it will get more recognition, fans will get more educated, the media will get more educated, but we still have a way to go. We all help to make this game grow in this amazing country, but it’s not going to happen overnight.”

      • GW, we ALL know offseason fitness is an issue with MLS players in January. Using that as an excuse for your team’s performance when YOU KNOW it’s an issue already, and is actually a reason to have this January camp, reeks. You can buy that crap if you want to tho

        Refer to the post above about Popovich on how to handle things

      • “Using that as an excuse for your team’s performance when YOU KNOW it’s an issue already, and is actually a reason to have this January camp, reeks. ”

        The thing is I don’t see what JK said as “using that as an excuse”. I don’t see JK making excuses.

        The US lost.The coaches saw what they needed to see. They move on. .

        Long before I read any quotes from anyone, as the game was winding down, it was obvious to me they were losing to Chile because they couldn’t keep up with them and the mistakes the US were making were because they were gassed.

        That was very clear to me.

  16. You’re all forgetting one big fact: Jermaine Jones is out for two months with a sports hernia that he likely suffered either at the very end of camp or in the game against Panama. Don’t forget that Jones not only has the club experience Klinsmann wants his players to have but knows how to train to Klinsmann’s specifications. And he has the worst injury among all the participants?

    Klinsmann is playing the insecure American soccer community for fools. He’s nothing but a con man. He’s a gross incompetent who hides behind this European “experience.” Well, Bayern Munich smoked this guy out in pretty short order…and, the last I checked, Bayern Munich isn’t a member of MLS.

    • “It has yet to be determined when the injury specifically occurred. Sports hernia issues are known to sometimes go unnoticed and in other cases they can be disguised as groin strains, an injury which Jones picked up last February prior to debuting with Turkish club Bestikas. He officially signed with the New England Revolution on August 24.” – MLS

      But fun theory.

  17. Did anyone watch the MLS all-star game in Portland?

    Were all those players from Bayern Munich in top shape or did Caleb Porter just whip their ass?

    • You should take into account, in that case Bayern Munich’s main interest was promotion for their brand in the U.S.A. and for the players not playing hard to avoid injuries. The club talked openly about it in the German media.

    • That was a friendly.

      Do you believe any MLS All Star team would be favored over Bayern Munich if there was real blood and money on the line?

      Seems unlikely to me.

    • lets not forget that Jurgen was a complete failure at Bayern and some of the best players in the world said the exact same thing that Will Trapp did.

      If the best players in the world cant figure it out when you just roll the ball out and expect their soccer instincts to take care of it, how does JK expect the the US team in their nascent soccer culture state, to figure it out.

      dude is a fraud

  18. JK needs to go. he has been here long enough to implement his system he needs to take his eurotrash ass home. bradley had us on a great run.

  19. i agree with people saying both have a point. we know, for a FACT, that players came into camp not even remotely fit. like, not even preseason fit. Dempsey, Jozy, and Yedlin all confirmed this. but we also know JK wasn’t making a blanket statement and called out guys like Zardes, Ibarra, Bradley, etc. as being very fit coming into camp.

    that all said, both coaches are being ridiculous. JK, for reasons we’ve all said before. but Vermes for not commenting on the full context of what was said. further, he’s not there at the USSF camp and i doubt he saw the beep test results. i think this all stemmed from that test and then the drop off against Chile.

    • Reminds me of an interview from Tony Beltran of all players. When he found out a few years ago he was getting his first call up to January camp, he put down the tuna salad sandwich his mom had just made him, and went out for a long run.

      • I think tuna is okay. A cheeseburger, well, no. But, basically that’s the way it should be–if you get a chance you had better be prepared to perform your best or don’t bother showing up.

  20. Knowing Klinsmann Besler’s comments won’t sit well with him. He doesn’t want to hear that the USMNT is second in importance. Besler needs to be careful or he’ll lose his spot.

    • Birgit,

      I don’t know if you are aware but JK was a player once. He was also an international.
      He understands better than anyone on SBI about the clash of loyalties and I’m pretty sure he understands that while playing for your country is an honor and can lead to increased opportunity for a player to better themselves or their wallets, your club pays for your daily bread and butter.

      It is a balance that all international players, even Matt Besler, have to strike.
      So a couple of statements that you, and not necessarily JK, perceive as disloyal, isn’t going to put JK off from playing Matt.

      But if Matt doesn’t play better, yeah, he will be out in the cold so fast his head and his hamstring and whatever other part of his body ails him, will all spin. That’s what Hedges and Birnbaum and all those other center half candidates are there for.

      You find this surprising?

      • Right you are. Anyone who has been around, especially German soccer, as long as I have, knows what that is all about. But since I am from Germany, I also know about how somebody like Klinsmann knows that the best players will not let their fitness slip. Jogi Loew is the same way. The reason why Kiessling is not in the National team is most likely because he spoke out too vociferously. I am pretty sure the reason why Wondo was chosen over Donovan was because of Donovan’s public comments about his fitness.

  21. JK says the players are not fit for January but he would like them to be. Vermes says the players are not fit for January and does not think its reasonable to expect they would be. Besler says he and other players are intentionally not fit for January because they are preparing for March. The only – -only — point of disagreement seems to be whether JK is right for wanting the players fit in January. Everything else simply confirms what JK was saying about the lack of fitness.

    • Yup, I heard on some podcast(cant remember which one) that players would get 2 weeks off of essentially no physically activity at the end of the season then would be expected to start training again. So they should be fit… but how fit?

      100% would be unfair. European teams do play pre-season games for money but they also exist for fitness reasons. They have about a month and a half of those.

      Bayern for example had their first preseason game on July 18th last year. The last Bundesliga game was on may 10th. That’s about 2 months break. Less if you include Champs league etc.(May 24th in 2014)

      It seems like its just the play off system messing things up.

      • They shortened the calendar due to the world cup this season, all big 5 leagues end on May 24th or May 30th. Unless you were excused for World Cup activity, you were in by July 1st for training. the 1st game was not the first meeting. You essentially have the month of June off and holiday break.

    • Yup. Sounds like everyone agrees on that.

      Players need a break, a month between the MLS Cup (two months if you don’t make the playoffs) and January camp sounds about enough.

      The MLS season is brutal the way it currently runs; packing 34 league, USOC, CCL, friendlies, international games all with extensive travel and overly physical play into the summer months. Makes sense these guys are asking for some serious time off.

      I don’t see how Besler played 22 consecutive months? Didn’t he break every December for the past x years? Except the one year SKC played 1 MLS Cup game in early Dec

  22. On a completely unrelated topic…..when I was much younger I belonged to a Supporters group of an MISL team and we attended soccer conventions. Can u recommend any such thing to me now? Thanks.

  23. Klinsman is a fool. Nothing like trying to blame MLS for his failure as a national team coach.

    Two goals vs. Panama both by MLS players who looked a lot sharper than Altidore, Yedlin, Mix, etc. who have all been playing and training in Europe. Based on Klinsman’s view you would expect one of those guys to impress, but no, the MLS players are the ones actually getting something done on the pitch.

    • you do realize Bradley and Dempsey became the players they are today because of their time in Europe, right? like, you didn’t forget Dempsey playing in the PL or Bradley playing in the top flights in Holland, Germany, England, and Italy? right?

  24. All of this pretty silly at this point. We’re trying out some new things, getting some different players a look. As the focus really should be. Getting the tactics really set in, will be done just before the Gold Cup. In the mean time I don’t see the problem with Klinsmann pushing the players to there peak fitness. That’s all the individual players can do at the moment anyway.

  25. And that’s why Vermes will never be anything more than an MLS coach. That weak mentality he shares with American players.
    Showing up out of shape of nation team camp it’s inexcusably. The whole idea of the camp is to try new players and new formations, something that’s very difficult if they can’t play more than 45 minutes.

    • I mean, showing up in “game shape” was almost impossible for most these guys, as they had no real competitive matches in months. But, there’s no excuse for not being “fit” – meaning they had to spend more time on fitness than tactics….

  26. The assessment from Jurgen Klinsmann:
    “After the World Cup, a lot of players dropped their levels 30, 40 percent when they came back from vacation,” Klinsmann said. “It doesn’t matter if they are in Europe or the US, you can’t do that at the international level. You get exposed after minute 65 or 70 if you can’t go the speed anymore, and both ways, so there’s a lot of work ahead of us, ahead of the players first of all.”

    The assessment from Peter Vermes:
    Vermes called Klinsmann’s fitness expectations “utterly ridiculous”, according to The Kansas City Star. “To expect those guys to be in top form at a January camp — and I mean this — I think it’s utterly ridiculous,” Vermes said.

    The acknowledgement of Matt Besler:
    Besler also defended the group’s fitness, as the Sporting KC centerback said that his focus is on preparation for the upcoming MLS season, not January camp.

    “My goal is to be in my peak fitness on March 1,” Besler said. “That’s when my season starts. It goes from March to December. So on Jan. 15, we devised an offseason plan for me to hit my peak fitness on March 1, and I think that’s what most of the guys did.

    Now, is it ridiculous from an American’s perspective or a perspective of reality? When considering the reality that most leagues around the world go 10 months and an additional month of pre-season tours, bringing it to a total of 11 months.

    A solution:
    “My wish, at the end of the day is that that domestically here the MLS goes to an 11-month season like the rest of the world,” Klinsmann told FOX Sports 1. “They shorten a little bit their vacation, but they get back in their rhythm right away and they’re prepared for it. Extending that season of MLS would solve my issue that I have right now, but we’re working on it.”

    To put things in perspective, eight of Klinsmann’s starting XI and all four substitutes were MLS players. Besler’s statement confirms Jurgen’s assessment of their fitness (or lack thereof) has merit.

    There’s a lot to be said about how far the league has grown, but there’s also plenty of reason to be skeptical of complacency with the commissioner and ownership groups afraid to give up power, take off the training wheels and take some risks.

    Conversation and debate is healthy for our league and too many people are afraid of differing opinions or new ideas, becoming far too comfortable with the status-quo. Whether or not you like Klinsmann (and of course, a lot of people immediately dislike anything said by Klinsmann) is irrelevant but questioning the level of competition, league-wide format (i.e. Promotion/Relegation) and schedule length is something good for discussion purposes with the possibility of evolving forward for the league and it’s fans.

    If a discussion threatens the league, that says more about the league than the source of the discussion.

    • I agree with just about everything you’ve said. And, it’s actually 9 of the starting XI that were MLS players. And, Yedlin is one of the 2 not in that group.

    • +1000000000!!!

      Thank you. Folks act as if we don’t have room to improve. We are no where near the top teams in the world yet, regardless of whatever unrealistic expectations many may have in their minds.

      I love MLS but if they are serious about this top league business you’re going to need to do more than just change a logo. We have to start to match the preparation and development approach of the top leagues. We still have a lot to learn and once we can get past our own hype and press it will become much clearer to us. This is all helpful to all parties involved in the long run.

      • It’s a myth invented by Klinsmann. The MLS season (including the playoffs) lasts just about as long as any top European league — 9 months. They do not play more. English season, for example, always starts in the middle of August and ends in May. That’s 9 months! Last Bundesliga season started on August 9th, 2013 and ended on May 10th, 2014. Exactly 9 months.

        I wish someone asked Klinsmann to name a country where the season lasts 11 months.

      • I have no way to know exactly where JK is getting the 11 month number from, but here’s a possible explanation:

        While you’re correct that most of the European seasons go about nine months, you’re forgetting that for the the players that play international soccer, as soon as the season is over, those players are going into an international camp to train for World Cup, World Cup qualifiers, Euros, etc. So by the time that’s over, they’ve trained and played well into late June, early July. Then the clubs begin preseason training later in July. Premier League guys that play for national teams probably don’t even get a full month off per year in most years.

        For MLS guys, those tournaments come during the MLS season, so they are just substituting one training for another not adding on another month. Also, the European leagues have Champions League, Europa League, and various cups, while MLS has a fraction of those kinds of extra games. In England, all BPL teams play in the League Cup and the FA Cup, whereas in MLS only half of the teams play in MLS cup and it seems like a lot of the teams don’t take the Open Cup seriously and end up crashing out after a game or two.

        Anyway, to me it’s easy to see where JK is coming from in his analysis even if he isn’t 100% technically correct in the semantics.

      • But what about those teams that don’t go to the MLS playoffs? How are they going to get any better with less playing time and challenge the top teams to promote a more competitive environment? What happens if SKC or Seattle doesn’t make to the playoffs this year? What happens to the star NT players on those teams? You have a less deeper pool of NT prospects with this schedule.

      • Technically, the “Season” may not last 11 months, but the “Schedule” does.
        -See shaggies comments, and I’d add that many clubs go on these International tours adding games, and obviously training that leads up to these games.
        -When you factor in that MLS has playoffs, many players not only have more down time, they play less games.
        -As I said earlier, the guy spent his entire career at the highest level of European soccer- Just because some people don’t like him does not make his comments incorrect.

      • He really is not that far off for the 2014-2015 season:
        -BPL: Aug 16 – May 24
        -La LIGA: Aug 23 – May 24
        -Serie A: Aug 30 – May 31
        -Bundesliga: Aug 22 – May 23
        -Ligue 1:Aug 8 – May 23
        These seasons are all between 9 1/2 to 10 months. Most teams are in camp in July doing pre-season camps, and tours, so yeah..11 months is about right.

        – MLS: Mar 6 – Oct 25 That is only 8 months! Now for the few teams that make the play offs, they may play a couple more games. If you do not make the play-offs, preseason starts in February and you only play 9 months.

        That being said, I think you need time to recover. I think the German model is the best with a 4 to 6 week break in the middle for the holidays where there is only limited training.

      • Why do you give euro leagues credit for training camps and not MLS? MlS teams have been training since the third week of January.

      • You might want to revise your basic arithmetic on the European seasons — for example Aug. 22 to May 23 (the Bundesliga) is 9 months and 1 day, not the “9 1/2 to 10” that you are giving them credit for, and they take an extended winter break. Some do extended tours, but some MLS teams do the playoffs. Euro teams play more than MLS teams, to be sure, but not by anything like as much as you (or JK) is implying.

      • For the 2014-2015 season:
        -BPL: 9mnths 8 days
        -La LIGA: 9mnths 1days
        -Serie A: 9mnths 2days
        -Bundesliga: 9mnts 2days
        -Ligue 1:9mnths 16days

        – MLS: Mar 6 – Oct 25 that is 7mnths 14 days.

        If you don’t go to the playoffs, MLS regular season is between 1.5 months to 2 months shorter. In a non-World Cup/European Cup shortened year, the pre-seasons extend 1-1.5 months.

        Professionals in those leagues usually have June and part of July off (1 to 1.5 months off). That is it! Non-play teams in MLS have 3 months off between end of season and preseason beginning (Oct 25, 2014 & January 26, 2015).

      • Anthony, I always have doubts about people who refer to England’s top division as the BPL. Especially Americans. It’s kind of like being brainwashed.

      • But isn’t it fun to explain that the first division in England is actually the third division, and the championship is the second division. So who plays in the champions league? That’s when I say DCUnited does.

        Call it Epl, or the English top flight. Or call it anything you like. Just know when you call it BPL, you have been indoctrinated by thought control.

      • Comparing national teams and their domestic leagues to one another…Yes.

        Longer (11) month season(s):


        Shorter (9 months) season:

        United Staes

        It seems consistently the teams/leagues w/ “more” season (pre-season, continental cups, intra league cups, reserve U-23’s cups and post season tours ) are ranked higher than the leaves that do not have the same “traditional euro” schedule.

        When you analyze and evaluate do you think less is better?

    • Why would Klinsmann expect MLS players to be at the their peak fitness on January 28th?? Are any of the BPL, or Serie A, or La Liga players perfectly fit on July 28th? No, not even close. The US national team has played in the middle of the winter for years — why is Klinsmann bitching and moaning now? Because the team lost a game due, in no small part, to his coaching decisions? Is he just looking for another excuse to criticize the MLS and US players?

      • I haven’t heard JK say anything about US players that has not been said before by others before he ever took over.

      • Well I can think of several reasons:
        1. He has played, coached, and been around successful International players all his life
        2. Though the US has been on this schedule as you stated, the best players (w/ a few exceptions) were playing in Europe, hence the Jan camp named camp cupcake- we just don’t have enough good players
        3. If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got. If the USNT, and US Soccer, expects to grow, you can’t always do the same things and expect different results
        4. Should professional athletes have to be told to keep their bodies fit?
        – The window for professional athletes is very short. The elite athletes in any sport know that maintaining yourself isn’t a some of the time thing, it’s an all the time thing- Would you like some examples???
        – Best WR of all time-Jerry Rice-Off-season program was to run uphill with a chute on his back every day
        – Best BB player of all time- MJ- Took such a beating early in his career when the NBA was still like the WWF- adjusted his workouts to be able to take the physical punishment
        – Ray Lewis- Not just mentored other players on the Ravens Def- He DEMANDED they eat properly every day and take care of their bodies… not some of the time
        What did these guys have in common other than their athletic ability? They behaved the same way, they played long careers, and they hardly missed time due to injury.
        (BTW- is it any surprise that our oldest player-Jermaine Jones- always is in shape and has a motor that never stops?)

        Why is it we worship the dedication of elite athletes in the NFL, NBA, and MLB in the US, yet find an excuse to criticize JK for trying to emulate the behaviors of those elite soccer players he’s been around his entire career?

        Like I said- If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got

      • Great comment. Karl Malone and John Stockton showed up for preseason camp in top condition. Malone would blast guys in the media, and I assume in person as well, if they came to camp thinking they were going to use it to get in shape.

      • And Malone drove a rig in the off-season-hence the nickname Mailman- and still managed to stay in great shape for a long career.
        Some people just “get it”
        I liked JKs comment a few days ago about Zardes, when he said after training we couldn’t get him off the field.

      • I watched his interview and was impressed as well. All the time spent with Donovan and Keane is serving THIS young man well. Top clubs get top players not just because they can play and draw well, but ALSO because they bring Top Level dedication and work ethic to the training environment as well.

        I so wish that Juan could have stayed at RBNY to soak in all of this from TT! I wish Gil and other ACM’s were in Orlando with KAKA to model his PROfessional behavior as well.

        This alone should be reason enough for owners to pony up for Ibra, Gerrard, Lamps, Kompany and others. I wish every World Player of the year finalist found their way to MLS

      • We had every world player of the year in our league. It was called NASL and it was pele, that german kaiser guy, the Dutch master, George best, and some more of the rest.

      • Agreed. Some good, rational stuff from you and Shaggie96.

        Plus, I work 12 months/yr, so I don’t have too much sympathy.

      • Bac,

        Very good observations. Two thoughts.

        1. Cal Ripken’s motto on fitness was “if you’re never out of shape,…you never have to get in shape.”

        2. Cringe at you bringing Ray Lewis into the discussion. The man is a murderer.

      • Brian,
        I cringed at writing it! I remember watching a segment on espn a few years ago when he was at the end of his career, he had a few guys at his house, and was showing then what he kept in his fridge and what his diet was, and was lecturing them about total fitness thru diet, exercise, mental preparation-the total 360 degree approach.
        It was a relevant example that came to mind immediately…
        But ur right- it is cringe-worthy

        Ripken played how many games in a row at a high level??? Boom….

      • 2. Cringe at you bringing Ray Lewis into the discussion. The man is a murderer.

        Talk about a cringe worthy statement.

      • I don’t like Ray, but he was not a murderer, he was obstructing justice and aided his friends getting away. In some jurisdictions, aiding a criminal in getting away with a crime can lead to murder charges as well.

      • hey Bac,

        seems to me this whole discussion is totally off base. There is a difference between in shape and in game shape. and none of the MLS players were “out of shape”, they just are not in game shape.

        And how is that surprising at all? Anyway, you can’t play an international game with out of shape players, but expecting them to be in game shape during the off season is impossible, thus the term “game shape”

      • Hey Bum,
        I don’t think it’s too far off base, maybe a more effective term to use would have been “came to camp prepared vs came to camp unprepared”??
        He didn’t mention which specific players were part of that 30-40% drop off, he did mention a few that were in shape- MB who had foot surgery, JJ, Zardes.. don’t recall anyone else.
        I think my examples above speak for themselves

    • agreed. Besler’s comment says it all. funny enough, given how bad he has looked and his hammy issues, i’m actually ok with him getting rest. but his point was he doesn’t plan to be 100% ready before March 1. the starting US centerback. pretty crazy and plays into JK’s comment that NBA and NFL athletes come into preseason camps at a high fitness level because they go to places on their own during the offseason. something that is required for an athlete trying to separate himself from the pack.

      • If Besler felt his hamstring would have been better served by NOT going to the US camp, he could have sat out the camp.

        Beckerman did that and I know he is planning on still being part of the USMNT but he was injured

  27. Glad to see MLS coaches stand up strong against JK. Stop blaming others for why we lost to Chile. Why don’t you take blame for your failed 3-5-2 formation?

      • Brek can’t defend well but was in position.

        Yedlin was out of position(He tucked in way too much) and defended badly.

        So yeah… Brek was better.

    • Did you even watch the game? The US was ahead 2-1 at halftime using the 3-5-2. They lost the game after switching to the 4-4-2 in the second half. For some reason, I don’t think this will make any difference to you.

      • +1 for the point and for responding to this because no amount of facts will do much to this strange position that folks have on that particular game.

      • Don’t give me the we were up 2-1 using the 3-5-2 formation and lost after going 4-4-2 argument. If you know anything about soccer formations, the 3-5-2 formation gives the defense and wing backs more possession of the ball. We don’t have the personnel to play 3-5-2. Ask Man United fans who keep telling LVG the same thing. In the 3 defender setup, Jones will always be the center defender and have license to roam as the extra defender. He’s too much of a liability going forward leaving the back two in a heap of mess. He’s not tactically sound enough as a defender to play that role. JK, you wanna play 3-5-2, fine but get some players who can play that formation.

      • I don’t know too much about the 3-5-2 and this is an honest question but does the central player have to be the ball player? Could you push Jones to the right or left side and maybe have an Omar or Brooks in the middle to just win balls?

      • You absolutely can, and that’s what Man U have done this season with Daley Blind and Liverpool do with emre Can.

      • Agreed. Jones can play anywhere in that 3 man lineup. If JK keeps trotting out Mix and Bradley as the center mids, then it makes more sense for Jones to play the center defender as he can give them cover as they push up.

      • You’re basing your “failed 3-5-2” argument on one half with a camp full of MLS players in preseason fitness. Tactics aren’t the only part of the game…

      • I’m basing my “failed 3-5-2” argument on the lack of personnel to play it. Look up teams who have played well using the 3-5-2. It takes players who are tactically and technically sound. We are not on that level especially on defense.

      • It’s still conjecture from you in my opinion. Those teams (Holland, Mexico, Costa Rica) were match fit, our guys weren’t on that day. The team that faced Chile won’t be the same team that Klinsmann trots out in the Hex, Copa America, or the Gold Cup. We need more games to see the 3-5-2 with different players before quickly claiming that it’s a failure.

      • I remember a lot of posters at this site before the game urging the US to use the 3-5-2. Success has many fathers, failure is an orphan. The whole point of meaningless friendlies is to experimnent with both players and tactics.

      • disagree. that is not the whole point at all. as for posters here urging whatever, that indictment speaks for itself

      • Nowhere in this rambling rebuttal can I begin to pick out any support for your statement above, “Stop blaming others for why we lost to Chile. Why don’t you take blame for your failed 3-5-2 formation?” How does any of what you just said explain how the 3-5-2 contributed to the Chile loss?

        Whether we have the personnel for this formation is another question entirely. I just want to know how it contributed to the Chile loss.

      • JK’s use of Jones at central defender is abhorrent. Jones didn’t even contest the cross on Chile’s first goal. Then he gave the ball away again later in the first half and Chile had a goal scoring opportunity only to be saved by Rimando.

        You can’t talk formation without talking about personnel. JK’s choice of defenders, wing backs, and central mids are essential to employing the 3-5-2 successfully.

      • oh you mean on the goal where Besler lost his mark by NOT running with him and then didn’t even open his mouth to let Jones know. that goal? not saying Jones’ had great positioning, but that wasn’t his mark. either way, Jones said it himself, he doesn’t want to play CB in a 3-5-2.

      • I am not really interested in getting involved in this conversation, but that was Jones mistake. He got caught out of position. Besler is not supposed to follow the runner to the near post. It is Jones’ job to prevent that near post runner from getting the ball. Jones was sucked out of position to the ball side. I don’t really blame him since he is obviously not a central defender, but it was his mistake, not Belser’s.

      • Don…watch the replay. Besler is marking him and then stops. Jones gets pulled out to cover for Bird because Yedlin is nowhere to be found and Bird is pushed out wide. Besler was on him, then got lazy, and the guy made a smart run into empty space without his mark.

      • That is not how marking runs from open play in the box works. Besler’s job is to cover the back post. Jones’ responsibility is to cover the near post. Birnbaum does not get cover in that situation, because the numbers don’t allow for it. He must contain and not get beat. The cross is probably going to come in, but his first responsibility is to not get beat since that would cause everything else to break down. Jones was too close to the ball leaving the most dangerous space on the field exposed. With the way zonal positioning works, even if Besler had followed the run (which is not his responsibility), there is a good chance he would not have gotten to the ball first. Plain and simple, Jones has to prevent that cross from getting to that spot in front of goal.

      • Don – sorry but I disagree as did the commentators and many other journalists, including Ives. Just watch the replay and see Besler stop doing anything about 20 yards out. He literally just stops marking him AFTER the other two CBs were out wide. This isn’t to say Jones was perfect, but come on. Guess we will agree to disagree.

      • I just went back and watched it again. The commentator mentions Jones “floating.” He is way out of position. He is in line with, if not outside of the edge of the 6 yard box. That is no-man’s-land when defending a cross. When the ball is out wide, Jones properly looks over his shoulder and sees the threat of the runner. It might have still been too late since he was so far out of position, but he should have tried to cut the run out. There was no way Besler could get there as his responsibility is anything that comes deep in the box. That cross was headed from the touchline side of the near post. Absolutely no way Besler could get there or should be expected to get there. That is Jones’ responsibility. The reason it is hard to see is because Jones was out of position from second the ball was played out wide.

      • don – maybe the better way to do this is me explain why i think it’s more on Besler than Jones.

        at 0:16 the ball is played out wide, and it’s actually Yedlin pressing wide with Bird out of position and next to Bradley. Jones is a little further and then Besler the furthest defender next to the guy who ends up scoring.

        at 0:19, the cross is made and you can see Besler simply stop tracking that guy altogether. yes, Jones is out of position (and realizes it too late) but again, that’s because he is covering for Bird. Besler has to notice that and maintain his marking, IMO. he had more than enough time to get in front of his runner.

        either way, it shows the lack of cohesion between them in that formation.

      • Well, yeah…but unless we were going to play Shea/Yedlin as our outside backs – which JK bit the bullet and did, against Panama – did we really have the guys in camp to run a 4-man backline?

        The only guys he had available were the MLS guys. He didn’t have Fabian Johnson or Timmy Chandler or Greg Garza, and Run DMB has now retired from International duty. Which left him in the position of having to get creative.

        Kind of what happens in non-official-FIFA camps. You work with whatcha got.

      • could have called in other players, he didn’t. that’s fine. But it’s not the reason he played that formation. come on, he planned that. and just to be clear to the crowd here, it’s not a rip on JK. no problem trying things

    • I really don’t like Klinsmann, but I thought the 3-5-2 showed a lot of promise. I was actually surprised to see so many people hating on it.

    • realsoccerbrains,

      I don’t remember JK “blaming” anyone. He was asked why they lost and he said it was due to their fitness, which is exactly what I thought. Why?

      Because, the US started very well and then Chile came back on them and when the US went to reply …….no gas in the tank. Lots of unforced erros, the kind you make when you are exhausted.

      Then you look at the roster and find out that lots of the US guys hadn’t played in a long time while the Chileans were already into their season.

      A reasonable person thinks ” Okay, that makes sense”. I think JK looked at this as a practice game, which is what it was. Blame is not really an issue.

      You are going into an empty room and looking for a fight.

      • Finally, someone with good sense. It was a meaningless friendly, folks. JK has said the whole point of the January camp was to try and find a couple of players that can play with the full national team and, secondarily, get the younger players ready for Olympic qualifying. Sheesh.

      • beachbum,

        It depends on what you mean by “meaningless”.

        The USSF has to pay the bills somehow.

        For fans, the US is one of the few places where results in friendlies are taken so seriously. Part of that is because many other countries are on a two year cycle of big time tournaments. For Europeans they have the World Cup and then the Euros. For the South Americans it is the World Cup and then Copa America.

        The US has to wait four years for the World Cup. That’s a lot of time to wait around and eventually turn on each other and eat your young.

        Wins and losses per se are meaningless The US was humiliated by Belgium in a friendly in Cleveland in 2013. A few days later they beat Germany at RFK. We all know what happened In Brazil in 2014.

        If looking at friendlies as a way to build up FIFA points to contribute to a better US seeding in the World Cup draw that doesn’t seem very practical, though I’m sure someone will make a case for it.

        For players and the coaching staff, friendlies are never meaningless. If you look at them as practices, as rehearsals, then it makes sense. That is where you try things, see how players look doing different stuff. It gives the staff a handle on what kind of player they have.

        If bands were judged based on what you heard at their rehearsals and practices, I’ll bet a lot of bands would never have made it.

      • right, you have made my point, I appreciate it. these games matter, building confidence matters, building chemistry matters, getting better matters, etc. in friendlies, many things are judged besides the final result that matter

        regarding the band analogy, doesn’t work for me; any performance a band gives is not a rehearsal, which is what practice is for a soccer team, a rehearsal. the performance is the game. bands and teams are judged in those.

    • realsoccerbrains,

      I don’t know you, so I do not want to insult you, but you analysis lacks proper basis. I agree with JK in that our players were not in full match fitness. HOWEVER, I agree with Vermes in that they should not be expected to have full match fitness because their season was not supposed to start for another 6 six weeks. Anyone who watched the game would have seen that the USMNT hit a wall around 60 minutes -> lacking proper match fitness. Chilean players were in mid-season form.

      “Why don’t you take blame for your failed 3-5-2 formation?” 3-5-2 is a formation that actually worked better than the 4-4-2 on the night because we had a lead with that formation. However, there was clear discomfort mainly because we had not played in it too many times before. The more it’s used, the better they will get at it. playing 2 up front facilitates scoring (for us), but having 4 in midfield is not good enough to manage the midfield against better teams from what we have seen. Shifting to 3-5-2 would address scoring threat and midfield control. However, it puts a real onus on the wing-backs to do a lot of work. I think the 3-5-2 works to the strength of our team. We have center-backs, but no real full-back outside Garza. We do have wingbacks (with speed). I actually think 3-5-2 could work in the long term.

      People are putting too much stock in that loss. January is a time to look at new faces and try different things (formations/players in different positions), period!

    • Fun fact: the US led 2-1 before they switched from the 3-5-2 to a 4-4-2 with several players out of position (Shea at LB instead of LWB, Trapp at LM and totally confused about what he was supposed to be doing).

      We lost in the 4-4-2.

      • And JK has stated that he switched to the 4-4-2 because he knew the players were getting tired. The 3-5=2 requires a whole lot of running by the wingers.

  28. WOW!

    Besler’s comments sums up everything Klinsman has been saying … PROfessionals need to stay as close to game shape as possible year round. Elite athletes can’t take time off like regular Joe’s.

    SKC (and Matt Besler’s) season was over on 10/30 … “So on Jan. 15 we devised an offseason plan for me to hit my peak fitness on March 1” … Maybe my math is wrong but please check the numbers and tell me if that adds up to over 75 days before you begin reconditioning and strengthening the body for professional training and activity. PLUS there’s the additional 45 days (6 weeks) from 01/15 until 03/1’s “Peak” conditioning.

    “If the expectation is different, that’s something that needs to be discussed so we know going into a camp where we need to be.”

    He has said this for four years now! How many ways does he have to say to be an elite soccer player you need ELITE training, conditioning, diet, elite coaching and development. Holy crap these dudes aren’t listening.

    And Vermes is a clown. It is clear from the game tape that 80% of the team were not in shape. Oh brother!

    • you’re not too familiar how fitness works huh? it’s not an endless ascent towards goals, its cyclical. if you try to remain on the ascent in perpetuity, your body will, and does, break down, therefore the need for cycles. players all over the world train this way…except you apparently.

      end of the day, what would national team players REALLY be working towards fitness wise in january 2015? when do meaningful qualifiers begin? the mls season (if it happens) should be their main concern, not beating the beep test in preparation for a game against panama….

      • Sooo to your point the question becomes why are the cycle so much longer than everywhere else in the world? I get your point about the cycles but at some point, especially now with the Nat Team trying to step things up, National Team players need understand that there is an added responsibility and higher expectations of them.

        This could be the corner we are turning now – be it JK or whoever else – this could be what is now expected of our top players going forward. This could be a huge plus for MLS teams, especially those that play in CCL. If you can focus more on game sharpness than fitness earlier on in the off season then our teams stand a better chance of stronger results in that competition.

        This is not a bad thing and I fail to see how this becomes an issue that everyone is blowing out of proportion, honestly.

    • Besler had multiple injuries because of a heavy schedule in 2014 and was playing with a cast on because of a broken hand at the end of the MLS season, it would be foolish if he didn’t take time to recover before starting training again.

      • Vermes seems to be defending Besler in particular. Besler was overdue for a break. If the NT was deeper he could have taken a longer break if he wanted/needed. At he same time even in off season (and not on NT) a player should maintain a reasonable fitness level so they don’t decline too much. How much is reasonable is debatable.

        Another issue is how the NT trains, is it the right mix of training or is a certain aspect of it “too much”? I think with many types of training resting muscles, a day on, a day off is helpful. There’s some science behind it. So maybe alternating types of workouts can be more beneficial than full on all out daily work outs. General conditioning can still be had through practices and technical drills/alertness.

      • You can run or ride a stationery bicycle even with a cast. Once I had a pulled hamstring, but kept in shape by riding a stationery bike. That excuse doesn’t hold water.

    • TX2S,

      Vermes is not a clown. But he is paid by SKC not the USSF.

      SKC has been a model franchise and I suspect he has been a big part of that. And in spite of this little hissy spat, he and JK see eye to eye on a lot. Besides he is absolutely right in what he said.

      It is wonderful that we can now see the day when I can say that the interests of MLS and of the USMNT do not always align.

      That means MLS has finally grown up and can join the big boy leagues in b++ching about how the interests of the various national teams conflict with their league’s interests. It happens in the EPL, the Bundesliga etc., etc.

      You should be proud of big boy MLS.

      Vermes is protecting his turf and JK is protecting his. I remember when the English used to whine about how Wenger never played any Englishmen and he would answer that he was paid by Arsenal not England.

      The day may soon come when you will whine about MLS not playing enough Americans because of all the great talent from abroad taking their jobs.

    • The TX 2 Stepper is the fat parent on the sideline under the oversized beach umbrella in July yelling at his kid to run faster.

      Seriously? Elite athletes in tip top shape 365 days / year?

      Thanks for the laugh.

      • Wrong trying to define me … Wrong in your assessment of what top athletes do …

        I played ball with 7 NFL players, 3 NBA guys all out of 4 schools in Augusta, GA. I know top athletes. Trained with them in their “off seasons”. AND they will tell you like I’m about to tell you, “There is NO OFFSEASON”.

        If a PROfessional athlete expects to keep cashing his checks and expecting them to get bigger they must stay fit. No One says you have to beat the beep test on November 30 but if you have camp in January, you damn sure better be close when December 23rd rolls around.

        I’ve watched countless dudes with ability and brains for Football and Basketball fall to the wayside because they showed up fat/out of shape.

        Ask Ricky Moore, Vonteego Cummings, Ty Shine and etc.

      • October 30th – January 15th:

        Would Phillip Lahm take 10 weeks off?

        Gary Cahill?

        Vincent Kompany?

        Thiago Silva?

      • I can agree with most of what you say, but Verme’s a clown? Making absurd comments like this weakens everything before it.

      • His comment us laughable…disconnected from reality…amusing and smacks of standing up for a grown man who should know better. That’s pretty clownish to me.

        Maybe it’s not clown-ish but certainly foolish.

      • “Would Phillip Lahm take 10 weeks off?

        Gary Cahill?

        Vincent Kompany?

        Thiago Silva?”

        The last weekend of the Premier League is May 24.

        The season starts in the second (or third) week of August.

        June – 4 weeks
        July – 4 weeks
        August – 2 weeks

        Sounds like…….drumroll………10 weeks.

        You sound a lot like somebody that THINKS they know a lot about something.

        But you don’t. It doesn’t stop you from telling everyone about it, though – so you have that going for you.

      • You honestly think Lahm, Cahill, Kompany, and Silva sit on their butts for all 10 of those weeks?

        And what about preseason? You don’t show up to the first match day of the year ready to play after a 10 week vacay.

        Not saying Vermes is 100% wrong, but TX 2 Stepper has a good point.

      • Just for fun, please go back through Philip Lahm’s career and see how many times he’s had ten weeks off between club seasons.

      • Uh…WRONG!

        Bayern, like most teams, will have a post season friendly or two set up in Early June…the players will be released around mid June and will report back mid July for friendly matches on August 1-21 with matches to begin the last week in August.

        Not much thinking required just the ability to observe and report what pros actually do. You’re wrong and snarky…so you have that going for you. Nice try though.


      • Vernes would have. That’s why he played for a horrible US MNT and Klinsmann has a WC winners medal and was a world class player.

      • I was a jogger/runner for almost 30 years. I might have gotten out of shape a couple of times during that period because of injuries. However, if you maintain a decent level of fitness, as I always did, you should be able to get back into top shape within a week. So, while I couldn’t go out and run 10 k at any particular time, I could get into shape to do it within a week, or two at most. And I am not a professional athlete, just someone who always kept active and exercised. You sound like you are a couch potato if you’re not aware of these things.

    • The scary thing is JK and TX2 are lined up in this thinking.

      I couldnt care less about TX2 thinking it
      But JK is our nat team coach.

      Good for Vermes
      Hopefully it stops JK from whinning non-stop

    • Person who comments on SBI is more familiar with fitness and professionalism than Matt Besler.

      I dont know what angle you have, Besler is really intelligent and well read, also tends to be very focused on his craft. I dont think im going out on a limb to say he knows more about all of this than yourself

  29. Vermes and JK are both right.

    MSL players should be about where they were for the camp and fitness was to blame in large part for the Chile loss..

    It’s not really a big deal.

    • One thing I have noticed that I haven’t seen anyone else comment on is that JK talked about the team’s short comings, but never mentioned names, positions, or singled out players. When asked about particular players, he always seemed to have praise for them. This tells me that he is using this complaint as a motivational tool rather than an explicit criticism. It also sounds better (and is better for the team’s morale) than saying “Chile is a better team than we are.” I think it’s an important distinction.

      • Dammit Gary, stop with all that thinking and logical reasoning. The application of all that brainpower will overload the public comments system. It’s not meant for that much genuine thought. YOU COULD MAKE THE INTERNET EXPLODE!!

      • Not bad points. However, I’d say that at some points the coach has to offer self-criticism or nobody will ever stop talking about what may be intended as motivational statements as deflections.

      • Pop does it all the time GW, and talk about a great coach! two examples below, just google it

        from 2011: ““That was my fault. I wasn’t quick enough to get it (the timeout). He (Manu Ginobli) got out of there so quick. I should’ve been all over the referee to get the timeout, but I didn’t do it. That was my fault – not George’s.”

        From 2009: A day later, coach Gregg Popovich absolved Duncan of it.
        “It wasn’t his fault — it was my fault,” Popovich said Friday. “It’s nobody’s fault, really. We win together, we lose together and we move on.”

        and Coach K does it all the time

      • ya these guys do all the time and also are on a whole other level by such a large amount than JK. There is little evidence to show that JK knows what he is doing, more than that isnt based on his past failures, in comparison to some of the best coaches their sports have ever seen

      • Maybe so — It depends on the coach. But one thing you will really never hear any of them do — Ferguson, Mourinho, Ancelotti, Wenger…. any of top manager — is put the blame on themselves during this point in the competitive cycle (which effectively amounts to a pre-season for the USMNT).

        Nor thould they. It offers no point or purpose. Right now is the time for challenging players and motiviating them to compete for their spots. LIsten to guys like Ferguson or Wenger during July/August and every comment you will hear will be something to the effect of “Our players clearly could have done better”, “Some players were more prepared than others”, “The team did not perform up to the level requiired”, or “We are not where we need to be in terms of fitness or sharpness”. It’s so predictable that it’s effectively white noise after a while.

        What you will not hear is these guys saying, “The guys played great… it’s a shame I let them down with my tactics”. You may well hear this talk later in the year after tough games. Mourinho, in particular is fastidious in never blaming anybody besides himself (or better yet, the referee) after gutting losses in April.

        It’s just basic coaching psychology, same as you might have heard in high school. I wouldn’t read much of anything into the post-match interviews until June. Heck, JK might have already written the next few.

    • Klinsmann didn’t just say that fitness was part of why they lost. He blasted the dedication of US players to fitness. That is indeed utterly ridiculous.


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