Top Stories

Joel Campbell finish sees Costa Rica blank reserve-filled USMNT

Joel Campbell Costa Rica USMNT



HARRISON, N.J. — Jurgen Klinsmann may have wanted to get a look at some newer and younger faces, but doing so came at a price.

A second-half goal from Joel Campbell pushed Costa Rica to a 1-0 victory in a friendly against the U.S. Men’s National Team at Red Bull Arena on Tuesday night. The Ticos had the majority of the scoring chances in the game played in front of 9,214 fans, but it took until the 70th minute for them to find a winner.

Campbell beat veteran U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard, who started in his first appearance since last summer’s World Cup, with a low curler following a pass from the right from Dave Myrie.

The defeat came three days after the Americans’ suffered a 3-2 defeat to Mexico in the CONCACAF Cup, and extends their current losing streak to three matches.

Costa Rica was more dangerous over the course of 90 minutes, testing the U.S. back line repeatedly. Howard and defender Brad Evans came up with key interventions to keep the Americans in it, however.

Oscar Ramirez’s side nearly struck in the 42nd minute. A low cross from the right zipped by Howard and U.S. centerbacks Geoff Cameron and Michael Orozco, allowing Johan Venegas to unleash a shot on frame that Evans’ blocked with his back.

The Ticos had another good-looking opportunity to take the lead three minutes after halftime when Marcos Urena raced in on goal before pushing a shot wide.

Howard came up with a solid 59th-minute stop to keep the game scoreless. After Danny Williams lost a ball in the Americans’ defensive third, Joel Campbell unleashed a hard shot that the standing U.S. goalkeeper pawed away with his right hand.

Poor finishing from Costa Rica kept the game level nine minutes later. A low ball was curled into the penalty area from the left, and Urena flashed a one-timed effort just wide.

Costa Rica eventually mustered up enough quality to find a winner. Myrie raced to the end line and set up an open Joel Campbell, who fired a low curler into the back of the net.

The U.S. could have fallen further behind in the 77th minute, but Evans came up with a sliding challenge to thwart a goal-bound shot.

The Ticos then nearly put the game out of reach a minute into stoppage time, but Howard denied Urena on a breakaway.

The U.S.’s best chance on goal was its first. Brek Shea whipped in a free kick from the right that found Tim Ream, but Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas was up to the task and stopped Ream’s low header.


What do you think of the USMNT’s 1-0 loss to Costa Rica? Who impressed/disappointed you? Worried about the state of the Americans right now?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I’d like to see this line up:
    GK Howard
    LB F Johnson
    CB Cameron
    CB Ream or Besler
    RB Yedlin
    LM Gatt
    DM Bradley
    AM Gil
    RM Mix
    FW J Morris
    FW Ngyuen

    • cheers. I will write to a couple of those you listed later asking questions regarding USsoccer’s investment and roi 😉 at this point, would you advise reinvesting on a diminishing return? or swallowing the 3 year contract to spend more in a new direction? not taking you on right now either

      you know about the Galaxy’s new blended learning environment for youth development? it’s a first in the states I believe, hopefully more coming, helps move us to development platforms more like other countries in this regard. long way to go obviously still

  2. JK is the coach.
    He answers to Sunil Gulati, an Econ Prof at Columbia.
    Apparently, Sunil is the King of US Soccer.

    But wait, he’s not. He is the Presidenr and on the Board of US Soccer.
    And he answers(I hope, since it’s late and I’m drunk, and I haven’t read the bylaws) to the Board of Directors of US Soccer.

    These are the members, and here is the link.

    Board Of Directors

    Sunil K. Gulati

    Executive Vice President
    Mike Edwards

    Immediate Past President (non-voting)
    Dr. S. Robert Contiguglia

    Athlete Representatives
    Jeff Agoos, Chris Ahrens, Cindy Cone

    Pro Council Representatives
    Don Garber, Alec Papadakis

    Adult Council Representatives
    Arthur Mattson, John Motta

    Youth Council Representatives
    Evelyn Gill, John Sutter

    At Large Representative
    John Collins

    Independent Directors
    Carlos Cordeiro, Fabian Núñez, Donna E. Shalala

    CEO/Secretary General (non-voting)
    Dan Flynn

    I’m inclined to fire JK but there is money at stake. Do with this info what you wish. I don’t recognize many names…Donna Shalala? Jeff Agoos.

    I’ve been drinking heavily so I can’t help you much more.
    We folks that give a damn better start giving a crap. and these guys better understand that the cash cow for the US is gonna evaporate when the US is 3rd place in crappy tournaments. Let’s see how long it lasts when Mexico is kicking Jamaicas teeth in for the final every year.

    And that goes for you to Don Garber. You either be part of the solution or your league is going down like a 3 foot putt.

  3. And we dumped Jose Torres and others that are possession oriented guys for this. Guys like Nguyen, Torres, Mix need to be playing with Bradley and a physical defensive guy in the middle. But so many times JK goes with basically 3 defensive players in the middle of the park. It’s a tactic vs Spain, but Costa Rica isn’t that caliber.

    • I wish you were right. The first time Torres played for the US he looked like the next Reyna, but he has had many opportunities since and has never looked nearly as good as that first time. I have never been impressed with Mix and I doubt that either is the answer. Nguyen will be on the old side in 2018, we have to hope that Hyndman or Zelalem develop into good playmakers, IMO. Last time I saw Will Trapp play for the US he also looked promising even though I don’t think that was his role. He made some very nice passes.

  4. For what it is worth……..Visual impressions are worth a thousand words… Klinsi looks like a cooked goose, Guliati (hiding from camera) none better. Images of Jones, Ream, and the rest of our boys on the bench in 70th spoke volumes. I think he has lost the team, and considering our performance in last 4 CONCACAF pairings, we might…just might get into the Hex, but beyond that it looks mighty grim.

    One last note worth mentioning. Why is it that our coach, who states time and again that he is honored and privileged to lead our USMNT as Coach and Technical Director looks like a kid going to a S Cal skate park with his van sneakers, polo shirt and hoody? Not exactly a sign of respect in my opinion. This has always pissed me off. I know BB wore track suits, and Arena wore suits. JK just pisses me off looking like an adolescent from the privileged streets of Newport Beach. Where is the honor and respect when representing the USA? Absence of respect for our program, our country and our team in my opinion. His actions, and results…..match his attire… Go skate down PCH, or Balboa Blvd, and get a grip……Hilarious, I feel better now that I got that out of my system

  5. To answer the question from above, “Why did they even schedule this game?”…. To give the #KlinsmannOut camp one more thing to screa about like its the end of the world. 🙂

    I’ve been pro Klinsi since he was hired. At the time I was sick and tired of the status quo of the old boys club at US Soccer. It needed a shake up. His hiring was that shake up and I think he has improved our program in a number of ways. Primarily by being a recruiter for our player pool. There’s not a manager out there that wouldn’t want a deeper player pool. It’s best to have those options, even if SlowLeftArm doesn’t think so. (although I do agree with you SLA that we need to be developing more/better talent stateside, but we also need our best youth players to develop overseas as well). Klinsmann has also done an excellent job of forcing the US to play over in Europe more often where in years past we have played weak opponents at home during Intl breaks. We needed that exposure and experience. That type of atmosphere and environment paid dividends at the WC last year.

    After I’ve had time to digest Saturday’s loss, the last 18 months since the WC, and the Gold Cup, I’m still glad Klinsmann was hired. I can also now say that I won’t, to quote Ives; “bat an eyelash” if he is fired. Most coaches go after one cycle. We saw what happened when Arena stayed for two. 2006 wasn’t pretty. In all honesty, we could probably use a fresh set of eyes on our team, as well as a tactical approach that is consistent in the style of play.

    What most people are failing to realize is that our talent pool isn’t that great. It’s deeper now than it was, but the quality of players out there just aren’t as good as other countries, even Mexico. Mexicon is also in a so called golden generation as well. Their oldest players well seasoned and their best most impactful players in their prime. The US is not. We’ve had no one to replace Donovan or Dempsey for many years now. That’s reality. That’s also NOT Klinsmanns fault, but it’s the fault of the overall system. It’s also just part of a being in business that’s cyclical. We’re on a down trend and I for one don’t think there’s a coach out there that will be able to take this team to a point where the anti-Klinsi camp will be happy.

    Which brings me to my last point: it’s just a game folks. Rather than pissing and moaning about how Klinsmann is the “Death of US Soccer” (really? I mean seriously? it’s not that drastic) support your Nats and if you want change think about the whole picture. If JK is out as coach, he’s still the Tech Director. Who do you replace him with as coach?

    One last point before I end this novel; the deficiency in the US game is our transition from the mid third to the attacking third. Our players have no clue what to do when they get the ball on most occasions. That’s a by product of poor soccer IQ and tatics. It’s the players AND the coaches. Once our players can consistently hold
    possession and support the player receiving the ball by being in position to offer an un-pressured passing lane, we’ll be in much better shape. This has always been the weak point and typically is of most counter-attacking teams that are trying to move to a possession oriented attack.

    • The other day I was reading a very plausible doom day scenario about climate change. It could be that in 50 years civilization could be so seriously damaged that we will be concerned about surviving more than anything and no one will care about what happened with US soccer in 2015, so there’s always that.

      • GP.. There is nothing “very plausible” about the Progressivist libturd political hoax formerly called global warming, before they couldn’t sell that baloney anymore, so they changed the name to climate change. Just so ya know!
        Oh and I do very much respect your soccer commentaries, which are far more “plausible”. Just so ya know!

  6. Balboa was saying basically this, that we don’t have enough people showing to the ball. The tempo that used to be there, where we’d possess and possess and knock it around but not create chances, is gone, and it’s now slo mo predictable switches of play, struggle to maintain possession, lot of kickball like you say. Not very scary to anyone.

    To be real, in some recent World Cups we counterpunched and bunkered, and weren’t high possession or even high chances teams, but we had more pure speed, were more confident on the ball, and had some people like Dempsey, Donovan, and Beasley who could make things happen. This bunch now, the forwards are sloppy, the team is slower.

    • You think maybe that’s why Jermaine is out there screaming his head off and constantly trying to point at things and position people?
      He may be older, not the guy he once was, far from perfect-
      But Like him or not, the guy gets it

      • I’ve been giving all this a lot of thought.
        Without rambling too much, I’ll try to be brief. (Impossible)
        What are the things I’ve said consistently the last few years:
        I don’t like revisionist history ( Always gave examples)
        I never liked the extremism (JK is the devil/Ur a fanboy)
        And ultimately, I always said I thought he got more right than wrong.
        (I said a helluva lot more, but that’s big picture)
        I don’t look back and see anything major that changes my mind about anything I’ve said,
        However there comes a point in ANY relationship where it just becomes toxic. No matter how much blame may or may not lay on either side. Just like a divorce where 2 people still feel the same about each other, or a Leader/Coworker… but it’s just too toxic-And change is the only endgame solution. When I became a Managing Partner at my company, we had a saying- “Change the people, or change the people” And I had to always find solutions. Once something was toxic, there was only one choice.

        From the Gold Cup up until now, I think he’s gotten more wrong than right.
        (And I’m not talking about playing a guy out of position in a friendly etc.- He got a lot of experiments right, but people have revisionist history)
        Example: We mostly played a 4-2-3-1 or 4-4-2 thru qualifying.
        Then went with the diamond going to Brazil. I thought it was the right move- Because I thought he looked at the midfield of our group and thought-How do I get my most effective guys on the field at the same time to neutralize what we’re gonna face.
        But I always thought once the new cycle started, we’d go in a different direction. We didn’t.

        I think it’s become too toxic to continue.
        It would be best for all, the team, players, the Federation, and the fans, if he would voluntarily step down as coach, stay TD and actually spend time at the academies, I bet he could have a strong impact in that kind of role.
        So do it now before getting into qualifying.
        I don’t think someone different is gonna make a big difference. Until we have guys that can replace the Deuce/Donovan era, we still have a long way to go.
        But this has become too toxic to continue like this.
        There’s a great Harvard Review article called “Change Or Die”
        I don’t like Harvard-but it’s an awesome review.
        Well it’s time to change

      • Thanks for the careful, measured response, something we don’t see enough of here, or a lot of places for that matter.

      • right on Bac, thanks, always thoughtful, and maybe he could impact academies and in other ways like you say. certainly a ways to go and got to get back on the tracks.
        on the formations, the diamond is tough without the right players; JK went back to that pre JK era flat 4 4 2 for a quick spell and got a result against Germany a little while back, albeit in a friendly. maybe certain players who could help make the diamond click aren’t even in JK’s pool although they exist, and I’ll leave that one there

        on more right than wrong, debatable my friend but we’ve already covered that before!
        good to talk with you again. cheers

  7. I remember watching an England-Spain game a while back and the commentator said “When England get the ball, the players run away from the ball. When Spain get it, they run to the ball”, describing the difference in mentality between long-ball and possession-oriented teams. If you look at the majority of turnovers we continue to have, you’ll find a player in possession who often has little to no options for passes. When we get the ball, rarely does anyone check to the ball to provide passing outlets. When Mexico ran rampant on Saturday, a midfielder would recieve the ball, a forward would check back to provide an option, another midfielder or two would come in to give square ball options, and the fullbacks would get forward to provide options in the spaces vacated by defenders tracking the forward or midfielders. That’s three or four people providing options for the passer, on nearly every play. Rarely did I see that from the US tonight or against Mexico. Altidore and Bradley were probably the only ones consistently doing it (and few people ever give Altidore credit for it). Fans often criticize the player that gives the ball away without anyone ever blaming the players around him for not giving him options.

    If we’re going to player possession-oriented soccer and dictate play, we need more options every time someone receives a pass. The best way to do that is to get players some consistent playing time together, so they understand how each other will move and where they will pass.

    • good points imo, agree on Jozy and MB

      but you can dictate play without being a possession oriented team very effectively, and I’m more interested in creating more good chances than the other team than winning the possession battle, and of course finishing more of those chances than the other teams. Possession is most important when you have the lead; possess the ball then when the other team has to chase…can you? (not you specifically)

    • im so happy I’m about to cry lol, i can’t believe there’s another rational person on this earth that is able to see this. haha. I’m so with you bro. we have always been a bunch of ball watchers. THIS is what JK wants to get rid of, THIS is why it’s the players fault for not doing the simple things like checking to the ball. I’ve yet to bring this up but since you did, ill concur, for the past 2 years of noticed this. we RARLEY EVER check to the ball, thats why so many times we may have the ball for 20-30 seconds passing it around and switching it etc and then we just boot up a terrible long ball–WE’RE NOT A BUNCH OF PIRLOS!!!! and it’s not just JK, it was DEF like that with BA it was DEF like that with BB. it will probably DEF be like that with the next coach when that happens-why?– because we don’t have talented possession based players. THATS what JK wants us to get to. he knows it will take a decade so thats why he’s fine with criticism. he’s ‘holier than thou’ attitude is only misconstrued perception of his knowledge that we aren’t very good technically and to get to the next level we need to be technical, there is nothin else about it. so he chose to be tough on players, really push them, keep them on their toes, etc. is that the right thing to do? who knows, but it’s better than ‘lets just try to maximize our crappy potential and play within ourselves’ EFF that nonsense. we need to learn how to trap the ball, with our heads up, where the ball just stops moving, completely… and thats it… the ball stops….no 15 ft bounces…. no 5 ft high flicks. just trap the darn ball. then scan and in under 2 seconds make a professional decision and play that ball to your teammate. rinse and effing repeat. the is the oversimplified essence of proactive style. no walking, jogging, ball watching, reacting, none of it… stay on your toes, move your feet, head on a swivel, don’t just visually recognize that you should make yourself open for a pass, make a definitive cut to allow yourself to be open. everyone should be moving at the same time all of the field.


      but still, how can such basics be lost on profession footballers. we won’t have many americans break into european soccer until we can do this sort of stuff. its sad. i hope it happens in my lifetime and think it can. soccer has to be a thing kids just do nonchalantly growing up. it’s getting there but it needs to grow, if not we just won’t reach that level. you have to do something 10,000 hours to become a master, as they say. so just starting in HS won’t cut it. 9 year olds need to be dribbling home from school for fun! (lol). I’m starting to get carried away but the point is, we aren’t very good. we have ‘American Hustle’ and thats great but we need more to really accomplish our ‘American desires’–to be the best at everything, always 🙂 so until soccer is at least on the level of basketball or baseball ill just continue to support my team rather than bash it constantly because that’s what ACTUAL FANS do (unlike El C, bizzy, etc)

      I Believe…
      I Believe that…. yada yada yada…

      • bull

        JK is the only one who gets what you’re saying??? JK and disciples? you’re not enlightening anyone my friend

        the COACH is tasked with creating a picture with the paint available. MANY of us explained years ago when he was angling for the job that his picture was a mirage because of the player pool, and he was talking crap and selling dreams and dissing on the team back then to make himself seem like the Wizard of Oz…and the naive and immature USA soccer culture bought hook, line and sinker. you appear to represent a faction that has yet to get back over the rainbow

        so I think it’s a real cop out to put it on the players at this point, big time. and regarding actual fans, we’re not all like you in how you define supporting of your team

      • Well, I have been saying for a while that our players aren’t technically good enough. But, it has become clear that you can’t force them to do something they are not capable of. We might as well abandon the style you and Klinsmann want until we get the right players and that is going to have to come up through our youth system, such as it is. As i pointed out elsewhere, the U-23’s were badly outplayed by Honduras who were much better technically, so it’s going to be a while until we develop those technically able players. In the meantime we should be emphasizing defensive coordination, something that has been seriously lacking of late.

      • ” so until soccer is at least on the level of basketball or baseball ill just continue to support my team”………what you should have said is I’ll just continue to be a Klinsmann and Altidore (yup, fanboy) than bash it constantly” because any time someone comes out and supports them you become excited and go off on a rant. Wake up…..they are both failures in their area of expertise

      • I don’t disagree with you regarding possession football, but the expectations at the international senior level are for a manager to win matches and beat the lesser opponents in their region. Any good manager looks at the strengths and weaknesses of the players available and develops a system to emphasize the strengths and hide the weaknesses. Maybe JK should have headed up the US Soccer youth system for ten years before moving to the USMNT, but the results he has produced have been sub par. We experimented with Klinsi and it didn’t work. Time for a change.

    • When other teams pressure the US when we have the ball, about 3/4 of the time the US loses possession, or has to dribble and/or pass back. When we try to pressure the opponent, they almost always are able to make inch perfect passes to open teammates, usually moving forward. It makes a big difference.

      • so play a different style that is more conducive to success with this player pool. evaluating players is the coach’s job, and then putting them in positions to succeed. Blaming the players after all these years does not compute as the data you are relying on to make this change has been available from jump street.

    • This is exactly corrrect. Its only not the lack of players presenting themselves as options around the ball though, its also the inability of the forward players to make incisive runs. Jozy and Zardes spend way to much time standing still with their back to the goal looking to “hold up” a ball and almost no time running onto passes. Yedlin had acres of space in front of him all night last night on the wing, but I don’t recall a single time he looked to make a run off the ball into that space or any time when another player tried to play him in (which kills his speed as a disruptor).

  8. I would rather start a discussion where people debate our positional depth. Who are the top 3 at a spot.

    Also, playing st. Grenadines what formation and player would work. Figuring they are going to have 10 behind the ball and counter attack, who is best to break them down and slow down the counter?

    • My God, playing a team like that, one would hope it doesn’t really matter what formation we play. If so, we are in deep do-do. Nevertheless, since you asked, I think we should go to a 4-3-3 and try to overwhelm their defense.

  9. The USMNT can now be nicknamed the Not For Prime Time Players. Really disappointed with Williams tonight. He was given a big opportunity and showed that he has feet of stone. His first touch was atrociously awful and his inability to properly shield the ball bordered on the comical. I am not the biggest Nguyen fan but he certainly has what this team is missing and that is a good first touch and a calmness on the ball. The only other player currently on this team who has this is Dempsey and the only player not yet called in who has this ability and is faster than both Nguyen and Dempsey is Nagbe. Time to give Nguyen more minutes and call in Nagbe for the November qualifiers even though he may only be a practice player. At least the starters can practice against the type of players they will face.

    • +1 re: Nagbe

      I also can’t wait for a possible Dom Dwyer in 2017

      JA — Dwyer– Gyau
      —– Nagbe —-
      MB—-(player x)
      D E F E N D E R S

      prior to tonight i thought player x was Williams, I still think it might be but lets hope this was an outlier performance tonight. He’s played decent to well in other games so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

  10. Best US defender the last 15 minutes of the match? Even allowing for the brain fart on the aftermath of his free kick… Lee Nguyen. Why? Because he was the only guy on the field for the US who could hold the ball for more than two touches. Sometimes the best defense is a handful of offensive players who can actually control the ball. All Nguyen gets is garbage time. Can’t we please see what this team might look like with at least one player, someone, anyone in the middle who can actually dribble? I don’t know if Nguyen is the answer. Maybe Fieldhaber. Maybe someone else. And maybe they aren’t of the same athletic caliber of all our maurauding defensive midfielders, but couldn’t we just check things out? Give a little run out to a few guys with some technical skill? Is that asking too much?

    • Nguyen in particular would involve a tactical level commitment to attacking soccer. Ditto Mixx and a few others. Klinsi talks a big game but ultimately wants to bunker and they don’t fit bunkerball.

      So a lot of this comes down to identity.

      • I think it has more to do with the fact that running out a central midfield of Nguyen and Mixx would probably lead to a hemorrhaging of goals, for the other team. Do you honestly think if we had Xavi, Iniesta and Busquets in the pool JK would play MB and JJ instead?

  11. The headline should’ve been:

    “After 23 games since the World Cup without scoring Joel Campbell finish sees Costa Rica blank Demoralized USMNT”

  12. I just wonder at what point exactly do JK supporters capitulate? Or, impervious to mountains of evidence and facts, do they just take the cup of Kool Aid from their charming cult leader and proceed to a better future of attractive, attacking soccer?

    • I think Gary Page is one of Klinsi’s last bastions around here. The other being Something Something Something and Associates.

    • Perhaps it would facilitate the process if you would start suggesting solutions instead of treating this as some sort of “us vs. them” argument. JK’s time has probably come but so what? Pretty much every coach in world football gets fired. Usually this happens after a much shorter time and with zero silverware and (at best) a group stage exit from any WC they happened to qualify for.

      It’s kind of sad to me as a US supporter that you consider it some sort of “win” that we may now have to have a conversation about how best to replace the NT manager. What’s even more depressing is that in spite of the 18 months you have spent making the exact same complaint daily , everybody will have to start this conversation from scratch because you have failed to even one basic starting point to facilitate this. It’s like a child who sits for hours and hours in in a car rider complaining about how hungry he is, then when the time finally comes to pull over for food, you have no idea what it is you want to eat. Many of the other “fire JK” voices such as UCLA Bruiin Great and Slowlefftarm and El Commandante have made this basic effortt. What’s your excuse?

      While you suckle on your juice box, we’ll get this process started Make sure you use the bathroom too– may be a while before we can pull over again.

      • Let’s be real, the team he is jogging out is not good enough, there is a lot of interesting talent on the sidelines, and either his hand is going to be forced, or some new coach with no favorites to play is going to get a fresh look.

        My hint he’s out of touch is when I have to watch Spector and Williams lose some more games for us. The basic problem i see is his major contribution is the dual nationals he convinced, beyond that he’s not imposed a winning style, or an attacking one like he promised, and now that the team that was winning has gotten old, he seems adrift about who to select for the new generation, and to have run out of passport players to fill problems.

      • I’m not sure anything you’ve said here addresses a single ciomment I made. I mean — I actually agree with almost your entire comment…. I’m just trying to figure out why you wrote it.

        What I have asked for was solutions for the presumed post-JK era and all you are telling me is why you don’t like JK. That’s fine but I’ve heard it from you and others a million times. They aren’t bad points (JK is prob gone soon in my view anyway), but they don’t advance the dialogue.

        We now have a long dry spell without many meaningul games (outside of early stage WCQs) coming up. I really think we’ll alll be happier if we start talking about ideas for the future instead of mistakes from the past. We’ve all said what we have to say and then some. How about some fresh thooughts from all of us?

      • I think you and others greatly over estimate the talent and ability available to the US at this time. I think we will have to go back to our old bunker and counter attack style until we start creating good players. We still haven’t replaced Reyna with anyone of near equal passing ability. I think it should be clear from the last three losses that the US players don’t have anywhere near the technical ability of even other top teams in CONCACAF, much less any top world teams. I wrote the other day that I don’t see any answer other than a slow development over the next decade. The U-23 team was badly outplayed by Honduras in the semifinals, so we have a long way to go.

      • This is a serious question. Who are the interesting players on the sidelines? We always imagine that the guys who haven’t been playing will ride in as the saviors if they are just given the chance, but the reality usually turns out to be a couple of decent performances and then a real stinker. We have virtually no players who can be counted on to perform at a high-level game in and game out. MB, Fabs and maybe JJ are about as close as we have, and two out of the three may be done.

    • I’d say pre-Gold Cup, I was a fairly ardent JK supporter, but have since come to the standpoint I’m over him. Results aside, what we see on the field is uninspiring, disorganized, and tactically deficient. If we don’t have the talent to play attractive, attacking-style soccer (not sure if we do or don’t), then we should hire a coach that can give us a clear vision, a tactically organized team, and a coherent style of soccer. Blaming the refs for the Gold Cup (everyone who Mexico played got screwed, not us), blaming the fans for not understanding, and blaming a player for an injury are symptoms of a man not accepting responsibility for a situation he is at least partially responsible for. A coach, at least a real one, accepts responsibility for failure, rather than attempting to put it on anyone else he can. His lack of self-reflection, combined with the dismal style of play against what should be inferior teams, has taken me from supporting the man, to wanting him to be replaced. And preferably now, before we begin qualifying. JK may think American fans are ignorant and the American media are ignorant, but it doesn’t take a genius to recognize a team conceding possession, lacking creativity, lacking organization, and lacking drive. It’s also pretty easy to read a scoreline. And right now, we suck. And if you’re the manager of a team that sucks, well, guess what happens?

  13. From day one I said JK was worthless as a Coach and many on this Site said I was crazy. If you reflect on his Coaching career, he lacks the resume to be hired for the position he currently has. He is a charmer but lacks the acumen of an effective Coach. He failed in Germany and will become the death of the US Program. I’m wondering if he caught Sunil in a compromising situation why Sunil remains in love with him. Both need to go. Ive said THE USA was winning inspite of him. A lot of people made fun of Donovan. When he was on the field he brought fear to the opposition because of his ability to stretch the field and pin defenses on their heels with his speed and ability to hold the ball. He was unceremoniously dumped by JK. Now we are feeling the effects of his departure. No one fears or respect this Team anymore. I’m sure Fabian Johnson had some discomfort when he asked to be substituted. JK’s reaction was classless and clueless as usual. Can anyone tell me why most of the players under JK’s regime always develope problem with their muscle during their stay with the Team and after they return to their Club Teams?

    • If you are going to rant, at least get your facts straight. 3rd place finish at the 2006 WC with a Germany team everyone thought was going to fail at the group stage like they did at Euro 2004, and Bayern in 3rd place (3pts behind Wolfsburg) when he was fired…hardly failure. As for Donovan, whose behavior put him in a position to get cut, he would have still retired from club and the NT in 2014 had he not been cut, and would not be available for selection in 2015 to impose this “fear in the opponent” you speak of.

      Is Jurgen starting to having his own Rafa Benitez “Facts” moments with many of his recent comments? Do I think Jurgen’s time has come to an end, just like it did for Bruce Arena and Bod Bradley before him?…yep, absolutely. But at least get your facts straight.

      • on LD, Jurgen INVITED HIM BACK after what you say was behavior that put him in position to get cut…fact
        LD then went off in the Gold Cup and won the golden ball…fact
        LD then scored a goal and assisted on the other in the dos a cero win over Mexico in the September WC quali…fact
        THEN JK cut him from the WC roster the next year…fact

        LDs behavior put him in the opposite position of what you claim…fact

  14. This team showed no fight at any part of the game, and they have clearly have no belief in klinsman. This system needs to be blown up, klinsi, herzog and gulati all need to go before we have to make a big change during tough games. Enough is enough with this crap. He keeps saying to play proactively but yet plays two ultra defensive outside backs and no creativity in the midfield. As for the players:
    -Howard is clearly a better option than guzan, carried himself much better and a huge one on one save near the end
    -Alvarado needs to develop a lot before he gets another call up
    -Orozco should be done for good, would rather see ream, birnbaum and miazaga get time
    -Ream is too slow to be a left back
    -Jones should be about done too, dont really see a role for him anymore. If were going to play both bradley and jones we are forced into playing a d mid behind them which instantly makes the ole open bucket
    -Did wooten even make it on the field?
    -Mix keeps being invisible
    -Zardes is super raw at this point
    -Nguyen looked sharp in his touches
    -Wood showed good promise, physical, quick, strong, i liked what I saw
    -Finally, yedlin is not a 90 minute outside mid, he is a right back, period, thats where every coach has played them. He is either a starting rb, or a speed option to change a game off the bench

    As for the WCQ my 11
    –F. Johnson——Dempsey————–Bedoya-

    Bench- Guzan, Hamid, Brooks, Gonzalez, Rogers, Evans, Morales, Diskerud, Zardes, Zusi, Johannsson and Wood

      • I think morales needs to be in there as a d mid backup in case williams goes down. I think nguyen could only take the spot of zardes, johannsson or zusi, which i cant get behind yet. Now feilhaber for mix, i could see that, but the point is getting younger and developing players, not just throwing in new guys regardless of age.

    • Totally agree with you. Part of me wants Johnson to stay at fullback but I think it’s time he plays in midfield. No more converted defenders (Yedlin) or converted forwards (Zardes) playing in midfield. It’s time for natural wingers like Fabian and Alejandro (I know he doesn’t play there for club, but he’s a wide player in the international game).

      • Bedoya has played wide a decent amount for club, not like yedlin where he has no expeience playing wide and isnt nearly technical enough for it

    • After today’s game I have serious doubt about whether Williams should be a starter. These are very beatable teams in the first round, so maybe we should go to a 4-3-3. I would like to see AJ get another look see.

      • Yes williams didnt look good, but no one really looked good apart from howard cameron and wood. And who else plays there? We could see morales maybe, then beind them kitchen or trapp?

  15. Question–What is the most basic attacking play in both soccer and basketball? Answer, the give and go. Why is it that US players in the last two games had no clue in defending this most basic play? Twice Costa Rica made that play down the US left and got behind the defense and the beaten defender didn’t even go after the attacker. One time the defender did a little hop and turned around in frustration. I wish the announcers would have said who those mistakes were made by. Another time on a throw in Yedlin turned his back on the play and got beaten down the sideline. Danny Williams, after looking so good, was close to horrible and Costa Rica played harder and with more intensity. Changes have to be made, and it goes even beyond the coach when professional players can’t make basic plays or maintain concentration. I think there needs to be a wide spread housecleaning at this point and we need to find a good coach and players who want to play like they are representing their country.

      • Defending against the give and go is something you should have learned in youth soccer. A national team coach should not have to teach that. However, I do think that Klinsmann’s over emphasis on FB’s going forward is a mistake that perhaps leads to these kinds of errors. That being said, professional soccer players should not be making these kind of errors. We know you hate Klinsmann, but shouldn’t the players be held accountable for awful and/or stupid play? I’m saying they all should be accountable when they show gross incompetence.

      • The problem is, the fullbacks weren’t really getting forward tonight and they were still getting toasted on a regular basis. Unlike most others here I haven’t made my mind up yet whether Klinsi should go or not. Probably, but it doesn’t really matter. I’m far more concerned about the lack of talent at this point. Seriously, there wasn’t a player in the starting 11 who had the ability to beat his defender 1v1. When Wood came on he made a move to flick the ball around his defender and that was practically the first show of real technical ability in the entire game.

        For whatever problems can be attributed to Klinsi, this is not one of them. The players who should be in their primes and taking over the mantle right now should’ve been in the youth system eight years ago or more. They simply aren’t there. Almost all of the players in their prime that are in the pool now, JK found (Brooks, Alvarado, Morales, Johannsson, Wood, Corona, Boyd, etc). So if anything, he should be getting credit for that. I’ve asked those who have been critical of the lineups to tell me who they would put out there instead. I never get a response because there isn’t anybody. Nguyen? Too slow, too small, too old. Feilhaber? The issues are well documented. Where are those diamonds in the rough that just haven’t been given a chance? JK has tried practically everybody. This is the only thing that frustrates me with all of the calls for JK’s head. Yes, we definitely have issues with defensive cohesion and tactics, but seriously, your tactics are pretty limited when the players at your disposal have virtual no technical ability beyond the absolute basics (Deuce being about the only exception and now he’s getting too old). The cupboard is bare folks.

        I think we saw some glimmers right after the WC with Gyau, Green and a few others. Unfortunately we just don’t have many players with that level of ability to keep the momentum when there are injuries or lack of form.

        Call me a fanboy if you want, but firing JK isn’t going to solve the problems.

      • It is always so much easier to tear down and criticize than come up with solutions. One of my favorite quotes comes from Eleanor Roosevelt who purportedly said about Adlai Stevenson that he would rather light a candle than curse the darkness. I see a lot of people who would rather curse the darkness.

      • Well, okay, if the cupboard is so bare in terms of skillful players, then shouldn’t we give up this fantasy of playing anything other than defensive/counterattacking soccer? If we don’t have the skill for possession or even for direct attack, then we need to focus on what we can play, right?

        Hmmm, who could make that decision? I know. The coach could. This one, however, probably won’t. Have we just spent a lot of time and money on this wunder coach to learn that maybe Bradley had it right?

      • I think this is a good question. We just came off of a twelve year run with a once in a generation player who was probably the greatest counter-attacking player the U.S. has ever had. JK doesn’t have that player anymore (and let’s be honest, he wasn’t that player for most of JK’s run). It made sense to build a style of play around him.

        You need speed to counter. I think Zardes, Yedlin and Shea could potentially fit that type of system. Can Jozy be a forward in a counter-attacking system? He did play pretty well in 2010, so maybe. But Dempsey is finished in that scenario. At least one of your forwards has to have Charlie Davies pre-injury type speed. Who else?

        In any case, you’ve probably hit the crux of the issue. Maybe JK sees it as beneath him or giving up to coach that way. It may be his downfall.

        Another big question for me is why are we so terrible defensively? We brought in Vogts who is supposed to be a defensive genius and I think we’ve been worse since he got here.

      • I don’t know why we are so bad defensively, but we are. Somewhere below I pointed out that when I started playing, we had coaches who couldn’t teach ball skills to save their lives, but who compensated for their ignorance with borrowed and adapted basketball defensive drills. I can’t tell you how many hours we accumulated on my high school team doing backward side-on shuffles. We knew spacing, body positioning, etc. Now… skills coaching is better. My son has been able to do things with a ball from the age of 14 that I could never do. But he can’t play defense well, and he spent a year as a outside defender on a mid-level travel team (most of the time he’s an attacker).

      • As I think about it, I believe JK has felt like Deuce was his best player and built the system around him. That’s obviously not the case anymore so maybe he’ll be able to make the necessary adjustments.

        I’ve kind of felt like giving him these first two games of qualifying to see what happens. If we can get through those and he has a January camp before the next two he may surprise everybody.


    Making it sound like it was some kind of a third-string US team. I don’t think there was anyone in the starting 11 with less than 15 caps.

    • I think the FIFA scandal will bite Gulati in the Ass. It will become obvious that he knew some of the CONCACAF stuff (first hand, not hearsay)and never reported it. (a crime) which his avoiding congress make sense AND he was involved in vote trading with the UK for 2018/2022 (where FIFA’s ethic committee will go after these guys when the bigger fish are fried) If Klinsmann isn’t gone by the end of the year Gulati may be.

  17. Did anyone really expect different? Late night in LA Sat. Cross country flight, one practice and mix of guys that either played a ton of minutes, served as Mexico scout team or just flew in against a mostly full strength Costa Rica. This was more predictable than Saturday’s game.

    • That’s a fair point, I thought we at least had a little more of the ball. I thought our pressing was slightly more effective. Wood had good energy up front. Just seems like the negative story line is building on the team.

      • The negatives are piling up but in a week or so attention will turn to Saint Vincent and things won’t seem quite so bad. (However, if we struggle in that one, at home against a true minnow, all heck might break loose.)

    • What, cause he scored a goal on Brazil when they creamed us? His general resume with the team stinks. People made excuses he was played out of position, but I remember him being tried in a few spots and never playing all that well.

  18. If just one or two players would grow some balls, step up, and publicly state that they were done with the team until Klinsmann was gone, this would be over. Then the rest of the team would open up and all the dirt would come out. That sort of thing would be cathartic and the team would bond and recover. And Klinsmann would have to move to Paraguay or Mongolia. I can dream’

    • No personal disrespect to you, but I would cringe with embarrassment if our team did this. Part of adult life is accepting that sometimes you will have a boss that you don’t like, but you will show what kind of a man you are by going out there and giving it everything you have anyway, because quality has an amazing way of showing through,

      It’s about respect to your teammates, your flag, your fans, and yourself. If one of my employees pulled a stunt like that – even if it turned out that he was right in his asseessment of the manager’s incompetence and I later fired that manager for effectively similar reasons – I would never hire that employee back and I’d have a tough time even giving him a good reference. The player’s job is to play (if invited). Period. He and his teammates are always welcome to come and address these concerns to me directly without fear of retriubution, but to go to the media tells me this person does not respect the organization and thus does not deserve any standing within its culture. Just imagine if you pulled a stunt like that in the military! You’d be in the brig for at least a year and nobody would feel the least bit sorry for you.

      Now, if Klinsmann had done something unethical or morally offensive, then this approach becomes defensible if not an obligation of the players. But squad selection, tactics, or footballing incompetence don’t meet the standard.

      But in the end I wouldn’t worry. JK’s fuse is almost at its end after tonight’s clueless no show. The system will sort the problem out. And if they get impatience in the meantime, they can always take confidence that Landon Donovan is out there making the same case anyway.

      • Sorry, but do you feel it’s the job of the boss to publicly point out every mistake their employees make, while never once saying “the buck stops here” and owning any of his/her own? If I was Sunil, I would have already privately called him to the carpet on that issue alone. If he was my boss, I would already have found new employment elsewhere. Since his employment is effectively a monopoly, players can’t do that.

        I actually wouldn’t be surprised if that’s part of why Landon has been public in his comments. Landon is not a guy who I’ve ever seen seek out conflict (and I’ve been watching him for not-quite-20-years), but he’s publicly calling out JK, a thing I’ve never heard him do with another player or coach. There’s a piece of me that thinks he’s trying to be the mouthpiece of players who feel (rightly) that any disagreement with the skipper will get them ostracized (Altidore, Besler, Johnson, even Bradley and Dempsey).

      • No that’s not what I am saying exactly, though maybe there is a way I can be more clear.
        As you have stated (and this is why I used the military analogy, even though it is obviously not perfect and I certainly don’t mean to trivialize the military by comparing it to a sports team), a national team situation is unique. It is NOT a free market. Very few people can “walk away” if they are unhappy and as such things only work if people respect the organizational structure that has been agreed. Anything else is chaos and the system simply cannot tolerate this sort of unstructured insubordination and remain functional. Mutiny is a serious offense because it kills the legitimacy of the whole system. Not a good look. Even as a last resort.
        I don’t think either the manager or the current players should be using the media to sort out these kinds of differences at all. It’s unprofessional and a lose-lose situation. Sure it’s beaurocratic but that’s the fundamental nature of the beast — participants need to go through the appropriate internal channels or else not participate at all. Everything else is disrespect to the organization and the others who are trying to make it successful.
        We actually have it pretty good compared to most national setups in this regard by most accounts. Sunil has a reputation as a hands-on guy and certainly not negligent (he has had to limit his public comments lately due to the FIFA situation. Personally, I do think Gulati has heard feedback from those in the US setup and he is not just there to protect JK and tell everybody who doesn’t like it to beat it. For example, does anybody think the send-off friendly for LD in Hartford last year was JK’s idea?
        As for LD’s current agenda, it’s a bit of a different story since he is not subject to repercussions if he wants to speak his mind. So maybe it’s good if he wants to try to be the mouthpiece for the current players. but he’d better be sure he knows what he is doing– or better yet help organize and official role (ie something analogous to a Players Association to represent the interests of the player pool, such as those in other American sports).

      • As someone who has been in the military, worked in a large governmental organization, studied organization and management, studied bureaucracies (political science and public administration), I want to say I wholeheartedly agree with you. You have to trust the process. If you don’t, then you should remove yourself from the system. If someone doesn’t like what’s going on, they should report it to JK first, then Gulati and then, if that doesn’t work, then you refuse to appear for call ups and then you explain why if asked.. If the system is corrupt or dictatorial, then, of course, these rules don’t apply. If you respect US soccer you should not do something that sets back its development, which is why I think you try to work within the system first and allow it to make corrections. If you create a mess without allowing the system to work, you can damage that system unnecessarily. This is basic systems analysis. A workable system has a feedback loop for self-corrections. Despite the many criticisms, USSF has worked reasonably well for the last 25 years. To put things in perspective, which hardly anyone here does, this is not nearly as calamatous as the feud that tore the team apart at the time of the 1998 WC. Then just 4 years later we had our most successful WC, so all is not lost.

      • +1. . .

        I just don’t like the whole idea of “I’m not going to represent my country until this person leaves.”

        You don’t need to speak out publicly for a message to be sent publicly. Go and speak to Klinsmann about your concerns, respectfully and tactfully, without ultimatum. Let it be known to the other leaders of the squad first. If you are shunned from future call ups for no apparent reason, the public will start to ask questions, and you and the most influential players on the squad will know the answers.
        Other players on the squad will ask questions, as well as family and friends, and the truth is bound to leak.

        I wouldn’t even be mad at the shunned player if he came out and told his truth of it if he was asked. But he should never say I won’t play for my country until this or that person is gone, because that shouldn’t be the primary reason for him putting on that uniform anyway. Same as the military in that respect. That said, if what Klinsmann is doing is not just bad for the spirit of the team, but is also unethical (such as my example above: not calling up a worthy/helpful player because he has privately and respectfully criticized your approach), I wouldn’t be mad if other players started giving Gulati and JK ultimatums.
        Unless this thoughtfully disagreeing player doesn’t give it his all on the field if called back. Again, because you’re playing for things bigger than your coach, like your teammates, family, self, country, and possibly etcetera. It’s okay to disagree, but not to give up.

    • Whether people think it’s professional or not, a version of this already happened at the beginning of the hex when he was on cliff’s edge (the Boca deal, the news article, etc) and what saved him then was results.

      You look at Jones and Jozy on the bench and the old guard’s body language did not look good.

      • You are probably being polite when you describe the body language as “not good”. It was beyond terrible. Certainly, it’s very difficult to construct an explanation for this that reflects well on the management and I wouldn’t bother.

        But at the same time, I think the day is coming when our guys need to realize that that’s just how it is if you want to play for a top tier national team. Players far more accomplished than LD and Boca are regularly swept out the door without so much as a goodbye at most of the top NT’s. No flowers and send-off friendlies. It’s just over and 100% of the focus is on getting the next man up to that level or better.

        Jones looked very depressed and I can understand given his age and injury setbacks. Even if we continue with him (and I thiink he still has enough in the tank to merit selection), it appears increasingly unlikely that he will ever reach the exceptional heights in a US shirt that he did in Brazil. Nothing to be ashamed of, of course….. few US players have ever turned in a performance like that at a WC at any age.

        Jozy’s body language, on the other hand, made me want to barf; He has absolutely nobody to blame but himself. Klinsmann has showered him with premium opportunities consistently based solely on faith and he has not shown anywhere near the hunger you would expect in return. I hadn’t fully appreciated how bad it was on television, but watching him lumber around aimlessly at the Rose Bowl on Saturday made me ill. He should’ve done himself a favor and spent less time moping and feeling sorry for himself on the bench vs. Costa Rica in the second half, and more time watching Bobby Wood. Wood still has plenty of “needs to improve” items but his appetite is so far beyond Jozy’s right now as to be embarrassing.

        I would drop Jozy, MB, FJ, Deuce,and Jones for the next game (perhaps 2-3) regardless of the coach. Not because they have no value going forward, but because the entitlement has become obvious in them and coddling them for even a second longer serves no purpose. It’s a lot like England were under Steve McLaren — the most talented guys lose their hunger and their understudies have no drive to become leaders themselves because they have no reason to think they wll be rewarded. Bad culture.

    • William the Terrible,

      I have one word for you,…FRANCE 2010. What a disgrace. What an embarrassment to their program and nation. And you want the USMNT to do likewise? Really?

  19. It’s getting to the point where I’ve seen enough. I can’t see any point in keeping Klinsmann charge of the senior team anymore. He has done some great work in building out the player pool, and in securing quality competitive results prior the recent unraveling beginning with the Gold Cup. Plenty will paint the JK era as a “failure” (if it is indeed over) but statistics do not support that really and in the end he probably exceeded my initial expectation from a results perspective (I was pretty loyal to Bradley). He had some good successes and brought some guys in who we will definitely use for years into the future, and who his predecessors would probably not have been able to identify and bring aboard. It hasn’t been the raging success we had hoped for, but it’s hardly been a failure.
    But there is most definitely a problem its name is “leadership”. Not so much the leadership of the coach himself, as the average shelf life of an NT coach is so low globally it is scarcely worth worrying about.
    The problem is cultural. Specifically, he hasn’t been able to cultivate a new generation of leaders. All he has is the ones he inherited, and most seem to be regressing. What happened to this supposed “spine” of Howard, Dempsey, Altidore, Bradley, and Jones? Since the WC, these guys have become the poster boys for entitlement, and nobody has stepped in to displace them. This should not happen. Sure, Jones and Howard and Deuce will age out soon but frankly I wonder if we’d be better off just phasing them out now because they are standing in way of other guys stepping into their own. Part of me was hoping that Jozy was watching the hunger with which Bobby Wood was chasing the game in the second half but then they panned to the bench and it was just fat Altidore looking mopey. Grow up, pal. Become a leader or get lost, because you aren’t Zlatan. Hard work is where it’s at.
    And as for Jozy and MB…. these guys need to seriously do some soul searching because they don’t even belong in the same breath as their teammate Giovinco. Sloppy, slow,, and utterly lacking in championship-level engagement. Jozy can take a couple years off for all I care. MB is more salvagable, but he needs to recognize his legacy is passing him by and it isn’t just bad luck or something. Complaining about where your coach is playing you in CM …. when you are already an AUTOMATIC STARTER and captiain is the sort of shameful bs I never thought he’d be capable of.
    I think the rot is now so bad JK won’t be able to fix it. Too much entitlement from underproducing old players, and it is stifling the new blood. 4 years is a good run for an NT coach. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. But it’s time to think of the future and right now could be a good time to make a change.

    • Good sound comment. Not a knee jerk, “Fire Klinsman” post. I agree that JK has done some valuable work over the last four years. But something definitely seems to be off now. I only caught the second half tonight but it really looked awful. Bad soccer that looked to be as much a consequence of attitude/desire/spirit as lack of skill. Sure the typical US player doesn’t have the technical quality of many others around the world, but we really really looked awful. The whole was worse than the sum of its parts. Not good. At this point I’m starting to feel sorry for Klinsman. The smile on his face at the end of the match was a thin mask for a man who knows things are not good. He looked like a man who just wanted to go hide. Painful to watch.

    • I always appreciate thoughtful posts from you, cheers.

      the most entitled person in the entire USMNT program is Jurgen Klinnsman. I hope the irony is not lost on us all

    • I had a lot of hope that JK could bring some magic to the USMNT, much more inclined than most to give him time and the benefit of the doubt. Sounded good to hand someone the charter of bringing a new culture to US soccer, not just tactics and players.

      That old culture was based on discipline, acceptance of defined roles, shared trust in a simple coherent game plan, confidence that the moment will come, and athleticism. Built from a back line with players who could likely finish each other’s sentences off the field they knew each other and their system so well. It was a good culture for a country whose ambitions ranged from 10-20 in the world.

      It got us results beyond our skills. Then it became frustrating, because the valiant underdog culture had been taken as far as it could go, and we didn’t want to be limited by it and just settle in.

      So the idea of tearing down that culture and replacing it had some appeal. Particularly the “proactive” approach of imposing ourselves. Regardless of your politics, that’s a distinctly American spirit – make the world react to us. Great idea. But… 5 years on…. It looks like the old was torn down with nothing built to take its place, and much worse, no particular reason to think another month or year or WC cycle will build it.

      Today’s game was the most painful in recent memory… and not because of the result. The body language all around. I don’t recognize this team any more.

      • Excellent points. I agree the goal was laudable if we want to become a soccer world power, but the execution was not successful.

      • I’ll point to a specific mistake that has come full circle, and that is to build the team around MB and Jozy. This was actually begun under Bob Bradley and eventually continued under JK. I don’t really blame them, it seemed reasonable given the talent of these two, but it has failed/come to its end. And to be fair they had their moments, but it is now clearly time for a complete reboot of the “spine.” I do feel for Bradley because I don’t feel like either manager really figured out how to use him best. For the last couple of years he has not seemed the same physically, maybe the miles have caught up. I do still think he could be molded into our #6 if he could be convinced to play there. But JK has never ever seemed to grasp that’s where MB might be best. Jozy is a bust. I completely agree with the comments on his body language on the bench last night. While Jones looked so pissed to be distraught, Jozy just looked disinterested. I have seen what Jozy can do when motivated, like that match so long ago right after Davies’ car accident. I have seen that maybe 1 or 2 times in 20 or so matches since. That is an effort issue. And I just can’t defend him anymore. He should be dropped indefinitely.

        I don’t see players of their talent out there anywhere to rebuild around, but I don’t think it matters. Let’s find the best young guys we can who will give 100%, and turn them loose. We’re in for some losing over the next cycle, so might as well build for the (distant) future.

      • The big, ongoing mistake isn’t building around Jozy, its the use of Jozy as a hold up player. He isn’t one, and its not effective. Jozy needs to be running to be an effective attacking player — go back and watch all his AZ goals. Jozy didn’t wake up one day at Sunderland and suddenly forget how to do that.

      • Wondering if JK is ever going to give Nagbe (MLS -Portland Timbers) a shot in our midfield. That guy is great on the ball, holding and passing, and can jumpstart a counter in a heartbeat. His American citizenship is completed and I’m under the impression that he’d totally love a shot at USSoccer. Anybody??

    • My deal is he has not implemented the style he promised at the senior level, we have no identity, the junior teams playing the style don’t win either. So the broad sales pitch of flowing soccer in real games is not reality.

      And where once he was creatively bringing in dual nationals, covering up a developmental lull, that is stalling out at the senior level and you see where he seems stuck in a loop on picks. Same people over and over, when they play poorly you see the same replacements, who also disappoint. End Stage Bradley like Kljestan or Bornstein. He to me looks to have lost horse sense of who can help and who should start.

      • Anyone remember the U-20 CONCACAF final in Mexico about 4 or 5 years ago? That was the one time I remember when we p;layed the kind of style Klinsmann promised and, although we lost, we pushed Mexico to the limit and lost in OT as I recall. Since then, no mas on seeing that style of play practiced by any US team. We are not turning out players who are technically proficient. If you ask me, that’s the basic problem.

      • That was two years ago. The big stars from that team were supposed to be Luis Gil, Benji Joya , Jose Villareal and Will Trapp. Luis Gil is in Real Salt lake doing so, so. Luis and Will played against Honduras.Villareal I am not too sure where he is.

      • Villareal is a reserve with the Galaxy. Before the Galaxy got Lletget and Gerrard he was seeing some playing time at the beginning of the season, even started a game or two. Then he was injured, the other players came in and now he rarely sees the field. I think Bruce played him in some of the CCL games and maybe some Open Cup games, but not sure.

      • Villarreal has been undergoing a spate of injuries this season. The wost being shoulder injury that has kepy him off r fiels for severlal onths, and the hamstring. He is a fantastic player and Arena wanted to use him for the CCL matches

        Arena and the Galaxy has truly developed some gems.

        Which brigs me back to the USMNT. If you look at the previous coaches. They all left or retired after good runs. When Arena stepped down The US came off a no win WC. However I’d like to point out several things that happened. The US was on a verge of getting a WC SEED prior to the group selection The USMNT were ranked in the TOP 10. and because several teams ahead of them that did the not make the WC. Then something unexpected happened. Italy complained, and FIFA, who were actually run by UEFA, CHANGED the seeding arrangement at the 11th hour, giving more points to teams who did well at previous WC. Of course, the US did better in Korea/Japan So they went to the Final in the US; Brazil/Italy and the previous one in Italy for the justification to seed Italy rather than the US. This seeding arrangement was abandoned later.
        In the 2006 WC, Italy was actually grouped with the US. The US TIED Italy but lost to Ghana and lost the the Czech Republic. The US did not have an answer to to 6’9′ Jan Koller. Had the US won against Ghana or the Czech republic, Arena team would have advanced to the round of 16. As it is we TIED Italy and wee the only team in the 2006 to not be defeated by the eventual winner. It was not a succesful WC, but it closer to a good run had just a few things gone our way. And when Bob Bradley actually won the Group, ahead of England no less. We assumed a seed for the first time and had we got past Ghan (and we actually were ranked ahead of them, we would have faced Uraguay, good players, but not the best defense.

        The point is we canned Arena and Bob Bradly. two US coaches who took the team closer than it ever had been to a WC semi, because we expected more. Like those who keep yelling on this board; we’ll never rwch the finals in the WC because we do not have enough Champions League player, there was a call for a Euro coach that had been there to bring us to the next level.

        We did hire that person, but regressed instead, Time to move on. Klinsmann is NOT the right person,

        Bring in Kriess as a caretaker coach. His season is all but done at NY and he is a good coach.He should get us out of the 1st against some of the minnows and we’ll have some time to find a permanent replacement before the second round

      • technical proficiency is better now than before and will continue to evolve, as will the collective understanding of the game and mainstreaming of its nuances via TV and MLS and USNT and stadiums and its the beuatiful game!! all of that will happen

        I would argue it’s tactical understanding that is most lacking in my experience, the understandings of games that I and other kids got watching the NBA or NFL or MLB growing up all those decades ago. Now, that experience for soccer is accessible here too! that’s helping to change and drive everything, and will generation over generation, don’t you think? works the tactical and psycho/social to a whole new level here in America

        great comment on this thread from tacos about movement off the ball is 90% of the game (true both on O and D btw). Just training with your travel team and playing league games and tournaments alone could never fully teach a nation the nuances to play a game. now we have access to see the best of the game of soccer 24/7 to SEE the movement off the ball. wasn’t like that too many years ago

        but what to do with today’s team…the question yes?

  20. I realize he almost always has that stupid smile on his face but was anyone else sick looking at his face during the post whistle handshakes?

    • Actually I thought the look on his face was decidedly different today. This result left nothing to hide. And based on the performance it could’ve been 3-0 or worse.

      Strangely I wonder if JK’s best role in the coaching game might be working with emerging and younger players in youth teams (U-21, etc, though obviously that wouldn’t work with the US at this point). He seems to be good at motivating young talent and coaxing belief out of untested players. But he challenge of building and sustaining a winning mentality amongst experienced and established players does not seem to play into his personality or skill set. When the chips are down, he looks lost.

    • Your complaining about good sportsmanship? If you want him to look ticked off in the post game presser fine, but you smile shake hands and congratulate your opponent win or lose. No complaints for the players smiling and laughing with their arms around the Costa Ricans?

  21. Im more than pissed at the shabby treatment JK gives Lee Nugyen. He gives him table scraps for minutes and then plays him outside while that big stiff Williams plays middle and turns it over.

    Sunil was at the game…maybe to fire Klinsmann? Can only dream

    • As a New England fan that has wanted him on the USMNT for ages, I came out of this pissed that he even got the call. What’s the point of flying him down and then giving him a measly 20 minutes out of position? Just giving him jet lag when we need him in our last two games so you can see him get frustrated with teammates not showing for the ball is not very useful.

  22. I decided not to watch today and I’m glad I didn’t. I feel like I’m dying on the inside. It’s actually come to a point that I’d rather watch baseball (gasp!) than soccer. I completely ignore my family when US teams are on tv, and I can’t stand watching US men’s soccer teams play anymore…it’s like being kicked in the balls over and over and over again and I’ve given up. Peace out, USMNT. See you again when Klinsmann is gone.

  23. I almost feel sorry for the guy. He should’ve left after the World Cup while he was ahead. Now Klinsi is in a hole he just won’t get out unless he’s sacked. Luckily we got St. Vincent first, so he may catch a break there. I tell you, CONCACAF has lost respect for USMNT and the Klinsmann aura has dissipated.

    • I’m not sure. I think most of the US soccer fans would forgive him for nailing TT. Anyone less annoying, he’s gone. TT, he is probably safe.

    • I would rather he hit Lalas, whom I find to be mucfh more obnoxious than Twellman. I rather like Twellman myself, but Lalas comes off as arrogant to me and he basically was a failure in management for several teams, so he has no reason to come across as so smug.

      • While Lalas was not a good suit, and I’m on the fence on his announcing, the guy had a vision and kick started MLS 2.0 by bring in Beckham. While I am not exactly sure it was his idea. He attached himself to it and was the biggest cheerleader.The Galaxy got him and with the exception of Pele in the “old” NASL, was the biggest acquisition in US pro football.

        I kinda like Twellman’s “mad dog” style. Kinda like an American Roy Hudson. LOL

  24. Am I the only one thinking why did they even schedule this game? Yeah, I know that it’s an opportunity to bring over the Euro players during the international break, but what was bound to be a very emotional US-MX game and with the MLS deep into it’s playoff race, you have to wonder if all the players wanted to be here.

    • Maybe it was to come out with a win and showcase something new, but they ended up showcasing players looking more confused than the players in the Mexico game……..

    • As the announcers pointed out the game was scheduled back in March, before they knew they would be in a playoff for the Confed Cup and this is an international break. I imagine the intent was to play a good CONCACAF opponent prior to the start of qualifying in 1 month.

      • how is he a JK fanboy for that comment? he didn’t even mention JK…

        This is exactly why you’re hated on this site. you make terrible streched attempts to mock people when it doesn’t make any sense. GP provided a FACT that had nothing to do with JK yet he’s a JK fanboy? wow…

      • I take it he is explaining the meaninglessness of this game, so that Klinsi is not criticized. Yes the friendly was announced before the Gold Cup, but it was played today, after we had JUST lost to Jamaica, Panama, and Mexico consecutively.

      • I take it that the dude was sharing info. Your Klinsmann hatred has you trying to “call out” a dude for relaying a timeline.

        C’mon man. Seriously. No need to insult the man.

        There was nothing in that post defending Klinsmann. Nothing.

      • I was just answering the question, you dumb POS. See my long comment below. I am no knee jerk for either side, that is what sets me apart, not my love for a particular coach.

      • Oh please cut the crap!!! Anybody who reads these posts on SBI long enough know that there are 2 extremely fanboyish posters Gary Page and some dude named GW who hasn’t posted in a while. I think that is why El Commandante made the comment. I suspect Gary secretly has a man crush for all things Jk. and will defend him to death even if everything shows Jk is a lousy coach who thinks he’s Rich James Bitches!!!

      • No… He is adding facts and logic to make a coherant argument. Playing concacaf friendlies before World Cup Qualifiers is kinda standard practice, so that would make your comment kinda wierd.

      • what are you talking about? he gave the factual answer as to why that game was played. it was scheduled BEFORE the CONCACAF Cup was a thing…

    • I think the hubris was that we would beat Mexico, justify relying on the older players, and then this would be an experimental, January kind of game with the younger or marginal guys. The idea we shouldn’t have scheduled it comes more in hindsight when we can’t beat anyone.

      If there is an upside this run of matches should be stripping us of all selection arrogance or assumptions about the team. There is going to be real roster churn and some coach, new or old, is finally going to be holding people accountable. I hope.

      • accountability from the top on down. how can someone command any respect to hold others accountable if that someone is not held accountable as well?

      • I’d love to be a fly on the wall inside the locker room.
        When players stop feeling accountable to each other, no matter what anyone else says or thinks, the end isn’t near.. it’s already happened.
        Reminds me of Lone Survivor when Axe says, I don’t care about them- I care about you, I care about you, and I care about you.
        (There was 4 of em for those who missed it)

  25. We suck. It’s all Klinsmann’s fault. He is beyond inept. Anyone defending him needs a colonoscopy so that a doctor can pull their head out of their rectum.

    At least the baseball playoffs are good.


  26. “Jurgen Klinsmann may have wanted to get a look at some newer and younger faces” – guess that meant Jonathan Spector. Nothing personal against Spector but even he looked kinda surprised when sent in.

  27. Four consecutive losses at home, another first for Klinsi. Let me see how many fanboys he’s got left here, maybe Gary Page, DLOA and slowleftarm.

    • That would require there be a bunch of soccer moms and kids at the game. A primarily Costa Rica crowd is most certainly not primarily soccer moms and kids (having attended quite a few games with Costa Rica).

  28. This is embarrassing almost beyond repair. I’ve said it here before and I am gonna say it again, if Klinsmann stays through WC Quals we are not going to Moscow 2018.

    • People like you have been saying this since 1998 and the US have gone. You talk BS my Friend. The US will make it easly with or without Klinsmann. You are a joke.

      • No butthead, this is the first time I’ve said it. I never felt this premonition with Bora, Sampson, Arena or Bradley.

      • Ohh I see, after I ridiculed you with this response you went on a rampage calling me names. Sore bungholio. You sore tonight because your German love got exposed tonight as the real joke he is of a coach?

      • I was there in the stands at Murdock Stadium in Torrance in 1985, when we just needed a tie to advance to the World Cup. Mexico had qualified as they were the Host country, Concacaf had ONE spot. Our opponent was Costa Rica whom we beat earlier in Qualifying. I was so sure we were going, I was arranging time off from my job for my vacation next summer in Mexico.

        We LOST 3-0 and I learned with the USMNT, “neva take nuttin’ for granted”

  29. I think it is unfair to blame a coach for every bad result and that the influence a coach can bring is limited. But, that said. I do not understand how Klinsmann can keep his job.

    It is hard to say who should replace him, but someone should.

    • Are we ready yet to talk about former USMNT players that might be interested in taking the team for a cycle? Or still hoping to find another wunder-coach somewhere?

  30. No Jeff Cameron = shaky defense
    Brad Evans played with heart and made some key stops
    Altidore = no goals and no pressure up top.
    Why do you have to go a goal down before putting in Lee Nyugen (and removing the partnership btw Jones who plays with him in NE).
    Lost to Jamaica, Lost to Panama, Lost to Mexico, Lost to Costa Rica…..Wow, looks like no more minnows in our pond as all the minnows are becoming BIG FISH
    No identity, no shots on goal, no threat
    “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future”…………John F. Kennedy

    • “Brad Evans played with heart and made some key stops”

      He also had many bad touches in the second half that killed attacks and gave the ball away.

    • Good eye there, I was impressed that Evans about 3 times recovered and snuffed out a play where he or another made a mistake. He may have his limits but he understands positioning and how to use his body at a level the rest of that defense doesn’t. This used to be such a high soccer IQ team and now it surprises you when someone plays smart.

      To be fair, Nguyen is a risk since he hasn’t been playing much, but I think you saw with him how lacking we are in effort and dynamic play, and he looked like as much as anyone he should continue getting looks, if only for the fact he looks like he cares.

      Jozy, that’s a gut check type call, it’s pretty obvious he’s a loafs around for 4 games scores the 5th kind of guy, but JK for all his discomfort keeps bringing him back. Some of the changes this team needs are like grande huevos kind of deals where the coach needs to be capable of making dramatic changes. Howard back in for Guzan, someone instead of Altidore, a consistent style, some new blood in the back, some more innovative midfielders, figure out someone to play DM. JK has become too rote, he has “his people” just like we used to beef about Bradley.

      • Defensive skills used to be all we had, and like you said it is almost surprising now to see. I wonder if that isn’t the cost of the youth clubs learning how to teach ball handling skills (Coerver or whatnot). I started playing before that time, and the coaches I saw would mask how much they didn’t know with borrowed basketball defensive drills.

    • It really appears that he coaches in CONCACAF have Klinsmann’s number. This does not bode well for WCQ as we have to beat these teams to qualify. Unlike the last WCQ cycle, these teams have adapted their tactics. Mexico and Costa Rica, and to a lesser extent, Panama, all used a simple tactics to pressure the US team high and along the sidelines to cause turnovers. Some teams used long balls into the corners when the fullbacks were exposed.

      When Klinsmann used his fullbacks as wingers, you will have players like Yedlin alone in front of goal, getting his feet caught on the ball as he dribbling is not good in very tight spaces or short time. I noticed Shea on the corner being blindsided and letting his opponent get in a dangerous cross. To be fair, Shea was playing at wide midfield (I think) although he was not sure either. What was he doing there, just standing.

      In short; because the US fullbacks before and after Klinsmann arrived did not meet his criteria of being good attackers, he started using wide mids as fullbacks. The problem is, they are not optimum defenders, and get exposed.

      If you noticed CR was constantly moving up the backline to compact the midfield. They also applied high pressure and the US, bot having Bradley (or Fieldhaber and the wide midfielder MIA, the US had a hard time getting into the attacking third with passes to the forwards. It appears Jozy was useless and although his touch was bad, he and Zarde were getting no service from central midfield and no crosses from Shea or Yedlin. While Shea is a good crosser, Yedlin is not. And while Evans and Ream are good passers, the 5 man backline gave very little room and time to get up-field to be of any threat. This left only williams and Jones, good defensive midfielders tp pick out the room behind the backline for someone like Yedlin to get forward. This never worked as Zardes, playing forward (finally) for the first or second time had little cohesion with Altidore (whose touch and positioning were out of sync or the attacking?? mids. The result was the US was pegged back or rather immobile for lage stretches of the game. I was thinking that with the 6’+ height of Altidor and Zardes, Route One balls would be effective against a smaller center backs Costa Rica has, But apparently no one else saw it or could effect it.

      I think this is a result of too much tinkering. With so many changes, the good or effective additions, and who were played and where, amd either the positions and tactics used when effective, were all forgotten.
      I see some of the same mistakes in player selection made time after time.Using players like pieces of wood in a puzzle and trying to fit square pegs in round holes and finding that they still wont fit, he is resorting, like an angry child, to using a wooden mallet to force them and when that fails throwing the pieces out (or back to Germany)

      • Nice post. Here is part of the problem. Players like Yedlin are supposed to be our future, and I like Yedlin, but as I watch him play more, it seems like the only thing he is good at is that he is fast. When he is cornered or pressured on the ball he struggles which is what I saw in the Mexico game. They didnt give him an inch. I didnt see the game tonight but I hope that he develops more of his ball skills and passing. Thats probably why Tottenham loaned him out to Sunderland. That seems like an awful place to go, but I hope it works out for him.

      • The famous football coach Vince Lombardi said that success in football could be boiled down to blocking and tackling. The team that did those things best won. Similarly, in the last two games we have seen, as you have noted, that the US can’t handle on ball pressure while our opponents can. This was the difference as it allowed the opponents to control possession, control the game, and create chances while negating US chances. What’s frustrating is that US players seem to have forgotten basics like playing triangles, moving toward the ball, getting into open spaces, etc. We’ll never be any good if we can’t get beyond this problem of handling on ball pressure.While many would say that’s Klinsmann’s fault, if you are a professional you would think that you wouldn’t need to be taught these things, especially when you are playing at the highest level.

    • I know I had some armchair QBs on here defending the selections and calling me a dunce for questioning it, but based on the goal do we really need to re-learn the Spector and Williams lessons? Spector gets beat to the line like used to happen routinely and Williams is chasing his man. The defense is also marking space but the goal puts a bow on the lack of effective creativity in selection coming from JK at this point (I mean, Shea again? Orozco to burn us some more?), that with defensive troubles we are plowing the same fields over and over that we know are barren.

    • Hard to watch. Many didn’t want to even be there. After skewering FJ in the face of the team and media, he either has or very soon will lose the locker room. JK’s tenure as USMNT is over!
      Shea, Zardes, Yedlin, Cameron showed that this was important to them. Not so sure about the rest..

    • you can make the argument that JK is not inspiring his players (which we don’t really know), but there’s no arguing we are stinking up the field. we have a tweener pool which hit their peak as a mediocre and aging on the world stage, and few shining stars on the immediate stars on the horizon.


Leave a Comment