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Monchengladbach manager Schubert defends Johnson in midst of USMNT controversy

Fabian Johnson Borussia Moenchengladbach 7


After seeing and hearing everything said about Fabian Johnson in the past few days, Borussia Monchengladbach manager André Schubert has stepped up to defend his player.

Johnson was recently dismissed from the U.S. Men’s National Team by head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, who publicly blasted the player for asking to be removed from last Saturday’s clash with Mexico.

Upon his return to his club, Johnson was said to have a thigh injury, although Klinsmann remained skeptical while stating that he would wait to see what Johnson’s status was this upcoming weekend against Frankfurt.

According to Schubert, Johnson’s status has yet to be decided, although the manager remains hopeful. Injury or not, Schubert says that Johnson made the right call while on national team duty.

“Fabian has a thigh problem, but I’m assuming that he will be available in Frankfurt,” Schubert said in his prematch press conference Thursday. “We won’t know that until tomorrow either though. I can vehemently deny everything that has been written and said about him recently. I know Fabian to be a top professional who has a great mindset when it comes to the team, his job and his health.

“When a player feels a tightening of their thigh in added time in a game and could then be on the verge of a more serious injury, I only think it’s the responsibility of the team and himself to have him subbed off in that situation.”

Schubert’s Monchengladbach take on Frankfurt on Saturday.

What do you think of Schubert’s comments? Do you agree that Johnson was in the right?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. While I’m not a big supporter of ersatz Americans playing for the national team, Fabian Johnson has always been one of the most committed of them to the US cause, never claiming injuries, other committments, or the need for soul-searching to get out of playing for the USMNT. So, why would he ask to be substituted in a big game, after having played for some 110 minutes, if he didn’t feel that his presence on the field, for whatever reason, was hurting the team? He absolutely did the right thing, which unfortunately interfered with Klinsmann’s hare-brained scheme of putting Rimando into the penalty shootout. Which of course does wonders for Guzan’s (and Howard’s) confidence and trust in Klinsmann.

  2. Klinsmann comes off as petulant, spiteful and not very smart in all of this.

    I mean, really, trying to publicly embarass a player who has always answered the call and who has been one of the most best players for the US.,

    I wonder if Fabian will be available for the USMNT again when JK is coach.

    It is not the first time JK has tried to publicly humiliate a player, eventually it will come around to bite him.

  3. Although I do love the coverage and the fans taking I liking to the USMNT, I reallymiss the days when Arena was coaching. No drama, a true born and breed America coach. He was successful at Virgina, ran the dynasty of DC United and then led the USMNT the furthest we have ever went in the World Cup only to be a**f***ed by a missed hand ball call against Germany. I also think he got the most out of players and there is no doubt in my mind the 2002 team was by far the best product we have ever put on the field even with Agoos.

    It’s just sad that JK has, in my opinion, wrecked our program and has brought trash like this to our headlines.

    It’s time for you to go. You’re like a politician with your false promises and trashing of your team. To be honest managing like this at Taco Bell would get you fired because HR wouldn’t be able to handle you. You’re a cancer that has spread and needs to be eliminated.

    That’s all. Sorry that was kind of all over the place.

  4. whatever happened to jk’s message, ‘trust yourself, have good time, don’t worry about mistakes’?

    like the Ld drama, this whole thing is unnecessary, and may in the long run be demotivating to fabien as well as the team. for a short-term rush of power/authority, jk has traded in more of the good will he built after his initial 6 months on the job. this may well come back to haunt him.

  5. Do you know what I noticed yesterday? No one in the mainstream sports media here in the States cared. It wasn’t on Sports center or Fox Sports Live most of America doesn’t have any idea there’s a problem or controversy, can you think of another major soccer nation where this wouldn’t be a top story? Do you want to know why a country of 300 million can’t produce better soccer players, because a vast majority don’t care about soccer.

    • You certainly have a point. There’s been a lot of articles written recently about player development in this country being backwards or it being the fault of players coming back to MLS. The real answer is money, plan and simple. We’re growing but there’s still just not enough money in the game to really reach the next level. It’s growing and I think we can get there but it’s going to take time.

      • No, the real problem is that MLS has just made a larger pool of average-crap players. They perpetuate the run and kick philosophy that wins trophies on the kiddy levels. Pure athleticism with little technical ability can win the day in basketball but not soccer. The Youth system here is crap and unfixable. However technical ability can be taught in a 3-4 year time frame in the pros. Unfortunately MLS coaches are crap too. Most are from the Arena tree and had little or poor technical abilities. I.e. Agoos, Marsch, Petke etc what can they teach a youngsters about technical ability ?

      • I think you are being too harsh. I would call it a pool of pretty good players. That’;s good enough to do well in CONCACAF, and occasionally knock off a top team through luck or extra effort, but not good enough to be a top tier nation. We have been good enough to get out of our WC groups, but nowhere good enough to do much better than that. People who tout our 2002 team forget that we got to the the quarters because we were lucky enough to get Mexico in the Round of 32. A European team and we probably wouldn’t have gotten to play Germany in the next round.

      • In fairness, the bulk of European and even Brazilian players are no better than MLS players. But because there are so many more Europeans and Brazilians playing soccer, the tiny fraction that are special players constitutes a sizeable number. Until the present day players (those aged 20 or less) are parents of 20 year-olds, there will not be a large-enough pool of serious players from which the few special players will rise in numbers large enough to form a national team. So wait 30 years or so before the US is WC champions.

    • I find it frustrating that even major outlets like the LA Times give only the bare minimum of coverage to their home town team. Somebody farts on the USC football team and it gets more attention than what the Galaxy do all year. While that’s a bit of an exaggeration, it’s not much of one. Here’s a statement that is not an exaggeration. The Lakers get more coverage for an exhibition game than the Galaxy get for any game all season.

    • I have a different perspective. I’m amazed whenever anything related to soccer is on the news. ESPN even includes EPL scores in its running thing at the bottom of the screen. I remember when probably no one at any U.S. sports desk could even name the coach of the national soccer team. So for me, that’s the norm, and the last decade or so has been surreal. Actually, qualifying for the World Cup finals seems a bit surreal, too. Now, it’s assumed we will.

  6. so many people conspire against Juergen… the Bayern Munich management and players, the anonymous USMNT players in Straus’ story, Matt Besler, Landon Donovan and now Fabian Johnson and his coach, not to mention the media and fans-why do they all have a hidden, choreographed agenda to bring down a genius, visionary coach who won a World Cup as a player? Is it because they are jealous of his success?

    I mean the guy has led the USMNT to the same place as every coach in the prior two decades before him, but hey, he did it with flair and isn’t cool to have a soccer legend deem the talentless and history-poor soccer backwater that is the US, worthy enough of his leadership?

    is that the thesis, Gary Page and Davis Lennon &Ass.?

    • One thing I don’t do is to reach conclusions when I am lacking what could be important information. I am more interested in understanding why things happen than in trying to find someone to blame. (For example, I was once discussing pre-WWII Japan with a historian and he remarked how it was obvious I was a political scientist because I wanted to understand why things happen; as a historian he was more interested in finding out what happened) I don’t see everything as black and white with only a yes or no answer or see someone as all good or all bad I(with exceptions, of course). I try to look at the whole picture, put things in context and perspective, and reach conclusions that are logical, rational, and empirically based whenever possible. When I cannot do that I try to refrain from making a conclusion, especially a rash one. My expertise is foreign policy. Try and make sense out of the Middle East, especially some place like Syria. You will find that the world, including sports, is a complicated place and there are rarely, if ever, simple and easy answers. I find this to be true in almost all aspects of life. Whether commenting on politics or anything else I try to encourage analytical and critical thinking rather than ideological or knee jerk responses. I have found that more and more Americans would rather rely on non-critical repetition of talking points and even engage in delusional or magical thinking where they care more about finding facts to support an already reached conclusion than framing a conclusion around known facts.

      • This response might be the most out of place, mumbo jumbo, pointless, irrelevant, tangential, inexplicably and unnecessarily autobiographical, saying something without saying anything response in SBI history!!! Congrats Gary you have topped yourself. Take a bow, but then refrain from posting anything on SBI for a couple of days. You are on timeout. Go to the corner and think about what you have done.

      • Great post Gary. I don’t always agree with you about JK’s effectiveness but appreciate your thinking process.

      • Interestingly enough, nobody ever asks what I think about his effectiveness, they just make assumptions about my positions and attack me based on their assumptions. I mostly try to correct errors, add relevant information, and challenge lack of thinking.

      • Why should we ask you? This is a discussion board; no one’s stopping you from doing it yourself. Tell us if you’d like.

      • Yeah I agree, this is a super arrogant post. I’ll be sure to ask you your opinion before I post my thoughts here. If it’s anti-Klinsmann it’s must be lacking challenging thought.

      • “Interestingly enough, nobody ever asks what I think about his effectiveness, they just make assumptions about my positions and attack me based on their assumptions.”

        Hah! Did you really just write that? Gary we all know what you think about Klinsmann already. No need to ask. Your comment history on the subject speaks for itself.

        Also, you are full of hypocrisy and contradictions. You yourself always attack people and make assumptions about their positions. Your favorite line goes something like “you just don’t like Klinsmann, you criticize him because you are biased against him”. In your flawed mind you think people were born with some kind of anti-Klinsmann bias. You can’t come to the logical conclusion which is that people are judging Klinsmann on his performance and because of his bad performance THAT IS WHY they don’t like him.

    • World Cup semis at home with Germany to me is no big deal. Managed them half a cycle, contract not renewed.

      Didn’t manage much with Bayern Munich of all teams. Fired after a year.

      And here, with a sales pitch of slick soccer and further advancement, we’ve gone as far as under the old coaches and playing basically old style bunkerball in the big tournaments.

  7. He should have pushed Yedlin to RB, and put someone else on instead of Evans. Also, JK should not be calling people up who are not 100%. He has to go and is losing the team. Time will tell, if JK and the nats will rebound from all of this.

    • Evans did nothing to hurt the team the goal came from the left and I guess Marquez and Guardado shouldn’t have been called in by Ferreti.

    • I agree 100% Mike, he’s called in injured or terribly out of form players numerous times before and it makes you wonder what his plan is. He brought Iceman to the WC with a bad ankle only to have him reinjure it, called in Jozy for the GC only to send him home and as a matter of fact he did it twice with JA. JJ was also called in after just coming back from injury and was terribly out of form then had the audacity to put him at CB. There are others but I can’t remember them all but it goes back to my point about how Jurgen seemingly doesn’t have a backup plan for his rosters for tournaments and big games which to me undermines the teams chance for success.

      • Why, then, the conclusion is obvious, he is out to destroy careers and ruin the US team. Maybe he is even responsible for the vanishing of Jimmy Hoffa, Who knows what extremes this German madman will go to?

  8. Why was Zardes subbed out? Klinsmann subbed him out in the 72 min against Mex an then against Cosat Rica in the 76th minute. This make no sense to me. Zardes in injury free, fast, fit and dedicated.

    Klinsmann’s formations make little sense to me. I have given up into what benefits his formations and player choices make. He is eithe a super-dooper fooball genius with an understanding far beyoung mere mortal men (or football coaches)

    He is a complete idiot, does not really know what he is doing, is kinda winging it right now, hoping something in the team gels or one of his player choices turns out to be the American Messi.and until it happens, is trying to pawn off the blame on players, media, etc in a desperate attempt to hold on to a juicy job.

    while people on this board, and most with a good knowledge of football try and make sense of it all, Sunil Gulati is probably trying to come up with a way to explain to the USSF BOD that his wundercoach will be let go as well as the rest of his “millions of dollars” salary.

    But the US Fans are starting to vote with their feet. While different demographics were in play during the US/MX game than for the US/CR game, from 93000 to 9000, is a huge drop, drops in attendance and drops in viewership are BIG warning signs that the USMNT is losing fans and money. Drops in viewership may even result in drops in viewership in the MLS and then you have a hornets nest.

    Much like Blatter, Valke, and Platini with others at FIFA, it was found that failure to take action when problems arise is a sure way to turn your fans against you and ahve to take more drastic action later.

    So while Gulati is dodging House and Senate sub-committees on FIFA corruption by sending in lackeys, and while claiming he knew nothing about WC vote trading with the English FA, evidence is emerging that he did the pressure just was ratcheted up a notch. Now he is dealing with his own domestic troubles by keeping on a coach apparently most do not want and will waste millions of USSF dollars, it appears Gulati may pull the trigger to deal with more pressing troubles.

    • How did you get from subbing out Zardes to Gulati being the same as Blatter and Value? I’m not sure defending Klinsman is a equitable to taking bribes/paying bribes.

    • Zardes was taken out because Klinsy is in love with Yedlin on the wing and the speed that he can provide. Klinsy keeps replaying the second half of the Portugal game, patting himself on the back, and calling himself a genius.

      Fine, he needs Yedlin in the game? Where does he play for Sunderland? Oh yeah, right back. Push Yedlin back to RB and sub out a wheezing Fabian Johnson. Yeesh.

    • Have you ever considered the possibility that Klinsmann has information that you don’t? As far as Zardes coming out of the CR game, even with the early exit with Mexico, he would have played 150 minutes in the space of 3 days and CR was a friendly. I didn’t understand why he took Zardes out for the Mexican game, but then I can’t read minds whereas you like to jump to conclusions.

      • Have you read anything about his background? Have you considered the fact that in 2013 the US had the best record ever in one year and that we had the highest score in the last round of qualifying in our history? Somebody quoted Bruce Arena from a day or so ago in which he said that the only thing that matters for a national team coach is qualifying for the World Cup and results in the World Cup. Nothing else matters. So, argue with him since in those areas Klinsmann has done as well as or better than any of his predecessors.

  9. None of us here on this site know all the details of what happened, so we are all left to assume and speculate. Actually we hardly know anything at all except that Klinsmann feels Johnson asked out without being injured, and Johnson and his club say he was injured. This is how I look at it:

    1. Besides Jermaine Jones, I always looked at Johnson as one of the most committed Germericans.

    2. Klinsmann was about to sub-in Wondo because the US was down 2-1. Then Bobby Wood scored to tie it, and Klinsmann immediately changes the sub to Evans to come in for Johnson. What I would love to know is exactly when Johnson asked to come out. This is very relevant. Did Johnson ask to come out immediately after Wood’s tying goal? If Johnson had asked to come out before that, and Klinsmann was still going to sub in Wondo (most likely for a tired striker or midfielder), then that tells me that Klinsmann’s hand wasn’t really forced by Johnson and Klinsmann was still just managing the game. At that point it was 2-2 and the U.S. was clearly going to try and bunker-down and hold on for penalties. The Evans for Johnson switch didn’t hurt the U.S.

    3. I am assuming this was all done for the benefit of the other players. If reports are correct about some players being upset, then Klinsmann almost had to do something to appease them, but he could have just done it internally. Send Johnson home, tell him why, and also tell the rest of the players that Johnson was sent home and why. But to publicly embarrass and call out one of our best players, just doesn’t seem smart at all. Did we just permanently lose one of our best players?

    4. This whole “not committed” thing is overblown and id1otic in my opinion. So a guy shows up to every game he is called in for, plays well, and goes 115 minutes in heat after recently coming back from injury, and only asks out of the game after it is tied and after he gets re-injured or is feeling really tight and is about to get re-injured, and somehow the narrative now is that he isn’t commited?!?!? Wow.

    • Well Klinsmann was said he planned on using Rimando if they went to PKs. So I guess if Wondo didn’t come in he was not going to make another sub.

      • Yes I heard that too. That is a moot point though because we didn’t make it to penalties. You had to make it to penalties first. Having a rightback that can still run and defend was kind of important. Bottom-line is we have no way of knowing how Johnson was feeling at the time, neither does Klinsmann and neither do the other players. It all sounds like an emotional overreaction after a tough loss to me. Anybody here that’s played team sports knows what that’s like.

      • We didn’t make it to penalties.

        And that tells you our mentality from top-down at that point, is he’s not thinking, go for win, he’s thinking have Wondo hustle around on defense and go for penalties.

        I understand being quietly upset with a player for fitness and not calling them back. He did alter his tactical plan. I don’t understand making a public fuss and implying that player decisions — particularly ones that are altruistic like take me off before I cost us — will be second guessed in the papers.

    • Or how about Klinsmann knows the fitness level of his players, and that a player who is recently injured and not accustomed to playing in 90 degree heat (remember he plays in Europe, not for the Houston Dynamo) might be susceptible to injury if he plays the whole game.

      Tuca knew this and subbed out Marquez and Guardado way before the end because they were just coming back from injury.

      Or, was Klinsmann watching the game? It was CLEAR that Johnson was laboring (had already cost them a goal by not tracking back on Peralta) and was sucking wind. Maybe as a manager he should have seen this and subbed him out instead of saying “be tough and try harder.”

      Or maybe Klinsmann should have played him as a winger in the first place, given that is where he plays for his club, to actually give them some width and creativity down the sides which is what the team is badly lacking.

      Can go on and on. Enough is enough.

    • What did the US training staff say? I’m sure they must have checked out Johnson at the time he came out of the match and probably the next day, too. I don’t believe Klinsmann would have acted without input from his trainers. As I pointed out yesterday, Klinsmann didn’t banish Johnson until almost two days later, so he must have had some information over that time that led to his conclusion, unless you think he is totally irrational and/or is out to sabotage the team.

      • 1. I don’t know what the trainers said, does anybody? I don’t believe they gave a press conference.

        2. Do we know that he banished him two days later? Or is that just when he had a scheduled press session and that’s when we all found out?

        3. Bottom line is you are making assumptions (mr. use empirical data and only the facts guy) and don’t know for sure. I don’t know anything for sure either as I stated above. You are avoiding the other more important issues I brought up, which were about spanking your players in public and calling someone who just played 115 minutes for you and always shows up to play not committed.

      • We know that he informed the other players mid day on Monday and that Johnson flew with the team to New York/New Jersey after the Saturday night game. So that the decision must have been made after that flight, most likely Monday morning, given the chain of events. If he had made his decision shortly after the game, it would have made much more sense for Johnson to fly directly from LAX rather than make the stop over in NY/NJ. No, we don’t know what the trainers said or told Klinsmann, but he would have to be a totally incompetent coach if he didn’t discuss this with the training staff. Some people apparently do believe he is totally incompetent, but that would border on criminally stupid to not check with your trainers about the possible injury of one of your starters.Sherlock Holmes once said that he solved mysteries by eliminating all that was impossible and what was left, however improbably, must be true. I don’t think it is that easy, so I remove everything that doesn’t make sense and go with explanations that do make sense to fit the facts. My speculation makes more sense to me than Klinsmann being totally incompetent, wanting to single out one of his best players for punishment, or the other ideas I have seen. I floated this idea a day ago after another article and said it was speculation and that only F Johnson knows for sure if he was injured. I guess I should have repeated that. Since everyone else is offering theories, often as facts, I thought that another alternative theory should be presented.

      • It may be a soft tissue thing, one doc takes your word for it other sees nothing.

        Also, you’re leaving out the possibility that he was simply gassed but publicly said “I was hurt.” A lie, then, but if he felt like he was exhausted and hurting the team, the correct choice was to get off the field.

  10. I can’t believe this pillow fight keeps going on. When did the USMNT become a sitcom? Can we just hire George Costanza to run things?


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