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Benny Feilhaber rips Jurgen Klinsmann’s player selections

Benny Feilhaber Sporting KC (USA TODAY Sports)

Benny Feilhaber is coming off an MVP-caliber season in MLS, but has remained on the outside of the U.S. Men’s National Team picture, much to the consternation of some USMNT fans.

Based on his comments on Tuesday, it sounds like Feilhaber is done waiting for U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann to give him a call.

Feilhaber expressed his personal grievances against the U.S. boss, specifically in regards to Klinsmann’s player selections, during a scathing diatribe that saw Felhaber question Klinsmann’s personnel choices.

“I don’t think that Jurgen calls in the best players that are available to him,” Feilhaber told reporters on Tuesday at an MLS media event. “That, for me, is a problem. There’s players that are better than other players that don’t get an opportunity with the national team. That, for me, is a much bigger deal than anything else. Everybody points fingers at certain things but for me that’s the most important thing.”

Feilhaber pointed to several MLS standouts who have failed to earn call-ups, including fellow 2015 MLS Best XI selections Dax McCarty and Matt Hedges.

“That is my biggest problem with how Jurgen selects his players. It’s not based on on-field performance. I don’t know what it’s based on, but it’s not based on on-field performance.”

Feilhaber also made it clear that he has come to grips with the idea he has probably played his last match for the U.S., at least as long as Klinsmann is coach.

“I’ve accepted the fact that Jurgen’s not going to call me,” Feilhaber said. “If I played the year that I played this last year and I’m not getting the call, I’m not going to get an opportunity under Jurgen. That’s something I just have to accept.”

What do you think of Feilhaber’s comments? Does the midfielder have an argument?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Of the eleven players who started for the USA in the first qualifying game leading to the 2014 World Cup, only four (Howard, Jones, Bradley and Dempsey) started in the first world cup game in 2014.

    Before the last world cup, Jonathan Wilson, author of The Inverted Pyramid and other soccer books, commented that the USA had done better in past world cups than its talent would have seemed to deserve because the USA team was extremely fit, worked hard for 90 minutes, and unlike most national teams, played well together. They actually showed some evidence of coaching. Wilson, when asked what was the barrier the USA needed to overcome in the 2014 world cup, replied without hesitation: “Jurgen Klinsmann.”

    Wilson is right. Over the past five years, Klinsmann has squandered the USA’s principal assets — its willingness to play hard and play together. The listless, disorganized efforts in the Gold Cup were just the most obvious evidence that the team has regressed under his guidance. In almost any other soccer organization, he would have been fired long ago.

  2. To read many of these comments, you would think that Jurgen will get the “rebuilding year” waiver forever. Now I could understand if this were his first year in charge or even his second, but this is his fifth. And the last round of games that counted (the Gold Cup) were an unmitigated disaster. Now I know that Jurgen claimed that the Gold Cup was just another developmental opportunity, but that was after his team was a disgrace and after he had said he wanted to win the competition.
    The only “development” that matters now is for the upcoming qualifying round and then. God willing, the World Cup itself, not 2022 or 2024 or whatever. And the way you prepare for the qualifying round is to identify the players who can contribute now. You can pick different players later in the qualifying cycle or for the World Cup as circumstances change, but this is not the time to waste time on prospects.
    I don’t pretend to know whom Jurgen should pick and don’t care two hoots about Benny, but I do know bad soccer when I see it. And that’s what he has produced for most of his time in charge.

    • If we are in danger of not qualifying pre-Hex, then we have bigger problems than whether or not we play Feilhaber or not. Just saying.

      Also, this isn’t year 5 of his rebuilding. Its is year 2 of THIS cycle’s rebuilding process (unless you want to pull an Arena and keep the same squad and embarrass ourselves in 2018). His first cycle, also saw the USMNT start with 4 losses, a tie, and 1 win, rebuilding Bradley’s squad; there is A LOT more turnover this cycle, and I’m not just talking about age (Besler and Gonzo have shown us they just can’t be relied on to pass out the back in the WC). Our “golden” generation is over.

      You also talk about inserting new players and cutting out established ones into a system like its a video game. No, you can’t just bring in 4-6 guys, have them play in significant games, and then say “See ya later.” and just plug in new ones. Think how long it takes for some players to become acclimated to new club situations, training under a new system and playing together 24/7. Now try doing that in a 2 week camp (6 week if its camp cupcake), 4 times a year. Integrating 1 or 2 new guys to fill in glaring holes, that’s easy; trying to reintegrate the core of a team? Not so much, as we are finding out trying to replace Beckermen, Jones, and Dempsey (and to a certain extent Altidore).

      On the topic of this aging core; Beckermen (33 years old), Jones (34 years old), and Dempsey (32 years old), are really starting to show their age, and just can’t be relied upon for a whole 90 min. anymore (let alone during a brutal schedule like a WC). So your solution would be to integrate a player who will be 33 years old?

  3. Neither Benny, nor Lichaj, nor Hedges would have an impact on the USNT. Benny’s comments are downright childish.

    It is impossible to call a roster without there being second-guessing. Good players will get cut. This has happened to every NT in history. A coach will have his preferences. You can play the “Why didn’t he call Player X????” game with ANY NT manager on the planet.

    The fact is, however, the most derided roster decision of Klinsmann’s was his insistence on playing Beckerman so much (an MLS guy), and look at how well that turned out. The other one would be Wondo or Evans but those are also MLS guys (as good as any) who are outstanding professionals.

    On the other hand, there aren’t really any players that absolutely need to be called up that aren’t getting call-ups. Feilhaber, Lichaj, and Kljestan are not international caliber players.

    No manager is perfect with his roster selections but the criticism Klinsmann receives for his is downright bizarre. He certainly was better in Coach Bob in that department, who was hardly criticized for his decisions to build the team around players like Bornstein and Ching (the media never had a negative word to say about him). I wonder why.

  4. Sure, the ultimate goal is to win the World Cup and you go about that by developing young players, using veterans, etc. But you also have to inspire young players to care about soccer and to choose soccer over other sports. You don’t do that by the sorts of performances we’ve seen by the Nats under Klinsmann. You don’t have to win to be exciting, but you do have to put together teams that have some cohesion and that create some excitement. And yes, that means Landon should have been with the team as long as possible to milk the star power that he had. Drogba, for example, certainly isn’t the player he once was, but I’d pay to see him play. Who didn’t love Alexi and the boys back in the day? I love soccer but Klinsmann isn’t doing anything to excite me. Develop a core of players playing consistently in their best positions (see Bradley, M) and let’s go from there..

    • So we should fire our coach every time we have a poor run of form? Even if after his first cycle had the best winning percentage of a USNT coach of all time? Longest winning streak? Amazing World Cup performance?

      Drogba still played at the age of 37. But he still trained hard. Landon, at 32, publicly complained about being too old to train 100% and showed up to a friendly three months before the World Cup with a beer belly. If you’re a coach and you’ve spent the previous three years emphasizing fitness and drive above all else, what are you supposed to do?

  5. Thebumswillalwayslose gave the best explanation on this post, in my opinion. Let me preface this by saying that I have always said that Benny is the only guy consistently left off for the past 2 years that has a gripe. Not Dax or Sacha. Neither is good enough that giving a young player a shot to make the position his own is a huge risk. I live in NY and neither guy strikes me as A-class international quality. Dax is major step down from a healthy JJ and Sacha is a step down from MB. Sorry, they both are. Frankly, Sacha has gotten a lot of looks and has never impressed under Bradley or Klinsman. Benny, on the other hand, deserves to be on the squad (maybe not start), but Benny and Lee Nguyen (who is in the pool, so I have no complaints). That being said, it is every coaches right to leave off players that are talented enough to be on the squad (or more talented than those on the team). Jurgen did it with Germany in ’06 and France did it in ’96 & ’98 (and many times) . Hell, Italy & Mexico have done it.

    Hedges is young (25) and WAS CALLED IN for THIS CAMP. However, Hedges was behind Besler, Cameron, Omar, Brooks. How many center backs do you need? He is not competing with Orozco because Orozco was your utility back (to play multiple positions). However, I do think that he should have been put in the rotation with other young centerbacks such as Brooks, Alvarado, Miazga who are all younger (btw 20 – 23).

    As far as Klinsman is concerned, without being included in the private USSF conversations, it seems pretty apparent he is trying to build for the future and include a few veterans for leadership. He is allowed to choose who he wants. Sorry, any coach is. It is not a popularity contest. If he has favorites, guess what, he won’t be the first or last with favorites. The issue is some of the youth haven’t taken the reins yet. JJ is there for mentorship, Jozy is part of the youth (he is 26 – 28 next world cup) and a mentor. For those who complain about Jozy, he is still the best forward we have outside Dempsey. Sorry, he is until someone takes it from him. We have a very poor forward pool. You have to ask yourself if you want the best team now or do you want to build a team for the future – 2 different philosophies with different approaches. If you were not in the final pool of 30 for the 2014 World Cup and you are currently 28/29 or older (30+ for Russia), it is pretty safe to assume that you are out.

  6. Research has shown that sport coaches tend to select the players they feel will respond the best to their coaching, not those they judge to be the most talented or skillful. Once in a great while, you’ll find a coach who can take just about any player and make it work – Phil Jackson and Bill Parcells come to mind – but they are very rare.

    Now take a look at Klinsmann’s personal background (i.e., who would he relate to and vice versa?), his personality, his coaching style and methods. Not his systems of play, tactics, locker room comraderie between players, or anything else. Just look at JK and ask yourself, “What sort of player would JK believe will best respond to HIS coaching?” His player selections at least look like they follow a pattern seen through that lens.

    That much can be taken either as support or criticism of JK or a bit of both, I’ll leave that question for others, I’m not trying to take sides on that, just suggesting that as long as JK is in charge, it is reasonable to expect exactly what we’ve seen in player selections.

    I will add, though, that the thing that bothers me most about much of the “support” here for him is that it requires accepting that there is no quantifiable standard by which he can or should be judged. There is way too much “Trust him he knows what he’s doing,” as a way to brush away any reference to player stats, team stats, match results, program results, or anything else that is objective and quantifiable. No manager in any business conducts business that way. You have to measure your people, your programs, and your progression over time. So, if the criticisms being posited are invalid, please be specific about what you believe the standards SHOULD be. There’s been enough time now that “It’s too early to tell” isn’t enough.

    Whether it’s as coach of the senior USMNT or as Technical Director in charge of youth development, USSF isn’t helping us understand that process. Maybe it’s happening behind the scenes, but if so, it is way too opaque. It would make it easier for fans to at least understand what the objectives and standards are, at a finer granularity than “Win a World Cup”.

  7. Whether he should be in the team or not, he is being publicly bitter and that is lame. He is not going to earn any respect that way.

    About whether he should be in the team, based on recent performances I think he probably should. But a Benny Feilhaber is not in itself going to make the MNT great. He certainly wouldn’t be a starter.

    • I have no doubt that Benny would raise the level of the national team, RIGHT NOW. If WC qualification were in danger, I’d say it’d be a crime to not include him.

      But, can he do it 2.5 years from now? I’m not so certain, and time being given to him now as a reward for finally playing well with consistency, is time being taken away from someone else.

      By the way, same goes for Dax.

  8. With all these comments about Feilhaber, people are overlooking the biggest oversight in the callups. That would be lletget who is still young and showed that he has good ball skills, a decent shot, and is a good passer. One thing people should remember, too, is that we are talking about MLS players. In a recent interview an Orlando City player who came from Norwich compared MLS to lower EPL and upper Championship level. The international game is about 2 levels above MLS. Doing well in MLS is no guarantee of anything but doing well in MLS.

    • If Lletget can continue doing what he’s so far shown, he’ll be given the opportunity. He showed extremely well when he first tarsnfered, but tailed off a little. He needs to show that the start of his LA Galaxy career wasn’t a fluke or a run of really good form, but the norm. If he can continue playing the same way, I have no doubt he’ll be included.

  9. Let’s assume that the goals are to qualify for the World Cup and then to do as well as possible in the competition itself (maybe get to the knockout stages). It seems to me that, at this point, at the beginning of the qualification stage, the emphasis has to be on putting the most effective team on the field as possible. To the extent that the national team serves any developmental function, that time has passed. Now it’s a matter of picking the players that can contribute the most right now. And that will continue to be true right thru the World Cup. Perhaps the players picked now will not be the same ones picked in a year’s time or two year’s time, but I see no point in picking players who cannot contribute now even if you think they might in a year or two.
    First, predicting player development is very difficult. The soccer world is littered with players once thought to be destined for stardom who are now plying their trade in Sunday leagues. Second, players develop by playing in competitive matches under professional coaches. A brief visit to national team training camp and some playing time in international friendlies is no substitute. The national team coach, like it or not, is dependent on the efforts of the rest of his national soccer community to produce players.

  10. “Based on what I see, I think Jurgen takes some players in MLS and uses the fact that they’re in MLS to not call them up.” Unfortunately, that’s just simply not accurate:

    *2014 World Cup, 13 of the 23 called in were from MLS.
    *2015 Gold Cup, 12 of the 23 called in were from MLS.

    He references Eric Lichaj (not in MLS) and then goes on to reference Sacha Kljestian who hasn’t made a meaningful impact since scoring a hat trick against Sweden in 2009. Kljestian has been given chance after chance under two managers and continues to underwhelm.
    I won’t even address Dax MacCarty because if people think he’s international worthy that’s a serious problem.

    As for Matt Hedges, I’d also like to see him given a chance. I’ve never been a fan of Omar Gonzalez and Hedges game compares well to Omar’s game without the routine mental lapses. He’s also equally good in the air.

    When these conversations comes up, it’s incredibly evident who’s played team sports and who hasn’t. Putting together a team isn’t always about putting the absolute best players at each position. This isn’t an All-Star roster. It’s an actual team. There are so many other variables to consider.

    For people saying Benny’s “evolved” his game in recent years, perhaps at 31, he waited too long to do so. Feilhaber has a reputation under not one manager, but two managers. I can distinctly recall this being a criticism under Bradley, too, in regards to Feilhaber work rate, and ability to play both ways.

    • You love to dismiss people’s opinions with condescending assumptions.

      “Well if you think this way, you’ve clearly never played team sports.”

      All your arguments seem to boil down to some form of this concept.

      This kind of attempted manipulation is laughable to most grown ups.

      • Well said AMphibian! The worst part about Old School is not that he is condescending and full of himself, it is that he has id1otic opinions, makes lame arguments, is usually wrong, but still is full of himself. The best way to describe him on here would be to say that he is that guy that is the worst player on a team by a mile, but somehow believes he is the best, and everyone else just laughs at him.

    • soccer fan:

      They have no response to facts and have become far too comfortable in their echo-chamber. Don’t expect substance – just nonsensical diatribes against anything Jurgen related and piggy back off one another to strengthen their resolve.

      They’re your typical followers, basically.

    • Soccer Fan, i didn’t answer his arguments because they have been made a thousand times on here by him and some others, and responded to a thousand times by others.

      But ok. I will only answer his Benny specific arguments because that’s the only player I have an issue with (I am not really a fan of Dax or Hedges).

      1. I don’t agree that Benny has gotten enough of a chance under Klinsmann. Simple as that. What did he get, I believe just one January camp and that’s it? Yet Klinsmann continues to give games to players that don’t produce for the USMNT, and that for most people, are worst players both in talent and in MLS performance.

      2. He says, “Putting together a team isn’t always about putting the absolute best players at each position. This isn’t an All-Star roster. It’s an actual team. There are so many other variables to consider.”

      I’m sorry but there is a reason the term “Cinderella story/ Cinderella team” exists. That’s because on a team sport you want the players with the most talent/most ability. There is a reason that managers put up with the Ronaldo’s, Robben’s, Zlatan’s of the world. Now if you are talking about players that are close in talent and ability, then yes you take the player with the better attitude/ work ethic/etc. But I am convinced that the difference in talent and fit for the specific role between Benny and players like Mixx, Beckerman, Jones, Bedoya, Dempsey, Bradley is pretty big. Don’t get me wrong, Bradley and Dempsey and Jones are better players overall than Benny, but they aren’t better for that #10 Attacking mid role. Benny isn’t that good, but he’s the best we probably have for that role right now.

      For example: in Klinsmann’s diamond formation, it should have been someone like Benny at the top off the diamond, and then put Bradley in his preferred position (even by his own words) at the bottom of the diamond. Basically allow Bradley to be that box-to-box, deep midfielder he likes to be. Not as some out of place #10.

      • If there’s only one player that you think is getting the short end of the stick than the coach’s roster selections have been very good. Especially if that player is a 31 year old who couldn’t hack it in Europe and has attitude issues.

        A manager has the right to pick his players. Every manager will have his own biases, his own idea of who can work in his system and who can’t. Not every fan will agree with him, since every fan has his own idea of what the lineup should be. It’s important to remember this and not take our own opinions on roster selections so seriously.

      • I’m not so sure you know what a “Cinderella Story/Team” is… it has nothing to do with a team that tolerates certain players.

        You know who is a “Cinderella Team”, the 1980 US Hockey team, a team who’s head coach famously said (at least in the Disney movie), “I’m not looking for the best players, I’m looking for the right ones.”

        Also, Bradley is not a DM, at least by himself. He can’t shield the defense on his own. He can play the #8/DM slot in a 4-2-3-1, but he could never play the base of the diamond, without a world class defense behind him. He would play one of the shuttlers though.

  11. I think Dax McCarty got bossed in the midfield in Columbus and that is a big reason why the Red Bulls were eliminated from the playoffs. If you can’t control the middle of the park in an MLS game, you really can’t complain that you’re not getting a national team call up. (and I am a RedBulls supporter)

  12. 100% agree with Benny here, especially in the full article where he says the national team coach should worry about performance today and not 5 years down in the cycle. The youth teams and clubs are for developing young players, not the national team. He’s gives far too many chances to young unproven players, spots would could be used to look at players playing well in MLS. It’s not just who he calls in, it’s that players like Lee Nguyen barely see the field when they do get a call.

    We have so much depth so much depth holding mid, but he calls in Perry Kitchen instead of MVP candidate Feilhaber? (nothing against Kitchen) Any player scoring goals or creating chances in MLS should get a call, we need more creativity.

    Unfortunately, next world cup qualifier we are going to see pretty much the same 18 we’ve been seeing for the last 5 years…

  13. “I don’t think that Jurgen calls in the best players that are available to him,” Feilhaber told reporters on Tuesday at an MLS media event.” just to name a few” he added ” me, myself and I didn’t get calls despite having terrific seasons and a much higher FIFA 16 rating than some other guys”

  14. Well.. Judging by the tone and overall feel of the quote (if verbatim.. Its what they do to Jones)

    I think we have general understanding of why Feilhaber isnt in camp..

  15. I think Benny is correct and I also think that these comments have iced the cake for him (not that he was ever gonna get called again). Should he be called in? Yes, he’s earned it. But JK calls people he likes and he doesnt like Benny.

    The last game Benny played for JK (I forget against who) He was getting absolutely mugged and was getting no calls. The camera kept showing him sitting on the ground, with his hands in the air, appealing for a call. More than a few times. It would then flash to JK who had a total look of disgust on his face. Apparently he didnt like the whining, semi-diving and appeals. He never played again.

    Apparently JK wants players to get up and keep playing. Also, once you go public, you’re done. This also applies to Robbie Rodgers.

    Does JK call the best? Not in my opinion and not doing so is just hurting the team. His Euro bias and buddy bias is bad for US Soccer

    • Um.. Would this comment lay in the realm yea Feilbaber? Or nay Feilhaber?

      You lay out a very salient as to why any coach/manager at the highest level would look ill towards a player..

      Yet you seem not to understand why this would happen?


    • Euro bias?

      This is someone who started Beckerman, Wondo, Gonzalez, Besler, and Davis in World Cup games, not to mention giving Yedlin a shot. Klinsmann has much less of a Euro bias than Arena or Bradley did, and never made any comments re: MLS that the other two didn’t.

      People hate Klinsmann and criticize him for being “anti-MLS” just because he’s a foreigner.

  16. You can’t spell team without Benny Feilhaber.

    Hedges will get his chance but he is behind Brooks and Besler, I believe CCV also plays his lcb spot too.

    Dax certainly looks like he could be a role player this cycle. But I am not going to gripe about JK investing min on younger and/or more attacking CM prospects during this cycle so far.

    BF deal with it dude. You had 40+ caps and, besides that amazing goal in 2007, a pretty uneventful career. Just cuz you got your form back should we reinvent our national team lineup for you?

    • CCV just turned 18. He’s never player a second of first-team football (which is fine given his age). He’s got great potential but let’s not pencil the guy in as our starting CB until he’s earned it.

    • Hes played better than any American midfielder for a solid 2 years now.

      Hey cheer Wondo on though, or Jermaine Jones, or any other selection that is being wasted on a old guy not in form

      • Jones is probably as important as a leader in the locker room as anyone on the team. He embodies the intensity and drive that we want to see from anyone with a USNT jersey. I want him playing for us as long as he as capable.

        Wondo is one of the best MLS players of all time, so I really don’t think you can make an argument that Feilhaber or McCarty should get a call-up instead of him. He is also an outstanding professional, unlike Feilhaber.

    • Reinvent our NT lineup? Um, We usually have a CAM role in our formations, right? I know JK prefers a box-to-box CM to play that position, but I don’t think we’d have to reinvent anything if we put an actual number 10 in that spot.

  17. I’m not one to comment much on the these articles, but, “thebumswillalwayslose” is RIGHT. Why are we making the decisions/statements/critques on Klinsmann without a better option! For better or worse, he is our best “proven’ chance to compete in the world stage; not as an underdog, but, rather, a team that belongs in the World Cup. Benny has a right to voice his opinion; but, as a player, he cannot change a coach. Klinsmann is the best shot for US in Russia – point blank! Do you think there is another coach with Klinsmann’s credentials that would take this job, explore all options or have a realistic view that we are viable in 2018?

    • Ofcourse he’s the best shot this late in the game. If US Soccer were going to make a move it should have been after that GC fiasco. There is no one who would take the job this late in a cycle and thats understandable because you have to learn the ins and outs of a player pool and the set up of the federation you are managing within. That statement is not news to anyone, the gripe people have is this man was brought here to change a culture and 2 yrs away from the next WC the program is where it was several cycles ago, minus a few friendly victories on european soil but i personally don’t take too much out of that. Were they good wins, no doubt they were but how did that translate to competitions that mattered in the aftermath of those wins?

  18. Apologies for the wall of text, this is going to be a long one…..

    Benny actually made a very salient point in the interview, which unfortunately wasn’t included in the article above. Regarding Klinsmann, he said, “He would rather put young guys on the team that potentially could become somewhat important on the team and he leaves out players that could make the team better right now. That’s the number one job of a national team coach. Not to make the team as good as he can make it in five years, to make it as good as he can make it now and continuously improve it.”

    Sour grapes? Sure, maybe. But read that last sentence and you’ll see the fundamental point of contention here. Benny’s point is a valid one – the guys who could make the USMNT better right now simply aren’t getting called. Now, don’t get me wrong, we’re not suddenly going to be world beaters because we add the likes of Benny, Dax, Hedges and Lichaj. But we’d be a hell of a lot better, and a hell of a lot more consistent, then we are currently.

    And that’s where the contention comes in. Jurgen doesn’t really care about being better now – which directly impacts Benny and the guys he mentioned. Jurgen cares about being great – not just good – somewhere in the future, he’s convinced US Soccer that this is the way to do it, and US Soccer has gone all in on him. He’s pushing everything – absolutely everything – towards 2018 and preparing for the future at the expense of the present. He’s betting big that his choices now will make an impact in Russia, and US Soccer is affording him the leeway to do so – current results be damned. It’s why he puts so much emphasis on unproven youth. It’s why he puts so much emphasis on the Olympic team. It’s why he seems to place greater value on future potential than current ability. And it certainly provides a framework for understanding the staggering lack of accountability that he operates under. There aren’t many national team managers that would have survived the year Klinsmann just had, and specifically very, very few that would have lived down the piss-poor performance at the Gold Cup. But Klinsmann has emerged basically unscathed and unchanged because, “future!”

    I realize that probably reads like I’m decidedly anti-Klinsmann, and that’s not the case. I want to believe that he’s doing the right thing. I want to feel like we’re going to be in a better place in 2018 than we are right now, and that all this is for a purpose. And honestly, I’m not really sure we have a choice, since Sunil has made it abundantly clear that 2018 will be the litmus test for Jurgen. So our options are to trust that Klinsmann’s bets will pay off in the future, to have patience and to take it on faith that the guy is doing the best thing for the program. Or, just not support the team, which isn’t really an option for me. So, here’s hoping the Benny’s, the Dax’s, the Sacha’s and the rest are being sacrificed for a reason, and that we’ll be in a better place heading into Russia.

    • You’re post is spot on. This is the same formula for Germany in WC’06. He left behind older, established (re: entitled) veterans, for younger and hungrier players. He bet big on experimenting with tactics in meaningless friendlies, and was nearly fired a MONTH before the games because of it.

      What I disagree with you, is that he is betting big on one single WC. With his time in Germany, he wasn’t going all in on WC’06. He believed in his system and approach (when no one else in Germany would), but real success would still be difficult. What he was betting big on, were the changes he was implementing, guaranteeing long-term success and stability.

      A semifinal appearance in 2018 for the USMNT will be a tough task, despite him naming it a goal. But, just like Germany, I am far more interested in what will follow after, in 2022 and 2026, when his implementations have had a decade to get going.

      • Wholeheartedly agree with your last statement. 2022 and 2026 is when we’ll really see the fruits or not of Klinsmann’s labor. Since he was first hired, I was under the impression that this was about building the structure for the future of the program, not coming doing the same thing that has already been done. I’m sure he could take the approach of calling in certain players for getting results right now, and probably have one more games and pleased more people. However, the state of the program would be where it already was. I don’t call that progress. This was always a long term approach…

      • You are all delusional. Fruits of Jurgen’s labor? Show me one area of improvement under Jurgen. He has unprecedented control & resources and nothing has gotten better after 5 years (except maybe set pieces but is that why he was brought in?). the USMNT has had historically bad results and our youth teams, he is Tech Director after all, have had historically bad results. Jurgen has overseen failures that have NEVER occurred in the history of US Soccer. We don’t have to go backward now to be better in 10 years. That is just ridiculous. Jurgen has sold US soccer some snake oil that is all.

      • If you choose to see one really bad year negate the success of 2-3 years prior, that’s you’re choice.

        If you choose to ignore wins over countries we’ve never beat before, that’s fair, they are friendlies after all. But ask yourself, why couldn’t Arena or Bradley do the same?

        If you want to choose to look at the World Cup as a massive failure, without deluding yourself into thinking we actually stood a chance of getting out of that group without a lot of luck, go right ahead.

        If you want to think JK is somehow trying to undermine US Soccer, because he refuses to blow smoke up MLS’s a**, all while giving more MLS players a chance since 2006, keep smoking whatever it is that mlssoccer is giving you. Must be some good stuff. Just don’t let facts get in you’re way.

        If you want to believe that our best performance at the U-20 WC since Altidore and Bradley were on the squad in 2007 is somehow a failure of youth development, go ahead. I’ll just keep watching Miazga, CCV, and Zelalem use that tourney as a spring board (that is the biggest goal of these youth tourney after all).

        U-17 WC was a major let down, but I’d rather have gotten the results that we did instead turning to our typical man-child’s and track stars who run down the opposition, and then we’re left wondering why in 7-10 years they didn’t pan out. But if you want our youth teams to be like Nigeria, dominating at the youth level (and wondering where it goes wrong for the senior team) be my guest.

      • So the record winning percentage, record winning streak, incredible world cup performance, and the fact that we played better quality soccer from 2013-2014 not do it for you?

        Anyone who actually watched us during the Sampson, Arena, and Bradley years actually gets how much this team has grown (or perhaps ‘had’…we’ll see what happens this cycle). Sure, we had a really bad World Cup hangover, but last cycle was a massive success that saw the team improve drastically. We actually learned how to string together more than two passes in a row.

    • The fallacy is that playing young players at this level will somehow make them better in 5 years as opposed to what they are doing 96% of their time with their club.

      The National Team does not make players better.

      • Nobody is saying that playing for a national team will make a player better. But you have to be thinking 3 years down the line, not what a players current form is, and this is Feilhaber’s fallacy. He’s emphasizing current form/players selection over what the future can hold.

        Benny has been in fantastic form for the last 2 years, but this is literally the ONLY time he has ever shown this kind of consistency at this level. An argument can be made about his time in the Danish Superliga (which he played just well enough to make the WC’10 squad).

        There is NOTHING to suggest that Benny, a 31 year old midfielder, will be able to maintain this current level and form against international competition, 2.5 years from now.

      • Besides, if you’re going to compare Benny Feilhaber, a veteran player, to an emerging prospect like Green, lets compare their careers at the same point:

        Where was Benny at 20 years old? Hmmmm…Oh yeah, leaving amateur soccer at UCLA to play for “a local pub team”, Hamburg SV II, where he proceeded to score only 3 goals in 49 games over 2 years. Didn’t get his first senior cap until he was almost 22.

        Now Julian Green: Huh, looks like he began playing at that same level at 18; got his first senior cap at 18 too. At 20 Has so far scored 23 goals 42 games for Bayern II.

        Benny didn’t get his first USMNT senior cap until he was 22, and scored his first goal in a friendly against mighty China. Green, first cap at 18, and his first goal just before his 19th birthday (do I need to say against who and in what competition?)

        Compared to Benny, I think Julian Green is doing just fine. But yeah, lets write off a players because he hasn’t managed to break into one of the top 3 squads WORLDWIDE.

      • Did Benny start any Champions League games or score in a World Cup? And Julian Green didn’t get called up either so not sure of your point.

    • I agree with you regarding the notion that Klinsmann’s approach is about 2018 and beyond. The notion of his “sacrificing” certain players now, I’m not completely on board with it. I honestly believe Benny sealed his fate with an earlier incident a couple or so years back.. There were some comments he made concerning Klinsmann and when you’re the coach, there are some things you just don’t put up with and he has to check you. Jozy pulled the same nonsense, but he apologized and made it right. A little similar story with FabJo recently. I don’t know if Benny has tried to reach out or anything like that, but after this, he is likely done with the national team if he wasn’t before…

    • Benny is totally wrohng on the goal of a national team coach. Bruce Arena said this about 6 months ago. A national team coach has only 2 goals and only two things he should be judged on. #1 is qualifying for the World Cup. #2 is how well his team does in the World Cup. So, Klinsmann’s job is to get the best team possible for the World Cup, not the best team now. If Benny doesn’t understand this, maybe he is too dumb to be on the team. The national team exists only for the World Cup. Period. Nothing else matters.

      • So what do you call all of that time in between getting them ready for a WC??? In a GC year like this year was with a berth on the line to go to the Confed Cup, is that not needing to win now? Or, how about after the debacle that was the 4th place finish in this years GC and the subsequent embarrassment that was the Concacaf Cup result against our heated rivals where we had another opportunity to reach the Confed Cup and he calls in the same squad and what do you know, we got the same results. Was that not needing to win now? If he hadnt come out and put a precedent on winning both as some sort of defining moment for the program, along with his hypocrital double talk then i dont fans would be as upset but to say one thing to the media and do something entirely different on top of miserable results with the same players from the previous WC leaves alot to be desired and should be criticized by people who care about the state of US Soccer. C’mon man think before you post and stop making excuses for this manager who has managed to set the program back as harsh as that sounds.

      • I agree with Ronn, a very silly comment by you Gary. You are building towards the World Cup and every day, every game and every tournament in between matters. Anyways, Benny would have/should have been part of the 2014 World Cup/ 2015 Gold Cup/ Concacaf Cup if Klinsmann had not excluded him and can still be a part of either the Copa America or Olympics as overage player or World Cup or all of the above.

        What was the point of your comment Gary, just to nitpick at Benny’s choice of words??

      • UCLA Bruin Great (wait a minute are you really Benny Feilhaber)

        Come on, Benny had 3 goals and 4 assists in 2013 season and 4 goals and 6 assists in 2014 not exactly numbers that make it clear he should have been on the WC roster. He’s had one great season in his entire professional career. I’ve always liked Benny since I first saw him with U20s, but his career both professional and with the Nats is pretty average.

  19. If Feilhaber, Dax, and Hedges is the answer, I don’t want to know the question.

    These are fine players but to think they could have a big impact on the usmnt is folly. Feilhaber has played decent at times in a us shirt but never looked the part he does for his club on the international stage.

    I do like that Benny is voicing his opinion though.

      • Altidore, Jones, Bradley and Zardes are all better players then these omitted players, that’s not even worth debating.

      • According to who? There is a reason we have stats – it happens to show a players performance. Since they are all in the same league its a direct comparison (apples to apples) among each other.
        Assists – the ability to create goals
        Goals – the ability to score goals
        Check it out and get back with me

      • Assists: Feilhaber 15, Kljestan 14, McCarthy 8, Grella 7 (just added Grella just because)
        Goals (and they are all midfielders by the way): Feilhaber 10, Kljestan 8, Grella 9, McCarthy 1

        Assists: Bradley 5, Zardes 4, Jones 0 (no wonder I couldn’t find him)
        Goals: Bradley 6, Zardes 6, Jones 0

        The Stats are not even close

      • “Altidore, Jones, Bradley and Zardes are all better players then these omitted players, that’s not even worth debating.”

      • So why isn’t it worth debating? Why is an offensive-minded player like Feilhaber who can score/assist with control and vision not worth debating being placed into the picture? I thought club form is what JK is looking for.

      • @Art…Benny has had his chances with the USMNT, he did not reflect the type of player you are describing.

      • @_Atx So then his stats are no good then? Wasn’t Jozy left off the team to make him play better? Why can’t Benny be called back in if he is absolutely playing better. Again, JK stresses club form. Isn’t that the logic he is always spouting again and again? So again, why can’t it be open to debate?

      • @Johnnyrazor
        If you can go two seasons in the EPL and can’t score more than 3 goals
        If you START in 20 games for the USMNT (2014/2015) and score only 4goals
        If you are the guaranteed starting striker for the USMNT, make almost $6 mil a year but you can’t out score Chris Wondolowski and 8 other players in making less than you the same league
        When Ethan Finlay scored almost as much goals as you but has 13 assists with it (and only just got called up)
        If a Forward / Midfielder on your team can score 22 goals and have 16 assist (what was he and Bradley doing?!!).
        Then yes, for the USMNT you can’t score goals

      • Bizzy you are so about the numbers, but yet you ignore any numbers Jozy puts up. You and I have been over this so many times.

        MLS scoring has no relevance to Nat success and neither does MLS assists. Look at my list of Top 10 American scorers and assist men in MLS, I posted last week. The only ones that were successful for the Nats are Landon, McBride, and Cobi.

        Jozy averaged a goal every other game for Toronto, the only American that finished above him was Wondo who played 6 more games virtually equal goals per game played and Jozy had a better Goals per 90 mins. He scored 10 goals in 23 games in 2014/2015 not 4, the only person to score more or for a better average was Dempsey.

        And 31 national team goals (4th best) with the 3rd best goals per game average makes it pretty clear he can score and score often.

      • Johnnyrazor,
        Thats where you are wrong….club success is a direct reflection of a player’s capabilities. Just because the US sent a chimp into space doesn’t mean a man couldn’t have done better. Just because Altidore starts each and every game doesn’t mean another player wouldn’t do better. No other top country picks players because of past glory…none. if you are not on top of your game and have the stats taken from club games you don’t play. Altidore’s stats are base on STARTS….take Wondolowski and his stats are COMING OFF THE BENCH. Altidore’s average goals, Altidore’s average goals is the argument you and other people try to make. In the past 2 years he has only scored in 6 games, SIX GAMES!!!!! 14 game drought in 20 games is a horrible scoring average …. He is not the answer for the USMNT

    • Excuse me but what has Zardes done to merit being considered better than BF?? Are you looking at potential to be better, which is also hard to gauge since they play different positions, but if we’re talking about impacting a game BF is better than Zardes then and now. Bradley hasnt taken over any games that i can remember, shat himself at the last WC and has only scored a goal against Slovenia, of all teams, that would be considered a great moment in a game that matters. Then there is Jozy, last WC couldnt play in it because he pulled a hammy, 2010 WC did nothing of note and the only goal that was memorable to me was the one against Spain, in 2007 i believe so again what criteria makes them better and how about using facts to back it up instead of repeating a generalized and inept statement!

      • Ronniet

        Zardes 3 goals in 19 caps, Benny 2 in 41, Sacha 4 in 46, Dax 0 in 5 (0 in 16 if you count U23 and U20, but he is more defensive minded so not really fair).

        Bradley 15 goals in 109 caps that’s once every 7 games, far better than Benny, Sacha, Dax. 5 in WC qualifying, 3 gc, 1 WC, 1 Confed Cup so big games in there too.

        Altidore see my at length factual line on Jozy in my response to Bizzy. 4th leading scorer all-time, 3rd best goal per game average, has scored 18 goals in 37 caps over the last 3 years. He scores and by American standards he scores a lot. Sorry to disappoint the haters, but the goal scorers job is to score goals and Jozy does it more often than anyone not named Landon or Clint.

  20. Benny couldn’t have spoke truer words and like most have already stated in this comments section, it has nothing to do with on-field production, so what’s the criteria?? I’d love to hear the JK apologist answer that question because those of us who don’t see any direction and missed opportunities within this team are lost on what Klinsmann is doing. I’m guessing they’ll say with regards to Benny that BF is just mad, or that he had his shot, or that Ok is going younger or more famously that he’s a locker room cancer(lmao)! I’ll wait for the comments to come pouring in.

    • JK has more experience in the game of soccer than any poster here, both as a player and a manager. None of the MLS scouts or coaches had decided to give Morris or Ibarra a chance at a professional contract, and after Klinsmann finds them, they get offers from Bundesliga and Liga MX teams. I remember when everyone went crazy about Klinsmann playing Beckerman so much, and he was a beast at the World Cup. People said Jones was washed up, and he was our best player that tournament. Green supposedly was nowhere near ready but he scored a goal on his first touch. Yedlin was supposedly too inexperienced and was a big asset in the attack. Who are these players that are better than Benny that are getting call-ups? No one without upside. The exception would be Brad Evans, but the difference is Brad is an outstanding professional who always works his tail off. Benny has had attitude issues his entire career, which is maybe part of why he could never hack it in Europe.

      I know this may sound hard to believe, but Klinsmann actually wants to win. He’ll pick the players that he feels are best for the team in the long run. Fitness and attitude are the two most important criteria, and Benny is too old to lack either and get call-ups.

  21. You can call in the “best players” and have a group that doesn’t fit the roles in the system or bring harmony to the group. As much as I like Benny he is flat out wrong on this. He is simply not the best option in JK’s system. You can argue it’s not the best system, but he really doesn’t have a place in it.

      • I don’t think anyone can actually answer this question. We keep getting excuses that he doesn’t have the players for his system so he needs to keep experimenting. Bradley has been mostly playing the position Benny would play and even though Ives keeps praising how much effort he puts, the reality is that he doesn’t have the stats. How many assists does Bradley have from open play? How many chances does he create?

    • haha he can play any of the 3 midfield slots and is grossly more talented than any of the current players. PV plays a similar system (but PV understands you actually need outside backs to provide wide on attack)

      • I think he is confused b/c BF is not a defensive mid. God knows we need four DMs on the field to play JK’s more attractive, offensive-minded football. Which we hope to see in a few years.

    • JK’s team has been desperate for a creative playmaker. Feilhaber is a creative playmaker. I call BS on anyone that says he doesn’t fit into the system…a system has to be designed around someone like him.

      • And there you have it JK doesn’t want to build a team around Benny so there’s no place for him. Of course everyone on these boards knows more than Klinsmann so I suppose Gulati should just go ahead and fire him. This stuff never gets old. ?

  22. Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player Finalists: Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City), Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC), Kei Kamara (Columbus Crew SC)

    Defender of the Year Finalists: Laurent Ciman (Montreal Impact), Matt Hedges (FC Dallas), Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)

    Newcomer of the Year Finalists*: Didier Drogba (Montreal Impact), Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC), Mike Grella (New York Red Bulls)

    MLS All-Stars
    (1st Half, 4-4-2 left to right): Nick Rimando – DaMarcus Beasley, Matt Besler, Omar Gonzalez, Tony Beltran — Gyasi Zardes, Dax McCarty, Kaka, Graham Zusi — David Villa, Clint Dempsey
    (2nd Half, 4-4-2 left to right): David Ousted – Waylon Francis, Laurent Ciman, Chad Marshall, Drew Moor – Benny Feilhaber, Sam Cronin (77’ Jozy Altidore), Juninho, Ethan Finlay – Kei Kamara, Fabian Castillo

    ***Giovinco (Italy), Drogba (Ivory Coast), Kaka (Brazil), Ciman (Belgium), Castillo (Colombia), Kamara (Sierra Leone), Francis (Costa Rica) and Waston (Costa Rica) have all been called into camp in the past 12 months for their countries ….Hmmm, I wonder why

    • That’s a good point. Even countries that are ahead of us are happy to call in MLS all-star caliber players. I’m biased as a RBNY supporter but I think Dax should be called in. No, he’s not a world-class player and I know he’s 28. But a 28 year old player can contribute over the next two and a half years. In fact, he’s likely to be playing at a higher level than Jermaine Jones between now and Russia (and I know JJ was our best player in Brazil but he’s nearing the end).

    • Tell me about it, he should sound delighted that he’s getting passed over for players that aren’t performing half as well as he is. Pull your head out man!

      • I’m just saying why call someone that is 30 plus who hasn’t been in the usmnt setup for the past few years into camp. It would be a waste of a spot for a younger player. The older ones who are there have been around and know how it works and can help the younger ones, why do people still have issues with the selections. No matter who gets called in somebody would be left out to complain

      • “I’m just saying why call someone that is 30 plus who hasn’t been in the usmnt setup for the past few years into camp?”

        I don’t know, let’s ask Wondo that question.

    • see the problem with your comment is you make it a point to say that because he’s 30 he shouldnt be given an opportunity in camp but there are several players over 30 there that are taken the spot of someone else that should be seen. BF(as was Dax) was in a january camp in the lead up to the last Wc so it’s not like he’s not used to this regimes set up and he is a WC veteran if im not mistaken so its safe to assume he’s seen it all. Why is Brad Davis in camp? JJ, who doesnt even have a team? Shouldnt he be sorting out his club situation and not with the Nats?! I get that veteran presence in these types of camps can be beneficial as far as showing the younger players the ropes but you would think a WC veteran would be considered a good player to learn from. It still boggles my mind that Lichaj hasnt been given a true opportunity but Evans is somehow the answer at ae 32. Lastly, if Lee Nygen is in this camp at age 29, 30 then this idea that Benny(31) is too old to be here is crap so we need to start calling a spade a spade and say that JK isnt calling up the best players of need rather the ones he likes.

      • OK Brad Davis isn’t in camp, I don’t know where he is. And need to get younger and the younger ones are not on a break

      • My point about 30 plus was it’s in the middle of the cycle, and I know jj won’t be there and Evans won’t be there but they have been in the system for awhile and probably will contribute this year with wc qualifiers and copa but why waste spots for someone who has no future with the team

  23. “I don’t think that Jurgen calls in the best players that are available to him,”….wow, wow, wow some of us on here are tired of saying the same thing. BEST IN FORM PLAYERS FOR THE SEASON should be CALLED IN CAMP like most countries do. Put in the time, effort and selfless contribution and get rewarded.

    “…failed to earn call-ups, including fellow 2015 MLS Best XI selections Dax McCarty and Matt Hedges.” How many times have some of us here been saying the same thing over and over. McCarthy and Hedges have been consistent in their positions and whether its MLS BEST XI or being called in for MLS ALL-Stars (again MLS current BEST) these two players and Benny are always in the mix….what gives?

    “That is my biggest problem with how Jurgen selects his players. It’s not based on on-field performance. I don’t know what it’s based on, but it’s not based on on-field performance.”…Thank you , Thank you, Thank you. You are not the only one that feels this way Benny, YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE!!!!

    Finally someone has spoken out publicly . I’m satisfied

    • Klinsmann has made it pretty clear in comments a couple of years ago that this is all about attitude as far as Feilhaber goes. His main complaints were that BF was not a team player (he called him a taker instead of a giver) and he wasn’t concerned enough about D or fitness. I know you will be shocked to learn this, but a lot of talented players don’t get picked for things because of bad attitudes. This happens in all sports. Now you can argue that Klinsmann is wrong in his judgment about Feilhaber’s attitude and I don’t know if this is true or not. However, I know that BF has worn out his welcome in the past. But I don’t think it is a mistake to not pick someone who is not a team player. I would personally prefer someone who gives 100% every minute and plays for the team than a more talented player who doesn’t do those things. Since I will be accused of being a fanboy of Jk, I have already said and will say again that I haven’t ever seen anything that shows McCarty has an attitude problem and he is his team’s captain as well as the league Best XI and is only 28. So I certainly don’t understand why he wasn’t called in. and think Klinsmann is making a mistake by ignoring him.

      • I think many of us concede that fitness, attitude, and defensive effort were issues for Benny well into his mid twenties.

        The last couple years though, he seems to have grown out of his former view on life and the game, and seems much more committed. He’s been consistent quality in the recent past, and has publicly attributed that to his change in outlook and dedication to fitness.

        I would also say his skill set is something the USMNT have desperately needed, so I don’t understand the people that say he doesn’t fit JK’s system. It seems like our formations would be more effective with a creative passing, offensive minded, pure number 10, playing that CAM role. Bradley and Dempsey have been effective there for us, but that really isn’t their bag, nor Diskerud’s, nor Bedoya’s, nor Corona’s. . .

        Benny has three appearances since JK took over, never more than one a year. It doesn’t seem like he’s gotten a fair shake, and that’s upsetting because our team’s most consistent flaw has been our lack of ideas in the final third.

      • link please….if attitude, being relentless and all those other superlatives you used are criteria then why must Jozy constantly get called in?? I know he got reprimanded that one time and wasn’t called in but since he’s been back it’s been worse on the pitch and while he has been on the bench!

      • Gary, lets assume that you are right about Benny and that he is not a team player and thats why Klinsmann doesnt call him in. You know who else aren’t team players?

        Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Cristiano Ronaldo, Arjen Robben, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.. I can go on and on.

        Now I know someone will use the predictable line of “oh my god, you are comparing Benny to those players?! They don’t belong in the same sentence, blah blah”. Of course Benny is not as good as those players, but within the U.S. player pool he is better than most. Bottom line is as a manager you have to call in the best/ most talented players, and if he is “difficult” than you deal with it as a manager and make it work. That’s what a good manager is supposed to be able to do. Unfortunately Klinsmann is not a good manager.

        You don’t see other managers leaving off those players I mentioned because they are difficult or because they aren’t team players.

  24. BF is right. But every coach at that level picks players also based on personality and how they add to team chemistry. Guess JK doesn’t like him. And although I like him he has t exactly lit it up for the Nats other than that one rocket goal 7 or so years ago.

  25. Every coach picks players he likes based on tans and personality. Guess JK just doesn’t like BF’s personality because certainly has the talent. But when he has played for the USMNT he hasn’t exactly lit it up.

      • You are correct. @Anthony is wrong. When Feilhaber came into the World Cup games (almost always at halftime and with Maurice Edu), the U.S. was better with possession and more dangerous in the attack, hence the second-half comeback vs. Slovenia, and improved play vs. Algeria and Ghana.

        That was six years ago, almost, but not the only times Feilhaber has lit it up. Aside from his golazo vs. Mexico, he also dribbled by Spain to help set up the insurance goal in the Confed Cup upset and was a creative spark in several other games under Bob Bradley.

  26. I’ve never been a proponent of “American-ness” litmus test, but it’s been pretty obvious that there have been better players consistently left off every roster. He jumped the shark when he left Donovan off. Now ots as if he’s trying to get fired.

  27. Ives, run a poll on this. I suspect the vast majority would agree with Feilhaber. I have been a reasonably high level player, a professional ref and a youth coach. I am very forgiving of coaches and their obligations when it comes to selecting players. But, Klinsmann has repeatedly shown that he operates according to a logic stream that does not match the real world of the USMNT and which players are the best possible choices for it. Just ask us to vote on the basic question, “Does Jurgen Klinsmann select the best possible players for the USMNT?”

    • Name one player that gets call ups that no one wants involved. And don’t say Wondo, because a lot of people love him. He’s one of the best MLS forwards of all time.

      Which players aren’t getting called up that should? Feilhaber, McCarty, Kljestan, Lichaj…none of these guys are international caliber players. Most USNT fans don’t want to see any of them suit up for us, even if a few fans make a huge deal about it because they use those guys for the USNT when they play FIFA.

  28. I’m so glad a current player has come out and said what we have been speculating for some time. Even they don’t understand the criteria Klinsmann uses to select rosters. Many will defend Klinsmann and say this is just sour grapes, but his case isn’t unique. Do I think calling in players like Dax is going to turn us into WC contenders? No, but they can help the team and serve a defined purpose.

    • Id like to give my two cents on JK. Ive soured on him. Mix Diskerud and no Fielhaber??? Really? A never ending rotation of camp call ups and formations???? Im ready for some consistency and continuity. Sure we have to intergrate young talent into the squad. But can we DEFINE the selection process and stay with it? I think the USNT needs to begin finding a replacement. Our world ranking has suffered and we arent winning anything any more.

    • With his past attitude/locker room issues, unwillingness to play defense, inconsistency all coupled with his age… there is an argument to be made in leaving Benny out in the cold. But…………… when one begins to compare/consider JK’s choices at other positions as well as who he calls in in stead of Felhaber, JK completely loses the plot. With all of the gaps in the lineup what it has severely lacked, and Benny’s consistent quality over the last year- at some point in the last 6 mos, giving Benny at least a peek seemed a low risk/no brainer.

      • So i guess players can’t evolve as they get older right, because going under that premise you run the risk of alienating players for things they struggled with earlier in their careers. Players do evolve, and not at the same rate so i think it’s ignorant, petty and antiquated coaching to shelve a player for not being polished on all levels in the earlier stages of his/her career. JK is going to make excuses for why he calls in certain players and not others like the american people are stupid. I’d almost have more respect for him if he just came out and said that certain players weren’t his type of player and they wouldnt be called in instead of this bs about there being several midfielders ahead of arguably the best 2-way middie in our domestic league going on 2 years now

      • ronniet- I think I made it pretty clear I’d have called him in…. given Benny a chance at redemption. I am just pointing out that there ARE some legitimate reasons for a manager to doubt him. You say players change from earlier in their careers… true that. A damn frustrating shame is- he could have been one of the greats to suit up in stars and stripes, but BF spent more than early run his career… he wasted most of it- by his own admission- ignoring defense, not training enough, playing inconsistent and on top of it not being altogether loved by team mates. So…. if JK had developed younger options in his stead… I’d have still been skeptical, but more forgiving. With his choices though… it’s pretty damn hard not to dog Klinsman.

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