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Klinsmann says Feilhaber was not at ‘international level’ for USMNT


Benny Feilhaber has had his chance to criticize the decision-making of the U.S. Men’s National Team head coach, and Jurgen Klinsmann hasn’t shied away from a response.

Speaking to Goal USA, Klinsmann said the simple reason Feilhaber has not been called into the USMNT more often is because he has not performed up to par.

Feilhaber had previously expressed the problem he has with the U.S. head coach, saying: “I don’t think that Jurgen calls in the best players that are available to him. 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.”

“We had Benny several times with us and he never had an impact in the moments he had the opportunity with the national team under my guidance,” Klinsmann said in response on Wednesday. “I cannot speak for (former U.S. head coach Bob Bradley). Bob had his own experiences with him. Whenever he came in with us he never made an impression that made us say, ‘This is international level.’ It’s as simple as that.”

Time and time again, Feilhaber was able to split open defenses en route to leading Sporting Kansas City to a MLS playoff position in the Western Conference during 2015. Contributing to more than half of the club’s goals in 2015, the 31-year-old playmaker scored 10 times and provided 15 assists.

“Everything plays a role in a decision,” Klinsmann said. “We explain to the players that there are so many pieces to it. Obviously the soccer piece is the biggest one, no doubt about it. You talk about the specific talent that he has. The strengths and weaknesses, the technical, tactical and physical aspects of the game.

“But then there’s a big other picture,” Klinsmann added. “The other picture is the personality. The interaction with other players. The chemistry. The giver-taker discussion we’ve had in the past. All these things will get analyzed by us and you as a coach, no matter if it’s with a national team or club team, you want to develop the highest quality soccer team, as well as the highest energy-driven environment possible in order to go through a long year with your team to keep them going.

“All that plays a role when we evaluate the player, it absolutely plays a role. What role does this player play with his teammates? With his body language, with his expressions, with his reactions in training games, to give a little bit of background.”

What do you think of Klinsmann’s response? Think he’s right to not call-up Feilhaber?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. There is no place for someone like Feilhaber on Klinsmann’s team. JK’s tactics won’t allow it. You don’t need players like Benny when all you do is park the bus and hope for a lucky bounce in front of the opponent’s goal.

  2. Feilhaber’s comments show that he can’t keep his mouth shut. His comments will be overlooked by the club team. But it won’t fly on the international level. A national team does not have players with pre-formed alliances as happens in club teams. A good example might be basketball rather than soccer. Do you see players complaining very often to either coach or referee? No, and that is because the coach knows a little better what’s good for the team. Also Feilhaber has played for HSV in Germany and he didn’t make much of an impact there. Benny has a reputation outside of the US and Klinsmann is aware of that. Whatever that is, it is not positive.

  3. I’m not a huge fan of Klinsmann but I kind of feel for him here. One week everyone is saying there’s not enough constancy in the team. He’s calling in too many different plays, and they can’t build chemistry. Then the next week everyone complains, player X Y and Z aren’t getting a look after having a good month. Then it’s the team is too old, he needs to build for the future. Then there’s no veteran leadership. If the results were better people would find less fault but still JK just can’t win with some people.

    • Well, we are rarely one voice, us fans. Some want more consistency, some want more experimentation, and most want both things but in different ways.

      The voices get louder the more the team struggles because nobody wants to see us not qualify for the olympics twice in a row, or miss the next WC.

  4. i am so sick of this conversation. should Benny be called up based on play? yes. is it the end of the world he isn’t? no. people are acting like he is Messi and that he would have changed the course of the team. it’s doubtful he would have even started. and this idea that Dax and Kljestan are savors is also silly. so Benny wants him, Dax, and Kljestan to ALL get called in? as if we don’t already have a TON of similar midfielders?

    Benny has always had an attitude problem. something both Bob and Vermes have said…and now JK. three different coaches saying he can be an issue in the locker room. while JK may be wrong regarding Benny’s 2nd half of the season, and a few other points, the mob mentality on this topic is so frustrating. why are we talking about this on every website, social media type, radio, etc.? every coach has certain players they do not call up. PERIOD. this is not a JK thing. this is not an anti-MLS thing. it’s the reality.

    get a grip, people.

      • there has been a TON to talk about. my point is, this story is done and dusted. it serves no purpose but to get people bickering. stick with the MLS media day interviews, draft stuff, transfer news, USMNT camp news, etc. which is not to say that stuff isn’t being discussed, i just am annoyed at how much this topic gets talked about every single time it comes up.

      • I agree, I would say just wait until Landon does his next interview and they ask him about Benny’s comments and it will start all over again. I thought Arena’s call for an end to the salary cap was more interesting, US Soccer could have helped by releasing more video and highlights from camp, yesterday was the first day I saw much of anything on that.

      • @Johnny- I agree, I feel like this has been one of the most closed January Camps in recent years. A few photos yesterday but that’s about it.

  5. Klinsmann why dont you learn a little bit from Ernie Stewart:

    “Stewart noted that translating Moneyball, which focuses on qualitative evaluation to minimize bias, from baseball to soccer wasn’t difficult because “numbers are numbers.” The key, like it was for the A’s, was simply focusing on certain statistics to uncover overlooked players and bridge the financial divide.” (key words focusing on Statistics….numbers)

    “A lot of times when you look at a player, you already have a clouded vision of him,” Stewart says. “You like him or you don’t like him because, I don’t know, he’s athletic or he’s not athletic. And you have to try to look past that when it comes to the scouting process. What numbers do and what analytics do is they don’t look at who the person is – if he’s athletic, what kind of ethnicity he is. It’s just the numbers. These are the facts.” (key words clouded vision of players)

    Bias behavior is not warranted as a head coach

      • You are right you can’t be bias when it comes to a player but:
        If you score only 2 goals in 2 seasons as a striker in the EPL
        If you score only 8 goals STARTING in the last 20 games for the national team (and 2 of those goals were against St. Vincent…painters and security guards)
        If you score 13 goals for your MLS club and 3 of those are from penalties you didn’t create
        Yeah you suck as the prime striker for the USMNT (okay for a $200K player)….no analyzing can save you there.
        I agree, No bias is the key though if you HAVE the stats to back it up

      • 8 goals in 20 matches, equals the highest career rate of any US Soccer player in history. Landon Donovan the greatest scorer in US history only scored more than 12 goals in a season once in his entire MLS career. Know how many goals Landon scored in four seasons in EPL and Bundesliga? 2! I’m not about to call him Landon Don’tscoreovan because I’m not biased.

      • when you START 20 games and score in 6 (8 goals) and have a drought for 14 games you suck, especially when you are tallying with St. Vincent (2 goals) and Peru (2 goals)
        Clint Dempsey: 15 starts in 15 games 12 goals (Never goes more than 3 games without scoring)
        Bobby Wood: 3 starts in 13 games 4 goals (coming in as a sub!!!)
        Aron Johannsson: 4 starts in 11 games 2 goals
        The only FW (that we are considering old) that starts consecutively has 12 goals
        Stats taken in the past 3 years and Altidore is pathetic

      • Oh and LD scored 2 goals in 17 games in the EPL, hence he scored more goals on loan in 2010 than Altidore scored in 42 appearances

      • Bizzy let make this simple for you.

        Jozy scores every 2.5 games
        Bobby scores every 3.25 games
        AJ scores every 5.5 games

        Yes, Clint is better, duh who doesn’t know that, but he asked to stay home from this camp and rest.

        Jozy has scored 18 goals over the last three years not 12, just shy of a goal every two games. 10 of those goals came against teams that played in 2014 World Cup.

      • Hahahahahaha, Johnnyrazor
        Maybe Altidore scores every 2.5 games in YOUR world but in reality that is not the case…..not by a long shot. Simple division doesn’t show “goals every game”. You have to factor in minutes played, consecutive starts, goals between games etc

        After Mar 25, 2015 (the US vs Denmark) Altidore didn’t score in his next SIX games till the Peru game in Sep 2015

        In 20 games in a 2 year period he only score in 6 games

        After Oct 11, 2013 ( the US vs Jamaica game) Altidore didn’t score in his next SIX games till the Nigeria game in June 2014

        Altidore scores in every 2.5 games???????
        lol, In your dreams

      • Actually Bizzy that is how you define goals per game, you take the number of goals scored and divide by the number of games. And you are picking to start your math after Jozy has scored and then stop your math before he scores again to make it look like he never scores. Sorry figures don’t lie but liars can figure I guess.

        August 14 2013 3 goals against Bosnia, Oct 11 2013 Jamaica 1 goal, I’ll take your word he doesn’t score over the next six games that’s 4 goals in 8 games or 2 per game even better than the 2.5 over your 20 game span thanks for pointing that out.

        And we still count LDs 6 goals against Cuba in his career, David Villa counts his goals against San Marino, so your I refuse to count goals against StV&G doesn’t hold water either.

      • Games played divided by goals scored will put Altidore at 2.5 but will put Dempsey at 1.25 (and he is being phased out). You cant compare him with any other forward because no one has even a fraction of his starts. So with that being said he still stinks compared to our 32 year old dempsey

      • Oh and according to your calculations
        Jozy scores every 2.5 games
        Bobby scores every 3.25 games
        AJ scores every 5.5 games
        Julian Green scored 1 goal in 3 games played for the USMNT (3.0). ONLY 0.5 behind Altidore???? Does that mean he is better than Bobby Wood and Aron Johannsson?? hahahaha not in a million years

      • And last summer you were calling for Dempsey to be gone because he wasn’t scoring for Seattle and then he had a great Gold Cup. The whole point of this was you ragged on Klinsmann because he’s biased against Feilhaber and you are obviously biased against Altidore. I’m not a big fan of Omar Gonzalez, but I don’t set out to demonize and belittle any contribution he’s made to US Soccer at any turn.

        And no a 3 game sample is not statistically viable, which is why you should truly look at a whole career. Jozy 31 in 88, Landon 57 in 157, Clint 48 in 119. Jozy is one of the best strikers the US has ever had and still today is our 2nd best option. Are both of these shallow pools, maybe?

      • Stop reaching Johnnyrazor I never bad mouthed Dempsey…ever, because he is the best player we have.
        You can use a divisional scheme to work for Altidore and it can’t work for Green because of number of games played. Altidore has started more games than Bobby Wood and Aron Johannsson combined…that’s the ONLY reason he has more goals. If you play in 20 games and score in only 6 games in a 2 years period you kind of suck.
        Maybe I am a little bias, you are right but no other player gets the kind of pass for lack of doing his job like he is. When you have droughts for 5 – 6 games at a stretch you are not a top or versatile striker
        and like I said before just because America sent a chimp to space doesn’t mean a man couldn’t do better, just because Altidore starts ever game for the USMNT doesn’t mean another player couldn’t do better.
        Stop reaching Johnnyrazor……Deuce and LD are kings in my book (and Adu but that another topic)

    • Um Billy Beane has been advising Stewart at AZ Alkamaar for not even a year. There is literally no evidence so far that its even possible to play moneyball in soccer.

      Statistics heavily matter in sports like baseball and football, because of the shortness of actual plays. Constantly starting and stopping; constantly resetting. Those sports are a statisticians dream.

      Not so in soccer. Statistics in soccer are largely meaningless, when not put into their correct context.

      • Plus the fact that soccer is much more a team sport than baseball. For those who don’t know baseball, it is basically a series of individual battles between pitcher and hitter with the rest of the team figuring in only when the ball is hit. Team chemistry is not nearly as important. Even then, baseball has had a number of very talented and athletic players who underachieved because of bad attitudes. Richie Allen is one of the most outstanding examples of this.

  6. Before last season

    Freddy Adu 19 goals 21 assists in MLS in 95 starts (more games off the bench than Benny)
    Benny Feilhaber 12 goals and 19 assists in 98 starts

    Benny has had one good season in his entire professional career just one, the rest have been flashes of brilliance surrounded by the average much like one Fredua Koranteng Adu.

    • Thanks for the Adu revference and the research. I had thought about how Edu has looked good when playing for the USMNT, but that doesn’t mean squat if you don’t play defense or hustle.

      • Oops, I meant Adu and Adu, not Adu and Edu. My apologies to Maurice Edu who plays good defense and always seems to play hard.

    • A bronze medal from a world cup will disagree with you. Oh wait, I forgot Jogi Lowe…or someone else… Germany’s talent… basicly anyone not named not JK…you know the actual manager…should be credited with that. Silly me.

      • Given Germany’s world cup history over the past 30 years or so, third place is good but not an outlier or even particularly impressive – 82 and 86 they lost in the final, 90 they won it, 94 and 98 they went out in the quarters, 02 they lost in the final, 06 and 10 they lost in the semis and 14 they won it.

      • slow – that 3rd place finish was impressive. all numbers need context. that was a WC where Germany was not supposed to do ANYTHING…despite the fact it was in Germany. they were in a bad period. Euro 2004 they finished second in their group with 2 points and no one expected them to do anything in the WC. you can read just about anything, including comments from Lowe expressing a lot of the changes implemented after direction for JK directly contributed to Germany bouncing back in 2006 and starting a great run. even wants to talk about Kroos, who was a kid at that point, or Lahm, but then ignore comments directly from his right-hand man…Lowe. among many others.

        to be clear, i am not saying JK is the only reason that happened, but the result in 2006 was a very good result given the circumstances and a lot of credit in Germany goes to JK for what he did to turn that program around.

      • One thing about the Lowe vs. Klinsmann issue that people seem to ignore. Lowe wasn’t quite a nobody, but he certainly wasn’t all that well known, even in Germany and not considered in the top tier of coaches when Klinsmann hired him (see his bio in Wikipedia). It was Klinsmann who made Lowe, not the other way around. If Klinsmann hadn’t hired Lowe he would probably be coaching a lower tier team in the Bundesliga or a team in Austria, as he had done before. His resume was decent, but hardly stellar.

  7. If Feilhaber is so obviously of Nat quality why are none of the national pundits screaming for his inclusion, not Wynalda, not Lalas, not Holden, not McBride, not Friedel, not Moreno, not Stevie Nichol, not Twellman not a one of them.

  8. Benny’s comments are maybe indicative of his personality in the USMNT, and any coach including Klinsmann has the right to balance the players skill set with their ability to do the coach’s bidding. It sounds like Feilhaber may have improved due to Vermes disciplinary coaching, but in Klinsmann’s mind, that ship has sailed. I don’t think any coach likes to hear from a prospective team member that the team member disagrees with their team selection. Maybe JK thought Benny was, like LD, somewhat overvaluing his own overall importance to the USMNT, and that is coach JK’s job whether we like it or not.

  9. wow, the buffoonery of this man never ceases to amaze me….those comments sum up his failures as this programs manager. No need in reading to much into it this though because he said similar things about Landon before the last WC and he is the best player this country has produced so take that for what it’s worth. The crazy thing is he can’t possibly believe what he is saying, anyone who’s seen that man play knows he’s International level but then again he’s behind the likes of a Diskerud so……

  10. Nominated for league MVP
    Tied in the league for second in assists in MLS (missed first by one)
    Second highest goal scorer for his team
    Scored more goals than Bradley’s, Jones, Beckerman and Diskerud…COMBINED
    Assisted more goals than Bradley’s, Jones, Beckerman and Diskerud…COMBINED
    If he is not at an international level then what are you saying about most of the midfielders on your team?

    Yet “Klinsmann says Feilhaber was not at ‘international level’ for USMNT”??
    …yet Jordon Morris who isn’t even a pro, who torched your defense playing a closed door friendly with Stanford is?? And how about Brandon Vincent??


  11. So should we assume JK feels the same thing about Hedges and Lichaj and the others Benny named? Eh, I know we shouldn’t, this is appears to be a personal thing between those two. I hope Benny responds by citing incident he’s had with JK that he thinks held him to 3 USMNT appearances in the last 6 years.

    I wonder what JK does for team chemistry, because at this point, I think the pot should meet the kettle.

    • Lichaj has ;not shown well enough for me. Whenever I see him play, whether for “aston Villa or even in the Championship, I see him getting beaten on defense with some regularity. I saw hime a month or two ago I think it was Wolverhampton, and their forward or winger was consistently faking him out of his shoes. As for Hedges, well, with Brooks, Besler, Alvarado, Miazga, Omar, Cameron as possibilities, that might actually be the US’s strongest and deepest position going forward.

    • I’ve yet to hear any of the leaders on that team question the chemistry within the locker room or leadership of Klinsmann.

      Can you provide any that are rumor or aren’t from some kind of fringe player that is just salty from no longer being called in? I remember some whispers of discontentment that came from Herculez Gomez and Landon Donovan. I wonder why?

      If there was going to be any kind of dirty laundry that came out it would have happened during these flash points:

      A) Julian Green made the roster for the World Cup
      B) Landon Donovan doesn’t make the World Cup roster
      C) Fabian Johnson was sent home and called out in the media

      …B is perhaps my favorite to highlight. Of course, players may have been shocked a notable figure within the program like Donovan didn’t make the roster but you never heard a single complaint, distress or even a rumor of a player coming to his defense. Most likely because they saw Donovan within practice and they heard his routine complaints about having to practice every day.

      These are grown men. Don’t play the “they’re afraid to say anything” card because that’s lazy. Klinsmann knows that locker room better than any of us. That much is evident with facts and not conjecture.

      • My comment about lack of chemistry has nothing to do with rumors.

        In my amateur opinion, the team has appeared disjointed and lethargic. I put those aspects of our recent performances on JK.

      • Of course performances are put on JK. He gets the credit (although people struggle with this) and he gets the blame.

        I’m referring to your comment: “I wonder what JK does for team chemistry, because at this point, I think the pot should meet the kettle.”

        Any speculation on a lack of chemistry is nothing more than rumor. Therefore, any speculation that this conjured issue of chemistry is somehow impacting the performance is hard to understand unless you have something to provide that says otherwise. Opinions are one thing but unfounded accusations are lazy.

      • We haven’t looked very cohesive on the pitch, and I attribute that to a lack of chemistry. That is all. To perform your best as a team you need to work for each other, cohesively.

        Even though I obviously have grown to dislike JK, I still try to give him his credit and not see everything he says and does through my now jade colored glasses.

        For example, I agree with him that he shouldn’t call up a player if he believes that player would detract from the team’s chemistry.

        My point was that he shouldn’t say someone would hurt the chemistry of the team when there is hardly any chemistry to find.
        So if JK is calling players that will help the chemistry, and leaving the me-first players behind, why does this team seem to be disjointed and lacking identity?

        So okay, Benny would make the situation worse in JK’s estimation, that’s fair.

        But it raises a question: If JK’s bringing in guys he thinks are good for team chemistry, and our team chemistry in matches has looked poor for awhile now, is he making good judgements about what is really best for the team?

        Now I know JK gave two reasons why Benny get’s left behind. Personality/Chemistry is his second reason. His primary reason is that Benny is not international quality. He may have a point there too, but he only gave our best CAM in the pool 3 appearances since he took over, and that doesn’t seem like a fair shake to me. I mean Diskerud is still getting called up. So I think this is mostly a personality/chemistry issue, and really just a personality issue, and I want a manager that works through these issues rather than lets them determine what is best for the team.

        It surprises me how quickly FabJo was let out of JK’s doghouse considering that he faked an injury and quit on his team in a game against Mexico.

      • I’m not discounting a lack of chemistry can a detrimental aspect to a team, but there’s no evidence to support it is here. I’m still not sure why you or anyone is saying there’s “hardly any chemistry” to find because it’s pure speculation. Chemistry is most often revealed in the locker room and we don’t have access to that. All we can go off of is random statements made by players and there’s been nothing to support this speculation that chemistry is an issue.

        Fabian Johnson, I imagine, was let out of the doghouse because reports said he apologized to team mates for his actions. I wasn’t a fan of Klinsmann calling anyone out in the media, but the overall action and his words appeared to have merit and the locker room seems to have agreed.

        I’m also one that has questioned his tactics and questioned the performance of certain players but the fact that he hasn’t lost the locker room despite making “controversial” decisions (deemed as such by only the media and fans) displays synergy and understanding in that locker room.

        That’s one sign of “chemistry”.

      • Lol…Do you make stuff up as you write Old School?

        “Donovan didn’t make the roster but you never heard a single complaint, distress or even a rumor of a player coming to his defense”.

        The day after the World Cup snub announcement, Tim Howard was interviewed and stated ,”If Landon is on the field he is one of our top one or two players.”

        Sounds like a team leader coming to the defense of the decision to cut LD from the WC roster, no?

        “Most likely because they saw Donovan within practice and they heard his routine complaints about having to practice every day.”

        Who ? Cite a quote from any former teammate. You are using the term “most likely” as a statement of fact regardless that there has never been any quote from any former USMNT or club teammate questioning Donovan’s work ethic?

  12. Pretty much a gift to those who follow the USMNT..

    Didnt have to make the comment but chode to..

    For a professional considered many to be ‘veteran’ on this country’s landscape Feilhaber’s comments suggest two things about his overall makeup:

    He’s a kid.. And a follower..

    Most folks who comment on soccer boards have no true insight into to actual tone of the USMNT from a coach or player’s perspective..

    There seems to be a bunch of projection.. Ignorance.. Hipster-thought.. and ‘look at me’ musings from internet junkies..

    Frilhaber had his run..

    As did Edu.. Clark.. And a host of others..

    As has been the case.. When a player at the professional level go to the media with a ‘ Give me the damn ball’ position.. The backlash reaches high levels of frequency..

    While Feilhaber’s play in Vermes’ helter-skelter rugby-thought system may seem a boon to some..

    His 40 caps ( mostly with a USMNT program in decidedly different place in terms of approach.. scouting.. expectation and talent ) have told the managers at the national level all they need to know about this guy..

    Great Gold Cup strike years ago..

    Great service in just making himself available to the National team over 40 times..

    Hopefully his MLS career will him end his career on a very positive note.

    • “While Feilhaber’s play in Vermes’ helter-skelter rugby-thought system may seem a boon to some.”

      in what measurable why is JKs system less of whatever you called PVs?

      • The only measurable needed in this case would be Visual Acuity..

        Punch a guy then kick it towards goal seems to keep coming up..

      • Did you watch the gold cup? It was like SKC being outplayed by a USL team

        What USMNT game have you watched in the last 2 years that they looked liked a proper soccer/football team? (granted they looked good after 8 subs in the German and Dutch friendlies, but you get the point)

      • In terms of overall contribution and integration into the team

        Matt Besler is a better player at the national level than Benny Feilhaber..

        Pretty clear

        Peter Vermes has done well in the domestic league..

        Unfortunately.. You simply have to look at the recent Open Cup final to get a glimpse of what he wants his guys to do on the field..

        At one point in the game… During the run of play when SKC had to threaten the opposition on a quick counter..An SKC player purposely kicked the ball fifty feet in the air..

        The ball subsequently landed at the feet of noone..

        With noone actually targeted for the apparent pass..

        With this “keep-away?”

        At the professional level?


        Feilhaber had his run..

      • You mean where they lifted the trophy on the road without their highest paid player?

        Please, contine to praise being outplayed by every team but half rostered Cuba. Vermes doesnt run a pretty system, but its a dime compared to what has resulted with Jurgen at the helm.

    • 9 appearances in the Bundesliga when he was only 21 is pretty good by US player standards. And at Derby he was rated by the coach that signed him but not by the new coach that got them relegated. And again, he was still in his early 20s.

      • I remember that BF was not a difference maker in the 10 or 15 mins whenever he got on the field for Derby County. Not that good to play at international level. Last memory i have of him was that beautiful volley he scored for US but since then what have you done to warrant more call ups?

  13. There’s nothing remarkable about this in a vacuum. The coach simply doesn’t rate a particular player. Not sure I agree in this instance but I don’t think it’s clear cut either way. But JK hasn’t earned the benefit of the doubt with this selections over the past four years. That’s why people are quick to question his judgment in this instance.

  14. This just confirms my suspicion about Fielhaber. What JK is saying is that the player’s attitude and professionalism is not what it needs to be to play for the USMNT. He may have some technical qualities better than the other options, but obviously not enough to make up for the negatives that come with it. And this has been a trend for the player’s career and has been stated or implied by multiple managers. It’s enough for me, case closed.

    p.s. If Fielhaber has truly improved on these negative qualities over the last couple of years, then good for him. And KC has/will reap the benefits. If the coaches for the US think its too little too late, then again, that’s enough for me.

    • You are ignoring the fact that Klinsmann hasn’t called up Benny in the last two years. Isn’t it possible that people change? His attitude has turned around at SKC and he’s a much more complete player, and a harder worker on the field.

      • Yeah the last time he called him was the January camp before the 2014 world cup. After that, he was trying to transition to the next generation, but they haven’t taken over yet.

  15. well now. JK is bad mouthing a guy that criticized him. That’s not really cool. He should be above that. He should answer his critics on the field, with positive results and not by calling them into question personally. the fact is the USMNT program has not been looking great lately and Benny was simply voicing what a lot of people have been thinking. get results, juergen!

    • The guy took shots at Klinsmann, and Klinsmann responded the same way any coach would. In fact, I’d say he exercised some restraint. Benny Feilhaber was practically begging for Klinsmann to explain why Benny isn’t getting called up. Klinsmann did just that and nothing more.

      • I’m no JK fan but I have zero problem with his comments here. In fact, I prefer that he explain his reasoning rather than say nothing.

      • gimme a break. he doesn’t have to justify his non-selection of Benny if his results on the field are up to par. and as a public figure you have to just let criticism roll of your back. this makes JK look very petty.

      • shouldnt his reasoning be he is old and he is working for the future of the team instead of saying something that simply isnt true when you call in a bunch of guys who arent good on the ball or have the ability to maintain possession, pick out passes, etc.?

  16. Klinsmann’s comments pretty much echo what we’ve known about Benny since his Goalazo in the Gold Cup versus Mexico. He’s had plenty of opportunities to establish himself and he simply has not. He’s had a great season but this January camp isn’t about selecting the best team, it’s about getting the U-23’s ready and evaluating some new faces.

  17. HAHAHA fire this idiot already, he has no clue what he is doing outside of evaluation of forwards.

    Mixx > Benny in his mind should be grounds for banning from the game

    • Mix has looked pretty good everytime he has been given a run out with the national team. He had a poor mls year I agree with but that is probably do to the not being use to the travel

  18. Yeah, not buying it from Klinsmann. I’d give a lot more weight to what he’s saying, if he had only made good on the “attacking, possession-oriented” soccer that he promised back in 2011 when he took over.
    Klinsmann’s pointing out that JJ & MB are ahead of Benny in the midfield makes little sense. JJ brings very little to possession, and MB can’t do it by himself.
    If it’s true that Klinsmann wants to develop the squad beyond a defend-‘n-counter side, then the Feilhabers, the Kljestans, the Nguyens are exactly the players he should be calling into camp, and rolling out in game-day formations.

    • jj can’t even play over Nuygen in midfield for the Revs but somehow can on the International level? One of the reason we have trouble getting shots against better teams is the lack of adequate midfield. Neither Bradley or JJ should be AMs. Give me Lee or even Benny and we might actually do something

      I dont believe a word out of JKs mouth. Its all Benny’s attitude and if JK likes him and less than skill. JK sets players up to fail while others get countless chances and FAIL TO IMPRESS

    • Kljestian IS NOT THAT GOOD!!!!!! GET OFF HIS JOCK! He sucked for Bradley and sucked for Klinsmann. If you want to argue for Benny and Lee, fine, but leave Sacha out. He is mediocre at best. I have heard the attitude issue about Benny before including the taker conversation, but I would still like him on my team. I like arrogant players – but it takes a very strong personality to control them.

      • Word! I’m a Red Bulls supporter, and both Sacha and Dax are mediocre MLS players. They don’t merit a chance to play for US.

    • adding Benny does not mean that promise will be made. there is SO much more to it then that. when JK said that in 2011, anyone who believed it was naive. if you follow the US team, it is no surprise we aren’t there yet. even against teams like Honduras. they play that style from the 2nd they pick up a ball…so even if we are more talented individually and as a team, our players just aren’t comfortable with that style yet.

      • But selecting creative, attack-minded mids would be a start, wouldn’t it? It’d go a long way to producing something more elevated than bunker-ball. Obviously there’s “SO much more to do” as you say, but ain’t that exactly why Klinsmann’s making 7 figures? Goff of Washington Post just notified that Klinsmann’s salary last year was $3.2 million.

        Seems to me like an “international” gaffer’s wage, and yet, Klinsmann’s performance has been far from satisfactory.

        Lesson here should be: don’t make promises you can’t keep, Klinsmann!

      • Onside – one person is NOT going to do that! this idea, assumption, that Benny will magically make everything possession based because he can do it in MLS is ridiculous. he was NOT going to start over a midfield combo of Bradley/Jones or Bradley/Beckerman or Bradley/Cameron. this logic worked up and until the GC. at the GC, it imploded and that is no good. which is why you see a guy like Nagbe now (and because he is finally eligible). you are making it out to be black and white when it is NEVER that simple.

        And yes, JK’s salary is high…but that’s because Bob’s was embarrassing low! in 2012 (record for most points in a year), 2013 (win GC w/ B team, tie record for points in a Hex), and 2014 (through the WC), JK earned his money. the end of 2014 and a lot of 2015, he did not. further, Goff’s article showed his FISCAL year salary, which is 4/1/2014-3/31/2015. we had a strong 2014 and got out of one of the toughest groups, so it’s not like he got paid $3.2M after losing the GC.

        the truth is, people have short-term memories. after the GC embarrassment followed up by losing the CONCACAF Cup, this idea he has been “far from satisfactory” for the entirety of his USMNT stint is wrong. all the experimenting at the end of 2014 and start of 2015, along with a disjointed team at the GC, is what is far from satisfactory.

        and yes, he should have never said he can turn this team into a possession oriented team. it was NEVER going to happen and he set himself up. but it’s clear JK is not very good with PR-type things.

  19. Imagine the day after JK is let go. What will the players say?

    I believe it will be a little bit more interesting than what was said after Bruce or Bob’s departure.

    • That would say more about the character of players then it would about the manager.

      Benny has looked incredibly petulant in this situation and has blamed everyone but himself. Perhaps that alone highlights why he’s not welcomed into the locker room.

    • i bet you won’t hear much of anything. it’s media perpetuating crazy conspiracies, with maybe a few players like Benny adding on. but Jason Davis (love his show), Matt Doyle (love his MLS stuff), and Conrad (love KickTV) are making this into a much bigger thing. not to say they are the only ones, but examples of. these guys will bash JK any chance they get…contradicting themselves repeatedly (sound familiar?!).

  20. And Julian Green was?
    If it’s not clear to many, Klinsmann is extremely biased and excellent MLS/US players who have played well have been marginalized and the USMNT has suffered because of this.

    • basically what klinsy said was ‘your crap may fly at the club level but not with me.’ end of story.

      wonder what vermes thinks of benny’s personality

      • he benched him for a good chuck of his first season and made him the player he should have been his whole career.

        Feilhaber has a really good work rate now, look at his pass break up numbers etc., he did more of it than any other attacking mid in MLS (while also being one of the best going forward)

      • lol Calls in, gives small cameos, plays out of position, and then says nope, didn’t work….He continually sticks with “his guys” because well, they are his guys, no matter their club form …..

      • Part of that is because every prominent player for the national team has moved to MLS (ie Dempsey, Bradley, Altidore, Jones).

      • Indeed. I provided a list already to debunk this illusion that Benny and others on SBI like to propagate from their own personal bias/ignorance:

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

        JK may not rated MLS as highly as European leagues (who in their right mind does?) but this false narrative that Klinsmann doesn’t call in players because they play in MLS is laughable and lazy.

      • CC, every coach sticks with his guys. it happens in every sport. Arena and Bob did the same as well.

      • lol and look at the results….So club form doesn’t matter when he says it matters….Benny, no Benny, it’s fine…But Jurgen still doesn’t stick with a criteria…

    • This is the same thing over and over and over again. Soccer coaches are human beings with opinions. Klinsmann doesn’t rate Feilhaber as an international player. Other coaches do, but they are not our coach at the moment. It’s simple as that. This happens on every team around the world. The coaches opinion of you is what counts whether they are right or wrong. Making the “what about this other guy he calls in who isn’t as good?” comment is pointless. your opinion vs Klinsmanns

    • naw dude, we need 11 Mixx’s, he is so good, international level for sure!

      Micheal Bradley is also a international level #10. Danny Williams is international level, haha, this is peak

    • Doing well in MLS does not mean you can do well internationally. Yesterday I wrote that international play is about two levels above MLS. In thinking it over I would amend that to say it is about one and a half levels above MLS. For example, Kljestan is a very good MLS player. He has been given multiple opportunities and he is not good enough for international play. In my mind Feilhaber is like a lot of good MLS players in that he may be good enough for CONCACAF, especially the first round of qualifying when we are playing the lesser teams, but he’s not good enough for a higher level of international play. And, once again, Klinsmann mentions his attitude and locker room presence. That has been a knock against him for a long time, so people shouldn’t be surprised about this aspect.

    • The subject is not Julian Green, but Feilhaber. He may have had a good year in MLS, but he is not a player of international quality. Why is that so hard to grasp?

      • Unfortunately, now that it has become painfully obvious that Green is not now and never was an international caliber player, he will be THE example pundits will point to when JK gives his evaluation on “international caliber player”.

  21. Klinsy pretty much closed this discussion…Benny is rumored to have/had a terrible work ethic and relationship with some of the teams key guys…he had his chance.

    • Still, JK is a jerk. All he had to say was Benny did not fit into the system we are trying to implement and say something along the lines that Benny is an excellent player in MLS and that if the USMNT needs change, he and others will be reconsidered.

      Benny could have been more diplomatic, but he is a player striving to be his best and by many measures, he had an outstanding year. His disappointment at not being called up was evident. JK had many options: not responding, responding that he (JK) was trying to form the best team, not simply select the best players, that Benny’s strengths did not fit the team’s needs, etc. that would have put jK on the high road, instead he fell to the player’s level.

      Instead, JK chose to berate him.


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