Thursday, August 4, 2011

USMNT: Jurgen Klinsmann Thoughts

As you may have heard, former German great Jurgen Klinsmann has been named head coach of the US Men's National Team. This represents a huge change in the dynamic of the US camp. Not only is Klinsmann aiming to guide the US team through upcoming competitions, but he is looking to lead American soccer on the whole.

Klinsmann's unveiling as USMNT coach...oh the joy!

According to Jurgen, his approach to the job will focus on developing more talent in the United States - which is awesome - and guiding the USMNT to the next level - not winning trophies, but getting involved in knockout matches starting in "quarter" or "semi." In year's past, coaches like Bruce Arena and Bob Bradley, both good coaches in their own right, have simply been the manager of the squad. As Klinsmann indicated in his introductory press conference, he will be digging deeper and acting as a multifaceted coach/developer. Sensible Soccer likey!

It is clear he has an understanding of our vast, somewhat inefficient system of development. His goal is to connect with people who know the problems that exist in this structure and hopefully come up with solutions to change things for the better. I think it helps that he seems to be a kick ass networker. I can honestly say I am happy with this decision - I am a supporter of development and energized people who get the job done. This seems like Klinsmann. Props to USSF President Sunil 'puppet-man' Gulati on this decision.

Sunil Gulati - USSF President/strange-faced puppet

Now, for the Klinsmann detractors: I know what you're saying and feeling after Klinsmann's press conference. "Development?? Long term? What about 2014. We need to do good!" Well, no sh*t Sherlock. I think obviously, Jurgen is going to use his talents as a coach to motivate and field the best squad we have while he's in charge. But honestly, in 2014, the best we've got is probably starting to get a little old, age-wise...hence a focus on development, a focus I support whole-heartedly.

I constantly dream of the day when I can wildly celebrate a huge US Men's National Team tournament win. To achieve this, we need better players. To get better players, we need a better system of development. To get a better system of development, the national conversation about how our system works needs to be open. Bring it, Klinsmann!

Jurgen's first game in charge:

USA vs. Mexico 
August 10th, 9pm
Lincoln Financial Field; Philadelphia, PA

Talk about Baptism by fire! Anyhow, the German has selected a roster for the game, his first act as coach:

GOALKEEPERS (2): Bill Hamid (D.C.United), Tim Howard (Everton)

DEFENDERS (8): Carlos Bocanegra (Saint-Etienne), Edgar Castillo (Club America), Timmy Chandler (FC Nürnberg), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Michael Orozco Fiscal (San Luis), Heath Pearce (Chivas USA), Tim Ream (New York Red Bulls)

MIDFIELDERS (7): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Ricardo Clark (Eintracht Frankfurt), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), José Torres (Pachuca)

FORWARDS (5): Freddy Adu (Benfica), Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls), DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Edson Buddle (FC Ingolstadt), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy)

Let's see what the golden-haired German can do in a mere 9 days!

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