Mar 21, 2013, 10:30 AM EDT
DENVER – Everyone wanted to see Jurgen Klinsmann heading up the national team. For so doggone long.
As U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati wooed the enigmatic German not once, but twice, the deciders as well as the supporters were just so charmed by the progressive and preternaturally positive manager who had guided his home country back in 2006 out of the dark alley into which it had wandered.
Well, this is what Klinsmann always was: positive and optimistic, perhaps to a fault.
We’re about to find out.
Part of the bigger rebuild was likely to include going younger. That means putting a certain faith in the lesser tested. Faith and optimism walk hand in hand, as we know.
Among the controversial elements of the less-than-perfect U.S. slog thus far through World Cup qualifying has been the use of younger players over older ones. Mostly, it’s about Omar Gonzalez and Geoff Cameron ushering in the new era along the back line, rather than falling back on Carlos Bocanegra. You could say that Bocanegra would represent the “old guard” choice.
Is Klinsmann right? Or is the optimism and positive energy that guides him leading him down a Brazilian rabbit hole? We’ll see.
U.S. Soccer is paying the man a whole bunch of money to make these tough choices.
Here’s how Klinsmann explained it as the team set up for their first workout in Denver, via U.S. Soccer.
I’m not choosing them because they are young. I am choosing them because they are better in my opinion than maybe somebody else. That being said, giving them the trust, giving them the confidence, and helping them break through, is really just based on their qualities. It’s based on, ‘they deserve it,’ because they are good. They deserve to play right now.
Obviously, when you break them into the international game, World Cup qualifying, which is huge, there is a lot of tension, some are nervous, it’s a normal process. It’s something they will work their way through it, and get used to it, and then a couple of games down the road, they won’t even think about it anymore.
But transition only happen because the players have the qualities.
And here is the video from U.S. Soccer, as reported by Allen Hopkins, a member of the U.S. Soccer staff.
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Blackpool: Where dozens of tangerines and tennis balls on the pitch are second in weirdness to a coach striking his own player
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Apr 20, 2014, 5:45 PM EDT
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Apr 20, 2014, 4:21 PM EDT
How many Americans could find themselves in the UEFA Champions League next season?
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Arlo White and Graeme Le Saux break down how having a clear identity continues to push Everton above teams while Manchester United’s lack of an identity continues to hurt the team.
Apr 20, 2014, 3:20 PM EDT
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Apr 20, 2014, 2:53 PM EDT
After Toffees do the double over United, Martinez praises Moyes work and his own side:
Apr 20, 2014, 2:40 PM EDT
Luis Suarez and Raheem Sterling combined for Liverpool’s second goal, and video showed it wasn’t a fluke they knew exactly where their teammate was going to be.
Apr 20, 2014, 2:15 PM EDT
Everton’s old boss the villain on return to Goodison, as pastures new prove to be a nightmare:
Apr 20, 2014, 1:42 PM EDT
With the cheekiest of chips, Dimitar Berbatov sent Monaco to the Champions League with his winner against Nice.
Apr 20, 2014, 1:09 PM EDT
Randy Lerner released a pretty useless statement on the Villa website today, refusing to rule out a sale of the club which has been reported in recent days.
Apr 20, 2014, 1:01 PM EDT
Nightmare return for Moyes, as Everton do double over United for first time since 1970:
Apr 20, 2014, 12:35 PM EDT
The US Soccer Federation president talks USWNT coaching search, men’s World Cup goals, and MLS growth with NBC’s John Strong.
Apr 20, 2014, 12:04 PM EDT
Red Devils rocking, as Everton come out flying:
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