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Jurgen Klinsmann looks to boost youth ranks ahead of 2015 Gold Cup

Jul 2, 2014, 9:01 PM EDT

USA v Germany: Group G - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Getty Images

United States Men’s National Team coach Jurgen Klinsmann said that following his side’s bounce out of the 2014 World Cup he will now turn to youth in preparation for next year’s Gold Cup.

Klinsmann explained that he will seek to identify new players through discussions with coaches of the U.S. youth squads.

“This transition year coming up is definitely the opportunity to bring a lot of young players through the ranks and see what they are capable to do,” Klinsmann said in a World Cup farewell conference.

He was quick to note, however, that unearthing youth did not necessarily mean the end of the road for field players in their thirties like Clint Dempsey, Kyle Beckerman, Jermaine Jones and DaMarcus Beasley.

There is no ‘thank you and bye’ it is always defined by performance what you bring to the table. I think a good thing about going into the next year is that we have the opportunity to see a lot of young players, coming into our platform in the senior team. We can give them the time to show where they are at right now.

The experienced players, or older players, we can tell them now for the next couple of months, play in your club environment. We know you inside-out anyway, we know what you bring to the table. Maybe there is the time now with the next couple of friendlies that are coming up and over the next year, (to) see the young players grow and see how far they can make it.

Given Klinsmann’s track record, the comments should come as little surprise as one of the German’s main missions since assuming the helm has been to identify new talent. And now, with the 2014 World Cup breakouts of 20-year-old DeAndre Yedlin and 19-year-old Julian Green, it’s only natural that the coach will look to add greater youth depth in preparation for the future.

Gearing up for next summer’s Gold Cup, Klinsmann added: “We have to start implementing all those elements with our Under-17, Under-18, Under-20 and the Under-21 team which will be our Olympic team. That is the next generation that is going to come in – the more we get the message to those kids, the more we will benefit in a couple of years from now”.

  1. braxtonrob - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:32 PM

    So far, … JK has astounded me in how far he has set the program back (in a matter of months).

    Everyone should be extremely alarmed at the non-existence of possession in these WC games.
    And (not to beat a ½-dead horse, but) it seems to me the only difference between Michael Bradley’s stellar performances pre-WC, and post-WC, is that a certain #10 wasn’t on the field WITH him.

    JK had to throw this team together a little bit, but he neglected the midfield as if it were the least important piece, when it is arguably the MOST important piece.

    Bottom-line, I don’t know how ANYONE can be comfortable having just watched our team almost completely unable to possess the ball in the biggest tournament in the world. I may not know what has to happen next (for certain) but I know when I see a program going full-throttle in REVERSE!

    [Maybe foreign-coaches shouldn’t be allowed, same as foreign-players are not allowed. I.e. keep those German-American players, scratch the all-German coach.]

    • lampardintheendzone - Jul 2, 2014 at 10:24 PM

      Um. Wow.

      If Jozy Altidore does not get hurt, Dempsey plays a false nine. He can distribute in the offensive third instead of playing his back to goal. This naturally pushes Bradley back further on the field where he is more comfortable. A holding forward was key to possession in this system. I do fault Klinsmann for not bringing in Boyd or Eddie Johnson.

      But to say the program is going in reverse is a bit alarmist.

    • kellybeck15 - Jul 2, 2014 at 10:58 PM

      I feel confident that you’re trying to get a rise out of people with your semi-coherent post, but I’ll bite.

      You’re wrong. Your take is garbage. I hope you don’t have control of a U-6 coed soccer team, or one on FIFA 14 for that matter. Absolute nonsense…


      • braxtonrob - Jul 3, 2014 at 1:44 AM

        @kelly, Just sharing my opinion. So far, there are at least two others who agree with me.

    • simonkulberg - Jul 3, 2014 at 6:59 AM

      Possession doesn`t win games. Goals win games. Just look at the Dutch demolition of Spain for an example.

      “- Last but not the least, Spain did have more possession and passes: possession: 64%-36%, passes attempted: 618-339, passes completed: 540-276.”

      -Number Cruncher.

      Would you like the US soccer team, which has far more limited players to choose from than Spain does, to have 64% possession and crash and burn to every team with quick players hitting them on the breaks?
      There is a tactical development happening in the metagame in Brazil, and all the teams playing possession football are losing while counter attacking sides and flexible teams are succeeding. Only Brazil and Argentina are left and they have both looked wobbly, particularly Argentina. This is a reversal of 2010 when the most possessing side in history won the World Cup after winning all their matches 1-0- But the Americans don`t have the defense to do that and they aren`t good enough on the midfield.

  2. drewvt6 - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:55 PM

    Would be nice if on Diego Fagundez got his citizenship. It’d be great to have him and Green in the pipeline for 2018!

  3. vols84 - Jul 2, 2014 at 10:44 PM

    Dude needs to step away from the ledge

  4. rgledz - Jul 2, 2014 at 10:44 PM

    @lampard…..I couldn’t agree with you more. When Jozy is your target and gets hurt, that puts everybody else out of position to an extent. Dempsey couldn’t play his game without Jozy, that was plain to see. The lack of a second option was a bit disappointing though.

  5. braxtonrob - Jul 3, 2014 at 1:51 AM

    Sounds like a lot of excuses to me. You all are ignoring the horrid performance (which is completely a result of tactics), and you’re ADMITTING that ONE player going down ruined the ability of the team to perform.

    Who’s fault is that?!? Juergen will undoubtedly do better in 2018, but when we fail to make the semi-finals (and probably quarter-finals) again, he WILL be fired. We need an American coach, who predictably believes in American (MLS) talent. The team absolutely should utilize Americans playing abroad, but to insult the MLS is the same as insulting it’s players, i.e. ½ our team. Also, saying that we “can’t win” is un-American. But, I could live with all of his mistakes, if I hadn’t just watched our team play like a “U-6 coed soccer team”, right @kelly?

    • rafibomb10 - Jul 3, 2014 at 8:39 AM


      1) how was Juergen insulting the MLS players? 10 of the 23 man roster were MLS players. Who was left off that list who should have made it? I can argue one name, Landon, other than that…the MLS was well represented.

      2) I’d be happy with an American coach, sure I LOVE ‘Merica, but who is this amazing American coach who could have done better? Bob Bradley? Bruce Arena? Both American coaches who failed. Who else is in the lavish US Soccer coaching pipeline? My guess is no one who has a World Cup trophy from his playing days, been the coach at Bayern Munich, nor the national team coach at Germany.

      3)Your argument that we need an American coach who believes in “American” players is quite funny. Are you telling me you don’t like Julian Green because he doesn’t play in the MLS or he doesn’t have two American parents? I’m not sure which you are referring to, but if it’s because of his noninvolvement in the MLS…child please. The MLS is getting better everyday, but why wouldn’t you want your players playing in Munich for Pep who is arguably the best talent developer in the world? If you are saying you don’t like Julian Green because he “isn’t American” let me remind you that your beloved Landon Donavon isn’t either, due to the fact that he could have also represented the Canadian national team.

      4) We did not look like a U6 coed team. Get your panties out of a bunch and stop being a drama queen.

      5) Take a chill pill bro. The World Cup had a lot of positives, criticizing JK for attempting to change the culture of
      our game is commendable. Criticizing him is foolish. And my advice…try watching games other than the MLS. Sure they are fun, and the sport is growing exponentially here in the states, but the game is so much better in other countries. When the MLS can develop a player like Fabregas, Messi, Ronaldo, Muller, Rodriguez, Neymar, Pogba, or any of the other big leagues, then I will agree with you.

      6) Until then, chillax bro. Chillax.

      • braxtonrob - Jul 3, 2014 at 7:02 PM

        1. Landon Donovan, Jay DeMerit, Benny Feilhaber, Michael Parkhurst, Maurice Edu, Eddie Johnson, Brek Shea, Herculez Gomez, Jose Torres, Clarence Goodson, Kenny Cooper.
        (Out of those XI, I would have DEFINITELY named 5 of them to my 23.)

        2. Yes, Bob Bradley is (apparently, judging from results) better. Eric Wynalda is probably better. Jason Kreis. Gregg Berhalter. The point is … an American should be coaching the USA. Period.

        3. No, I never said I didn’t like the German-American players. (Thanks for putting words in my mouth though.)

        4. @kelly used the “U6 coed team” remark. I simply reused it. Grow up.

        5. I don’t want to take a “chill pill” while having to listen to a bunch of bandwagoning noobs declare that my USMNT “simply aren’t good enough”. You are ALL late to the party. We ARE good enough, we just need a better more appropriate coach. I won’t be taking advice on how to watch this sport globally, from fans who don’t even think a nation of 300 MILLION can produce a semi-finalist roster of 23. That’s just straight bull$%^; there’ no way around it.

        6. “chillax” Obviously, I care more than you do. (But then, we already knew that.)

    • lampardintheendzone - Jul 3, 2014 at 11:41 AM

      No excuses being made here. Klinsmann should have brought in another holding forward. Eddie Johnson has been mediocre in MLS this year and Boyd does not hold up as well as Altidore. But one of them should have be brought in.

      Altidore’s hold up play creates possession. It occupies defenders and creates space for midfielders. If the US does not play with him, the onus is on the rest of the team, especially Micheal Bradley, to distribute and create. As much as I enjoy watching him play, he is obviously not fit for this role. We simply lack enough players that can hold the ball and pass efficiently.

  6. braxtonrob - Jul 3, 2014 at 1:53 AM

    Also, I just heard JK openly blame Wondo for the loss. Way to back up your players coach. (Unbelievable!)

    • rafibomb10 - Jul 3, 2014 at 8:47 AM

      Bro, false again.

      He did not blame Wondo. If you take his statement out of context sure. But if you actually listen to the press conference, the word he used was “Accountability.” Wondo was a perfect example. For the US to be a good squad we need to begin to hold our players accountable.

      To me you are being hypocritical. You are right there to bash Jurgen, yet you won’t dare criticize a player who misses an open opportunity. Forget Wondo, how about Geoff Cameron? Both made mistakes. As fans we need to hold them accountable or else we are settling for mediocrity, which I believe you don’t like either.

      I’m beginning to think you really just despise JK and your assessment of the team is actually quite biased because you are blind to the realities due to your dislike of the “all German coach.”

      Again, chill bro. Chillllllll.

      • braxtonrob - Jul 3, 2014 at 7:05 PM

        Please! He’s deflecting blame from himself so he can keep his job. Wake up!

    • lampardintheendzone - Jul 3, 2014 at 11:26 AM

      Would you please link an article that says as much? I cannot find anything.

    • granadafan - Jul 3, 2014 at 3:37 PM

      Braxton/Wynalda is completely making stuff up now.

  7. twayward - Jul 3, 2014 at 5:10 AM

    USA players are not good enough. Possession is not some magic thing that just happens. It’s about skill, technique & confidence.

    The USA team did a FANTASTIC job getting out of the Group Of Death. Belgium is one of the five most talented squads in Brazil. No shame in losing to a better team.

    Now Jurgen properly is focusing on USA youth teams. Their improvement is what will give the USA a chance to become a better side.

    In Jurgen We Trust!

  8. ravenswhat - Jul 3, 2014 at 7:12 AM

    It’s been said a lot but its true…the best athletes in US eventually play football, bball or baseball. The best athletes in Germany or brazil are playing Futbol. Until that changes, our players will always be at a disadvantage.

    • lampardintheendzone - Jul 3, 2014 at 11:33 AM

      Having the biggest, tallest, and fastest athletes do not translate into better soccer (Futbol if you will) players. Someone should tell Lionel Messi to stop playing. He is only 5’7″.

      Compared to our European counterparts, our development system is lagging. While they are developing touch and ball skills, our children are playing herd YMCA soccer. While they are playing for free in academies that bus them to the finest schools in the region, we are playing thousands of dollars to play a bunch of meaningless games where size and strength solely determine who gets noticed and winning is at a premium.

      • drewvt6 - Jul 3, 2014 at 1:28 PM

        Your broad brush does not paint a true picture of the youth game in the US. We have a generation of teens coming up whose touch on ball is phenomenal. When they get into to good training situations we’re going to have fantastic players. Even the female players are light years ahead of where kids were just 10 years ago.

        Now we need more notoriety and social pressure on these kids to push through the pains of training. You look at the notoriety and societal pressure kids are given to be the next big basketball or football star and you begin to understand why they’ll do 5am weight training, off season camps, competitive leagues, speed training, etc. That kind of thing needs to grow in soccer circles in order for our kids not to flake out when the going gets tough. A lot of kids have that in our country. Especially in the ever growing immigrant communities.

      • granadafan - Jul 3, 2014 at 3:48 PM

        You still need the guys who have world class coordination and athletic ability. Beckerman is a fine player, but can’t jump worth a damn. Clearly we need to develop them from an early age, and keep the ones with the most promise in the sport rather than losing them to other sports.

  9. player169 - Jul 3, 2014 at 7:52 PM

    Klinsman is a good coach and exactly what we need to continue to develop.
    1 He Recruits
    2 He tries new people
    3 He makes good in game substitutions
    4 He has won at the highest level and surely can recognize talent
    5 He has the strength of character not to yield to outside pressure
    6 He has connections…
    7 He sets up good friendlies

    I’m sure I could continue, but what’s the point. I’ve been following the USMNT since 1992…if you can’t see all of the improvements to US Soccer, then you are looking through a microscope…

    The guys didn’t step up, plain and simple…we caught glimpses…but that’s on the guys on the field…

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