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Pep Guardiola praises Jurgen Klinsmann’s team concept, USMNT movement

Jul 22, 2014, 8:39 PM EDT

Jurgen_Klinsmann_1381686c AP

Unless the conversation in the photo to the right included the punch line, “And then you’ll say I’m doing a great job!!”, this is a decent story for Jurgen Klinsmann supporters.

Q: What do American media pundits like Alexi Lalas or Eric Wynalda not have in common with Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola?

A: Pep likes what Jurgen Klinsmann did as US men’s national team coach in Brazil.

[ RELATED: Jurgen Klinsmann saluted by Coventry fans | Pep speaks on Julian Green ]

At least that’s what the Bavarians’ boss noted ahead of his club’s upcoming Stateside friendlies against CD Guadalajara and the MLS All-Stars.

Cue MLSSoccer.com:

Guardiola lauded US manager Jurgen Klinsmann for his role in guiding the USA out of the Group of Death at the World Cup – “the United States is making a lot and lot of steps forward about [Klinsmann's] idea and his concept of football.”

But the former Spain midfielder was especially effusive in his praise for the US backline in Brazil: “Their movement was really, really, really, really good.”

That’s four reallys, folks.

Now of course Pep has at least three reasons to praise Klinsmann and US Soccer right off the bat. First, of course, is that his club is in America and likely being paid very handsomely to be here. Second is the love of Klinsmann back ‘home’ in Germany. And third is Bayern’s preference to grow their brand in America.

But it’s also real words from a man regularly-described as a footballing genius, and that’s rarely a bad thing (though I didn’t see whether his fingers were crossed or eyes were rolling).

Guardiola also had praise for the development of the game in the United States overall, as well as high-fives for the improvement of Major League Soccer in general. It’s a good, quick read.

  1. rjbailey - Jul 23, 2014 at 7:11 AM

    Reblogged this on Locating Frankenstein's Brain.

  2. lyleoross - Jul 23, 2014 at 11:31 AM

    Lalas and Wynalda are spilling sour grape juice. Their opinions are about as bad as Lalas’ broadcast commentary.

    JK fundamentally wants to change how the States develops players and plays the game. Given the number of players, and the amount of relative resources we bring to the game, we should have a top five national program. The fact that we don’t makes it obvious that we are doing something wrong. A complete revamp was overdue, and you know what they say about change.

  3. talgrath - Jul 23, 2014 at 1:44 PM

    Wynalda is an idiot, enough said there. Lalas had more of a point in that Klinsmann claimed we were going to play more offensive, “prettier” soccer against the big boys and we didn’t; but what Lalas ignored is that it’s pretty hard to drastically change the course of a national program in 3.5 years. The guys people criticized him for bringing in that were “too young” like Deandre Yedlin, John Brooks and Julian Green are exactly the sort of players that will deliver that attacking soccer and arguably they were the biggest bright spots of the tournament for the US. If anything, I wish Klinsmann had brought more young talent; Gyasi Zardes, Harry Shipp, or Dillon Powers would have been great to see on the squad. But here’s the bottom line, when others (including Lalas) said the US couldn’t get out of the group stage, the group of death, they did; the idea they should have done better when everyone thought they were DOA is nuts.

    • mvktr2 - Jul 23, 2014 at 9:15 PM

      The time for youth is now! The Copa America 2016 is an absolute gem of an opportunity. If the US can also qualify for the Confed Cup it’s a huge opportunity to shape the usmnt for 2018.

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