Klinsmann addresses culture, style, youth development in first remarks as coach

Klinsmann (Getty Images)


NEW YORK — The U.S. Soccer Federation did not just hire the 35th head coach in national team history, but it perhaps altered the direction of the entire national team program.

Jurgen Klinsmann, the first foreign-born U.S. national team coach in 16 years, touched on a few topics during his first press conference since being hired to replace Bob Bradley on Friday, but he frequently emphasized the culture and direction of soccer in the United States.

Klinsmann mentioned numerous times that "it's important to understand your [U.S.] culture." And after living in the United States for the past 13 years, Klinsmann feels he is ready to incorporate more of this country's melting-pot society into the U.S. team.

"There's so much influence from the Latin environment that has to be reflected in the national team," Klinsmann said.

This Latin influence could mean a bigger role in the national team for multi-national Americans such as Jose Francisco Torres and Edgar Castillo. Also, this Latin infusion will certainly have an affect over one of the Klinsmann's most difficult tasks: finding a style of play for the national team.

"One of my challenges will be to a way to define how the U.S. team should represent it's country," Klinsmann said. "And what should be the style of play? Is it more pro-active and agressive kind of forward thinking style of play or is it more of a reactive style of play? That comes with the obviously the players you have at your disposal, but also with the people that your surrounded with.

"I think it is important over the next three years that I have a lot of conversations with people involved in the game here to find a way to define that style. What suits us best? What would you like to see?"

Style of play was not the only big question that U.S. fans were pondering for which Klinsmann didn't have clear answer. He said that he has only had contact with a handful of U.S. players and hasn't picked his squad for the Mexico friendly yet. That announcement will come Wednesday. Also, Klinsmann hasn't picked a full-time staff yet.

"I want to see what's out there," Klinsmann said. "There are a lot of good, highly qualified coaches in the U.S. that I might not even know. So, I need to talk to people and understand what's out there."

The former VfB Stuttgart and Bayern Munich star will accomplish this task by trying out different assistant coaches ahead of World Cup qualifying in June. Then he will pick a permanent staff based off his experience with these assistants. However, Klinsmann did make individual reference to two current figures in the U.S. system.

"I want Claudio [Reyna] very close to me in terms of helping in his new role as Technical Director of Youth Development," said Klinsmann, whose previous coaching stints were with the German national team and Bayern Munich. "He will always be part of the staff. He will sit with us coaches on the table, so I can tell him how I look at the game. As well as Tab Ramos, who is the U-20s coach for right now. I want his perspective and information on what's going through at training at the 20s and the U-17 level."

The youth system and staff will be a huge emphasis for Klinsmann. He was nearly hired two different times in the past five years, most recently after last year's World Cup. But, the sticking point between Klinsmann and U.S. Soccer was the amount of control over that very youth system. This time around, Sunil Gulati and Klinsmann have seemingly put that conversation to rest.

"Between us [Klinsmann and Gulati] there has never been an issue about so-called control," Gulati said. "Jurgen's comments previously were about being able to incorporate that into a piece of paper. So, the understanding about how we were going to move forward and collaborate has been clear for many years."

With those "power" concerns put to rest, expect Klinsmann to make some changes to the U.S. youth system. Some of the changes he briefly touched on include making youth teams' style of play and culture reflect that of the senior team and to continue to build on the growing academy system currently in place. Klinsmann pointed that the biggest difference between the game in this country and any of the top 10 soccer nations is the amount of time youth players spend field.

"This is what is really missing compared to the leading soccer nations around the world, the first 10-12 nations around the world, is the amount of time kids play the game," said Klinsmann. "If you have a kid that plays in Mexico 20 hours a week, and maybe four hours of organized soccer but 16 hours of unorganized soccer just banging the ball around in the neighborhood, but if he gets up to 20 hours it doesn’t matter how he plays it, with his dad or with his buddies in the street, this will show later on with his technical abilities, with his passing, with his instinct on the field and all those things, and I think that’s certainly an area where a lot of work is ahead of us."

These changes Klinsmann hopes to make will only become palpable if he is able to stay past his current contract, which Gulati revealed runs through the 2014 World Cup. Gulati and Klinsmann certainly see eye-to-eye on a lot of strategies and outlooks, but that won't matter if Klinsmann can't get results on the field. 

The German is replacing one of the more successful U.S. coaches in it's history. While unpopular among groups of fans, Bradley took the United States to it's highest-ever finish in a FIFA tournament and won the 2007 Gold Cup and its group at the 2010 World Cup. Klinsmann has to meet or exceed the results of his last two predecessors in Bradley and Bruce Arena, otherwise, his big ideas may never come to fruition.

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226 Responses to Klinsmann addresses culture, style, youth development in first remarks as coach

  1. bryan says:

    missed the press conference. based on this article, I like his thoughts. anyone know where i can catch a replay?

  2. Sg says:

    Klinsmann for President!

  3. squirt-lover says:

    He was great…he will be a great coach and the right person for the new direction the Nats will be going in. Let’s face it, his European heritage and upbringing along with the insight of being an American is a perfect fit.

    I liked the fact he immediately mentioned Tab and Claudio, and not Sorber. Those two guys are great to have around.

    One news conference made me feel much more at ease, and happy Sweats isn’t around any longer.

  4. Cgold says:

    Love the German connection here. I bet Chandler and Jones will be pleased and more comfortable to see someone with a German background (not trying to knock BB). Also it can only help with German-American players in the youth setup, I’m familiar with a few already.

  5. rick says:

    What we really need is street soccer which unfortunately klinsy has no control over.

  6. john says:

    he’s my soccer jesus!

  7. squirt-lover says:

    When asked a second time what he felt would work for our team (regarding a style of play) he mentioned we as Americans like to be pro-active and make decisions, rather than have someone make decisions for us (like a counter attacking team)…..I liked that thinking quite a bit.

  8. _rompe_da_netz__ says:

    What’s the relevance of all this cultural-theoretical BS? His job is deciding stuff like whether juan agudelo’s ready or whether he has to play dempsey in front. Some rich celebrity with fancy ideas at the top of a US sports bureaucracy has as much to do with the kids in Fresno playing 16 hours a week of street ball as the price of tea in China.

  9. john says:

    theres plenty of that but most of those kids are latin-american who don’t use the pay to play system

  10. downintexas says:

    I’ll be suprised if he can get us out of the group stage at the WC.

  11. strider says:

    Well, the great experiment has begun. A little disconcerted that he still has so many questions. Important people he doesn’t know about that could be on staff? What style of play? Shouldn’t the person coming in as head coach already have ideas on these vital topics? Well, I’m hopeful, but we’ll see what happens. My biggest immediate question is, will there be a significant difference between who Klinsi brings in for the immediate Mexico game and who Bradley has been bringing in.

  12. john.q says:

    sounds good. im liking his approach. hopefully it translates into a great nat team.

    im calling it right now. claudio reyna will be a usmnt coach one day!

  13. Amir says:

    anyone have the link to the video?

  14. DEAC says:

    You don’t even know what the group will be, presuming we qualify. How can you even a hazard a guess before the draw?

  15. squirt-lover says:

    Don’t be fooled, he knows exactly what he wants to take place. He knows exactly what type of system to use, etc.

    He is just gently breaking everyone into him being the new coach. That presser wasn’t the place for all the answers to be given.

  16. GSScasual says:

    what up troll?

  17. chris says:

    Well Torres and Castillo are not NT material so if he brings them in thats not a good start

  18. nam says:

    Whoever wrote this article – don’t quit your day job.

  19. EastBayGrease says:

    Growing up, I played on two premiere level youth teams in the CA, Bay Area. One was a “pay to play” club consisting of mostly middle and upper-middle class white and african american players. The other club was in the roughest city in the SF Bay Area (Richmond) and consisted of entirely first generation mexican players. Three players on the team spoke any English.

    In the SF Bay Area, I was exposed to the “inner city” athletes in my youth basketball and baseball leagues… 7th grade basketball teams whose entire starting five could dunk. I played at the same basketball courts where Gary Payton and Jason Kidd also played as teens.

    The best athletes I ever came across were on that Mexican-American soccer club. Think “Hoop Dreams” but applied to soccer and the mexican immigrant experience in America. Most young players in the “pay to play” clubs don’t come across the best youth Latino talent because the best immigrant, latino teenagers are playing on the adult teams with their older brothers and fathers. The stars of this mexican-american soccer club players were never scouted and had no plans to attend college.

    It’s heartening to know that the people running the US National team are aware of the athletic talent and soccer IQ that exists in the US’s latino communities and is working to incorporate its best athletes into the US program.

  20. “Klinsmann pointed that the biggest difference between the game in this country and any of the top 10 soccer nations is the amount of time youth players spend field. ‘Other countries are ahead of us because they are playing more than us,’ he said.”

    -The Book of Klinsi, Chapter 1, verse 3-

    It is written

  21. Im sure Klinsmann costed us more than 30 silver pieces though :)

  22. Andres says:

    I agree with Klinsman I find it mindboggling how in this country being such a melting pot with so many talented Latino kids playing all over youth soccer we never used that to our advantage…never!! We can suit up 11 brazilians in our starting lineup if we wanted to SMH!!!

  23. Oranje says:

    You really got the sense from reading/watching that he “didn’t have an idea”? Not knowing for 100 percent certainty and not having an idea are two vastly different things.

  24. Jeff Awesome says:

    Qualifying for the World Cup and advancing from the group stage should be the maximum expectations for any coach.

  25. Matt says:

    The US Soccer Federation can fund youth academies around the country that let the most talented kids play for free, instead of the just the wealthy kids.

  26. bigPepe'sPapa says:

    It’s obvious his name isnt also “Klansmann”, which was Bradley’s nickname among latino community circles for his limited use of the latin players. I’m guessing we’ll be seeing Juergen in the stands at a Puebla/Tecos game, probably accompanied with Reyna-Ramos. I guess he’ll be learning Spanish. As a side note, I dont think USSF should’ve ever reliquinshed the rule that the US coach know spanish, which is what they did when Bruce was coach.

  27. Oranje says:

    Latino kids develop earlier than everyone else. The 6 foot already mustached kids were the same size and skill set from 13-18 when I played.

  28. fifawitz1313 says:

    It all sounds very encouraging. My concern is whether he can implement and ingrain a new system in 3 yrs. Maybe he gets another cycle if we perform well. Just seems like he would be better as the youth technical director were he can have an influence on the system for more than just 3 yrs. Either way I wish him luck and am excited to see us hopefully play a much more attacking style of soccer.

  29. rawr says:

    Yes we could actually have swagg

  30. Oranje says:

    Being brazilian doesn’t make you a good soccer player. Growing up in a place where soccer is the most popular sport and ingrained in the culture leads to a higher percentage o those people being good at soccer.

  31. USMNT Fan says:

    Why are BB supporters so full of hate?

  32. BenH says:

    LOVE his thoughts. Fell in love with him during the WC. Everything he said was spot on.

    Hope he finds our style. The fact that he is incorporating some of the Latin game is promising. Maybe we’ll be more exciting to watch as well. Should benefit Demps…interestingly our most ‘Latin’ game player we have. Big Tex!

  33. BenH says:

    He already does know Spanish.

  34. go usa says:

    I find the suggestion that playing a more “Latin” style automatically means more involvement from players with Spanish last names racist. To me, this is like saying if we want a Jazz band, we better hire black musicians.

    Soccer players are soccer players and any color can play any style they are taught or want to learn. If we have more Latinos on the team, it’s simply a reflection of their growing numbers as Americans, not because we want to play one style or another.

  35. CA says:

    I was hoping he’d already have European assistants chosen and ready to begin work.

    For me, the most important aspect of this experiment is whether he’ll be allowed to dramatically change the coaching style in the youth ranks.

  36. Poo says:

    I dont doubt there are thousands of these kids out there with that level of potential, but the time and $$$ to turn them into top level professionals is what is missing. And Jurgen and Claudio can only go so far on that front. Top footballing countries have several tiers of professional clubs with the $$$ to invest in these kids (and risks inherent in that they may be flops). That’s miles better than Brandenton + 15 or so MLS academies.

    I guess identification of a problem is step one though

  37. Yeah, because everyone knows that Spanish is the National Language of the United States.

  38. Indigo Montoya says:

    Thanks, coach. But, huh?

  39. Klinsi is all knowing. He can even speak to animals and has translated the Bible, Koran, Torah, and all Hardy Boys mystery books in 7 languages. The man is like God.

  40. JJJ says:

    It is refreshing for the USMNT to have a new coach with different sets of skills. It will create an opportunity for our players to be exposed to a great soccer legend that can bring something new to the table. It will make our players have to compete and fight for a spot on the team. Bradley had taken his skill set as far as he could. Go USA!

  41. Dancy says:

    If they replace Klejstan and Bornstein it is.

  42. scott says:

    Look… i hate to mix politics and sports, especially soccer. but this eerily reminds me of the ’08 presidential election. Obama won easily – the people got what they wanted, and now we’re getting buyers remorse. I have to admit BB wasn’t my favorite, but the way people think Klinsman will be the saviour to US soccer has me thinking back to the ’08 elections. I am not jumping on the Klinsman wagon, and i am not anti-klinsman. the results will speak for them selves, and only in hind sight will Sunil Gulati (and the fans) be proved right or wrong.

    I can only “hope” he can “change” the US team into a power house. till then i’m sitting on the fence.

  43. Matt says:

    Klinsmann’s point is that we need to stop excluding latino players. That’s the opposite of being racist. Look at what he did with the Turkish and other European communities in Germany. His philosophy is that we need to pull players from the entire population, not just from rich white people. That’s how you get the best team.

  44. shane says:

    They do that already. They give scholarships to any kid who makes a development academy but cant afford the fees.

  45. Matt says:

    Do you work for Fox News?

  46. _rompe_da_netz__ says:

    Ha ha, academies. How many international trophies have the Bradenton youth hoisted again?

  47. shane says:

    +1000, Gulati wants Klinsmann to be coach of the Sr. team and Klinsmann really wants to be president or have Reyna’s job. This is looking bad. And he talks about the Latin influence. Well he’s in SoCal. Up where I live we have different immigrant influences and they contribute loads to our soccer culture. I mean is he going to pick players based our national soccer identity or based on whether they can help us win. I’m not liking what I hear at all.

  48. Poo says:

    you are taking the fun out of the internet. How does sitting on that fence feel!

  49. JCC says:

    Then you’re just setting him up for failure. If you expect him to change the US into Brazil, it’s not gonna happen.

  50. jcl says:

    Agreed. If he’s come close twice to getting the job, I would have thought that he’d have given some thought as to what his value added would be to the squad, not just to his program development visions. I also think his eventual pick for Assistant Coach will be a lot more significance than one might think.

    That being said, fully behind him and I can’t wait to see what he does vs Mexico!

  51. Jeff Awesome says:

    I think there is some reverse bias on the part of some fans who think any Mexican-American player sitting on the bench for his club in Mexico should be an automatic starter on the national team.

  52. BerlinTexas says:

    LOL. +1

  53. shane says:

    There are US academies all across the nation not just Bradenton. And they have won international trophies

  54. DC Josh says:

    Can he walk the walk? He can talk the talk. boo yah.

  55. Martin Blank says:

    Love that he addressed the “culture” issue. The best national teams embrace their national identities – the Brazilans and the Dutch teams, for example, are real reflections of their culture. The US needs to figure out the “melting pot” and use it to our advantage, not fight it.

    As for the pay-to-play system, fortunately that is falling away with the academies being established that generally charge nothing, like the MLS academies. That will be the true measure of youth soccer in America, not just those that can afford it.

  56. Isaac says:

    For the last time, Kljestan and Torres are different kinds of players. Castillo for Bornstein however is a change that I’d like to see tried for sure.

  57. jai says:

    Who’s we? No buyers remorse here, pal.

    Regardless of whether Klinsmann is the right guy, Bradley wasn’t. I’m glad he’s gone and i’m looking forward to watching sitting President Obama rooting on the USMNT in Brazil!

    (see what I did there?)

  58. Charles says:

    It is good you are excited about him, I am too, and we might as well all be, he has a contract through the next WCup.

    But this is hardly some revolutionary thought.

    The revolutionary thought is how to accomplish that. Almost every kid out there either is playing all the sports OR is talented chosing another sport as their number one.

    When I hear a good answer to that, then I will start writing books.

  59. Torres is one of the most boring and ineffective midfielders alive. I like Gomez in his moments of brilliance, but then he disappears. Bedoya is above average and he’s getting the looks he deserves, but after that you start running out of names. Perhaps Salgado in another couple years maybe. Honestly, I hope our National Team never plays like a Mexican club side, the emphasis of small field tactics over strategy produces a lot of yawners. Not to mention the dirty tricks and melodrama.

  60. shane says:

    Soccer world’s biggest myth that US Soccer has excluded Latin players.

  61. JCC says:

    Technically the US soccer system IS a reflection of our culture depending on how you look at it. The US is really a country of have and have nots. If you have the money, you benefit, if you don’t, you’re screwed.

  62. bigPepe'sPapa says:

    i dont know about reverse bias, but i’ve always believed that our Mexicans are better then their mexicans. Thats still true (if you take Chich, Dos Santos, and De Nrigris out of the equation).

  63. RB says:

    “Well Torres and Castillo are not NT material…”

    Is that what you think?

  64. This Guy says:

    I <3 Fedora

  65. pena says:

    You all sound like a bunch of teenage girls saying, “he gets me”

  66. bigPepe'sPapa says:

    i’m not sure why Dempsey doesnt now spanish, since he grew up learning how to play in the E. Texas mexican league. Donovan knows it very well. In fact, he’s the 4th most loved “Mexican” player in Mexico behind chich, gio, and head-bandage kid, and has national ads to prove it.

  67. CA says:

    Amen brother. Wanna see pay-to-play go away? Support your nearest MLS team!

  68. RB says:

    What is most striking about that comment is his use of “us” (twice). All this focus on him as a former German international and a foreign coach, but he himself is referring to the USMNT and the US soccer situation in general with “us”, and thus already embodying the whole melting pot multi-cultural notion he’s emphasizing. Excellent.

    (Nevertheless, I love the ” ÃœSMNT ” bit!)

  69. pena says:

    Bob Bradley was in the stands at Mexican League games to scout potential US players. Nothing in Klinsmann’s coaching history indicates he will go to the lengths that Bob Bradley did. Perhaps he’ll send someone else, and have someone in Europe but it still wont be him. So what’s really the point.

  70. Primoone says:

    Everyone hating on JK or folks who see him as a “savior” need to calm down for a minute and look at it through different perspectives. The significance of this hiring is massive. First, results will ultimately dictate JK’s success at the helm. Second, which is what i find the most interesting piece of the puzzle, the message that is being sent is that JK managed to get the USSF to move into a different direction. Short run gratification or not, the shake up has started and ultimately should lead to better decisions that should positively impact the Football in this country in the long-run. You cannot fix something if you fail to recognize it as being broke. In addition, once you identify the opportunity, you must have someone that can fix it. It most certainly isn’t the USSF Brain trust in Chicago. If it is not Claudio, JK and company then the search must continue however, you cannot advance if you don’t attempt to move forward. This past week, the USSF decided to move forward.

  71. mistadobolina says:

    Question about the coaches…

    if someone like Jason Kreis or Caleb Porter were selected to be assistant or youth assistant coaches would that be full time? or could they continue to coach their club/college teams and be part of the international squads?

  72. poorme says:

    Uh, actually, with US Developmental academies, if you can afford to pay then you have to. If you cant afford to pay then US soccer pays your fees (or in some cases the club). You have it backward.

  73. Eurosnob says:

    They should fund the academies so that EVERY kid can play for free. Scholarships only touch the tip of an iceberg – parents have to be aware of the scholarships, fill out the paperwork and provide supporting documents such as W2s, be approved, etc. Also, what if a family is not dirt poor (i.e., above the treshold to be eligible for a scholarship), but might not be able to spend a couple thousand dollars on soccer every year?

  74. Shane says:

    Caleb Porter is assistant coach for US U18 team. He would not have time for anything more.

  75. RB says:

    I mentioned the same similarity to my son the other day. But the similarity rests not in the shortcomings of the man in question but rather in people having a very naive, wishful thinking type of view about how much any one leader can overhaul a thoroughly complex and problematic system. And how fast he can do it, as well. Everybody wants it to be quite simple and quick and painless — the magic pill type of approach — and then when it isn’t, instead of recognizing the nature of the situation, they just jump inthe bandwagon of somebody new and repeat the whole process.

    It’s the American way. :-)

  76. DL says:

    I “hope” you never post on SBI again.

  77. Scott A says:

    Has me excited to see what the USA’s distinct style of play will be in 2050 or so.

  78. TomM says:

    He had me at gutentag?

  79. Shane says:

    US Socccer and MLS recognized these things years ago and has been fixing them. It doesnt happen overnight.

  80. RedStateJim says:

    Does anyone have a link to the press conference? I can not find it anywhere.

  81. martha says:

    Mixing it cultures is a good thing.

    Their is the yuppy pay to play league…then theres the CLASA Mexican league here. As far as i know they never play against each other…that should change.

    Also, Mexico has made adjustments to their game. We used to kill them on the wings with our speed and efficient striking. Mexicans would hate how they would outplay us but the US would get two shots on goal, score and win.

    Now Mexico killed us on the wings with Berrera and Guardado.Finishing is no longer a problem for them with Chickenpizza playing.

    We should see a more attacking style. Im not against adding Mexican players but Torres is mostly a sub now and Castillo may not be good enough defensively. However their was an argument with how Bradley used them. Torresn had one bad game and was forgotten about Castillo had 5 minutes, while Bornstein, Ricardo Clark, Robbie Findley, etc had several bad games but kept getting chances.

    I look forward to a more technical side. I think Findley, Bradley, Onyewu, Boca, could lose theri spots due to lack of technical ability.

    I also wouldnt be suprised to see Landon coming off the bench in wc 2014

  82. DCUPedro says:

    So you’re saying that Bradley met or exceeded expectations?

    I agree.

    Look, I’m nervous about what I’m hearing. Our national team needed a manager as of Thursday. I think we still need a manager, unfortunately — although it does look like we have two development directors now.

    This is why I never got the fascination with JK based on his commentary on ESPN at the world cup. He’s identifying the right problem, but its not a problem that is a NT manager’s job to solve. And, also, its not a problem that it takes a unique genius to identify.

    Also, I’m shocked that a manager begins his introductory press conference with a promise to play an attacking style of soccer. Just shocked.

    One of the reasons I backed Bradley was because I did not believe there was any basis for people saying “It can’t get any worse!” That still strikes me as naive. We won our group at the world cup without having a single player from a champions League last-16 club. And people think we can’t do worse than Bradley? I hope we don’t have to find that out the hard way.

  83. mike says:

    Heres where I see Klinsmans future line up

    Shea-Holden (if he ever gets helathy otherwise Lleteget) -Jones-Gatt
    Lichaj-to be named later CB-to be named later CB (not Ream he cant play defense)-Chandler
    —Sean Johnson–

  84. jpc says:

    I like his vision, I’m wary of his coaching ability. I hope he brings in a great staff like he did for Germany, but we shall see. So far so good, and I think his thinking is actually in line w/ what USSF has been trying to do for the past 10 years or so. Also glad to see that Reyna and Ramos are gonna be major players in all of this

  85. John says:

    You mean minimum.

  86. ACS says:

    I grew up in a community that didn’t have much of anything as far as organized sports go until the 7th grade only then it was football, basketball, and track. But until we got into the 7th grade we played a ton of pick up soccer even though we had no clue who were the stars of the game or the rules of the game. I think as school budgets start to get tightened especially in rural communities, you might be seeing a turn towards soccer replacing football. I do know that a few years later they did start to play organized soccer a bit and our small community beat the crap out of some of the teams from the city mostly because this small rural team could handle the ball much better even though the rules were foreign. It was pretty fun watching all these pay to play teams come away defeated. This was ended after a couple of years because the person who knew anything about soccer rules (was on a semi-pro team in Chicago) moved away and no other dad or adult knew anything about soccer.

  87. RangerSG says:

    Nonsense. The question of “What is an American Style of Play” is something that’s been an issue for as long as *I* have been a fan (which pretty much coincides with the growth of the sport in the US). He’s dead right that the top nations (and indeed, most soccer-playing nations) have a defined style that fits who their national identity.

    For the English it’s the bustling, industrious style similar to the EPL. The Italians it’s slower, more tactical, but lethal. Brazil wants to mesmerize and seduce with the ball. You can go down the list. And Klinsi mentioned that well.

    One of his most successful parts of the Germany job was building that style of play, and incorporating it into the Youth system. It’s what attracted people to him for the US job. So there’s no surprise he should be concerned about it.

    The tactical issues are minor, match to match issues. In most sides, the Bench Coach does more with that than the Head Coach does.

  88. Roy says:

    Nah, man, can’t agree. I saw Torres play live with the Nats last year. I had no bias for or against him. But when he came onto the field in the 2nd half he was the best player for the US period. It wasn’t even close. The whole game changed b/c his passing was so smart, precise and surprising. We need more of that midfield control and quarterbacking to have an effective offense. I want to see more of him.

  89. PetedeLA says:

    I understand what you are saying. But let me say this in response.

    In southern California we have tons of soccer players.

    From these tons of soccer players we have thousands upon thousands of Latino players.

    However, at the highest level they are not represented.

    At the same time, if you go into some of the poorer, more urban centers you will see a very high level of technical ability demonstrated by Latino players.

    But often times the two just don’t meet.

    Lots of the high end youth club teams have an over-emphasis on size and athleticism at the expense of technical ability.

    The best teams are able to merge these two “worlds”.

    I think this is his take on the situation.

    It would make sense to make an effort to encourage more members of the Latino community because (at least here in southern California) there are some extremely talented kids who just don’t identify with US Soccer (yet).

  90. DCUPedro says:

    Bradley only used spanish players in a limited fashion? Who do you feel wasn’t given a chance? Torres? please, he started a world cup game. He was calling in Agudelo even when he wasn’t starting for his club. Bedoya, who made started the entire Gold Cup? Is there a specific player you have in mind?

    Revisionist history.

    I’m concerned that JK thinks that our soccer team is not enough of a melting pot. Really? Donovan, Adu, Dempsey, Agudelo, Bedoya, Jones, Chandler, Bradley, Bocanegra, Edu, Holden, Diskerud? To imply that we are too homogenous right now seems… absurd. So much so it makes me wonder how much US Soccer the guy has watched.

  91. T says:

    Correct he wants to include all the demographics like having players like Davies, Altidore, Gomez, Torres, Castillo, and LD and Dempsey.

  92. T says:

    You’re Dumb.

  93. T says:

    Anyone excited to see what his squad will be on Wednesday!

  94. asimismo says:

    I hope you say that in jest. The U.S. does not have a national language, ever may it be so.

  95. Ja Ja James says:

    I like your point of view. Although I love what I heard in the press conference, I’m also a little concerned. But like I did with BOB, I will also be giving Klinsi a long leash (like it really matters what I think :)

  96. fubar says:

    I wathed the entire PC and he never PROMISED to play attacking style soccer. You sir, are a knee-jerk reactionary moron.

  97. bandeeto says:

    Soccer changes. Players change, tactic shift, competition adapts, and coaches improve. this is the only sure thing in soccer. I’m very surprised that people are bothered because Klinsman has an adaptable, objective, and open perspective. One of Bradleys biggest failing (or complaints) is that he supposedly wasnt’ flexible enough. Klinsman is questioned because he doesn’t set his next 3+ years at the helm of the US soccer program in stone at his first press conference on his first day?!? I’m gaining new appreciation for the caliber of person that B. Bradley is to perform at his level with this kind of constant, naive, inconsistent, and petulent criticism. Just my $0.02.

  98. Juan from L.A. says:

    For those of you that dont know Klinsi already said this. There’s even an article after England got eliminated which he touch the subjects he just said above in the BBC. Google it. Good stuff to read. He mention the Latin influence after the US got eliminated in 2010 and the way ahead for the US. By the way that manifesto is the road or way he manage the German Nat’l Team. Recommend you guys read that article. Same stuff and more from above.

    link to news.bbc.co.uk

  99. Shane says:

    Uhmmm, Reyna and Ramos already were major players. One is US Youth Soccer Technical Director and the other is acting U20 coach. Believe it or not, all of this happened before Klinsmann. How did we manage without him?

  100. andres says:

    That’s not my point altho i do kno alot of really good players…braziians, colombians, uruguayans, peruvians in new jersey who are probably better than half the usa national team….there paretns just cant afford to travel them around to play at elite clubs & so forth

  101. Fifawitz1313 says:

    No. Not excited at all.

  102. Dudeinho says:

    Ussoccer needs to get out of being in charge of developing the youth academies in the country, and funnel that money to MLS,NASL,and USL clubs so that they have the resources to scout their areas and attract those players falling through the cracks.

  103. Helium-3 says:

    It has nothing to do with Latin style or Latin players. It has to do with technique.
    Would you say African players are Latin because they can dribble and control the ball???

    Technique is the attribute which allows you to play a possession-oriented game. From good technique comes good touch. To acheive them, you have to touch the ball a lot. This means you are playing with the ball outside of a structured environment, .i.e. ,organized practices with the coach present.

    So you can either practice a a lot with the ball or play on a bad field for many years, to enhance your technique.

    Vision or tactical awareness is also another common trait missing in high level American players. Vision is gained from watching a lot of soccer and playing it. 20 – 25 years ago there was not much televised soccer other than the Spanish language tv channels, so this generation that grew up with MLS established should be well developed soccer players vs 30 yrs ago.

  104. Kosh says:

    I was a huge BB supporter but I must say that I liked a lot of what Kilinsy said. You can tell that he has been studying the soccer lanscape in this country for quite a while. He didn’t play all his cards at the presser because only an idiot would do something that, but he gave us enough to frame a picture as to where he stands and where he intends to take US Soccer (not just the USMNT). There is a vision and a plan there and I like that. Now will most/all of that come to fruition? More imporatntly when we’ll we start to see this fruit? Can this grand scheme be met without sacrifcing qualifying for the WC? I guess we’ll see now, won’t we? As fans that’s all we can do.

    The banter going back and forth here, from what I have seen, has much to do about the paradigm shift that Klinsey reprsents and those who hate and/or fear that change. It is quite obvious that our current youth setup is not working. If we are being fair here, we all know that’s quite evident. We also see how some of the greats in the world’s game have developed all over the world. Klinsey wants to bring some of that model into our youth set-up. Will it work? I don’t see why not. He’s just trying to broaden the net. But there is a genuine fear – borderline mistrust and blind hate for that change. Not sure whey when we all see that what we have now is not working. Let’s broaden the net and give some more Americans – regardless of what they look like or speak – the chance and equal opportunity to step up and represent the country the love too.

    Kilnsey’s resume may be short but we all saw what he did to transform German football. Deny him his success on the sideline but you cannot deny him that.

    I liked BB and still respect him as a coach. He did great things for US Soccer. But Klinsey has designs to take the position of National Team headcoach to the next level – putting that position in the place to influence the development, level and play of soccer in this vast country. He has my support.

  105. jpc says:

    Right, which is why I said what he’s doing is in line w/ the past 10 years… And as he has been given all the power, it’s nice to see that he’s going to keep Reyna in a prominent position, b/c he could just as easily have dumped him… But, Ramos isn’t a major player, he’s an interim coach of the U-20 team w/ no guarantee that he would be anything if he wasn’t chosen as the permanent U-20 coach

  106. Kosh says:

    * make that Klinsi – sorry folks

  107. KenC says:

    Interesting. Just when the German-influence seemed to be peaking, Jurgen hints at more of a latin influence. Chandler, Cherundolo, Jones, Yelldell, Landon, Bradley, and I know I’m forgetting some others with German experience.

  108. Bo says:

    I wish we could save this page for the day when things aren’t going well, and everyone wants his head on a platter.

  109. Jake the Snake says:

    As Ives would say watching a blue car pass by “Wow” someone with some sense here.

  110. pancholama says:

    Pues, asi pienso yo.
    (That’s how I think.)
    Yo soy Mexican-American, de herencia Espanyola y Escocesa.
    (I am Mexican American, and of Scotts and Spanish heritage).
    Yo aprendi el soccer futbol – jugando en los parques publicos y las playas de Mexico y Brasil – no en academias. Y en los jardines de mis hogares familiares, y en equipos organizados, en la high school y college en Estados Unidos. Aprendi mas que nada de mis primos, y sus amigos jugando cascaritas en Chapultepec.
    (I learned soccer football playing in the public parks and beaches of Mexico and Brazil – not in soccer academies. And in my family’s home gardens, and in organized American HS, and college teams. I learned the most from hanging out with my cousins and their friends, playing pick up games in Chapultepec Park.)
    No seais tontos.
    (Don’t be dummies.)
    El proximo Cladio Reyna, Tab Ramos, Preki, McBride, Cobi Jones, o Earnie Stewart se encuentra en muchos lugares, no solo en las canchas y los parques de los barrios pobres Latinos.
    The next……………will be found in a variety of places, not only in the fields and parks of the poor Latino neighborhoods.

    But – you gotta go there. And it sure helps if you understand their culture, how they think, what they eat, and you speak their language.

  111. TomG says:

    I so don’t understand. If Sunil loves Klinsi so much and he is such the unique and perfect fit for the U.S. as Sunil says, and their issues were not about control, how could it possible take 5 years and 2 aborted negotiations to sign him? You are telling me that he is the ultimate fit for us, yet you let him go over whether to put certain items in writing or not???? Is the priority of having a good USMNT coach really that low? Does that sound insane to anyone else? Either Gulati is an utter ignoramus or someone is lying through their teeth. Either way, my confidence in the men at the top of the U.S. organization’s hierarchy is extraordinarily low.

  112. Carlos says:

    Another point to keep in mind, is that Klinsman knows & respects our conditioning regimen. He even copied aspects of it & incorporated them into the German team.

  113. DCUPedro says:

    Sean Johnson?

    Come on man. He isn’t even the best young American keeper in MLS. And with Gatt you’re talking about a guy who doesn’t even have a cap yet. What about Michael Bradley? What about Landon Donovan?

    If people want a near complete house-cleaning from the past year, I think they’ll be disappointed in the results.

  114. T says:

    Cheer up! Don’t be a downer, because if so go back to cheering for those big Euro teams snob!

  115. sandtrout says:

    I’ve never believed in this “street soccer” theory. Are you telling me that Germany and the Netherlands are great soccer countries because their kids play “street soccer”? Doubtful. Also, they’re not poor kids, so that argument doesn’t hold water either.

  116. Matt says:

    Latin players were not excluded at the youth level in the past few decades because many couldn’t afford the cost to play? I bet there were 3 Latino kids in the 90’s that would have been better than Ricardo Clark, Robbie Findley, and Borenstein if they had a chance to play.

  117. Dudeinho says:

    Also look at it at an economic level this community the majority Mexican is the largest Soccer TV audiences in the country they sellout Mexican National team games. And are a major reson why the Mexican League has soo Much TV money. The demand is so great that American Sponsors are throwing huge money at the Mexican national team and the Mexican League because of the eyeballs here in the US. Imagine if we can somehow tap into that. what that would to financially to US soccer. Sunil knows this. Imagine if we had a Javier Hernandez Playing for the US or we discover a player like him. the money and endorsements and profile would be huge.

  118. wilyboy says:

    OK, let’s calm down. We all knew that Klinsmann wanted an overhaul of the US system, and I think many of us are in favor of that. He also wants to change the team. You don’t do that by talking about all the players we already know about.

    If Gulati had hired him right after the World Cup, this press conference wouldn’t have been such an issue. He’s lost valuable months, friendlies, and the Gold Cup. He was officially hired two days ago. You expect him to say we are going to play this style, with these players, and these are my assistants now? Wow. Guess you liked Bob Bradley better than I thought. I’d rather have a grandiose coach who knows what he’s good at, and can take his time doing something that US Soccer has never done: Develop a style and philosophy that young people can look up to.

    Qualifying, not Mexico in the next qualifier. Losing would be painful, not life threatening. If all you care about is winning, should have shut of your sets after the Spain match.

  119. Fifawitz1313 says:

    sarcasm. i’m super excited.

  120. wilyboy says:

    Sorry, meant friendly.

  121. Jake the Snake says:

    Very true, the USMNT right now is represented by over 6 countries, sadly. We should focus on finding more American born(here in the US) players instead of poaching them like we did under Bradley.

  122. Jake the Snake says:

    Bornstien is latino…

  123. Helium-3 says:

    It was LaVolpe who started that change in their paradigm. He diversified their attack strategy. Before his time there, Mexican soccer was all about attacking through the middle. He modernized their game.

  124. Jake the Snake says:

    There are many latinos of african decent, just look at colombia, honduras, brazil ect.

  125. pancholama says:

    Correct. Compare the Spanish national team to the US national team – simply in terms of how many times they play together and train together as a team in one year. It’s ludicrous. One of the obstacles we face is the size of the US, the travel distances involved in getting our players into camp, the travel distance between Europe and the Home Depot Center in CA, and the smaller number of friendlies, and competitive matches we play (no Euros, a less competitive qialifying region, etc.) – it’s a big uphill climb. Add to that that many American players as kids are being pulled in 10 different directions, baseball, American football, hockey, lacrosse, tennis, etc. – and it’s not hard to see why our players lack the fine touch, and technical skills. It’s just a matter of time on the field, through put and repetition of skills, repetition of real game time, team situation time – and there you have it – you can’t just wave a magic wand. Soccer is a language, a rather complex one at the individual physical level, as well as the mental and emotional – human beings are hard wired evolutionarily to learn language with great ease, at an early age – and if a child does not learn a language by the time they are about 13 – they will have a very, very hard time learning ANY language at all – this is a known fact of child development. After the psychic cement, the neuro-hormonal and anatomical genetic primers for language learning go silent in adolescence, it is really, really hard to prime them and get them going if a child for some reason has been in an isolated or abusive environment where they got no exposure to language learning. If you want American boys (or girls) to learn how to speak soccer with their feet in French, or Mexican or Iberian Spanish, or Brazilian Portuguese, or German for that matter – and you want them to speak fluently and with a good authentic accents – YOU HAVE TO START VERY YOUNG, and you have to expose them to people who “speak” the language with proper diction, vocabulary and good accent. That is one of the primary reasons why Klinsman wants to re-vamp our youth training from the ground.

  126. Jake the Snake says:

    I love it when people mix politics with sports, and by love I mean hate.

    You make me sick.

  127. ACS says:

    I think Gulati would have signed him, I think he was getting major push back from the board and CEO, then they say all the youth teams fail and how the gold cup went down and finally saw the writing on the wall so to speak.

  128. squirt-lover says:

    There is no way BB, or any USA coach at his level would exclude players because of their heritage, whether they have a Mexican background or any other. Coaches want to win and will play who they think give them the best chance to win.

    I hate Bornstein’s game, but he was there because BB thought he gave us the best chance to win…most of us disagree with that analysis, however, he played because of that reason.

    He did not eliminate any player because of a Mexican background…people who claim racism when there is none drives me crazy.

    Bornstein must have had naked photos, I truly am convinced.

  129. Nick says:

    Most of Germany’s national team is made up of 1st or 2nd generation immigrants. Not exactly rich kids either.

    Mesut Ozil – Turkish
    Lucas Podolski – Polish
    Miroslav Klose – Polish
    Cacau – Brazilian
    Dennis Aogo – Nigerian
    Serda Tecsi – Turkish
    Marko Marin – Serbian
    Jerome Boateng -Ghanaian
    Piotr Trachowski – Polish
    Sami Khedira – Tunisian

  130. Helium-3 says:

    I meant Africans from Africa, or any other non-Latino. What about people from the former Yugoslavia? Their technique is incredible too and they are not Latino.

  131. Angel FAN of USA says:

    Steve Sampson speak spanish plus remember he was the Coach for Costa Rica for a while. Bora Speak spanish remember that this USNMT was also built with some good Latino influence, “Reyna, Ramos, Claviho, Mastroeni, Balboa, Hugo plus Dempsey & Landon Donovan all played with Latinos back in the days

  132. wilyboy says:

    But they also didn’t fit in. The reason? The style was not congruent. Torres was thrown into a system that didn’t fit his style or skills, Castillo wasn’t trusted to play left back even once. It’s not enough to bring them in, the have to be worked in, made a part of the system. If we can find a balance, we might actually have the skill passing to jump start a counter attack rather than a thin hope for success.

  133. Darwin says:

    Get out and see the world. You would be surprised. The street soccer theory is valid, and relevant.

    When professional teams have a U-8 team, then how can you expect there not to be a hundred kids that hope to make those youth teams and hone their skills on the street.

    Also, I think you’re conflating two things. Poverty and street soccer. The two are partially, but not exclusively overlapping magisteria.

  134. Darwin says:

    HAH, sorry, overlapping domains. ;p

  135. Darwin says:

    I <3 Grammar

  136. dan says:

    DEAD ON!

    The problem is the single entity structure. It kills any and all incentive for any club to produce young talent since they don’t reap the benefit when these kids become stars and are sold.

    Hopefully Klinsmann see’s this and pushes Garber a little to change this single entity BS.

  137. JoeW says:

    The “street soccer” theory is both true and overly simplistic. The Dutch and the French are superb examples for the US. They are both countries that have very conscious, directed development programs to build players and have been very good at it (the Dutch are a very small country and until recently, football was maybe the 3rd most popular sport in France).

    Yes, playing soccer in small, undirected games, is a great way to develop. Almost every country in the world has this (including: China). And they’re not all world powers. For instance, one of the lessons from the Dutch is that our youth players probably play too many games (where in 60-90 minutes you get very few touches) vs. practice activities and small-sided games.

  138. dan says:

    The best team in the world, Spain, has barely any size, they are just purely perfect in technical ability

  139. jason says:

    I know this is the internet, but what, no one edits these posts? C’mon Nastri…

    “That comes with the obviously the players you have at your disposal, but also with the people that your surrounded with.”

    “the obviously the players”?

  140. just like Juan Epstein from “Welcome Back Kotter”

    Seriously though, I think Landon’s dad is part Spanish, his complexion just doesn’t look too Irish.

    Our Latin roots need to be embraced, I think it already is to some extent. Nothing wrong with a cultural identity that is nuanced and not homogenous.

  141. dan says:


    How can you expect anyone to do squat in 10 days? Mexico will be a run around to get a feel for things, you cant expect anything from him so fast. He’s got 3 years to do what needs to be done.

  142. I’ve noticed his good games too, but he’s just not effective overall. His passing (because he lacks the technical skill to advance the ball and be dangerous) is a bit too Beckerman-esque for me. As a counter-example, Barca isn’t the best team in the world because they know how to pass, they are the best because teams have to defend every pass and every play as if the next touch will put the ball in the back of the net. Granted, few can touch Xavi or Iniesta. But Torres isn’t even a lesser degree of that kind of threat on the ball, either passing or scoring. Defenders can just lay off on him and dare him to do something.

  143. Shane says:

    Bornstein is half Mexican, but everyone hates him. Bad Gold Cup but he played well in the World Cup, Torres didnt.

  144. Kenny_B says:

    Most clubs do something similiar, although it isn’t a scholarship. Clubs entice players and coaches to change allegiances by offering reduced (or even eliminated) club dues.

    It’s more of a push the costs to the other parents type of situation though.

  145. bottlcaps says:

    Between the “hispanic” connection (read Mexico) and the now the big German influence in not only players, but now the coach, there can only be one result to all of this…..

    I think we are gong to see a big resurgence of om-pah-pah music and future games. :-)

  146. sandtrout says:

    FWIW, i personally am a supporter of playing soccer informally, off teams, etc., especially for kids, even though I’m a youth soccer coach.

    BUT, you’d have to walk me through these great teams, player by player, to prove to me the rosters are full of “street soccer” players. The same way “poor kids” and “street soccer players” aren’t the same categories, neither are “immigrant kids” and “street soccer players.” Don’t be surprised if many of the immigrants you listed were trained in highly structured, elite leagues. Where I live, there are whole leagues made up largely of immigrant kids, and the coaches pressure them more than the non-immigrant coaches do.

    Overall, what I’m saying is, you don’t need a “street soccer” base in your country to have a successful national team. Rightly or wrongly, high-pressured elite squads create these high-level players as well as or better than “street soccer.” To me, the “street soccer” theory is a romantic fantasy.

  147. TomG says:

    and both had bad years with their club teams. People have to stop holding up Torres and Castillo as the examples of how we aren’t recognizing and incorporating Latin talent. If they were performing better, they would get called in. Castillo can’t even get run with his club team.

    The solution to the Latin problem isn’t to bring in Castillo and Torres, it is to recognize and nurture the young Latin players properly. For many years, we have been dealing with a system that prioritizes wealthier white kids that pay to be on traveling teams rather than recruiting the more talented Latin kids.

  148. dibo says:

    I think we need to expand the topic beyond one ethnic group. There are overlooked players from so many ethnic backgrounds – we need to step up overall recruiting and reach undiscovered talent in as many ways possible.

  149. TomG says:

    It all comes down to, “I think” and guessing, doesn’t it. This lack of transparency is part of the problem. In other sports, there is accountability. People from all levels of the organization give interviews and all the internal information is eventually leaked out to the public. In typical FIFA style, the American fan is told to mind your own business and sent packing. Organizations with zero transparency rarely have the best interest of the sport at heart. There is no clear rationale given for any decisions. It all comes across as highly arrogant. Fans need to begin demanding accountability from USSF as fiercely as they did from Bradley or this country will go nowhere in the beautiful game.

  150. Detroit! says:

    I like your points. A couple to add about the importance of a national style of play:

    * It’s critical to have your entire infrastructure devoted to the same principles and practices. If you don’t establish a consistent style, you get all sorts of coaches teaching all sorts of different things. We need coaches not just on the development teams but also on high-level club teams to understand what sort of player (in what sort of system) we’re trying to cultivate.

    * The notion of some sort of style that’s congruent with a nation’s character is probably over-rated, but at the same time, if you want to attract good athletes and fans to the game, you need to offer them a chance to play a game that appeals to them. A flowing, improvisational, athletic style would appeal to Americans raised not just on soccer but on basketball. A physical style might appeal to football types. The particular style you play is important, but maybe not as important as being able to say to players and coaches at all levels, Here’s what we stand for, here’s what we have to offer, and here’s what you need to do to succeed as an American player.

  151. yobo says:

    not, Jews?

  152. Primoone says:

    How profound…congratulations.

  153. B 16 says:

    Picks for assistant coaches will be the uktimate key to Klinsi’s sink or swim

  154. Primoone says:

    and another thing Nastri…don’t ever show up to another video production without your shirt tucked. You hippie…

  155. Kenny_B says:

    I agree that the USMNT is very under-represented in the latino players. And I understand what you are writing is your opinion.

    Did you play there when Payton and Kidd played or was it just where they used to play? Your aren’t saying this so I don’t want to speak on your behalf, but it seems you implying that Mexican-Americans are better athletes. This hasn’t really panned out to be true when you look at competitions from around the world, including soccer. Mexico has been outstanding at the youth level, especially in the last 10 years or so. But that hasn’t turned into NT level success (ever really) at the World Cup. Mexico isn’t dominate in other sports either. I don’t believe they are being touted for their athleticism, they are being touted for the creativity they bring to the game. Something the US team is lacking. I want to see more of Torres and more latino players. I also want to see Diskerud. He isn’t a giant athlete, but he certainly is poised with the ball. We need more of these kind of creative players and less brute force.

  156. eldiablo says:

    if they were 6ft tall they werent mexican

  157. Kenny_B says:

    There are a lot of talented asian,african american, and yes even white kids also. What you are touting, whether you mean to or not, is kind of racist.

  158. eldiablo says:

    why? every player on the usmnt is an american regardless of where they were born or raised

  159. Dennis says:

    None of this “we need to insert more of your favorite ethnic group into the USMNT”, it is just silly. What is required is for the national team coaches to get a look at the best players and decide which they want. Right now and more so in the past, some players are never seen by anyone with ability to recognize their talent and reward it with an appropriate opportunity to play at a higher level.

    As an example: Most college coaches (but this true of MLS youth coaches and national level coaches as well) are limited in how many players they can actually watch play and in order to maximize their chances to see a lot of very good players, those coaches haunt ODP events and some of the better national youth tournaments. (College coaches cannot hold open tryouts, but MLS teams can and do.) The problem is not so much that ODP coaches cannot identify stellar players, but that participation is pricey if you make the team and then you MUST have a ride to the 2 or 3 ODP events per week (often over 2 hours each way) which is the hidden cost of “free” and prevents after school jobs needed for a little extra cash. That excludes players who know they can’t participate even if they are selected. There is a matter of pride that prevents kids (and parents) from accepting the handout of free fees when it is well-known that the other parents are the ones footing the bill on the “select” travel teams.

    It is only when professional teams actually provide ALL the things players need to flourish that the “hidden” talent will come to light. No reorganization or all-knowing coaching network will work without paying attention to the details of making it possible for all players at a local level to move up to an appropriate level. Meanwhile kids playing on adult teams because they are that good will not be seen by any national team coach unless by happy circumstance (like Robbie Rogers playing with Klinsmann).

  160. eldiablo says:

    chicharito’s strike rate against the u.s. is like 1/4, i think. The us needs some solid and quick cbs

  161. Kenny_B says:

    That is a tall order unless we are going to reeducate coaches and change the licensing requirements. To me that seems like a virtual logistical impossibility.

  162. eldiablo says:

    add some german-american youth players and you can fill that roster out

  163. Kenny_B says:

    I caught that….You did the old switcheroo

  164. Joe B says:

    So is this site going to be as dedicated to attacking Klinsmann as it was to supporting Bradley?

  165. eldiablo says:

    im willing to bet money was a sticking issue as well. ussf isnt swimming in cash like fmf, or other countries where soccer draws big cash

  166. GW says:

    Go to the USSF website.

  167. Kenny_B says:

    There are some kids from a higher socie-economic background that can, in fact, play very good soccer.

    I’m not singling your comments out, there have been several on here that have posted similiar remarks to yours.

    Kids from the yuppy pay to play league here in Las Vegas frequently play the kids in the Mexican leagues. From my observations, on the lower end of play it is in fact lopsided as you would expect in favor of the “Mexican” teams. The Mexican sides are better coached, they play a much more fluid team game at an earlier age.

    At the top end it isn’t lopsided at all. There are very good games of high quality soccer on both sides of the pitch. Our yuppy team has plenty of latin players and….gasp….some white kids too!

  168. GW says:

    Germany’s national team were pretty good before they began to have lots of immigrant players.

  169. Sonicdeathmonkey says:

    You don’t watch many Galaxy games, do you? Because if you did, you would of noticed a certain Mexican-born centerback playing for them that goes about 6ft. 5in. Just sayin’.

  170. hogatroge says:

    American kids, at least prior to the advent of Halo, play basketball in their driveways or streets all the time. Raid the public courts in NYC an you can put together a team that (provided they can follow the more technical rules) could put the hurt on most countries’ national teams.

    The same thing just needs to happen more with soccer.

  171. Ben says:

    DCUPedro, while we are in agreement with the overall assesment of the Bradley years, that he did pretty well, I have to say he needed to go, and Klinsmann detailed many of the reasons why it was necessary. The naivite doesn’t come from the people saying it cannot get worse, but the people who would continue to support Bradley just because he did nice things. I think this is a critical time for US to engage some with a vision like Jurgen, someone to oversee and implement a program that will help US soccer take a significant forward step, even at the risk of losing some friendlies. No one in the world soccer community gives a crap if we tie Argentina in a friendly, especially when Howard makes a bunch of saves to keep us in the game. Again, credit to Bradley, I think he is obviously underrated by a lot of US fans, but his big wins tended to rely on a couple of nice counterattacks and tenacious, organized defending, with our fitness playing a big role. The US could probably sustain that style for many year and do exactly what the teams has been doing, qualifying for World Cups and hoping to pass the group. I would like, someday, hopefully sooner rather than later, to see a US team come out and play an attractive style of attacking soccer, emphasizing possession, movement, and skill. Before you laugh or speak derisively, go back 20 years imagine telling someone involved with soccer that the US would routinely be qualifying for World Cups, or that fans would be disappointed with not advancing from the group stage, or that sleepwalking to a Gold Cup final would raise the ire of US fans. Europeans will always say how long it will take the US, that it can’t be done, and other tired bromides, but those are just cultural tics inherited from previous eras with no bearing on reality. I’m not here to say that Jurgen will succeed without question, but I do think its good that the US coach will have a vision for the future of US soccer beyond just another World Cup qualification, important as that is.

  172. T says:

    The creators of this site i’ve long seen hace an insane infatuation with BB, I don’t understand 4 years was enough for him, that’s what REAL soccer programs do with their managers unless the manager won a WC or something with Bob we won one GC, loss two GC and a confed cup and have had a very stale style of play under him.

  173. Kenny_B says:

    I disagree with your remarks whole heartedly about the great latin players being held off the white kids teams. Its a stupid and racist comment.

    Clubs are voluntary. You don’t have to join one. The Clubs advertise themselves by putting forth the best squads they can and winning or trying to win large regional tournaments. You cannot win a tournament with a kid simply because his parents are wealthy.

    What does happens is fund-raising. Our kids spend time doing fund-raising for travel. Parents sell ads to our club’s tournament to help cut down the costs of travel for other tourneys.

    What else happens is some clubs want to short-cut the process of developing kids to build a tournament ready team and instead recruit players (sometimes the whole team and the coach) from other clubs. Those players play for free or next to free and the rest of the club parents subsidize the cost of those players. IMO, some of those second tier youth players that develop physically a little later, (and ultimatly could be better than the players beating them out at the youth level)lose out on the better coaching and competition along the way.

  174. GW says:

    This whole thread ignores one basic fact.

    The best players are developed by private entities for the benefit of the best clubs. You don’t see the FA’s of Holland or Spain, the last two World Cup finalists, worrying a great deal about developing young players because there are lots of private clubs doing that for them.

    All the best players in the world gravitate towards Europe because that is where all the best clubs are.

    And those clubs all have a variety of ways to find and develop players, be it academies, feeder clubs, good connections with smaller clubs in lower divisions,a scouting network in various place around the world, etc.

    US players have rarely (in a comparative sense)been part of this network for any number of reasons, such as,geography, lack of scouting networks or the difficulty of individual work restrictions in various countries.

    MLS has only recently put a lot of work into academies and the fruits of their labors will take some time to develop.

    When there are a lot more US kids of whatever ethnic stripe either being developed in foreign systems or being develped by an improved “local” academy system tied to MLS, then you will see a more consistent stream of talent for USMNT.

  175. DCLee says:

    And this does happen in the USA. I’ve played street soccer my whole life until my late 30s so it is out there. There needs to be more of it but it exists in this country. I use to play pickup games in parks all over the country with all different kinds of races and languages and it was incredible! We couldn’t speak with each other but we all knew how the play the game and communicated that way. A very beautiful thing! I am sorry for you if many of you have not had this experience. I hope my 2 boys get to experience it.

  176. Shane says:

    What single entity? Most of the US Dev. Academies are seperate youth/adult clubs that have existed for years. They all have their own philosophy and approaches. The MLS academies are also US Dev Academies and they totally reap the benefit of their homegrown players via MLS’ homegrown rules.

  177. biff says:

    But it does seem as if BB, either consciously or subconsciously, excluded players from the roster that might show up his son. And some of those players, not all, just happened to be Latino. In my mind, Michael Bradley’s guaranteed 90 minutes every game was like putting the USMNT in a strait jacket. The whole team revolved around him, including his dad’s roster decisions. Totally stifled the team. Can’t wait to see the effects with the strait jacket removed. I think a lot of well-intentioned BB-MB fanatics are going to be in for a big surprise at how much better the USMNT can play when managed by a coach who is not going to try to jam a square peg (MB) into the key round midfielder’s role. Will be interesting to see whether Klinsi for the Mexico friendly calls up MB, who is not even suiting up now for Gladbach, and, actually, whose only steady playing time since December has been for his dad.

  178. PWN'ed says:

    The U.S. doesn’t have a national language, jerkwad. Look it up, and demographically we’re growing more hispanic, so yeah, it would be valuable to know Spanish

  179. squirt-lover says:

    I completely believe that MB earned his playing time. He is the hardest working, most consistent, and better than most give him credit for being.

    Does he have limitations, yes, but I also believe that his poor distribution can also be attributed to the lack of movement from the players in front of him (ie. Jozy, Duece, Lando, and forward #2)

  180. RB says:

    Sorry, but that stuff you’re saying about language acquisition is really not accurate. Simply put, monolingualism is readily curable, including for full-blown adults.

    Not that it has an awful lot to do with soccer, but…

  181. RB says:

    “I love it when people mix politics with sports, and by love I mean hate…”


    Split-personality much? You just opined above that the USMNT should pay attention to the politics of citizenship and accidents of geography in players’ backgrounds more than their soccer skills and athletic ability.

  182. RB says:


    File > Save Page As

    (or however it’s labelled on your particular system).

  183. GW says:

    The “fire JK” website (if there isn’t one already) starts August 11th, if we don’t wax Mexico.

    People like strider view every loss as the end of the world,every tie as an opportunity to bitch and every win as an opportunity to say ” why didn’t you play Zach Loyd at left back?”.

    God help JK if he calls in Bornstein, Clark or Sacha, even if they don’t play.

  184. Steve-O says:

    one issue, at least in the DC suburbs of VA is that there are really not many places to play pick-up anymore. when I was a kid (I’m 40 now), we would get a bunch of kids together, go down to one of the local fields, schools, or sandlots, and just play for hours. Kids can’t really do that much anymore. you have to have field permits, you get chased off by the hundreds of youth teams/ adult leagues that have claim to the fields. its much harder. I don’t see any kids playing true “street” soccer anymore either. we did that as kids as well. I would love to see kids just playing to play, but sadly you don’t see that much around here anymore (northern VA).

  185. GW says:

    “Compare the Spanish national team to the US national team – simply in terms of how many times they play together and train together as a team in one year. It’s ludicrous”

    One thing about Spain.

    When most of your team belong to one club and the many of the rest belong to another club then this whole “playing and training together” thing takes on another dimension entirely.

    The great German teams of the 70’s were based on a Bayern/ Borussia MGladbach( yes MB’s Gladbach) spine and the great Dutch teams of the same era were based on a Ajax/Feyenoord spine.

    In all these cases not only were these players playing together but they were playing for fantastic club teams.

    Obviously this won’t be so easy for the USMNT, who have yet to get even one player as a regular on a Champion’s league contender.

  186. biff says:

    I agree MB is hard-working and a decent soccer player who might prove in the next three years that he indeed deserves a regular spot on the USNMT, either as a starter or a substitute. But that has nothing to do with the point I was trying to make above, and that is 1) that some of Bob Bradley’s screwy roster decisions stemmed from his son’s preeminent status in the team constellation, which I don’t think was justified, and 2) that MB, despite being a hard-worker and a decent soccer player, was not at all suited for the role his dad wanted him to play and that this was a major burden that held back the team.

    Of course, I could be totally wrong and thanks to BB’s firing, we are going to find out in coming months with the team led by Klinsmann. It could be that Klinsmann will keep MB in the same role as his dad. But Klinsmann might see things differently and it will be interesting to watch–will the team improve with MB playing a different role (or possibly not even on the team at all). Or will the team regress. I, for one, can’t wait to see what happens. The Times They Are A Changin’–Exciting times ahead for USMNT fans.

  187. GW says:

    Gee, I was hoping Herculez would be starting at forward rather than sitting in the stands.

  188. GW says:

    “that JK managed to get the USSF to move into a different direction”

    A more reasonable interpretation would be that the USSF has had a bad year. Bad Gold Cup, the women choking, and worst of all lost World Cup bid.

    Look, the USSF needed to make a positive splash in the worst way and they have always wanted JK anyway so this move, now, makes sense for them on so many levels.

  189. T Daddy says:

    Basically he called the US “aggressive” or “reactive”. Neither being a complement.

  190. GW says:

    USSF website

  191. squirt-lover says:

    Exciting for sure….

    A healthy Stu Holden should be, and would have been in that position of ACM, so we may not see MB in that position going forward anyway.

    Now, I bet we see JJ playing where MB should have been playing all along, at DCM…in my mind JJ is better than MB at DCM at the present time, especially with MB not playing regularly, and maybe even with MB playing at the club level consistently.

  192. Goalscorer24 says:

    One news conference and Klinsmann says more then Bob Bradley has said in 4 years. He seems very articulate.

  193. papa bear says:

    I love his ideas and I think in time they could pay heavy dividends.

    Re the street soccer debate I think people are taking this far too seriously. He is referring to ANY kind of informal play; he even said as much in his remarks. A boy passing the ball back and forth with his dad is ‘street soccer’ in the Klinsmann sense. A boy shooting balls into small targets in the park is ‘street soccer’ in that sense.
    He is basically saying that too many kids here go to their league games and then just kinda ignore the game until the next league game which is bad.

  194. scipio says:

    It certainly helps to have technically skilled, comfortable players on your national team. In basketball, almost all NBA guards started playing when they were kids, and spent thousands upon thousands of hours practicing by themselves and playing pick up games.

    The more time you spend playing something, the easier it becomes (Malcolm Gladwell 10,000 hours to master something theory). A large part of that comes away from the coaches. Messi has only read 2 books in his life for a reason. Ever since he could walk, he probably had a soccer ball at his feet.

  195. chris says:

    The pachuca games he actually plays he’s looked terrible and watching the america games castillo is not good either.

  196. DCP says:

    I hear this multiple direction argument a lot, but I don’t think it really matters. Due to the size of our country, we actually only need a relatively small percentage of the population to care about the game.

    To put this into perspective, the US has a population of 307 million while the Netherlands has a population of 16.5 million or about 5.4% of the US’s population.

    I think the issue is really about finding a system that works for our country, which I believe we are on our way to doing if for no other reason than the fact that there is a growing passionate group of people who care. I don’t know if Klinsmann is der Mann (he actually sounds like he should have replaced Gulati), but I think he sees an opportunity and really has nothing to lose by trying some radical things. Also, with more money than ever flowing into their coffers, the US federation is in a good position to try to expand their operations.

  197. chris says:

    Yeah try again

  198. Darwin says:

    You have an argumentum ad ignorantiam, an argument from ignorance. You don’t care enough about the issue, or you care more about looking intelligent, so you lay down an impossible burden of proof.

    Also, this is a message board, so I’m going to assume that everybody that posts here is unqualified to speak on most issues, and doesn’t know the first thing about street soccer culture, or how to run a national team.

    but nice try.

  199. Ski Fast! says:

    I’m all for hiring Klinsmann and think it’s the best way to move forward right now. However, I’m not getting ahead of myself with my expectations for what he will do. We still have a problem with a lack of players who can finish as well as a porous defense.

  200. chris says:

    People go on gotsoccer.com or the ussf academy website and look at the teams roster and you will see half the players are latino. Race doesn’t determine a players skill. There are plenty of ways for players to afford to play but the problem is most of the talented kids are immigrants that are better because they are more educated about the game but want to play for another country.

  201. Roy says:

    I have to agree with the park pick-up games. When I was a kid many decades ago there was an American-style football field at the park. Every day at a scheduled time any kid who wanted to play showed up, and there was a teenager paid by the town to monitor it. It was a hellish free for all at times. But you learned how to get attention for passes, dribble in crowds on the busy days, and fight for the ball. There was one older kid who was huge and would run you down if you had the ball. You learned to pass quickly. The best education I got.

    I’m a bit sick of hearing kids should have to play organized soccer and they rarely touch the ball because leagues are rotating in kids who’d rather play with weeds.

  202. BlueWhiteLion says:

    “street soccer” is unquestionably important. where it thrives, then kids are constantly playing. When they are constantly playing, they are getting better.

    Drawing upon my growing up years in Germany, we’d play in driveways, tennis courts, sandlots, parking lots, school entryways, grassy knolls–with all size fields, obstacles, goals (a gate, between two posts, a ball, a crumpled up coat, etc) with all kinds of balls, from plastic to legit to tennis. All of that honed our thinking and skills in unimaginable ways.

    If you merely play a few days a week on a large field, you don’t have as great a chance to develop and hone your skills, thinking, and how you read situations.

    It IS a big part of what is missing. I am sure it exists, but we are not tapping into those kids as much, it seems.

    Simply, I don’t think our average soccer player logs as many miles on the ball as avg. players across the world.

  203. Monty says:

    If it was all about street soccer african countries would dominate international competitions. The key to developing young players is top level coaching at all levels. France, Spain, Germany and Holland are all great examples of that.

  204. Monty says:

    Only the senior national team level latins haven’t really been excluded but on the youth level our system leaves a lot of players falling through the cracks in many cases those are latin players.

  205. Jen Douglas says:

    i like him already

  206. RB says:

    “they are more educated about the game but want to play for another country.”

    You has anything in the way of, you know, data that could back up such a claim? Or are you just generalizing without support?

  207. RB says:

    Oh, “have”, of course. iPhone posting. :-)

  208. running trains says:

    well said

  209. RangerSG says:

    Erm, actually he said PROACTIVE. And he ‘did’ mean BOTH as compliments, because he prefers an attacking style of play.

  210. Seriously? says:

    The thing is, it needs to start with “street” – aka non-coached – soccer. You can’t take players who’ve never been coached, and put them right onto a professional stage. But the problem, to me, comes down to 2 things: kids are over-coached and youth teams place too much emphasis on winning at a young age, which also has to do with parents.

    Kids learn to play with the ball, keep it at their feet, take people on, when they don’t have coaches yelling at them to pass all the time. I just watched the WWC final at a friend of a friend’s house, and the mom there was telling her 5 year old to watch how the players pass to each other, as his coach always talks to them about. Five year olds should be doing all individual stuff, TBH, their minds aren’t even developed enough to understand the space and movement around them. Yes, passing should be mentioned, but not a focus in any way whatsoever. Being a player who can dribble around everybody can be seen as a negative thing by many parents and coaches who’ve never played – don’t be so selfish, such a show off.

    In terms of winning, if you want to win at the young ages, there’s a very simple formula, get the biggest kids who can kick it the farthest. Kids inevitably make mistakes, so the more you kick it down the end, the more likely you are to cause a mistake and score. Learning how to play with the ball takes patience, but if you have overly competitive coaches, along with parents who think winning is everything, and don’t understand the long view, they’ll think that winning at u10 will automatically translate to winning in high school, and then a college scholarship.

    Playing skillful soccer takes a lot of patience at the youth level, and an understanding that nobody cares about who won a championship at u10 or u12. The truth of the matter is, if you don’t develop certain individual skills when you’re young, you’ll never develop them. Though to finish the though from the top, if highly skilled players can’t also learn high level tactics (once they get older), they’ll never be all that successful, never mind become stars.

  211. Primoone says:

    I respect that you have an opinion…right or wrong.

  212. Paul Thomas says:

    If US Soccer is akin to the American political system, then God help us all, because the American political system is almost certainly unfixable without revolutionary overthrow of the government.

    (Before anyone starts speed-dialing the FBI, I’m not actually advocating that. It’s not clear that it would actually be better than what we’ve got right now, which is basically a steady but relatively slow decline.)

    At least US Soccer does not have the burden (or, if you prefer, excuse) of being hog-tied by a hopelessly obsolete but unchangeable governing document.

  213. Franck says:

    Was Klinmann rsponsible for bringing Plata to Toronto? That kid is amazing.

  214. Monty says:

    But that is not over coaching that is poor coaching. Because a poor coach would only look at the short term gain and good coach would look at what is better for players in the long term.

  215. Seriously? says:

    uh, tomato tomah-to. Over coaching is poor coaching, doesn’t that go without saying? It’s also bad coaching, dumb coaching, ignorant coaching, or whatever other synonym you like. Or was your point that the phrase over coaching can be used to refer to good coaching (aka smart coaching, proper coaching, etc), such that I shouldn’t have used it?

  216. NC Jeff says:

    With Klinsmann, here’s what I’m hoping the USMNT accomplishes over the next 5+ years: Winning their qualifying semifinal group, winning their qualifying final group, winning their world cup group, either winning or at least getting to OT in the world cup round of 16, finishing at least 2nd in the confederations cup, and making the finals of all 3 gold cups (winning at least 1).

  217. biff says:

    Well, the Midfield plot thickens. Klinsmann was quoted in a German sport magazine today (sportbild (dot) de) saying, “Jermaine Jones can be an important player for the USMNT.” That’s the only quote he gave about Jones, but tends to make you believe that Klinsmann at the very least will call him up a few more times and give him a chance to prove himself. In the same article, Klinsmann also says he wants to schedule a friendly with Germany. Man, that would be fun to see. (And if you go to the Web site, Hope Solo is on the front page. If you click on her, you get a bunch of photos of her. The German guys fell in love with her during WC2011…)

  218. Fred Garvin says:

    The guy knows how to talk with the press..

  219. TomG says:

    You have no clue about traveling teams. It’s been a huge issue for years and even the USSF is publicly trying to address it. And you apparently can’t read, because you didn’t read my comment. It’s not exclusion based on race, it’s exclusion based on finances. It happens, though, that many Latin players don’t have the finances or connections to get on these traveling teams so we miss out on a lot of really good Latin talent. Right now, the system is promoting mostly suburban kids, when everyone knows that, throughout history, the best athletes have always come from immigrants and lower socioeconomic groups. These are exactly the kids we are missing out on, though. We’ve caught a few of them in recent years but, by and large, most of our pipeline consists of individuals from the middle and upper middle class socioeconomic groups (which happen to be predominantly white). This is particularly bad because the Latin and immigrant groups are the most passionate about the game. These groups are so disconnected that they don’t even come out to support the MLS, yet they come in droves when a foreign team comes into town. We must, must, must find ways to bring those groups into the fold of US soccer or else we will never field a top side.

  220. Dennis says:

    The US will not even be in the Confederations cup, that ship already sailed. Unless you are speaking of 2017 which is sort of out of your 5 year window and would require winning the Gold Cup in 2015.

  221. Brent McD says:

    lol. accordians and tubas in sam’s army from hence forth!

  222. moosecat says:

    here’s the Klinsmann press conference video: link to youtube.com