Klinsmann discusses USA’s Olympic qualifying disappointment

  JuergenKlinsmann (ISIPhotos.com)

U.S. Men's national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann was in Nashville for last night's Olympic Qualifying debacle and had plenty to say about it, about the U.S. team and the future of the players and head coach Caleb Porter.

Here are Klinsmann's comments from last night (and apologies for spelling mistakes, I'm about to fly out of Nashville and wanted to get this out):

“We all feel really sorry for the guys,” Klinsmann said. “They had it, it was all there already, and then comes this last-second moment. It’s brutal because they worked really hard and I think they played a tremendous game and turned it around after halftime. That’s the third game in five days and they showed a tremendous, tremendous performance.”

More Klinsmann quotes after the jump:

One bad performance and it can kill you in a qualifying stage.

Overall, the way Caleb developed the program in these just couple of months was outstanding. He’s done an outstanding job. How he put his thoughts and ideas into these guys. There’s a bright future ahead of him in his coaching career.

Overall, these players have tremendous potential. We can see and read them where they could be two, three, four years from now. We saw some players out there that can only get better.

Obviously you want to get results and you want to be in big competitions like the Olympics, but you can clearly see the way they played against Mexico that game, the way they played Cuba and tonight, that there’s a very good group. But, they were not consistent enough and they lost the game against Canada and it killed the situation.

It’s a learning experience. They need to handle a big disappointment at an early stage in their careers and it doesn’t kill them, it makes them stronger.

What you saw in terms of style of play, pace of the game, technical elements of the game. You saw that tonight, you saw it against Cuba, you saw it against Mexico, and it’s important for us to see that we’re on the right path in terms of style of play.

There will be players that help us in qualifying. There will be players fro that group that will help us, hopefully after a successful qualifying campaign, in Brazil. It’s the next generation. 

Sometimes the talent comes out when they’re 19 or 20, and some times it takes longer.

I was extremely pleased tonight to see Freddy Adu be all over the place, being a fighter, being an inspirer on the field, very creative. And it seems he’s maturing and we always thought he should be already be at whatever level he should be, but he’s 22 years old so give him the time to show his game, and tonight he showed a wonderful game. He will only improve. he will only get better. 

This won’t be the last setback they’ll have, not on the field or off the field.

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198 Responses to Klinsmann discusses USA’s Olympic qualifying disappointment

  1. jon says:


  2. Dave from Charlotte says:

    Meh, this is one of the times where I really don’t want to agree, but deep down I do, but i really, really don’t want to.

    tastes like whip cream on crap…

  3. Loo says:

    I think we had a great team. But I’m questioning why they got Celeb to do the coaching…as far as I know he’s only coached at the college level and to just put him at this level, I feel it was a mistake. They should have gotten one of the MLS coaches to do this at least…dissapointing.

  4. FIREBB says:

    Fire Bob Bradley!!! Oh wait.

  5. Polo says:

    We can agree on one thing… Freddy Adu was the best player on the field for either team, and it was not close.

    Don’t worry though, Freddy, you’ll head back to Philadelphia where you’ll be treated as a below average player again. It stinks to see such a great talent mired in the quagmire of whatever it is the Union have become.

    Adu feeding LeToux would have been a lethal combination.

  6. Kevin says:

    Overall, the coaching was pretty good. The only real mistake was in not pulling Hamid immediately, or at least after the first goal he let in. I could maybe understand if it happened right before halftime, and you try to get into the locker room to evaluate him, but there was too much time on the clock and El Salvador was pressuring hard. Aside from that the overall formation and strategic plan were sound. Some tactical execution of the plan was poor, but is that lack of adjustments by Porter, or execution by the players (maybe due to fatigue)? I think Porter kept the best players in against Canada hoping to win that game, and rest them against El Salvador. Obviously, they couldn’t be rested in a must win game. They played well enough to win last night, but tired legs let them down in the 95th minute.

  7. rambo says:

    I highly doubt any MLS franchise would have let their coach take this job. That being said I get what you are saying about getting someone with more pro experience. Porter is a good coach and this will not be the last time we hear from him. Maybe he will see that he needs to challenge himself more and will take a job in MLS soon.

  8. Shane says:

    He’s been assistant coach for U18s. This is the same age group as college players. Our players were better. There was no excuse for what happened. It’s this ridiculous top down insistance that we play a certain way regardless of the realities on the field.

  9. Der Baker Out Now says:

    Klinsmann is an idiot and is ruining US Soccer

  10. Schmeeboo says:

    It was a horrible way to be knocked out of the tournament. And I’m sure the players are infinitely more “gutted” than the fans, so give them a little slack.

    On the positive side, the US has a lot talent coming up through the ranks. Hopefully with the right club teams, and training, some will come to fruition in the next 2-6 years.

  11. CroCajun says:

    Porter put us in position to win every game. That’s all you can ask from a coach. After that it’s the players on the field. In this sport the best team doesn’t always win. That’s just the way it goes.

  12. dcm says:

    Pleased that he mentions Adu here. He was fun to watch, was the key to our attack, lead to many goals, and if not for that mishap at the end of the game last night, probably would have lead to many more. What more can you ask for as a fan? (Aside from a win!) I hope this is enough to give him a shot at the national team again.

  13. THomas says:

    Glad he gave Freddy props. Your forget he’s only 22 and he almost willed them back from 2-1 down. Unfortunately it didn’t turn out in the end. I think he’ll be the biggest benefactor from this experience.

  14. Matt says:

    His assistant is Claudio Reyna.. I was not sure why Reyna was not just the head coach anyways ( unless he turned that job down, but I dont think he did) I think Reyna should have been the coach, but im not really down on Porter. I think he did a good job! Coaches learn from mistakes like players do. But, when it boils down, I would have rather Reyna been the coach.

  15. TheFrenchOne says:

    in the week leading up to the first game, all we heard from porter was that we had a very deep roster and he would be managing minutes carefully. that, more than any other tactical decision, was his biggest failure.

  16. bottlcaps says:

    I think the coach made many mistakes. Not only in game management but in preparation and team selection. When you LOSE two games against inferior opponents with a supposedly superior player selection, someone needs to take the fall. Caleb Porter should resign. He was not up to the job, or, underestimated it.
    To be clear, Mr, Porter is a good coach, He has had a winning program at Akron. But there is a big leap from collegiate soccer to international (professional) soccer and it was clear the Porter did not prepare his team properly, made some problematic player selections and let the game in both loses get way from him.

    If it is not clear now, it should be. There is a gap between domestic play and international play at the lower age groups that the US needs to address and quickly. Bringing in a collegiate coach with very little intentional experience but good coaching credentials has FAILED.

    Klinnsman still has to get his head around american players and has made some good steps, but he needs to rethink the preparation his coaches give their players in game management, fitness levels and discipline.

    As Klinsmann selected Porter, he should to, share the blame in this fiasco. How he handles this will be key in what the US can expect in WC qualifying and future youth team results

  17. Vic says:

    Klinnsmann said Reyna had his hands full as assistant Nats coach and technical director. Reyna travels the country, meets with youth teams and establishes guidelines. They wanted someone full time for the Olympic coach.

  18. cajun says:

    Am I missing something? Didn’t every other team play the same amount of games in the same short time span? Spin it any way you want. It was a complete embarrasing failure.

  19. Vic says:

    USA has a good defense and good goalie. However, outside of our top 5 or 6 defenders, the drop off is huge. This current group of players on the Olympic team had skilled midfielders and forwards. The defense wasn’t good. Its not Porter’s fault that Chandler, Williams and Morales were unavailable. If we qualified our defense and goalie would have been different.

  20. Brain Guy says:

    First, it was TWO bad performances, not one. Second, Porter managed this tournament horribly, failing to rotate his roster despite a brutal schedule, being unprepared for and befuddled by Canada’s tactics, and completely messing up his substitutions against El Salvador. For all the talk of attacking soccer and proactive approaches, the defense (once a strength of U.S. squads) was a nervous, disorganized mess. This team of professionals could not get the results it needed AT HOME against Canada and El Salvador. That’s a stunning indictment of the coach.

  21. Poo says:

    can you elaborate on how porter put us in a position to win every game?

    Just as easy to say “porter put us in a position to lose every game”.

    How do we know how well the teams were really prepared? From the looks of it, not very well given the end of the game (ES had more than a few corners etc) and chances to score.

  22. RSLfan says:

    The more I think about it, the less I think Porter was a bad coach, he had some good games and some bad games, and my main gripe would be about subs, but honestly a lot of these players are not used to playing the style he tried to implement over what, maybe five weeks of training, and though other teams had that same amount of time, many more of their players grew up playing the style they did in their matches…the Canada loss was awful, but I felt that was more bad player performance and execution in the second half than coaching.

  23. dude says:

    they want to integrate college coaches as a sign of good will. I think this was an audition of sorts. It says a lot when the coach of the Number 1 College program in the country cant get the job done.

    We wont see a college hire again within the US System.

  24. Future says:

    Lets keep this simple without getting too technical and too detailed.

    This new style of possession and attacking play??
    3 goals to el salvador
    2 goals to canada
    1 goal to lowly cuba.
    no clean sheets

    Americans are big & physical for the most part. Take a step back from the flash & dash and use your positive attributes to your advantage. They got pushed around by Canada & El Salvador because The team is trying to be too fancy.
    Look at Shea, instead of aggresively clearing the ball, he makes a soft touch pass and you know the rest.
    The American team played really really soft in this tournament. No chip on their shoulder at all.

  25. Poo says:

    very true, and that our players are just not as good as we think they maybe are.

  26. Doug Martin says:

    THIS IS BIG BOY FUTBOL! The coach was in wayyy over his head.

  27. TomG says:

    I think coaches have to be developed as well as players, to some extent, anyway. Porter somewhat mirrors his team. He is full of potential and has great ideas, but he is inexperienced internationally and he definitely made mistakes, but I don’t subscribe to the, “you made a mistake therefore you must be immediately fired,” school of thought. If that were the case, then Mike Kryzewski would have been fired in his first few years at Duke. I get that everyone is disappointed. My neighbors can attest that I was in the same state last night, but we need to recognize talent at all levels and in all aspects of the game and nurture it, not engage in knee jerk beheadings just to please the fickle masses. I love the style Porter employs on the field and want to see more of it. He is trying something new here, something most of us in our heart of hearts want to see more of in the US system. There will be growing pains, but we can’t just cut it short and go back to kicking long balls the moment we hit a pothole.

  28. Poo says:

    I would like to know….

    Average # of professional first team matches played by the starting 11 from both sides last night.

    Any ideas?

  29. dude says:

    Damm those pesky college substitution rules

  30. Matt says:

    Ok, so this is not an excuse, because even with the talent the USA had out there they should have advanced. But was this a full strength U23 team? You would think that if it were, Jozy, Chandler, Williams, Gatt, Gil( maybe Gil is still to young?) and others would have been out there.

  31. Ricky B. Free says:

    I am sorry to bust your bubble, but Porter did a horrible job, he mismanaged the subs and he subed the wrong players out.

    When we scored the 3rd goal we bunkered down. How is that good coaching decisions?

    If we want to play with the big boys lets stop cuddling players and coaches.

  32. Jerry says:

    i guess we need a national stadium like México, Honduras,like everyone we need more support, more fans
    more love for futbol.

  33. Vegas says:

    How many of you want to wait 12 years for this attacking, possession style to pay dividends?

  34. Claudio says:

    What he said +1000

  35. Jerry says:

    we need to live the passion for the futbol is necessary.

  36. CMB2907 says:

    the new style of play will take a decade before we see alot of positive results. there will be some small victories but for the most part it will be slow and painful.

  37. Ricky B. Free says:

    Hey havent you heard we have to cuddle the players and coaches when they fail. We should still give them a trophy or medal thats the American way.

    In a real world when you get hired to do a job and fail miserabl, you get fired.

    Porter can learn from this and will probably get another shot in the future.

  38. clickclackmoo says:

    Porter clearly is a talented young coach. Hopefully this experience convinces him that he needs to step up to the next level of competition himself and coach at the professional level.

  39. bob says:

    Hey but atleast we will look good doing so.

  40. Turd Bradley says:

    If the kid from ucla the holding mid does not slide and fall down on the last sequence in midfield the ball pops right to him and he hopefully clears it. He slide in and got caught under people and was out of position for the second ball that popped right out. Difference in the game last night was a split second reaction that cost the team dearly.

    Not to mention the actual shot itself most likely should of been saved. You win some you lose some. England in 2010 we benefited from gk error this time we were on the wrong end of it.

    Sucks, but the future is still bright.

    Turd Bradley

  41. clickclackmoo says:

    Just like we expect our top young players to keep challenging themselves on the field, Porter needs to step up to the next level after this. He’s accomplished all he can at the college level. If he wants to continue to develop his coaching talents he needs to move to a professional set up. He’ll be challenged week in and week out to motivate players of different ages and backgrounds. He’ll go head to head against coaches with more experience and superior players. Another year at Akron is not going to help him become a better coach.

  42. Puffer says:

    I thought the style of play was exciting for the most part. Defense was atrocious, ball watching. Lot of room in midfield between the attacking mids and defense. Maybe the subs were mishandled by Porter but I like his tactics. I have to feel there are better U23 defenders out there though and I don’t feel like Okugo ate up enough space throughout the game

  43. Judging Amy says:

    See that’s the thing though (and today I feel much differently about Porter than yesterday right after the loss. He didn’t do a great job but it wasn’t horrible either.), for all the hype surrounding Porter’s tactical prowess in terms of possession, the US didn’t look to be that type of team for huge chunks of game time against ES and Canada. ES’ style was much more possession oriented than ours.

    Much maligned Rongen’s U20 team a few years ago with Feilhaber, MB, Adu, and Holden played a possession style just as well if not better than this US team.

    Anyways, this type of tournament was probably a change from what Porter was used to and the guy is clearly talented to build what he has at Akron. This is in no way the end of his career and his best coaching days are ahead of him.

  44. Mike in Missouri says:

    Klinnsman’s an arrogant tool.

    “What you saw in terms of style of play, pace of the game, technical elements of the game. You saw that tonight, you saw it against Cuba, you saw it against Mexico, and it’s important for us to see that we’re on the right path in terms of style of play.”

    Translation: I know we didn’t qualify, but at least we’re playing a style of play now that we no longer will play in 2 years when I’m no longer coach of the USMNT.

  45. Mike Z says:

    A lot of the discussion has been about the quality of the players, but in my opinion the failure of the U-23 team to qualify for the Olympics is a result of tactics. Caleb Porter deployed an aggressive 4-3-3 that his players were not prepared to play. At half time of the Canada game everyone in the stadium knew they were being overwhelmed in the mid-field and should have switched to a 4-4-2. Porter did not manage to his players strengths and paid for it in the end. If he would have made the adjustments needed there is no question in my mind that he had the players to qualify and probably make a run in the Olympics.

  46. downintexas says:

    I can careless about playing an attractive style of football. I want to win.

    Bob Bradley knew how to change up tactics. Thats how we beat Spain and Mexico, tied England. Advanced in the WC, made it to the Olympic games.

    Klinsman wants us to play with flare and be atractive. But no one says man that losing team sure did play pretty

  47. Eurosnob says:

    Porter did an excellent job with this team within a short time preparation period. Granted, this is a very disappointing result, no questions about that, but I have been really impressed with how this team played. Other than one lackluster game against Canada, this team has played some of the most exciting positive soccer that US youth teams have ever played. Including the “friendly” game against Mexico, this team scored 11 goals in 3 games – almost 3 goals/per game and dominated possession against all the opponents. These are young players, who will continue to develop. What doomed this team was not the overall lack of quality, but several defensive errors and some bad luck (like the bounce on the long distance hopeful shot that tied the game against Salvador in the last minute of extra time). I would rather see our young guys take risks and play the right way without making the Olympics, than to play like Canada did – keeping 11 men behind the ball and defend, defend, defend and hope to score of a counter or a set piece. Let’s say Canada beats Mexico in semis and makes it to the Olympics. But what does it mean for the future of their national team? Would they dominate Concacaf in 3-4 years and be a regular participant in the WC? I am very disappointed in the result, but I am happy that Klinsmann noticed the overall quality of this team’s play and that they played with a positive attacking style. Young players will learn from this and get better. I hope that USSF does not have a knee-jerk reaction and fire Porter based on one disappointing tournament.

  48. bob says:

    Klinnsman took the team out for pizza and ice cream afterwards. So its all good

  49. CJ says:

    I agree. It will take quite some time for the new style to really stick. I, for one, would not call for Porter’s head. Not yet anyway. He still needs to develop as a coach, and he is trying to implement his style on a team that basically does not really know how to play it yet. I don’t know how many times I yelled “Possess the ball!” at the screen last night. Both against Canada and El Salvador we saw balls go over the top. Perhaps we weren’t fit enough to keep the ball on the ground, and play in tight spaces.
    We fell victim to better player management against Canada–who knew what they were coming up against, and painted ourselves into a corner.
    Porter choked. So did the team…

  50. Annelid Gustator says:

    That is incorrect; Cuba scored none against us.

  51. Neruda says:

    He’s right about one thing: there are players in the U-23 class that will contribute to the senior team. The bad thing is that some of them were not able to play in these games and I’m not just talking Jozy and Chandler. Not having Morales and Agudelo’s injury hurt.

    Still despite all the attacking play with goals from the run of play it doesn’t matter if you give up goal after goal from corners.

    I’ll believe the hype around US Youth teams once a squad actually wins an important tournament.

  52. Joe+G says:

    Actually, zero goals to Cuba.

  53. sef-one says:

    This should be no real surprise to anyone who has watched Freddy step up. He is his own worst enemy. If he decides he wants it, he can be great.

    Maybe the fire is lit and he can learn from this experience and lead the Union? Who knows.

    This still sucks.

  54. mike says:

    This may be a stupid question, but can anyone explain why the 4-3-3 is the way to play for the U.S. National Team? I’ve never seen it explained in detail.

  55. The Imperative Voice says:

    Looking back at the whole, I am a little concerned about:
    the 433 seemed to be an end in itself, whether tactically effective or not;
    the personnel blindspot regarding Gyau;
    the failure to identify defense as a weak area and find a way to staff the position better (eg, maybe Gyau or Okugo becomes a back, instead of the former being benched and the latter platooned);
    the offense actually scores fewer, not more, goals starting Freddy (because Freddy is a decent passer for the level but wants to dribble cross and take dead balls which he is merely OK at……I happen to think we left goals on the table not starting Gyau instead);
    lack of an effective player rotation, which led to us starting and finishing the last games playing hard, but running out of gas in the middle;
    that was a creme puff group in terms of a CONCACAF draw;
    with the exception of Corona and Shea (and Agudelo FWIW), the players whom I see translating into senior successes (Boyd, Gyau) were not the ones being promoted by Porter. Bunbury, Adu, and Mixx just seem merely mediocre. Adu in particular, while a decent passer, has physical and even technical limitations, and doesn’t seem to play within them well. He wants to hit dead balls and crosses and take people on and it wasn’t even working with U23s. The one thing he does well is pass a ball except senior players will not give him that much time, and will pose more of a defensive responsibility the other way. And judging by Klinsi’s reaction he’ll taking his brand of undersized mediocrity to the NT soon…..

  56. torosrojosfan says:

    It’s all about results. The fact is: we could not beat the minions (Canada and El Salvador) and lost our chance to go to London. Porter needs to be fired. Period.

  57. epablo says:

    sean johnson sucks. go to jamaica.

  58. marco says:

    I agree with most of what Klinsmann said, but since I didn’t see the Mexico game I was not as deeply impressed. Caleb started poorly with his selections, especially at the back (most of Ives web clan nailed this). He made some poor starting decisions, Bunbury instead of Boyd and no Gyau, this didn’t make sense. His substitutions, and lack of, in both the Canada and El Salvador games contributed deeply to the results.

    What should Klinsmann take from this? It confirmed his belief that players in the MLS cannot compete internationally unless they get some quality play elsewhere, perhaps on loan. Note that Porter’s backline and goalies were all MLS only players.
    Klinsmann also got a great preview of what COCACAF officiating looks like. Playing soccer is often not enough in this region. He’ll need a few gladiators and prize fighters at qualification. Last, Boyd is probably the only player in this group with a chance at WC 2014.

  59. epablo says:

    either way he was going to leave because the u-23’s only meet every 3 1/2 years?

  60. pancholama says:

    A stunning, colossal, gob-smacking smack down – and as a given – the refereeing sucked and was anti-USA, or just plain shoddy and lamentable.

    How do 4 referees, one on the field, two line judges, and a fourth official, all wired to each other for sound miss that an American player has just been assaulted and battered, left semi-conscious, and BLEEDING, and then as result compensate the other team by adding injury time on to what has already been delineated by the 4th official, during which the other team gets every call possible to afford them possession. CONCACAF arbitration forever!

    That was also shocking – not to mention our lack of tactical fluidity, our lack of cohesiveness as a team, our lack of solid foundational soccer skills, etc. – etc., etc.,

  61. Eurosnob says:

    Mike, if you want to control the midfield, switching from 4-3-3 (Barcelona’s default system) to 4-4-2/4-4-1-1 (ManUtd’s usual system) is not a very good idea. The advantage of 4-4-2 and its variations is not controlling possession in the midfield, but have two lines of 4 defensively and the ability to play more direct (particularly on a counter) by having left and right mid gallop down the flanks and put the crosses in the box for the two strikers. In 4-3-3, which is the system played by Barca, all three midfielders play close to the center of the pitch and the fullbacks push forward to the midfield on the wings when in possesion and the wingers could drop back when out of possession. In 4-4-2, only two of the midfielders play centrally so they are at a numerical disadvantage against the 3 mids from 4-3-3. And, by the way, both of Canada’s goals resulted from the headers from poorly defended crosses rather than any midfield dominance.

  62. Future says:

    my bad………..5 goals in 3 games then.

  63. ACS says:

    Morales was the missing lynchpin on defense, Okugo and Jeffrey were not even close to playing that position right.

  64. ld says:

    Yeah but the USA isn’t the best team in this tournament, or even their group. That is why they’re going home…

  65. epablo says:

    the MLS assessment is a truthful blow to the league. Gatt and others were missed back there. Especially danny wiliams for the center spot. Opara is such a dissapointment. I mean wow. no difference between him and “boss”.

  66. Eurosnob says:

    I agree. It sounds like Adu will be invited to the first team camp. And he did will them back from 1-2 down, when he was subbed out the score was 3-2 in US favor.

  67. Andy says:

    Come on Klinsy you know it was a horrible failure. I don’t really want to hear all of these positive spins like we lost the gold medal game, but at least we won silver. We didn’t even make it out of the qualifying group!

    Glad to hear that he noticed Freddy’s good play though.

  68. marco says:

    The time between games is a poor excuse when you see the same Mexican, and El Salvador players going all out for 90+ every game.

  69. MoneyBags says:

    ……in Laymens terms…We need some thugs.
    We got punked & pushed around.

  70. Al17 says:

    Based on how Bob was released you’re right and I couldn’t have said it any better. I’m fan of Porter but there’s no excuse for the poor defending our backline showed the entire tournament. The same can be said on our set pieces and marking. How in the F..K do we give up a goal last night on a dead ball play to a shorter team? He also erred badly in not starting Johnson last night. Hamid would have been on my bench after Saturday’s fiasco and certainly after he was injured last night. I hope it’s not serious but anyone watching that match saw that he should have been pulled. The trainer nor the player has the final decision on this but the team’s Head Coach.

    We should have won last night, plain and simple and especially seeing how Canada drew Cuba.

  71. Andy says:

    All good points that I agree with! Except, you don’t think Adu, Agudelo, Gyau, Corona, Mix or Shea even have a chance for WC 2014?

  72. Casey says:

    Yes you have it right. He wants to build for the future and not be a counter attack team. Glad you are looking at the big picture. *sarcasm*

  73. marco says:

    One must remember in the end Caleb was done in by the worst goal-keeping the USA has ever had in a major tournament.

  74. marco says:

    I agree with most everything. Based on what I heard about his performance against Mexico, the Gyau sitting needs to be explained by someone in US soccer. Was there a disciplinary problem?

  75. JJ says:

    Olympic qualifying – Who is accountable for this failure? Yes, I know the US is trying to make changes in style & system of play but when we cannot even get out of our group stage, there clearly is a problem somewhere in the system.

  76. marco says:

    Very slim chances. The MLS players none if they don’t get out of the league. Freddy has the skill, but very little foot speed. Gyau gets benched, who knows why?

  77. Mr. Nuck says:

    It certainly isn’t an excuse.

    Canada is missing a couple players too…Ashtone Morgan and Junior Hoilett for two…

    As a Canadian, I looked at the US roster with envy and couldn’t understand why the US coach didn’t have a player rotation set up like Canada did.

  78. marco says:

    freddy and boyd won the contest before another goalie collapse

  79. Rick says:

    Porter already has a job. He isn’t going to be the U-23 coach anymore, because it is only a 8 month job (no matter what JK says). They aren’t going to retain him, because the next important game the U-23s play is in 2016.

  80. 2tone says:

    Way off. Adu was the reason why we surged back last night. You say Gyau, but fail to relaise that he did nothing against Canada. Gyau has talent, but I gaurantee you that the players that will be called up during this cycle will be Shea, Boyd, Adu, Agudelo, adn Possibly Corona(who by the way was absent for long stretches against both Canada and El Slavador.) Freddy has great skill on dead balls. I think I will listen to Klinsmann when he points out a specific player. which Adu was the MOM last night.

  81. jojo says:

    The US will NEVER be a power until the focus on the youth moves from the suburbs to the ghetto. When I see kids playing pick-up games on the west side of Chicago, I know we are there.

  82. CroCajun says:

    Sure I’ll elaborate.

    The coaches job is to have the team prepared for the game both mentally and physically, and to manage the game tactically.

    From my perspective, Porter’s system worked. We dominated possession and created numerous chances.

    After that it’s up to player execution and a bit of luck.

    There were a lot of near misses in this tournament that went against the US. A disallowed goal vs Canada, Agudelo and Hamid’s injuries, the fluke bounce that beat Johnson, and the incredibly aggressive ES tackles, culminating with Boyd getting punched in the face off the ball, that went unpunished.

    Had any one of these uncontrollable circumstances gone our way we would not be discussing Porter’s tactics.

    The bottom line is that good teams lose. It’s part of soccer. Every year Barca drops a game to a Spanish league team that is not near their ability. This does not mean Pep should be fired, it’s simply part of the game.

    It’s unfortunate that this happened during a tournament style format, but I don’t think it means Porter should be banished and never heard from again. He’s the same coach that beat Mexico 2-0 a few weeks ago.

  83. WantUStoWin says:

    America prides itself on being different and evolving.
    why do we have to change our style of play instead of tweaking the counter-attacking, defensive style and making it better? We did have some success with the previous style but everyone went crazy after we lost the gold cup to mexico and the whole thing blew up.
    Tell me if i’m wrong. Just my opinion

  84. Eurosnob says:

    Fair enough, but I will ask you if BB teams won any international trophies aside from the Gold Cup? Who won the last World Cup, the last Champions League, and the last Euro? Spain, Barcelona, and Spain. What style of play do these winners have? Does it remind you of BB’s style? What teams are likely to seriously contend for the next WC? Spain, Germany, Brazil, Argentina and Netherlands. Does any of these teams play BB’s style? If we want to make the next step our players should strive to emulate the modern style played by the best teams. BB’s team was able to beat Spain on one occassion, but the next time they played Spain, Spain obliterated them. I don’t believe that BB’s tactics can lead to sustained success.

  85. dcm says:

    that is a silly comment. think about it. no one would be happy if we just bunkered in the whole game and scored on random counter attacks once in a while like most concacaf teams. watching people time waste for the last 20 minutes, faking injury, watching the goalie collapse on the ball every time he touches it. watching a defender just knock the ball 70 yards down field. that is unattractive football, and no one likes it, win or lose.

  86. 2tone says:

    Well it sucks, but what I take away is that Adu should be on the senioir team. But for the love of god play him at CAM or as a support striker not on the wing. Boyd is a beast. Shea has a ton of talent, but just needs to put it all together. Gyau will be electric after a few more years developing in the Bundesliga. Very much missed Gatt and Morales. But I am still excited by some of the players. And I can’t wait for WC qualifying to start. Fans wil hate and remonstrate one minute after a loss and the next be in jubilation after a win. Can’t wait until May and we get the entire full national team together again.
    Sucks the team blew it, but I am over it, and looking FWD to WC qualifying.

  87. CMB2907 says:


  88. Mike in Missouri says:

    I consider qualifying for the Olympics to be building for the future. Especially against a group that contains Cuba, Canada, and El Salvador

  89. 2tone says:

    I disagree. I beleive not only Boyd, but Agudelo, Shea, Adu, and possibly Gyau have a shot at 2014. Adu was the best player for the U.S. in the tournament. Shea very explosive at times, but clearly needs to bring it all together and he will.

  90. marco says:

    Although I didn’t see the contest, I accept reports that the USA was golden against Mexico before the tournament. So what happened? I believe there were only three player changes at the end. Agudelo was injured, so that one is clear. Morales was not on the roster. Why? He wasn’t needed by Hertha Berlin who didn’t dress him for their last game? Gyau was demoted to part time sub? Why?

    P.S. as a sometime Galaxy watcher, I dreaded seeing Stephens come on at the end. Even when not his fault bad things happen when he subs in.

  91. JoeW says:

    B/c the Dutch teach the 4-3-3. And the reason the Dutch do it is b/c it’s great at developing particular skill sets, especially for attackers. If you play a 4-3-3, your movement off the ball and attacking skills are probably good enough to translate to other formations.

  92. Benny says:

    Yeah, but they would have won their group if Johnson would have stopped that long soft shot. There is no way that shot should have gone in. Sure, there were other factors why they lost (poor subbing, ball watching, etc.) but that shot needs to be saved, bad bounce or not, at this level.

  93. Vegas says:

    those other countries you mentioned had a 30 year head start on the US in creating an attacking, possession style. So i guess we will just wait 10-20 more years to change the game up because people dont like to watch the way Americans play??

  94. pete says:

    how long is it gonna take? 20 more years?

  95. marco says:

    Unfortunately both Agudelo and Adu do not get enough playing time at their MLS clubs, Gyau the same at Hoffenheim. Things could change before 2014.

    Arena, Bradley, and Klinsmann all give great weight to minutes played for selections.

  96. SD says:

    This game was “lost” for one reason, lack of tactital ability to close out a game….el salador doesn’t score if it doesn’t have the ball…only one player (boyd) had the sense to try and keep the ball in the corner…all the other guys kept wanting to punt it out…..it’s the same reason why mls teams lose in concacaf champions league, they don’t know how to close out a game with a lead….this is a tactical deficiency in the american game….

  97. JoeW says:

    First, did Porter do a great job? No, almost by definition, if a team has 2 consecutive results that are disappointing than the coach is partially culpable. But those who are saying “fire him” or “college is too much of a stretch” are clueless. Porter has been recruited by pro teams. He’s a former professional player. He runs one of the top college programs in the country. He’s widely regarded as a talented, up-and-coming coach. Here’s one of the things about Klinsman’s duties: they’re not just qualifying for the WC, it’s also about growing soccer in the US. That includes a wide range of challenges: exposing groups who haven’t had much of a look before (like some hispanics), getting the US to play a more sophisticated style on offense, being more tactically astute. But it also involves growing coaching talent. Otherwise we’d have just kept Rongen or Schmid.

  98. Salvador says:

    For being AT Home it sure looked like a pro El Salvadorian crowd to me. so the HOME argument goes out the window.

  99. RLW2020 says:

    everyone thought, me included, thought porter was in a great position. I would never blame this one klinsy or sunil or anyone involved in hiring him.

    bottom line the defensive line and goalkeepers failed and the coach porter failed as well. This team was the best in their group. Yes it might be a while until a NCAA coach gets an opportunity like this again. Its only fair.

  100. Ryan in NY from NC says:

    It still feels like a bad dream.

    If I feel like this the day after, I can only IMAGINE how those kids feel.

    I’d much rather miss out on the Olympics instead of the World Cup.

    England missed the entire WC in 1994 (which was, coincidentally enough, here in the states)

  101. marco says:

    When all the tactics, and formations, and player selections, and subs have been scrutinized to the nth degree, there was still an unfair albatross put around Porter’s neck. He was saddled with the worst goal-keeping display I’ve ever seen for a USA team.

  102. Mike Z says:

    Your assessment is fair enough. My point was the midfield was ineffective both in pushing the ball forward and providing cover for the back four. His midfield was not strong enough to control the tempo (except against Cuba) and his back four needed additional support. Ultimately I think his desire to play a certain style blinded him to adjusting tactically to strengths of his players.

  103. Ricky B. Free says:

    Again with the overhyped SHea, that kid has no motor and no soccer I.Q. I rather have Gyau taking on people with his speed and balls skills than a 60 minute Shea that turns into dead weight the last 30 minutes of each game he plays for every team he plays.

    Gyau should have been starting and Shea was the one that should have been sube in at the 60 or 70th minute.

  104. Chuck says:

    I don’t want to see us ALMOST qualifying to the WC after putting up a commendable effort and learning a buttload.

  105. Casey says:

    So he is a tool looking for the positives in results. You do realize there were a number of notable absences in this tournament. That didn’t happen last cycle. It means we have depth and are starting to go towards what Klinsmann wants.
    Glad you have the patience of a saint. Way to be so short sided in your analysis. I am sure there were plenty of words said in the background that we will never hear.

  106. clickclackmoo says:

    Freddy always seems to play well in tournament settings. He was spectacular during the U-20 World Cup in Canada a few years back and was impressive in last summer’s Gold Cup.

  107. Mike in Missouri says:

    so obviously you’ll have the same opinion if we don’t qualify for Brazil 2014 while concentrating on “attractive, attacking soccer”, right?

  108. PD says:

    Porter is the future, he’s gotta take his lumps somewhere.

    Besides Jason Kreis has a gig.

  109. BetaMale says:

    I still think missing out on the U-20 world cup was way more of a hindrance to our youth development as this ever will be.

  110. Spank says:

    EXACTLY! I tried to post something similar to this last night and all i got was trash talk. These guy’s need better support, I’m not sure if the US ever really plays a HOME game.

  111. PD says:

    from where I sit, I think that this is the perfect opportunity for Adu to “rise above” which is what he needs to show for a full season in order to prove to his detractors that he’s really legit.

    I’m sold, but haters…

  112. Vic says:

    I’m really confused by some of the comments on here. How do people say we can’t play the 4-3-3 or Porter’s style is ineffective. We scored 9 goals in 3 games and dominated possession. You can’t criticize our midfield or forwards. We let up 5 goals, 3 from set pieces. You want to say our defenders suck, thats a fair point. Our goalie sucks, thats a fair point.

  113. you Mom says says:

    no YOU’RE an idiot.

  114. Mike R says:

    Meh. Not a fan of his European “it’s ok to lose” mentality.

    In the USA it’s win or no one cares or notices.

  115. RLW2020 says:

    good points, but when you get to the international level it is always must win now or your out. At the club or college level is where long term evolution can occur. makes me wonder if klinsy should be coaching a club/college not the national team…

  116. The Imperative Voice says:

    This should have been Camp Cupcake for Freddy who’s only been playing professionally since he was 14. The reality is that Freddy has proven unable to translate to the senior team because he’s not that fast, not that fit, not that tall, merely solid on deadballs, wants to try to dribble people and pretend he’s a winger and not just pass the ball, can’t play stuck-in defense. I will grant he was effective in spots last night but Gyau had more useful unique qualities, would have stretched and tired the defense, and has more senior upside.

    Presumably Porter agrees with you but he’s also headed for international unemployment. And given some of Klinsi’s befuddling picks, I’m not entirely sold he knows what he’s doing when it comes to identifying the most useful players and playing them.

    My two cents Boyd, Gyau, and Corona are your keepers from this lot.

  117. Casey says:

    Way to be in the positive and I guess you haven’t been watching the senior team lately. Most of these guys won’t be in the coming cycle most notably the defenders. There are U23 defenders that weren’t released. In some ways you could call this Olympic team a B+ team.
    But since you have no knowledge and are just speaking from what you saw yesterday, go put on your tin foil hat and hang out in your basement.

  118. RLW2020 says:

    very true. it was understood that we needed to survive with this defensive unit before bringing in chandler, overage players, etc.

    Still no one thought they would be that bad. also the management of who played and how often they played was not well done either.

  119. The Imperative Voice says:

    I see Shea as potentially being a Dempsey BUT that being said he and Bunbury were the least productive attackers this tournament. You look at the stats and you’re like, 2 assists is all you could manage from Cuba Canada ES? He occasionally does nice skillful things but he’s not a 90 minute guy and over the longue duree he is not presently all that productive.

    If you ask me it should have been
    well, there the problem begins…..I can fix Porter’s attack but he showed up with an awful defense, almost like the set of Gold Cup forwards that helped get Bradley fired after Altidore came off.

    I don’t understand why everyone wanted to use Gyau on the left because he seemed to favor his right. I think if we’d started Gyau we’d have been the team wearing the other side out.

  120. RLW2020 says:

    when there is what 10,000ish in the stands who cares!

  121. clickclackmoo says:

    Boyd will certainly get his chance with the senior team because they just lack top class strikers. Right now Jozy seems to be automatically pencilled into the starting XI despite frequent reports that he does not always “bring it” in training. Hopefully the presence of Boyd and the other young strikers from the Olympic pool will push Jozy to train and perform at another level. Gatt and Gyau will also get their chances because other than Shea and Donovan, there are no dynamic options on the wing. Fabian Johnson and Tim Chandler are good options on the wings but the team may be better served having them play as fullbacks. Robbie Rogers is something of a known quantity at the international level but his move to Leeds may add new dimensions to his game. Alejandro Bedoya has languished at Rangers and his uneven performance at the Gold Cup suggests that upper levels of Concacaf competition (ie. Mexico) may be above his ceiling.

  122. RLW2020 says:

    not sure about El salvador, which the commentator said had a lot of domestic club starters, but Canada was playing with a handful of academy players, even some college and NASL players!

  123. Angel of LA says:

    well I think a lots of this player were over doing what they need to do, and this all happen cause they wanna to impress THE MAN. Klismann was in the attendance that all this player wanna to impress him. But is all done and we are not going to the Olympics and now Klismann have to give a chance to this new comers and bring them to the Senior level. OHH WELL, I’m sad and disappointed but looking to the future now I think we have some good young players coming in to the National Men Team. Like Boyd he can become the new McBride.

  124. The Imperative Voice says:

    I was disappointed we didn’t really try keep away. IMO the most effective way to close is keepaway on the other end. The shielding late also left something to be desired.

    Personally, I’m not a big fan of sitting on close leads, that always struck me as a tactic for over-achieving teams trying to retain a result they don’t deserve. I was always of the “step on their neck” school. We had ES dead in the water and then backed off and let them re-start the boat. I agree that a more emphatic tackle in the middle late, or another clearance, and maybe the result is different, Porter’s a genius, etc.

    But from my POV when you bunker back you risk exactly what happened. It’s a percentage play that is not as effective as Dom Kinnear and Porter would seem to think. IMO defenses usually crack after a while. And then maybe some people miss tackles, the defense doesn’t step up fast enough, keeper misplays the bounce, voila, 3-3.

    Tangential point, if you’re bringing on players THAT late, the better tactical play might have been not subbing so early but instead burning time on a throw in. I can’t believe Corona and Adu were that gassed, I’d have subbed them in 90+ both to kill clock. In that sense maybe Mr. Akron was exposed as a college coach, different NCAA subbing rules.

  125. Céu says:

    I believe that coach Dunga may be that you guys need.

  126. Juan says:

    I dont know what Freddy has to do to get some respect? He was the best player for us in the Gold cup, after he got to play, and he was key in setting up 2 of the 3 goals in the game last night. He makes great passes, has great touch and ball control on set pieces and carried that lame team last night on his back. I’m glad Klinsmann got to see it live. Now we’ll see if he gets a call for WC qualifying or if we go with the likes of Sacha.

  127. dj says:

    Well, there’s no denying that both the players and the coach underachieved in a major way in this tournament. I’m not on any side of the argument. I know that people are frustrated with the ‘style of play’ concept. I’m not happy with it either when we don’t win.

    I do believe, however, that it will develop better attacking players in the future. And that will help put us closer to the big boys. I’m not saying that we have to sacrifice right away though. I think that Porter was the direct opposite of flexible with his tactics. That led to problems against Canada, and we should have at the least drew that game. I was at the stadium, and everyone there could attest to the better group of players, and they didn’t win the game. Or draw the game, which was frustrating.

    While the tactics bothered me to no end, my biggest gripe against Porter was the selection of defenders for the tournament. Everyone knew that the only centerback on the roster was Opara. My worry was that his lack of time with his club (due to injury) coupled with the lack of an additional centerback partner (all due respect to Kitchen who is a heck of a player, but he’s not an international centerback in my estimation) spelled disaster for our defense. And as soon as we played teams that could threaten, we discovered that was true.

    The fact is that the way we played made us susceptible to the counter, and we needed more help in the back. Giving up 3 goals to El Salvador is unacceptable on home turf to me. Giving up 2 to Canada on home turf is unacceptable to me.

    Having said all that, I don’t think that we should scrap the way we want to play because we don’t have the players to fit the system at the moment. If we did that, then we’d never develop players for that system. Maybe we should have implemented it at the younger age groups first, but in any case I’m all about trying to make our players better on the ball. It needs to happen if we’re to move the game forward. But, unlike this tournament, not at the sacrifice of success. Which I don’t blame on the system. I blame it on the selection and the tactics. Which falls on the shoulders of the young coach. At the end of the day, he wasn’t quite ready for this task.

  128. Juan says:

    The beauty is that since we’re out, there is no reason to deal with Porter for some time so Klinsmann would not have to fire him… just lose his number if he chooses.

    Should have gone with Reyna. At least there’d be no favs from college getting called in

  129. MidWest Ref says:

    So what do we do: go back to Rongen who is likely responsible for a number of defections from the USMNT – like Neven Subotic (sp).

    Porter is a great college coach. These are college age kids. He plays a great style based on possession and passing at Akron, who has been the best college team for the past few years. This is the style Klinnsman wants to play on the senior team.

    It is an unfortunate loss, but lets not throw out the baby with the bath water. The U21’s (or 23s) are not the MNT.

  130. The Imperative Voice says:

    To which I’d say that 433 is a high risk formation that results in high scoring end to end soccer in the Eredivisie, and that in light of a 3-3 eliminator you might be under-estimating exactly how productive a 433 has to be sometimes in a tactical clash. All due respect but once in club we won a game 6-5. You can pat yourself on the back that 5 goals was pretty nice but you weren’t lucky enough for the win, or you can do what it takes to get 6. When I hear people backing Shea and Adu it’s like, dude, they didn’t do all that much in games where the opponents were putting up 2-3 goals themselves.

    If you’re the fast break Denver Nuggets of the 80s you better be able to make a ton of jump shots.

  131. dj says:

    yeah, if it makes us feel better, we usually do better in World Cup years where we don’t make the Olympics. :)

    (In case you can’t catch it, this is a joke. Not a very good one. Somewhat true statement, but a joke nonetheless)

  132. The Imperative Voice says:

    Except be real Porter wasn’t bringing in all these Germans, they came from upstairs.

    I don’t know if the coaching choice matters if Klinsi is insisting on a 433, which is tactically risky and as some have said perhaps not built to survive CONCACAF rigors. Bluntly it could be suggested that abandoning the physicality and structure of the 442 the US abandons some of its inherent athletic advantages.

    After all, our pre-Klinsi experience with a 433 was that CR road shellacking under Bradley. I understand Klinsi has a style he’d like to bring but I’m not convinced it maximizes US tactical effectiveness, and I’m a results guy. We’ll see when those games start counting.

  133. Todd says:

    Really…on crap….don’t know I have never tried it. In know what you meant…and I imagine it wouldn’t taste very good. Yep one bad tournament won’t ruin a career but the US has had it shares of “One bad” tournaments or missed opportunities.

  134. sef-one says:

    Watch the second goal. Watch Freddy lose the ball then fight to get it back. win it back and then lay off a perfect ball. he is not fast, but he is quick. the only thing you are really right about is that he is not that tall.

  135. PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

    My biggest issue is the player rotation. The amount of minutes played by certain players when Porter said ‘we have a lot of interchangeable parts’.
    Maybe he just thought the boys would suck it up and go 90 every other day…but clearly there was a lack of verve.

    The card-fest was predictable against El Salvador; but we shouldn’t have been in that position anyway.

    Canada was the game that put the U.S. on the back foot. It was that game that cost the Olympics, not Sean Johnson’s bobble. Not Shea’s failure to clear a ball or keep possession. Not Okubu’ reluctance to knock a won ball out of bounds. Not Opara’s failure to close down a dangerous player 25 yards out.
    In the end it was the failure to get a point out of Canada that cost the team an ability to move forward.

  136. PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

    I want to believe that we ‘have a lot of talent coming up’, but results don’t bear that out.

    and if the ‘right club teams’ are not MLS clubs then they’re not the right clubs. (See the list of U23’s not allowed to be with the U23 qualifying team: F. Johnson, Chandler, Gatt, Altidore, etc. etc.)

  137. PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

    You have got to be kidding.
    Do you seriously think that we are anywhere close to Barcelona’s talent level to be capable of running a Spain/Barcelona offense?

  138. Salgado says:

    Am I the only one who feels this way, or do we play more comfortably and effectively in a two forward (4-4-2) system. Why the insistance on a “stranded forward” (4-3-3) formation? Juergen/? Claudo? Anyone? I just feel it hurts us.

  139. hush says:

    Adu the best player in the U.S had in this tourn. Klins knows it, and I’m glad he let it be known. Adu has to perform 3x times better than Rogers,Sasha, and shea it seems to get on the senior team which says a lot on what the U.S federation expect from him.

    Adu saved the senior team from taking an early exit in the Gold Cup, no booty about it. Anytime he gets on the field, he will give you at least a couple of chances to score. For those whining about his “D” skills, shut uuuup about that… we have 10 defenders already, his job is to create. And he does.

    Adu,Boyd, Gyau, and Corona. These 4 played with heart and skill.

  140. PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

    Unfortunately, that’s a 4-4-2 you’ve outlined, clearly illegal in U.S. lineups.

    Maybe if you didn’t care if you controlled the ball you’d start Gyau over Adu…but if you’re tied to a ‘ball control style’…then Adu has to be on the pitch.

    And Adu held his own in a left forward position that is not his ideal spot.
    We can blame a lot of things for this fiasco…it’s hard to take any large swipes at Adu.

  141. Pat says:

    “It’s a learning experience. They need to handle a big disappointment at an early stage in their careers and it doesn’t kill them, it makes them stronger.”

    Hey Jurgen, you know what can be a truly amazing learning experience for any young athlete?

    Going to the Olympics.

  142. PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

    jojo, fair enough…but how is that going to happen? Outline a plan for me on that.

    The only hope I can see of this occurring is success of the sport in the U.S. public eyes..and that to me is the Olympics and World Cup, which then translates to interest in MLS clubs, which in turn can pay more due to the increased eyeballs, which in turn holds on to more talent in the MLS, which in turn creates a desire to join an MLS club, thus practicing on ones own in the suburbs of the Chicago ghetto.
    Ghetto problem solved. :)

  143. Andy says:

    Ironic that it was the goalie’s that ended up doing us in.

  144. Andy says:

    Looking at the teams that qualified this year, and namely, the ones that didn’t. It shows how little the Olympics show about a national team program as a whole. Although it sucks we’re not in it, it doesn’t mean the program is doomed or something.

    Europe: Belarus, Switzerland, Spain, and Great Britain (automatic)
    Asia: United Arab Emirates, S. Korea, Japan (Australia got last in their group stage)
    Africa: Egypt, Morocco, Gabon
    S.A.: Brazil, Uruguay
    Oceanic: NZ
    Concacaf: Mexico and Honduras probably…

  145. PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

    LOL. Excellent point.

  146. Dennis says:

    I think that the real mistake came against Canada. Not using at least 4 or 5 fresh players to combat what you knew was going to be an athletic team playing high pressure rather than one that would play more skillfully and defend less aggressively, I think, was a coaching error. I think you have top rely on the coach’s judgement of the talent and pecking order, but when the coach says he has depth, but does not use it when it would have been most useful is not so good.

    Adu has always shown moments of brilliance and now he has started to play in a way that does not put his team at a disadvantage by trying to do more than he is capable of. It remains to be seen if he can rein himself in even more when he is in games where he is not the best player on the field, or even simply not better than the opponent in front of him. A game like this does not show Adu has improved greatly, but it does show he has learned a little humility and might be able to use his talent to help his team rather than help himself. Basically when he can have a decent game when faced with consistent high quality defending, coaches will begin to find ways to include him in starting lineups, until then, not so much.

  147. beachbum says:

    have to agree this time marco.

  148. beachbum says:

    disagree. nothing wrong with being a counter attacking team! the answer is to become more flexible depending on matchups.

    Germany counter attacks brilliantly, so does Italy. They also do other things

  149. beachbum says:

    on playing like Dempsey, that player is Joe Corona in my mind…very similar stuff to Clint

  150. beachbum says:

    100% agree. it was a top concern–who was the dirty work player on the team? turned out, no one

    and losing on set piece after set piece with weak in the box defending? guys with skills like Omar Gonzalez are highly underrated and at least one such player was needed on this team

  151. beachbum says:

    I agree with you.

  152. beachbum says:

    it’s inescapable from my view. shocking display from US keepers

  153. David says:

    It’s a good point, we should be beating these teams. But one thing I’d like to point out to you and other naysayers is to look at who else didn’t make it. Argentina is gone from the South America pool. And take a look at who didn’t qualify in Europe: Italy, Netherlands, Germany, France. You know who beat out Germany in the group stages? Iceland! A country of 300,000 people!

    My point is this happens to other good teams. It sucks, yes, I still feel awful about it. And there are some things to question Porter/the team about, sure. But if these other perennial powerhouses can improve from their loss, so can we.

  154. Casey says:

    Disagree with you. The Germans know when to counter attack and when to take the game to another team.
    They don’t sit back against the likes of Canada or Belarus.

  155. Judging Amy says:

    I disagree. The performances against the tWo toughest group opponents were in no way impressive. Barca loses games sure, but if they went out in the first round of Champions you can bet Pep would be getting criticism. Should be the same for Porter. Part of coaching is knowing how to manage bad circumstances and for the record even if the US gets through this group I still think we are talking about Porters coaching ability based on the fact that this team did not look impressive against inferior competition. For all the talk of tactical genius Porter seemed to adapt to game circumstances very poorly.

    That said Porter is now getting hated on as much as he was hyped pre-tourney and its probably a bit unfair.

  156. marco says:

    I agree with everything, up until Robbie Rogers, including Johnson and Chandler as FBs.
    Dempsey and Donovan will play in front of them.

  157. Judging Amy says:

    Based on hype Porter may be the future but based on actual ability its yet to be seen.

  158. beachbum says:

    what are you disagreeing with? you just said what I was saying Casey, come on

    flexibility, being able to do what the situation dictates…like Germany and the counter, which they played for and executed tremendously in the last WC

    being a counterattacking team is part of that equation…who said anything about just sitting back

    your original post…disagree strongly. even your reply to me disagrees with it.

  159. Call Up Lichaj says:

    Idiotic comment. Does Spain get its talented players from the ghetto. Maybe, but I have never read that. France fills its academies (and national teams) from the banlieues, and it is possibly the most underachieving team in the world. Don’t say this is about race, because that scumbag Ribery epitomizes the banlieues. Case in point: the rest of the French team “freezing out” Gourcuff at WC 2010 because of his wealthy background; or, more generally, the childish behavior the whole team displayed throughout WC 2010.

    Nothing is wrong with our athletes. Soccer is, at best, the sixth-most popular sport in this country; our professional league is a joke (but getting better); and players therefore don’t “make it” in Europe until they’re much older. But go ahead and force this to be a socio-economic issue.

  160. FustalFranklin says:

    And it’s the coaches job to select the right players and prepare them for the competition.


    1. The roster had one centerback and one stopper middy that play the position consistently… and – big surprise – we had defensive problems… Connecting the dots is obvious here and proper player selection was a BIG Issue

    2. Adu should play in the center – not on the wing… he’s much more productive and creative at center. This is a perfect example of taking talent and not using it wisely in formation

    3. What’s the best way to milk a 1-goal lead? Make it a two goal lead… The minute we went into stall ball mode it became a battle of attrition… could we outlast El Sal ceding possession via stall and hoof before they punch one in.

    The answer to # 3 was NO.

    Which brings me to # 4…

    4. You NEVER play not-to-lose when up by 1 and with a tie meaning tournament elimination for you team… You attack and score again…

    5. God I hope that at least worked on corners and set-piece coverage in practice and it was simply the players that didn’t execute… But it really doesn’t matter either way… The defensive execution, particularly on corners was simply one word: atrocious.

    All this means one thing: Porter should be out. I don’t even think its arguable.

    I hope this isn’t his last top tier job but he clearly wasn’t ready for this at this time.

  161. Casey says:

    I never said we shouldn’t be only a counter attacking team.
    We used to counter attack against Grenada and T&T under Milutinović, Sampson, Arena, Bradley. Klinsmann is trying to change the bunker against the weaker sides tactic. It will take time and people are already reading the riot act when qualification hasn’t started and most of this U-23 team won’t be starting for the Full national team.

    And I quote: “Germany counter attacks brilliantly, so does Italy.”
    They do that against better teams or teams at their level. Not against the likes of Canada or Belarus. We bunkered in the Gold Cup against Canada mind you.

    In simple terms for you, he wants to break us out of the counter only system which we have employed forever. He wants us to build out of the back instead of the dump and chase. I never said we were going to dictate the pace against good teams like Barcelona does. I am not arrogant and trying to pick and choose what I say.

  162. Kojo says:

    For all you apologists out there. Caleb Porter did a HORRIBLE CRAPPY Job. There are so many things wrong from Caleb who felt comfortable with his player selection. No worries on the defensive line I have players who are interchangeable. The lack of rotating players between games to keep them fresh physically and mentally just proves that he lied he wasn’t comfortable with his squad. The poor time management, team substitutions, having your goalie nursing an injury and then having to waste a substitution on him in the final game. Whose running the show the players or the coach. Very very unprofessional. Lack of movement off the ball was another concern throughout the tournament, speed of play was to slow to take advantage of the USA’s superior talent, endless crossing and not enough creativity in the final third when you have creative players such as Adu, Diskerud and Corona. They were not used to their full effect. This is the coach’s fault pure and simple. Remember we lost to a very young Canadian team that some players are not even tied to a club at present. So lets stop apologizing and start demanding better. Let’s this be a tipping point. We’re just not going to take this crap and we’re not going to accept substandard coaching and on field performance. Remember this was U-23 vs U-23. How can anyone accept what just transpired in the last 5 days beggars belief.

  163. Spank says:

    I’m already over this loss. I was super pissed last night and this morning, I didn’t even want to talk to my wife but now i feel good. Yes we didn’t qualify but oh well. It’s just the olympics. The best u-23 teams weren’t even going to be there. Considering that the best players couldn’t even be released for qualifying. So yes it sucks but at least we were able to see who has what it takes and who doesn’t. Full speed ahead towards WCQ.

  164. Steve-O says:

    well said!

  165. Steve-) says:

    interesting thoughts and theories, except the part about the equalizing bobble. That is precisely why we are not moving on.

  166. BrianK says:

    What is so odd about this is,…even if the team had managed to qualify for London, how many players would have featured at the games when you consider age eligible players who were not playing last night and the overage players:

    Hoffenheim middie (?) – Morales?

    …then Howard (!), Dempsey, Donovan, Ream. Possibly nine players! Strange that there is such a disconnect between the team that qualifies and the team that competes in the games. Also,…having seen Hamid and Johnson have nightmare tournaments,…I couldn’t help but think of NYRB’s rookie GK Meara.

    Bottom line though,…we weren’t good enough. Should Caleb Porter have been expected to manage/coach around such horrific goalkeeping?

  167. Eurosnob says:

    Pancho, nobody is saying that this team is as good as Barca, but you don’t need to have world’s top talent to adopt their principles. I recommend that you watch how a small team from Bilbao gave royal spanking to ManUtd in the Europa league. Their coach Bielsa uses many of the same principles that Guardiola does and had them play positive, intelligent soccer rather than sitting back against a superior opponent. They destroyed ManUtd, a team with much bigger budget. If you watched this U23 team in their game against Mexico, they played the right way, dominated possession and controlled the game, adopting the same principles that the world’s top team use. My point is not that this U23 team is as good as Barca, but it played very attractive soccer and scored 11 goals in 4 games (including the friendly game against a talented Mexican team).

  168. Eurosnob says:

    I don’t know how long it would take, but if we play negative style soccer, we won’t be one of the contenders even in 200 years.

  169. Brain Guy says:

    Did Diskerud and Adu get bitten? That’s what Mix said. Bitten? BITTEN?!

  170. Eurosnob says:

    But they also scored 9 goals in 3 games, which is 3 goals per game scoring average. Goalkeeping blunders and defensive mistakes can be corrected – these are young players and they will improve defensively.

  171. Brain Guy says:

    No, but it may be argued that the US’s fate should never have come down to a GK error.

    That said, I also thought of Meara. He already seems more composed and confident than Hamid.

  172. dgoshilla says:

    I couldn’t disagree more. The strategy from the Canada game to the El Salvador game didn’t change. We played over our midfield in both matches. This lead to very little possession, it stretched the field and it left our midfield behind on defense and left our defense outnumbered on counter attacks. These are all devastating strategies when you’re playing against what appeared to be a quicker team. Our strengths were our skill on the ball, our overlapping runs, our size advantage. We needed to shrink the field, control the ball, move the ball through the midfield around the 18 and force El Salvador to foul around the box and draw corner kicks. Bad coaching, bad tactics.

  173. Rivaldo says:

    Did you fall on your head this morning?

  174. Modibo says:

    Hamid is the one who let in two goals – one very soft – in the first half after refusing a sub. Johnson should have stopped the last one but he also helped dig us out of the mess Hamid put us in. Leander Schaerlaekens was correct in placing Hamid’s performance below Johnson’s – Johnson would have stopped the first ES goal easily, instead of twirling around like a stoned Kewpie doll a la Hamid, and the second goal was also a likely stop with Johnson in goal.

  175. Astorian says:

    I agree with your main point about subs, but you can’t count Hoilett as missing. He’s never played for you guys and hasn’t shown any indication that he wants to.

  176. Sticky says:

    Oh, c’mon, tell us what you really think.

    Clearly you’ve never seen him play for the Fire. It was HAMID who let in two slack goals when he claimed he was healthy minutes before letting them in – take those away and it’s 3-1 US.

    Figure out where Hamid is from and tell him to go back there if you want to make that kind of childish argument.

  177. Modibo says:

    Really? Soccer is easily the MOST popular sport among youth in the US, and has been for a long time.

    You may want to say that it’s the sixth most popular SPECTATOR sport, but I wonder where you’re ranking the others, considering the average attendance of MLS games recently surpassed those of the NHL and the numbers of US fans that turn out for summer friendlies by touring international sides is extremely healthy (and lucrative).

    So which sports do you place ahead of soccer, and why? And about the domestic league – how long have you been watching? And how often? What do you know about the teams or players?

  178. CplDaniel says:

    We’re supposed to have all these great kids. The Future coming through the pipeline…And it scares the hell out of me just how pervasive these “One bad tournements” seem to be becoming the last few years.

  179. PetedeLA says:

    Not to mention, if you can string 4 passes together on a consistent basis, you have no fr#cking business playing 4-3-3.

    Let’s get this straight. We lost to El Salvador and Canada!!!!!

    Aside from the crappy corners, I thought the offensive movement looked decent. Nevertheless, I don’t think we’re ready for 4-3-3. There are very good reasons why very few teams use it.

  180. Four Cents says:

    What are the two games we lost that you speak of? I can only think of one. Canada.. Our record in the tournament was 1-1-1…

  181. Mike says:

    Popular among youth? Come on. Thousands of American kids also do sports like karate and gymnastics. Would you rank those at the top of the American sporting hierarchy as well? The unfortunate fact is that most American kids stop playing soccer by age 11 or 12.

    MLS most definitely ranks behind the NFL, MLB, NBA, Nascar, and NHL in revenue AND national exposure. And the MLS has made tremendous progress in recent years, but it is still inferior to all quality European leagues. It is probably above the Scandinavian leagues at this point, maybe on the same tier as the Scottish league.

    I don’t know why I’m even responding to this.

  182. Bellus Ludas says:

    The real mark of progress is displayed in the comments above. Our team isn’t going to London and we are PISSED. I am 47 and can easily remember a time when qualify for anything was a crap shoot…Caliguri hitting a ball into the sun…miracle.

    We have gotten better. If we don’t kick the crap out of the rest of CONCACAF we are not happy and with good reason. We have come a long, long way.

    This team showed verve we haven’t seen before…one more step as we CONTINUE forward.

  183. gbs says:

    How in the world does klinsman say porter did an outstanding job. Outstanding! Klinsman is clueless. I will take Bradley any day over phoney theorist klinsman. Porter would be fired already in any other country but his boss told him he did an outstanding job.

  184. John says:

    For how much longer will people say “the future is still bright?” It would be nice for US soccer to embrace the brightness instead of just pushing it off into the future.

    This failure was big anyway you look at it. I would maybe understand if we lost in the next round (maybe), but we lost to Canada and tied El Salvador. All the people who are ok with this, never expect the United States Men’s Team to be a successful soccer team. To be successful, the team needs to gain experience. How is the future “bright” when half of these u-23s will never be able to prove themselves again? How is the future “bright” when the chance for these youngsters to earn a look from a big club not there? We cannot keep pushing off these results and waiting for the future. U-17s, Gold Cup, this, hell even the World Cup were all bad. I want to believe in the USMNT, i really do (i know i sound pessimistic) but I don’t see anyone stepping up to do so. And it kills me to see people excuse the players, coaches, and whoever else is involved when they clearly should be blamed.

  185. Jozy Wales says:

    Porter was the reason a much more talented team lost to Canada and was tied by an inferior El Salvador. You must be no hallucinogens. Are you referring to unnecessarily playing his top players against a very weak Cuba, knowing the US would have to play 3 games in 5 days, so that the Canadians which were very inferior in talent but was well rested embarrassed the US . We had not lost to a Canadian team in approximately 20 years. Or maybe it was playing the man who usually wins the most valuable player award for the opponent when he plays Ike Opara. Or was it his sharp ,accurate assessment that Bill Hamid was not injured and could continue. Had Hamid been replaced I assume any decent goalie even Johnson would not have failed to stop the two shots that turned into 2 quick goals. Porter beside having very poor strategic skills as a coach also showed poor judgment in picking the team. Porter proves college soccer coaches moving up to coach national sides is like having an average high school basketball coach coaching an NBA team

  186. Jozy Wales says:

    Porter is the future of what? You think this incompetent fool who makes Bob Bradley look like Sir Alex x 10 will be our national team coach ?

  187. MemphisRogues says:

    This is the article that made me decde Ives is like all the rest. link to msn.foxsports.com. If you follow Ives, he hyped this U23 team. If you follow Ives, every USMNT player is about to be recruited by club x in Europe. If you follow Ives, he knows as much about tv shows and soft drinks as he does soccer tactics. Point to one article on this webpage that discusses shape, flow, balance, and tactical adjustments rather than individual performances and blame game. I was willing to look past everything until Ives tried to get headlines with this lame article. Ives loved Klinsi being hired as coach. Google the archives. Google Ives’ predictions for U-20WC and U-23 OLYmpics. See his expertise vs his “gamesmanship” as a reporter trying to grab headlines. He’s become Jamie Trecker Jr. Good luck, Ives. Keep on trying. Those pop up ads rule.

  188. Jomma says:

    “the way Caleb developed the program in these just couple of months was outstanding”. What Jorgen is a tool that’s all.

  189. Jomma says:

    you sound like an idiot

  190. Bubba says:

    Purter is a pice of sh*t no a coach.

  191. beachbum says:

    no need for simple terms for me. I get it, and I’m not arrogant.

    The quote you took from my post is spot on…you are still reeling around

    and for sure I disagree with your original post, and continue to disagree with your analysis


  192. The Imperative Voice says:

    I think Adu did OK and would not even put him on my offensive culprits list. He was more productive in actual terms than Shea. However, I think if people watched the games closely they should have seen the same limitations to his game that hinder him as a senior player. There are many players with better tools and more senior upside.

    Yup, forbidden 442, but I think that’s what we execute well with our personnel. We tried 451 in Germany 06 and that was awful. We’ve wandered into this 433 with mixed results lately.

    I am also a little concerned about the development situation because, as Yanks Abroad noted, the U20s have been poor for 2 cycles now (arguably producing this bunch in turn), and it basically looks like in the absence of Gatt and Morales we lacked a really well-developed defense. I mean, starting a kid plucked from a reality show? A bunch of MLS mediocrities in the back? And then leaving Gyau and Boyd off in favor of people with minimal senior futures. I don’t get the thought processes.

  193. The Imperative Voice says:

    The problem is that this is “his level.” Camp Cupcake seniors/Gold Cup/U23. I’ll grant he is fairly quick but the deal is at the senior level you better be a skills god, a speedster, a tall dude, or something exceptional to stand out.

    And I still believe that over 3 games the team would have been superior with Gyau instead of someone. A fast wing would have forced oppositions to honor us defensively and worn down their wingers.

  194. The Imperative Voice says:

    I’m also a little concerned about the nexus between indifference to losing, and being impressed with the wrong players. Not only is he OK with this, he’s determined from it he likes Adu. I’m sorry but the wrong lessons all around. From the people who actually got used I felt Boyd and Corona were the ones who looked useful at the next level.

  195. The Imperative Voice says:

    You could add in WE LOST THIS AT HOME. It blows my mind we couldn’t even manage this on home soil, much less the coaching errors that could have been made in a road tournament.

    Next time US soccer hosts a youth tournament like the venues need to be chosen to secure crowds who will create a packed stand and involved atmosphere. This was a joke.

  196. James the Geiger says:

    The 2nd goal was only Hamid’s fault, and not the fault of the 4 guys standing around with their thumbs up their arses?