Klinsmann discusses Lichaj, Altidore, qualifying and more in ESPN interview

JurgenKlinsmann830 (ISIPhotos.com)

Jurgen Klinsmann is little more than a week away from bringing together the U.S. men's national team for the World Cup qualifying matches that will determine whether the team advances to the Hexagonal Round, or crashes and burns. He helped provide some good insight into his thought process on player selections, preferred positions for certain players and the status of some national team prospects in a wide-ranging interview with ESPN.com.

Among the insightful nuggets Klinsmann shared was a very interesting take on Jozy Altidore, and the difference between his success in the Dutch League and his struggles with the U.S. national team.

"The Dutch league is very open — (Altidore) gets three or four chances a game," Klinsmann told ESPN. "In international games, there's less space. It's hard to get chances — you have to create them yourself. Yes, you always want people to feed your strikers who are good at finishing, but on the other hand, when teams are locked in, you have to work-work-work and force your luck, and sooner or later you'll get rewarded for that. I think Jozy can do a lot better, and he knows that."

Klinsmann also discusses everything from Eric Lichaj (on the radar but not getting a call just yet) to Michael Bradley (sees him as a No. 8 and not a No. 6) and much more.

Give the story a read and let us know what you think. Agree with his decision to keep Fabian Johnson at left back? What do you make of his comments on Altidore? Glad to know he's still in contact with Stuart Holden?

Share your thoughts below.

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150 Responses to Klinsmann discusses Lichaj, Altidore, qualifying and more in ESPN interview

  1. Judging Amy says:

    I like his comments and reasoning on Jozy. Should push the youngster to work even harder and keep growing (even more than he already has). A great thing for a young, special talent. So many great young players end up not reaching their full potential. Hopefully this tough love pushes Jozy to reach his.

  2. Adrian says:

    Thank you.

    It’s what some of us have been saying for awhile now. Klinsmann said it much more diplomatically than I’m about to put things, but it’s still true. The Dutch league has awful defense and Jozy is still lazy half the time.

    That’s not to say there isn’t a benefit to seeing the ball hit the back of the net regularly, but you need to be playing at a speed above what he’s playing at to even stay in consistent form with the other USMNT players.

    Michael Bradley is a perfect number 8. He’s a destroyer, a distributer, calm on the ball and has a Ferrari engine for stamina.
    You have to agree with his decision to keep Johnson at left back. He’s playing there for his club and he has single-handledly turned our biggest weakness into one of our biggest strengths.

  3. chris says:

    Fabian Johnson at LM and Lichaj at LB. Solves the lack of width

  4. ViC El Paso Texas says:

    First of all Jozy is over rated with all respect and his skills and mentality of a foward are not above average. He gets the ball runs with it like a train and stumbles and then gives the ball away or luckily to his team. Its always the same story with Jozy but Im not saying the US national team has elite fowards which they can, if the USA national team develops them right. On the other hand, the dutch league reminds me a lot of the MLS and the dutch league according to a lot of soccer heads, is over rated as well. You have the EPL which is the best league in the world but La Liga and Serie A plus the other European leagues are at the same level in reality.If Jozy plays with consistency with his mouth close and develops as a center foward, then EPL teams will come calling but for now, he is still playing for respect and attention.

  5. dcm says:

    why klinsmann doesn’t see this is a total mystery.

  6. Adrian says:

    Also, so happy to see Herc getting the love from Klinsmann he deserves. He is this generation’s Brian McBride and he looks like a Latino Obama… so Captain Americo?

  7. David says:

    Klinsmann says “Right now it’s not the right time to bring in a bunch of new players.” in concern to Lichaj and the very next question is about calling up Gatt…

  8. Mark says:

    Herculez Gomez, Terrence Boyd, Clint Dempsey, and Chris Wondolowsski are my favorite forwards for the USMNT.

    You can leave Jozy Altidore home with his club team to train in June 2014 IMO.

  9. Adrian says:

    So you read that entire interview and then ask that question?


  10. Steven says:

    Really happy to read some news about the national team. I like what he was saying about some of the players. I don’t want to get down on Jozy. I like Jozy. That is Klinsmann’s job to motivate him. It is my job to cheer for him. I am just looking forward to getting Bradley back. Bradley/Williams will be good. We are really missing that creative midfield general like Claudio Reyna. Can’t wait for the roster to be announced. When is it going to be? Two Sundays from now?

  11. Adrian says:

    “If a player at maybe a smaller club gives a SPECIFIC EDGE for a SPECIFIC GAME based on their characteristics, you can make some EXCEPTIONS. We thought Josh Gatt, with his SPEED, could have helped us against Jamaica. The same as the players, we as coaches have to adjust.”

    I even put the important parts in full caps to help you see why your comment makes no sense.

  12. T-moble says:

    Thank you Jurgen, I was getting screamed at on this site, now the coach agrees.

  13. Mike says:


    Someone finally said it. Dutch league is like Chivas USA defensively.

  14. Ted Tran says:

    Thats dumb, America is a latin word not anglo, and you’re saying that others that have been called Captain America are female.

  15. TomG says:

    You’ve never actually seen him play. None of what you just said bears any resemblance to reality.

  16. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Considering his tactics in Jamaica, I’m not sure that aligning with him is much of a boast.

  17. Adrian says:

    I know exactly where America came from. It is the feminine version of Amerigo Vespucci.

    It was a spanglish joke regarding Brian McBride being Captain America. That was abundantly clear in the way I put it. Don’t be intentionally dense.

  18. beachbum says:

    and Jozy’s doing to that league what he should…destroying it.

    it doesn’t translate for the Nats because our midfield has not created chances or shown a consistent ability to serve it up…no way. Dolo/Zusi did some work but Jozy didn’t start that game unfortunately so he was not out there to benefit…and we didn’t score off of ANY of that stuff those two were doing!

    I know what I saw, don’t care what is spun now about it.

    AND I still LOVE the tough love from Coach here

  19. TomG says:

    I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say that Herc’s work rate is better than Jozy’s (Herc runs like crazy), but JK thinks it’s unreasonable for a forward to get 3 balls per game in an area where he can create a chance for himself or another? That I find very disturbing. Jozy also combines well and creates his own chances through clever passing, movement and combination play. It seems as if JK wants forwards like Boyd and Herc that run around like crazy b/c he doesn’t envision any substantive linkage b/t the midfield and forwards. I worry that JK has abandoned all hope of playing a skillful, passing game and has slipped into a complete bunker mentality.

  20. Rlw2020 says:

    Jurgen made it clear that its not going to happen. I still think its a great idea.

  21. Sam says:

    Wondo > Altidore

  22. Rlw2020 says:

    The donovan thing is troubling. We still despiratly need him and he doesnt seem to be clicking with Jurgen. If that is something jurgen fails to smooth over it could destroy his US tenure.

    From that interview i see him using this formation:

    Not exactly the way i see it but it could be good if the midfield stays strong

  23. Steven says:

    We just need the players to do it. We have a lot of potential guys there, but Bradley is the only one who has actually stepped up and dominated the game from that position. Otherwise, we have Dempsey running all the way back to defensive midfield area trying to jumpstart the game.

  24. Piper says:

    and right under your nose, Klinsy!

  25. Old School says:


    “The Dutch league is very open — he gets three or four chances a game. In international games, there’s less space. It’s hard to get chances — you have to create them yourself. Yes, you always want people to feed your strikers who are good at finishing, but on the other hand, when teams are locked in, you have to work-work-work and force your luck, and sooner or later you’ll get rewarded for that. I think Jozy can do a lot better, and he knows that.”

    I take that assessment over the tired “he doesn’t get good service” argument.

    Good players create good chances. Jozy is good, Klinsmann (and the US fan base) acknowledge this.

    Everyone wants to see him create more chances and he’s more than capable of doing so. He just needs to do it.

  26. TerkyJerky says:

    Klinsman is basically saying he is going to play the way bradley plays, appearently seeing the ball in scoring position 3-4 times a game only happens in the dutch league.

  27. biff says:

    I don’t want to be too negative on the reporter, but he avoided asking Klinsmann several very relevant questions, such as the latest on Timothy Chandler and why he has not tested in bona fide attacking midfielders. But anyway, some quick observations:

    * If Klinsmann sees Bradley and Jones as No. 8s, then that might mean that those two will be competing for a single starting position. Jones is in great form right now, has been playing as an attacking midfielder. Actually, Schalke is playing Dusseldorf right now as I type, and Jones is playing right attacking midfield and looking good–great touch and nice passes. I think Klinsmann will be playing him as an attacker in two weeks.

    * Klinsmann complains that he had three players (Bocanegra, Edu, and Dempsey] who came into camp before the Kingston debacle with “no rhythm, no fitness base. It’s difficult to go from zero to 100 in a few days.” Then why in the hell did he start Edu and Dempsey then in Kingston–particularly Edu? There were other options on the roster, plus he could have taken that in account before he named his roster and called in different players and he could have replaced Gatt after Gatt was injured and had cancel. I like Klinsmann but I am really tired of his silly statements trying to justify his mistakes.

    * Ditto with Klinsmann half-a$$ed excuse for playing Danny Williams at right winger and his other experiments–Jose Torres as left back being the worst, almost killed the little guy. Klinsmann: “…while you’re trying to find the best guy for every position, when you have very good players who play similar roles you have to improvise. I’d rather have three high-end wingers instead of five quality No. 6’s [laughs].” Sorry, Jurgen, I am not laughing. I would rather have a bona fide winger, a player who plays the wing for his club, then you improvising with Danny Williams at right wing. Klinsmann has wasted a year improvising and improvising, playing guys out of club positions, when he could have been testing new faces. And now we are facing two must win games just to make it to the Hex.

    * Klinsmann’s comment on Landon Donovan is sort of interesting, don’t you think? I know how I interpret it.

  28. Old School says:

    …but he makes penalty kicks from 12 yards!

    Based on that reported fact, I assume other players score from closer?

  29. Old School says:

    Many of us have been saying it for years.

  30. Old School says:

    I fail to see how it’s JK’s fault Donovan has turned down call ups, played without heart and is not questioning his professional future.

    Donovan’s game, when he’s into it, can be world class. However, he’s never had the heart and that’s not something JK can “coach up”.

  31. David says:

    Oh are you mad that someone was kind of a jerk in reply to your post?

  32. TomG says:

    Yes, but isn’t there a middle ground here that we’re missing? Let’s face it. This team was consistently more offensive under Bob Bradley. We had more scoring chances, we would push more players forward and the forwards were not so much on an island (in general). It feels like Klinsi is saying, “Well, we don’t have the players to play like Barcelona, so we’re just going to bunker it up, get one chance per game and hope it goes in and we win 1-nil or 0-0.” JK is so scared of giving up chances against that he’s given up any hope of creating 3-4 chances per game for our forwards? There is a middle ground there somewhere. You have to take some risks to create chances. Bradley was generally able to create chances without completely throwing Tim Howard to the wolves.

  33. Andy in Atlanta says:

    I hope people (including JK) realize that Lichaj is actually extremely fast. maybe not quite Gatt fast but he is a heck of a lot more physical as Gatt is pretty lightweight..

  34. Old School says:

    “but he avoided asking Klinsmann several very relevant questions, such as the latest on Timothy Chandler”

    Not being rude but what more is there to ask/know about this?

    Chandler is, at best, on the fence and his lack of commitment is something that even pro-German JK has moved on from.

    To me, it’s become a non-issue and I think most everyone has moved on.

  35. Eric says:

    I’ll go ahead and call it–

    Lichaj must’ve pissed in Klinsi’s cornflakes sometime in the past year and that’s why he’ll never get called up despite getting regular playing time in the EPL.

    You heard it here first.

  36. T-moble says:

    Yes Jurgen tactics were bad, but also the pitch conditions played into them losing in Jamaica.

  37. Kosh says:

    I think, as would be the case for all coaches who do not come from this region, the difficulty of qualifying in CONCACAF caught JK by surprise. Looking at that crap FIFA ranking or not really getting to see many games from this region does not help people who do not come from here. JK is not the only person guilty of this, as many from this region get caught in the same trap – playing the direct corelation game.

    I am not saying the US is close to being a top European team but you see how we play on a nice pitch. If all teams in our region had great fields, as is the case in Europe, then we would be able to dominate more regularly than we often do. The best European teams would have a nightmare playing on some of the fields in this region. Heck Spain had a rough go of it against Pueto Rico.

    The Jamaica debacle looked like JK trying to adjust for a bad situation all the way. We can question his intentions all we want but by the way he frames his answers you can tell he’s not an idiot. He’s played the game. He had a plan to neutralize Jamaica’s strengths and I did not watch the game but it seemed like it worked for most of the game. they scored off of two free kicks, but to hear it on these boards it sounds like we were dominated. Like I said, I did not see the game and I could be wrong but the goals came off of breakdowns. I think the 3 DMs was a plan gone awry, which he fixed a few days later.

    I think JK and the gang have to battle through to the next round and I have every confidence they will be successful. The downside is the agita suffered by the fans and directed his way, the benefit is he will now have a deeper appreciation for what qualifying in CONCACAF ia all about.

  38. T-moble says:

    Like Jurgen said, International play is different from club play. I think you should listen to Jurgen, he has played the game before. However, I understand your love for Jozy, he has all the talent to be world class. However, some players aren’t build for the world stage.

  39. Big Chil says:

    I was annoyed that the opening sentence of the article is wrong, “needing to win both to guarantee advancement.” We just need a win and a draw in either order. 11 points guarantees advancement from the group.

    Someone with an ESPN account go comment. I won’t bother signing up.

  40. Kosh says:

    JK touched on this, at least from my POV but yet people still keep bringing it up – regular PT does not equal a Nats call up (or playing time even if called up) – see Jozy and Sasha.

    Dude already said Eric is on his radar, what more do people want? Plus even if called up, I don’t see Eric automatically pushing Fabian further up the field – he could be he would have to earn that.

    It’s not as automatic as people think or would like. I mean we can complain about it because as fans that’s our right, but JK has given us enough data for us to deduce that Eric is not happening (yet).

  41. Shane says:

    That’s no excuse it’s the coaches job to adjust to the conditions, Klinsmann did not.

  42. Colin in MT says:

    based off this interview and current form i think we’ll see this…


    I’d rather see Bradley in for Jones but we’ll have to see if he gets any PT
    I really respect and enjoy Gomez but I think Jozy could thrive up front with this lineup
    Johnson and Dolo have proven they can provide width and service in the attack

  43. JoeMormon says:

    Most of you are really silly.

  44. BCC says:

    Gomez has a long way to go before he can be mentioned alongside McBride.

    I have no idea what Obama or captaincy have to do with anything.

  45. Shane says:

    Q: You’ve often talked about implementing a proactive style of play based on ball possession, playing out of the back, etc. That’s not always easy to do on bumpy fields like the one in Jamaica, and like the one you might see in Antigua. Are you prepared to play with a more direct approach if the situation calls for it?

    Klinsmann: “You always have to adjust depending on field conditions, weather and opponent. If a situation requires [using] long balls and crosses, we try to do that. What we always want to do is push the back line up higher and high pressure whenever we can.

    Pure BS. The US put one cross into the box the entire game. Klinsmann did not make the adjustments needed for the field conditions. I’m tired of der kaiser blaming the players and anything else but himself. When are people going to see that this guy cant coach and is an airhead to boot. That is why he’s not clicking with Donovan. Why has he brought in so many Germans when it cant always be justified, because he thinks they will automatically play the way they do in Germany, the way Loew does.

  46. CaliNick23 says:

    Another coach talking about Altidore’s work rate.

  47. Da Trufth says:

    I guess you missed the part where he said he prefer playing 3 wingers over 5 DM’s (laughs)

    Josh gatt = Winger

  48. Sarasota says:

    Please do not insult Herculez Gomez by comparing him to Obama. I doubt Herculez is a socialist and Latinos have a strong belief in family and faith. They don’t view the Ameican Dream as an oppotunity to collect more foodstamps!

  49. biff says:

    I take your point, Old School (and I don’t feel you are being rude). But I do think it is still very relevant for several important reasons. Most important being the potential negative effect of bringing in Chandler at some point in the future into a team that is sweating blood in extremely difficult WCQ games. At some point, Klinsmann is going to have to close the door to Chandler in the WC 2014 cycle or he is going to face a mutiny from players who don’t likle the prima donna Timmy Chandler, who has made it clear he wants to play in WC 2014. The most extreme case would be Chandler holding out for a Germany call up until May of 2014,and then finally giving up and telephoning his buddy Jurgen and saying he is reluctantly ready to commit to the USMNT (but only because he wants to play in Brazil). Can you imagine the effect on the team if Klinsmann would kick one member off the team who had worked for two years to help the team qualify and replaced him with Chandler? I can, and it would not be positive. At some point, Klinsmann has to draw a line and say the door is shut to Chandler and I would like to know his feelings on that and when that would be.

    I also think Klinsmann’s ongoing snubs of Lichaj might be connected to Chandler, along the lines of Klinsmann thinking that Chandler is a better player and if he calls in Lichaj and Lichaj does as well as some of us think he might, then the fans who still support bringing Chandler on to the team might change their minds. I am not saying that is the case, just saying it is one possible explanation of why Klinsmann keeps ignoring Lichaj, to keep the door wide open for Chandler. But, of course, as Eric says down below, maybe Lichaj pi$$ed in Klinsi’s corn flakes.

  50. beachbum says:

    I do listen listen to Jurgen, and all the other coaches before him, and understand quite well the differences in international and club play, thus the recognition of the Reality of the midfield’s issues creating in the final 3rd Internationally

    I bet you Jurgen understands that quite well from all his experience 😉

    why do you think he started Zusi in the must win at Columbus? Yet the fact that even with that right flank’s thrusts and the chances created with Dolo in that game, no goal was scored. Can’t blame Jozy for that because he wasn’t on the field

  51. Lorenzo says:

    I’m sorry Klinsmann, you sound defeated.

    You are saying USA forwards should expect 1-2 chances in a game? Then I have a problem with you and your coaching. If we can only manage to get Altidore 2 chances a game against Guatemala, that is a little defeatest, no?

  52. rph says:

    Wow, where to even begin.

    I’ll just leave it with your post being completely offensive and inappropriate for this blog.

    Plus, you sound like a total d*ck.

  53. biff says:

    The more I think about Klinsmann’s complaint that he had three players (Bocanegra, Edu, and Dempsey] who came into camp before the Kingston debacle with “no rhythm, no fitness base…” the more I wonder about his judgment for that game. Because actually, Bocanegra had been playing regularly. It might have been the Scottish 4th league, but it was nonetheless playing regularly. So what does Klinsmann do with these three problem players. He starts Edu and Dempsey, both of whom had not had club games for about 10 years, and sits Bocanegra on the bench, who had been playing regularly at the club level. Does that make sense? And we saw how important Bocanegra was to the back line when he was reinserted as a starter four days later in Columbus and took back the captain’s armband. Bocanegra should have started in Kingston and Klinsmann now is still trying to talk down his fitness for that game to justify his decision to bench him in Kingston.

  54. Broseph says:

    Herc is not a Latino Obama, he is Adam Carolla’s more athletic twin.

  55. downintexas says:

    Well I guess Klinsman has given up on attacking style of soccer.

    Sounds like Klinsman is blaming Jozy for having to play with 4-5 DMFers

  56. beachbum says:

    no heart vs. Algeria there in stoppage time at the death, or vs. Mexico in 2002, or with that Gold Cup PK back in 2007, or with his MLS Cup winning flick last year, etc etc etc

    respecting what he’s accomplished shows heart whether one likes him or not, especially regarding how he’s represented in the USMNT kit

  57. Cojosurfer says:

    JK is making the most of the talent he has. Any good coach would do that. What system plays with 3 DM? A 5321? Most systems play at the most 2 DM’s. We have seen 3 DM with Klinnsman on more than one occasion. I think using this amount of DM in a game is best used to protect a lead late in the game. A good use of a late substitute. This should not be the core system of the team. What about a box midfield? Bradley and Jones playing as box to box MF with Edu and Williams playing DM? No wingers! Donovan and Dempsey as LF/RF. All players playing on right or left will use width to get extra time and space as needed. Let’s call it Mimimal Width with focus on more short passes (keep away with purpose). The USMNT has been looking more and more like Italy in Euro 2012 using no wingers after Pepe was dropped and reverted to a 4312.

  58. SuperChivo says:

    Klinsmann: “Teams in CONCACAF are getting better, and they’re all competitive — there are none you can take lightly. It’s a good sign of how the quality of the game has grown within the region.
    Straight from the mouth of the SoccerJesus himself. It’s not that we are as good, it is that the rest of CONCACAF is better. So you can forget all about getting better vis-a-vis the real soccer powers in the world.

  59. Lorenzo says:

    We aren’t Spain. We can play other then Tika-Taka or whatever. Jamaica had to play on the same field. I’m not dweling on it, but I think we do need to take Jurgen off a high pedastool to one a little shorter. He is not Ferguson.

  60. Old School says:

    that’s awesome you can reference the Algeria game.

    i’ll reference the rest of his career.

  61. beachbum says:

    watch the game, you’ll understand why you heard it how you did on these boards 😉

  62. Old School says:

    Hate that I even have to clarify it but: I actually love Donovan. Always has been one of my favorite players and (on other/foreign boards) I’m routinely defending his, what I believe is, world class ability.

    However, a duck is a duck.

    If he had Dempsey’s heart, he’d be one of the best players in Europe.

  63. Cojosurfer says:

    Altidore needs to drop back towards the halfway line and make himself available to the MF and D. Gomez did this in the last game against Jamaica very well.

  64. beachbum says:

    I referenced four games Old School, not one, and also used etc etc etc

    and yes, the Algeria game. To question his heart still, after what he’s done throughout his career, but with Algeria as a delicious cherry on top, is bogus

    he’s imperfect, like all, but his heart has been tried and proven, yet evidently unrecognized still by some which I expect will always be the case

  65. beachbum says:

    nice crystal ball to justify your judgments, I’ll stick with the argument I made above based on reality and historical record my friend

  66. Cojosurfer says:

    Or did Italy take a note from the US when we beat them in a friendly?

  67. No says:

    Twat. Do you even know what socialism is, or only what you’re daddy told between dinner courses.

  68. T-moble says:

    First I’m not on foodstamps and Where I’m live, NY, people like herc and Blacks leave in poverty. What if someone wrote, about all the latinos killing each other in Mexico would that be nice.

  69. Louis Z says:

    unfortunately, the current LD can only play for us now, not the 2002 version.

  70. Tony in Quakeland says:

    At this point it is hard not to believe that Klinsman can offer a rationalization for anything he wants to say.

  71. Spank says:

    I used to be a big believer in JK or at least i wanted to be but his comments are idiotic! Yes JK i understand that D.Will is a great DM. That doesn’t mean that he’s a great winger or forward! Why improvise when you have talent that play those actual positions. We all know that Messi and Ronaldo are the best two players in the world but that doesn’t mean that they would also be great CB’s or GK’s! This is just ridiculously stupid logic.

  72. Darwin says:

    Bwaaaahhhhh!!! I love internet sarcasm. Really though, you did kind of overstate it. I mean, it’s obvious that you’re not that dumb, so it was a joke, right?

  73. Arkie says:

    Look at pictures of Herc when his hair was shaved, dude looked like a Mexican Obama. That was this guy’s joke. Then someone got butt-hurt and went all POLITICS!!!!! on us.

  74. beachbum says:

    Klinsmann: “No, I see Michael and Jermaine [Jones] as No. 8’s, guys who can go both directions. But if you play for instance a 4-4-2 with Landon [Donovan] on the right and Brek [Shea] on the left, then you can only have two in the middle. With Danny, Michael, Jermaine, Kyle [Beckerman] and Mo [Edu], we have five options.”

    this is an interesting comment. IF all are fit, which of any of the options mentioned start over MB? Williams or JJ at the one destroyer probably is one spot. But who and where else? If it’s Shea on the left in a 4-4-2, then wouldn’t Williams sit and it’d be JJ-MB in there with their combo skills and ability to link? and if it’s some 4-3-3 or 4-1-whatever then it’s Williams as the destroyer and then MB right mid, JJ left where Torres has been, with Clint LD and Jozy/Herc. I guess, if taken at face, what Coach is saying is he rates Williams over MB in the 4-4-2 paired with JJ.

    Is that what Coach is saying?

    Shea, Mo and Beckerman are good players I respect in the USMNT kit, but a lineup that includes any of them that also pushes MB to the bench? OK, I guess we’ll have to wait and see

    GO USA!!!

  75. AdamFromMich says:

    I agree. He lost me at “the dutch league reminds me a lot of the MLS”.

  76. SteveMcSteve says:

    Haha pedastool…that’s my favorite misspelling of the day.

  77. Adam says:

    He complains about not having wingers, but doesn’t play DMB. I haven’t seen Puebla play for quite a while, but wouldn’t Beasley be a better winger than Danny Williams? I liked Williams as a 6, can’t stand him as a wing.

  78. Old School says:

    fair enough.

  79. GW says:

    You and Lorenzo need to take a reading comprehension course.

  80. dcm says:

    watch some Lichaj games, and then talk to me, moron.

  81. GW says:

    You guys seriously overrate Lichaj.

    He still has a lot to prove and is very likely going to spend most of this season battling with Bennett for the starting left back job for Villa. He needs to lock that down before he gets called up.

  82. kevin says:

    please, jozy has the highest ceiling out of all of them, how can you not see that

  83. dcm says:

    total d-bag

  84. GW says:

    If you have to explain your little Captain Americo bit it wasn’t “abundantly clear”.

    It’s like someone saying “This joke was funny,you should have laughed, that you did not means you are stupid.”

    That actually could be the basis for a very bad stand up routine.

  85. Marin says:

    Do you watch Hoffenheim matches? They get thrashed (talking scores of 5-0, 4-0) on a regular basis because of poor performances by the German-Americans

  86. kevin says:

    yes, but you still dismiss it like he’s not scoring at all, wake up he’s scoring and has a lot of high quality goals

  87. dcm says:

    Come on buddy, it’s 2012. Unless you have a Delorean that goes 88mph, your post in way off.

  88. GW says:

    Bornstein, Findley and EJ years ago were nearly as fast as Gatt.

    Lichaj is fast, so what? It takes more than speed to be a good soccer player.

  89. kevin says:

    i like lichaj, but i think a lot of people overate him. i think he will be a starter for us in the future but not right now

  90. too soon? says:

    It doesn’t, but it’s a masterful deflection by Klinsmann. There has not been good service, but motivating the player by saying “create the space yourself” is the way to goa about it. You can’t have players complaining about their own team, and Jozy does not. It is USMNT fans who make those statements.

    Jozy is not the only player who has to be better, this much is obvious.

  91. GW says:

    Horse manure. The tactics were fine.

    The players could not hold a 1-0 lead even with a defensive lineup. And they lost it on set pieces. Execution not tactics.

    Give a good team an early 1-0 lead on a crap team like Jamaica and you should be able to at least hold on for a 1-1 draw.

  92. too soon? says:

    Beas isn’t strong enough on the ball. Mexican club soccer is defensively lax, but at the international level he loses the ball too easily.

  93. PD says:

    How did you type that while double fishing crack pipes?

  94. Adam says:

    I said I hadn’t seen Puebla play lately. He looked good in his last cap and from what I’ve read, he’s been playing well down there. Yes he’s older, but he’s the same age as Landy. And a lot of people on here think the lack of Landy is the reason our offense can’t score.

  95. atd says:

    The first part is true (though things are now trending in the other direction), but why pin it on Johnson and Williams? Johnson’s been their best player by a pretty good distance, and they have a winning record since Williams has joined the starting lineup.

  96. Everyone says:

    Please go back to the hole you crawled out of.

  97. atd says:

    +1. Seriously.

  98. Goalscorer24 says:

    I would have been interested to hear why he rates Castillo higher than Lichaj? But hopefully Lichsj keeps getting time with his club so JK will have to call him in .

  99. GW says:

    Jozy hardly is finished.

    You act like this is all he will ever be and that simply is not true.

    AZ made it crystal clear they bought Jozy to develop him and sell him at a profit.

    Should he continue with his good form he could be gone as early as January or probably no later than the end of the season.

    In which case he will move to a league where there are not as many chances. So he can wait until then to get good at that sort of situation or he can learn it while playing for the USMNT.

    Either way we will know about Jozy before 2014, which is all that really matters for the USMNT.

  100. atd says:

    The MB-JJ dual-holding lineup gives me flashbacks to the 2011 Gold Cup final. Make it go away!

    With Mo out of club action indefinitely, this really seems like a no-brainer. Three in midfield with Bradley and Jones in front of Danny Williams; Dempsey tucking in behind Herc or Jozy, Donovan on the right.

  101. atd says:

    Amen. Sloppy stuff, though that reporter is generally pretty good (and he asked good questions of Klinsmann).

  102. Adrian says:



    He looks exactly like a Latino Obama when his hair is buzzed.

  103. atd says:

    You should add the Slovenia game. Man, we were truly out of the World Cup until he served Handanovic with that facial. That was about the most baller-@$$ shit I saw in the whole tournament. Handanovic plays for Inter, and he’d probably still pee himself if he saw Donovan walking down the street.

    Or the Brazil game, 2009, where Donovan scored that brilliant counterattacking goal and ran back down the pitch pointing and shouting “Me! Me!” like he’d spent his whole career listening to people say stupid, ignorant stuff about him.

  104. biff says:

    I think you have a point there. I didn’t notice that on first read, was focusing on some of the other troubling comments. But it does seem sort of alike a Freudian slip.

    Quite frankly, I will say that it cannot be a comfortable situation for Klnsmann to have the son of the man he replaced, a man who was fired and probably doesn’t like him, on his team. I would think it makes it even worse that Klinsmann knows that there are a hard-core group of the former coach’s supporters who want to see him fail. I bet a majority of of coaches in the similar situation as Klinsmann now finds himself, probably the former coach himself, would never have put the son on the team, simply too uncomfortable and you would always be wondering whether what is being said in the locker room is staying in the locker room or being talked about over Christmas dinner with the family and most people would probably understand the coach’s dilemma and eventually accept the decision.

  105. atd says:

    You should add the Slovenia game. We were out of that World Cup until Donovan served Handanovic with that facial — that was about the most baller thing I saw the whole tournament. Dude plays for Inter and he’d still probably pee himself if he saw Donovan walking toward him on the street.

    Or the Brazil game, 2009, when Donovan scored that brilliant counterattacking goal and ran back down the pitch pointing and shouting “Me! Me!,” finally indulging himself after listening to people spout ignorant rubbish about him his entire career.

  106. biff says:

    Who is that person looking over your shoulder?

  107. Eric says:

    I don’t care about pushing Fabian Johnson up to left wing–I have faith that Brek Shea will turn out to be as advertised, and with Johnson, if it ain’t broke, etc.

    But I do care that Steve Cherundolo is 33, not getting any younger, and will in all likelihood retire from international football after the 2014 World Cup. Lichaj is the obvious heir, and needs to start being groomed for the role.

    I’m not saying (nor, I think, are most people), “Hey, let’s start him in the next WCQ match,” or, “Why doesn’t Lichaj play every USMNT match?” But it is inexplicable that arguably the best candidate to replace an aging incumbent hasn’t gotten a single cap in the year-plus that Klinsmann has been at the helm.

    Seriously. Who else do you see as more qualified to replace Dolo in two years, especially if Timmy Chandler continues his cat-and-mouse games with the MNT?

  108. GW says:

    You may be reading way too much into this interview.

    When JK took over Germany he had a fantastic bunch of players, new and old, from which to choose as he went about “re-building “Germany.

    That is not the case with the USMNT gig.

    This is still basically Bradley’s team. The important players are still mostly the same.

    Some matured (Bradley, Gomez), some are better (Williams,Fabian) and some are deteriorating (Dolo, Boca, and Donovan). There are enough new faces (mostly Fabian, Williams and possibly Gatt) so that he can try a few new wrinkles but this group is not going to be able to vary greatly from what Bradley’s guys did best.

    The CONCACAF opposition is better. Anyone who doesn’t believe that is not paying attention.

    All that attacking positive stuff he said when he first got the job was great and I’m sure he means it but he has always been pretty clear that he understands the need to win first. That other pretty stuff will come later, when he has the players who can actually do it.

    I realize many of you think he has those guys now but JK’s standards are pretty high.

    If any of you had actually seen JK as a player, specifically with those winning German teams, you might get a much better understanding of what he is doing right now. They were very tough, very hard-nosed, very “physical” or “nasty” if you like, willing to do anything legal or borderline or even illegal. They were not always pretty but they were, if you needed only one word, relentless.

    I doubt anyone ever enjoyed playing them. I would not put him in a class with Gretzky, but Germany protected JK just as well as the Oilers and Dave Semenko protected Gretzky.

    Watch those teams he played on, particularly in the World Cup and none of what is going on with the US should surprise you.

    As far as I’m concerned the two major differences from BB are Fabian at left back and the fact that JK is far more transparent than BB ever was. If BB had been this transparent he might have a far better image with the masses. Or maybe not.

  109. Eric says:

    My best guess is that it’s because Castillo is a left back by trade whereas Lichaj is a right back who happens to be able to play left back as well.

    And vis-a-vis Lichaj, I Castillo’s presence doesn’t irk me much. Really, left back is Fabian Johnson’s position for the foreseeable future, so Castillo is at best a long-term backup. I see Lichaj’s future with the MNT as the guy who takes over right back in the starting XI after Steve Cherundolo retires.

  110. GW says:

    Donovan has largely been injured for most of JK’s tenure.

    If he ever has a long run of health and good form then we will see.

    Remember, JK and Landon go back a long way. He brought Landon to Bayern when he was the manager and that certainly contributed to JK getting fired.

  111. Eric says:

    Even I don’t think Klinsmann would play both Donovan and Zusi out of position at the same time.

  112. Cojosurfer says:

    Check your facts before spouting off

  113. Call Up Lichaj says:

    I think most people calling for Lichaj are not looking for him to be a regular starter or anything. We just want to see him in the camps as a depth option and a player getting experience with the NT atmosphere and JK’s system.

    I admittedly don’t watch guys like Castillo, Parkhurst and Orozco in their club matches, but I’ve watched them closely in their USMNT matches and have read about their club performances. I genuinely don’t believe they are better than Lichaj and certainly don’t believe they are a whole notch above him. Furthermore, those three I mentioned seem to offer little for WC 2014.

    Even if my assessments of the three guys I mentioned are inaccurate, JK has faced several situations when they and some of the more regular pieces of the back line have been unavailable. The Torres-at-left-back escapade has so far been the defining moment of the Lichaj exclusion saga. The coach would very clearly rather bring a thin lineup of fullbacks to camp than give Lichaj any kind of chance.

    JK seems to talk about Lichaj like an extremely young prospect, but the guy is 23 and has been playing in England for awhile. He isn’t a Gatt or a Gyau. If/when he does get the call, he will have to adjust to Klinsmann’s system and acquaint/re-acquaint himself with his teammates.

    I hope my tone doesn’t sound bitter. That’s not my purpose. I’m resigned to this situation, but it just feels a bit senseless–kind of the way I feel about the NFL replacement refs. I believe we have a very good starting 11, but the group of 23 is not strong enough to justify the continuous exclusion of a player like Lichaj.

  114. Sarasota says:

    In fact I do, “Twat”. Socialists
    have a term for people like you, “useful idiots”. But you woudn’t know that.

    And please keep references to “Obama” out of soccer posts!!! Like at least half of the population, I’m sick of watching him tank our country.

  115. This Guy says:

    I got suckered into another SBI thread. I miss the good ol’ days before the politics showed up. Back to BigSoccer I go.

  116. beachbum says:

    I hear you :) and on the guys you picked and where, I agree

  117. David says:

    Adrian already came in to act the part of the jerk off, I went back and read the interview more in depth, thank you though.

  118. beachbum says:

    as a supporter of the USMNT under Arena, Bradley, Bora, Sampson, I support Klinsmann too. Wanting the team to fail is weak, I want the TEAM to succeed and sure hope any other supporters do too

    disagree with your take about playing the son of the previous coach or not; better if merit-based right? with the coach’s ego removed from deciding what’s best for the team, which Klinsmann has done I think, to his credit.

    wish I could be there at Livestrong, tcould be epic. had plans on attending but alas, earwax

  119. beachbum says:

    Robbie is loving the combo with LD fortunately and they are kicking butt today. Nothing wrong with LD’s game as it gets better all the time, he just needs a little more rest as he gets older but is as much a part of what this team will accomplish as any other, still

    whatever commentary on the USMNT that is, there it is

  120. GW says:

    Nice story biff.

    If you successful in selling that story and turning it into a script for a reality show let us all know.

    Or if it becomes one of those crappy ESPN sports movies Ives can have a great article about who to cast. Someone mentioned Jake Gyllenhall as Clint which isn’t bad.

    Who plays Ives? JK? MB90? Chandler? and so on…..

  121. euroman says:

    The backline was better in Kingston than in Columbus defensively. Jamacia got NOTHING in he run of play so the absence Boca had no influence. JK would have started Goodson & Cameron again if Goodson didn’t get the yellow card in Kingston. JK has moved on from Boca as a starter and you will see Goodson & Cameron again in the last two qaulifiers if they are healthy. The ‘not getting matches & out of rythem was a smoke screen. Tim Howard is the new USMNT Captain.

  122. GW says:

    “obvious heir”? Way too early for that.

    Yeah he looked good for a while when BB called him up but that was then and this is now.

    Look, he may be unemployed by January if he loses his battle with Bennett. So if he is to be the new Dolo it would be a good idea to be a regular starter for his club, something that could easily have been imperiled if he was missing time to sit on the bench for JK.

  123. Eric says:

    Missing time to sit on the bench for the MNT?


    You do realize that the EPL usually doesn’t schedule matches during FIFA international dates, right?

  124. GW says:

    I don’t think the difficulty of WC qualifying is a shock to JK.

    The World Cup winning team he played on was nearly knocked out in qualifying by Wales. And in 1989 Wales were not a great team.

  125. GW says:

    Lichaj is not young but he is inexperienced.

    He has played 19 league games in 4 years or so with Villa. And the ten he got last year were as an emergency fill in. So it’s safe to say he may be a late bloomer. And his new manager is not much more convinced than JK. He is starting him but it seems the other left back, Bennett, will be getting his chances too.

    Lichaj’s performance does not justify such impatience. His major flaw is his rawness and JK is doing him a favor by letting him focus on winning a job that will give him exactly what he needs.

  126. GW says:


    Williams has never played as a winger or forward for the US. He has been stationed on the wing to prevent the midfield from being overrun or served as a sort of target/outlet midfielder for a swamped defense but that is a far cry from playing “winger or forward”.

    It’s like lining up an offensive tackle at fullback when on the goalline.

    Everyone occasionally gets forward and Williams is actually more skilled than most USMNT fans give him credit for.

  127. louis z says:

    ??? put the pipe down and step back from the table.

  128. Louis Z says:

    Against Jamaica the two strength a USA player had to bring was physical strength and speed. For sure Gatt is a hell of a fast player, not sure how physical he can handle within a game.

  129. Louis Z says:

    maybe he was talking about a game against Italy or Mexico.

  130. SuperChivo says:

    Forget about the ceiling, he is by as very wide margin the best US forward currently playing the game and the people with actual skin in the game, putting money on it, say that pretty unequivocally. Whatever you want to say about the Dutch league it is a higher level the LMX or MLS.

  131. Louis Z says:

    Donovan has played the LM before in big games and Zusi has been doing well as a RM for the NATS.

    I would rather have them like this than LD as a RM and Torres as the LM.

  132. Goalscorer24 says:

    I think you are right Lichaj could be the future right back replacement for Dolo, but if Johnson got injured I think I would prefer to see Lichaj at left back rather than Castillo.

  133. Goalscorer24 says:

    This really is the same situation we saw with Gomez, and he eventually got his chance, so if Lichaj keeps at it he will get his chance.

  134. Bryan says:

    Zusi has barely played for the Nats….

  135. Donnie says:

    and Fabian is not…lol

  136. GW says:

    Yes, really.

    You do realize there is thing called training, right? And that is where you can win or lose your job. Lichaj is far from a sure fire starter for Villa so any time away from the team gives the other guy more of a chance to take Eric’s job.

    Lambert, his new boss bought a new set of fullbacks, either to replace Eric, or to push him. Either way, it tells Eric he has to do more.

  137. GW says:

    Very different. Gomez first came to the attention of Bradley as a red hot, streaky, goal scorer in Mexico. A lot of those goals came when he was a late sub. Gomez has always gone back and forth as a starter or a late sub but the big thing is his goal production.

    It’s different for Lichaj. You don’t often think of fullbacks being produtive as late subs.

    But yes, Lichaj will need to keep at it.

  138. biff says:


    Jamaica 2 – 1 USA
    link to tinyurl.com

    Regarding you comment on Tim Howard being the new captain and Klinsmann saying Boca out of rhythm being a smoke screen, that very well could be and if it is true I would urge Klinsmann to simply name Howard captain. Klinsmann is the coach and has the right to name who he wants when he wants and I am sure Boca would be professional enough to accept it.

  139. GW says:

    Re being “uncomfortable”.

    This isn’t high school.

    They pay JK a lot of money to handle this sort of thing, among other things. JK has been on the job less than a year and his biggest, most likely club house lawyer, Landon, has hardly been around.

    This USMNT locker room as best as any outsider can tell, seems far more together than most.

  140. biff says:

    I honestly was not referring to you. But there is a group who want Klinsmann to fail. No doubt about that. As for the son, I realize this is highly sensitive and emotional topic, but I don’t see how anyone with one iota of sense could deny that it is obviously a major issue in the big picture of current USMNT dynamics, yet there has not been one peep of (public) discussion about how difficult it must be for Klinsmann for a variety of reasons.

    I agree with you that, on the one hand, Klinsmann deserves credit for handling the situation how he has, although it cannot be easy. But as I said previously, I think a lot of coaches would not have handled the uncomfortable situation the way Klinsmann has and sometimes I wonder whether it might be having an unfavorable impact on his roster decisions and that the total net effect on team dynamics might be negative. I don’t know.

    I will say that the previous coach always made sure to bring in the guys he wanted, “his guys” they were called, and he didn’t fret and wring his hands and worry about how certain segments of the soccer community might react: He just did it. And I gotta say, no matter how I felt about other aspects, I did respect his courage and I still do.

    I like Klinsmann, think he is a good guy and all that, but sometimes I think he is trying too hard to be everybody’s best buddy and I just wish he would spit out his true feelings without always splitting hairs and trying to be a nice guy. At some point Klinsmann has gotta realize that as coach of the USMNT he can’t please everybody and that he is going to anger certain segments of the soccer community no matter what he does and he better realize this and get the team performing better on a consistent basis before the USMNT fails to qualify for WC 2014 or he is going be looking for a new job and his tenure will go down in history as the worst failure in the history of US soccer.

  141. Leo says:

    Leave your sh*tty politics out of this, nobody gives a sh*t about what you think about Obama.

  142. Leo says:

    Perhaps he hasn’t announced it because Tim Howard will not be the next captain of the USMNT. Perhaps the new captain has not played due to injury and it doesn’t make sense to announce him right now.

    It’s very easy to say what you would’ve done in hindsight. It’s important to remember that no matter how great your soccer acumen is, you don’t have the same information the manager does. State your opinion, people will agree or disagree, but there’s little need to litigate your opinion to death.

  143. Eric says:

    I understand that Lichaj isn’t a surefire starter at AV, but if that’s what we’re going to arbitrarily limit the pool to, we’re arbitrarily eliminating a lot of talent. Players like Terrence Boyd and Brad Guzan aren’t yet automatic starters at their clubs, but should still be a part of MNT plans because of their talent level. I would put Lichaj in the same camp.

  144. Eric says:

    Fair point. I would probably rest easier if Lichaj were Johnson’s backup until Dolo retires.

  145. Eric says:

    Lichaj has gotten more match experience than just his AV games. He had a terrific loan spell with Leeds in the Championship League in 2011–so much so that Leeds wanted to keep him. He’s done loan spells elsewhere too, IIRC. It isn’t as though he has simply cooled his heels since crossing the pond in 2008.

  146. robbo says:

    I was upset when Klinsman was named coach. He was a goof player but a good player does not always translate into a good coach. He sucked at Bayern Munich and acting like a blind nice with the US. He cannot assess talent, make adjustment during games. He has no confidence in his ability which translates to a poor product on the field. Mexico is miles of us because the coach is not afraid to give his younger players a chance. How can you call up players who are not match fit for the game in Jamaica when there are others just as capable and are fit? This clown is ruining the US team. Dolo, Boca, Donovan need to make way for the younger players. We will be lucky to qualify for the WC. What the hell does he see in Shea? He is going to be a big flop. That boy is over hyped. Is MLS better than the Danish, Austrian and some of those lower tier leagues? Why no Mixx or Gyau?

  147. Boca saints says:

    JK needs to call up Bornstein and Findley

  148. GW says:


    Who said anything about Lichaj not being part of the USMNT’s plans? If you read the interview JK has him on his radar. If he continues to play well he may get a call up. But he will have to do it at Villa first.
    Eric is not a proven regular like Donovan, Dempsey, MB 90 and so on. They get the benefit of the doubt when it comes to not having much playing time for their clubs yet still being considered for the USMNT.

    Boyd and Guzan are solid starters for their clubs.

    The USMNT is not eliminating talent. JK has made it clear that if he believes you merit inclusion he’ll call you up. He called back Clark and Castillo both of whom most of you wanted dead. He just does not have a spot for him right now and he has never had him in to camp.

    Besides, JK obviously feels right back is not a need at the moment. He has Spector, Beitashour, Cameron, Edu, Williams, Fabian, Zach Lloyd, MOF, Parkhurst, etc. should anything happen to Dolo.
    Maybe you think Lichaj is better than all of them but they have all put in their time with JK. So there is a degree of familiarity and comfort there that may not be present with Lichaj.

    This may shock some of you but just because BB liked a player, it does not mean JK will like him as well. Managers often make different decisions from the previous manger, especially on players. This is a fairly common phenomenon.

    My own feeling about Lichaj is that he benefited greatly from being the guy who allowed BB to not have to start Jonny Bornstein. Most of you have elevated Lichaj to demi god status just on that basis alone. The reality is more that he is a promising but raw prospect who needs to win a regular job first and foremost, at Villa, or elsewhere before he can be the anointed heir to Dolo.