I gave my thoughts on Jurgen Klinsmann and his job with the U.S. national team on last week’s Peachtree Post, and really nothing has changed in the wake of his firing. The comments made Sunday in a variety of outlets did not help his cause, but insulting his critics and questioning their knowledge was not a new development in Klinsmann’s tenure.
If it had been my decision, I would not have given Klinsmann an extension before the 2014 World Cup. That is when it really started to go south in my opinion. Without that extension, I would not have continued with Klinsmann after the 2014 World Cup. I felt the team was too defensive in their approach. I felt like poor decisions were made in the Portugal game that cost the team a win, which put the squad behind the eight ball against Germany in the last group game and left them with little in the tank to face Belgium. The numbers do not lie, the 2014 team was more defensive, had less possession, gave up too many chances, and took fewer attacking chances than any other World Cup team in recent U.S. history.
Making the change then would have have allowed the team to go in a different direction for a new cycle. I definitely would have made a change after the 2015 Gold Cup. Losing to Jamaica in a tournament at home in a semifinal is unacceptable. If Bradley was let go after a 4-2 loss in the final in 2011, a 2-0 loss in the semifinal to a team you have never lost to on American soil should definitely cost a manager their job.
At this point in qualifying, a change really had to be made. The U.S. is facing something they have never faced in World Cup qualifying. They have never started the Hex 0-2. Only one team has qualified from this position in the history of this format. It is not the foregone conclusion that the U.S. will qualify for Russia, not after this start in the Hex.
Bruce Arena is our Harry Redknapp, he’s being brought in to steady the ship and survive. He is not being brought in for all of the other off the field stuff that Klinsmann tackled. Arena has one job, get the team through qualifying. If he does that, he should get the opportunity to manage the team in 2018, and then that should be it.
The U.S. Soccer Federation can then look at a new direction after the 2018 World Cup, and I would love to see a conversation had with Oscar Pareja about taking over the program. I think he can actually accomplish some of the things that Klinsmann merely talked about.
The New York Times’ Sam Borden broke the news that Jurgen Klinsmann had been fired (New York Times)
Bruce Arena is expected to replace Jurgen Klinsmann (Stars and Stripes)
Arena does have a few quotes that will need to be addressed (SB Nation)
Five players whose USMNT fortunes might improve with Klinsmann’s dismissal (FourFourTwo)
Jurgen’s ego led to his demise (Sporting News)
Klinsmann’s up and down tenure (FiveThirtyEight)
BREAKING: Amazon explores possible premium sports package w/ Prime membership; has held talks w/NBA, MLB, NFL, MLS for live game rights - DJ— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) November 21, 2016
The Olympic Stadium gets the green light for tonight’s match (Montreal Gazette)
Montreal and Toronto do not like one another (MLS)
Toronto’s Greg Vanney leading new breed of MLS coaches (SportsNet)
What makes Nicolas Lodeiro so special? (MLS)
MLS salary cap needs to be updated (FourFourTwo)
Will the Galaxy raid other MLS clubs for a new coach? (Goal)
Join us at The Birchwood for a very important announcement on Tuesday, December 6 regarding the club's future!— Tampa Bay Rowdies (@TampaBayRowdies) November 21, 2016
*Space will be limited pic.twitter.com/DYPmBdu3bq
Zlatan Ibrahimovic aims to conquer the USA (FourFourTwo)
A look at Sporting Lisbon’s academy (New York Times)
Sign him up: