Wiedersehr! Klinsmann Canned

Published on 22-Nov-2016 by Alan Adamsson

Soccer    Soccer Daily Update

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Wiedersehr! Klinsmann Canned

This is proof yet again of what happens when a dysfunctional organization meets an erratic international monolith.

Five years ago, the United States mens' program needed to be kicked into the reality required for achieving and maintaining elite status in world football.

German legend Jürgen Klinsmann took that mandate and ran with it.

Ultimately, it ran him. Right outta town.

It didn't take long for Klinsmann to ruffle ossified feathers not long after he took the job.

But, damn, dude was saying what needed to be said. The United States Soccer Association was stagnant at the top, consisting of old boys who leaned on the point that they 'got to' the game earlier than most of the country, no matter how relevant -- or even factual -- that may have been.

So, Klinsmann moved radically. Among his decisions:

  • He dropped Landon Donovan from the 2014 World Cup roster, choosing to go with younger players;
  • His cred in the Fatherland drew the likes of Julian Green to choose the USA over Germany; and
  • His development of younger players in his system was showing signs of success.

Klinsmann did get the Americans into the 2014 World Cup bracket play, but frankly, his assessment was right at the outset; the Americans had no chance to advance very far with what they had. Remember, they only won one match.

And that's where tinkering began to clash with impatience.

The German's experimentation had the usual hits and misses, but even the players began to question where his path was taking them. Especially when his strategy seemed to backslide in the Copa America.

Argentina's 4-0 crushing of the USA indicated to many that the program hadn't really progressed at all.

After that, all Klinsmann's enemies needed was an opening. He'd tinkered too long.

So when he trotted out a 3-4-3 virtually unannounced against Mexico in Columbus, the end was near.

By the time the USA reverted to its more comfortable 4-4-2, the damage had been done. His players had become totally exasperated.

If there was any doubt he'd lost the locker room, their listless Hex loss to Costa Rica put paid to that notion:

Klinsmann's dismissal of others' opinions didn't help his cause, either:

“The fact is, we lost two games. There is a lot of talk from people who don’t understand soccer or the team.”

Early word is that Bruce Arena -- vanilla and compliant -- will assume the reins.

Meanwhile, one can only wonder what woulda been if Klinsmann hadn't gotten in his own way.