Here To Stay
Following Team USA’s 2-0 defeat at the hands of Colombia, many questions were being asked of Team USA, specifically about manager Jurgen Klinsmann’s ability to lead the team.
Team USA put together a virtuoso performance in a 4-0 thrashing of Costa Rica, which seemed a suitable response to the earlier announcement by Sunil Gulati, President of U.S. Soccer, which stated that Klinsmann’s standing as manager of the USMNT was going to be “evaluated.”
So, why would U.S. Soccer want to get rid of Klinsmann, or even suggest it? Jurgen Klinsmann is probably the best thing to happen to U.S. Soccer in years, possibly ever. Having a manager who knows the ins and outs of what it takes to win on the international level is incredibly valuable.
However, it would be shortsighted to not mention the problems Klinsmann has had with the team, particularly his seeming lack of interest in utilizing the younger players on the squad. One problem Klinsmann has had is that he seems to eschew the idea of focusing on developing the team for the future in favor of playing his strongest players in the present, even if they’re in their mid-30s. Honestly though, it’s hard to blame Klinsmann for using this strategy. He, like any other national manager, always has the difficult choice between using his stronger, more experienced players to win now and developing his younger players in preparation for the future. That said, his big dilemma is figuring out how to best strike a balance between the two strategies.
All that said, and considering that there are both positives and negatives to Klinsmann, the important thing to realize is that the positives far outweigh the negatives. Klinsmann is more than capable of changing his tactics to accommodate for more development but there is no way that U.S. Soccer would be able to find a suitable replacement that has the same amount of experience and managerial savvy. Going forward, Klinsmann should start trying to work on striking that balance of older and younger players in order to achieve the desire of playing a flashy game while still being effective on the pitch.