With a friendly against Azerbaijan next week, and the World Cup not too far off, Jürgen Klinsmann has selected a 23-man World Cup squad that looks better than what Bob Bradley left to him. While far and away from the world beaters at this time, the USMNT under Klinsmann are still fighting for respectability in anticipation of the World Cup group games against strong sides of Germany, Ghana and Portugal. Even though US team are in a tough group, we hopefully will see some of the progress that Klinsmann has made since taking over in 2011.
Below are some highlights of the USMNT since Klinsmann’s arrival.
1. USA 1 – 0 Italy Feb 29, 2012
In their first ever win against Italy, the USMNT put up a great defensive display in the waning minutes to grind out this win.
2. USA 1 – 0 Mexico August 15, 2012
Later in 2012, the USMNT won their first ever game against ‘El Tri’ on their own home soil in a late game score from Michael Orozco Fiscal. Several months later in the World Cup qualifiers the two sides would meet again ending in a draw.
3. USA 1 – 0 Costa Rica March 22, 2013
This was a game that was very unique in venue and conditions. In a game that even most NFL officials may call due to the severity of the climate and field conditions. However, the game went on and the US got their first and much needed win of the Hexagonal from the foot of Clint Dempsey.
4. USA 4 – 3 Germany June 2, 2013
Sure it was Germany’s B side being as the majority of their Starting XI played for Bayern Munich and Bortrussia Dortmund in the Champions League match a few weeks prior, but in a match that many thought the US would lose, Klinsmann’s side ground out a victory in their Centennial match in Washington, DC.
5. USA 1 – 0 Panama July 28,2013
Klinsmann’s side got its 1st trophy under his stewardship after they won their fifth title in the CONCACAF against Panama with a well-placed goal by Brek Shea courtesy of Clint Dempsey.
Since then, the USMNT has had the distinction of going on a 12 game winning streak, which at the time was longest for any team in the world (later it was broken by Costa Rica). Also, the USMNT earned a win over Panama to clinch their spot in the World Cup. In the time that Klinsmann has taken stewardship of the USMNT, they have gone from being ranked 28th in the world when he arrived in 2011 to presently 14th. They may not take it all but here is to hoping that they do well.
What do you think of Klinsmann’s coaching since taking over the team?