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Sunil Gulati

Sunil Gulati to blame for decline of USA Team


Just two days after Bob Bradley’s USA side was knocked out of the 2010 World Cup in heartbreaking fashion by Ghana, US Soccer President Sunil Gulati was asked how he felt about the team’s tournament run.

He answered, “I think the team is capable of more. I think the players know it. I think Bob knows it. And so at that level we’re disappointed we didn’t get to play another 90 minutes at least.”

He would go on to talk about his extreme disappointment in the campaign, and make Bradley’s job status a loud, open question for months to come.

For the president of the federation to bludgeon a team that had just played some of the most thrilling soccer in the history of the country and call its coach’s future into question was beyond irregular – it was unprecedented.

VIEW MORE: Andrew Jennings calls for revolution in US soccer to oust Sunil Gulati:

Sure enough, Gulati spent the next handful of months chasing his favorite son. Not for the first time, either. Gulati’s infatuation with Jurgen Klinsmann is about to run into its tenth year, and it’s been nothing short of embarrassing.

After the 2006 World Cup, Gulati paralyzed the entire national team program for six months while he tried to land Klinsmann to replace Bruce Arena. The proposed deal broke down due to Klinsmann’s increasingly ridiculous demands, and Gulati didn’t have a plan B.

Thankfully, Bradley, who was appointed as the interim manager, did well enough to lock down the job full-time.

But Bradley was always US Soccer’s second choice, and no matter how well he did at the World Cup, Gulati was always going to take another run at Klinsmann. He struck out once again, but never really stopped negotiating, and he finally landed his man soon after Bradley lost the 2011 Gold Cup final against Mexico.

Bradley always faced the pressure of needing results to keep his job. He often got them, too, winning a Gold Cup, making a Confederations Cup Final, winning the Hexagonal, and advancing in the World Cup.

SEE MORE: US soccer press does a disservice with softball questions to Jurgen Klinsmann.

His post-USA coaching career has only enhanced his status as one of the finest and most admirable managers this country has ever produced.

The pressure Bradley faced as US coach hasn’t applied to his successor.

Ironically enough, Gulati’s warm embrace has ensured that Klinsmann doesn’t have to face the kind of accountability he demands from his players. The year 2015 has made that abundantly clear.

Lose a Gold Cup semifinal to Jamaica? No problem. Miss out – again – on qualifying for the Olympics? Don’t sweat it. Get dominated by Mexico and fail to reach the Confederations Cup? No need to worry.

It’s insanity.

SEE MORE: US Soccer has systemic problems in addition to holding Jurgen Klinsmann and Sunil Gulati accountable.

Morten Olsen will retire from his job as Denmark’s national team coach after sixteen years after next summer’s European Championships in France. Outside of Olsen – a beloved Danish player and enormously respected coach – it’s hardly a stretch to say that Klinsmann has the most job security in major international soccer.

Landon Donovan’s comment that any other coach in the world would be fired if he lost to Mexico in Klinsmann’s position wasn’t even remotely controversial. It’s simply the truth. Most coaches in the world don’t have full immunity from consequences like Klinsmann does.

But we know now what we didn’t know then. Klinsmann is a good salesman and an incompetent manager, under whom the US has regressed stylistically back to the 1990s and made no long-term development strides below the senior national team level.

Klinsmann, from how he regards MLS, to his condescension of American fans, to the way he talks about attitude and fitness, and, most tellingly, the way he sets up his team, clearly has no faith in American players or the American soccer culture to compete with the world’s best.

That’s been clear from the beginning. Klinsmann promised to change the culture, but instead he’s just blamed it for all of his failures. The man can’t coach. After more than four years, that’s become obvious to almost every member of the media and a large segment of the fan base.

The only man who can’t see reality is the man in charge.

The US’ game against Mexico was eerily familiar. After a year of experimentation, Klinsmann’s team was nearly identical to the one that played at the World Cup in Brazil, and they played the same way: Sitting back, absorbing pressure, battling, and eventually coming up short.

Excuses, of course, are also a signature part of Klinsmann’s game-plan, and he trotted out a dandy after the match on Saturday night when he blamed the Gold Cup referees for the US’ defeat.

But there is no point in being mad at the manager anymore. We know exactly what we’re getting with him. But it’s perfectly reasonable to demand more from Gulati, who appears to be one of the last men in the country still hypnotized by the promise of Klinsmann.

Anyone who knows will tell you Klinsmann’s job won’t even be under review unless the US is in real, palpable danger of not qualifying for the World Cup. Short of the player revival that certainly isn’t coming – something Klinsmann can thank the US culture he so despises for – the German will be around through the World Cup in Russia.

The absurdity of the situation – the coach who lives to get players out of their comfort zone is left firmly ensconced in his – is almost comedic.

Chances are Gulati isn’t going anywhere either. He ran unopposed in his last two elections at US Soccer, and his appointment to the FIFA Executive Committee makes him one of the more powerful men in world soccer.

Gulati hasn’t truly distinguished himself either way with that power – he supported Sepp Blatter until last year – but his position, plus the success of the US Women’s Team ensures that there continues to be little appetite to challenge the sitting President.

And therein lies the US Soccer conundrum at this moment. As long as Gulati is in power, so is Klinsmann.

With the dual losses to Honduras in Olympic qualifying and to Mexico in the CONCACAF Cup, some talked about Saturday as one of the darkest days in US Soccer history. Maybe it was one of our darkest days. But on this path, there is worse yet to come.

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  1. Ed

    October 19, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    Brilliant how you became an “expert” since 2006.

    You got the part about Sunil right. Bringing in Arena and getting worse results showed everything Klisman said to be true. You won’t listen. Sunil won’t listen. US will suck for forseeable future until we get tired if loosing.

  2. bop

    April 3, 2017 at 11:00 pm

    Sunil makes me sick to my stomach.

  3. Don

    November 22, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    This guy clearly knows nothing about the game. Purely a political hack who has made us a laughingstock. Get rid of him and get rid of the old farts who have no business being on the pitch (yes, that means Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones). Bradley has always sucked but at 29, he REALLY sucks. His career is over (or rather it SHOULD be). Sadly with Arena at the helm, we can expect to see more of him. The face of US soccer is a slow, dimwitted whiny little bitch who has no talent. Perfect.

  4. John

    November 21, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    Sunil needs to go, too, long over due

    C’mon on….Have some balls

  5. delby

    November 17, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    all this handwringing over nothing. you do realize you’re all talking about soccer, right? there’s no sport more boring than soccer. it’s the least interesting sport out of every one there is. and americans don’t care about it at all! it’s a kid’s sport here. who cares what happens with this u.s. soccer team? who cares if they win or lose? no one in the country cares one way or the other. it’s not like it’s a real or important sport like baseball or football. or basketball or the olympics. quit getting into a huff over soccer. soccer doesn’t matter here, guys! it never did! it never will!

  6. Earl

    October 16, 2015 at 10:58 am

    I guess I saw a different US Mexico game than some. The article says the US laid back and took the pressure. Huh?

    I saw 1 minute of execution to get 2 goals and 119 minutes of a US team that could not hold formation, could not complete more than three or four successive passes, could not possess and attack and routinely was dispossessed not so much by good Mexico defense but by their own offensive inability.

    Add to that scheduling the game in a suburb of Mexico so that an important home game in fact becomes a hostile playing environment and failure arrived early and never left. Really, the Metrodome in Minneapolis wasn’t available?

    Its obvious Klinsman can’t coach. He an Gulati both need to go. Its also obvious that the competing programs for player development need to be brought together not driven apart. Whether you proceed thru high school and college, youth and academy, MLS farm system or come from outside the US somehow, all need to be regarded as viable. The arrogance of “you must play academy” needs to go. The notion that there is only one way to make it is crap. The US Academy system is a disgrace anyway plus the only players that can get there are the wealthy.

  7. Mikali

    October 15, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    Losing to your primary rival by an average of goals per game for three games, as Bradley did, is being dominated.

    Losing 3-2 in extra-time on a 118th minute goal is not.

    Nor is having a 1-1-1 competitive record and a 4-3 advantage in aggregate goals; or an overall record of 3-1-3 and 10-4 aggregate goal advantage.

    Nor is having the longest unbeaten streak in USMNT history against Mexico (6 games).

    In addition, Klinsmann has a draw (WC qualifying) and a win (friendly) while playing in Mexico. That is 4 times as many points as every other US coach has in 23 games played in Mexico.

    If Mexico is the measuring stick for USMNT coaches, then Klinsmann is easily the most successful USMNT coach ever.

    I’m old enough to know how far the USMNT has come and to have truly enjoyed Klinsmann’s USMNT successes (especially against Mexico). I may not be happy with Klinsmann, US Soccer, Gulati, the MLS, the USMNT players or FIFA right now, but I’m even less happy with hacks trying to re-write USMNT history.

    The facts are, Klinsmann’s USMNT teams have owned Mexico in a way they have never been owned before. In addition, until the past few months, Klinsmann had the the highest winning percentage and points per game average of any USMNT coach.

    I have believed for some time that the US was punching significantly above it’s weight. Unfortunately, that’s an opinion and, worse, it directly contradicts the current narrative and conventional wisdom that Klinsmann is a horrible coach.

    I’d hate it if we regressed back to our mean. But, overall, where does US Soccer stand today? The MLS can’t hold a candle to Liga MX and if you’re a good youth coach and want a challenge, try spending part of your summer touring Mexico; I won 75% of my games but only about 1 in 3 against Mexican teams. It’s been a while, so maybe things have changed, but I doubt it.

    If we weren’t punching above our weight, what changed? Is this a short-term blip or part of a larger, longer-term problem? Finally, what must we improve and how do we do that?
    If we were punching above our weight, 1) doesn’t that make Klinsmann an exceptional coach and 2) what must we do to be on an equal footing with Mexico, let alone Brazil, Germany and Argentina? What is our next step in that direction? And, how long and how much money will it take before we are on equal footing with, first, Mexico and then Brazil, Argentina and Germany?

    I’ve enjoyed the recent successes of the USMNT and would appreciate it if someone brighter than me could help with a better analysis. And do it without trying to re-write USMNT history because, for those of us old enough to have watched Wynalda and Beasley play as teens (yes, I’m old) you’re not going to pull the wool over our eyes with false narratives about ‘what it was like back in the day’. You’ll also be called out for lying about how far the US has come, about how much farther we need to go and how exceptional the past few years have been.

    Not an easy task; and I’m stumped. A younger, brighter person than me will have to answer these questions and eventually solve them. After all, knowing may be half the battle, but it’s the easy half.

  8. Mikali

    October 15, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    Yes, Bradley was a good coach, he has gotten better since his USMNT stint, and I hope he comes home to coach the USMNT.

    BUT he was fired for three things: 1) losing 3 consecutive games to Mexico that counted by an 11-3 aggregate (WC qualifier & 2 Gold Cup games), 2) not qualifying for the Olympics and 3) not moving US Soccer quickly enough in the direction Sunil and US Soccer wanted.

    Individually, all were survivable. Even two of them would have been survivable. But the combination of all three setbacks was and, I hope, will always be, insurmountable. Firing Bradley was the only option.

  9. HectarMachoCamacho

    October 14, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    The US need to have a Latino coach. There are 40M latinos is this country and you mean to tell me there are not 6 excellent players to play on the attacking side of the the ball. The USA as a culture has always been infatuated with size and speed. What has that got us? ANSWER: ZERO! We need to be honest with our selves. Let’s find players that have touch, vision and creativity and what better pool to tap than the 40M latinos we have.
    Now back to my latino coach. Employ an Argentinian because they are the best coaches in the world. People will argue with that, but it is a fact and until we bring in someone that has the
    “know how” we will suck.

  10. OT

    October 14, 2015 at 5:50 am

    One way to get the message to Sunil:

    STOP buying tickets to attend USMNT friendlies, which are nothing more than vehicles for US Soccer to raise money for its coffers.

    This means you, American Outlaws. Don’t attend any more USMNT friendlies in person. Period.

    (Remember that Sam’s Army skipped many friendlies over the years before they were displaced by the American Outlaws, who are younger and louder, but are more naive in many ways compared to the 1995-2007 generation of USMNT supporters. Many of us who were associated with Sam’s Army during its early days in 1995 knew all about Jack Warner and Chuck Blazer. In particular, I heard numerous stories of Warner and Blazer from media members while I was inside the press box to carry out my reporting assignments for the radio station in upstate New York where the infamous Keith Olbermann got his start broadcasting.)

    When the likes of the American Outlaws stop showing up at friendlies en masse, and US Soccer sponsors notice the empty seats behind the goal, then Sunil will face “heat” from those who pay his salary.

  11. Geezus

    October 13, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    Since 2006, Klinsmann has been the only candidate for US Soccer. No one else has largely been considered. Gulati struck out once but in 2011 he finally got him. We only ended up with Bradley by chance because Gulati didn’t get Klinsmann the first time. So for the record, Gulati’s made TWO head coaching choices and neither ultimately panned out as desired.
    In any other American sport, Gulati would’ve been gone with those results and likely even more so now given how much power he’s given Klinsmann.
    You can point to that, his role in the lack of any easing tensions between MLS and NASL, his possible roles in the ongoing FBI investigations with FIFA (since they mainly center around business done in Concacaf, US Soccer, and American soccer in general), I think he (along with others) have tried to keep US Soccer limited for so long to point where someone like Klinsmann was needed to really overhaul the process. No American coach would’ve really pushed for that type of change. So its fortunate we’ve progressed even this much under Klinsmann. But at the end of the day, if Klinsmann is not the guy, you have to look at the guy above him because that’s now two guys he’s chosen and ultimately fired.
    We need a better guy in charge.

  12. Damn yankee

    October 13, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    I disagree that Gullati was after Klinsman for so long as the article points out,Gullati did try to get JK before Bradley but he didn’t try again until after Bradley lost to Mexico in a match were our Boys were up 2-Nil early in the game.
    I remember most of us were upset and asking for a coach change,I asked Gullati in one of those so called town meetings that US Soccer has before some USMNT matches about a coach change and why he didn’t give in to JK demands in order to land him as a coach,Gullati answer : I don’t even have control of my own house and don’t forget,one that sign check should be the one in control at all times.
    If we change coach again as we did before (Bradley/JK),Are we still going to be palying counterattack for the whole match? Are we still be trying to counter attack with one player upfront? If Guzan is our goalie for this cycle,Is he still going to be kicking the ball randomly? When are we going to learn to hold te ball and play with your teammates?

  13. Josh

    October 13, 2015 at 11:22 am

    The problem with Jurgen is he has not done what he said he would, which is go younger. Dempsey has not done anything for the US team in quite some time. He gives lackluster performances every time I watch a game, yet he still takes a roster spot and has a leadership role. Altidore gets sent home for being out of shape, still doesn’t look good, but gets to play. Altidore isn’t even the best Forward on his club team, Sebastian Giovinco is so much better then him. Brek Shea has been playing better for Orlando and better than Beasley has been playing for Houston. Yet Jurgen went with old players who have had their time. Kyle Beckerman is 33 and still sucks, I’m sick of seeing him merely pass it back to Bradley, because he is not creative enough to make plays. The old players have to go, sorry. I can take a loss if we go younger and inexperienced, but don’t keep the old guard and try to reinvent the wheel.

    • Dennise Vail

      October 13, 2015 at 11:33 am

      He has not gone younger there were 6 players on the team that were over 30 years old. These players will be to old to play on the 2018 World Cup. I can list the players Dempsey, Beasly, Jones, Beckerman, Cameron and Gusman. We’ve have done the opposite.

      • Josh

        October 13, 2015 at 11:51 am

        I was getting ready to throw something at the TV during the Mexico game, when the announcer said Wondolowski was getting ready to enter the game.

  14. Harry

    October 13, 2015 at 9:46 am

    One can blame all the non-players one wants but that will not change the fact that presently there are few American players that one would classify as world class. Klinsmann is presiding over a squad that is in transition. There are some good young players that, if coached properly, can become future stars. Time will tell if that happens. In the meantime, we need to accept that during this transitional period Klinsmann is going to play a number of youngsters to give them experience in the hope that in time they will benefit from the experience.

  15. VicBklyn

    October 12, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    USMNT does not have the talent Mexico has right now. Years ago at one point, we had better talent but today, we don’t. Let’s be honest. Klinnnsman has changed and insulted the American soccer system hurting feelings. Stop the sensitivity, it’s true and real fans of the sport talk about this everyday. Bradley’s loyalist and former products of the American system from Lalas to Donovan are biased and not honest. Claudio Reyna has said the same things but got tired and gave up, leaving to go to NYCFC. Read his book. Since Reyna & than Klinnnsman our youth system has been changing. We have more products competing in the European system with good clubs. Fact is the speed of soccer is faster in international football. Mexico took it’s lost years ago and sent more internationals to Europe, something it’s never done. Their league is faster than our and kicking our Concacaf but overall.
    Be honest, Mexico has more talent than us. Other countries weren’t going to wait and do nothing while we improve. Altidore, Dempsey, Bradley’s failures in Europe are epic. Coming back to MLS is not a celebration.

    • Rush

      October 14, 2015 at 8:50 am

      I would not characterize Dempsey’s years at Fulham as a failure. He was a starter for many years, helped take that club to the Europa League final, and was loved by fans. I hate that he was sold to Tottenham.

  16. Mike

    October 12, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    The biggest issue is the player pool. After the likes of Dempsey and Bradley, who came into after? The stars on the U23 teams, (Gil, Morris, Trapp) need to get more time on the big club if they want to have a shot to make Russia in 2018.

  17. Dennise Vail

    October 12, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    If there is one thing about Americans that foreigners want is our money. If you steal, lie and cheat Americans we will make sure you and your friends, family and boss will never make an honest living in America. Just ask Traffic Sport, CONCACAF for stealing over $100,000 million for the pockets of our future soccer players in America.

    This is a soccer war that spiral into American Soccer and the rest of the world due to money, pwer and gread.. Sunali and Mr JK will never be able to make a living in this country after what they have done to set our soccer program back 20 years.

    • Damn yankee

      October 13, 2015 at 1:44 pm

      If these people split $100 million as you claim,Why Gullati and JK will need to work for a living?.
      Our palyers are old and Bradley should not be our Captain,Guzan should stay at AV for life.
      JK and Gullati should be out of that cozy little house in Chicago.

  18. Seth Israel

    October 12, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    That’s been clear from the beginning. Klinsmann promised to change the soccer culture, but instead he’s just blamed his failures on our American soccer failure. He further said, “that our boys were courage and a don’t quite attitude.” Did Sunil hire him to tell the Americans that we have a no quite, do not give up attitude. I think we already know fact that giving our rich American history. Does anyone here believe that any one of our boys did not give there 100% on Saturday or during Brazil? So we need to try harder bull statement coming from a double talker, deliberately unintelligible speech combining nonsense syllables and actual words.

  19. Steve

    October 12, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    David I would love to hear from AO. Even if Gulati is removed based on some of his decisions who is available to fill any of the spots we are all calling to change. Who could serve as the best solution for Sunil? Who is even hinting at a challenge? the same is true for JK. Who has the experience and awareness to improve the USMNT based on the current player pool available?

  20. David Hughes

    October 12, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    Finally…I soccer magazine, blog ready, willing and able to publish the hard truth about Sunil Gulati. Indeed, We can ask ourselves tow questions. Did the boys wearing the U.S.A. soccer jersey gave us their blood sweat and tears; their best these past four year and on Saturday against Mexico? I believe we all know they did. So when Mr. Klinsmann. Do we think our boy wear the best talent players America had to offer? That could be debated. But, that is not what this article is about. Indeed, its about the lack o failure by Sunil Gulati lack of soccer vision and leadership. There is plenty of appetite down in the trenches of American Outlaws and fans that can apply pressure on the federation to remove him for power or else we face a long tenure similar to Sepp Blatter.

  21. Ahmet Bereket

    October 12, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    ur article leaves no doubt u r not happy with Gulati yet ur points r far from convincing.
    Besides doing a great job of holding the forth with what little talent and national / institutional support we have in national team he is truly representing us in one of the most corrupt and political organization – Fifa with dignity courage and forward thinking. I like the players we have in the team they r decent hard working players yet I don’t see the individual talent level to create a better team at all. and where/ which teams / leagues they r all playing individually tells the whole story. Jurgen is a coach that can get a job fairly quickly if he is fired . I agree with Steve who do we hire and what better can he do with talent pool we have is the question. We all have to be realistic while having the right to criticize.

    • David Hughes

      October 12, 2015 at 5:20 pm

      The notion that America has no talent pole is false narrative. There plenty of players the JK has omitted because he couldn’t get along with them or simply hasn’t the know how to spot talent or because they don’t play in Germany but play in MLS they’re not good enough.

  22. Steve

    October 12, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    JK has not done a good job as of lately, nor has he had the pieces or the coaching tactics. Mexico’s best (4) players are easily better then our best (4). And their strategy and tactics also are well ahead. No one would fault or fire other countries for losing to the US in basketball. The same, in the JK case, this time. We are not currently good enough.

    Bradley needed to go, it is really impressive that he has done so well and I continue to hope he does well, but on the international level it was not good to anyone except a few Amercian bloggers.

    JK needs more accountability and tactics and other coaches around him. Arguably, he may need to go, but there is no real World Class replacement for him. On top of that, as he gets his hands on more young players like Yedlin and Wood, one would hope to see more dividends, as there was in CC game.

    Good News: The MLS is also quickly and quietly becoming very competitive. JK, the MLS, CONMEBOL, and even the college game all need to be on the same page. If we lose COPA next year, that will be a huge step back. If college, cannot become more competitive (including subbing) and a better pipeline to the MLS we should scrap it. I know it’s not really possible, but it would be great for NCAA soccer look more like the pipeline football and basketball do.

  23. Steve

    October 12, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    Barrett your points are valid but they all speak to the technical directors position and not the position of the USMNT Coach who should be making his roster selection and tactical preparation not based on what was done in the past but on his upcoming opposition. Klinsmann is an excellent recruiter and has done much to secure future talent most would agree. But he does not do well with roster choices and in-game decisions and adjustments. Is Demarcus Beasley really only left back worthy of the US jersey? Are we that poor? Many are calling for his coaching release but to try to retain him as the technical director. The article is a statement that nothing will change.

  24. Smokey Bacon

    October 12, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    Everyone keeps going on about having patience and Klinsmann’s long term vision. That’s Gulati’s job. Klinsmanns is to organize and motivate 11 players, something he has been proved to not be very good at doing.

    • Hoos44

      October 12, 2015 at 5:59 pm

      Well, as technical director it kinda is his job and overall I think he is doing well at it. Gulatti is in charge of keeping the program running.

  25. Michael

    October 12, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    Klinsmann is not the problem but a symptom of how poor American soccer players are compared to other nations. Unless the skills of the players are improved, no manager is going to be successful. Klinsmann is trying to encourage younger players to go abroad and learn at club level so that they can become more adept at national level. This will take time, perhaps an entire generation. Look at how the African nations benefitted from such a strategy. It didn’t happen overnight.

    • Jeff Peltier

      October 15, 2015 at 1:06 pm

      So, if I hear you correctly, as Technical Director, his big paradigm shift in American Soccer is to encourage young players to go overseas to play and develop? If so, that is the most ludicrous thing in the world. I can’t think of a manager ever saying to a player, “Don’t go play in ________ to improve because it won’t work for you.” Playing in Europe is no guarantee of success. Ask Europeans! Besides, there is an institutional bias against most players from North America. Do our players need to be more technically proficient? Of course! Ha Jurgen done anything to change this? Really doesn’t look like it. Instead of trying to change Americans into Europeans, maybe he should try to take the strengths of the American game, and grow what is lacking. Let’s not become another England.

      • Jeff Peltier

        October 15, 2015 at 1:09 pm

        Also, not all poor play is because of the players. If your coach tells you to do something you are not equipped or able to do, is that your fault? Shouldn’t a coach know the limitations and strengths of his players, and adjust and plan accordingly? Isn’t it his job to bring out the best in the players? I think it is. JK has not shown that he is capable of doing that.

  26. Artimus

    October 12, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    Those that can’t play or coach soccer, write sports columns about soccer.

    • Smokey Bacon

      October 12, 2015 at 3:18 pm

      …..but mostly they troll the comments section of soccer blogs.

  27. Barrett

    October 12, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    This article is an absolute smeer job lacking any redeemable value. The face of international soccer comprises of up and downs in both the player pool and performance. Did things look down after the gold cup, Olympic qualifying (not even Klinnsmann’s job but rather Tab Ramos’), and Saturday? Yes. But we also praised Klinnsmann as a savior after masterful wins on the road in Italy, Germany, and Holland. Are we forgetting about all advancing from the group of death completely and setting up our team (i.e. Wondolowski, etc) to win against Belgium, one of the top teams in the world)? And are we also forgetting the conversions of top flight youth dual internationals (Zelalem, Carter-Vickers, Miazga, Julian Green, and more). On top of all this, have we ever seen such a poor player pool in the past 2 decades? Who does Klinnsmann really have to work with– the likes of an old Dempsey, a horribly out of form altidore, Besler, a terrifyingly old Beasley. Gone are the days of the in prime Donovan, Lalas, McBride. Michael Bradley is far and above his best player, really think about that for a second… The guy is doing his job for the future, changing the culture of American soccer is an extraordinarily long process that won’t come until the next generation of elevated talent in the player pool arrives, which Klinnsmann has recruited and pieced together himself. Lastly, your point that “the man can’t coach” is one. For he lost ludicrous statements I have ever read. All I can respond with is his resume and past coaching successes, the man is undoubtedly the most accomplished coach we have ever seen in US soccer. Your point is absurd. Instead of demanding his job, how about we look at what he has to work with currently, the alternatives for his replacement, and realize that he is the best man for the job and be significantly more patient in our judgment.

    • Jeff Peltier

      October 15, 2015 at 12:50 pm

      Klinsmann was fired from both of his previous appointments. He is a big vision kind of guy which is great for a Technical director, but doesn’t always work when being a head coach. It’s one thing to hold players accountable if they don’t work hard or have bad attitudes. It’s another thing when you talk about how they were not good enough in a particular match, or throw them under the bus publicly. Especially when you play players ourt of position, or keep changing their position. A coach’s job is to take the players he/she has, and put them in a position to succeed. All the tinkering and experimenting JK has been doing has not helped these players. Instead of trying to convert some, how about you bring along/develop some? Finals and tournaments are not the time to screw around with setups, systems, midfield and defensive pairings, etc. He has shown little tactical nous and I have not seen a consistent style or formation. Gulati also needs to go. When people run unopposed, it only means the status quo is going to be preserved. I have never been a fan of Sunil, and his unwillingness to hold Klinsmann responsible is ridiculous.

  28. Tom

    October 12, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    I agree with almost your entire article. My one disagreement is the ending. We are in worse shape. Looking at the stats, shots on goal, shots taken ( on our side and theirs), possession, passes completed in their final third, in or final third.

    I did not mind that they replaced Bradley. I was frustrated with him. He was too conservative. I do agree that Bradley is the better coach and we will sooner see Bradley in the EPL than Klinsmann. The reason being Bradley can admit when he is wrong and is bound and determined to grow.

    The curious part is the USWNT team is everything the USMNT is not. If anything the USMNT should base its program after the USWNT. But, there is no way Klinsmann could do this since he would have to give up to much control.

    I do agree Gulati should be held accountable but he like Kilinsmann will not be held accountable. The players will,The Nation will, referees will, but Klinmann is untouchable.

  29. Javier Hernandez

    October 12, 2015 at 10:55 am

    Although I agree with most of your premise around Klinsmann’s poor tenure. I disagree that Gulati should not have replaced Bradley. Although the IS performance at the World Cup was thrilling, US was unable to retain possession, score on the run of play, etc. what’s disturbing is that the US is still playing the same way.

    • David

      October 12, 2015 at 11:51 am

      Javier, good points. Firing Bradley was the right move. To add to your point, the U.S. is still constantly giving up early goals. That was a huge problem under Bradley and it’s still a huge problem now. It’s going to be hard to fire Klinsmann since he’s in control of so much. If the U.S. starts it’s World Cup qualifying campaign next month struggling, I think we are going to have a tough time qualifying for 2018.

    • Abe Asher

      October 12, 2015 at 1:36 pm

      Just to clarify, wasn’t against firing Bradley or bringing in Klinsmann in 2011. Just against keeping Klinsmann now.

    • Carl

      October 15, 2017 at 11:46 am

      Why do have have an Indian as the president of the US soccer federation?! That’s just nuts.
      This ain’t cricket!

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