There’s No Coming Back From 4-Nil
Argentina 4 – United States 0 (played in Houston, Texas)
The same roster, the same “tactics” and the same result.
If Jürgen Klinsmann isn’t fired now, when?
The Jürgen Klinsmann Experiment reached its peak level of misery last night. The Copa América Centenario semifinal loss against Messi & Co. should’ve lit the final piece of wood in the fire beneath Mr. Klinsmann’s seat. Hopefully, the incompetent senior leadership at U.S. Soccer will finally act accordingly. The group responsible for hiring and firing has yet another opening (and possibly the last and best chance) to finally fire Mr. Klinsmann based on uninspired performances lacking purpose and creativity and drastically unrealized expectations throughout his 5-years as USMNT manager before the United States devolves towards a third consecutive underwhelming World Cup.
The United States is far better than what they’ve shown under the management of Mr. Klinsmann and five years has been more than enough time.
As Americans have proven for 22 years since this country hosted the World Cup and started Major League Soccer two years later, the United States is excited for this growing sport and are ready to see its best eleven take a step towards respect on the world’s best fields. In fact, the ambition should extend to being feared. That’s not happening. Perhaps surprisingly, the impatience in the USMNT is not rooted in enduring necessary growing pains, but instead in the Groundhog Day syndrome.
Living the same day/watching the same underwhelming team over-and-over-again isn’t fun.
At least the movie has Bill Murray.
One criticism that cannot be kicked at USMNT head coach Jürgen Klinsmann is inconsistency. Mr. Klinsmann has been, to a fault (or two or three), relentless in his approach and supposed vision. As has been written about and examined many times on this blog, U.S. Soccer needs to move on from its current manager, most of its roster, current style of play (there’s a style of play?) and hire a manager with a proven track record of success at the highest club or national team level.
A list of potential replacements will be the focus of a separate blog post.
Jürgen Klinsmann, given time, was supposed to build and mold a USMNT that could compete with the best in the world. Last night was Mr. Klinsmann’s litmus test five years in the making. When he started with the USMNT in 2011, genuinely competing against Argentina and the like was the main reason for his hiring. Hosting and playing the second best team in the world (Germany is still the best), hands across America quickly covered the faces of the game’s discouraged viewers.
Yes, Messi was Messi (whose beautiful assist and subsequent free kick strike made him his country’s all-time goal scorer) and Argentina played very well, but the Americans didn’t even make the game competitive. The first Argentinian goal, headed past a visibly startled Guzan in the third minute with Beckerman day dreaming nearby, was a perfect encapsulation of the match: Argentina was ready at every touch of the ball with spontaneity and vision, while the Americans couldn’t decide whether to pressure or back off, play or watch.
The end result was a comprehensive 4-nil domination by South America’s footballing royalty.
Like Lavezzi, U.S. Soccer needs to use its head or Groundhog Day could get Russian subtitles in a couple years.