Roaming the sideline or leaning against the dugout wall during the United States men's national team 's gritty 0-0 tie with Mexico here on Tuesday , head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, clad in a simple sweater, slacks and sneakers, looked as stoic as ever.
But while his demeanor was unchanged, the perception of it has altered, courtesy of two hard-fought results that got the USA's World Cup qualifying campaign back on track after a feeble start. Whereas Klinsmann's calm during tougher times could be seen as denial or naivete, the narrative has shifted in his favor, instead painting his style as a learned evenhandedness.
For some time, many had gotten the impression that Klinsmann, while undeniably hard-working, had little idea of what he was doing. His tactics meandered, the team's playing style was unclear and in no way resembled the "proactive" style he had promised upon his appointment in the summer of 2011. His selection policy appeared haphazard at best.
These impressions were ampl...