Found March 22, 2013 on
The US Men's National team is in trouble.
The team was already in a hole entering this week's World Cup qualifying slate due to an embarrassing 2-1 loss to Honduras in February - a result that leaves them last in their Hexagonal - but that could easily have been overcome with results against Costa Rica tonight and against arch-rivals Mexico Tuesday night in Mexico City.
But then came an explosive report by the Sporting News , where 11 players anonymously took shots at coach Jurgen Klinsmann, his staff, his methods (or lack thereof, in their opinion), and some of their teammates - most notably the German-American contingent like Jermaine Jones, a midfielder who is expected to start tonight.
In a game that has been described by Klinsmann as a "must win" now mere hours away, how can a group of players trust one another?
Ask any coach or manager of a championship-winning team how they achieved their goal, and chemistry is bound to be one of the most cited factors. But take a look at the play of this squad recently - they struggled at times in the earlier rounds of qualifying and sputtered out of the gates in Honduras - they were already lacking.
Now imagine how a report where some teammates openly questioned others - along with their coaching staff. That's bound to create tension, not chemistry.
"Did you say this?"
"Were you one of the anonymous sources?"
"How do you really feel about this team?"
Clint Dempsey, the Tottenham Hotspur forward who has been named captain for tonight's game, stated that he has not spoken with the team about the allegations. But surely, these types of thoughts are in players' minds as they prepare for the latest set of matches.
U.S. midfielder Michael Bradley tried to downplay the storm but was blunt in his assessment, telling the Washington Post on Wednesday: "When you play in a team you have a chance every day to give everything you have, and part of that means having the balls to say things to guys to their face and having the balls to say things in front of the team."
World Cup qualifying is an arduous journey - teams are forced to travel far and wide, and expected to get results from the word go. And that's on top of their actual "day jobs" with their club teams. With little time amongst their national teammates, there must be a foundation of trust and mutual respect.
Can we know for sure that such an environment exists within the US team at this critical junction?
Klinsmann is doing his best to spin this in a positive form: "Journalists and people can say whatever they feel, whatever they think, whatever they believe, which is important. I think it's a great sign, all the debate that is going on about soccer in this country. It shows you that people care."
But at the end of the day, rumors only get started when there is disharmony and results are not there.
U.S. Soccer is celebrating its centennial this season - and they have certainly seen tough times before. But few times before has the team seen such a passionate fan base yearning for glory.
Anything less than a result against Costa Rica at home and against a very tough Mexico away on Tuesday (they are ranked 15th in the world - compared to 33rd for the US in the latest FIFA World Rankings) - and you will see even tougher questions getting asked.
The US Men's National team is in trouble. Only success tonight in Denver will keep this trouble from becoming a full-blown crisis.
BEST OF MAXIM
United States men's national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann addressed the winds swirling around his team ahead of Friday's match against Costa Rica in Denver, calling published reports of disharmony "rumor" and saying that the debate about the men's team was healthy.
"I'm not here to make everyone happy," said Klinsmann. "If I was, I'm...
The United States men's national team is in trouble.
The team was already in a hole entering this week's World Cup qualifying slate due to a crushing 2-1 loss to Honduras in February - a result that leaves them last in their Hexagonal - but that could easily have been overcome with results against Costa Rica Friday night and against archrivals Mexico Tuesday night in Mexico...
CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers: USA 1-0 Costa Rica
USMNT coach reaction:
On the result:
“I think the most important part is we have three points and it prepares us for Mexico. The second half was a battle; it was tough to create a good passing game. We wish the conditions would have stayed as they were at the beginning of the game. Overall, great character shown by all the players...
When you look back at that most recent Honduras WC qualifier game. With about a month’s worth of additional hindsight. You see a relatively hot Honduran team (undefeated in their last 5 WCQ matches), playing in one of the loudest and largest venues in the CONCACAF, in front of a home crowd that had just been granted a national holiday for the sole purpose of viewing that game....
U.S. Soccer head coach Jurgen Klinsmann was under fire this week from media before their crucial qualifying matches against Costa Rica and Mexico. (yahoosports)
Let’s be honest, U.S. Soccer fans, media, players and Jurgen Klinsmann didn’t expect to be in this situation. After the U.S. was defeated 2-1 in Honduras for their first World Cup “hexagonal” round qualifier, doubts...
Coach Jurgen Klinsmann announced the USMNT’s roster for the World Cup qualifying games against Costa Rica and Mexico scheduled for March 22 and 26, respectively. This USA roster is very different from the roster that played and lost against Honduras last month in the first game of the final round. [...]
After a week that saw accusations of favoritism and tactical ineptitude against head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, the Stars & Stripes kick off the home leg of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying with a snowy tilt in the Centennial State against the Ticos. An injury-depleted American side with a jury-rigged back line will have to face a
((HT: ESPN/FIFA/US Soccer))
Costa Rica plans to file an official protest with FIFA about Friday's 1-0 loss to the US, according to Reuters...
Here's the highlights... the snowy highlights...and the reason for the idea of the protest...
A Costa Rica soccer federation official said that the protest would be made Saturday. Costa Rica has 24 hours to file a written...
Clint Dempsey was named captain of the USMNT by Jurgen Klinsmann on Wednesday for the upcoming qualifiers against Costa Rica and MexicoThe post Captain America appeared first on The Soccer Daily.