Jurgen Klinsmann has been the head coach of the U.S. men’s national soccer team for nearly a year. He was given a broad mandate to change the way the game is played and run in this country, and it will be some time before much of his work bears fruit.
But U.S. Soccer didn’t just hire Klinsmann to do behind-the-scenes work. He was brought in to win soccer games. The German, who now calls America home, has held a number of camps and given dozens of players a chance to impress since last July. Selections, performances and results of a batch of friendlies have been analyzed to death, but it was only last week that the U.S. started playing games that count.
Qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil is under way. The Americans played their first two competitive games under Klinsmann and few (if any) observers were blown away by what they saw. A home win over tiny Antigua and Barbuda and a draw on the road in Guatemala gave Klinsmann’s group four points from two games.
Although the U.S. is on track to reach the hexagonal (CONCACAF’s final round of qualifying) questions about the state of the team and the “Klinsmann effect” remain. “Which 11 players make the best starting lineup?” and “what is the best formation?” are two questions that have gone unanswered. The team is a work in progress, that much is clear.
NESN.com soccer editor Marcus Kwesi O’Mard is joined by Greg Seltzer from mlssoccer.com and noshortcorners.com to discuss all things U.S. mens’ national team. Hear what issues Klinsmann needs to address, and learn what sort of time pressure under which he is working.
Listen to the podcast in the player below, or subscribe to iTunes to listen there.