Team USA’s performance at the 2014 FIFA World Cup was somewhat of a mixed bag.
On the one hand, the U.S. survived the dreaded Group of Death and advanced to the Round of 16 in consecutive World Cups for the first time in the country’s history. On the other, a 2-1 loss to Belgium in the knockout round denied the Americans a chance to advance to the quarterfinals yet again.
USA head coach Jurgen Klinsmann understands that there is plenty of room for improvement on Team USA, and he took to Facebook after his team’s loss to claim that a busier schedule in leagues like Major League Soccer could benefit the country at the international level.
“Playing at that kind of a tempo, at that kind of a rhythm every four days – this has to become the norm,” Klinsmann wrote. “So our job as coaches is how can we make it clear that in order to get further and further we need to add the work load, we need to add the competition level, we need to make them understand what recovery time means, what their life off the field plays a role in many things you can achieve in your career.”
The German-born head coach went on to add that any improvement in U.S. soccer will start with our nation’s youth.
“We have to continue to communicate that, to show them and especially start to implement that with our Under-17, Under-18, Under-20, Under-21, which will be the future Olympic team because that’s the next Generation that’s going to break in,” Klinsmann wrote. “The more we get that message to those kids, the more we will benefit a couple of years from now.”
There’s a very long way to go before the 2018 World Cup in Russia, but Klinsmann seems determined to get U.S. soccer on the right track.
Photo via Twitter/@FIFAWorldCup