Kick Off: No US shake-up on Klinsmann's first day on job
So there was no news of a major shake-up in the US national team system or other bombastic statements that some media experts were predicting from Jurgen Klinsmann’s introductory press conference yesterday.
Here’s the line that best sums up Klinsmann’s early approach: “I have my own ideas for the program. And I will, step by step, introduce the ideas that I have, always double-checking if it suits the American game.”
The new national team manager didn’t even proclaim the style of play he would be seeking from his team: “One of my challenges will be defining how the US should represent its country, what should be the style of play.”
However, Klinsmann did indirectly state that Mexico is a better team than the US today when he said that El Tri was “a top 10 team in the world.” Then when referencing to the USA he says: “We have quite a way to go still before we break into the top 10 of the world.”
He does have the formula for how the US can become a World Cup contender: “You need maybe 10 Landon Donovans at different positions with different characteristics in order to one day be there.”
Expect this US national team boss to take a greater interest in what’s being done at the youth levels than any of his predecessors and for the first time work to integrate the senior team’s style with the game played by the younger age groups: “There are a lot of different challenges ahead of us, especially in the foundation level, and the foundation is youth.”
The other topic broached by Klinsmann which has been highlighted from his first day on the job is that of Hispanics in the US structure: “There’s so much influence coming from the Latin environment over the last 15 to 20 years. It also has to be reflected in the US national team.”
As far as the US vs. Mexico match on Aug. 10, Klinsmann said he will call up “around 20 players” by Wednesday.
The coaching staff will also be a work in progress for the former German international: “I won’t bring in a staff right away. I will work with some people that I know just to get my feet wet over the next couple of weeks, but I’d also like to meet with people in the US soccer environment that I don’t know.”
The environment in Miami is abuzz with the World Football Challenge match between FC Barcelona and CD Guadalajara match coming up on Wednesday. A new record will be set for a soccer crowd in South Florida.
The big question ahead of Toronto FC’s CONCACAF Champions League preliminary round second leg match tonight in Nicaragua against Real Estelí is who will manager Aron Winter line up in goal? Back-up Milos Kocic gave up the all-important away goal to Real Estelí in the first leg, leaving TFC with a slim 2-1 advantage (10 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer).
This is not what Sporting Kansas City want to hear going into Wednesday’s home game against Real Salt Lake. RSL’s 2-0 loss has apparently ticked them off really bad: “Fans know by now that we're not a team that mopes around about a loss. We want to get right after it and correct ourselves quick and that's going to be with Kansas City.”
Is manager Tom Soehn of the Vancouver Whitecaps already looking ahead to next season after the 4-0 licking at the hands of the LA Galaxy on Saturday night? “We're playing for our pride and making sure everybody knows where they're at for the players [the team will keep for] next year,” he told the Vancouver Sun.
The Chicago Fire may be switching formations again by the time Pável Pardo and Sebastian Grazzini become fixtures in the lineup. Here’s what Frank Klopas had to say on the subject.
Crushing news for the Houston Dynamo, who have lost hard-working midfielder Danny Cruz and standout rookie forward Will Bruin to long-term injuries. Bruin is scheduled to have knee surgery today.
Lastly, on a more positive note, Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Kasey Keller talks about flying maneuvers when he took to the air with the Blue Angels recently.
Monday’s edition of ExtraTime Radio with Robert Warzycha and Brian Straus
Jurgen Klinsmann says he’ll take his time to determine the staff and might have coach trials
Xavi, Piqué may make preseason debuts vs. Chivas
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