28
Jun

Full of confidence! Team USA books flight home after World Cup final

He’s survived the Group of Death, but Jurgen Klinsmann’s revelation of the USA squad’s travel plans infer that he isn’t done just yet.

After booking a last-16 clash with Belgium — who hold a 100% record at the 2014 World Cup — Klinsmann told the press that his team plans to fly out from Brazil on July 13.

Before you check your calendars, that date should sound familiar: It’s the day after the World Cup final, after all. “You can always change your flights,” was Klinsmann’s clever quip.

Whether it’s mind games, confidence or just good planning, we like it. You’d forgive the United States for getting ideas above their station, with the side rightfully receiving plaudits for making the knockouts. Belgium lie in wait, and Klinsmann is wary of the Red Devils’ star power.

Klinsmann told the New York Daily News:

“Belgium is one of the secret favorites in the World Cup because of the players they have. We have absolutely no fear at all. We’re in position to challenge them. We have the foundation to beat them.”

Considering Klinsmann’s thoughts on Team USA’s chances before the start of the tournament, this seems to be a complete 180-degree turn, despite USA’s daunting 50-1 odds.

The huge clash will take place next Tuesday, with the winner facing either Argentina or Switzerland in the quarterfinals. Good luck, boys.

(H/T NESN and New York Daily News)

26
May

Mike Magee trolls Jurgen Klinsmann’s son with Tweet

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We all remember this, don’t we?

That was the imprudent, maligned Tweet posted - and quickly deleted - by Jurgen Klinsmann’s son Jonathan the day Landon Donovan was cut from the U.S. national team’s World Cup roster.

On Sunday, just three days after the roster snub, Donovan scored two goals against the Philadelphia Union to become Major League Soccer’s all-time leading scorer. Some response! To make the moment even better, reigning MLS MVP Mike Magee of the Chicago Fire couldn’t help but take the opportunity to stand up for his former Galaxy teammate and troll Klinsmann’s son hard at the same time.

Check it out:

Team Donovan 1, Team Klinsmann 0.

h/t FTW

22
May

USMNT players react to roster cut with both humor and sadness

Roster cuts are never an easy process. That conversation between coach and player has to be one of the worst. Something along the lines of: “Thanks, you gave it your all, but it wasn’t good enough.” Ouch.

Every player reacts differently to this difficult conversation. Positivity is a common theme.

Others have a sadder tone…

But one of the best approaches: humor. Standing ovation for you, Brad Evans.

20
Mar

FOX Soccer Exclusive: Julian Green opens up about decision to play for Team USA

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Editor’s note: Julian Green spoke to Ole Pongratz on Tuesday in Munich. This interview has been translated from German to English by FOX Soccer’s Thomas Hautmann.

Ole Pongratz: Reports in the United States said you were to be included in the US training camp ahead of the friendly against Mexico but you have said that this isn’t the case — yet. Can you explain?

Julian Green: Yes, Klinsmann wanted to invite me to the game against Mexico but because it is not an official international match, Bayern had to give me the clearance first. That [only] happened on Tuesday.

OP: Jurgen Klinmann has announced that you have chosen the United States and that you have handed in your request for the one-time association switch with FIFA. What can you tell us about that?

JG: Yes, that’s right: I have decided on the USA and I will play for them from here on out.

OP: And why did you choose the USA?

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5
Mar

USA fail to impress in 2-0 exhibition loss to Ukraine

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The United States men’s national team slumped to the occasion in their 2-0 loss to Ukraine in a friendly marred by circumstances on Wednesday. Goals from Andriy Yarmolenko and Marko Devic dealt Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad a harsh blow in a wholly deserved loss. It was the final game in which Klinsmann had his European-based players at his disposal before convening his World Cup camp in mid-May, and he cannot have been pleased with what he saw.

"This game helped us a lot to see where individual players are, collectively where we stand with this group of players," Klinsmann said on ESPN after the match. "Obviously we had to form a couple of new things there, starting from the back line — and you could see that, that they never played together that much."

His motley USA side, comprised of a few regulars and a slew of players on the bubble, were outsmarted by a cunning Ukrainian side. Knowing full-well where the Americans were weak, Yarmolenko and Yevhen Konoplyanka tore their flanks to shreds while the high defensive line was pelted with through balls.

The tentative American defense let the Ukrainians stroll through its line several times early on. In the 12th minute, a simple ball over the top caught the central defensive pairing of Oguchi Onyewu and John Brooks well out of position. That put Denys Harmash through on Tim Howard’s goal by himself. The American goalkeeper made a fine stop on his attempt, but Harmash coolly collected the rebound and laid it wide for Yarmolenko for him to pass the ball into the net.

Just a few minutes later, the Americans were caught out again on a clever play off a Ukrainian corner, but they were saved by a possibly erroneous offside call that time – Alejandro Bedoya actually appeared to keep the play onside. Sloppy and unimaginative in possession, the Yanks produced just two attacks of note in the entire first half. On the first, goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov alertly picked off the cross; on the second, Edgar Castillo’s cross wasn’t quite right and cleared. And they would give away several more fat chances, which a more incisive opponent might have punished, before the halftime whistle brought a respite.

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2
Feb

Jurgen Klinsmann explains his love for flying

Did you know United States men’s national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann has a pilot’s license?

In the video above posted by US Soccer, Klinsmann takes to the skies in a helicopter and shares that flying was actually his childhood dream before he “unfortunately became a soccer player.” (Yeah, a real shame he did).

Klinsmann is famous for his incredible playing career and passion on the sidelines, but little did we know his true calling had nothing to do with the sport at all!

27
Jan

Philadelphia anchors its midfield with Maurice Edu

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Philadelphia pursued Maurice Edu for the better part of the January transfer window. Club officials waded through the thicket of MLS regulations and wondered if Edu’s price tag would eventually scupper the deal. They pursued it anyways with the prospect of installing the United States international in the starting XI too promising to ignore.

The process took a bit longer than anticipated, but the Union finally secured its man on Monday. Edu returned to MLS on a 12-month loan deal with an option for a permanent move at the end of the agreement. The terms of his contract with MLS and the Union will make him a Designated Player in 2014, according to a club release.

Edu’s arrival in Philadelphia reflects a pragmatic streak from all of the parties involved. The public spat over Edu’s asking price for a permanent contract and MLS’ reluctance to meet it inspired a creative approach to strike a deal the Union desperately wanted to happen. Stoke’s desire to retain a portion of Edu’s wages paved the way for an inventive agreement designed to satisfy Edu and both clubs.

Philadelphia continues its midfield revamp by adding a player capable of dictating and driving the proceedings from a deep-lying position. Edu controls the game by disrupting the opposition and shuttling the ball onward to his more creative teammates. His robust work offers a different dimension and some much needed protection to an evolving side with Argentine schemer Cristian Maidana already in tow and French conduit Vincent Nogueira in talks to claim the Union’s third and final Designated Player spot.

By reinforcing its midfield, the Union places Edu in a position to thrive ahead of the World Cup. This group possesses the depth and the versatility to accentuate Edu’s strengths without asking him to accept a disproportionate burden. Edu must shake off any lingering rust from his time in the shadows and show the necessary sharpness to influence games, but this set of circumstances provides him with the best possible chance to impress USA coach Jürgen Klinsmann and work his way back into the national team setup over the next few months.

Only time will tell whether Edu can book a trip to Brazil with his displays for the Union. For now, he will take solace in a deal designed to place himself and his new club in a position to succeed in 2014.

Image provide by USA TODAY Sports.

6
Oct

Klinsmann names roster for USA World Cup qualifiers

United States men’s national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann dropped his long-awaited roster for the two final World Cup qualifiers at home against Jamaica on Oct. 11 and away to Panama Oct. 15 on Sunday afternoon. The games are more or less meaningless, since the USA secured qualification with a 2-0 home win against Mexico on Sept. 10.

Which is just as well, because this roster is more notable for the names not on it, or those that barely made it on there, than those players who are fit and playing regularly.

Clint Dempsey continues to battle a persistent hamstring injury that has kept him from getting into a regular rhythm since joining the Seattle Sounders this summer. Michael Bradley still hasn’t recovered from the ankle sprain he suffered in pregame warmups before the loss to Costa Rica on Sept. 6.

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Image courtesy of Getty

That means the U.S.’s two most important players, the men dictating the pace and rhythm, are absent.

Overall, the goalkeepers constitute the only line that’s complete, with Brad Guzan, Tim Howard and Nick Rimando all fit and thriving for their clubs. In defense, however, Steve Cherundolo still isn’t over his surgery, Timmy Chandler either remains in the doghouse for refusing call-ups or is still refusing them, and sometime-back Fabian Johnson isn’t 100 percent either and wasn’t called in.

In midfield, the aforementioned Johnson isn’t available on the left. Fellow winger Alejandro Bedoya did make the squad, but missed his last FC Nantes game because of sickness, so his status is questionable. Also unclear is the situation surrounding Jermaine Jones, who may or may not need meniscus surgery and was suspended for his club Schalke recently.

Up front, the group is in pretty decent shape. But Landon Donovan has also had fitness concerns of late. Herculez Gomez, recently back from a niggling knee injury, is back playing for Xolos in Mexico but didn’t get called in – Terrence Boyd got the call instead.

It is, in short, a roster littered with question marks.

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