Look, after seeing the USMNT lose to Jamaica in the Gold Cup Semifinals, I was pissed off. I kind of still am, but now that there has been time since the 2-1 final, I have been able to rationally analyze if Jurgen Klinsmann should or shouldn’t be fired as USMNT manager.
Since the World Cup last year, Klinsmann has used the friendlies to experiment with the team and it has resulted in coming out with different lineups, different players and different formations, keeping the team from having a consistent flow into the team. Experimentation in friendlies is okay, that’s what friendlies are for and we at 32 Flags have covered that before. But when it comes to the Gold Cup, that is a tournament and the experimentation needed to stop.
The knowledge gained from the friendlies was supposed to give Klinsmann the ability to choose the best players to put out the best lineup to win the Gold Cup. Klinsmann didn’t do that. If that was the case, Ventura Alvarado, Timmy Chandler and John Brooks wouldn’t be on the team.
Instead, Klinsmann seems hellbent on mortgaging the present for an uncertain future and leaving some great players, who can help the USMNT now, sitting watching at home. Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler were terrific during World Cup Qualifying and they provided a sense of consistency since they played more than a couple games together. Why they don’t start consistently anymore is anyone’s guess.
Winning can cure a lot of things, so winning has caused people to ignore and live with Klinsmann’s actions. Now that the USMNT lost, Jurgen is going to have to answer to the criticism. Some criticism is unfair, some is fair. Why does he constantly rely on young, unproven talent? Why does he change formations left and right, preventing anyone to get a rhythm as well as playing out of position? Why does Klinsmann have a perceived attitude against people like Matt Besler and Benny Feilhaber?
So should Klinsmann be fired? Look, it’s not as if the US played terribly against Jamaica. Well, they did for the first half but Jamaica took advantage of a couple of set pieces and defended like crazy for the win.
The USMNT provided some hope after the first half but the damage was done.
All things considered, when you compare the USMNT to other teams like Costa Rica and Mexico, they’re probably still the better team. So let’s not implode the team just because we’re all upset about last night. I will say that because losing the Gold Cup means that the USMNT has to play in a playoff game to go to the Confederations Cup, there should be hell to pay if the USMNT loses this game.
The Confederations Cup is a terrific opportunity for the USMNT and if they lose in October, US Soccer really needs to look into replacing Klinsmann. For someone who loves to mortgage the present to help the future, Klinsmann would hurt both if they don’t get into the Confederations Cup. It’s going to be a tense three months.