I was sitting in my living room watching our boys in the Red, White and Blue, play Denmark this past Wednesday. Even though we led twice and Denmark left it late (thanks to Nicholas Bendtner, thrice over), I just couldn't let go of the fact that something was amiss. For the record, I'm still learning about formations, tactics, and all of the intricacies of this lovely sport. But even with my lack of knowledge in these areas, I couldn't get pass a number of nagging basic, basic (basic!!) issues.
- Identity: What exactly is the USMNT's identity? I've read at how Klinsmann wants our boys to play like Americans--that is, not wait to see what the opposing team will do, but for the US to impose their will on them. This does not pass the eyeball test for me. Even if that's not their identity, then what is? That's not too much to expect this far into Klinsmann's tenure!
- Chemistry: Remember, Colorado Rapids fans, when we were about to choke our newly-minted coach for playing a differently starting XI each game? I believe fans are standing in line to do that very thing with Klinsmann. Pick a starting XI, develop some chemistry, and building some confidence. That's not too much to expect. Granted, he may be using this time to see who does mesh with whom? Fine! But it's not too much to expect some continuity in these friendlies. Confidence is waning!
- Positioning of players: Why was Zardes playing in the middle? The dude needs room to run. Why was Bradley playing so far forward? Why was Garza playing at left back? I could go on, but I just don't understand. Leadership 101 is putting those under you in positions of strengths so they can succeed and gets some wins (not just in the standings, but on the pitch). I don't believe it's too much to expect our players to play where they can maximize their strengths and do the most damage.