Roy Hodgson out for England. Jurgen Klinsmann in? His name is attached more and more to the head gig with England. Granted, these are just rumors with little concrete evidence, but they keep coming.
Leaving or staying, of interest is whether USMNT fans would be sorry to see him go. With some of the results they've had in their up-and-down seasons, some have believed Klinsmann should go--until he leads the US to a fourth-place finish in the Copa Americano Centenario, a result which should please US fans.
Yet, some aren't pleased. Some believe we should do better on the world stage.
Under Klinsmann, the senior level of USMNT have qualified and, when it comes to the World Cup 2014 and the Copa, we've escaped from the group stage.
But what about 2014, leaving goal-scoring machine Landon Donovan off the team. You don't lead the MLS all-time leader. That served as one of many questionable decisions.
A thousand-and-one speculations arose as to what happened. Landon's commitment to the game? His commitment to staying in the US rather than Europe? Who knows? But do we believe that the US would have fared much better? Would Donovan have helped the USMNT against Belgium? Possibly, but that's a hard case to make.
In-between major tournaments when the US had a tough run, Klinsmann was often criticized for the lineups he'd field, especially along the back line. My response would be, how else would he find out chemistry? I liken it to training other guys to preach. I could give them every book on preaching, listen to them in my office, read their manuscript, etc., ad infinitum. But how does someone learn to preach or do anything? You learn by doing it! It's the best classroom there is.
Same with fielding a team against a friendly. That's when you experiment. But by the time the tournaments come around, our guys find a way to make some noise.
Oh, right! You brought up Europe! He's always banging on MLS and US Soccer and how it stunts the growth of American players. He seems to favor those who play in Europe. Not cool!
Could our indoctrination in American exeptionalism come into play here, intended or otherwise? The eyeball test shows that with the Top 10 teams in the world, our technical prowess is a step or two behind the others. One only has to look at the Copa match against Argentina, which resembled my boys U12 rec team playing against the 2016 Colorado Rapids.
MLS is catching up to the world, no doubt. But do we match up yet against South American leagues? EPL? La Liga?? I would have a hard time making that case as well by the eyeball test.
Would I Be Sorry to See Klinsmann Go?
Yes, I would. He's taken us the next step. But the way our soccer systems are set up in training up and comers, I wonder if Klinsmann has much to work with in being able to contend for World Cups against countries who's #1 sport is not American football or basketball or baseball.
Plus, who would do better? And who would be up to the challenge?
Sound off in the comments section. Agree with me, or set me straight. After all, any soccer talk is good talk.