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Last week, I expressed my embarrassment over the recent Mexico v. USA match. I wanted to read The Rivalry (and watch the Costa Rica match) before commenting further.

My thoughts:

My take, from that one sentence, is Klinsmann is feeling a bit of pressure.


The USMNT Lineup (v. Mexico)

Probably the most confusing and misunderstood piece of Klinsmann’s media pitch is this one (from The Rivalry):

My personal expectation as a coach is that my players challenge themselves to the highest level possible.

Compared to this angle, just 12 months ago:

I made it clear with Clint’s move back and (Bradley’s) move back that it’s going to be very difficult for them to keep that same level that they experienced at the places where they were. It’s just reality. It’s just being honest.
— http://www.sportingnews.com/soccer/story/2014-10-13/jurgen-klinsmann-michael-bradley-clint-dempsey-jozy-altidore-us-soccer

Yet, there was Dempsey and Bradley (and Beckerman and Beasley and…) in the starting lineup v. Mexico. In fact, looking at that roster (odd that Wood is missing from the roster):

  • 23 players make up the roster
  • Over half (12) play in MLS
  • 7 of 11 starters play in MLS
  • 5 of 7 starting spine players play in MLS
    • Spine: Forwards (2), Central midfielders (2), Central defenders (2), Goalkeeper (1)
  • Neither goal scorer (Cameron, Wood) plays in MLS
    • 1 of 2 assists came from an MLS player

I don’t understand how Klinsmann can talk both sides of the coin: Why let Bradley, Beckerman, Dempsey, et al play in these matches when they clearly are not playing at the “highest level possible”.

When do World Cup qualifiers start?