OT: Klinsmann: We Can't Win this World Cup
That sounds like something taken out of context. I can't imagine a coach saying that.
It is slightly out of context. OP should link the whole article, it's a great read.
The cool thing about the Internet is that anyone can post links! Even commenters (sometimes).
The full quote:
“We cannot win this World Cup, because we are not at that level yet,” Klinsmann told me over lunch in December. “For us, we have to play the game of our lives seven times to win the tournament.”
He leaned back in his chair on the terrace at a Newport Beach restaurant, not far from where he lives in Southern California. Then he shrugged and said, “Realistically, it is not possible.”
Yeah, outside of head-in-the-sand homers I don't see the problem with that.
Less leaning back in chairs on Newport Beach terraces, more winning.
That is an awesome article. Thanks for posting the link. +1 to you.
At least not directly.
I think the majority of the national team should come out of Major League Soccer.
The US national program was once run by a man that thinks the national team should mostly feature players that have never played a game of high-level club soccer in their lives. That's how we're going to reach the pinnacle of the sport.
Can you imagine a Belgian coach criticizing Wilmots for including players from Real and Barcelona and Man City and saying that the team should mostly come from the Belgian domestic league? Or somebody telling the Gasols "Don't go play in America, the NBA's got nothing to offer you. The future of Spanish basketball is right here in the Spanish league."
I don't think I realized quite how badly Klinsmann was needed until now.
He's German, so he probably said "We'll win the World Cup" but it sounded angry, aggressive, and like "We can't win the World Cup". Germans could read James Joyce and it'd sound like they were in the planning stages for messing up the Schlieffen Plan again (not that that's a bad thing, mind you).*
*By normal convention of harmless insults against a language and nationality, I'm allowed to say this, because I'm mostly German, or something.
The OP said nobody cares about soccer, so I'm sure nobody cares about your link. Except me. So, you know, thanks.
More optimism than I've heard from most. I've barely heard anyone suggest that we'll get out of the group stage. He's being asked about winning the whole thing.
You can applaud his honesty. The US won't win the World Cup. I'd be curious to see what context that quote was made in though.
The media will run with this and try to make a story out of nothing, thats their job. I don't think anyone actually cares much, and I'm sure in context the comment was reasonable.
and this isn't going over well. But to the people who care enough to have actually followed this team through qualifying and who watch international soccer on the regular, this is not a big deal, but an honest assessment made at the time.
Unfortunately, honest opinions are not what fair weather fans like to hear, so this will not go away as quickly as it should. All this being said, if anyone thinks that Klinsmann is giving anything less than his full effort with this team, they know nothing of his career or his style.
I don't think the US will win this World Cup either, but that doesn't mean I will not watch every game shouting at my tv with my heart in my chest. In the immortal words of Ian Darke, "Go! Go! USA!"
but fair weather fans are the best kind!
Last time I heard somebody say that someone couldn't win, it was Adrian Balboa. What happened? Oh, nothing. Just that Rocky won the Cold War.
... coaches always make comments like this.
Which honestly, I'd be very surpised if that happened. I think the odds are way below 50% of us getting out.
We definitely got hosed on the group seeding; they apparently outsourced the process to the same people that do the NBA draft lottery...
Honestly I think it'll be us vs. Portugal duking it out for second. Lose (or probably even draw) Ghana and we're done; beat Ghana and it'll all come down to the Portugal game.
The interesting thing is looking at the bracket as a whole. We got what was in my opinion by far the hardest group, but looking at the other groups and their bracket slots should we get that #2 spot it looks like a fairly easy (comparitively) route to the quarters. Even looking farther, Germany/Portugal looks like a much harder set of games than Argentina/Belgium(?!?). Btw, who did Belgium have to blow to get their group? Russia (18 FIFA/14 ELO), Algeria (25 FIFA/52 ELO) and South Korea (55 FIFA/42 ELO); wtf...
You don't want to face Belgium in the Round of 16...
I would. Because it would mean we are in the round of 16. And they're easier than a lot of the other options.
Yes, there's that, and I think getting out of the group is a success this World Cup for the US.
Calling Belgium a favorable matchup though is just going to end in pain.
Belgium's entire squad is made up of players at the highest level of club soccer, playing for top-five teams in major European leagues or on clubs that make the ECL or Europa League.
Argenitina's got Messi and Mascherano and di Maria and Aguero....
The US is taking ten players from MLS, and you think these are favorable matchups?
are the Purdue and Illinois of European football
But at least they've had the experience of playing against top-level players.
Half the US roster is made up of players that, if they're lucky, have that experience maybe half a dozen times in their lives. They spend their entire careers in MLS; their international experience is a bunch of games against Cuba and Barbados and Trinidad. CONCACAF's so bad we start think of Costa Rica and Honduras as quality competition. There's the occasional friendly against a major side...but those are friendlies.
You can't put a world-class side together that way. It'll never work. Even if some of those guys really have world-class talent, they'll never find it in themselves unless they're tested.
I'm not an in-depth follower of soccer the way I am with hockey and college football, so forgive my ignorance. It seems to me like I see a lot more of this absolutist commentary about soccer than I do in other sports, i.e. that it's a foregone conclusion this team or that team can't win. Even in sports that have five- or seven-game playoff series, which drastically reduce the possibility of an underdog advancing, I see at least a little more optimism about overmatched teams than this. I know pool play is tough, but one or two Cinderella teams string together two or three unlikely wins every year in the NCAA Tourney. I can't imagine a coach going into the Big Dance or Stanley Cup Playoffs expressing anything less than, "One game at a time, we can play with anyone," et al. Is there something inherent in soccer that just renders such upsets far less likely than in other sports?
but as a close follower of the EPL, Chamions League, and world competitiions it seems to me that upsets hapopen far less often than in other sports such as football. Can't prove it though.
"Football is a simple game. Twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always win."
In all seriousness, there's nothing in the history to give smaller teams much hope.
In the last 12 World Cups, going back to '66, only seven countries have made a final away from home. Brazil, Argentina, Italy, Germany, France, Spain, the Netherlands. There's never been a surprise winner and there's really only been one surprise finalist, at least since WW2 (Czechoslovakia in '62). 200+ countries enter qualification, 32 make the cup, and somehow it's always the same half-dozen teams at the end.
There are only eight countries that have ever won it.
Saying you can't win the World Cup is pretty much the correct analysis for every counrty on the globe.
It's possible for the US, with a population of 300 million, to build up a player pool capable of joining that group. if just 1/4 of the country's best athletes decided to take up the sport, that'd be a pool to rival Germany et al (pretty much everyone but Brazil).
If technical training here could be pushed to the same level as those countries, then maybe those players are being born here now. But a championship is two decades away, even if everything's done right.
Population isn't a major consideration. Netherlands (population 17 million) has been a finalist three times in the last 45 years; China and India (population 17 gazillion) suck.
Population is a consideration, sure. But other things are more important.
Another factor - also not the most important, but a factor - is the US economy. It's tanking, and the tax climate is becoming more and more socialist. This will put the US more in the economic realm of Germany, England, Spain, etc. Meaning that economically, playing in the Bundesliga, Prem, La Liga etc. becomes more attractive financially than it has been previously for young, rising athletes. Will be interestig to see if that has any effect on pulling talent away from the major sports leagues here.
It's the size of the player pool, not the size of the population. I'm talking about the number of soccer players with access, if they prove to deserve it, to high quality training.
Soccer's not a major sport in India or China; their player pools are tiny.
But at a given level of soccer popularity and training, population seems to matter a great deal. The top six European countries by population:
Russia's a vast rural (and frozen) country that can't manage the same soccer infrastructure for the entire population as the others. Otherwise, that's pretty much the list, right? Russia underachieves, the Netherlands overachieves. Italy's better than France. Other than that, it's pretty much the historical order.
South America's the same: Brazil's four times the size of anyone else, they dominate the continent. Colombia and Argentina come next.
I don't get your point about tax structures. If you don't have soccer technique by 12 or 14, you aren't getting it. I don't know many ten-year-old kids that are choosing their sport because of the likely tax ramifications of an eventual pro career.
We don't have great soccer players choosing to play other sports--we don't have any great soccer players at all. We don't produce world-class soccer players because world-class technical training isn't available here. You'll note that the closest we have to that level are two players that grew up in soccer nations and one that's the son of a coach and presumably got something better growing up than 22 kids chasing a ball around.
I would argue that one of our issues is that we have too much formal infrastructure and training.
One thing we lack in the US is a prevalence of "street soccer" pick-up games like we have in basketball. There is too much rigid structure and over-organized adult intervention in kids' games. We never develop the kind of free flowing prodigy like Neymar that learned to play soccer in a narrow alley way with 20 other players and several stray dogs nipping at his ankles while he tries to dribble a soccer ball.
When soccer becomes as prevalent a pick-up street game in the US as basketball, that's when we will become a soccer world power.
...but it's not enough. Look at England.
I have an Italian friend, a pretty talented striker growing up apparently, whose family moved around a lot so he experienced a few different systems. What he dscribes is this:
In Italy (and I know this is what happens in Germany, too), young players are singled out for attention if they show special technical gifts. They have coaches on the ground looking for kids with spectacular technical skills and they make sure those kids have access to professional-quality coaching instead of just somebody's dad. In Germany they have weekly clinics where the best local players are brought together for a couple of hours of technical training with a professional coach from the national federation. No running around, just straight technique. The running around they can do on their own, after all.
In England, and in North America (US and Canada, he doesn't know anything about Mexico), what's valued is work rate and a positive attitude. The kid that outworks his teammates, that's who gets the attention.
You need both, obvkously. But it's a lot more likely that somebody with technique will learn to work harder as he ages and the quality of oppostion gets better, than that a hard-working kid with modest technical gits will suddenly discover touch. That's the background for Arsene Wenger's quote that "if you don't have technique at 14 you never will." It was a rip at the English developmental program.
I think maybe they've finally figured it out. This newest generation of players seems to have a different technical level about them, to me anyway. It looks a little like Germany did eight years ago.
But we haven't. Unless you're very, very lucky, your children's soccer game in the US is probably going to be 22 kids chasing after a ball, being yelled at by parents (doubling as coaches) that don't have a gorram clue. And until that changes, players aren't going to get full benefit out of their street games. You need both--you need to play on your own and you need attention from somebody that knows what they're doing.
For a while there I was afraid I was going to have to pay attention.
Klinnsmann knows this which is why he has taking German-Americans over legendary American-born players. Quite frankly, we suck at soccer and will continue to do so for years.
That doesn't mean we should not learn to love the sport. Soccer or football is a great sport that more people should watch.Ever since I watched Italy beat France in 06'(FORZA AZZURI!) I have been a fan of the World Cup.
Admittedly, it's harder to get invested in the league(when I can actually see them). I really have no deep abiding interest in Chelsea, Swansee, Tottenham, or any other team in the league. To me it's all about the nations. I can relate to an Italy, Germany, or England. I can cheer on the flag even if I am know little about the players outside the stars.
I'll take the bait. We do not suck at soccer. We made it to the World Cup quarterfinals in 2002 (undone only by the screwiest of refereeing), finished 12th last time around, and were one half of soccer away from beating Spain and Brazil back-to-back and winning the Confederations Cup.
We are a solid international side that will lose more often than not to top-10 teams, but will usually beat those that we are supposed to beat. We have utterly dethroned Mexico and everyone else locally and are generally competetive with everyone else. As posited ad nauseum on here and elsewhere, Julian Green is not the answer and the cabal of -ish 32 year old players is not better than Donovan.
On another note, I will enjoy a Giuseppe Rossi-less Italy, not for it's merits but because screw Giuseppe Rossi.
Why do people hate Rossi so much? He was born in the US, but his parents are Italian, he grew up dreaming of Italy, joined the Parma academy when he was young and moved over there. He's spent more of his conscious life in Italy than in the US. And we should hold this against him?
talent is more evenly distributed across teams in those sports than soccer. you do have upsets, but it is usually fairly rare. you will more often find the favorite making a run to win it all(like Spain in 2010), than a team not expected to make the knockout stages make a deep run(like the US in 2002). that and knockout stages are obviously a single game rather than a series
Read the whole article. Klinsmann did say that... and yet I came away MORE enthused for his approach.
Again, read the whole article vs. a sound bite. He's realistic; the USMNT isn't ready to play 7 games out of it's mind, but if he gets to shape the program like he wants, they may not be far off. That doesn't strike me as pessimistic.
He's right and he's honest.
He understands, in a personal way that no one else in the domestic soccer community does, the level of play require to win a tournament like this. He isn't going to pretend that what's already in place is good enough and he'll push the national program until it gets where it needs to be or the federation decides it doesn't want him, whichever comes first.
COrrect. He was hired to coach the USMNT, but also bring change to the development levels as well.
but more as saying "we're not there yet, but can be" and it was largely deemed to be a motivational tool. Not any different from any other coach telling his team they're not playing to a level to win a big game or a championship.
We'll probably never win a World Cup.
not what he was hired to say.
I thought he was hired to coach soccer. I guess I missed something
hey Klinsman or whatever your name is, ever heard of these guys?
It's called America, and we're always in it to win it, no matter the odds.
Oh yeah, and these guys:
1) Miracle on Ice occurred in 'Murica. Young players + home field advantage = shock the world. WC is in Brazil, and if the Confederations Cup is any indication, Brazil is going to get one gigantic heaping of home cooking from the refs (they have one of the best defenses in the world, do you REALLY have to swallow your whistle too? Spain's midfield got absolutely mugged, multiple legit yellows and fouls not called).
2) It will be a miracle if US qualifies to the knockout round. Germany is one of the favorites to reach the finals. Portugal has THE best player in the world. Ghana, even down a defender, always plays the US tough).
3) US Soccer is improving, a mean bastard who pushes the USMNT players and program are exactly what we need. USMNT consistently finishes top 2 CONCACAF; we need to do better, and to do this, we need to upgrade players.
It is not a miracle if we get out of the group stage. It's merely improbable and would be a big deal.
It would be a "miracle on ice" moment for me if we won it all though. Could happen.....but then again the Timberwolves could win the nba championship next year too.