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Klinsmann needs a lesson in culture

Posted on 12 June 2014 by WNST Staff

Someone let the fat lady know that  US Soccer Coach Jurgen Klinsmann is in line to buy a non-refundable ticket to her inevitable serenade to his team.

This is America, a culture that gets sports and competition, but is still somewhat figuring out this whole mainstream soccer/futbol deal.  It’s also a land filled with lofty expectations, crazy dreams and a fine line between those harboring unrelenting pessimism and those high on unrealistic optimism.

Americans love underdogs, comebacks and the belief that anything is possible. This is what Klinsmann either doesn’t get or refuses to accept.

Surely you’ve heard the story by now. It goes something like Klinsmann saying in December that the US “couldn’t win” the World Cup, only to be followed-up now, in June, that it’s “unrealistic.”

Maybe it is.  But, come on, coach, you don’t tell everyone.

That’s the other beauty about America–we sugarcoat everything; and what we don’t sugarcoat, we lie about in order to keep things copacetic.  Our professional sports coaches could double as senators in terms of glossing over the facts and bending the truth.

Think about the recent products that come from Americans: Facebook–lies about popularity.  LinkedIn–embellishments that complement over-boasted resumes.  Twitter–the great equalizer that takes away the ability for the educated souls to know the difference between their well-read counterparts and “them who ain’t know how to spell rite.”

If Mark Zuckerberg walked into Facebook’s headquarters seven years ago and said “there’s no way we can beat MySpace,” he’d have robbed our culture and the world of the greatest electronic-stalking mechanism known to humankind.  If Joe Namath said the NFL is superior and “we can’t hang,” football might not be where it is today.  And, if Mikey wouldn’t have reiterated to Data, Chunk and Mouth that “Goonies never die,” they might have, well, died–at least in the movie.

These are things that Klinsmann, a former German player and coach, just can’t understand.

From Eminem’s “Lose Yourself,” to Jimmy Valvano’s famous “Never Give Up” speech, this isn’t a culture that takes kindly to big ideas aimed at suggesting that great and uncommon things can’t and won’t happen.

Speaking of “uncommon,” anyone remember The Miracle on Ice?  USA Hockey head coach, Herb Brooks, told his young, underdog team, that they have to be “uncommon.”  And they were, upsetting Russia and eventually taking Gold in the 1980 Olympics.  Brooks, a guy who probably had seen Rocky movies and most likely listened to Queen’s “We are the Champions,” probably would have never said–at least out loud– “we can’t win.”

Some articles and commentaries have said that Klinsmann might be trying to fire up the troops.  Others pointed to the fact that he’s being straight and honest and preparing for the future. And while that’s probably somewhat accurate, it still doesn’t sit well with America.  Even the non-soccer-but-all-sports-buffs like yours truly.

America is like the old-school defiant kid at the dinner table who’ll refuse to eat his peas even if he has to sit at the table until it’s time to go to school the following morning. Certainly, this type of hardheadedness won”t accept the fat lady doing her “mi-mi-mi-mis” before it’s her appropriate time to do so.  And now, several days before even taking the field in the 2014 World Cup, isn’t the time.

This is America, a culture where Leonard landed Penny, Rudy made the team, and Keith Richards is still somehow breathing.  And while the big-girl gets warmed up to inevitably belt out her chorus for the US Soccer team, Klinsmann should hold off on asking for that ticket–at least so loudly.


Don’t agree with me?  That’s cool.  Here’s a counterpoint from @ethantheintern

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Crofton’s Beckerman, former Terp Goodson named to US Gold Cup roster

Posted on 27 June 2013 by WNST Staff

CHICAGO (June 27, 2013) — U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has selected the 23 players that will represent the United States in the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Competing in the tournament for the 12th time, the U.S. seeks its fifth confederation championship title.

The winner of the 2013 Gold Cup will compete in a playoff with the winner of the 2015 event for the right to represent CONCACAF at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. The U.S. has reached the final of the Gold Cup in five of the last six tournaments, winning three titles.

GOALKEEPERS (3) : Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (8) : Corey Ashe (Houston Dynamo), DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Oguchi Onyewu (Malaga), Michael Orozco Fiscal (Puebla), Michael Parkhurst (FC Augsburg)
MIDFIELDERS (7) : Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Helsinborg), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Joshua Gatt (Molde FK), Stuart Holden (Bolton), Jose Torres (Tigres)
FORWARDS (5) : Will Bruin (Houston Dynamo), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Herculez Gomez (Club Tijuana), Jack McInerney (Philadelphia Union), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes) 

The team will begin gathering July 1 in San Diego, and will host Guatemala on July 5 in the only tune-up match prior to the start of the tournament. Kickoff at Qualcomm Stadium is set for 8 p.m. PT (11 p.m. ET), and the match will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network and UniMas. Fans can follow on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer.

“We are excited about a roster for the Gold Cup that really has a shot of winning it,” said Klinsmann.  “First, you want to win a Confederation competition, which is a 50 percent ticket to the Confederations Cup in Russia,” said Klinsmann. “We don’t want to watch the Confederations Cup on TV anymore; we want to be there. At the same time, the players that are representing us in this Gold Cup, they clearly know that this a huge opportunity to prove their value and their case to the coaching staff one year prior to the World Cup. So, two big things, one is to win the competition and two, allow the players to build their case for the World Cup.”

The 23-player final roster was selected from the original preliminary group of 35, as prescribed by the rules of competition. Following the completion of a team’s participation in the group phase, they have 24 hours to make up to four changes to the roster. These players must also come from the original 35-player list.

The U.S. Men’s National Team was drawn into Group C of the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup along with Belize, Cuba and Costa Rica. The U.S. will open group play against Belize on July 9 at JELD-WEN Field in Portland, Ore., before traveling to Sandy, Utah, to face Cuba at Rio Tinto Stadium on July 13 in their second group match. The United States finishes the group in East Hartford, Conn., against Costa Rica on July 16 at Rentschler Field.


  • A total of 11 players were part of a portion, or all, of the past MNT camp which saw the U.S. collect four straight victories and earn nine points in World Cup Qualifying: DaMarcus Beasley, Kyle Beckerman, Edgar Castillo, Joe Corona, Herculez Gomez, Clarence Goodson, Bill Hamid, Stuart Holden, Sean Johnson, Michael Parkhurst and Nick Rimando.
  • Six players on the roster play professionally in Mexico: Beasley, Castillo, Corona, Gomez, Orozco Fiscal and Jose Torres. Castillo and Corona have been joined by Gomez this offseason at Club Tijuana, while Beasley and Orozco are paired at Puebla.
  • Club Tijuana is one of two teams that have three players on the USA’s Gold Cup roster, along with Real Salt Lake, who contribute Kyle Beckerman, Tony Beltran and goalkeeper Nick Rimando. (Watch Three Cheers for Nick Rimando)
  • Beasley started four straight matches at left back in May and June – including the 4-3 win against Germany and consecutive victories in qualifying against Jamaica and Panama – before missing the Honduras match through a card accumulation suspension. With his start against Belgium on May 29, he became the 13th player in MNT history to earn 100 caps.
  • Castillo and Corona had another historic run with Club Tijuana, this time in the 2013 Copa Libertadores where they advanced to the quarterfinals before falling to top-seed Atletico Mineiro based on away goals.
  • Landon Donovan returns to the National Team fold for the first time since August of 2012, when he played 45 minutes in the 1-0 win against Mexico.
  • Donovan has 28 appearances and 13 goals overall in Gold Cup play, both team records.
  • Oguchi Onyewu will be in the U.S. uniform for the first time since June 8, 2012, when he entered as a sub in the 3-1 win against Antigua & Barbuda that kicked off the USA’s 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign.
  • Eight players on the roster have experience in the Gold Cup, and four are former champions: Beasley (2002, 2005, 2007), Donovan (2002, 2005, 2007), Onyewu (2005, 2007) and Michael Parkhurst (2007).
  • Beckerman – who captained the U.S. in the 0-0 draw against Canada earlier this year – became one of five players on the roster to score his first goal with the National Team in a Gold Cup game when he tallied the game-tying goal in the 2-0 win in overtime against Panama in the 2009 Gold Cup quarterfinal . Clarence Goodson one-upped him in the next game, scoring the game-winner against Honduras in the 2-0 win on June 23 in Chicago . Onyewu also made his first count, scoring in second-half stoppage time to deliver the U.S. a dramatic 2-1 victory in the 2005 Semifinal.
  • The others: DaMarcus Beasley potted the game-winner in stoppage time of the opener of the 2002 Gold Cup on Jan. 29, 2002, against Korea Republic, and Stuart Holden in the 4-0 win on July 4, 2009 against Grenada.
  • Coincidentally, the goals by Beasley and Onyewu came in the 92nd minute.
  • Gomez had 11 goals in all competitions for Santos Laguna and reached the Liga MX semifinals after having reached the CONCACAF Champions League final earlier this year. Gomez potted a pair of goals during the Semifinal Round, including the game-winner against Jamaica on Sept. 11 in Columbus.
  • Stuart Holden returned to the U.S. fold for the first time since October of 2010 and played in two matches, including as a reserve in the 2-0 win against Panama on June 11 in Seattle.
  • Jack McInerney enters his first camp with the senior team tied as the leading scorer in Major League Soccer with 10 goals. A former member of the U-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, he appeared in all four games for the U.S. in the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup, scoring two goals and helping the squad to the Round of 16.
  • McInerney and Corey Ashe are the only two players on the roster in search of their first cap. Both Tony Beltran and Will Bruin made their first appearance in the draw against Canada earlier this year.
  • Alejandro Bedoya has recorded five goals and four assists in 11 league games this year for Helsinborg. After being a late addition to the roster for the 2011 Gold Cup, he had a breakout performance, starting in four matches including all three in the knockout phase.
  • San Jose forward Chris Wondolowski tied Roy Lassiter’s MLS single-season goals record in 2012 with 27 total. Wondolowski collected both the MLS Golden Boot and MVP award and was named MLS Player of the Month four times.

– See more at: http://www.ussoccer.com/news/mens-national-team/2013/06/23-player-roster-to-compete-in-2013-gold-cup.aspx#sthash.Hsbp4LCT.dpuf

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