Landon Donovan doesn’t like Jurgen Klinsmann, and Klinsmann doesn’t like Donovan.
The pressure is on for the U.S. Men’s National Team as they prepare for the CONCACAF Cup playoff against Mexico on Saturday.
This time, there’s just as much at stake – a berth in the 2017 Federation Internationale de Football Association Confederations Cup, held in Russia. To others Donovan, Team USA’s all-time leading scorer, makes a valid point.
Speaking with ESPNFC, Landon has, in no uncertain terms, called for Jurgen to lose his job if he loses against Mexico.
Klinsmann is one win shy of matching his predecessor Bob Bradley for second place on Team USA’s coaches’ win list in the modern era. No, they were poorly timed because of the distraction it already has turned into for a US team trying to focus on winning a big game.
Additionally, Klinsmann has told his players that if they lose a game, they don’t get to “go to the grocery store the next day”.
Maybe it’s coincidental, but youth national teams have gotten better since Klinsmann showed up. And while it’s still way too early to see any obvious effects of what he’s been doing to improve how America grooms soccer players, he’s continued to criticize certain structural defects in our system that, if remedied, could go a long way towards that end, even when his remarks have proved unpopular with the powers that be.
“The reality is that now, anywhere else in the world, if this coach had those results, and they lose this game against Mexico, they’d be fired”, he said.
“I think if Jurgen wants to hold all the players to that standard”, Donovan said of Klinsmann’s high hopes to contend with the world’s elite. Of the projected starters against Mexico – we’ll likely see the 10 field players who started against Ghana in the 2014 World Cup opener, plus Guzan in goal – only one starter, Jozy Altidore, will be younger than 30 when the 2018 World Cup kicks off in Russian Federation.
“This is one of the biggest soccer games to be played on North American soil since the 1994 World Cup, and the fans have certainly responded”, said CONCACAF Acting General Secretary Ted Howard. The recent months have not been kind to his U.S. squad. It’s fair to speculate that they would have been given even more time after the World Cup had they made the knockout stages. There are a lot of players who have played Under-20, Under-23 and senior national team games since Klinsmann’s appointment.
To suggest Morris’ success means college still will remain a stepping stone for the national team is wrong as Morris is an unusual case.