There has to be a change in the Head Coach for US Soccer; and up front not just Jurgen Klinsmann but Sunil Gulati!.
In my 20 odd years of watching soccer, four year of analyzing professional soccer and seven years of coaching youth soccer I don’t think I’ve ever seen a team so uncoordinated in their lack of communication (in passing), with purpose, than this team. At least not until Darlington Nagbe came on in the second half.
Early on Guatemala made it very clear they would bunker and look to play direct.
Not only does the coach need to see this – but the players on the pitch need to see this as well!
The wrong tactical line-up – either the scouts completely missed it or the scouts offered their expectations and Klinsmann ignored them.
I don’t see these players train everyday and some of these players I haven’t ever seen play domestic ball – but for those players I have seen play it would seem to me that Chris Wondolowski, Ethan Finley, Gyasi Zardes, Darlington Nagbe, and Lee Nguyen would be better suited to start against a team playing a bunkered defense.
Lord knows who the appropriate fullbacks would be but a solid defensive thinking fullback, who can overlap and provide crosses, who wasn’t on the bench is Jorge Villafana!
As for Center-backs; I’m still not getting the selection of Omar Gonzalez but that’s probably just me being me… Is Matt Besler injured?
On a rare occasion some statistics can really tell a story about how ineffective a team is in tactically managing the opponent. In this case I’ll use the volume of crosses.
With 45 minutes gone the US Men’s National Team had offered up just three crosses – if a team bunkers against you the traditional path forward to break that team down is to cross – and usually cross from higher up the pitch.
From a statistics standpoint – in the first half – the USMNT had 2 unsuccessful crosses offered in open play. In the second half they had 11 unsuccessful crosses offered in open play. In neither half did they offer up a successful cross in open play!
Bottom line is if Klinsmann isn’t to blame then his staff is – and since Klinsmann is the technical director as well as Head Coach – Klinsmann is to blame.
As I tweeted during the game – Klinsmann indicated when he started that he was going to change the style of US Soccer – he has – he’s made it worse!
IF – a big IF – the US Men’s National Team loses to Guatemala at home – then Sunil Gulati needs to go as much as Klinsmann does…
My oh my oh my…