USA v Mexico turns into referendum on a bloodied Jürgen Klinsmann

时间:2019-09-01  作者:吕筅  来源:美高梅  浏览:4次  评论:106条

It’s been touted as the match-up of the decade. Taylor Twellman has referred to it as the most important game since – and he has company. As the weekend approaches and all eyes turn to what’s quickly becoming the most hyped match in recent US soccer history, many pundits are beginning to see Saturday as a defining moment for the game in America.

For USA coach Jürgen Klinsmann, in particular, victory is imperative. After a series of underwhelming performances by the USMNT, including coupled with the recent 4-1 drubbing at the hands of Brazil, Klinsmann’s found his back to the wall. He’s been criticized for his failure to develop a distinct playing style despite his pining for more technical development in US soccer, as well as his head-scratching squad selections – some of which left fans and players miffed.

One of the players who fell victim to Klinsmann’s ethos is Landon Donovan who (not surprisingly) has been vocal in the lead up to the match. , Donovan claimed that a loss against Mexico should be enough to end Klinsmann’s reign. “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,” said Donovan. “I think if Jürgen wants to hold all the players to that standard, then he has to be held to that standard too,” he said.

Donovan, of course, may have a not so secret vendetta against Klinsmann after being omitted from the World Cup Squad over a year ago, but his interview merely highlights the unease engulfing US soccer heading into the match.

But while some of the criticism levied at Klinsmann is justified, much of it is a product of – some would say – unrealistically high expectations on a nation that has produced few truly world class players in its history. The appointment of the German was met with fanfare, and came at a time of rapid growth of the sport across the country; he inevitably became the face of the movement.

And while there may have been some hiccups in recent times, Klinsmann hasn’t necessarily underperformed. He currently boasting the highest winning percentage in competitive games (.734) out of any US coach in history. He’s also led USA to victories against Italy, Germany and Holland. Klinsmann’s legacy will also stretch far beyond his tenure as coach. As a recruitment tool he’s been brilliant, managing to pry a number of German-born US nationals into his team (notably Fabian Johnson and Jermaine Jones) while securing an American future for two of the more promising talents in world soccer – Bayern Munich’s Julian Green and .

But the current climate in US soccer isn’t too focused on the positives. Klinsmann did receive backing from US Soccer president Sunil Gulati after the US’s subpar performance this summer, but a vote of confidence more often than not comes before a fall.

Away from Klinsmann’s future as coach, a place at the 2017 Confederation Cup is also on the line. An appearance at the precursor to the big dance a year later does have its benefits. The opportunity to replicate World Cup conditions, even for a truncated period, can be invaluable. And the tournament itself can be quite the experience. The 2009 Confederations Cup was likely one of the brightest moments in US soccer history as the team defeated Spain and built a 2-0 lead against Brazil in the final before eventually succumbing 3-2. A bitter loss but a priceless experience.

Interestingly enough, Klinsmann hasn’t shied away from the pressure; in fact he’s embraced it. In a recent interview with US Soccer, Klinsmann of the match.

“You want to go into these very unique games and experience it and really enjoy that moment,” he said. “This will be a game that for the next two or three years to come is probably the biggest game because it decides who goes to Russia in 2017 and it gives you a Concacaf title, so it’s difficult to beat the importance of that one.”

, on the other hand, will be looking to prove that this summer’s Gold Cup victory was no fluke. For Klinsmann it’s an opportunity to prove that a few blips shouldn’t negate the progress he’s made. A loss this weekend likely won’t end his tenure but it could force a drastic change in philosophy and personnel ahead of World Cup qualifying.

The hype is peaking and it wouldn’t be a shock if this Saturday ends up having long-term repercussions on US soccer. This match could be the unofficial referendum of Klinsmann’s time at the helm.