Should the USMNT Sack Jurgen Klinsmann?

Should the USMNT Brass Sack Klinsmann?

By Vincent Conroy-Villarreal @mrconroy2u , AAV Sports

DENVER, Colo. (June 28, 2016)- After yet another disappointing tournament exit for the
United States Mens National Team, reports have surfaced that manager Jürgen Klinsmann’s job security could be in jeopardy after Saturday’s 1-0 loss in the third place match against Columbia at the 2016 Copa America. To support these rumors, Klinsmann is supposedly developing a contingency plan of his own and has told those in his camp that he is seriously considering accepting the appointment of the vacant manager position at Premier League Club Southampton after Ronald Koeman departed the Saints earlier this month to take charge of Everton.

Germany v USA - International Friendly

With the United States’ team clearly failing to adopt the German’s philosophical possession based approach,  American supporters have grown impatient with the manager’s failures to provide signature results at marquee tournaments. Paired with a deficient youth development program instilled by Klinsmann himself, the United States side looks lost, out of form, and disinterested on a consistent basis. With reports coming in from USA Today, Klinsmann has been listed at 1-3 odds from London bookmakers to join the Hampshire based English club earlier this morning. Two days before the USA’s scheduled match against Columbia, he was listed at just 40-1 to odds to return back to managing at the club level.

Since Klinsmann was introduced as the manager of the USMNT squad in 2011, there is no denying that his results have been inconsistent. While many of his accomplishments have reaped high praise and huge rewards for the USMNT team, many of these results have been unfairly considered as “tangible tasks”from supporters of the red, white, and blue. While he has progressed popularity of the sport stateside, I like countless other supporters still feel that there is some sort of separation from both the players on the pitch and the manager. Ever since Bob Bradley was axed, Klinsmann’s appointment has been received with lukewarm reception. There seems to be no middle ground and I am here to explore the harsh reality that perhaps despite public desire to see him sacked, he is the right man for the job.

The Glaring Failures in Klinsmann’s Philosophy

To better understand Klinsmann’s failures with the United States, an avid football follower can explore the pressing issues in his philosophical approach. There is no denying that whether it has been at his stops with the German National Team or with Bayern Munich, Klinsmann has always been a huge believer of integrating and promoting players from the development youth squad into the starting eleven on the pitch. When he was appointed manager of Germany in 2004, he selected eight players under the age of 21 that would later be a part of the 2006 World Cup Team. Midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger and defender Philipp Lahm were amongst those promoted who would later play an instrumental role in Germany claiming their fourth World Cup Trophy in 2014. Through this analysis it is evident that Klinsmann has a history of making long-term investments.

Outside of being enamored with developing younger talent another knock on the Baden-Württemberg native is that Klinsmann, regardless of where he has managed, has always rotated goalkeepers regardless of form. The only anomaly to this practice was at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Future Colorado Rapids GK and former Everton standout Tim Howard commanded the net for the entirety of the tournament. 451270456-head-coach-jurgen-klinsmann-of-the-united-states-reacts-crop-promo-mediumlargeWhile player rest is prescribed in football, not all managers practice this method at the goalkeeping position. The problem with this sort of philosophy is that it prevents any sort of defensive consistency and command for the backline. Furthermore, each goalkeeper has different tendencies when it comes to ball placement on goal kicks which may not seem like a big issue in the grand scheme of things, but actually plays a huge role in varying attacking philosophies.

These two philosophical approaches ultimately have plagued Klinsmann’s troubled tenure at the helm of the United States. While the youth development program has clearly taken more time than anticipated, it seems to be a growing concern. Most of the United States’ current starts like Howard, Jermaine Jones, Clint Dempsey, Kyle Beckerman, and Michael Bradley are all aging footballers nearing the twilight of their international careers. A change of colors is long overdue at numerous positions and the failure to fully integrate players from the youth squad falls solely on shoulders of Klinsmann. Naturally, I am inclined to give Klinsmann the benefit of the doubt on this matter, but I can no longer compartmentalize that this problem will be taken care of by World Cup qualifiers.

FBL-WC-2018-USA-GUA

As a journalist and avid follower of European football, I understand that these things do require years of investment, scouting, and training in order to prepare  American players to face a far greater quality of talent found in Europe and South America. But as a supporter of the USMNT, I find this theory hypocritical. If Klinsmann is a true believer of youth integration, then players like Jones and Dempsey would be reduced to lesser roles. Instead they are still part of the starting eleven because players like Bobby Wood, Christian Pulisic, and Jordan Morris are still very raw from a fundamental standpoint. Youth integration and development was one of the primary reasons why Klinsmann left one of America’s favorite sons Landon Donovan off the 2014 World Cup squad, ushering in a early retirement for Donovan and a sudden dissatisfaction with Klinsmann’s managerial decisions from supporters.  Truley it is a great American travesty that there is such few silverware shared between all of USMNT senior players. Regardless, if the youth development was truly working, Klinsmann could be able to in theory increase numerous senior player careers.

Klinsmann is Here to Stay

Despite my harsh criticism of the manager’s philosophy, I still remain one of his greatest supporters. While this piece is obviously opinion based, these selected issues are really the only things during his tenure that bothers me.In all reality, Klinsmann is a world class manager that creates a blueprint for success that can be carried on bn-db661_klinsc_gr_20140603185454for years to come, reagardless on who replaces him. Look no further than the German national side to test this theory. This is achieved through the investment and utilization of the youth academy. Where Klinsmann has succeeded in comparison to his predecessors, is that he has explored youth talent outside the United States borders. While that may irk nationalistic fans, he is really left with no other choice. Up until recently, there has virtually been no American based talent worth investing in the previous five years. Remember Freddy Adu? That’s perhaps the only name that can come to mind in recent memory and we all know how his career panned out. 

Ultimately this roster has the talent to crack the elimination round each and every major tournament. If he is let go, any coach that replaces him would likely replicate the same type of success Klinsmann has achieved in his five years at the helm. But there is a great chance any other coach that comes in could potentially derail everything he has accomplished up to this point. The same problems that plague club teams often extend to national sides as well during a coaching change. The problem with USA football does not lie in philosophical approaches or management personalities. It lies in a lack of both quality and quantity of football talent alike. Furthermore, the main reason why America struggles in football is because from a cultural standpoint, the value we invest in the sport is no where near the level like Spain, Germany, or Argentina.

American Society has huge expectations for its sports teams. Success is engrained into our culture, which is why it continues to make our nation the greatest nation on Earth. However this cultural prerogative is detrimental for the development of American football. Like Colin Cowherd stated in Dec. of 2015-

We don’t have realistic expectations. United States soccer wants Alabama football results but doesn’t have any five star athletes. Look at the top 50 players in the world- they are not our players. You can have coaching all you want but what you really need players and that is the one thing USA simply doesn’t have”

Unfortunately, Klinsmann is left with average talent and is tasked to fulfill insurmountable tasks. You can object all you want with Klinsmann’s policy to integrate players into the squad outside the United States. But most large, multi-billion dollar companies in the United States are doing the same thing. They continue to outsource domestic jobs to international talents because the local product simply isn’t good enough. But then again we as a society complain about that too, citing that it’s unfair to taxpaying American citizens. Here’s the deal, if you want Untied States Football to be relevant assist in the cause and embrace Klinsmann. We simply won’t find another coach of his qualities again if we decide to move on.

 

Touchdown Tuesday: Kansas City Fantasy Football Projections

Continuing from last night’s blog, AAV Sports is still profiling the AFC West prospective outlook for the upcoming 2016-17 season. Yesterday, AAV Sports and DraftDaddyV profiled the Chiefs 2016 Rookie Class and will furthermore analyze what to expect from the Kansas City Chiefs’ offense next season for fantasy football implications. We have simulated the Chiefs offensive projections through our own database in order to predict who might be worth taking in the early rounds of your upcoming fantasy draft. Even though football action is still seven full weeks away, it’s never too early to prepare for this upcoming season.

Chiefs Offensive Statistics from 2015

  • Record 11-5
  • 2nd in AFC West Division 
  • Scored 405 points (25.3 ppg) which was good for 9th overall

Offensive Coordinator- Doug Pederson (Head Coach of the Philadelphia Eagles)

Spread Game Analysts- Brad Childress

Offensive Leaders

Stats

 

Projections

When averaging five of the eligible players last statistically reasonable seasons, AAV Sports projects the expected output fantasy football fans can expect from the selected leaders of the Chiefs. Rookies from the previous year will not be accounted for. Ex. Charcandrick West

Quarterback Alex Smith: Attempts 446, Completions 279, Completion Percentage 62.5 percent, Yards 3,314, Touchdowns 18, Interceptions 7.

Running back Jamaal Charles: Attempts 234, Yards 1,283, Average 5.52 yards, Touchdowns 8 , Receptions 46, Receiving yards 397, Touchdowns 3.

Wide Receiver Jeremy Maclin– Receptions 75, Yards 1,021, Touchdowns 8.

Tight End Travis Kelce– Receptions 70, Yards 868, Touchdowns 5

Chiefs Defensive Statistics from 2015

  • Allowed 287 points (17.9 ppg) which was good for 3rd overall
  • 22 interceptions
  • 12 forced fumbles

Defensive Coordinator: Bob Sutton

 

Dear Johnny

browns-draft-johnny-manziel-f7999d2876db0da6

Dear Mr. Manziel,

I hope that this letter finds you well. As a fan of your accomplishments solely on the football field , I have closely chronicled your career since you enrolled at Oregon University in 2010. While ultimately you teased us all with the idea of playing in Chip Kelly’s Spread Offensive system, you took the world by storm when you decided to stay home and play at College Station. With your acrobatic plays and willy ability to win games in the most unconventional ways, you captured the attention of the entire sporting universe. You had one of the best nicknames in college sporting history during your tenure at Texas A&M with the game to back it all up. You were the reincarnation of Fran Tarkenton himself or better yet, Harry Houdini dressed up in Adidas high tops. You sir became a living legend after you became the first sophomore in NCAA history to win the Heisman in 2012. Fame, Fortune, and the NFL was yours for the taking. The world was yours and it rested in the palm of your hand. So please can you enlighten us all where it all fell apart?

Like many before you who played the quarterback position in college, the transition to the NFL level proved to be difficult. We all marveled and relished on which franchise would be lucky enough to snag you in the upcoming draft.We all thought you were a game changer whose talents could be plugged into whatever offensive system. Despite your lack of height, we became intoxicated with your ability to sling the ball and your ability to push the ball downfield. Draft gurus everywhere salivated over your one of kind padded pro-day which proved to the NFL universe, you were dressed to impress. Some whispered that you may follow in Ryan Leaf’s footsteps, profiling a heavy drinking addiction paralleled with a narcissistic desire of self promotion. Once again with your charm and persuasive attitude, you told the media during the NFL Combine that “there was a time and place for everything in you life”.   Furthermore you claimed that the life you once lived was retired and you were ready to move on to the next stage in your life. You fooled us all thinking that you had matured to be the face of an NFL franchise. As a fan I fell for it. As a young journalist I fell for it. But those in the NFL community didn’t. They saw through your transparent lies. Everyone except one. I hope Jimmy Haslam has learned from his mistakes.

See I want to believe that the Drake Curse in sports does not apply to you. I want to believe that Curse of Cleveland derailed your NFL career. Granted, most quarterbacks taken with the 22nd overall pick by the Browns don’t normally pan out. Just ask Brady Quinn. I don’t want to pretend that those you surrounded yourself with, paired with an obscene amount of money, enabled your consistent behavior that continues to make headlines today. Did you fall in Ryan Leaf’s footsteps?  I think you have fallen further than that.You quickly turned from a college poster boy to punchline in the pros.

Your personal life choices led to your release from the Cleveland Browns after your well documented domestic violence suit. When Drew Rosenhaus one of the most respected agents in the NFL world dropped you from his representation, we knew there was problem. Remember this was a man who stuck by the side of Terrell Owens through the entirety of his career. Rosenhaus chose to terminate your contract  because he worried about your personal life choices. He’s never done this before in his entire career. When Nike chose to release you from your contract in mid April, we knew things were going down hill. When you refused to enter rehab but still claimed you were focusing on playing football in 2016, we knew your career was done. We all knew about the drinking, but when you invited the likes of TMZ Sports to profile your everyday choices we knew this wasn’t a public relations problem. Your drinking problem was a life problem. Instead of choosing professional help, you have chosen to self medicate your stress.

Now with all that being said, I am still rooting for you Johnny. Like Drake, I will still think five years from now,  that you’re the man still. But what I and countless of your fans would hope you would do is make a concentrated effort at getting your life back together before it’s too late. Embrace the facts that your fall from grace came from an unprecedented pace. While your ego and mental state soared Mile High, your performance on and off t1377989646000-usatsi-7408764he field plummeted due to self implosion. Your father is right, you are a druggie. But that doesn’t narrate who you are as a person. That can still be salvaged. But I too agree with your father that we doubt you will see your 24th birthday if you continue this lifestyle. Seek help Johnny before it’s simply too late.

Sincerely,

AAV Sports