Mexico vs. USA: Latest Win Serves as Testament to Jurgen Klinsmann's Expertise
The United States men's national team defeated Mexico on Wednesday night at Estadio Azteca for the first time since the stadium was built in 1966.
Never before had an American team waltzed across the border and played to a victory against the Mexican national team. There had been many ugly defeats, including a 5-0 trouncing in July 2009, and the Americans had been winless in their last four matches before Wednesday night.
It is no surprise that the revival of the United States men's soccer team coincides with the hiring of former German national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
After managing Die Mannschaft from 2004-2006, Klinsmann took the job with Bayern Munich where he stayed until 2009. After less than two years off from coaching, he decided to take on the monumental task of repairing the sinking ship that was United States men's soccer.
American soccer had been a joke in the eyes of other international teams. That is to be expected, as the emphasis on soccer in the United States pales in comparison to the worldwide interest in the sport.
American citizens spend their time watching American football, basketball and baseball, and many would rather watch paint dry than a soccer match.
Klinsmann knew just how hard the job would be when he assumed the position in July 2011, but he also knew that he was perfectly capable of changing the culture of American soccer.
No United States team has ever finished higher than eighth place in the World Cup. There is a long road ahead, and Klinsmann has a lot of work to do, but don't be surprised if the team makes some waves in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
At least that is what Klinsmann has his players thinking after their stunning upset victory over Mexico. The squad that Team USA sent out onto the field in Mexico City was not top-notch. It was undermanned and it didn't seem like the reserves would be able to get it done, but Klinsmann had his team thinking a different way.
How much longer will Klinsmann last as the USMNT head coach?
A victory over a recently crowned Olympic gold medalist is nothing to shake a stick at—even if neither team was at full strength. It serves to build confidence for the younger players on the roster and reaffirm to the more experienced players that anything can happen in any match.
Klinsmann has made sure that the team has a solid crop of defenders. Many opposing players are much faster and more skilled than the American players, so Klinsmann has a nice game plan of ensuring that his back line doesn't get caught too far up on the counterattack.
The offensive opportunities come few and far between, but the USMNT capitalized on its best opportunity of the night to notch the lone goal of the match.
American soccer may not be at the point to be considered a serious contender on the international stage, but it can get there with Klinsmann's help.
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