Jurgen Klinsmann and the United States men’s national soccer team is rolling of late.
It seems like ages ago since the Yanks last lost a match. The team is deep, has fresh tactics and is moving the ball quickly around the field with precision and creativity.
After yesterday’s win, the #USMNT have won a record 12-straight matches. That’s good for the longest active win streak IN THE WORLD.— ESPN (@espn) August 15, 2013
With all of the hype surrounding the side headed into the World Cup in Brazil, the focus shifts to trying to determine just how special this team really is. One definite measuring stick in terms of world football is the English Premier League, as the EPL is one of the most talented professional leagues in the world.
Were Klinsmann to bring his troops to play through a full campaign on English soil, how would the team fare?
It is a difficult question; filled with hypotheticals, certainly. However, given the experience and quality of the players, as well as the intelligence of the coaching staff it is fair to suggest that the U.S. would finish fifth in the English Premier League table and qualify for a spot in Europe.
First up is experience. A good number of the U.S. players have already played in high-pressure matches throughout Europe in their careers thus far.
Be it in the knockout stages of the World Cup, the UEFA Champions League, Serie A, Bundesliga or the aforementioned Premier League, plenty of these U.S. regulars have reached the highest levels of the sport across the globe.
They would not fear the moment nor crack under the pressure that comes with each week in the English Premier League because they already know what it is like to play in the most pressing of conditions.
More importantly, though, is that the USMNT have world-class players at multiple positions that would not only compete in England’s top professional football league, but thrive.
Midfielders like Michael Bradley, Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey have all shown in recent years that they have the vision, technique and competitiveness to light up European football. Tim Howard and Jozy Altidore, too, have made serious strides on the global stage. Simply stated, these guys can play with the best in the world.
Klinsmann himself has proved of late how much of a master tactician he is—not only in developing the team’s system of play but also figuring out how to attack an opponent’s weaknesses. The fiery German would be a huge asset for the U.S. in the EPL.
"It was a matter of whether we bought into it. I think we bought into it." -Tim Howard on the changes Jurgen Klinsmann brought to the #USMNT— FOX Soccer Daily (@FOXSoccerDaily) August 26, 2013
Where the team would fall short is at the back. Players like Omar Gonzalez, Matt Besler and Geoff Cameron are all nice pieces but are still somewhat inexperienced. Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and a few of the other top teams in table would take advantage of Klinsmann’s weaker backline.
The defense would ultimately be the main reason why the U.S. would likely just miss out on a Champions League spot but still show well in the English Premier League table, finishing in fifth.
With four World Cup Qualifiers left to be played, it will be intriguing to see if Klinsmann’s group can continue its winning streak as they head into the waning months before the World Cup in Brazil 2014.
How do you think the U.S. men’s national team would do in the English Premier League?