5 Best Ways for Jurgen Klinsmann to Make USA a Strong Attacking Force
For the United States to have any chance of advancing past the group stage at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, it must assert itself on the attacking part of the game immediately.
Due to the immense pressure manager Jurgen Klinsmann is under to succeed, he may have to experiment with a few different formulas to get a final product that is good enough to advance to the knockout stage.
With that in mind, here is a look at five ways that Klinsmann can turn the Yanks into an attacking force that no one wants to deal with in Brazil.
Let Clint Dempsey Dictate Play
With Landon Donovan now out of the picture, Clint Dempsey will have the chance to prove his might in the attacking part of the midfield.
For Dempsey to show off his talents in the best way possible, he will have to be flexible and switch out to the wing on a few occasions.
Dempsey is not the wing player that Donovan is, but he still has the ability to translate his talent to that part of the pitch when called upon.
By moving around on the pitch, Dempsey will also free up space for Graham Zusi and the other winger, who could be someone like Fabian Johnson, Julian Green or Alejandro Bedoya.
If the American captain is given more freedom by Klinsmann in certain opportunities, it will only enhance the attacking capability that the Yanks have.
Give Michael Bradley the Option to Move Forward
Michael Bradley is undoubtedly the best player on the American roster as the team enters Brazil, but his attacking potential may be kept to a minimum because of the inexperienced back four.
As we have seen time after time, Bradley's passing and cerebral abilities add an extra dimension to the American attack, but those skills have been put on hold in the past due to mistakes in the back.
Another liability holding Bradley back from unleashing his wrath on opposing defenses is Jermaine Jones, who has made bad tackles and unnecessary bookings his trademark during the qualification process.
One way to counter Jones' silly play is to insert Kyle Beckerman, who is a more consistent player, into the defensive midfield. That way, Bradley feels less pressure to stay back and defend.
Regardless of who partners Bradley in midfield, there will come a time in any match that calls for him to propel the attack, which is something American fans should hope for more.
Put Pressure on Opponents from First Second
One tactic that Klinsmann instilled in his side during the qualification process was keeping a high line of pressure on the opposing back line.
This strategy played out to perfection in June against Germany, when Marc-Andre ter Stegen was forced into an own goal due to pressure from Jones.
While some may counter with the argument that this came against the third-string German keeper and defense, it is still worth noting that it worked in a pressure-packed scenario.
The World Cup is the biggest stage in soccer, and with it comes a ton of pressure, which players from Ghana, Portugal and Germany will be feeling.
The Yanks may not be able to earn easy goals in Brazil, like the one ter Stegen conceded, but the pressure could turn into valuable chances against class opposition.
Play Two Forwards Together
In all honesty, there is a slim chance that Klinsmann will start two forwards together, given the difficulty of Group G, but it is worth a shot.
The two forwards that would ideally line up in this setup would be Aron Johannsson and Jozy Altidore.
Altidore should be the top forward on the depth chart, despite his wretched form at Sunderland, and is the favorite to get the starting nod against Ghana because of his terrific year in 2013 at the international level.
Johannsson is in the form of his life, and he is also deserving of a start in the front line, which could lead the madman known as Klinsmann to experiment with a formation that he hasn't used much in his time as manager.
The one problem with partnering Altidore and Johannsson up front is that Klinsmann would probably sacrifice the second defensive midfield slot, which is a risky move, given the attacking talent lining up against the Yanks.
Unleash the Youngster No One Knows Much About
Entering Brazil, no one really knows much about 18-year-old Julian Green, who is supposed to be the next best American talent.
Most of the American fanbase isn't exactly sure what Green brings to the table, a sentiment that the first two opponents in Brazil will also have.
Not knowing what Green is capable of on the pitch could be a great advantage or a major disadvantage to the United States, but we will not know until he sees some playing time.
If Green is not handed any playing time in Brazil, his inclusion in the squad will be seen as a waste, which will lead to much more debate after the World Cup back home in the States.
Green has to play at some point, so why not use him on the wing in the second half of a few games to see what he can do, and maybe he can deliver a pleasant surprise in the form of a goal.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.
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