USA vs. Belgium: Why Jurgen Klinsmann Is Still Right Man for Team USA

Joey HnathCorrespondent ISeptember 6, 2011

CARSON, CA - SEPTEMBER 02:  Coach Jurgen Klinsmann of the United States reacts during the friendly soccer match against Costa Rica  at The Home Depot Center on September 2, 2011 in Carson, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

After USA’s 1-0 loss to Belgium, new USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann sees his record fall to 0-2-1.  While this may look like a step backwards from previous coach Bob Bradley, let’s look a little bit closer.

In his first game, Klinsmann led the U.S. to a 1-1 draw against archrival Mexico.  Though in recent years the U.S. has fared very well against our neighbors to the south, Mexico has become one of the better teams in the world and is poised to make a deep run in the 2014 World Cup.  A 1-1 draw is a respectable outcome.

The second game under Klinsmann, the 1-0 loss to Costa Rica, was bit more worrisome.  Though USA has traditionally had their hands full with Costa Rica, they should beat them.  Needless to say, USA definitely had their chances to score, but they squandered every opportunity.  If the Yanks can learn how to put away their chances, they’ll once again be a top 15 team in the world.

As of this game against Belgium, the U.S. sent out their B team for the most part, minus Tim Howard, Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore and Steve Cherundolo.  This game was a good chance for Klinsmann to see what all he’s working with and what the depth of the USMNT is like.  The outcome wasn’t as important as how the U.S. played, and towards the end of the game, the U.S. was playing much better.

In all three games, USA showed flashes of brilliance on offense that fans had not seen under either Bob Bradley or Bruce Arena.  He was able to lead Germany to the semifinals of the 2006 World Cup, and he has a great soccer mind.

Klinsmann’s main job is to prepare the U.S. for the 2014 World Cup, and despite the U.S.’s recent outcomes, he’s well on his way.