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USA vs Belgium: Klinsmann's Moment of Truth, Restart or Rebuild?

CARSON, CA - AUGUST 31:  Jurgen Klinsmann coach of US Men's National Team looks on during training at The Home Depot Center on August 31, 2011 in Carson, California. United States will play Costa Rica in friendly soccer match on Friday.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Ned HarwoodContributor IIISeptember 6, 2011

And we're back, ladies and gentlemen.

Back to putting up poor results. Back to missing open opportunities. Back to viewing cynical tweets about the team on Twitter all afternoon.

In short, the team is playing the exact same way it was just two months ago under Mr. Bob Bradley: Showing signs of absolute brilliance for a third of the game, while aimlessly kicking/chasing a spherical ball for the other 60 minutes.

For the majority of a USMNT soccer game I find myself constantly thinking about other things, possibly trying to distract myself from the so-called entertainment that dimly lights up my television screen.

I think about my fantasy soccer roster, my quesadilla for lunch and how I’m going to clean up the fallen tree courtesy of Irene from my backyard. (Branches are everywhere, the neighbors are on my back and I’m in the spotlight, wondering if I should put the tree back together or simply plant a new one in its place.)

And then, while watching the U.S. drop another egg in the score book Tuesday night, I realized that Jurgen and I aren’t too different after all. 

Apart from the body frame and hybrid-American accent, we both must make judgment calls that could effectively change everything for better or worse.

As Klinsmann tries to handle the unbelievable expectations on his shoulders, he will be forced to make the decision to plant a new tree (restart) or put the branches back together (rebuild).

These past few games I have noticed Klinsmann being tentative about change, yet willing to adapt, leaving the squad in an awkward transition phase that can’t really get its feet up and running.

The fans, and I’m sure the players as well, are somewhat confused about whether anything has changed since the takeover, other than a few jersey fixes and formation tweaks. I know it is just early days for Jurgen and that Rome wasn’t build in a day, but I’m beginning to wonder what significant changes, if any, are in the near future to cure me from my game-time boredom.

What would you do? Restart or Rebuild? 

Putting the branches back together and trying to re-inspire an outdated squad is a risky plan for the now, while planting a new tree and starting from the ground up would be a more tedious yet successful approach.

It’s a difficult decision and one that could define U.S. soccer for the next decade, good or bad.

I have my opinion. Now it is time to see if Jurgen and I are truly more similar than a tree metaphor and an American passport. 

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