Although USMNT fans probably expected a little more success at the start of the Klinsmann era, most accept the fact that patience will be needed before glory is gained.
These last few months have been full of experimenting, as Klinsmann tries to get a feel for his talent pool and who he thinks can truly lead the USMNT back to where it was just two years ago.
Jurgen has a few weeks before he has another chance to prove himself, as the USMNT's next game is against Honduras October 8th. Here are a few things Klinsmann must do leading up to and during that game.
Now I am sure by now Klinsmann knows all about how to utilize players in top form, but just in case, I am here to offer some of the most basic, yet effective, advice in all of soccer: Ride the Hot Players!
Klinsmann can’t let previous performances or popularity get in the way of putting forth the best eleven for each game. Just because Robbie Rogers saved the day against Mexico back in August, doesn’t mean he deserves 45 minutes as a symbol of gratitude in a future game.
Klinsmann must disregard all prior performances and focus on only those who are in top form and capable of contributing. He has plenty of "Hot" players at his disposal right now, he just needs to utilize them.
Who are these players? Jozy Altidore, Kyle Beckerman, Brek Shea, Charlie Davies and JF Torres, just to name a few.
The inevitable rumors of Timothy Chandler’s recommitment to Germany have once again been thrust upon us, but this time with a little more credibility.
Former USMNT defender and current Nuremberg player Tony Sanneh tweeted last week, “Rumor is chandler gonna play for germany. Lowe visits nberg today."
It was news that was greeted by hundreds of fans reaching for the panic button and anxiously awaiting a confirmation by a closer source. Although nothing has been said in the recent days about Sanneh’s controversial tweet, there is still concern around the fan base that the potential “savior” of the USMNT defense is now packing his bags after just one year of service.
Losing Chandler would not only hurt the USMNT defense, but badly effect Klinsmann’s reputation, as one of his most attractive characteristics coming into the job was the fact that he could lure (not lose) half-breed Americans to his side.
Letting USMNT fans know what is truly happening or forcing Chandler to completely commit are two “must-do’s” on JK’s schedule right now.
Klinsmann was smart to experiment and test out new talents in these last couple of friendlies.
However, it is evident that some of his guinea pigs just weren’t up to the task and truly are not ready for international competition. While Torres, Beckerman and Shea shined, Orozco-Fiscal, Rogers and Castillo flopped, meaning Klinsmann should probably stay in the lab a little longer and keep searching for players who at least can hold their own out on the pitch.
It is only a matter of time before Klinsmann has to appoint a new team captain, and I can’t think of a more perfect time than now to make the change.
Switching captains in the qualifying campaign would be unnecessary and unwise, making me think that the new skipper should be picked sooner rather than later to avoid controversy. Klinsmann is also going to need to find his co-leaders in these upcoming weeks.
With Donovan slowly wearing down, Klinsmann must discover his new “go-to-guy” on offense who can provide leadership and intensity in the attacking third.
A big criticism of the USMNT under Bob Bradley was the team’s slow starts and lack of intensity in almost every game they played.
Whether it is conditioning more often or simply providing amazing German-American pregame speeches, Klinsmann must approach the USMNT’s often lack of energy in the upcoming weeks.
If he fails to do so, fan quotes from the Bob Bradley era will slowly reappear right before your very eyes.