giovedì 10 luglio 2014

USMNT World Cup 2014 review

It was a good World Cup for the USA. Although they was forced to book their return flights after they was beaten 2-1 by Belgium, USA were able to get out from a group including Germany, Portugal and Ghana. Jurgen Klinsmann gone right on his decision. He took some risks, but they paid. Klinsmann was bright to leave 32-year-old Landon Donovan at home and to include so many German-Americans into his final 23-man roster. But Klinsmann’s work went much more deep. He re-shuffled USMNT, changing the way in which players are trained and prepared. He brought on nutritionists and sports psychologists for the players. He changed team’s attitude. Not all of those thoughts worked as questions have been raised about USA’s physical condition after USMNT was affected by a lot of muscular injuries. But, in general, Klinsmann’s methods well worked. On the field, fans have seen a lot for which to be encouraged. Although Americans were often outplayed by better teams, they even tried to run the game the way they can. They embraced a new attitude. USA goes home with heads held high. Now, is time to look forward. Next summer there will be the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which guarantees a place at the 2017 Confederations Cup , then the Olympics and, above all, the 2016 Copa América held in USA,  the first country from outside South America to host the tournament. And Klinsmann’s contract run through 2018 Russian World Cup. So the German head coach has time to get his project working. As time goes on, though, USA’s road to Russia will begin. Who will stay and how will change USA’s roster? Some of current roster’s players have probably played against Belgium their last game with USMNT. "The players that are beyond 30, this might be their last moment in the World Cup," Klinsmann told before the game. DaMarcus Beasley, Tim Howard and Jermaine Jones seem gone. Looking to Russia, the same can be said for DaMarcus Beasley, Kyle Beckerman, Jermaine Jones, and Brad Davis due to their age. By the way, they all could still make an impact in the short-period. But with Klinsmann signed through Russia 2018, other players from the2014 World Cup roster are expected to be still around. The main question will be on the net, with netminder Brad Guzan the runner up to get Howard’s heritage next four-year term. On defence, both John Brooks and Omar Gonzalez are young enough to be able to solidify their spot. The same could happen with Matt Besler. Geoff Cameron too had some chances to be part of the squad. Fabian Johnson was a key man during this campaign and DeAndre Yedlin showed against Belgium that he can help the cause. Troubles could face the midfielders. Going through 2015-2018 dates, it’s clear that some youngsters could come out of nowhere to claim a spot into Klinsmann’s roster, the same way Brooks and Julian Green recently did. The 19-year-old Bayern Munich attacking midfielder already surprised getting the call to be there this time. There's no reason to think that he will be a key part of Klinsmann’s plan going through. Things are different for guys such as Alejandro Bedoya, who underperformed this World Cup, or Mix Diskerud, who didn’t play, things could go south. A highly touted talent as Graham Zusi had up and downs in Brazil so Kansas City’s midfielders will have to improve over the next seasons to conserve his place into Klinsmann’s thoughts. Highly valued prospects expected to rise up next season to become a component of USMNT’s future squad are Gedion Zalelem and Gil. The 17-year-old Arsenal reserve player in on the verge of get a U.S. citizenship while RLS’s midfielder is one of the best footballer produced by USA soccer over the last years. Other players as Gale Agbossoumonde, Amobi Okugo or Ike Opara, former prospects that didn’t live to their hype, still have a chance to make a comeback. The way is marked. Obviously, as Michael Cox rightly pointed out [] USA need to see American players more involved into top-level European football. It means Americans need to play in the best European championships and in Champions League games. The lack on some key spots as forward. Barring Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey, USA didn’t produce suitable strikers. Jozy Altidore, Aron Johannsson and Chris Wondolowski showed to be ineffective at this level. The expansion of MLS also will help. MLS have to find the way to attract better athletes and footballers. The key is made a soccer career attractive for young Americans in a similar way to basketball, baseball or American football. Making a pay rise for MLS players and put emphasis on the chances soccer players have to be part of the sport biggest tournament like the World Cup is, could represent a first step on that direction.

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