Will the Copa America be Jurgen Klinsmann’s Impending Doom?
Throughout his football career, Jurgen Klinsmann has become one of the most decorated players to ever play the game. Having played and won countless trophies for several prominent clubs in Europe and nationally for both the 1990’s FIFA World Cup for West Germany and 1996 UEFA European Championship for the unified German national team, it is clear to say how impactful Klinsmann has been to the football world. As much as we can give the Germany his respect as a player, his efforts as a coach have been somewhat questionable.
During his tenure as the United States men’s national soccer coach, we have seen incredible rollercoaster of successes and failures. With his entrance into United States soccer on a national level back in 2011, fans and soccer analyst alike were incredibly thrilled at the idea of Jurgen Klinsmann. This is a man who has experienced the highs and lows of the game and has established and fostered success at every level where he played. This is a man who understands the international level of competition and can take his knowledge back to our team. But most importantly, this is a man who can develop and cultivate a strong foundation and create a sense of winning and accomplishment for the United States of America. But with any high profile candidate, there will always be high demands. Yes, Jurgen sold us on an idea of establishing the foundation for our youth players. But with countless years of failure, we as fans have to ask whether or not Klinsmann is the right man for the job.
To be fair, the United States is still growing at the idea of football. While the MLS league is starting to gain that much needed popularity, the national team has made incredible strides in winning over a large amount of supporters. Because of this, the countless amount of criticism Klinsmann has received is something to take into consideration. For example in May 2014, Klinsmann faced severe disapproval for leaving out ‘soccer sensation’ and American hero Landon Donovan off the roster for the 2014 World Cup. While the fans and critics eventually supported his decision, the United States exit against Belgium put in question whether or not Klinsmann can actually find wins for the USMNT. These woes only worsened when the United States settled for fourth place in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup at home where national rivals, Mexico, were able to clinch the 3-1 win against Jamaca.
As we enter the Copa America, much of Klinsmann’s reputation as manager and coach is now on the line. Having seen an embarrassing play against Colombia, many people were uncertain how the men’s national team would respond to Costa Rica. But with a 4-0 win, we saw a strong glimmer of hope for Klinsmann and the Yanks. The one thing we have to remember is that the competition is not over. In fact, it has only just begun. While still in the group stages, the United States will have to do more if they want to overcome heavy favorites Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil. All I can say is that Klinsmann definitely needs a plan, otherwise this may be the last time we see him with the United States badge on his chest.