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Klinsmann Report Card: What does US coach deserve so far?


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Way too early to grade. They're not playing a game that truly matters until next June. There are things I like so far. The lack of goals is frustrating, of course, but is Klinsmann to blame for the sitting ducks that Shea and Gooch missed the other night? I like what I've seen in regards to one-touch passing, diagonal balls, certain aspects of the build-up. I'm seeing players playing with a lot more confidence, freedom, less of a fear of failing.
What needs to be remembered is, Klinsmann isn't a tactician. He wasn't one in Germany; Joachim Loew was the tactician. I'm of the opinion that any positive impact that the USMNT will see from Klinsmann will be 10 years down the road, long after his tenure has ended. Overhaul the whole system, from the youth programs on up. That's what needs to be done. That's where his impact is being felt in Germany.

It is definitely too early to give Klinsmann a grade. Since he came in with such high expectations, you can already see some of the fans and media getting impatient and going into panic mode over the fact that there has only been 1 win in 5 games, and 2 goals scored in 5 games. There are some good signs so far, but the finished product isn't there yet. He's also run into a bit of bad luck with the injuries to Torres and Holden, as well as the fact that he hasn't had a game with both Donovan and Dempsey together yet. We still need to give him time to experiment so he knows which players he can rely on once qualifying starts. That's when the real test begins.

Tinkering around trying to see what players he likes after a U.S. that is in rebuilding mode got dumped on him. How could you possibly grade him?

Klinsmann is very knowledgeable and capable, but if he doesn't have the players to win, his tenure for U.S. Soccer will be unsuccessful. Our best players hit their peak in 2002 and 2006. Altidore is an exception but he can't do it by himself. This program is in trouble.

There is some hope when you look at players like Brek Shea and Juan Agudelo. When (not if) those players play in Europe, they'll develop into top shelf players just like Dempsey has developed. Those 2 have tons of potential, so time will tell if they produce.

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