The week that leads up to a World Cup qualifying match can make any fan anxious, but there have been some times in the past to make it move jovial and just chat about formation and strategy. The much talked about events of the week, spurred by the Sporting News article, has turned those discussions more serious. Perhaps it pointed a much needed spotlight on the United States Soccer Federation. There have been many discussing Jurgen Klinsmann’s job security, although it looks to be strong. Herculez Gomez told reporters that this is good and the team needs this. Michael Bradley was a leader and used strong words to show a unified locker room. All of this just made fans even more on edge.
Sunil Gulati got q&a at Pep Rally. 1st question: “If lose next 2, what chance Klinsmann losing his job?” Gulati: “I don’t expect to lose.”
— Richard Fleming (@FlemingSport) March 22, 2013
Klinsmann’s job seems secure through the Hex, but there could be changes if this goes drastically wrong. Communication and tactics are two areas that were brought up this week. We have seen many different starting lineups and substitutions that were head scratchers during the umlaut’s tenure.
Bayern writer Susie Schaaf says this should not be a surprise. Bayern Munich fans were holding up signs that said “Klinsmann RAUS” in April 2009. This translates to Klinsmann Out and the displeasure was voiced not even a year into his tenure. The mediation and yoga was not a good combination for the brass at Saebener Strasse and Klinsmann became a very “expensive mistake.”
With Mexico on the horizon and the coach labeling the match with Costa Rica a must win many are looking ahead. There are a lot of what if type questions being tossed about by anyone invested in the nation’s soccer program. Steven Goff says last night’s pep rally came at just the right time given all the turmoil. He reminds us that Klinsmann has not delivered on his promise of producing an entertaining team, although they know how to eat right. He will give us the 24th different lineup this evening with the pressure mounting.
Of course, the talk of Landon Donovan’s absence doesn’t go away either. Fans and media alike continue to evoke the name of the midfielder as though they are standing in a mirror and hope he will appear. His legacy, that is now surrounded by a fog, creates even more pressure on Graham Zusi or Sacha Kljestan as they are asked to replace him.
All of this means that the level of anxiety may be at an all time high. This could mean that there is more attention in general, which is a good thing. However, it would be good to take the next couple hours to relax and take a nap. Your heart rate will rise again in a few hours. A win tonight puts a lot of this in the past and will at least allow you to breathe easier for a day.
Football/soccer can take over your psyche. We know. Schaaf reminds us of a quote from Liverpool legend Bill Shankly.
Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very
disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more
important than that.