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Sporting News Article Reveals U.S. Dissension

Brian Straus' investigative piece quotes numerous unnamed sources who claim that Jurgen Klinsmann lacks tactical acumen and basic managerial skills. It's a must read for U.S. soccer fans.
BY John Godfrey Posted
March 19, 2013
5:37 PM
WITH THE HEAT already building on an under-performing United States men's soccer team and doubts creeping in about Jurgen Klinsmann's ability to lead the team to the 2014 World Cup, Sporting News reporter Brian Straus just dumped a few gallons of gasoline on the fire.

His long investigative piece quoted multiple unnamed sources from within the team who claim that Klinsmann doesn't adequately prepare players for games, focuses too much on off-the-field matters, and lacks tactical understanding.

One anonymous source called the German-American coach "scatterbrained."

All told, Straus spoke to 22 individuals connected with the team and 11 current U.S. national team players. The practice of using unnamed sources is controversial, and many news organizations discourage building entire pieces around quotes that sources do not claim as their own. That said, it's a devastating article that truly makes it seem like Klinsmann is out of his depth.

Many of the comments echo Philip Lahm's criticism of Klinsmann in his 2011 book, The Fine Difference: How to Become a Top Player Today: “We practiced little more than fitness (at Bayern)," Lahm wrote. "Tactical things were neglected. The players had to get together before (games) to discuss how we wanted to play. After six or eight weeks, all the players knew it wouldn't work with Klinsmann. The rest of the season was damage limitation."

Straus also wrote about Jermaine Jones' outsize influence among the other German-American players on the squad, and quoted several who seemed to resent the prominence of foreign-born players.

“It’s like they’re here and they enjoy it, but they don’t care as much as you should to play for the national team,” said one player.

Sour grapes from people passed up on the depth chart? Legitimate gripes? Hard to say.

You really have to read the article. It's engrossing stuff.

Once you've consumed it, come back and share your feelings below. Does this make you more worried about the upcoming Hexagonal matches? Or is this all just a tempest in a teapot? We want to hear your take.

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