Coming off a defeat to a Belgian side that had its way with the U.S., Americans have to wonder why they haven’t seen consistent improvement from their nation’s team.
The fact remains that the names Klinsmann has at his disposal are still adjusting to the European style of play after being implanted in the States. The lack of experience, especially in the back line, was surely a culprit for the big defeat to Belgium.
It’s important for Klinsmann to integrate the younger players to test them and gain a better understanding on if they’ll fit in to the future plans. But, with crucial World Cup Qualifiers coming up, can Klinsmann continue putting these types of lineups on the pitch and expect to qualify?
The U.S. should have no trouble qualifying for the World Cup. Even though the U.S. isn’t the most talented soccer nation in the world, the CONCACAF nations are not on the same level as the U.S. and Mexico. However, they’ve hardly been impressive thus far in qualifying matches, starting with a 1-1-1 record.
When watching the team play, you can tell they’re certainly doing their best to play to a more European flavor, but I think the U.S. is lacking the technical ability to be able to play that way. We saw Belgium play with full flair and flowing organically in their attacking half, while the U.S. was slow in its buildup and had a difficult time keeping possession.
It hasn’t been all bad for Klinsmann as the U.S. beat Italy for the first U.S. win on European soil in our history. That game was definitely played like a more vintage U.S. team though, with solid defending and the squad cautiously picking their spots on the attack.
The defense is going to have to improve quickly if the U.S. continue to play in this type of system, as turnovers of possession in the midfield will continue to be a problem as the players adjust to Klinsmann’s tactics. Going forward, the Klinsmann era still carries the hope of an improved style of play for the U.S., but it won’t come without its growing pains.