The United States find themselves in second place in 2014 World Cup qualifying with seven points, behind Costa Rica on goal difference. Four games have been played and there are still six games left to go. Under the guidance of Jurgen Klinsmann, the team seems to be improving by the game.
Most recently, the US traveled to Jamaica this past Friday night in a game that ended 2-1 in their favor. Let’s remember that veteran Landon Donovan is not even on the squad in addition to the fact that coach K has decided to take a gamble with Seattle wing back Brad Evans defending on the right.
Evans started as a player coming in off the bench for his MLS side, the Seattle Sounders. Now, he has been upped to the national side and after impressing in a friendly against Germany, Klinsmann decided to put his trust in him again in Jamaica. Well, his trust certainly paid off when he scored an injury time winner off of a Michael Bradley pass.
His job is not to score goals but to defend the wings and run up to assist the attacks from time to time in the final third. The fact that he defended brilliantly as well as scored the winner just proves that coach K knows how to scout out the best possible for each game. Of course, it was not like that at first, but after a year or so on board, his abilities as coach are being portrayed.
Besides Evans, another player that has recently restarted his scoring spree for his country is none other than striker Jozy Altidore. He hasn’t scored for his country in open play for over a year until he scored a volley against Germany over a week ago. On Friday, he scored the opener in Jamaica. The point is simple: Klinsmann still stuck with the player since he had a breakout season with Dutch club AZ Alkmaar. He finally found a way to carry over his form from club to the international level. If he stays hot, the team will stay hot.
It always takes time to get used to handling the reigns of a national team and it was so for Klinsmann, but now, his players trust him and vice versa … therefore, the team is slowly but surely climbing the ladder to a destination that is much better than anywhere they have been in recent times.