Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Klinsmann is learning on the fly

Jurgen Klinsmann will not be easing into the US national team coaching job. Klinsmann’s debut will be against Mexico in Philadelphia tomorrow, less than two weeks after replacing Bob Bradley.

Klinsmann has acted fast. The team was named last Thursday, and Klinsmann has had to modify the roster along the way, making significant changes to a team that lost to Mexico in the Gold Cup final June 25.

The addition of Mexico-based DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Edgar Castillo (America), Michael Orozco Fiscal (San Luis), and Jose Torres (Pachuca) indicates Klinsmann will be emphasizing quickness and skillful play.

Beasley, 29, has been impressive during his first season in Mexico after performing for four teams in four countries since leaving the Chicago Fire in 2004. Torres was included on the team under Bradley last year, but received little playing time during the World Cup and even less since.

Klinsmann’s choices are limited, partly because of the timing of the match, but most of the starters from the Gold Cup are available.

Right back Tim Chandler (FC Nurnberg) will remain in Germany in an attempt to retain his starting position. Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar) and Clint Dempsey (Fulham) are not with the team now but certainly will be when it visits Belgium Sept. 6.

Klinsmann will keep the foundation of the team, making only subtle changes. This will be his policy in setting standards for the overall US Soccer Federation program.

After being introduced as coach Aug. 1, Klinsmann said: “I don’t have the intention to change things. It’s amazing, a lot of good stuff is already happening, the introduction of the academy programs. We are going to discuss all the different topics and make the right decisions to strengthen it and improve it at every different age level.’’

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