This piece is courtesy of Matt Swift @MattSwiftness
Well people, all hell has broken loose in the world of American Soccer (only a little bit of hell, mind you).
Those of you who love the game and pay attention know exactly what I’m talking about. Jurgen Klinsmann announced his 24 man roster Monday to an uproar of complaints and questions. I myself am flabbergasted (been wanting to use that word for awhile).
There were two players that Jurgen has called up that I have serious questions about and there were two others left off that leave me completely stunned.
Let’s begin with the two startling choices Jurgen has brought into the fold: Alan Gordon and Eddie Johnson. Eddie Johnson I guess seems like a pleasant guy. That’s all I can really say about him that would be remotely nice. Next is Alan Gordon: Gordon plays for the San Jose Earthquake and has 13 goals this season with 7 assists. That is not too shabby; I will say that…however, there is a guy that just so happens to play on that SAME EXACT TEAM as Gordon, that was left off the US roster, yet again. His name is Chris Wondolowski and he has racked up 26 goals and 6 assists thus far (he also leads the MLS in scoring by the way and has a shot at breaking the scoring record this season).
So, to me, it’s like Jurgen having the chance to bring in Michael Jordan, but for some ungodly reason he goes with Scottie Pippen…wait…not even…more like Bill Cartwright, instead.
Another player that Jurgen has left off this go round is Jozy Altidore whose absence is considered, by most, to be the biggest snub. Altidore has his moments I will admit. At times, he can be brilliant and, at others, he seems despondent on the pitch.
However, at the moment, Altidore is the joint top scorer in the Netherlands’ Eredivisie with his club side AZ Alkmaar and one would think that a U.S. side that has been struggling to score goals (and who will need goals) would want as many of its top guns as possible, especially if they are hot. But, Klinsmann has other ideas I suppose (like perhaps repaying the U.S. for World War 2 by ruining our team).
On Monday’s conference call with reporters, Jurgen thought it wise to go ahead and throw Altidore completely under the bus and then run him over a few times just for good measure. Klinsmann said this of Jozy; “I communicated with Jozy that I was not happy about his latest performances with us, maybe over the last 14 months, Jozy can do much, much better. The reason why he’s not coming in is mainly about his performances at Jamaica and at home, also in training, also certain things that went on through the May-June camp. So we decided to bring in Eddie Johnson and Alan Gordon and give them a chance to show they’ve improved. They’re both doing really well in MLS now.”
Hey Jurgen, you know who else is doing really well in MLS ? Chris Wondolowski. Also, to “show they have improved”? Are you freaking serious Jurgen? We are not in the 4th grade and we are certainly not in a place to bring in mediocre players to see if they have “improved”. We need to win these next two qualifiers and the way to do that is to score goals. But, your move is to leave off the MLS leading scorer and then leave off a guy who is tied for the scoring lead in the Dutch league?
Your strategy is to bring in two guys that in my humble opinion are mediocre at best? Eddie Johnson by the way, who has been off and on the US team since 2004, has a whopping 12 goals in 42 matches, but hey, here’s doing really well in the MLS “now”.
You know who else has been doing really well and not just “now” but for a few seasons, MLS’ leading scorer, Chris Wondolowski. This “strategy” makes no sense to me, then add that with the fact that Jurgen has persisted with bringing in Kyle Bekerman and Brek Shea (two players I loathe and feel shouldn’t even be in the player pool, let alone start or get valuable playing time) it makes me wonder if Jurgen has a clue at all.
Now, I know some folks are going to tell me to relax and to let the guy have a chance, but the truth of the matter is; I’m scared that he’s going to get his chance, and that he will run this team into the ground. His decisions thus far have been frightenly awful and who he considers quality players is simply mind boggling.
Don’t get things twisted here, in my heart I hope that I’m proven dead wrong. I hope that Eddie Johnson and Alan Gordon come in and have unbelievable games (if they play). I hope Jurgen leads us to the World Cup and I pray that we can elevate our status in the world of soccer by getting to the quarterfinals, semifinals….. or what the hell..the final in Brazil. Sadly, I just don’t think Jurgen Klinsmann is that coach to do so. Time will tell the tale but I’m apprehensive to say the least.
Follow Matt Swift on Twitter @MattSwiftness or visit his blog at drunkenloosecannon.com