031913_isi_klinsmannjurgen_usmntmj020513049 Michael Janosz/isiphotos.com
Analysis

Careless Whispers: A Vexing USMNT Statement

Should the U.S. men's soccer team focus on what it is already good at, and be content with that? Or should it evolve? An anonymous quote in a Sporting News article begs for further discussion.

BY John Godfrey Posted
March 19, 2013
8:57 PM
If you haven't read Brian Straus' ground-shaking article about Jurgen Klinsmann—a thorough thrashing if there ever was one—stop right now and read it.

Seriously. Leave this site and go to that site. Now.

For the rest of you, let's look at this quote, from one of the many players who chose to remain nameless in Straus' piece.

“They want us to play the beautiful game, but we’re not a technical team like the Germans. We’re not Spain or Brazil,” the player said. “What we’re good at is we work hard, we fight and we compete. We have great athletes and we’re a good counterattacking team. Maybe we need to go back to what we’re good at.”

The "they" is U.S. soccer management—Jurgen Klinsmann and, presumably, Martin Vasquez.

The nameless soul who uttered these words: a U.S. national team player.

I read this. And then I re-read this. And then I re-read this again.

Vexing.

It vexed me because it revealed an unhealthy humility, a close-mindedness, a lack of ambition that could prevent the U.S. from moving forward as a soccer nation. A "we're not worthy" mentality that may work in Wayne's World but it doesn't cut it on the international soccer stage. It's a cop out. It's an ambition killer.

Is getting through to the quarterfinals occasionally good enough for America? Or should we be reaching higher?

I think we should be reaching higher.

What do YOU think?

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