Even After the Huge Loss, Why U.S. is Heading in the Right Direction
The biggest thing to take away from the performance of the United States national at this year's World Cup it that Jurgen Klinsmann definitely has the team heading in the right direction. While some huge names from this year's team will have probably seen their last World Cup appearance, the performances of the young players Klinsmann brought to the tournament shows that the future of futbol in the United States is bright.
The most likely star will be the 19-year old Julian Green, who got in against Belgium and with his first touch scored a goal. Green also had a few other moments in the game that shows why he is considered a key young player for Bayern Munich-- one of the premier European teams. Add 21-year old John Brooks-- who scored the game-winner over Ghana-- plus Aron Johansson, Timmy Chandler, Omar Gonzalez, Mix Diskerud, Alejandro Bedoya, and Max Besler. That is an extremely strong core of young, up-and-coming stars all still in their mid to early 20s.
We also can't forget Jozy Altidore, who is still only 26, and can be quite the scoring machine. Michael Bradley, also 26, is the future captain of the squad and has shown he has strong leadership abilities. While Tim Howard, at 35, may have played his final World Cup, the cupboard is not empty at goalkeeper. Brad Guzan is more than ready to take the reigns at goal and keep the strong American line at that position going.
With Klinsmann, this American selection has shown true grit and determination-- which is why they were never out of any game, and could have won all of them. Questions do remain as far whether players like Clint Dempsey or DeMarcus Beasley will return. One can also wonder if Klinsmann will ever try to bring Landon Donovan into the mix.
Klinsmann is building a program that will among the most fit and creative in the world. A program that will face anyone and face it head on. This selection will begin to see more and more success against even the best of squads in the world.
When most of the American and international media gave the U.S. no chance of getting out of the toughest group in the tournament, they prevailed and proved all of those people wrong. If not for the late goal by Portugal, they may have been the first team in the group to advance.
I now have no doubt that Klinsmann deserves the extension he received through the 2018 World Cup in Russia. I also have no doubt that Team USA will not only advance out of group play, but might make a run to semifinals-- with a definite advancement to the quarterfinals. The future is extremely bright for both the sport soccer and the United States Men's National Team.