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Tuesday’s win does erase USMNT’s problems

The USMNT saved their World Cup hopes with a win over Guatemala on Tuesday, but that doesn't mean there are not problems that need to be fixed.

The USMNT saved their World Cup hopes with a win over Guatemala on Tuesday, but that doesn’t mean there are not problems that need to be fixed.

With a 4-0 shellacking of Guatemala on Tuesday night, the US men’s national soccer team has kept their World Cup hopes alive. But just hours after the senior team won, the U-23 team lost 2-1 to Colombia and failed to qualify for the Olympics. It’s the second-straight games that the youth team has failed to qualify for.

The lack of success of the U-23 team, combined with the struggles of the senior team, it is clear that US soccer needs to start looking a different direction, because what is happening right now is now working.

Jurgen Klinsmann has set US soccer back. The squad may have gotten out of the ‘Group of Death’ at the last World Cup, but they have struggled to get there and only seem to be moving backward this year. His team failed to win the CONCACAF Gold Cup and thus lost a spot in the Confederations Cup, which is a tremendous opportunity to prepare for the World Cup. While they are still alive and likely to make the final round of qualifying, it is not unreasonable to expect more struggles in the next round of qualifying.

But why should we be surprised that this senior team is not playing well. After all, four years ago the U-23 team failed to make the Olympics and now it is time for those guys, who haven’t been that good, to play for the senior squard. In four years from now we’ll be looking at a senior squad made up of two bad youth classes.

Klinsmann does not directly hire the manager or coach the team directly, but US Soccer certainly takes his input and tries their best to get a person in place to run his system through the youth system. Tab Ramos failed to lead the U-20 team to the 2013 FIFA World Cup, but he was hired to manage the U-23 team for a while and is now an assistant on the senior team.

Now, the man who led a very disappointing youth squad was Andreas Herzog, who played with Klinsmann in Europe way back when, and was hired by Klinsmann as an assistant for the senior team before being given the job to run the U-23 team. He’s one of Klinsmann’s guys, and that system just does not work.

And it is not like they have no talent. Julian Green was Klinsmann’s hand-picked team. He has not been doing well. John Brooks was at the last World Cup, and he has not been playing well for the U-23 team. Gedion Zelalem is one of the elite youth players in the country, but was not able to help the team qualify.

Something just isn’t working for the U-23 team, just like something isn’t working with the senior team. Maybe that something is the system, the coaching staff and maybe it is time for a change.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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