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Jurgen Klinsmann wonders if 17-year-old Christian Pulisic would've played in MLS

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Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Ahead of the United States men's national team's most important match in a year, Jurgen Klinsmann has come out with some interesting comments pertaining to MLS and young prospects.

It's no secret that Klinsmann doesn't always agree with the way MLS does things, and vice versa. That rocky relationship doesn't appear to be on the road to recovery anytime soon. While discussing the topic of developing young players between the ages of 18-23, the USA manager inevitably brought up 17-year-old Christian Pulisic. While we all know that he's broken through with Borussia Dortmund, Klinsmann, speaking with reporters on Friday, wonders if the young star would've gotten the same opportunity in America's top flight.

"We struggle traditionally with our 18-23-year-old generation," Klinsmann said a day before the U.S. was scheduled to meet Paraguay in their final group stage game.

"Who would have given Christian Pulisic a chance here [in MLS] as a 17-year-old to play?"

He is understandably frustrated that MLS doesn't make it a priority to give young players meaningful minutes in high-pressure situations. His line of thinking seems to be 'If it works for Borussia Dortmund why doesn't MLS do it?'

Klinsmann went on to question the label of being a "young player" in the United States.

"Here, in the U.S. you call a younger player a rookie at the age of 22. At 22 in Europe, if you're not broken through yet, you're done. They move you down to third or fourth level.

"A lot of pieces fit into that question," Klinsmann continued. "But in general you have to give them more belief, you've got to give them more opportunities, you've got to let them make mistakes."

MLS hasn't been a total disaster in developing young players and Klinsmann acknowledged that while pointing out DeAndre Yedlin as a success story.

"I think DeAndre [Yedlin] is an exception," Klinsmann said. "John Brooks fought his way through now, but we need more.

"We need to give them more support," he added. "They also have to help themselves more. But if you don't give younger players a chance, how do you want them to break through?"

Klinsmann continues searching for answers on the player development front while also being highly critical of MLS and their philosophies. This is just another example of the disconnect between league and national team that have been brought to light under the German's time as manager.

Is Jurgen justified in his criticism of MLS? Or is he just looking to blame someone for a lack of young talent?