Just a day before a huge international tournament is about to kick off, a very revealing Q&A with United States manager Jurgen Klinsmann was published by The Wall Street Journal. Make sure to check that out if you haven't already. The interview covers many topics, but the most noticeable tone came from his views on the next generation of the USMNT.
When asked how the youth players in the program are coming along, Klinsmann went into a long tirade about their lack of success at the pro level and why they are struggling.
"We hope that some would have done a lot better, we hope that some of the younger ones would have made stronger players in their club teams. We have too many talents sitting on benches in every league. They are sitting on benches in Mexico, in European leagues, in MLS teams. A lot of our younger players struggle to understand that it takes a lot more work and determination and aggressiveness to really make it to become a consistent, driven professional."
He went on to talk about individual players and their lack of development. Emerson Hyndman was even mentioned and Jurgen says he "disappeared" from the national team scene since his first cap against the Czech Republic in 2014. This seems like a very harsh criticism as Hyndman has been getting consistent minutes at Fulham other than being frozen out by the club for refusing to sign a contract.
He went on to single out several other players as well:
What happened to the Bill Hamids, the Sean Johnsons, the [Brek] Sheas, the Mix Diskeruds? You go through and make your own judgment. You go through it and we get back to our old thing where we say, ‘Hey guys, talent is only half of it.'
It's clear that the upcoming crop of talent isn't loaded with successful professionals, but there are some who have broken through and are starting consistently like Jordan Morris. Instead of rewarding Morris for his goal scoring form with a Copa America roster spot, he chose to leave him at home.
It just seems like Klinsmann has no idea what he wants and players can't win no matter what they do. Go to Europe and fight for a spot? You're not playing enough minutes. Come to MLS and score goals as a 22-year-old? You should've gone to Europe!
Klinsmann has a few gripes with certain players, but he's also not helping matters either by not rewarding the young players who have done all he's asked.