So much has happened in Jurgen Klinsmann’s time in charge of the men’s national team, hasn’t it? Players have risen high and fallen hard – sometime the very same player! Jozy Altidore and Brek Shea, for instance.
The fall and rise of Landon Donovan during Klinsmann’s time could be the next compelling Showtime drama.
During the affable German’s time in charge, the whole program teetered on the brink (depending on how deep you believe the fissures of February and March were) and then rallied spectacularly (Can we talk about that 12-game winning streak?).
There have been famous wins (victories at Mexico, at Italy spring immediately to mind), some beautifully surreal scenes (the Snow Clasico, of course) and the big hammer of accomplishment, qualifying for the World Cup with a full two games to spare.
There have also been moments worth of self-examination (losses in Jamaica last year and Honduras this year) and some uncomfortable times (moving on from the Carlos Bocanegra era, and Altidore’s eventually useful benching, for instance). The fusillades of media criticism were arriving in force for a while, mostly attached to stylistic concerns: The high pressure and pacey tiki taka may have trotted here and there, but never quite seemed to take hold and run completely free at full stride.
The point today is this …
How is it possible that all of this has happened in just a little over two years? But this is, for the record, the anniversary of Klinsmann’s first win. On this date waaaaay back in 2011, a 1-0 result against Honduras at Miami’s Sun Life Stadium became the first of 25 wins under the current U.S. manager.
Here is a quick rundown from U.S. Soccer on what has been accomplished in the interim, in the 24 months since Klinsmann got his debut victory as U.S. manager.
Leicester City host Crystal Palace on Saturday at the King Power Stadium (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET, NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) with both teams in fine form recently.
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Claude Puel has led Leicester to four consecutive wins and the Foxes have surged up the standings since he took charge in October with Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy in fine form.
Palace are unbeaten in six games, winning twice, as Roy Hodgson has turned them into an incredibly tough team to beat.
In team news Leicester bring in Demarai Gray for Shinji Okazaki despite the Japanese international scoring twice in the win over Southampton in midweek.
Palace bring in Martin Kelly and James McArthur for Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Luka Milivojevic.
“He’s a wonderful person. He’s got lots of titles, so maybe he can just leave this one to us.”
That’s Gremio youngster Luan after being told Real Madrid star and countryman Marcelo said he has a huge future in the game.
Luan and his teammates could make a lot more noise with a win in Saturday’s Club World Cup final against Real.
[ MORE: Galaxy to acquire Bingham? ]
Gremio edged Pachuca in extra time of its semifinal after Real came back to beat Al Jazira, and now hopes to become just the second non-European club to win the Club World Cup since 2007.
Brazilian clubs won the first three CWCs between 2000-06, but Corinthians claimed the lone Brazilian title since when it beat Chelsea in 2012.
Spanish clubs have won the last three finals, with Real sandwiching two around Barca’s 2015 win over River Plate.
The 24-year-old Luan won Olympic gold with Brazil in 2016, and has two caps with the national team.
They seemed like hits at the time, but some significant summer transfer buys are are struggling in the Premier League.
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Whereas Mohamed Salah, Nemanja Matic, and Alvaro Morata have been solid pickups, and even lesser moves like Kurt Zouma to Stoke and Grzegorz Krychowiak to West Brom have hit the spot, some purchases just have not panned out at their new clubs.
Some aren’t getting playing time, while others aren’t hitting their stride, but here are some moves which just haven’t paid off (yet).
Andre Gray, Watford — The striker has two goals and two assists, but has had problems keeping hold of the ball and has the same amount of goals as defender Daryl Janmaat and midfielder Will Hughes despite playing about 300 percent of their minutes.
Marko Arnautovic, West Ham — The ex-Stoke player was a menace in a midweek draw against Arsenal, but Arnautovic has managed just one goal for the Irons this season. That’s equal to his amount of red cards.
Renato Sanches and Roque Mesa, Swansea City — Sanches hasn’t been able to get into the squad despite being one of the more talked about loans of the summer; Mesa may be coming around in recent weeks, but was an unused sub or not in the squad in 10 of Swans’ first 13.
Jese, Stoke City – The Real Madrid attacker was almost certain to take time to adjust to the Premier League, but his match-winner against Arsenal on Opening Day remains his lone marker.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Liverpool — His deadline day move to join Liverpool, supposedly to play centrally, seemed a head-scratcher. He’s only recently seen consistent minutes in a more central role despite Liverpool having loads of problems there. Maybe that’s on Jurgen Klopp, but we’re still scratching our heads.
The LA Galaxy may be turning to its Cali Clasico rival for a new goalkeeper.
Reportedly denied in its pursuit of longtime Vancouver backstop David Ousted, the Galaxy are said to be close to scooping up thrice-capped USMNT keeper David Bingham from San Jose, according to ESPN.
[ MORE: LAFC close to signing third DP ]
The deal would reportedly cost LA between $200,000 and $250,000 in TAM.
Bingham, 28, lost his starting gig to Clemson product Andrew Tarbell this season, and the latter looks intent on keeping the position.
The Galaxy have not had a long-term answer in goal since Jaime Penedo left the club in 2015 (though 24-year-old Jon Kempin showed some very good things last season). Bingham would be a fine addition for a Galaxy team that hemorrhaged the second-most goals in MLS.