USA v Germany: Group G - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

Jurgen Klinsmann looks to boost youth ranks ahead of 2015 Gold Cup


United States Men’s National Team coach Jurgen Klinsmann said that following his side’s bounce out of the 2014 World Cup he will now turn to youth in preparation for next year’s Gold Cup.

Klinsmann explained that he will seek to identify new players through discussions with coaches of the U.S. youth squads.

“This transition year coming up is definitely the opportunity to bring a lot of young players through the ranks and see what they are capable to do,” Klinsmann said in a World Cup farewell conference.

He was quick to note, however, that unearthing youth did not necessarily mean the end of the road for field players in their thirties like Clint Dempsey, Kyle Beckerman, Jermaine Jones and DaMarcus Beasley.

There is no ‘thank you and bye’ it is always defined by performance what you bring to the table. I think a good thing about going into the next year is that we have the opportunity to see a lot of young players, coming into our platform in the senior team. We can give them the time to show where they are at right now.

The experienced players, or older players, we can tell them now for the next couple of months, play in your club environment. We know you inside-out anyway, we know what you bring to the table. Maybe there is the time now with the next couple of friendlies that are coming up and over the next year, (to) see the young players grow and see how far they can make it.

Given Klinsmann’s track record, the comments should come as little surprise as one of the German’s main missions since assuming the helm has been to identify new talent. And now, with the 2014 World Cup breakouts of 20-year-old DeAndre Yedlin and 19-year-old Julian Green, it’s only natural that the coach will look to add greater youth depth in preparation for the future.

Gearing up for next summer’s Gold Cup, Klinsmann added: “We have to start implementing all those elements with our Under-17, Under-18, Under-20 and the Under-21 team which will be our Olympic team. That is the next generation that is going to come in – the more we get the message to those kids, the more we will benefit in a couple of years from now”.

Everton’s John Stones out of England squad with injury

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 12: John Stones of Everton clears during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Chelsea at Goodison Park on September 12, 2015 in Liverpool, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
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John Stones has been ruled out of England’s upcoming EURO qualifiers after suffering a knee injury while playing for Everton.

The 21-year-old center-back has missed Everton’s last two Premier League matches, and was unable to recover in time for England’s qualifiers this weekend.

Manager Roy Hodgson has called in Tottenham’s Andros Townsend and Kyle Walker as replacements for the absent Stones.

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England has already qualified for EURO 2016 with a perfect record in Group E, winning all eight of their matches. With upcoming games against Estonia and Lithuania, Hodgson has said he will experiment a bit with some new players, which lessens the impact of Stones’ injury.

Despite the match being meaningless in terms of a result, players will still be eager to impress the manager in an effort to lock up a spot on the final roster for the tournament in June.

Manchester United’s Luke Shaw is out for an extended period of time after breaking his leg in the Champions League, while Everton’s Leighton Baines hasn’t played since August after undergoing ankle surgery.

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Southampton’s Ryan Bertrand has been recalled to the side, and said he will try to grab the left-back position “by the scruff of the neck.”

Liverpool’s Danny Ings was given his first call-up and Swansea City’s Jonjo Shelvey returns to the fold, although both players missed training with injuries and their status moving forward is uncertain.

Landon Donovan: Klinsmann should be fired if USMNT loses to Mexico

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 04: Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann of the United States looks on before playing Peru during an international friendly at RFK Stadium on September 4, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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Landon Donovan and Jurgen Klinsmann haven’t had the rosiest of relationships.

Since being left off of the 2014 World Cup roster and retiring from the game, Donovan has often been critical of Klinsmann and his tenure with the USMNT.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage ]

Ahead of Saturday’s CONCACAF playoff match against Mexico, Donovan said he believes Klinsmann should be fired if the United States loses.

Speaking to ESPN FC:

Around the world, if a player plays poorly and a player has a bad string of results, they get dropped from the team.

Jurgen said many times he wants our players to feel pressure — so if they lose a game they can’t go to the grocery store the next day. If they lose a game, they are getting hammered in the press.

Well, the same holds true for the coach, and so we had a very poor summer with bad results in the Gold Cup. The last game against Brazil was probably the worst game I’ve seen them play under Jurgen.

The reality is that now, anywhere else in the world, if this coach had those results, and they lose this game against Mexico, they’d be fired.

I think if Jurgen wants to hold all the players to that standard, then he has to be held to that standard too.

Heading into the Gold Cup this summer on the heels of some great wins over the Netherlands and Germany, the United States’ performance was wildly disappointing, losing in the semifinals to Jamaica and finishing in fourth place.

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President of U.S. Soccer Sunil Gulati has shown great faith in Klinsmann, giving him a contract until 2018 as both manager and technical director of the program. However, pressure has been building after a string of poor results.

For Klinsmann, this is arguably his biggest match in charge of the USMNT. Not only does it have implications for the Confederations Cup in 2017, but it is also against Mexico, which always puts added pressure on a manager. If the U.S. loses, more people than Donovan will be calling for a change.