Has Jurgen Klinsmann established himself as a master of the reclamation project?
Is that on his list of secrets to success as the U.S. manager continues to make Sunil Gulati and U.S. Soccer look good for their continued pursuit of Klinsmann, even after rejection from a few years ago?
MLSSoccer.com writer Jonah Freedman says Klinsmann has handed a life line to more than just Brek Shea; he’s has breathed new life into the international careers of at least three other men whose careers had stalled at that level.
It was all there to see on Wednesday, as Shea, Michael Orozco Fiscal (pictured), Kyle Beckerman and Edgar Castillo all contributed mightily to the historic win over Mexico. Shea’s aggressive drive into the penalty area helped manufacture the goal that Orozco Fiscal finished. Beckerman did his thing in midfield and did it well.
Edgar Castillo, criticized heavily for past performances and presumably marginalized in the pool; he had his best night in the U.S. shirt Wednesday in Mexico City.
It’s really about a bigger sense of belief in and around the program. The coach is a positive guy. So for the players, that creates a comfortable environment that facilitates positive experiences. Players can attack opportunities with a can-do mindset.
The players aren’t stupid. They still feel the pressure and understand that flagging performance will eventually strip away opportunities. But when they come into camp now, regardless of effectiveness in past outings, Klinsmann works hard to remind the athletes they were called in for a reason.
Now that doesn’t mean Castillo, Orozco Fiscal and possibly others will be called into the next camp. Others remain ahead on the depth chart. Still, it does open the possibilities – and it creates a little more competition within the player pool. In the end, that’s what Klinsmann most desires, for each American player to push himself, to extend beyond their comfort zones and become a player that he simply cannot afford keep out of the rotation.