Jurgen Klinsmann is a worried man.
Despite seeing his side rally from a goal down to beat Peru 2-1 in Washington D.C. last Friday, Klinsmann is thinking more long-term.
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Speaking to ESPN ahead of the clash with Brazil at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday, the head coach of the U.S. national team revealed he is concerned about the lack of development of young attacking players from the USA.
“What I’m worried in the longer run is to find strikers that on a international level give you a goal every second game at least. This is something where we have problems,” Klinsmann said. “We have problems to develop a young generation of strikers consistently scoring — in their club teams and then coming into the national team, in the national team environment.
“And this is why it’s so important to have a healthy Clint Dempsey then being back with us against Mexico and that’s why we leave him out right now because he’s not 100 percent. And why it is important to have 100 percent Jozy Altidore being fit, being positive and being full of confidence.”
When you look around the current U.S. squad, only Altidore and Gyasi Zardes play in Major League Soccer, while young Jordan Morris is at Stanford University.
These comments from Klinsmann come off the back of ProSoccerTalk sitting down with his assistant coach and the head coach of the U.S. U-23 Olympic team, Andi Herzog, who also spoke about the “risky” stockpiling of foreign Designated Players in the attacking areas of the pitch.
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“It is good if you bring in a lot of superstars like Kaka and all these guys, but most of time they play in key positions and how do you want to give a young forward in MLS a chance to improve and get starting time if the best players are in those positions?” Herzog said. “On one side it’s good to bring the superstars into the league and on the other side, at least for the national team, it is a little bit risky, because if they play in the key positions and the young talented players aren’t able to play in positions like striker or the No. 10 role, then in a couple of years we will not have enough players in those positions. The pool of players for the U.S. will have no experience playing in this positions. It is a little bit of a dangerous situation which a couple of nations in Europe have had problems with already.”
So, with young strikers like Rubio Rubin (who we spoke to in-depth, here), Morris, Julian Green, Zardes, Alonso Hernandez, Maki Tall, Mario Rodriguez and Jerome Keisewetter around, are any of those guys ready to step in and deliver for the U.S. in the coming years?