The United States lost their third straight match on home soil tonight, the first such losing streak since 1997.
Following an extra-time loss to Mexico on Saturday, the U.S. failed to compete in a friendly against Costa Rica, putting in another poor performance as the side continues to struggle.
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In his post match press conference, Jurgen Klinsmann said his team was still shaking off the loss against Mexico, and couldn’t recover in time for tonight’s game.
Yes, the United States’ match against Mexico went 120 minutes. Yes, it was a very tough game both physically and mentally. However, it’s time for Klinsmann to stop making excuses.
Of the starting XI against Costa Rica, only four started against Mexico. Of the six substitutes Klinsmann brought in today, only Bobby Wood played in the Mexico match, and for less than 25 minutes.
The problem isn’t that the U.S. lost tonight; it’s that they didn’t even show up. What Klinsmann needed to do was walk into his press conference and say, “We didn’t come to play tonight. We stunk. That can’t happen and we need to be better. It starts with me.”
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Top teams don’t dwell on past results. Top teams rebound quickly and back up poor performances with strong performances. When a top team would have bounced back, the United States fell flat.
Clearly the argument is, well, the United States isn’t a top team. But isn’t that what Klinsmann was brought in to do? To help develop the USMNT into a top team? The least they could do is act like one, and that starts with the manager.