COMMENTARY | The United States Men's National Team: All they do is win.
The unofficial end of the US Soccer summer was a mixed bag for the Americans. Winning on the road against a quality side such as Bosnia-Herzegovina provides a nice boost of confidence for certain players heading into upcoming World Cup Qualifiers, but a rally against a side that had at least somewhat phoned it in after entering halftime up 2-0 is no reason for any US Soccer fans to be dreaming of a magical run in Brazil next summer. Looking back, Wednesday's friendly was a decent summary of Team USA under head coach Jurgen Klinsman.
Some good, some bad, but ultimately a positive result.
Final Thoughts on the United States defeating Bosnia-Herzegovina: Cameron
One thing that was committed to memory in the opening 45 minutes of the contest was that Geoff Cameron is no longer a center back when playing against top-tier opponents. Cameron appeared almost unready for kickoff, and he lost Vedad Ibisevic on the play that resulted in the hosts burying their second goal of the half. He did settle into the game once Eddie Johnson brought the Americans to within one, but it must be pointed out that it was a very different contest in the final 35 minutes of play.
None of this is to suggest that Cameron has no spot in the senior side moving forward. Cameron is still a real option at right back. I also wouldn't mind him sliding into the US midfield for Jermaine Jones whenever Jones is banged up/on a yellow card suspension/out of favor. Cameron, who turned 28 years old this past July, will need to find significant playing time at Stoke City this season if he is to find himself wearing a US shirt in Brazil.
Final Thoughts on the United States defeating Bosnia-Herzegovina: Great debut
Forwards such as Herculez Gomez, Eddie Johnson and Terrence Boyd had better watch out. Aron Johannsson, who recently broke Iceland hearts, had about as good a debut as he could have had without finding the back of the net. Johannsson sparkled throughout his 30-minute shift, beating defenders while on the ball and getting two attempts (that were, unfortunately, for him hit directly to the 'keeper) on goal.
Sometimes in sports, keeping it simple is the way to go. The moment Wednesday's match changed was when Klinsmann changed the team's formation from a 4-5-1 to a 4-4-2. Nobody is suggesting that Jozy Altidore can't handle the striker role on his own. The idea of the tandem of Johannsson and Altidore wearing red, white and blue in meaningful matches down the road is one I'm a big fan of, and I'd expect to see it again well before the World Cup gets underway.
Final Thoughts on the United States defeating Bosnia-Herzegovina: The Klinsmann Effect
Fans and analysts alike can debate about how much a coach means to a national team until they are blue in the face. Here are the facts about the Klinsmann era following a historic summer for US Soccer:
Under Klinsmann, the United States beat Italy for the first time. That win came on the road.
Under Klinsmann, the United States earned first ever away win over Mexico.
Under Klinsmann, the previously mentioned Altidore has matched his national team form with his scintillating club form.
Under Klinsmann, the United States is on pace to win its WCQ group.
Under Klinsmann, the United States has currently won 12 straight matches.
The US players are clearly buying into the way that Klinsmann is assembling his squads, selecting his first-choice lineups, and also how he is handling substitutes and formation changes during matches. It was less than a year ago that plenty of American supporters were questioning whether or not Klinsmann would have a job by the start of 2014. If we're going to begin to criticize the US boss whenever there is even a hint of trouble on the horizon, then all had better be prepared to praise Klinsmann now that he has clearly gotten plenty right.
I'd say he's earned it.
For more: Jozy shines again.
Zac has been covering the USMNT, Holland, Tottenham Hotspur, New York Red Bulls, Major League Soccer and other soccer leagues for Yahoo! Sports since 2010.
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