Improving the US National Team: Homecooking and Patience

Jurgen-Klinsman-usmnt-coach-soccer

Courtesy: MLSSoccer.com

US National Team Coach and Technical Director Jurgen Klinsmann has taken on the role of punching bag since July. It has been the rockiest stretch of his tenure so far, following a fourth-place finish in the 2015 CONACAF Gold Cup, a crucial loss to Honduras by the U-23s in Olympic soccer qualifying, and then last Saturday’s defeat to Mexico for a berth in the 2017 Confederations Cup. One of Klinsmann’s former players, Landon Donovan, suggested that this degree of failure would cost a coach his job in another country.
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Does Klinsman Have Anything to Do With the USMNT Loss to Mexico?

United States’ Fabian Johnson (23) is challenged by Mexico’s Oribe Peralta during the CONCACAF Cup match (via BostonHerald.com)

 Fabian Johnson challenged by Oribe Peralta during USMNT vs Mexico match Saturday (via BostonHerald.com)

After the U.S. did not make the Gold Cup final earlier this year, it was clear that Jurgen Klinsman had been given a longer leash than previous National Team coaches like Bob Bradley and Bruce Arena. Now, after the US loss to Mexico on Saturday night and their match against Costa Rica tonight, we ask the OTF Staff: What changes (if any) need to be made to improve the United States Men’s National Team?
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“Dos a Cero”, Remember the Alamo, But Don’t Forget Your Raincoat

USA-Mexico-in-Columbus

(via MLS.com)

True to the mission statement of OTF, my recap of last night’s United States vs. Mexico match will be a mix of analysis, insight and fluff.  I’ll mix it up by starting with some insight, followed by some fluff and a snippet of analysis.

Insight:  Is a “Friendly” Ever Friendly?

The term “friendly” is a misnomer of sorts when the term involves United State vs. Mexico.  Regardless of where played or what’s at stake, a “friendly” match between the US and Mexico can be anything but friendly. As the highlights of the pre-game show demonstrated, shoving matches and stare downs are common place…

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@Jvlaha’s Monday Musings, Episode 1

There’s a new editor in charge of “On The Fire”, and with that, I’ve decided to step up and write a new column. Without further ado, here is the first episode of “Vlaha’s Monday Musings”.  Today’s piece comes in four parts…

Part One, “The Empire Strikes Back”, #Schedulegate

The-empire-strikes-back-soccer

First stop on today’s installment is #Schedulegate. Fire fans are justifiably upset about recent schedule changes which apparently were going to happen whether or not the Front Office was going to go along with them.

Although I can’t say that the Fire was a team firing on all cylinders during the team’s 3-2 Ping-Pong victory against Toronto, the team looked vastly improved over recent games. As a result of this win, the Fire could have strutted into our scheduled games Foxborough Massachusetts (this Wednesday) and Montreal (this weekend) with a bit of a “we can do this” swagger…

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CONCACAF Champions League 2014-15: Quarterfinals – Saprissa vs America & Alajuelense vs DC United – 1st Leg Round-Up

Welcome to the (joint) top of the CCL 2014-15 scoring chart, Oribe Peralta (100x100fan.mx)

Welcome to the (joint) top of the CCL 2014-15 scoring chart, Oribe Peralta (100x100fan.mx)

OTF’s Austin Fido recaps the first legs of the second two quarterfinals of CCL 2014-15… Continue reading

CONCACAF Champions League 2014-15: Quarterfinals – Olimpia vs Herediano & Pachuca vs Montreal Impact – 1st Leg Round-Up

Ariel Nahuelpan's fifth goal of CCL 2014-15 puts him joint-top of the Golden Boot race (futbolizados.com)

Ariel Nahuelpan’s fifth goal of CCL 2014-15 puts him joint-top of the Golden Boot race (futbolizados.com)

OTF’s Austin Fido recaps the first two quarterfinals of CCL 2014-15… Continue reading

Brazil 2014: The World Cups of CONCACAF

Uruguay 1930 semifinalist: USMNT (Photo: firsttouchonline.com)

Uruguay 1930 semifinalist: USMNT (Photo: firsttouchonline.com)

Four wins from the first seven matches played at Brazil 2014 has created a lot of buzz for CONCACAF. Best ever tournament for the region? We don’t know yet. While we wait, Austin Fido brings a little history of CONCACAF performances at the World Cup… Continue reading

2016 Copa America: Stadiums Hosting Copa Centenario

So where exactly are we going to play this thing? (Photo: excelsior.com.mx)

So where exactly are we going to play this thing? (Photo: excelsior.com.mx)

OTF’s Joe Maskivish wrote a proposal for 12 venues that should host CONMEBOL and CONCACAF.  Now that 10 of the 12 have been announced he discusses the best places for Copa America Centenario for competitors and the future of soccer in the USA. Continue reading