by PATRICK MacDONALD
Blow it up! Blow the whole damn thing up!
We’ve just witnessed the most embarrassing two days of hexagonal play in a long time for the United States Men’s National Team. For two straight matches, Jurgen Klinsmann failed to field the best lineup available, and it showed. The players certainly don’t get a pass, and many will potentially have to answer to a new head coach. But at the core of this loss, Klinsmann has failed them. While it was always a longshot to win in Costa Rica, they never should have been in a zero point hole to begin with. And in the end? It is not a shocker to see them quit on a coach who regularly veers his tactical approach towards madness.
Onto the ratings.
Brad Guzan – GK: 3
He was hung out to dry, but still, 4 goals.
Tim Chandler – RB: 2
Hopefully this is the last time we ever have to write his name. And the way this went for Klinsmann, that may just be the case.
Omar Gonzalez – CB: 3
A terrible night. Failed to close down on the opener — and it was all downhill from there.
John Brooks – CB: 2
Just an awful night for the hero of the Copa America. Really seemed to miss Cameron alongside him and had trouble with the field.
Matt Besler – LB: 3
Had trouble keeping up with the speedy Costa Rican wingers, which shouldn’t exactly be a shocker for a centerback playing the fullback slot.
Fabian Johnson – RM/LM: 4
Aside from a few nice free kicks, he really offered nothing tonight.
Jermaine Jones – CM: 3
A whole lot of wandering that led to nothing. Though, what do you expect from a 35-year-old only recently back from injury, playing two straight matches?
Michael Bradley – CM: 3
Poor passing, poor free kicks, just another abysmal night for the captain who has steadily declined under Jurgen Klinsmann.
Christian Pulisic – LM: 6
Some of the best attacking moments came at the feet of Borussia Dortmund youngster. Naturally, with the U.S. down by two, he was the first player subbed off.
Bobby Wood – F: 5
Had a few bright moments, chasing down balls, and had a nice cross that narrowly missed an onrushing Pulisic.
Jozy Altidore – F: 3
Didn’t produce much at all and completely lost his composure towards the end.
Lynden Gooch – RM: 3
Didn’t make a difference, and after the dumpster fire turned into a four alarm conflagration, there was nothing he could do.
Sacha Kljestan – CM: 3
Nothing to do after coming on way too late.
Graham Zusi – LM: 3
See the other subs, too little too late.
Jurgen Klinsmann – Coach: 1
Jurgen Klinsmann failed to put his squad in position to win on Friday night. So did he add attackers like Sacha Kljestan? Did he bench Besler in favor of a true wingback? Did he bench the always underwhelming Tim Chandler in favor of a solid, if not spectacular, DeAndre Yedlin?
No, on all accounts. He trotted out the exact same lineup and merely shifted the formation.
This is a man, who when he seems to have figured out the best lineup, blows it all up for reasons beyond any explanation. The players were awful tonight — and it shouldn’t shock anyone that they flat out quit on Klinsmann.
Sunil Gulati, are you watching?