Former US men’s national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann believes that they could have realistically reached the 2018 World Cup semi-finals.
The United States shockingly failed to qualify for the World Cup in Russia and this marked the first time in 32-years that they have failed to reach the event.
Klinsmann was fired following their slow start to qualifying in November 2016.
Following the firing of the German, Bruce Arena was appointed to guide the team to Russia. Arena is famous for having guided the Stars and Stripes to an impressive quarter-final finish during the 2002 World Cup in Korea/Japan. He could not save them this time around.
Klinsmann who has avoided the public eye since his sacking resurfaced last week. “I realistically saw a group growing into the World Cup 2018 that could go into a semi-final,” he told Yahoo Sports
The US’s failure to qualify for Russia proves that the game is not in a good state in their country. They should easily have qualified for the event especially as they play in the Concacaf region which is far less competitive than South American or Europe. The only teams in the region whom they can be excused for not winning against are Mexico and Costa Rica.
Perhaps Klinsmann is being too optimistic. Maybe it is a blessing in disguise that the US did not qualify. Judging by how they played in qualifying, it would have been hard to see them playing competitively during the World Cup and they could have tarnished the decent record which they have in World Cups during recent years.
If you are a US fan, however do not despair. Christian Pulisic who was one of the nation’s best players during World Cup qualifying despite still being very young, could be one of he world’s best players by the time the next World Cup starts. He has been linked with big clubs such as Tottenham and Liverpool due to his impressive form for Borussia Dortmund.
One of the reasons why the US failed to qualify for Russia was because they relied too much on older players such as Tim Howard, Clint Dempsey and DaMarcus Beasley.
They are unlikely to repeat this mistake again and with promising talents such as Pulisic, Tim Weah,Cameron Carter-Vickers and Weston McKennie coming through the ranks, the future of American soccer could be bright.