With three minutes left in regulation in the game against Honduras on Wednesday night, USA MNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann was ejected from the game for angry gestures at the official for a no call and then throwing the ball back to him or in the words of the CONCACAF disciplinary committee, “throwing the ball in a violent manner”. Here’s the whole quote:
“Mr. Klinsmann was ejected from the technical area for showing dissent towards the referee by throwing the ball in a violent manner during the CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinal match against Honduras on July 24, 2013, in Arlington, Texas, USA.”
The same coach who couldn’t seem to field a team that could find the back of the net. The same coach who watched his team lose at Jamaica and almost draw at Antigua and Barbuda. The same coach that left Landon Donovan, the leading US men’s goal scorer, at home on the couch The same team that tied at home against Canada (Canada finished in the bottom of their Gold Cup group by the way) and then lost at Honduras. However, he found a way to turn it around. 2012 wasn’t as bad as 2011, but we still often struggled to score. Then the blizzard game happened. Then the USA earned a 0-0 draw at Mexico…AT MEXICO! Then they started winning. They got a late goal at Jamaica, they pounced on Panama and Honduras, and they pretty much steamed right through the Gold Cup. Side note…the USA won today 1-0 over Panama. It’s taken a while for the team to take hold of Klinsmann’s style and game plan but it would seem they have finally got it down. That was ever so evident today, as the US continued to press even late in the game despite having the 1-0 lead. They wanted to bury Panama (and they almost did) not just sit back and defend. Go back to the 2011 Gold Cup where the US jumped out to a 2-0 lead over Mexico and tell me how well that defending game plan worked (US lost 4-2). We look like an actual soccer team. We look strong, we look tough, and we look competitive; and we’ve got a huge, crazy, and loud fan base. Oh, and I forgot to mention, the US sits atop the Hex with 13 points with only four games left. This is a different team led by a knowledgeable and charismatic coach. Don’t believe see his reaction to Donovan’s second goal in the game against Honduras.
One final note, Alfonso Soriano hit a walk-off base hit today for the Yankees and the Cubs swept the Giants on the road in San Francisco. I guess everything worked out. Have a great week everyone and check back in throughout the week for more posts and GO, GO, USA!