“It’s not about developing players for the next couple of weeks, it’s about winning that Gold Cup and qualifying for the Confederations Cup 2017,” Klinsmann said in a statement released by US Soccer. “So we’ve got to put the development side on the backburner for a few weeks, and then we’re going to pick it back up because the only way we can develop the players and get them better and better is by giving them opportunities.”
The Americans have been on the up for quite some time now, with the MLS enjoying rapid development and constant expansion, both in terms of spectators and the clubs involved.
Simultaneously, their national team added to a solid World Cup showing with some stunning friendly wins over top class opposition, such as the Netherlands and world champions Germany.
Klinsmann has been a dividing figure within the US soccer community, with his insistence on a wholesale change of football culture having earned him a remarkable number of adversaries. His team selection has been criticized regularly, mainly because he keeps including ever more players into his project and often tinkers with tactics, leaving even those who follow his work closely in the dark about how the team will line up in a given tournament.
“I don’t have a preferred system – I’m not a freak for the Dutch 4-3-3 or the German 4-2-3-1 or the 4-4-2 in a diamond. I try to adjust systems to the player materiel I have,” said Klinsmann in February, announcing he could use a 3-5-2 as well.
Then just before the tournament, Klinsi publicly announced that a compact 4-4-2 with a midfield diamond was going to be his formation of choice for this Gold Cup.