It has been a long time coming for the US Men’s National Team. A solid three-game winning streak.
Typically these sorts of things happen around the January friendly time. It certainly isn’t the first time this has happened but with Jurgen Klinsmann in as boss, it is.
So what can we take away from these last three games, or more importantly these last two against Panama and Venezuela? In all honesty not a ton.
For the most part Klinsmann now knows the type of depth is in his system. Most of this camp has been MLS players with a few players in Europe and Mexico mixed in. Some players he wanted to test out dropped out of the mix due to club situations and transfers. But for the most part we know that guys like Brek Shea, Jermaine Jones, and Teal Bunbury (though he didn’t have the best of night last night) are likely going to be mainstays for the foreseeable future.
But why not a Graham Zusi or Geoff Cameron or even a guy like Ricardo Clark who has found a bit of redemption? I think it is in due time that it happens for guys like that.
For me it is always hard to take these January friendlies that serious. It isn’t the because of who the US was playing – I thought both Panama and Venezuela were good tests – but because the US was missing a main core of it’s lineup.
If anything though Klinsmann can know that he has a group of guys that can go to a Central American country, get an early lead, lose a key defender and still win. Klinsmann can also know that he can take on a fairly decent B-squad from a tough South American opponent and come away with a hard fought late goal to win.
The US did a good enough job killing off the game last night that if it were a qualifier, most of us would be thrilled with the three points on the road.
In all, there were enough positives over the last couple weeks for this inexperienced group to outshine the negatives.
This January camp is now over and this group of players will likely not come back together for a while. A few will go on to the camp that will get together before the Italy match next month with the main core of the US squad from Europe. A game that should matter a little more than the last two.