In a particular Seinfeld episode, the always anxious and usually angry George Costanza was in the midst of yet another personal crisis, when his loosey-goosey no responsibilities friend, Kosmo Kramer, simply states, “Now what does the ‘Little Man’ inside of you say?”
George’s response: “My ‘Little Man’ is an idiot!”
Jurgen Klinsmann finally decided to listen to his ‘Little Man’, as Die Kinder Amerikans defeated Slovenia, 3-2.
And why not? What was there to lose? His team has scored a paltry two goals and won just once in six matches since he took over the reigns. To make matters worse, the USMNT had fallen to 34th in FIFA’s world rankings. Although the United States Soccer Federation has vowed to give JK as much time and resources needed to right the ship, he surely was starting to feel some American heat.
God bless the ‘Little Man’!
JK restructured his lineup first and foremost by temporarily trashing his European-style 4-1-4-1 formation, an NFL-like spread offense with a concentration on defense. He opted for the simpler 4-4-2, which deploys a second striker and focuses more on attacking the goal and compact play.
On top of the formation changes, JK made the boldest of moves by starting the feisty midfielder Michael Bradley, late bloomer Edson Buddle, and the young German-American ball handler Fabian Johnson. His thought process was clear; throw an all-out attack against the formidable Slovenians. And it worked to near-perfection as Johnson nearly put the Yanks up 1-0 in the opening minute.
A volley off the post by Edson Buddle in the eighth minute, followed by a Clint Dempsey header and a Jozy Altidore penalty kick, gave the Americans a 3-1 halftime lead. All three goals were a benefactor of Klinsmann’s new tactical strategy to utilize his athletes and forcibly push the attack forward.
However, when you rob Peter to pay Paul, something negative is bound to happen.
Once again the back line looked shaky, as the Slovenians mounted their own fifteen minute version of an “all-or-nothing attack”. American defenders continuously found themselves out of place while constantly loosing their mark in the second half. The confusion ultimately led to a hard earned Green Dragon score, making it a one goal game. JK’s ‘Little Man’ prompted him to pull back an attacker an insert an extra defender to assist with the pending onslaught, at which time the United States proceeded to do what they do best; defend. The U.S. secured a much needed European win on European soil to close out the year.
It wasn’t pretty by any stretch of the imagination. There’s a ton of work that still needs to be done before next June when world cup qualifiers begin. But with the holidays right around the corner, now would be a good time for JK to pen his Christmas list to Santa.
But in the mean time, The Ledger says “thank you” to Jurgen Klinsmann and his efforts this year.
Or should I say:
“Thank youuuu ‘Little Man’!”
USMNT celebrate a much needed win
You can Read more great blogs from David Casarez at http://lonestarsportsledger.com/