It was kind of funny how much importance I put on this game before it started last night. I had it on my calendar and was all set to tune in for Jurgen Klinsmann’s debut as coach for the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT.) I am not sure what I really expected, though. The USMNT plays friendlies on occasion. They don’t mean a whole lot except as pre-season type games for bigger events like tournaments. Hiring Klinsmann has really raised the interest level up a notch, though. It is a commitment to widespread culture change in the program. At the same time, it isn’t like he was going to be able to enact much change in the 10 days since he was hired.
Last night’s 1-1 tie was more about symbolism. Klinsmann removed the names from the back of the jerseys of the players to show that it is only about representing the United States. It is a pretty universal statement, but it still seems so odd to get lessons in patriotism from a German. [Read more...]