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What the USMNT needs next according to American coaches MLS
ผู้เขียน: เวลา:2023-03-15 06:54

If youre just joining us, welcome to Week 3 of our staff column collecting news, insights, and highlights from aroundMajor League Soccer. Lets get to it.

Amidst all of the many storylines running through Major League Soccer in this seasons opening weeks, theres one topicoutsideof the league that casts a very large shadow. U.S. Soccer, now four months removed from a run to the mensWorld Cupround of 16, is still in the midst of a search for a new sporting director and head coach for the U.S. mens national team.

Everybody has their own view of what sort of manager theyd like to see next, and those who preside over MLS locker rooms are no different.

There is no shortage of qualified opinions in the MLS coaching ranks. Ten of the leagues 29 head coaches played for the USMNT at some point in their careers. Five have spent time on the coaching staff for the U.S. itself. With the exception of Jurgen Klinsmann, every one of the past seven full-time and interim head coaches of the mens national team spent time coaching or playing in Major League Soccer (and even Klinsmann had a short-lived stint as a technical consultant withToronto FC).

Fan out to assistant coaches and the pool of former U.S. coaches and players gets significantly larger.

FC Cincinnatihead coach Pat Noonan, who featured for the U.S. during a four-year stretch in the mid-aughts, has his own thoughts. Noonan was a well-respected assistant at Philadelphia before taking the reins at Cincinnati in 2022. Hes managed to engineer a significant turnaround at the club and Cincy, who were the worst team in MLS for the first three years of their existence, are potential Shield and Cup contenders this year.

Noonan was capped 15 times as a player and was on Bruce Arenas coaching staff after Arena took the reins from Klinsmann in 2016. He was on the ground in Couva, Trinidad when the U.S. missed out on its first World Cup in nearly 30 years, an experience he says has helped shape who he is as a coach.

I dont think (the next head coach) necessarily has to be an American, said Noonan. But I do think an American figure is important, somebody that understands this league, the U.S. game and how we play and the history of how weve had success. This fighting spirit it never needed to be pretty soccer, we just knew how to go out and compete. Understanding that mentality would help.

If youre not getting the American coach, Noonan continued, go get somebody who knows how to lead and win in tournament play. And whoever that is, also find somebody that values American culture. There are plenty of coaches out there who have nice things to say about the American game, or MLS growth. Get somebody that believes in us as a country and believes in our players. Because I think now on the global stage, there are a lot of coaches who are starting to understand that we are producing some good players, and they can get the best out of them. If thats the route we go internationally, lets get somebody thats won something before. Thats important.

Noonan doesnt have to look far to find a dissenting opinion. Former USMNT standout Dom Kinnear has played a key role on Noonans staff in Cincy since joining the club in 2022. Kinnear was capped 54 times for the US during the run-up to the 1994 World Cup and feels like a very overqualified assistant, having won two MLS Cups as head coach of theHouston Dynamo.

Kinnears opinion of who should guide the U.S. is one that Kinnear himself says will probably get him crushed in the comments section.

Im an American, said Kinnear. I want the coach to be American I like people to have skin in the game. I just like that. Whoever is coaching the national team, when they lose, it should hurt. Its not oh well, Ill just go on to the next job, and Ill just blame the infrastructure. I think we have good enough coaches to fill the staff. We dont have to go outside of America to find those coaches just because maybe (some people) are more comfortable with that, or with people who have different knowledge. I think the American player is unique and I think an American coach understands how unique they are. Its a good person to have steering the ship

Pat Noonan says the next USMNT coach should be someone who knows the U.S. game and how we play and the history of how weve had success. (Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports)

Those that support re-signing Berhalter point to the teams success in continental play, or to respectable performances against England and the Netherlands at the World Cup.Austin FChead coach Josh Wolff, who worked on Berhalters staff until his appointment at Austin in 2019, is maybe unsurprisingly among them.

When I think of my time in the national team, and even after I exited the national team as a fan and supporter, I was constantly saying, when are we going to be a team that can now go to the (World Cup) and really compete?, said Wolff. I think we saw that evolution in the last four years. I mean its real evolution when you go and play England and dominate, when you go against Holland and theyre adjusting to you. The flexibility of defensive structures, the flexibility of offensive structures, it looked like a club team.

In Wolffs view, Berhalters U.S. side evolved over the years, eventually graduating to a style of play a little closer to the possession-oriented teams that U.S. fans frequently fawn over. Wolff sees little value in casting aside that ideology.

Thats tactical aptitude, said Wolff. Thats utilizing the players (the U.S.) has. I think we have to have coaches that still fit that ideology. It cant just be built around muscle and hustle and defending and set pieces. You have to have the education to develop that, the ability to recruit players. The ability to galvanize people from outside our region that are potential U.S. players, thats also a big part of it. There are a lot of things that Gregg has done extremely well. Id like to see another four years of what that looked like.

Philadelphia Unionhead coach Jim Curtin never played for the USMNT. He hasnt coached in the national team program either, but some think that might change eventually. To some, he feels like a viable candidate for the U.S. staff, something Curtin himself has openly addressed, stating publicly that hed leave Philly for a job on the national team.

Curtin has proved over the years to be excellent at man-management and his Union sides have become perennially competitive. His take on what the U.S. needs next feels aligned with his own personal coaching philosophy.

Whoever gets in there now has to preach simplicity, said Curtin. Dont over-complicate it. We have really talented players. They dont need a ton of information right now and a super-detailed style of play. For lack of a better way to put this, Id sort of revert to the Bruce Arena approach put the best eleven guys out there and get the f out of the way, theyll figure it out. That is what the team needs right this minute.

Curtin pointed to his own experience coaching former Union standoutBrenden Aaronsonas proof of concept, saying that he largely just provided an environment for that player that accentuated the talents he already had and stayed out of the way.

In this country we treat players like robots too much and end up producing players who are average at everything, said Curtin. We need specialists. Thats what wins at the highest level. We had nothing like that at this past World Cup.

Curtin also eventually sees the entire structure of a national team coaching staff changing eventually, morphing into something a little more like American football, where every facet of the game itself has its own specialty coach.

You are always going to need a head coach, said Curtin. No question. Youre gonna need an offensive guy, a defensive coach. A transition coach who just works on transitions. That way, when we get to the World Cup and we say ok, our offense was good, our transitions were excellent, get rid of the defensive coordinator, hes gone. That accountability is the way it should go. Pablo Maurer

For years, the long throw has been a relic of the past, conjuring images of a decades-bygone game between Stoke City and West Brom with both sides somehow being coached simultaneously by Tony Pulis.

However, just as approaches to set pieces have evolved with the rise of specialized dead-ball coaches, its worth revisiting how valuable the long throw might be. Ahead of the weekend,The Athletics senior writer John Mullerwrote an analysis of long throws, finding that theyre an undervalued tactic to create chances.

The way-too-simplified lesson: long throws generate expected goals at twice the rate within 30 seconds of being launched when compared to their short-distance counterparts.

PerhapsVancouver Whitecapsmanager Vanni Sartini or full backJavain Brownread the piece on their way to BC Place ahead of Saturdays clash withFC Dallas.

Veselinović flicks it on , who puts on the pressure which leads to an OG

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