Archive for the ‘TSG’ Category

REPOST: What’s the deal with Jurgen?

This was originally posted on September 20th of last year.

I (not necessarily Matt), still stand by it.


Is he really a good coach?

So if Jurgen can stir up a hornets nest, so can I. I’m curious to know what the big deal with Klinsy really is. A lot of USMNT fans really really want him as head coach and I want to know why. I’m English, so first and foremost I support England, but having lived here for 20 years, I REALLY want to see the USMNT national team get to the next level in International Soccer. I just don’t see how Jurgen can take them there.

He’s had two managerial spells. One with the German National team and one with Bayern Munich.

With Bayern, he coached for less than a season (08-09) and was fired in April 09, with Bayern knocked out of the German domestic cup in the quarters, Champions league in the quarters and in third position of the Bundesliga, endangering their next years Champions League qualification.

He was given a squad that had won their domestic league the previous year and set them a few steps backward.

Germany's 2006 success had more to do with their fans, the players and hosting the Cup then their coach.

Klinsmann was more successful with the national team, at least on first glance. He took a young German team to third place at the 2006 World Cup and did do a good job of shunting out the older generation of players who had failed so miserably in the 2004 Euros, revamping Germany’s national footballing program on the way.

BUT, lets look at his results. Klinsmann’s first two years in charge did little to impress the footballing world, as they did poorly in friendlies building up to the 2006 World Cup (which Germany was hosting, so no need to qualify).

At the big dance, they won their group, but had less than challenging opponents in Costa Rica, Poland and Ecuador. They then beat Sweden (a solid team, but no world beaters) in the first knock stage and then an average Argentinian team on penalties in the quarters. They lost 2-0 to Italy in the semis.

Keeping in mind that every game they played, they were spurned on by their home fans, and that they had a relatively easy route to the semi finals. I would venture to say that the players got them as far as they did and not him as a coach. When they needed him to do something different and come up with a tactical magical moment, he failed and Italy won late in extra time.

After the World Cup, with the German press and pubic in full support, Klinsmann decided to resign, saying he didn’t have the drive anymore and wanted to spend time with his family. Joachim Löw took over and has taken an even younger Germany to the next level, and they are one of the favorites at Euro 2012 and Brazil 2014.

Did Klinsmann realize that he didn’t really have what it took to take Germany further and intelligently decide to step down on top? The cynic in me says yes.

A fantastic striker and amateur diver, Klinsmann and the word defense aren't very synonymous

I’m not saying he’s a bad coach, but I really don’t think he’s what the USMNT wants. I wouldn’t go as far as to say Klinsmann would be a step backward from Bob Bradley, but I don’t think he offers anything special.

Klinsmann was a fantastic striker in his playing days and his coaching style is reflective of that. I don’t believe the word defense is in his lexicon. This is not what the USMNT wants. The US’s counter attacking style and speed is one of their strengths, but they do not possess the skill to just outscore their opponents. They need discipline at the back and Klinsmann cannot provide that.

Who would be perfect for the job. Honestly I don’t know. What perplexes me though, is why so many people think “California Klinsy” would be the savior of the USMNT.

Your thoughts!

Who Are You Nominating…for the TSG HOF!

Our TSG Comment Hall of Fame does not have a ball coming through the wall....

For those of you knew to the publication, up on the pretty little tabs above this story we have a link to the TSG Comment HOF, three wings of it in fact:

Jimmy Conrad Wing (Dedicated to the funniest and most creative comments)

Bill Jeffrey Wing (Dedicated to the most technically astute comments)

Hal Block Wing (Dedicated to the most unique and exceptional comments)

(How profound that TSG has a Bill Jeffrey Wing with the England rematch in the offing this year)

We want your nominations.

An induction gets an acceptance post on TSG and those oh-so-elusive bragging rights amongst your friends with the World Cup coming round.

If you have a nomination, just cut and paste the link to the comment below or cut and paste the comment in the comment section below along with the name of the post.

The Big Pat On The Back To…..You

Well done TSG Community.....(photo courtesy: Matt Mathai)

A rousing and heartfelt thank you to our community and audience. The Shin Guardian officially turned 6 months old over the weekend. Once again, here was our very first piece.

We’re celebrating our 6-month this week by being down at US Soccer January Player’s Camp at the Home Depot Center. If I suggested that we would even be celebrating a 6-month, let alone celebrating by interviewing Dax McCarty when we started…well lying wouldn’t be too strong a word.

It is a tribute to our community and your continued galvanizing commentary that not only have we sprouted so fast, but we’ve maintained the quality of commentary on our site–at least in the comments section.

So bear with us as we offer a few thank you’s:

• To Dan, Nick and the entire Free Beer Movement contingent, thanks for taking an early interest to our publication and always lending a valuable piece of data, commentary or suggestion. Thank you.

• To Neil, Michael, and everyone at the United States Soccer Federation, for working with us and bearing with us as we harangued and barraged you with questions….and always responding to those in a timely manner. A shout out to Sunil Gulati himself for being quick with replies to our inquiries as well.

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TSG Exec Plan: World Cup Coverage Schematic

Prodded on by some reader comments yesterday, TSG wanted to run our proposed World Cup coverage planning by our esteemed community. Pretty simple stuff and obviously skip to the soccer columns right now if you like….

Here you go: The completely non-top secret schematic to World Cup coverage….highly, uh, confidential.

A simple diagram below: Basically an inverse pyramid whereby the quality and quantity is obviously focused on the USMNT.

As you move down the pyramid the depth and quantity of the coverage reduces. The circle just represents writing on whatever the author feels like. Whereas coverage within the pyramid has to be somewhat structurally similar–previews should follow a similar format from one group to the next–the circle denotes just writing whatever the heck you feel like.

Thoughts? Other features you like? Some other ideas as well:

• A sidebar that has links on a game by game basis so readers can comment as the game is in action.

• Features on jerseys, kits, and country soccer histories.

• Guest commentary from our readers or other selected writers….

TSG (Confidential)...completely not confidential mind you....

USMNT: What We’re Thankful For

First, a brief warning.

I don’t know where this piece is going. Most columns that I write on TSG I have a desired point, argument or review that I want to communicate.

My axiom: Get to where you are going using the least words possible. Once I get there, I go back over the column and try to eliminate even more words. Sometimes I’m aghast at just how superfluous my writing is. After that 2nd purge, I’m done. It’s hard for me to re-read and proofread my prose because I’m a constant tinkerer.

So I immediately publish (or sometimes my brother proofs first) and I leave a whole bunch of easter egg misspellings and typos for you the reader to find. That’s unintentional and something I must work on. However, this is a Thanksgiving piece not a New Year’s Eve resolution.

Over the course over the past few months I’ve wanted to write multiple pieces with amorphously the same theme: “Why I love to root for the USMNT.”

Every time I began writing the piece, my inner monologue scolded me that I should not color the fans with my opinion on USMNT fandom. Sure I can provide insight on line-ups, strategy and soccer in general, but I fiercely believe that, like the infamous cliche of asking someone why they love someone else, that “to each their own” when it comes to rooting for your team.

Everyone can be a fan and everyone should celebrate how deeply or thinly they root for a team. It’s their choice of involvement, time commitment and enjoyment.

Continue reading

US Soccer Best Of ’09 (TSG Nominated! Thanks!)

Well, TSG made the cut. Thanks to you guys, TSG is one of ten nominated for Best Soccer Blog of 2009 on Matthew and I sincerely appreciate your continued support and are honored to be in the great company of those nominated for the award.

It is worth spending time over at going through all the award nominees in the twelve different categories. US Soccer has done a fine job of including descriptions, pictures and videos were possible to help USMNT fans re-live the great moments from the past year. And let me just say, the voting is not as easy as you think…just see Best Clutch Performance, for example.

Here are the categories:

Best Goal
Best Assist
Best Performance: Player
Best Performance: Team
Best Video
Best Soccer Bar
Best Soccer Blog
Best Fan Photo
Best Photo
Best Clutch Moment
Best Academy Story
Best Soccer Specialty Store

Voting ends on December 13 and fans are allowed vote once per day.

Mr. Shin Guardian Goes to Bristol

Watch out, Johnny Boy Harkes: Here we come.

That’s right TSG; we’re taking our show on the road!

And we need your help.

Power to the People!

The Shin Guardian is attending Media Day for the World Cup, December 4th at ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut.

The Shin Guardian 007 is on the move....

Making the journey westward will be my brother Mark as yours truly will be on a brief sabbatical in New Zealand as I mentioned the other day. (Actually I’m in the plane right now but magically posting this through the power of the world wide webosphere.)

For Mark’s little sojourn, we need your help. Wait, that’s incorrect.

We want to travel with your questions. The questions of our readers. The comments of our readers.

Sitting around Mark in the studio as the fateful draw for the USMNT–or some might call it the Bafana Bafana lottery….please let the US be a 2-seed with the Bafana, please the let the US be a 2-seed with the Bafana… whammy, no whammy….stop–will be none other than ESPN analysts Alexi Lalas, John Harkes and one Mr. Tommy Smyth.

We are TSG. We represent you, the fans of the USMNT, the fans of American soccer. We take that responsibility seriously.

So we will play gopher and scribe here.

Send us your comments and questions to take with us: either for a specific commentator, on ESPN coverage, or on World Cup 2010.

As we’ve come to expect from the community here, be heady and well-written in your commentary, but don’t make it personal. Also try to be curt, as we are going to want to pepper folks with as many questions as possible.

While TSG can’t promise anything in return; we promise we’ll try to get your questions and comments heard and commentary returned.


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