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5 Players That Can Save Jurgen Klinsmann

Despite the current turmoil and many (MANY!) calls for his dismissal, Jürgen Klinsmann isn’t going anywhere. United States Soccer President Sunil Gulati intends for his coach/technical director to stay on board for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. So with a job approval rating similar to Herbert Hoover’s after the stock market crash in 1929, how can Klinsmann salvage his second World Cup cycle? Here are 5 players that can save Klinsmann and give the USMNT a chance at making it to Russia 2018.

Julian Green

Julian Green…wait, wasn’t he the guy who…yes, this Julian Green.

The then 19-year-old scored in extra time of the World Cup Round of 16 match against Belgium with his first touch of the entire tournament. Since that moment? A whole lot of nothing. In fact, Green is struggling to get his club career going. His club, Bayern Munich, may have the most competitive first team in the world and last year he had an unsuccessful loan spell at Hamburg which provided him little experience. Currently, he is playing with the Bayern reserves.

What makes Julian Green so important is that Klinsmann practically mortgaged his future on the youngster. Landon Donovan was denied a spot on the 2014 World Cup roster in favor of Green because it was the only way to make sure that the German-American played internationally for the stars and stripes. Klinsmann needs Julian Green to prove he was worth the gamble.

Jordan Morris

Can Jordan Morris save Klinsmann?

Photo: @dav4286 | Twitter

Currently a junior at Stanford University, Morris is a rising star within the U.S. soccer camp. So far, he has taken the “unconventional” route by delaying his professional status in order to play at the college level. Many critics see this choice as a negative but Morris and Klinsmann aren’t bothered. Morris has made the most of his USMNT opportunities so far, scoring in a friendly against Mexico and helping set up another goal against the Netherlands in Amsterdam. Needless to say, his next move will be crucial for his future, as well as Klinsmann’s. With neither Jozy Altidore nor Aron Johannsson grabbing many headlines, Klinsmann’s strike force could use a boost and the dynamic Morris could be the one to provide it.  

John Brooks

Can John Brooks save Klinsmann?

Photo: @BundesligaRR | Twitter

Another member of Klinsmann’s German-American contingent, Brooks has shown a lot of promise in the USMNT’s back line. He burst onto the stage for the Yanks at the World Cup in Brazil, scoring the winner as a substitute against Ghana. Since then, his club career has plenty of peaks and valleys as he has tried to cement his place in the first team for Hertha Berlin in Germany’s Bundesliga. However, some nagging injuries and inconsistent form have limited his playing time.

A strong defense has always been a foundation of American soccer. Klinsmann desperately needs to figure out his back line in what has been a seemingly endless rotation of different combinations of players. Of all of the American defenders, Brooks has shown the most promise with his strength, athleticism, and ability to play the ball out of the back. At only 22, Brooks will need to establish himself as one of the first names on Klinsmann’s team sheet.

Gyasi Zardes

Can Gyasi Zardes save Klinsmann?

Photo: @goalkeeperlist | Twitter

Zardes has had a breakout 2015. He is a vital part of the LA Galaxy set up in what has become arguably the best attack in MLS history with Robbie Keane, Giovani Dos Santos and Steven Gerrard. He has also become a regular in Jürgen Klinsmann’s side. So much so that his performances have garnered interest from European clubs. Whether or not he decides to test himself in Europe remains to be seen. But we do know that a dynamic attacking player such as Zardes can add some spice to an American lineup that has looked slow and reserved in recent matches.

Michael Bradley

Can Michael Bradley save Klinsmann?

Photo: @LadsOffThePitch | Twitter

At 28 years old, these should be the prime years of Bradley’s career. Unlike the others on this list, Michael Bradley has nothing left to prove. He is one of the most talented midfielders to have ever worn the red, white, and blue and Russia 2018 will be his third World Cup. That being said, Bradley is on this list because he represents the American team spirit. He has all the qualities you want in a veteran and captain. But if Klinsmann loses Michael Bradley, he has no chance with any of the other players. With the massive loss to Mexico followed by an anemic performance against Costa Rica, some members of the media are questioning the mental state of the locker room. This was enhanced when the news broke that Klinsmann actually sent Fabian Johnson home after questioning his commitment in the Mexico game. Green, Morris, Brooks and Zardes all must develop into reliable contributors for the national team, but Jürgen Klinsmann needs to retain the faith of Michael Bradley and company if the U.S. is going to have any chance at the next World Cup. 

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