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8 thoughts on the USMNT's loss to Jamaica and Gold Cup failure

It's time for something new.

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

1. Wow, that sucked. I am a fan of the United States men's national soccer team. I'm happy when they win and I'm sad when they lose. As both an adult human and a person who covers the team, it is extremely stupid that I let them affect me emotionally in any way, but I can't help it. I care about this team a lot and I cared about them losing in the Gold Cup semifinal against Jamaica, a team they should not be losing to in a must-win game.

2. How did we not score in the first 25 minutes? They really shouldn't have lost, though. They had the better chances, especially in the opening minutes. By the time Darren Mattocks scored, the USMNT really should have been up by two goals.

In a vacuum, this was their best performance of the Gold Cup.

3. Having said that, we weren't ready for Jamaica. The United States was always going to finish with more shots, possession and any other statistic you might care about. They're a decent, but not spectacular, defensive team with a very good and very fast counter attack. Their three forwards that have started games in this tournament are excellent athletes, creators and finishers. The USMNT didn't look like they knew what they were up against, casually gave the ball away in midfield a lot, then casually recovered. It was as if they hadn't scouted their opponents at all. That's unacceptable.

4. I'm pretty mad at Jurgen Klinsmann for limiting his own options. When Kyle Beckerman is starting in the year 2015 and Mix Diskerud is the best guy that the manager can bring off the bench to replace him, the manager screwed up. Same goes for bringing Alan Gordon off the bench to provide a spark up top. There are better players than those three in the player pool and Klinsmann chose not to call them up. Why, I have absolutely no idea.

5. Quickly, a list of guys I never want to see again. Brad Evans, Kyle Beckerman, Chris Wondolowski, Alan Gordon. No offense, you all seem like awesome guys and worked your asses off for the team. I just don't think you're good enough or will ever be good enough.

6. Guys I only want to see again if they improve VERY dramatically. John Brooks, Ventura Alvarado, Timothy Chandler, Mix Diskerud. You are young enough that you can be salvaged. Please have very good club seasons and then apply for re-instatement next spring.

7. This is basically 2007 with better refs. A reminder that the 2007-2011 cycle could have been a lot different for the USMNT. Bob Bradley might not take the United States through the hex and to South Africa, for Landon Donovan to score his famous goal against Algeria, if not for some really favorable officiating in a similar situation at the 2007 Gold Cup. Canada absolutely earned a victory against the USMNT in that semifinal, but they were robbed of it by the referees, period. What does the USMNT look like right now if a better crew is in charge of that match? And what do we think of Jurgen Klinsmann if the U.S. got some similar garbage calls in this game, won in extra time, then won the Gold Cup final despite a poor performance? Should we really judge Klinsmann on this?

8. I am emotionally leaning toward blowing everything up. Yeah, I'm judging Klinsmann on this. Maybe I'll sleep on it and feel differently. Maybe someone will present some very good arguments for staying the course. Recent results were pretty decent, after all. But right now, in the immediate aftermath of this game, as an emotional fan, I want change. I want a new head coach and a new technical director. I want them to be two different people. And while I want those people to have an understanding of U.S. soccer structure and culture, I want them to have no preconceptions based on the Klinsmann era. Fresh eyes, fresh ideas.

Who's the answer? That's tough to figure out, and perhaps the best reason to keep Klinsmann. Would Bob Bradley or Bruce Arena come back? Would Jason Kreis be an upgrade? How about Oscar Pareja or Ben Olsen? Are there any credible foreign coaches who get American soccer?

I'm not sure. But fear of not being able to do better is not a good case for the status quo. U.S. Soccer has to try to get better, even if they fail along the way. Maybe firing Klinsmann doesn't fix anything, but something has to change.


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