US national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann has surprised many by calling up several youngsters in the upcoming rooster. The former Germany manager has explained his decision by saying that he wants to start developing young players for the national team.
The United States did well at the World Cup 2014 by almost reaching the quarter-final stage. However, one criticism of the national team has been the lack of youngsters as they have been too reliant on the likes of Tim Howard and Clint Dempsey. These players are at the twilight of their careers and are unlikely to be at the next World Cup.
Klinsmann recently announced the squad for the two friendly matches in January. The 28 man squad included several youngsters and Klinsmann says that this is seen as an ideal preparation for the Olympic. The US will be playing in friendlies against Chile and Panama.
A victory is more than essential for the team given that they have not won in the last four friendly matches. This includes a heavy defeat against the Republic of Ireland in the last friendly match. This latest squad also includes experiential players like Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones. Klinsmann hopes that such experience will help guide the young players.
“We definitely want to have a competitive group together that plays two friendly games. The other big thought was, ‘How can we continue building the Olympic team cycle early enough to build that group towards the Olympic team qualifiers by the end of the year?’I think for a younger player to come into the senior team environment, every day is huge. Every day you will learn a lot on the field, but also in conversations with the coaching staff and your teammates off the field,” said Klinsmann, who was praised in various quarters after the World Cup.