Earthquakes

US soccer's issues go way beyond finding the right coach

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USATSI

US soccer's issues go way beyond finding the right coach

Jurgen Klinsmann’s long national nightmare is finally over. The United States Men’s National Soccer Team’s, on the other hand, remains.
 
Nothing, and I mean nothing, feels better to a soccer fan than to have his or her team win a championship, but firing the coach is always a photo-finish second. Since the USMNT has never really won enough to be an arm-waving factor on the international stage, firing the coach is really the optimal outcome any fan can envision.
 
And Klinsmann, the German who was going to revolutionize the development and cultivation of the sport in America (a job that frankly has already been done by all the ready access to the best soccer in the world on a daily basis) won too infrequently to be as dismissive of the established order as he was. So, he served the soccer establishment by becoming the new severed head.
 
Yay decapitation!
 
But here’s where the firing (for which we have no opinion one way or another, since it is like arguing against evolution to an anthropologist, or opposing yeast to a baker) misses the point: The name most often linked to the job is Bruce Arena, a guy who already had it and was fired for the same reason that Klinsmann got whacked – because he couldn’t jump the United States ahead of the line in the established national order of football powers, that’s why.
 
The U.S. isn’t in the place it’s in internationally because the players aren’t sufficiently “coached up,” but because the structural issues with U.S. soccer (as well as U.S. Soccer, the suit-and-snoot component of the sport) are well beyond anyone’s ability to fix comprehensively, and especially not quickly. The game is more profitable than ever, but butts in seats doesn’t mean the same as goals in nets.
 
There is this ongoing and very fanciful notion that the United States should be far higher on the list of global soccer powers, which is fine except for the fact that nobody can ever explain where they should be ranked. First? Fourth? Sixth? Thirteenth? Ahead of Germany? Ahead of France? Ahead of Scotland? Ahead of Narnia?
 
Nobody knows, which is why the answer that is most often expressed by the most passionate U.S. soccer fans when asked “Where should they be?” is “better than they are,” a properly amorphous standard for always firing whoever the coach is at any given time.
 
If there is a problem with the product on the field, it is largely that the available American talent is in a fallow period right now, a phenomenon that happens to all but the most elite soccer-playing countries. The U.S. is not deep with impact players right now (though Christian Pulisic might be the realest deal in recent history), and it has never been deep with inventive ones.
 
But Klinsmann allowed people to think he could fix that while he got up to speed with in-game tactical developments – in layman’s terms, the X’s and O’s. He did neither, in the one case because the U.S. still hasn’t figured out how to identify, harness, grow and inspire its supply of potential players (it is still too heavily dependent on children of affluent parents and a coaching structure that has not found, taught or nurtured genius), and in the other because he has never been a tactical wizard – or even a tactical pixie, as far as that goes.
 
In any event, Klinsmann’s firing changes little of real substance, but as a temporary feel-good measure, it works wonders, as all firings do. Unless the U.S. is suddenly going to hire Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola, Carlo Ancelotti or Diego Simeone at the height of their transformative powers, it is hard to see how Klinsmann’s absence will make the product look any different than his presence did. This is just new coasters on old deck chairs.
 
Now if they want to find a way to clone Pulisic and send the formula down the food chain to find more like him, now that would be worth your enthusiastic response. But we don’t want to ruin your fun, so go with “Jurgen Klinsmann is out, so drink up everyone” if you must.  
 
The hangover will come later, like it always does.

Jahmir Hyka's late goal earns Quakes a 2-2 draw with Dynamo

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USATSI

Jahmir Hyka's late goal earns Quakes a 2-2 draw with Dynamo

SAN JOSE -- Jahmir Hyka scored in the closing minutes to help the San Jose Earthquakes to a 2-2 draw with the Houston Dynamo on Saturday night.

Hyka, in his first MLS action of the season, came on in the 67th minute and first-timed a feed from Quincy Amarikwa to make it 2-2 in the 85th. Florian Jungwirth's cross from the right flank floated through the box to Amarikwa, who tapped it to Hyka for the finish - which deflected off defender Adolfo Machado.

Marcus Eriksson scored his second goal in two games to give San Jose (1-2-2) a 1-0 lead in the 26th, one-timing Jackson Yueill's pass into the bottom-left corner of the net from the top of the box.

Tomas Martinez scored in the opening minutes of the second half and Mauro Manotas tapped in a sliding finish of Alberth Elis' cross from point-blank range to give Houston a 2-1 lead in the 63rd minute.

The Dynamo (1-2-2) have just one win in their last 20 MLS road games.

Earthquakes to host EPL powerhouse Manchester United in July

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AP

Earthquakes to host EPL powerhouse Manchester United in July

The San Jose Earthquakes will get a stiff test this summer when they host English Premier League power Manchester United.

The match will be played on July 22nd at Levi's Stadium.

“Having an opportunity to face a renowned club such as Manchester United is both a great source of entertainment for our fans and an exciting challenge for our team,” said Earthquakes President Tom Fox said in a press release issued by the team.

It will be the second-ever meeting between the two teams. Back in 2015, Manchester United defeated the Earthquakes 3-1 at Avaya Stadium as part of the International Champions Cup.

The upcoming match will be part of Manchester United's tour through the US. In addition to the match at Levi's, the EPL stallworth will play in Phoenix on July 19.