Jurgen Klinsmann has made a slew of changes to the United States men’s national team since taking over as manager four years ago. That is what he promised – to push the program forward, make it more professional and change the culture around the team. It’s caused consternation and angered some, never more so than when he left Landon Donovan off of the World Cup team, but noting matches what he did on Sunday. Today, he finally went too far.
Klinsmann named a U.S. roster without a single bald goalkeeper.
There are a lot of things that Klinsmann wanted to change, and for good reason. The Americans had to get better, but goalkeeping was the one thing that the U.S. had taken care of. The team would have one great goalie, then he would retire, and another great one would take over. Then he would retire and another one would take over, and so on, forever.
Goalkeepers were are thing, mostly because we’d discovered a secret: All our good goalkeepers were bald.
Very bald, very good, stopped two penalty kicks in one World Cup en route to the quarterfinals.
Very bald, very good and was a starter in the Premier League, La Liga and Bundesliga.
Very bald, very good, set a World Cup record for saves in a match.
The U.S. hasn’t had much in soccer. But its tradition of bald goalkeepers was great. It was consistent. It was something U.S. fans could count on.
And yet now we have this German managing the team and calling in a group of Nick Rimando, Cody Cropper and William Yarbrough as goalkeepers, none of whom are bald! Klinsmann is getting rid of American soccer’s one constant – bringing the program down from the inside!
The United States has grown by leaps and bounds over the last 25 years. While it was once a collection of college players who worked hard, the team is now made up of professionals. The team’s more skillful and the player pool is bigger than ever. Klinsmann has done his part in that, too, changing things and pushing them forward. He wants to shake things up.
But you can only go so far. There’s a point where you are undermining your team, your new nation and everything they stand for. There’s a point where you are insane.
Klinsmann has reached that point. No bald goalkeepers? Who are we now … Mexico?