One of the main responsibilities of the technical staff under U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann is monitoring the fitness and form of the players in the National Team pool. When it comes time to pick the roster, the decisions can mean the difference between victory and defeat, so having a complete picture of where players stand is essential to making informed choices.
Feb. 22, 2013
© U.S. Soccer
To that end, Klinsmann has deployed a staff in Europe and North America who spend their days watching training sessions, speaking to club coaches and directors, attending matches and meeting with players. The immediate goal is to prep the boss for making final decisions on rosters, while also keeping an eye out for the talent for the future.
“We have a team of people who are constantly monitoring our players,” said Klinsmann. “By having an office in Europe and with Martin Vasquez so well connected in North America, we can see players in person and also develop good relationships with their coaches. The performances in games are obviously evaluated from our end, but the opinion of their club coaches is also very important. We are in touch to hear how players are doing in training, what role they play within their team, and how they handle themselves. Their feedback is really crucial to us, so we stay on top of those things.”
In addition to seeing games live, the staff has the ability to download games from all over the world. At the beginning of each week, Klinsmann hosts a conference call to review weekend performances, update the scouting portfolio (which includes dozens and dozens of players across the world), and adjust the upcoming schedule.
To give you an idea, here’s the upcoming activity:
With CONCACAF U-20 World Cup Qualifying in Puebla, Vasquez can kill two birds with one stone. He will attend training at Liga MX side Puebla to watch DaMarcus Beasley and Michael Orozco Fiscal, then attend the critical quarterfinal for the U-20’s that will determine if they qualify for the U-20 FIFA World Cup to be held in Turkey later this year.
The Vienna-based coach gets bang for his buck this weekend with two matches involving several U.S. internationals. Herzog will see Michael Parkhurst at his new club Augsburg as they host Hoffenheim and the duo of Fabian Johnson and Danny Williams. On Sunday, he gets to look at Terrence Boyd in a pressure situation as third place Rapid Vienna take on second-place Red Bull Salzburg with only three points separating the clubs.
The former Bundesliga defender will join Herzog in Austria on Sunday, then head back across the border to watch Alfredo Morales and John Anthony Brooks with Hertha Berlin as they take on Kaiserslautern.