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Tribune sports rant: Anonymous U.S. soccer players are 'embarassing'

Published March 23, 2013 8:48 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Wasn't it Dr. Phil who said the best way to settle differences is to talk behind someone's back? After all, isn't that the way your grandfather went about life?

Making cowards everywhere proud, several current U.S. men's national soccer team players were granted anonymity to criticize German-born coach Jurgen Klinsmann.

Issues about Klinsmann raised by 11 current players and several others with ties to the national team in a Sporting News article published Tuesday — three days before a pivotal World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica — include his lack of tactical prowess, constant lineup changes and a preference for the team's German-born players, who are harming team chemistry.

It's telling that the best midfielder on the U.S. national team — Michael Bradley, who plays for A.S. Roma in Italy — spoke harshly about the report.

"It's shameful," Bradley told The Denver Post. "It's embarrassing. For every guy who's played on a team, you give everything you have. You put everything of yourself inside.

"Any team in the world, not every guy is going to be happy. On every team in the world, there's going to be guys who go back to their room and talk with their roommate about things they wish were different. That's normal.

"But you cross a line when you take those thoughts and you take your disappointments outside of the team, outside the inner circle. It doesn't help anybody. It doesn't help anything we're trying to do."

Klinsmann responded to the complaints the way most people with a backbone would.

"Obviously I prefer that if you have a problem with me, come to me and talk to me about it," Klinsmann told The New York Times.