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Next step for US Soccer

Jurgen Klinsmann and company will turn their attention towards the future most notably the 2018 world cup. The preparation for 2018, starts in September when the US will face Scotland in a friendly. The US has a lot to look forward to over the course of the next four years.  In 2015, the US has the Gold Cup and Olympic Qualifying. In 2016, the United States will be hosting Copa Americas. In between tournaments, the US will face a multitude of friendlies. Jurgen will be hard at work getting the team to play against top talent from all over the world.

Klinsmann will implement the out with the old and in with the new strategy. Over the next few years, the US will be seeing less and less of players like Tim Howard, Clint Dempsey, Kyle Beckerman and Jermaine Jones. As great as those players are, it is time to develop and the next generation. Players like Brooks, Green, Mix and Johannsson, will be getting call ups and opportunities. It will be a rough time at first for US fans seeing beloved players that have proved themselves time and time again being weeded out. The team may look as sharp or strong in the friendlies but that is okay. The US will benefit from it in the long run. Starting a backline of Yedlin, Omar Gonzalez, John Brooks and Fabian Johnson will get the team ready for big time competitions. The time spent playing with each other is invaluable and can’t be emulated in practice.

The 2015 Gold Cup will be the first big test for the US. In the Gold Cup they will face teams like Costa Rica, Honduras, and Mexico. As this region gets better the US must play better to win. It is important that the US reclaim the throne of the top team in the region. CONCACAF has proven itself to be the third best region in the world. This will be a test for the young US team and they must find a way to win. Winning a gold cup is a great thing for moral and standings. It also gives the inexperienced players a chance to gain tournament experience. More games equal more experience for a young and inexperienced team. Also if the US wins the Gold Cup they will gain a birth in the 2017 Confederations Cup. The Confederations Cup is another big tournament for the US to play in. It will not be hard but they have to find a way into the Confederations Cup.

Olympic qualifying and the Olympics will be another tough but doable task for the USMNT. The Olympics have a different format from other competitions, it is a U-23 competition. So Jurgen will have to put his faith in the U-23 coach. This is an important competition because the US has a number of young and talented players. They need to be tested on an international level. Yedlin, Brooks, and Green will shine for the US as they go through qualifying.  Last go around the US made some questionable decisions like not calling up Agudelo, or Jozy Altidore. If the US can get to the Olympics they will be going up against top youth talent from around the world. The experience is invaluable and there is a correlation between successful Olympic campaigns and World Cup campaigns. The 2016 Olympics is a big tournament and a chance for the US to win some silverware, they need to qualify.

2016 will be a huge year as the Copa Americas come to the United States. The US will be host to one of the best regional tournaments in the world. The tournament features the top South American teams; Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, and Uruguay to name a few. This is a great opportunity for the US to better themselves against tough competition. This is a great opportunity to make a statement for the world. If the US can finish in the top three then the US will prove they are a force to be reckon with. Some of the top teams in the world playing for a trophy in a great competition will be amazing for all sports fans.

The future is bright for the US men’s national team and the next four years are going to be a fun ride. The US has great opportunities for growth. Each tournament is an opportunity to grow the team, improve the team and grow the game. The US will be tried, tested, and it will be a roller coaster. Their will be highs and lows, but the US will be moving forward.

[Photo: AP]