It's been clear since Jürgen Klinsmann's final selection of the USMNT for Brazil 2014 - and, infamously, his exclusion of American star Landon Donovan - that he has an eye to the future. And that future is building U.S. Soccer into a powerhouse.
Clint Dempsey and Omar Gonzalez are teammates on the USMNT. However, in the MLS, they are on rival teams. Clint Dempsey plays for the Seattle Sounders FC and Omar Gonzalez plays for the LA Galaxy. Last night, their squads played one another in a key MLS match. The Galaxy ended up beating the Sounders 3-0. Landon Donovan filled up the stat sheet, assisting on two goals and scoring one. But Donovan's game was somewhat scarred because of the shoving match between Gonzalez and Dempsey.
The United States team provided fans with excitement throughout their World Cup campaign. The excitement built around this year's USMNT World Cup campaign was something that our nation has never seen. While the the success of getting out of the "Group of Death" is still fresh, it is now time to take the next step and expectations will be extremely high for the 2018 team. Here are some players fans should look out for in the 2018 World Cup cycle.
World Cups aren't won on a whim, especially not by Germans. They require a plan, a long-term vision. Unlike club football, where your favorite Russian Oligarch can acquire an expensive squad of galacticos at the drop of an oil barrel, successful national teams rely – broadly speaking – on homegrown talent, consistently nurtured in a style of play that serves both clubs and country. While Joachim Low has been Germany’s Head Coach for the last eight years, Sunday’s victory against Argentina was in no small part due to the foundations laid by Jurgen Klinsmann.