It's not often the US national team comes around these parts, around SoCal.
Sure, Home Depot Center gets a friendly once a year, but that's in January after a weeks-long camp that usually features a bunch of new faces. While those friendlies can be entertaining, it's tough to watch the US play international friendlies on FIFA dates (with full teams) as well as World Cup qualifying matches and other meaningful games in far-flung destinations around the country.
This year has been a bit of a treat for local US fans. Okay, maybe it's not as much of a treat to have watched the U.S. lose to Mexico in the Gold Cup final but the chance to watch the U.S. play in the final of a tournament isn't one that comes around that often.
And neither is the chance to watch a strong U.S. team at Home Depot Center.
Such is the case on Sept. 2 when the U.S. hosts Costa Rica at Home Depot Center. Since it's a FIFA date, US coach Jurgen Klinsmann will have the option of calling in his full side for the match.
But some were trying to take this joy away from local US fans. Some were suggesting that Klinsmann call in a team of MLS players to play in this match and then call in a team of European-based players for the came in Belgium, slated for Sept. 6.
Thankfully, Klinsmann put that to rest. After the Mexico match, Klinsmann said he would use the same team for both games.
It just makes sense. He had, what?, two training sessions, three maybe, to handle the US before a game against Mexico, changed things around nevertheless and came away with a 1-1 result and, more importantly, a strong sense that things were changing for the better.
This will be a chance for Klinsmann now to spend some more time with the team, to further instill his system, his style, his tactics and to help the team grow and develop. Why not call in the same team for both games?
I get the travel is long and the flights are tough from Europe to Southern California. But oh well. They're big boys, they can deal with it. Chalk that up to job hazards. Besides, the players will have Sunday to travel and Monday to get adjusted. It won't be the first transatlantic flight for those guys. Tuesday would be a day where you could start to get together and train while Wednesday and Thursday could be more intense training sessions before the match on Friday.
Regardless of the intensity of the training sessions, though, simply allowing for Klinsmann to be with the team's key players both now and in the near future will be vital for the growth and development of the squad.