August 8, 2011
By Charles Cuttone
CASTING A WIDER NET
Klinsmann expects to broaden MNT player pool
CHESTER, Pa.---Long one of the big knocks on the selection process for United States National teams has been the inability to tap into the burgeoning talent pool of Hispanic players. Expect that to change, and change quickly, under new U.S. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
|Defender Michael Orozco Fiscal spent one season with the Philadelphia Union before returning to San Luis of the Mexican Primera Division, and has been called to the U.S. team for Wednesday night’s friendly against Mexico at Lincoln Financial Field.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Already, Klinsmann has brought in three Mexico-based players, former Philadelphia Union defender Michael Orozco Fiscal, Jose Torres and Edgar Castillo, for Wednesday’s friendly against that country’s national team, and while those players haven’t exactly been under the U.S. radar, expect more to come through the pipeline. Torres is the most capped of the trio, with 10 appearances. Orozco Fiscal and Castillo have been called in only once before.
Klinsmann says he is already trying to tap into the pipeline to get those players into the national team pool.
“Working with a lot of coaches in the U.S. and working with a lot of MLS coaches, and also knowing coaches who have relationships down to Mexico or other countries, so that’s why we try to gather information to see what roles do they play in their individual teams down in Mexico,” Klinsmann said during an interview session on Saturday with a select group of journalists.
Klinsmann says the pro teams in Mexico have already recognized the value of Mexican-American players and are signing them.
“ It’s also a very strong league, so if you take an Edgar Castillo, now with Club America, those are very important kind of signals coming so, so it’s ok, lets call him up and see him and give him a chance and get a feeling for him and also follow those players in those leagues.
“Mexico is our biggest rival here, and if they go down there, South of the Border, and they show that they can actually compete with those guys over there, it shows that they have a character to fight their way through.”
Klinsmann says younger players in the United States are already being recognized, both in Europe and in Mexico, but that he plans to take a more proactive approach to young players moving overseas.
“You talk about the under 20s, the under 17s, those names that play there, they are already in the scouting database of all first and second division team in Europe, because that’s how scouting systems work. Or in Mexico. That’s why they try to pull down our half Mexican-American kids very early down there. So we’re getting kind of recognized for the development of the game in this country.”