United States men’s national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann responded to recent criticism of U.S. soccer teams in a video produced by U.S. Soccer after his team’s 6–1 win over St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Friday.
Addressing a string of recent disappointing results, including three consecutive losses for the senior team and a first-round World Cup exit for the U-17 team in October, Klinsmann said that the negative talk surrounding his programs was a “bit immature.”
“There's a lot of work ahead of us in all our areas, but there’s also a lot of excitement because our players are hungry for improvement,” he said.
Klinsmann added that the U.S. has already seen improvement in its potential across all levels.
“I think we can be proud of ourselves in what we’ve done so far, the last couple of years–in all age groups. I think this is what a lot of people unfortunately forget quickly.”
Klinsmann attributed some of the disappointment among supporters of U.S. soccer to raised expectations after the senior team escaped the “Group of Death” during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The national team has posted an 11–8–5 record since the World Cup. The U.S. is currently ranked 33rd in the FIFA men’s rankings, tied with Hungary and one spot behind the Cape Verde Islands.