‘It’s not development, it’s identification’: LA Galaxy midfielder Sacha Kljestan claims US needs to find future stars as Melissa Ortiz insists team has ‘great potential’ if it gets a striker
Former USMNT midfielder Sacha Kljestan has rejected the idea that Team USA should try to develop a forward to solve their scoring problems.
While the Stars and Stripes put on an admirable performance at the World Cup, their draw with England and Wales, alongside defeat to the Netherlands in the Round of 16, highlighted the attacker as their weak spot.
Many pundits and supporters have urged the US to find a deadly finisher ahead of the 2026 World Cup – which it is co-hosting with Canada and Mexico.
The United States was eliminated from the 2022 World Cup last Saturday by losing 3-1 to the Netherlands
Speaking of FOX’s coverage of the 2022 iteration, Kljestan believes the solution is talent identification.
“It’s in you or it’s not in you,” Kljestan, currently an LA Galaxy midfielder, said of finding the next star.
We talk about development. “Oh, we need to develop these players.” Sorry, I didn’t have a coach developing me. I had it in me to want to be the best I could be.
LA Galaxy midfielder and former USMNT player, Sacha Kljestan, believes talent ID is the way to go
‘It’s not development, it’s identification. Can we find these kids wherever they are, whatever period they’re at in their lives, and say, “Okay, that kid has something.”
Now we have to let him play games. We have to give him time to develop and once he develops we will get him in the national team.”
Meanwhile, FOX host and former Colombian women’s national team member Melissa Ortiz believes there should be reasons for optimism ahead of the next World Cup.
Haji Wright scored one goal – vs. The Netherlands – at the World Cup because the US lacked a real center
“If they find a solid [number] nine, I really think the US Men’s National Team has a lot of potential,” she said.
“And that’s exactly why I think their loss recently was so disappointing…because they knew they could do better.
“They have the talent and I think in four years they will be in a much better position.”
Jesus Ferreira made a surprise start in the Round of 16 contest and failed to impress for the USA