Historically, invading Russia is an awful idea at any point on the calendar.
U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann has never been one to steer clear of a challenge, however, so he’ll venture into the Caucasus for Wednesday’s friendly with a roster featuring as many experiments and second-chancers as tried-and-true veterans.
Part of that is necessity, as a host of players based in the U.S. and Mexico are unavailable (or just finished with their seasons and exhausted) with the MLS and Liga MX playoffs on tap. A midweek exhibition in Krasnodar, which is nearly 2,000 miles from London, also won’t make sense for several Europe-based players looking to maintain their rhythm with their clubs.
But Klinsmann’s choices are shaped by more than circumstance. They say a great deal about his coaching philosophy – ambitious, open minded and optimistic.