-Ben McCormick

August 10 is going to be like leaving for a family vacation somewhere far away.

The bags are packed, you and the rest of the family are crammed into what space is left, and daddy Juergen is going to put the family truckster in gear and leave the driveway, ready for the long road trip ahead. Before the car leaves the driveway you ask him if he needs a map, to which he says, "don't worry, I know where I'm going" and you have no choice but to trust him.

This is a fairly common and often humorous situation, a man not asking for or seeking directions. In addition to being a joke that usually ends with elbows in the ribs of husbands and fathers everywhere, it also serves as a good metaphor for where the USMNT is right now. We know where we want to go (Brazil 2014 with a uniquely American playing style and youth system to match) and who is in charge of getting us there, but the journey itself is difficult to predict.

At Monday's presser for Juergen Klinsmann, everyone seemed content with speaking in broad generalities. Juergen talked about finding a uniquely American playing style and revamping the youth system to uncover diamonds in the rough previously glossed over by the current system, much to the pleasure of many watching, listening and tweeting fans.

He made sure people understood this would take time. He used the phrases "months and months" and, "a lot of work ahead" to describe the time commitment to preparing such ideas and theories, at which point I came to the realization that over the next three years he will, quite literally, make this up as he goes.

Sound familiar?

Now there's two possible reasons why Juergen wouldn't "ask for directions". One, the most likely reason, is there aren't any directions to ask for. This is completely uncharted territory. Building a uniform American soccer style is too much responsibility for one man, especially one with a coaching record that deserves some suspicion.

While reason number two is almost obvious, it deserves mentioning: Juergen is unprepared. His reason for not hiring a permanent assistant makes perfect sense. He doesn't know how his team is going to play, so how can you hire an assistant who will be heavily involved in tactics without knowing what those tactics consist of ahead of time? At the presser he used the words "maybe" and "perhaps" to theorize what the American team might be like, but truth be told, at this moment in time you and I probably have guesses of similar quality to Juergen's when it comes to what the "American style" will be. As I mentioned, this is uncharted territory, so I do understand specifics are difficult to come across so early in the process, but according to Gulati, Klinsmann was approached about the position several weeks ago. He had to at least have an inkling this job might be "the one", so color me a little surprised he had little to no specifics about anything to offer at the presser.

This is not to say I don't realize the immensity of what he's trying to accomplish. Three years is much too short of a time frame to transform American soccer into a top ten-ish program with such little prep time. Considering the amount of research Juergen will have to conduct, it almost would have been worth it to make him Technical Director through 2014 and name him manager after the World Cup in Brazil, where he would theoretically have much of his managerial plan figured out ahead of time, rather than multi-task and cram it all into ten months.

Given these facts, it's realistic to say the next months until qualifying might be filled with considerable growing pains. Expecting immediate results from a team that doesn't even know its playing style up against a well oiled machine like Mexico is bogus. Even the friendlies in September against smaller nations like Belgium and Costa Rica may prove extremely frustrating. I wouldn't be surprised if the US had some difficulty in their first phase of qualifying, dropping some points against weak opponents. Forming a country's style of soccer is a process that takes years which Juergen, unfortunately, is being asked to condense into months.

Like the Griswolds in Vacation, there are bound to be mishaps along the way, maybe even major ones, but we're all putting our trust in Juergen to get us to "Wally World", the 2014 World Cup. And it better be open for us to enter when we qualify, because if we don't, not even Juergen taking a BB gun to John Candy could get us in.

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