Why isn't Klinsmann getting more credit? 

November, 1, 2012
11/01/12
4:32
PM ET

Given all the hand-wringing about the way the U.S. advanced to the final round of World Cup qualifying, you'd think the national team was about to close 2012 with its worst single-season winning percentage rather than its best.

You read that right. With just one game left this year, a Nov. 14 friendly in Russia, Jurgen Klinsmann's squad will at least equal the current high-water mark of a .750 winning percentage set in 2008 under Bob Bradley, the man Klinsmann replaced as U.S. coach in July 2011.

That's pretty astonishing considering the skepticism Klinsmann was facing just a few weeks ago, and it raises this question: Is Klinsmann getting the credit he deserves?

Aside from a surprise loss in Jamaica that made the semifinal round of qualifying more dramatic than it needed to be, Klinsmann's first full year at the helm could be considered wildly successful.

Doug McIntyre is a staff writer for ESPN The Magazine. He has covered American and international soccer since 2002.

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