Now USA sits alone atop the Hexagonal halfway through the final round of qualifying w/ a well deserved 10 points. It’s becoming clear what Klinsmann wants from our squad: to be fit enough to push the game and play w/ relentless effort for the full 90 minutes. Here’s Klinsmann’s comments about what he wants from the team following the 2-0 victory last night over Panama:
“As coaches, we always want to improve things. No matter what stage you take over a team you just want to help the team to get better and you want to give them as much knowledge as possible and as much guidance as possible in order for them to improve, to grow, and to start fine-tuning things and that’s what we said over the last couple of days. We want to fine-tune things. We want to improve the understanding on the field. We want to build partnerships. If it’s on the flanks, if it’s the two centerbacks, if it’s Jozy [Altidore] and Clint [Dempsey] up front, if it’s Michael [Bradley] and usually Jermaine Jones – today it was, in a very, very strong way, Geoff Cameron, we want to just improve that one game at a time. I think that they are growing in that process. When you bring young players along you want to give them that opportunity, too. I think the players, no matter if it’s a more experienced one that comes in like Brad Davis or it’s a young player like a Joe Corona, they understand their roles. They know now that’s what we demand from them. Obviously overall as a team we want to just get better and improve and be able then to compete one day with the best out there.”
Finally, it seems that Josmer Altidore is getting comfortable and playing with confidence. Many were worried about not having Jermaine Jones for this match, but as long as Michael Bradley is on the field, I don’t think it matters that much who is beside him. Bradley makes everyone on the team click.
Klinsmann on moving forward in the Hexagonal vs Honduras next week:
“We just need to get points after points. Next week is huge. We want to finish these couple weeks now with another win. Again, I said it today and I will say it again before that game, it’s a must-win. You’re at home, you’ve got to win your home games, then it makes it a lot easier going where we need to go. It’s going to be our job next week. If that happens then that would be just a very good position to have going into the fall period with four more games to go. But I think the team realizes now that you have to give everything you have, and you have to also learn to manage a game when you’re a goal up and go for the second one, and not just thinking you’ve got to hold that result. I think that’s what they did today. They were really eager and hungry to add another goal. And we could have added another one or two, but we are fine with that. It’s important that they keep playing, their rhythm, their pace, with their confidence going forward constantly. That’s really what pleased us a lot today.”
Eddie Johnson on scoring:
“It’s a dream come true. To play in the U.S. jersey, first of all, is an honor, but to play in front of my fans that I play in front of week in and week out—I couldn’t have asked for a better feeling after the goal tonight.”
The US Soccer Men’s National Team is sitting pretty w/ 7 points in the hexagonal group after a victory in Jamaica last week. Tonight the boys can just about punch their ticket to Brazil if they defeat Panama in Seattle. Here’s some videos on the importance of tonight’s game:
Great thoughts below from Klinsmann about the cultural mindset changed needed to dominate the entire game:
Dempsey on the team’s depth. It will be tested as Zusi & Jermaine Jones are not available tonight.
Meet the new central defender for USA, Omar Gonzales:
Clint Dempsey, was recently named the captain of the US Men’s Soccer Team by Coach Jurgen Klinsmann. Many have questioned his decisions to not put players like Landon Donvan and Carlos Bocanegra on the roster. But the decision to make Dempsey the captain embodies Klinsmann’s philosophy to take US Soccer to the next level and hopefully become a world power in soccer. Here’s what Klinmann said to the media after being asked about naming Clint the captain of the team:
“Is he highly talented? Does he have all the tools that you need to have to play at the highest level? Yes,” Klinsmann said. “But what is far more important: He has the drive. He has the hunger. He’s not satisfied.”
Clint’s drive to be the best is seen in the video below: