By RYAN TOLMICH
With the deadline to confirm his World Cup roster just two weeks away, the job of U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann is anything but easy.
Trimming down a team of 30 of the country’s best players down to just 23 is a tall task for Klinsmann, who is entering his first World Cup in charge of the team. But it needs to get done, and it’s going to get done at Klinsmann’s pace.
“We’ll obviously discuss that daily,” Klinsmann said in regards to the impending final cuts. “It’s part of our job, of our work. I don’t have just a specific date in mind.
“We see them a bit closer every day in scrimmages and training exercises,” added Klinsmann from training at Stanford University. “We see little things that add up, so it gives us just more and more information. Every day is another day of getting more information on every individual and every single player, so that helps us exactly understand where they are right now in this moment, which is obviously very important, just a couple of weeks away from the first game in Brazil. It teaches us every day some lessons on the players.”
Until that inevitable day, Klinsmann is committed to getting the most out of the 30 players currently under his direction. Training under the hot Stanford sun is something Klinsmann hopes will sharpen his roster both physically and mentally.
“Obviously you compete with the best in the world at the end of the day and every little piece on the soccer field, whether it’s tactically, physically, whether it’s mental alertness, if it’s a lot of work that you’ve got to make them aware….it’s kind of always connected to each other,” Klinsmann said. “The better you are in shape the more alert you are, the fresher you are, you deal with tiredness and once you have tired legs you still have to make the right decisions, so that all works together. That’s the foundation of it.
“Again, as I’ve said so many times over the last three years, the benchmarks are the best teams in the world that do that to perfection. If it’s Spain or if it’s Germany or Brazil that will do that, so you have to make sure that you are up to speed with them.”
With that said, there are no guaranteed spots or promises when it comes to the roster. Trips to Brazil will be earned and, according to Klinsmann, ideas on who will be cut and when change daily.
“If I would say my feeling today, then maybe that will be different in a week,” said Klinsmann. “We’ll stay flexible.”