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Bradley ruled out, but Klinsmann still planning on bringing strong squad for upcoming qualifiers

JurgenKlinsmannUSMNTBosnia1 (ISIPhotos)


SANDY, Utah – U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s plans to have a full-strength squad for October’s World Cup qualifiers have taken a hit. Klinsmann announced on Tuesday that Michael Bradley would not be taking part in the October qualifiers as he continues to recover from the sprained ankle he suffered prior to the team’s September loss to Costa Rica.

Klinsmann spoke to media prior to Tuesday night’s U.S. Open Cup final and made it clear that neither Bradley or John Brooks would be taking part in the upcoming qualifiers vs. Jamaica and Panama, but did reveal his plans to bring in an otherwise full-strength squad to training camp, which begins on Sunday.

“John Anthony Brooks with Hertha Berlin, he will be out. He’s not back with the team yet,” Klinsmann said. “I spoke to Michael Bradley this morning. He’s also trying to catch up. It’s not going to be in time for our two games because he’s still not in training with his team in Roma.”

Klinsmann said he plans on having veterans Jermaine Jones and Clint Dempsey with the national team when camp starts in Kansas City on Sunday.

“I spoke to Sigi (Schmid) a couple of times and they expect (Clint Dempsey) back on the weekend,” Klinsmann said. “So therefore we’ll expect him in camp on Sunday and then we’ll see where he’s at.”

The U.S. coach made it clear his selection process for the upcoming qualifiers is no way being affected by the MLS schedule, which will see MLS matches played during the international fixture window.

“It’s absolutely no issue for us,” Klinsmann said. “Obviously we see the busy schedule MLS is going through, but we make that no difference. This is World Cup qualifying. We want to end it on a very high note, so we’re going to call in the guys we believe in.

“There are obviously a lot question marks,” Klinsmann added. “Eight or nine guys on yellow cards still, and some injuries happen so it might force you into some changes after the first game against Jamaica.

“If that’s going to be the case we’ll make some changes, but we’re not looking at the MLS schedule at all.”

Klinsmann stressed just how important the upcoming qualifiers are to help evaluate his team, and to give players an opportunity to impress and work toward earning a place on the next summer’s roster.

“There’s a World Cup waiting for you in Brazil. All you need to say is Brazil. The race is on,” said Klinsmann. “This about showing, especially the coaches, but everyone, that you deserve to go to Brazil. All these games, every training session, everything that goes on in the camp, has a meaning. They know that once they come in it’s about serious business. We want to do well. We want to improve as a team.

“We still have a long way to go,” Klinsmann said. “The benchmark was CONCACAF. We managed it. We qualified in advance, which was nice, but when you look towards Brazil, and you look at the nations that are going to qualify, and have already qualified, this is a whole different ballgame so we have to start preparing for that.”

Klinsmann also downplayed the possibility of calling in top young American prospects for the upcoming qualifiers, insisting that players such as the top members of the most recent Under-20 World Cup team need to focus on gaining experience on the club side rather than being called up to the senior team.

“All the youngsters that were with (U-20 national team head coach Tab Ramos), we watch them,” Klinsmann said. “Whether it’s DeAndre Yedlin, for example, in Seattle, or Luis (Gil) there, or a (Jose) Villarreal. But we also see that they’re also still missing a lot. We’ve got to give them time. The best thing that can happen to them is play. Play games. Get as many games as you can and grow.”


  1. I am very impressed with the mindset Klinsi has established going forward to Brazil. He is set to crank the intensity up a couple gears, and I like it.

  2. Rest the players dinged up even the slightest bit. No lingering problems that might impact next year.

    I’m not 100% sure whether a quali card suspension goes to the next international date or the World Cup. All due respect to his thinking on cards but I’d tell people don’t do anything red-worthy and then play like nothing is the matter for game one because the worst outcome of yellow card accumulation is they miss game two of qualis (big whoop) and reset the cards if there is no reset for the World Cup. However, game two you sit people with card trouble to ensure nothing carries over to a game that does matter. There probably will be a World Cup reset but you don’t want them enforcing a card accumulation suspension from the last, meaningless game in qualis in your first World Cup game, which is huge.

    I’m a little concerned at setting up the last qualis like A team fixtures played all out. If you want people risking injury and suspension to play hard it’s marginal people who have nothing to lose and are being given a chance. You really want to preserve the core from any sort of turbulence, best he can….he can’t control club.

    The only exceptions to this should be people like Jozy who have placed themselves in poor club situations and need a stage to show they still have it. I’m concerned that the AZ Effect that benefitted the US this last summer may wear off as he struggles to produce for a bad Sunderland team.

    • Your approach to cards and injuries is unrealistic.

      Certainly you don’t play anyone if you risk exacerbating a particular injury situation but my guess would be just about every player is dinged up a bit.

      Otherwise, if a player can go and you want him, you play him. All players risk career ending injuries every time they step on the field be it for WC qualifiers or practice. There is no 100% fool proof way to protect players from injury.

      And from what I’ve seen it’s pretty useless to tell any player “go out there and play your best but don’t get a card.” Except in certain cynical circumstances, I doubt any player goes out there intentionally looking to get carded.

      As for Jozy, what AZ effect? He’s playing very well. In his last game against Liverpool he played the target man role almost perfectly. He got to almost every outlet pass made to him and did something positive with it maybe 80% of the time. He is very clearly Sunderland’s best forward and one of their top two or three best players. If he keeps it up regardless of what happens to Sunderland, someone will buy him, If Sunderland are going to use him as a classic target man they need someone who can do something positive with Jozy’s layoffs.

      • I understand there is a general injury risk but playing someone with a knock or worse in these games is silly because they are greater risks than usual. You risk losing them for months or even all next year.

        I think an experienced player would understand what I mean. Play like you were sitting on a yellow in that game, like you want to make it 90. No silly tackles, let the guy go instead of a professional foul, back out of 50/50s if you think your timing is bad. Give up that goal instead of tripping them in the box. Granted, sports are sports and you can pick up cards not trying/in spite of yourself. But we need to maximize our roster going forward, we don’t need results. If you have to pick up a card do it in game one so you can serve your game the last quali.

        I think it was beneficial to the US for Jozy to be scoring bushels in Holland compared to trying hard but ineffective in England. People may disagree with me but in his rougher US years that was when he was bouncing around from Hull to Xerez to where-ever and producing like right now. I think it better benefits us for him to be in a productive situation rather than a tries hard situation….we need him in the flow of scoring regularly…..that’s been his benefit of late….if he goes back to being a worker bee he’s less useful to the US. What we need is a form finisher(s).

      • Sunderland have 32 league games and an unknown number of cup (FA and Capitol One ) games left.

        You are not a big fan of Jozy’s but with the transfer window shut Jozy should have until January to prove himself since Sunderland have no one anywhere near him in terms of goal scoring ability.

        As for how Jozy’s condition benefits the US your logic is a bit convoluted. Jozy is doing what JK wants, testing himself at a higher level. If you have watched his last few games you will see he is a far more complete player than he was even a year ago. For example he is much more aerially dominant.

        That can only benefit the US. He already proved he can score in Holland. Now all he needs to do is prove he can score with some regularity in the BPL.

        All indicators look good to me. Besides if he fails you all can just move on to the player everyone has already anointed as the next US soccer savior, the Icelandic- American David Villa.

  3. Call up Freddy adu and Dax McCarty doesn’t hurt to see some other players I mean they already qualified for brazil so it’s good to see some other options that could be better alternatives to some players, and both of them have experience and shown proven ability but never given the chance to really become settled and show what they can do

    • Everyone wants to test players out here and there but the fact is we haven’t seen Dempsey Donovan and Altidore on the field together in well over a year now. If you think those players are going to lead your attack in Brazil, at some point they need some matches together.

    • I think Adu is even farther down the pecking order with the emergence of Diskerud, Bedoya, and Corona. Hoping Lichaj gets a shot at RB and that the back line actually stays the same to keep building on chemistry.

    • Adu is riding the bench in Brazil. Unless he starts showing some form, let’s permanently shelf any talk of him playing on the US MNT. He needs playing time first and he ain’t getting it now.

  4. Klinsmann needs to cap the U-18 stars sooner rather than later. Maybe not in these WCQ, but with Foreign looking at US startlets that have dual citizenship, I wouldn’t be surprised if we lose one or two blue-chippers to foreign interests before JK has a chance to cap them.

    Right now, Luis Gil (RSL) has received overtures from Mexico for joining El Tri, and Scotland has expressed interest in Jack McBean (LA). not to mention on ongoing tug-of-war over more than a few Germericans.

  5. Sooner or later Klinsmann has to make up his mind about who is on the team. If he thinks that players can find their rhythm in just a couple of games, he needs to think again. The players need to feel secure. If they don’t they’ll always look as if they are still auditioning. And auditioning players are selfish in that they want to impress. They tend to hang onto the ball longer than necessary, and they pass to fewer people because they want to score themselves. Insecure players make for a losing team. So Klinsi, make you choices and be done with it.

    • I think that’s exactly what he plans to do based on his comments, aside from the fact that some of the guys are injured and many are sitting on YCs.

      What a lot of fans are hoping (myself included), though, is that he brings most of the core team along with some fringe guys who are serious contenders. He also needs to let some of the established guys in the 18 get a shot at earning a starting role. That means the likes of:

      Cameron, Kljestan, Diskerud, Johannsson, Boyd, Lichaj*, Shea^, Ream#

      *Yes, I know it’s hard to consider Lichaj “fringe” when he hasn’t even been in camp yet.
      ^Yes, I know Shea’s not getting minutes with Stoke
      #GASP! This one’s definitely a stretch, but per reports, Ream’s been pretty good at LB for Bolton, who haven’t been giving up a ton of goals (despite not scoring any either). Stakes are also pretty low, and we know Klinsmann rates him.

  6. I can’t wait to see Aron Iceman Baconator Yeti Jóhannsson in the starting line-up. I have kept the candles lit on my AJ shrine even when you all doubted. I feel that I can now take credit for the greatest American soccer player. You are all welcome.

    • His twenty minutes for the Nats is without a doubt the greatest contribution to US Soccer EVER. Why even play him? Let’s just put him in the US Soccer Hall of Fame now.

    • If you get one iota of credit for AJ then I am putting in for,as JK says, “a big compliment” for keeping the candles lit for Kate Upton.

      I thought she was awesome when others thought she was fat.

    • Not even back in training with Roma. Won’t be in camp. It’s in the best interest of the USMNT for him to continue his recovery with his club.

  7. Galaxy will lose Penedo, Omar, Keane, and Donovan. They are only one point clear of missing the playoffs, with three games in eight days. Anybody nervous?

    • Omar, Keane and Donovan really have no reason to go on international duty. It’s absurd, especially if Keane goes, making that long trip when Ireland has already been eliminated.

      • That is my main point. Klinsmann is walking a fine line here between looking out for the National Team, which is certainly important, and fuc*king up some MLS teams. He can take some of the players but he should be measured about it and not just take everyone. Especially the teams he is taking multiple players from. He shouldn’t take every player from those teams.

      • On the other hand if LA misses the playoffs you can bet the MLS won’t schedule through international breaks anymore.

      • True that. I’d hate to see it, but this should definitely be the last season they schedule crap like this. A lot of playoff teams stand to be hurt.

      • as the the USMNT’s most important player, I can see a reason to have Donovan playing – gaining experience with, and building on-field understanding with the newer faces.

    • You can’t blame Klinsman or anyother national team coach or player for bringing in first choice teams for world cup qualifiers…its MLS that deserves the blame. That being said, the way the Galaxy are playing right now, I am nervous regardless who is going on nat team duty!!!! They are scaring the piss out of me!

  8. In regards to Demspey, this seems like another situation where jk calls a guy in that is currently not 100% only to release him a few days into camp. It seems certain that Demspey will not be fit.

    • So Klinsmann is going to screw with Dempsey’s chance to get rest with his body and a rhythm with his club team so he can get “a few days” in camp. Shambolic.

      • Could be shambolic… or it could be about testing the baseline of your current team captain’s commitment by calling him in, giving him some lite training with the (presumably) Gold Cup midfielders, and sending him out for a half.

        This is about Brazil now, not about experiementation. Seems to me that Klinsy wants to begin the gelling process. This means bringing certain players in as a matter of routine, not only for gelling on/off the field, but simply for the sake of establishing a routine. To Clint: you’re the captain, therefore, you are here. Simple as that.

      • There is no qestion about Clint’s commitment!

        To Clint: I don’t give a damn about your health or your club team. Now kiss my ring!

  9. I could care less about the Sounders so this comment is not coming from that perspective. I think klinsmann is screwing with Dempsey here. As a National Team fan I don’t know why you bring a guy in that is barely coming off an injury and is not settled with his club team to games that he is not needed in. Let the dude rest and get in a rhythm with his club team for goodness sake!

    Thank goodness Landon had the guts to take some time off. He would be completely burned out by now if Klinsmann had his way. Now Klinsmann is trying to burn out Dempsey.
    Where is the balance between bringing in your captain to develop chemistry vs. completely burning your captain out?

    • You could *not* care less about the Sounders.

      I, on the other hand, care about the Sounders, and am a bit disappointed we face the prospect of losing EJ, Evans and Dempsey while in a tight Supporter’s Shield race so they can be available for World Cup qualifiers, yes, but qualifiers for a World Cup for which we’ve already qualified.

      Seems unnecessarily hardass by JK.

      • Seattle is better without those players. Neagle and Martins up top is your best combo. All they do is score and win.

      • You can’t leave out EJ though. Neagle, Martins and EJ all lead the team with eight goals each, and EJ’s goals have been in clutch situations.

      • Sigi Schmid is a big boy. He can handle JK. All these clubs can either look out for themselves or not but that is on them and JK.

        They all know they have to live with each other for a little while.

      • I can understand leaving Dempsey out, but not the other two.
        If they want to go to Brazil, they need to play with the national team. They need to play with players on the national team they don’t normally get to play with so that they can play better with those players.
        Klinsi is right to call them in “meaningless” qualifiers or nor.

        The MLS needs to respect international breaks, that’s all.

  10. does anyone think it’s a matter of complete coincidence that Timmy Chandler has not been called in once since that Sporting News article came out? Especially since the USMNT players like Howard have since admitted that there was “internal strife” in camp.

    Could it be that far from the truth that Chandler’s fickle approach to call-ups over the years made his teammates less than pleased and JK finally aligned his actions with his words about being 100% committed to the team?

    I just found it interesting in retrospect and whether Chandler who does start in the Bundesliga at a coveted position for USMNT will get to go to Brazil after all, ahead of a Parkhurst or Evans

    • I think I saw some rumors Klinsmann tried to call Chandler into the Gold Cup and he just turned it down. If that’s true, it was probably the last straw and I doubt we see him at least this cycle.

      • JK did talk to him about the Gold Cup. Chandler was coming off another injury and wanted to heal…. supposedly….
        His lack of call ups have had nothing to do with the article, but about his commitment and form.. the latter being very poor that he was benched.. until recently has he regained his starting spot

  11. I think JK should avoid calling in MLS players, not out of respect for the playoff but because the MLS players have been playing since March and might be wearing out, especially those involved the Gold Cup and qualifiers. If we had a talent pool like Germany we could demand Teutonic toughness from every aspiring team member but unfortunately if the USA loses key players there isn’t a large number of replacements to pick from.

    • I initially thought JK would not bring in the A+ team. I guess having the moral high ground if it finds itself (womens and youth teams included) in Mexico / Panama / Honduras current situation … and having a true barometer into who really wants a ticket to Brazil is more important to JK than I expected.

  12. Mike Petke is hoping for call-ups for Dempsey, Johnson, Evans, Beckerman, Rimando, Zusi, Besler — am I missing anybody?

  13. Jurgen is so direct its awesome. Im surprised that he has that much disregard for the MLS calendar tho… I can think of 3-4 players from Seattle that will miss a crucial game at Portland (plus a few others that will go off to other national teams). I believe LA and KC both have important games during the break too.

    I dont have a problem with it.. MLS knew what they were doing when they made the schedule..

  14. In the interview he was specifically asked about Gil but went straight to Yedlin. This makes me think that we could be seeing him sooner than Klinsmann lets on.

    • What makes you think that?

      “Whether it’s DeAndre Yedlin, for example, in Seattle, or Luis (Gil) there, or a (Jose) Villarreal. But we also see that they’re also still missing a lot. We’ve got to give them time. The best thing that can happen to them is play. Play games. Get as many games as you can and grow.”

      His reason for mentioning those players was they are still young and need more season. Which is why he probably won’t be calling them up.

  15. Well, if Panama still has a chance of finishing in fourth place ahead of Mexico before the last qualifier, I wouldn’t mind seeing the US U-15 team being called up.

  16. makes sense about Bradley and JAB. i’m surprised he’s so sure about Dempsey. really interested to see how this lineup turns out.

  17. Above all else, win the Hex and get as many games as possible with your best players together.
    I think that’s the right message and attitude

  18. “There’s a World Cup waiting for you in Brazil. All you need to say is Brazil. The race is on,” One thing I really like about Klinsmann is that the lets the whole world know that nothing is a given when it comes to guys making the team or being starters. He’s pretty clear that they are all competing to go to and play in Brazil.


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