Photo by Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
U.S. Men’s National Team manager Jurgen Klinsmann repeatedly criticized his side’s fitness in the team’s latest camp, but Sporting KC head coach Peter Vermes believes Klinsmann’s criticisms were misguided.
Vermes called Klinsmann’s fitness expectations “utterly ridiculous,” according to The Kansas City Star, after the U.S. head coach criticized his team following a loss to Chile. Sporting KC was represented in camp by goalkeeper Jon Kempin and center back Matt Besler, who took a few weeks off prior to camp after playing 22 consecutive months due to last summer’s World Cup.
“To expect those guys to be in top form at a January camp — and I mean this — I think it’s utterly ridiculous,” Vermes said.
“Totally disagree with the comment,” Vermes added. “I have a lot of respect for Jurgen. Obviously he was a great player, and he’s done tremendous things as a coach, as well. But that doesn’t mean every time someone opens their mouth, they’re right. And I completely disagree.”
Besler also defended the group’s fitness, saying that his focus is on preparation for the upcoming MLS season, not January camp.
“My goal is to be in my peak fitness on March 1,” Besler said. “That’s when my season starts. It goes from March to December. So on Jan. 15, we devised an offseason plan for me to hit my peak fitness on March 1, and I think that’s what most of the guys did.
“If the expectation is different, that’s something that needs to be discussed so we know going into a camp where we need to be.”
What do you think of Vermes and Besler’s comments? What should Klinsmann expect from January camp in the future?
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