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Klinsmann unfazed by challenging Copa America Centenario draw

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The Copa America Centenario draw wasn’t overly kind to the U.S. Men’s National Team on Sunday night. However, head coach Jurgen Klinsmann remained upbeat following the big reveal in New York City.

The USMNT, which will host this summer’s commemorative edition of the competition, will be joined in Group A by Colombia, Costa Rica and Paraguay.

While the other three nations joining the U.S. certainly pose a threat to the Americans in this year’s Group of Death, Klinsmann somewhat jokingly played off the challenge and reminded everyone of what his team accomplished in Brazil two years ago.

“Obviously it’s a difficult group, no doubt about it, but it’s doable,” Klinsmann said. “We had a similar kind of scenario in Brazil and we went through, so now we start with Colombia right away instead of Ghana.”

The Americans will open up play against Colombia in Group A on June 3 in Santa Clara, California, where the team will face the likes of Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez and Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina.

Despite the USMNT’s familiarity with fellow CONCACAF foe Costa Rica and a potentially difficult matchup that looms four days later in Chicago, Klinsmann believes that taking slow steps and focusing on Colombia is how he and the U.S. will best prepare for the tournament.

“I think we have to take it one at a time,” Klinsmann stated. “We will do everything to prepare very thoroughly for Colombia. Now, it’s good to have the teams because we can reach out and put scouting plans together by their strengths and weaknesses.

“With all of the individual players, we can get our homework done and then prepare the guys 100 percent for the job. Playing Colombia is just exciting. We played them one-and-a-half years ago in London, and we had them right on the edge. Then we gave an easy goal away at the end of the game, but it was an even game for 90 minutes.”

While on paper the U.S. is faced with the dreaded Group of Death, Klinsmann offered no excuses, stating that a trip to the knockout phase is something the team will pursue wholeheartedly.

“It’s difficult to say, but definitely coming through the group is the objective, even if it’s not easy,” Klinsmann said. “After our experience in Brazil, we said that we have to win knockout games. There’s no better way to start that than in Copa America.”

Comments

  1. It’s not impossible to imagine going far in this tournament with a capable coach who’s been at the helm so long. Paraguay already said they will be taking their sub-23 team, Costa Rica has a new coach and they’ve been struggling, Columbia’s said they might take a lot of new young players. We pull off a first place finish and we meet Equador in the next round. Equador is playing good but traditionally they always struggle at the Copa America and choke especially at the elimination round. Only problem is who knows what Jk will do? I wouldn’t mind him just sending our sub-23 to get them ready for 2018. Nothing like a trial by fire to get experience like Paraguay is doing. But something tells me he won’t do that and he will just use his usual favorites and probably foul it all up. Neither making a deep run or preparing the sub 23 for 2018.

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  2. A draw? F a draw. Colombia is struggling a bit right now and the US is going to have a much better roster than it did during the Gold Cup. Plus, Colombia is probably going to bring in an experimental side. The US is going beat both Costa Rica and Paraguay. The US wins all three games if Klinsi doesn’t have a brain fart with the roster.

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  3. Well, the US maybe could draw with Colombia, probably can draw or get lucky and beat CR and can beat Paraguay. I see 5 points possible, which might get us out of the group. It won’t be easy and will take an excellent effort.

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  4. Does anyone objectively think that the US with whatever roster you want to name could compete for the title if Brazil, Chile, Argentina, and Columbia bring their full compliment of players? Do I want us to win, of course, but realistically it would take several historic upsets.

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  5. Again, the success of USMNT for this torneo comes down to the roster. With depth growing seemingly week to week for the US, it’ll be important JK put together a roster that has the right players and the right depth. We saw what heappened when that was properly done in the WC14, the team became worn down and struggled big time in the knockout rounds vs Belgium. The interesting part will be who continues to step up for their club in between now and then and what new comers may emerge to give the team that depth. You also have to think the roster for the March qualifiers and the one for Copa16 will be different considering not many MLSers will be involved next month because of the season just kicking off. All great things to keep an eye on over the next 3 months for sure.

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    • What happens if the other team also “puts a roster together that has the right players and the right depth”?
      It’s a little more complicated than FIFA 14.
      You could say the player pool got bigger but definitely not deeper. Donovan is out, Dempsey and Jones are in running on fumes, Bradley is not that far behind……I don’t see anybody ready to take any of those spots.There is a lot of potential out there but until they pan out that’s all they are, potential.

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      • That’s kinda what I was thinking. I actually thought Klinsmann did a lot of good things and accomplished quite a lot his first cycle…until the wheels came well and truly off in Gold Cup. There was a huge donut hole of talent in the 24-32-year-old age group, which was revealed right there for all the world to see…in that entire range, we have, what, Guzan, Bradley, Fabian Johnson as truly “International quality” starters, with a couple more guys like Altidore, Bedoya, and Cameron in there behind them? After that….I see some players who are aging out in a hurry, and a whole mess of young guys with that aforementioned “potential”, none of whom have really established themselves as fixtures. We know Zardes and a healthy Yedlin will see the field somewhere, Brooks is becoming a fixture, and Klinsmann seems high on Nagbe – I would be too – but after that, who knows?

        Not sure why that massive hole is there – it may just be just how the cookie crumbled, nobody really to blame, though everyone of course will – or how we’re really going to fill it except trial and error. All the invective against Klinsmann aside, any coach we bring in is going to be doing the same thing Klinsmann is – trying a bunch of new guys, seeing who sticks.

        Until we actually start seeing what we actually got with the new guys, I truly don’t think anyone knows what the USA is really capable of or where we’ll finish.

    • Hard to blame JK for the wearing down against Belgium, no manager could predict two strikers being unavailable, plus only getting 32 minutes from your starting left winger in that game. Look at all the teams that had to play in Manuas they all struggled mightily after their journey to the jungle. I’m sorry I’m sure someone will jump in with if he’d brought Landon, but there is no way LD would have recovered his fitness had he played in the Portugal game, not at his age and fitness level.

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      • The team had no replacement for Jozy and that’s 100% on JK. No LD, no Boyd, they had to rely on Wondo by the time the Belgium game rolled around and we know how that worked out…

      • When will people get it through their heads that Belgium is far superior to the US and will be for some while since a lot of their players are still relatively young. In 2014 we had only 1 or 2 players who might have made their starting 11 and maybe 1 or 2 more good enough to make their roster. As good as Howard was, he’s no better than Courtois, for example. We were lucky just to be close to them.

      • No question, Belgium has better players than the US, especially in this generation, which is their best in probably 30 years. It isn’t close. Still, the best team doesn’t always win off-games and if someone better than Wondo (for example, the greatest player this country has ever produced) is on the end of that chance in the last minute of normal time, then we win anyway, however undeserved.

    • I’m sure you, or me… or about anyone would make changes to that WC roster. Or any selection by any manager for that matter. But lets be truthful. That’s not the entire story on why we got run down. Regardless of selections, give or take away 2-3 players… there was going to be a talent gap- we were going to be out skilled/possessed by the teams in our group…. bunker in, chase the games and hope for a breakaway or set piece goal. Defend and chase for 90-someodd minutes, especially in Brazil heat- you WILL wear down even the fittest of teams.

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    • I thought we had some chances to actually win that game, but Colombia was definitely the better side. I wouldn’t say that they completely dominated,though, and I watched that game a few times.

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  6. Does he really think that game in London was 50-50? Columbia ran all over us, seriously am I missing something? It will take a monumental effort to get to 4 points in this group but hopefully that’s where we will be heading into the 3rd match.

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    • Its coach speak, no coach is going to go out there and say remember a year and a half ago, they destroyed us, we were awful, we might as well send our U17s we’re going to lose anyway.

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    • The starting lineup in that game included six players who will not start in the Copa (Garza, Brooks, Beckerman, Diskerud, Rubin) or will not start in the same position (Jones at CB), and did not include Bradley.

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    • It might be he see’s the game differently from his ground level view.I saw a Colombia team that held 70+ % possesion and had lots of chances. But then again, we were “in” the game and a were a bit unlucky (as was Colombia) not to score.

      The big advantage is we play Colombia first, no fatigue buildup from one or two previous games in the week.

      The big problem still relevant with Klinsmann is he STILL picks “favorites” regardless of foem. While exiting “in form” players stay home, he fill the team with bench warmers or players having sub-par performance with their club teams, simply because he likes them. If he picks these players for his 23, we will go three and out.

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