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From the U.S. locker room ...
September 6th, 2011 11:28PM

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TAGS:  men's national team


[REACTION] U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann at several points called the USA's match against Belgium "an interesting game." Despite the fact the USA was outshot, 13-6, several players said the USA was unfortunate not to get an equalizer when Maurice Edu's goal was called off. For reaction from Klinsmann and his players ...

U.S. coach JURGEN KLINSMANN
On the match:
"I think it was an interesting game for both sides. You saw in the first 25 minutes we had good passing movement and we were really involved in the game. The Belgian side with their individual class, created some good chances before halftime. In the second half, the reaction was very positive after conceding the goal. We kept moving forward and we kept creating chances. We take a lot away from this game. Overall some very, very good points and an interesting game I think for everybody."

On the impact of young players:
"I think we have some very interesting youngsters coming through the ranks. Brek Shea is definitely one of them. He's full of energy, he's creative, and he’s fast and has a good physical presence. He's one of the kids we are going to build over the next cycle. He's eligible to play for the Olympic team, and so are others as well, like Juan Agudelo. You see their talent and what we try to do is build them one step at a time. It's good to see guys like Brek come over here and play against a strong side. We've told the young players it's now their time to challenge the established ones. That's the message they've got and they have three years to do that."

On substitutes and the second half:
“At halftime our problems weren't too difficult to read. We had problems with [Axel] Witsel and [Marouane] Fellaini passing too many balls through the middle because Maurice Edu was our only player in that position. Bringing Kyle Beckerman in helped Maurice out in that way and we were far more solid. They created far less chances in the second half. Step by step, we pushed it forward. The goal came at a moment when we thought we had the feeling we were going to get more out of the game.”

Belgium-USA Highlights


U.S. midfielder CLINT DEMPSEY
On the match:
“We played some good soccer at times. We responded well after the goal and we were always looking like we were going to get the next one to equalize. We were unlucky not to end the game 1-1 and I don't know why [Maurice Edu's] goal was called back. We have to keep moving forward, keep working on things. It's my first game with the new coach and I'm looking forward to getting more time in training to work with him so I can help the team more.”

On the team's mentality during the game:
“We were confident and we wanted the ball. We're away from home, in Europe, and I think that's a step in the right direction. Even though we maybe didn't create a lot of chances in the first half we linked a lot of passes together. It's about fine tuning things and maybe being a bit greedier in the final third to take responsibility and create a bit more. Second half we did that but we still didn't get the result we wanted.”

U.S. goalkeeper TIM HOWARD
On the match:
“It was a tough game. We knew coming in how talented Belgium was and they were coming off a draw in qualifying that they probably thought they should have won. We knew they were going to come out at home with a performance. Difficult game of course and conditions weren't great, but it was nothing we didn't expect. It was OK, in spots, and in a big game in Europe you're going to have your back against the wall. For the most part I thought we were somewhat resilient.”

U.S. midfielder BREK SHEA
On the game against Belgium:
“In the second half, we moved the ball well and it was unfortunate to lose the goal like that. We had good chances and possession. We created a lot and played pretty well. We didn't get the win but it shows we're progressing in each game.”

On his experience in the national team camp:
“I'm having a really good time playing with Klinsmann. Being around the guys is a lot of fun and I'm learning a lot. Hopefully, I can continue to be called in. Each time I play I get more and more comfortable.”



0 comments
  1. Paul Soccer
    commented on: September 7, 2011 at 8:17 a.m.
    Many of the US players need to visit a cardiologist stat. These guys show no heart on the field, no desire to win, and Klinsmann should probably make an appointment with his ophthalmologist if he can't see this. Jurgen better make like the Wizard of Oz and give this team a heart or they will have a very tough time making it to Brazil 2014.

  1. Andrew Post
    commented on: September 7, 2011 at 8:58 a.m.
    Paul "i don't know" Soccer- really?! 3 games with a new coach and our guys have not heart? So how should these guys play then when they are under a new coach with a new system that is totally different than B Bradley? I forgot that the USNMT under Bradley was a model of "heart". Please don't make comment like this.. it is obvious you have never coached a team otherwise you would know there is an acclimation period. Instituting a new system always causes hesitation within a team that appears to show no heart but is reality is just caution.

  1. F. Kirk Malloy
    commented on: September 7, 2011 at 9:43 a.m.
    The result is meaningless. These games are all about discovering: who can play modern possession soccer, who has technique under speed and pressure, who has the fitness level to cover 6-8 miles a game (like Spanish national team players) so they can press with and without the ball, who can move effectively without the ball, and, sometime soon, who can consistently combine to put the ball in the net. Give JK time, a lot of discovering has already been done (Promising: BS, JT, Juan A)and more is happening every game. JK is not fielding his strongest team, he's fielding all those who need to be measured against real competition. In 6 months they'll be far improved and on the right path. Go USA!

  1. Walt Pericciuoli
    commented on: September 7, 2011 at 10:11 a.m.
    I am still with Klinsi, but a loss is still a loss. The match was pretty even with each team dominating at different points in the match. The difference in my mind was that Belguim threatened with many more players in the attacking third. That needs to be addressed. Perhaps we need the 2nd forward. Please answer me this, if our lone forward has to come back past the MF line to help, who is up top to give us attacking depth?I do think JK is sorting it out and I like that he is willing to give the players more than a few minutes a game to prove themselves. Lets see if Rogers will be starting the next match, or if Altidore starts up top again by himself. Overall, it appears to me the team has improved in each match.

  1. Bob Escobar
    commented on: September 7, 2011 at 10:27 a.m.
    the team needs time under Jurgen, lets not throw in the towel yet....I know what he is trying to do, have the team play with more possession and confidence on the ball, but I believe defensively the team should play more aggressive 45 yards from their goal...also, the team still lacks players going forward (individual skills), and I don't think the USA will ever produce a player with superb offensive individual skills, especially when the youth and college coaches we have have a hard time coaching (teaching) skilful individual players...besides, gifted players learn to be "great individual players" playing at parks, beach or any open field, playing with friends 24/7/365....but when a gifted individual child starts playing for a youth coach, all the other parents, players and coaches tell the kid he is a "ball hog" and should pass the ball...and forget about college ball, 99% of the coaches can't coach for peanuts!!!!

  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: September 7, 2011 at 12:25 p.m.
    Indee, time if a factor, time for Coach Klinsmann to establish his game, bring together the player he deems capable of playing a full 90, and yes, with heart and. As for Paul "Soccer", uh, what's talking about? And hey, I ask yet again, how long did it take Kilnsmann to put his German team together? After three games, three months? Someone, please pray tell how long his selection process took? Mil Gracias!

  1. R2 Dad
    commented on: September 7, 2011 at 12:26 p.m.
    Seemed that JK told Tim to play it out of the back to see who could do anything with it, rather than punt upfield. Watching Torres drop deeper and deeper to receive the ball, our back line didn't show much skill with the ball. Chandler looked better in the 2nd half going forward, but I wish we had world class backs that could play a high line and get forward more, rather than having to add beckerman and take off a winger.

  1. ckg beautiful game
    commented on: September 7, 2011 at 6:14 p.m.
    angry Andrew please settle down, at times the US did shy away from physical play or the 50 50 ball that is apparent, why? Who knows? Any number of reasons, possibly the travel, possibly the European based players are not up to full fitness yet, possibly the US based players are starting to show the effects of the dog days of summer, many of them playing in 3 competitions. It was pretty boring and apart from BS nothing much looked like it would happen offensively. We could have probably conceded at least 2 more goals. What would be said if it had been 3-0 or 4-1? Center backs still a big problem. Mertins had he been more aggressive and looked for himself could have had a goal or two alone. We had nobody who could stay with him all night. What happened to Freddy? He is one of the few players that seems to be able or willing to run at defenses.

  1. Bret Newman
    commented on: September 7, 2011 at 7:45 p.m.
    The one positive thing I see as a team is that the USA is doing a better job at possessing the ball, and passing pretty well. Were starting to look like Mexico. Lot's of possession, but not much to show for it. Now we need more and better scoring chances. Mexico is not really having that problem any more, because of mostly Hernandez.

  1. Paul Soccer
    commented on: September 9, 2011 at 1:27 p.m.
    Dear, Andrew Post, Ric Fonseca and any one else who misunderstood or disagrees with my comment about many US players not showing any heart. Let me clarify that my original comment was only directed towards the players who lacked heart and desire when playing. I was not talking about the technical aspects of the game or Jurgen's coaching philosophy or ability, etc. My comment towards Klinsmann was simply that if JK doesn't realize these guys aren't showing a "desire" to win (regardless if they actually win or lose) he should get his eyes checked. Time will eventually tell us if JK did have a good eye for players or not. I am very aware that building a team is not an overnight process, and I have hope for the US team with Klinsmann at the helm, but I can't stand to watch players who don't leave everything on the field. At this early stage in the process winning or losing games is not as important as seeing a team of players that have the desire to win and show it on the field, something I have not seen in the US team for a while. Why is this important? Because these guys are playing for a spot in the US national team, that's why! They should play like there is no tomorrow, because there might not be. Making the US team for these players should be everything to them. It doesn't matter who the coach is, they need to show him they deserve a spot on the team. Oh, and let's not forget that one of the best windows for American players to showcase their talent to European clubs is by playing for the US national team. So yes, we must give Jurgen adequate time to build the team, I just hope he builds it around those who want it and deserve it the most. P.S. Andrew Post, I played professional soccer in the US before an injury ended my career early, now I coach youth players (10-19), and besides skill, what I look for in a player is heart, desire and a love for the game, without this you can't succeed. Also, I did not say the US team under Bob Bradley had more heart, Bob is no more so let's keep it that way. Oh and Ric Fonseca, Jurgen had the German national team for 2 years (2004-2006). What does that have to do with playing your heart out?

  1. Joey Tremone
    commented on: September 10, 2011 at 6:50 p.m.
    It's a friendly, I'm not sure 'heart' is really what I'm looking for, not that I thought I saw any evidence of the lack of it in that game. In friendlies I'm looking for players, formations, combinations that work well. We can save our heart and desire for when the games count.


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