[USA-COSTA RICA] Jurgen Klinsmann's positive attitude was certainly tested during a week when he lost four players to last-minute injuries or illness and the work he has done for the last 19 months came under a blistering attack. But he remained optimistic on the eve of Friday's USA-Costa Rica game at Dick's Sporting Goods Park (10 pm ET, ESPN/UniMas).
In an interview with ESPN early in the day, he said the criticism in a Sporting News report was "normal" and he's certainly seen his share in a coaching career that saw him coach the German national team, the 2006 World Cup host, and Bayern Munich, a club famous for its public bickering.
Klinsmann pushed back, saying the criticism was a positive sign.
“What does it mean, 'anonymous quotes?'” Klinsmann asked during his media conference on Thursday. “That’s just part of our environment. Journalists and people can say whatever they feel, whatever they think, whatever they believe, which is important. I think it’s a great sign, all the debate that is going on about soccer in this country. It shows you that people care."
Klinsmann said the criticism did not bother him but seemed most upset with the anonymous nature of the criticism.
“It really doesn’t bother me that much,” he said. “If it’s true, which obviously it’s still a rumor because if you say ‘anonymous sources’ then you gotta name it, then you’d rather prefer as a coach or as individual, no matter who you are, that people talk to you directly if they have something to complain about. It’s as simple as that."
GOALKEEPERS:Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS:Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Justin Morrow (San Jose Earthquakes)
MIDFIELDERS: DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Roma), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Maurice Edu (Bursaspor), Jermaine Jones (Schalke), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Brek Shea (Stoke City), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS:Jozy Altidore (AZ), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Clint Dempsey (Tottenham), Herculez Gomez (Santos), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders FC)
Costa Rica Roster:
GOALKEEPERS:Keylor Navas (Levante, Spain), Patrick Pemberton (Alajuelense).
DEFENDERS:Juan Diego Madrigal (Santos), Christian Gamboa (Rosenborg, Norway), Michael Umana (Saprissa), Kendall Watson (Perez Zeledon), Giancarlo Gonzalez (Valerenga, Norway), Roy Miller (New York Red Bulls) Bryan Oviedo (Everton, England), Christopher Meneses (Alajuelense).
MIDFIELDERS:Celso Borges (AIK, Sweden), Osvaldo Rodriguez (Santos), Cristian Bolanos (FC Copenhagen, Denmark), Ariel Rodriguez (Perez Zeledon), Keylor Soto (Perez Zeledon), Yeltsin Tejeda (Saprissa), Michael Barrantes (Aalesund, Norway), Bryan Ruiz (Fulham, England), Mauricio Castillo (Cartagines), Diego Calvo (Alajuelense).
FORWARDS:Alvaro Saborio (Real Salt Lake), Joel Campbell (Betis, Spain), Jairo Arrieta (Columbus Crew).