Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Klinsmann: 'The door is still open until May'
by Paul Kennedy, February 5th, 2014 2:28PM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ
TAGS:  americans abroad, men's national team

MOST COMMENTED

[USA MEN] With the end of the January camp, U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann's attention returns to looking at players playing at foreign clubs. He says he plans on using the March 5 game at Ukraine to get one last look at some players -- likely based in Europe -- about whom he doesn't have a clear picture.

He told USSoccer.com the door will still open until the very last moment when he has to call up the players he intends to bring into the pre-World Cup camp expected to be held in mid-May in Northern California.

In recent weeks, several European-based players who seemed to be out of the World Cup picture due to lack of playing time or poor form have moved back into the hunt. Klinsmann went so far as to mention Timmy Chandler, who was finally cap-tied after a long engagement a year ago but who has not played or been called in since the 2-1 loss to Honduras in the Hexagonal opener.

Chandler has played every game for Nuremberg this season and earned kicker Team of the Week honors in the first game before and after the Bundesliga winter break and had another strong game Sunday in Nuremberg's 3-1 win at Hertha Berlin. Chandler's reluctance to commit to the USA is well known but he does play a position -- right back -- at which no obvious first choice has emerged.

Ridge Mahoney: Perceptions change with each U.S. game

“We just want them to be on the field and build their case," Klinsmann told U.S. Soccer. "We communicate with them, players like Oguchi Onyewu, Tim Ream, and Danny Williams. You have Brek Shea, who went down into the Championship from Stoke to play games and is now playing 90 minutes almost every week. You have Timmy Chandler at Nurnberg, who for six months has been doing a very consistent, good job. Jermaine Jones goes to Besiktas and will pick up the rhythm of playing games again. We follow the players that have injury problems like Steve Cherundolo, who is still having issues, and John Anthony Brooks with Hertha Berlin, who is hopefully back next week. Same with Fabian Johnson who broke his arm and is hopefully back next week as well. Being in February and a few months prior to the World Cup, you want to see them all play. You have to give them a clear message that only if you pick up a rhythm and play week-in, week-out, will you complete one of the big keys in order to make the World Cup roster. That’s why we are really happy some of them now are starting to get their rhythm. This all plays a vital role in evaluating them, and then we have to make the vital calls in May.”

Onyewu, Ream, Williams and Shea -- all national team starters at some point in the past -- present unusual challenges for Klinsmann and his staff to evaluate in that they all play in the second level of English soccer. Still, he said the door remains open for everyone.

“It’s about what happens over the next couple of months," he said. "We coaches are going to do our homework as well. We are going to put the puzzle together of hopefully 23 players that are totally committed, that are not only giving everything they have, but that also mix well together. The tricky part about a World Cup roster is that you want to bring in a group that really is on the same page with one another, that support one another and are willing to take the challenge to another level – maybe two levels – within a short period of time. We have preparation for the World Cup for four weeks. In those four weeks, we will do a tremendous amount of work and they need to be ready for that. There are many different elements that play into the roster and therefore the door remains open until the very last day.”

Klinsmann signaled that most if not all the players called in for the Ukraine game -- the lone game for which he'll have the luxury of picking his entire roster -- will be European-based players, not from MLS or Mexico's Liga MX.

“Obviously, it’s challenging bringing a lot of players over from the U.S. or from Mexico for a game that only has three days of preparation," he said. "It’s more an opportunity to call in more European-based players because they are already in Europe and they can quickly show us where they are at. We have a very good picture of the players we worked with in the January camp for four weeks. We know where they’re at, what their qualities are and what they bring to the table, so the Ukraine match might be an opportunity to see a couple more European –based players."

For the half dozen players based in Mexico -- Edgar Castillo, Joe Corona and Herculez Gomez at Tijuana, DaMarcus Beasley and Michael Orozco at Puebla and Jose Torres at Tigres -- their only chance to impress Klinsmann one last time will come if a match against Mexico on April 2 comes through.

There is a catch, though. If Tijuana beats the LA Galaxy in the Concacaf Champions League, the semifinals will begin on April 1, meaning Xolos' trio of U.S. World Cup hopefuls, Castillo, Corona and Gomez, will likely be unavailable.


2 comments
  1. Jake Lammi
    commented on: February 5, 2014 at 6:27 p.m.
    If all players are healthy and in form, here is my starting 11 for the World Cup. 4-4-1-1 with Johannsson playing right behind Altidore. GK: Howard RB: Chandler CB: Gonzalez CB: Cameron LB: F. Johnson RM: Donovan CM: Bradley CM: Diskerud LM: Dempsey FW: Johannsson ST: Altidore
  1. Kevin Sims
    commented on: February 5, 2014 at 7:29 p.m.
    Jake is lovin' him some attacking soccer. How entertaining might that group be to watch! All of us outsiders know very little about the team psychology matters JK rightly expresses. This may lead to some surprise omissions, but if founded upon what is best to make TEAM USA tick, so be it. History also suggests there will be a sad injury situation or two arise ... and a couple of "sleeper" players wake up to play an important role. This is the intrigue that keeps us all paying attention.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Arsene Wenger    
"One day, if I'm free, why not?" -- Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on Friday saying he ...
What They're Saying: Sam Allardyce    
"Well done! Our journey has begun with our first win together. Looking forward to seeing you ...
This week in men's college soccer    
Albert Ruiz broke a 43-year-old NCAA record for the fastest hat trick to start a game ...
USL Playoffs: Red Bulls II take best record into postseason    
Overall points leader Red Bulls II heads the USL's Eastern Conference playoff field for first-round, sinlge-elimination ...
USMNT: Seven uncapped players who might get call-ups    
Jurgen Klinsmann's only chance to look at new talent before the Hexagonal starts Nov. 11 is ...
USL Playoffs: Sac Republic FC seeks to reclaim crown    
Two Western Conference games kick off the USL playoffs on Friday in the single-elimination tournament that ...
MLS Countdown: Lots on the line for Rapids and Timbers    
The second meeting of the season between Colorado and Portland comes nearly three months after a ...
NWSL Playoffs: Thorns and Spirit open at home    
For the Portland Thorns and Washington Spirit, this weekend's semifinals will mark the first time they've ...
U.S. Abroad: Carter-Vickers gets Spurs contract extension    
A week after 18-year-old defender Cameron Carter-Vickers made his pro debut for Tottenham Hotspur in the ...
Mexico: Gio is back for October friendlies    
LA Galaxy forward Giovani dos Santos was picked by Mexico national team coach Juan Carlos Osorio ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives