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Klinsmann: 'We have to go to our extremes'
by Paul Kennedy, June 27th, 2014 10:26PM

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TAGS:  belgium, men's national team, world cup 2014

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[BRAZIL 2014] Belgium is loaded with players from some of the biggest clubs in Europe -- Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, all the EPL giants -- and the Red Devils have beaten the USA in their last two meetings, but U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann says his team has the confidence to win on Tuesday in Salvador. It will take, though, a much better performance than against Germany.

“They are full of individual talent, there’s no doubt about it,” Klinsmann said of Belgium in his first comments since it clinched first place in Group H to set up a date with the USA, which it beat 1-0 in 2011 and 4-2 in 2012. “So much talent coming through the Belgian system, it’s admirable. We are aware of that. But we also believe we have enough confidence now going into this game to beat them. We all know we have to go to our extremes and get 100 percent from each player to make this happen."

Klinsmann said he has not seen that yet from his players, who will be coming off a 1-0 loss to Germany that followed a 2-1 win over Ghana and 2-2 tie with Germany.

“I was definitely not as happy as with the first two games with the performance they had against Germany,” he said. “Now, going into knockout games, everyone has to call up his 100 percent for the team. I believe that in our team so far, nobody can claim that he reached his 100 percent yet."

Klinsmann is looking for more consistency from his players -- the same consistency he says the Belgian players get from playing at big clubs.

“The key in a World Cup is try to repeat that time and again, to play to your highest capability," he added. "We don’t have that consistency yet throughout a whole year.”

Belgian coach Marc Wilmots started a team against Algeria in its opener that included six players based in England, two each Spain and England and one in Russia. In the USA's loss to Germany, Klinsmann started seven players in MLS, plus one each in England, Germany, Mexico and Turkey.

That lack of players from big-name clubs is one reason the USA and other teams from Concacaf don't get a lot of respect in Europe, but that is changing, Klinsmann said, thanks to the qualification of the USA, Mexico and Costa Rica ahead of the likes of England, Italy, Portugal and Croatia.

“To be honest," he said, "I know how people from Europe look over at our region, and there’s not that level of respect that we would like to have. So to have these results now, things are changing. People look differently to our region and say, ‘You know what, there’s a lot happening here.’"



Injury Updates

USA. Jozy Altidore has resumed training after sitting out the last two games with a hamstring injury and Klinsmann is very optimistic "we’ll have him be part of the Belgium game.”

-- Jermaine Jones and Alejandro Bedoya were cleared to train after being checked by U.S. Soccer doctors after colliding in the Germany match. Jones came out the worse for wear with a broken nose.

BELGIUM. Right back Anthony Vanden Borre is out of the World Cup after breaking his ankle at the end of the game Thursday against South Korea, his first of the tournament for which he earned high marks.

Captain Vincent Kompany, who sat out the South Korea on Thursday, is now listed as uncertain for the U.S. match, as is left back Thomas Vermaelen, who was injured in the Russia match. Laurent Ciman, the lone field player who did not play in the three group matches, is also injured, leaving Coach Marc Wilmots with just four healthy defenders.

If Kompany cannot come back, the likely backline against the USA will be Atletico Madrid's Toby Alderweireld, who was rested for the South Korea match, at right back, Nicolas Lombaerts (Zenit St. Petersburg) and Daniel Van Buyten (Bayern Munich) in the middle and Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham) on the left side.

"These injuries might be a problem," said Wilmots, "but I have solutions. And Daniel Van Buyten and Nicolas Lombaerts played well in the middle Thursday against the South Koreans."


18 comments
  1. Mark Hardt
    commented on: June 28, 2014 at 7:50 a.m.
    Klinsman will need to surprise Belgium. I like startng Yedlin and bringing in Mix later.

  1. Andy Wagner
    commented on: June 28, 2014 at 7:55 a.m.
    We already won the World Cup...We were all smiles after losing to Germany. When we lose to the Belgians you will see tears of joy.

  1. Mark Hardt
    commented on: June 28, 2014 at 8:32 a.m.
    wow Andy. Cynicism and Resignation are so un American. Who are you anyways? Are you Hungarian? (the suicide is painless). Klinsi needs to use his speedy players to exploit a slow back line. Maybe even Green at some point.

  1. Andy Wagner
    commented on: June 28, 2014 at 8:47 a.m.
    We need to raise our expectations in order to get to the next level. That is all. UN AMERICAN! DO not compare livelihood with sport. Other countries do not tell young players that if they play academy soccer then they are not allowed to play school ball. These types of mandates cut out the Messi's of our country. This is why we will never succeed as a soccer nation. The institution in this country where every child must pass is our schools. What a great opportunity to evaluate everyone. No, we cut the schools out and eliminate the disadvantaged...that my friend is un American.

  1. Albert Harris
    commented on: June 28, 2014 at 10:05 a.m.
    Glad to see we're talking soccer here and not ranting on about politics. P.S. Sarcasm Alert

  1. soccer talk
    commented on: June 28, 2014 at 10:12 a.m.
    Again Andrew; They did not celebrate a loss to Germany but instead raised their fists in the reality that they had advanced in that moment. They would have been just as jubilant if the Ghana match had been last in the schedule. I agree w/ u on the ridiculous banning of kids from HS soccer during academy play where the majority of those kids will not see a pair of professional boots anyhow, kids need to be kids as much as possible. But contrarily what is the justice in taking a low income 3rd world country boy out of his home @ a U10 age to rarely see his family which is a nurturing component... that all kids need even in a non soccer environment. The grass is not always greener on your "un-American side of the fence". But unfortunately the American system does have $ playing the advantage for some kids leaving the lower income lost. You sound a little disgruntled AW. I man w/out a country? lol

  1. John Cunha
    commented on: June 28, 2014 at 10:16 a.m.
    US has to do better in midfield. Too many errant passing and combination play. Bradley's First touches need to be better. I am not confident US is going through, especially after the Ghana and Germany game. Klins is right, players have not done their BEST "yet"! Klins can still bring one player up after group play. If Altidore is not fit, bring on Donovan.

  1. Charles Stamos
    commented on: June 28, 2014 at 10:52 a.m.
    Start Altidore if he is ready. He can be subbed out if he tires or can't go 100%. Move JJones upfront if Altidore is taken out. Move JJones to a more forward position than MBradley. He has caused some serious problems in an attacking postion and has played forward before. He also is the player most like Altidore. Alternately, start more defensively and bring Jozy in at halftime if we need some offense. Play with two players in an attackng position. Yedlin can be a good 45 minute play. Again, have him come in at halftime if we need offense. Gonzalez earned a start over Cameron. Start the same back four as the last game. Midfield is Bradley Beckermann Zusi Bedoya and JJones. Forwards - Dempsey and Altidore. This can start the extreme effort that JK wants us to produce. Get some offense and creativity out there. Play total soccer. Belguim is a solid team, but they have not been tested to the extreme. Good luck USA!

  1. Charles Stamos
    commented on: June 28, 2014 at 10:54 a.m.
    Zusi or Bedoya! Otherwise we play a 4-5-2 - finally a formation that I agree with, LOL.

  1. Ginger Peeler
    commented on: June 28, 2014 at 1:24 p.m.
    Sorry to see Vanden Borre is out. I was really looking forward to seeing him and Tim Howard together with the bald heads and beards. Andy, obviously you're upset because even though we lost to Germany, you can't trumpet, "I told you so," since we still QUALIFIED FOR THE NEXT ROUND!!! Bummer for you. Kudos to the USMNT for 3 hard-fought games and advancing. I Believe...

  1. Santiago 1314
    commented on: June 28, 2014 at 11:41 p.m.
    Cameron, Dempsey, Bradley, Jones, PeckerHair, Zusi, Bee, Brooks, Gonzo, Fabio, Howard.. Cameron still thinks he's a offensive player from his College/earlyDynamo days. He is also the sub for Jones, so they could be switched on the field.. He can also play as Wingback/outsideMid vs Hazard. He has played vs Hazard in the BPL.. Brooks because, Besler has shown that he can't go 120minutes..

  1. Bret Newman
    commented on: June 28, 2014 at 11:43 p.m.
    Belgium comes into this game limping. I wouldn't put to much stock into how USA played against Germany. They came into that game with little rest, and not really needing to win, not to mention Germany is a one of the best teams in this WC. I predict USA will win 2-1. After that they will shock the world, and beat Argentina 2-1 in overtime. Finally they will bow out to The Netherlands 3-1. The reason that they will beat Argentina, is because only Messi makes them good. He had bailed them out in almost every game, and also USA has matched up well with Argentina in the past.

  1. Chris Sapien
    commented on: June 29, 2014 at 7:59 p.m.
    I would freakin' love to see Klinns start Fabian and Yedlin stacked on the right side, making Vertongen's head explode as they interchange their roles pushing ball after ball to the goal line with crosses and cut-ins! Howard, Beasley Besler Cameron Fabian: Zusi Jones Bradley Yedlin: Dempsey Johannsson! First two off the bench, Altidore Mix then Bedoya to hold the lead. No more three CBs Klinns in the late stages.

  1. M B
    commented on: June 30, 2014 at 9:36 a.m.
    The extreme will again be the game field temperature, humidity, the dew point. It will be extreme. No, not Qatar year 2022 extreme. But it will be too extreme for what is supposed to be a fast paced cardiopulminary display of sporting competition. THANKS FIFA! (Sarcasm!) I was once a fan sitting twice in Orlando, Florida in 1994. It was impossible to move as a fan sitting on one's rear end. Heat exhaustion is real. This is not 18 holes of golf where the players have caddies to do all the actual work. The extreme is the stupidity of thinking this is great sporting spectacle. Easy prediction: It will be another dull, dreary, very few real goal scoring chances affair. The reason we will easily see several more matches that go to overtime and then penalty deciders is that the players just cannot and won't risk pushing forward. Their bodies and minds cannot do it. Not in field temperatures that exceed 90 degrees F with little real breeze and wind in these modern, all enclosed stadiums that leave players short of breath and feeling closed in, claustrophobic.

  1. M B
    commented on: June 30, 2014 at 10:39 a.m.
    Only an idiot would spend the money to sit in a stadium like the Salvador one for this upcoming contest. Dallas, Washington, D.C. and Orlando in 1994 taught me perfectly well how stupid this all is. One can put up with inaction sports (like baseball and cricket) in such heat, humidity, dew point conditions. But this is supposed to be VERY dynamic sport, this sport we call association football or soccer. It is not at all dynamic so far in Brazil 2014. (Exception could be today in Porto Alegre for Germany's match versus Algeria. Match start time temperature is a wonderful 54 degrees F. Now that's more like footballing weather.)

  1. M B
    commented on: June 30, 2014 at 12:15 p.m.
    Also the extreme temperature right now in Brasilia. Air temperature is 93 degrees F. That means inside the stadium and on the pitch nearly 100. Wow. Now, that's soccer weather. Yes, I am using a lot of facetiousness in my climate choice/Brazil for June/July 2014 choice. This does offer a bit of an advantage to the Nigerians and real disadvantage to the French. The real losers: The fans. They will have spent nearly $140 - 240 US dollars just on the ticket alone to see a sports contest that will feature a lot of resting, breathers, pauses, and immobility throughout. Note that even the refs forcibily slow it down so that their lack of conditioning for such a 90+ minute climate does not become readily apparent and then cause them to lose best control over the match. What a farce. Yes, to use the word extreme again, an extreme farce.

  1. Andrea Hana
    commented on: June 30, 2014 at 4:24 p.m.
    Tough on noses. ;)

  1. Ginger Peeler
    commented on: July 1, 2014 at 9:43 a.m.
    I was at the Cotton Bowl for the games in Dallas at WC 1994, sitting up in the "nosebleed" section. It was 90-some degrees with no breezes. And humid. Nasty! They had a big thermometer on the field. The reading down there was around 105° to 110°. I was so excited because we were going to see Maradona play. Before the match, he was sent home following drug testing. A World Cup in Qatar is ridiculous, even if it's a dry heat. I think at one time they said the stadiums would be enclosed and air conditioned, but that changed? They have to take another look at that after the difficulties of Brazil.


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