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Klinsmann: 'We are not looking for a tie'
by Paul Kennedy, October 16th, 2012 12:49AM
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TAGS:  men's national team, world cup 2014


[USA-GUATEMALA] The USA and Guatemala will qualify for next year's Hexagonal with a tie in Tuesday's game at Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City (TV: ESPN2, Telefutura, 7 p.m. ET), but U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann insists his depleted team will attack. The USA's poor outing on Friday against Antigua & Barbuda only added to the criticism of the national team under Klinsmann, but he took rising expectations as a good thing.

"We want to win this game," he said Monday. "You can only win a game if you attack and go forward. We are not looking for a tie."

With only 19 players left after injuries, illness and suspension -- three of them goalies -- Klinsmann doesn't have a lot options.

“We think this group gives us enough options to deal with those problems that have come up, whether it’s injures or a yellow card," he said. "We feel like we are strong enough to take care of Guatemala tomorrow night with the players that are here.”

Possible changes from Friday's game against Antigua & Barbuda include replacing the disappointing Herculez Gomez with Sacha Kljestan and moving Eddie Johnson into a more forward role and starting Michael Parkhurst at left back, where Carlos Bocanegra played on Friday. Johnson's stoppage-time goal gave the USA a 2-1 win over Antigua & Barbuda.

Klinsmann says it's exciting to see that the fans care more about the national team.

"They care more about soccer in general and they ask more questions than they have and raise their expectations, which is good," he said. "It gives everybody involved a bigger sense of accountability. You’re accountable for what you’re doing – me as a coach, as a player and everybody involved. I think that’s great."

This marks only the second time since FIFA adopted the Hexagonal for the final round of Concacaf qualifying that the USA needed a result in its final game of the semifinal round to advance.

"Now when you're down to the wire in the last game, it's because certain things happened for a reason," he continued. "We gave away too many free kicks in Jamaica and conceded two. Instead of taking a point away and being already through, you have to battle in the game tomorrow night. You just have to take it the way it is and work yourself through it. Sometimes it takes longer than you wish it would."

Klinsmann says his players know what to expect from Guatemala.

“It’s a team that plays very direct with long balls into Carlos Ruiz or into [Minor] Lopez," he said. "They drop the ball off and go for the second ball. They try to draw fouls close to the box and Marco Pappa, as he showed in the first game, is an excellent free kick taker. So, there are a couple of things to avoid. Don’t give them those free kicks, don’t give Pappa that opportunity to shot those ones and keep Ruiz out of the game. It’s a very difficult task, he’s on a roll. We are aware of that. We discussed that. We are well prepared.”

GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake).
DEFENDERS (6): Carlos Bocanegra (Racing Santander), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Maurice Edu (Stoke City), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Michael Parkhurst (FC Nordsjaelland).
MIDFIELDERS (6): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Roma), Joe Corona (Tijuana), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim), Graham Zusi (Sporting KC).
FORWARDS (4): Clint Dempsey (Tottenham), Herculez Gomez (Santos), Alan Gordon (San Jose Earthquakes), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders).

  1. Brent Crossland
    commented on: October 16, 2012 at 8:55 a.m.
    "With only 19 players left after injuries, illness and suspension -- three of them goalies -- Klinsmann doesn't have a lot options." It's a little hard to feel much sympathy here. Klinsmann included 3 players in the original roster who were not playing for their club teams due to injury. I can only assume that he did not replace them because he felt he didn't have any viable options. (not sure that I agree with that.)
  1. Ivan Mark Radhakrishnan
    commented on: October 16, 2012 at 10:24 a.m.
    "We want to win this game," he said Monday. "You can only win a game if you attack and go forward. We are not looking for a tie." - Extract / Despite Jurgen Klinsmann's 'reassurance', it cannot be positively determined that the Players on both sides - all or some - will not put in their best effort unless they are forced to. THE SINGLE LEAGUE QUALIFYING SYSTEM PLAYED WITHOUT GROUPS / Group Football = FIXED FOOTBALL! And FIFA refuse to let Football Play The Single League Table Qualifying Format because it calls into question what they have done for over 20 years (since The Single League Table Qualifying System was made available to them) and Joseph Sepp Blatter will have his family members murdered if FIFA adopt a Qualifying System that makes life difficult for his match-fixers
  1. Ivan Mark Radhakrishnan
    commented on: October 16, 2012 at 10:27 a.m.
    The FIX-OPTION is AVAILABLE to the 'qualifying system' of the 2014 World Cup! Why are American Tax Payers and American Business paying to be lied to? The Football FIX-OPTION in other Industries sends CRIMINALS TO JAIL!
  1. Walt Pericciuoli
    commented on: October 16, 2012 at 10:27 a.m.
    I guess he would rather have no one than some of the current available MLS players or even Mexican based USA players.Strange don't you think???
  1. Ivan Mark Radhakrishnan
    commented on: October 16, 2012 at 10:29 a.m.
    SoccerAmerica / Make your Comments Columns USER FRIENDLY! Anything without PARAGRAPHS is hard on the eye and difficult on the brain! Imagine SoccerAmerica articles WITHOUT PARAGRAPHS!
  1. Gus Keri
    commented on: October 16, 2012 at 10:37 a.m.
    People are making a lot of fuss over the number of players. Up until 24 hours before the game he could make changes to the roster by adding or substituting players. Unless there is an epidemic in the team, there is no need for this additions or changes, because he only have to use 14 players maximum.
  1. Carl Grover
    commented on: October 16, 2012 at 11:04 a.m.
    Agreed Gus. They are people out there who just don't like Jurgen and look for anything to complain about him. It doesn't matter how many players he has. It is the 11 to 14 choices that play the game that counts and the coach is the person that decides that.
  1. Bret Newman
    commented on: October 16, 2012 at 12:14 p.m.
    The field was in very poor condition last game, that is the reason why some players played poorly. I wouldn't give up on Herculez Gomez because he had a bad game under those field conditions.
  1. Scott O'connor
    commented on: October 16, 2012 at 1:15 p.m.
    Herculez needs space to be effective with his runs behind the defense. A bigger pitch in KC should help him immensely. I am concerned about a Pescadito flop in the box being given as a penalty by the CONCACAF ref, who always seem to make bad calls against the US. It'll be interesting to see which country the ref is going to be from....
  1. John Hooper
    commented on: October 16, 2012 at 1:37 p.m.
    Sorry, Gus and Karl, but I don't see how having more options on the bench hurts. Sure, only 14 players can play, but if we need to sub someone (say for an injury), the more players on the bench the more chances that there is a sub for that position, instead of changing formations or playing someone out of position.
  1. Gus Keri
    commented on: October 16, 2012 at 2:16 p.m.
    John, I didn't say it hurts but in the same time, the opposite doesn't hurt either. You are second guessing JK. Who told you that he doesn't have a replacement for every player in case of injury or red card during the game? I think he has quite few players who can play different positions. Any way, I don't think he is going to go all attack as he suggested. Look for 4-5-1 style (or formation) from both coaches.
  1. John Hooper
    commented on: October 16, 2012 at 6:16 p.m.
    I am second-guessing him on something pretty small though. I just don't understand: why not call in replacements? It doesn't hurt anyone or anything, gives a few players qualifier and NT experience, even if it's only sitting on the bench, and makes things more flexible. I can think of zero reasons not to do it, unless its to save money, and if USSoccer is reduced to that (which is NOT what I'm saying here), we're in a great deal of trouble. I also expect to see 4-5-1 formations. They've pretty much become the standard, haven't they? And it's not that long ago that somebody (Hiddink?) was quoted as saying the 4-4-2 was the perfect formation and would be the standard forever.

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