Klinsmann: 'They were hungrier and more determined'

[REACTION: Jamaica-USA] Coach Jurgen Klinsmann says the reasons for the USA's 2-1 loss to Jamaica are simple. The Reggae Boyz were hungrier and more determined. Forget tactics. Conceding two free kicks just outside the area to a team dangerous on free kicks was the USA's downfall. For what Klinsmann and his players had to say after the game ...

On the match overall:
“A couple of things went wrong. Having that lead maybe gave players the feeling they can play the complicated way. I told them at halftime this is not the way it works. You’ve got to keep things simple on the field. Every time we played simple passing and combined, we created chances. In between those moments we just made things far too complicated. Then we give away free kicks in an area where we knew the Jamaican team has their strength in set pieces. After that equalizer, they rose to the occasion, they had a tremendous amount of energy and they gave everything they had and at the end of the day they deserved that win. They were hungrier and more determined and that’s how they came off the field as the winning team. We have to fix it now. We have to fix it back in Columbus and I think it’s clear to the players that in certain moments you just need to be a little bit smarter.”

On what the U.S. can take away from the loss:
“In the moment of a defeat you learn a lot. You probably learn more when you get beaten than when you win games. So, we learned a lot. We take that with us to Columbus, certain things that we did wrong tonight we will avoid on Tuesday and you’ve got to continue to build. The next game is always the most difficult one. We expected a very difficult game, we were aware of the Jamaican team, we respected them and we have to take it the way it is now. There are not only good moments like there were in Mexico and Italy, but now there are more difficult moments and so you’ve got to adjust to it and the good thing about the situation now is that we can repair things in four days.”

On whether there will be changes made heading into Tuesday’s rematch:
“Obviously, we’re going to analyze things and see on the tape how things went. When you have a little more distance you can see things a little bit better than you can on the sideline. The key to that game was really that we made things far too complicated in the first half. We allowed them to come back into the game. Instead of keeping the ball and moving it around simply, we gave them opportunities and opportunities to get free kicks and they scored off of a free kick in the first half and the second half. I think the team has the opportunity on Tuesday to fix it.”

On potential roster moves for the next match:
“We have a big enough roster to discuss certain things within the coaching staff and if we’re going to make changes, we will make changes. That’s not the point. Overall we have to give Jamaica a compliment at how they rose to the occasion. They were hungry and so determined. They wanted it so badly. They were very physical and we had problems with that. There is a lot to take from the game even if the result for us is a negative one.”

On playing again on Tuesday in Columbus:
“A return match within four days is something that everyone is used to. You play in Europe, there you play games every four or five days. It’s no big deal. We travel back to Columbus and we have another match and it starts 0-0 on Tuesday night and we will try everything to turn it around.”

On leaving more veteran players off the roster and out of the lineup:
“The guys that stepped on the field are in charge. They are responsible to give everything they have. They are responsible for the outcome. They have to match the Jamaican team and overmatch them in a certain way. I don’t complain about players that are not here because there are reasons why they’re not here. Michael [Bradley] is injured, obviously. We take it the way it is. We have a good group here that is able to beat Jamaica and we were just making too many mistakes. It is what it is. Now we will prepare properly for the return match and try to get our points there.”

On not having Steve Cherundolo or Carlos Bocanegra dress for the match:
“We knew yesterday that Steve wasn’t 100 percent and we didn’t want to take risks. We both agreed that it was smarter to bring Michael Parkhurst on to start. On Carlos, he had some problems to get in a rhythm and there were some transfer things and we had a very good experience in Mexico with Geoff Cameron in the middle and Maurice Edu in the middle and Clarence for weeks has been playing consistent in Europe. They are ahead of him in that moment. That was the decision basically, very simple.”

On the pressure to perform on Tuesday:
“Pressure is always there in World Cup qualifiers which is a wonderful thing because it’s important. We have no problem with that so we know we have to bounce back and prove everybody wrong in Columbus.”

On footing the blame for Friday’s loss:
“You can blame me, no problem. There was no overconfidence. There was excitement coming out of Mexico City, but we expected a very difficult match tonight. We watched Jamaica a couple times on tape, we had scouts come down here. They have a good side. They were physical and prepared and hungry. They got back in the game with a free kick and they won the game with another free kick. You don’t even have to talk about tactics. It has nothing to do with whether you play a 4-4-2 or a 4-3-3, you lost the game because of two free kicks and that’s what you have to accept and you’ve got to turn it around in a couple of days.”

On the match:
“We were happy that we went up early on. I thought the tempo was controlled and then we started losing a little bit of the midfield. The conditions didn’t help us. We lacked creativity and gave up bad fouls. When you do that, it’s not a good sign and bad things can happen and they did.”

On the U.S. trying to score the equalizer:
“We needed to start taking advantage of the lack of width that we had in the first half. Maybe occupy some of those spaces on the outside, more 1-v-1 duels, try to combine things we couldn’t do because we were playing sloppy in the first half. We threw numbers forward, but I thought we did a better job of occupying those spaces and getting guys involved. It was just too little, too late.”

On the quick turnaround:
“I wish we could play them tomorrow. It’s good that we get to play them on Tuesday and we’re going to go from there. We let one slip today and we’re chomping at the bit to get our opportunity again.”

U.S. midfielder CLINT DEMPSEY
On his quick goal and the rest of the match:
“We were moving the ball well and got the ball wide and then I think it was a deflection that came to me right in front of the goal. It was an ideal start, but it was frustrating because we struggled on set pieces. We gave away too many free kicks around the box and they punished us for it. It’s always difficult when you have these qualifiers away from home, but you’ve got to make sure you take advantage of your home games, and now we’ve got a game against them again so hopefully we can give them some payback.”

On the quick trip back to the U.S. for Tuesday’s rematch:
“It’s always good to try to bounce back. We’ve got to get a win. It hurt us not getting any points tonight. We’ll get this taste out of our mouths because it’s not a good feeling.”

On what the U.S. needs to do to improve on Tuesday:
“The pitch will be better so it’ll move a little bit quicker. Tonight it felt like we were almost fighting with the ball, it kept bouncing up. It’ll be good to get back to normality using Nike balls on the pitches we play on, I think we can show our strengths. It makes for a difficult game when you come down here and the ball bounces up and bobbles the way it does. Both teams have to deal with it and I’m not making excuses, but I don’t think it makes for the best football being played for the fans to watch.”

U.S. goalkeeper TIM HOWARD
On the quick start to the match:
“The first passing sequence really seemed to hurt them and that was always going to be the key to this game and to our success. We got away from that a little bit, but in the beginning they found it difficult to cope with that.”

On Jamaica’s two goals:
“I think we gave away too many fouls in really dangerous areas. At this level, if you do that you’re going to get punished. We gave them six or seven, granted one was a deflection and the other one more times than not he probably puts it over or puts it wide but he got it right. When you give away free kicks in dangerous spots, that’s what you risk.”

On a quick turnaround for the second match on Tuesday:
“It’s good. It’s not a lot of time to dwell on a loss. We didn’t play well tonight. The game on Tuesday has more significance than ever because we need to get back into rhythm and a positive mind frame. We have to come away with three points, that’s a necessity now.”

2 comments about "Klinsmann: 'They were hungrier and more determined'".
  1. John DiFiore, September 8, 2012 at 9:53 p.m.

    If we can't beat Jamaica.......... very sad day.

  2. John Schubert, September 10, 2012 at 1:27 p.m.

    Klinsman comments were not all that original. I have heard similiar remarks made by losing coaches in the NFL, the NBA and the NHL. All those comments suggest is that he is no more prepared in putting a winning team on the pitch than those other coaches in preparing the players for the field, rink or court. As far as the win in Mexico, with the exception of Howard's saves it was one of the least inspired efforts I have ever seen in Soccer.

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