isn't ready to commit to the 4-3-3 formation that the USA used the last four games -- or any formation, for that matter -- but he admits the new personnel that has come into
the team in the last year makes it "definitely interesting." And he credits the progress of young players with the heightened confidence within the team ahead of Friday's Copa Centenario opener
against Colombia. Copa Centenario: TV
Klinsmann isn't ready to tip his hand to the Cafeteros, simply calling the 4-3-3 he's used in wins over Guatemala, Puerto Rico, Ecuador and Bolivia "a huge option that we
take advantage of here and there."
But he said to the media before training on Tuesday at San Jose's Avaya Stadium that formations and shapes don't matter -- he's previously called the
talk about formations "useless" -- all that much in modern soccer, which he described as "a fluid type of game where everybody defends and everybody joins the attack."
"With a 4-3-3, and
based on the players that we have," he said, "this is definitely interesting to see because we have now wingers that we maybe a couple of years ago didn’t have. So we can try to bring their
strengths out in that formation."
Klinsmann sees the formation, which he occasionally used in the past, as something that works both ways.
"The advantage of a 4-3-3 in that
way, is it goes into a 4-5-1 defensively," he said. "That makes us a little bit more compact, and makes it easier to press the ball. So you can put it together the way you prefer. It’s
definitely an option that we enjoy.”
He says his team has come a long way from the Gold Cup last summer when it finished fourth. He said it's been more than just a learning curve
his players had to experience.
"You see some youngsters now coming through, getting stronger, physically more developed, the DeAndre Yedlin
s, the Bobby Wood
s," he said.
"Obviously, a year ago, we didn't have Christian Pulisic
on the radar. We knew him obviously, but we didn't think he'd come through so quickly."
Klinsmann says the progress of
younger players has changed the dynamic within the team.
"I think there's a lot more confidence in these younger players," he said. "I think the older guys, they know that. There are not
many opportunities any more like this Copa America, so they are fighting, and that's what you want. You want the established players to understand, 'Listen, if I'm not attentive now, somebody steals
my spot.' It gives it a good drive right now in the camp, but a very respectful drive."