Everything Jurgen Klinsmann
said after the 2-0 loss to Colombia in Santa Clara and before Tuesday's game in Chicago -- "there was a lot of good stuff coming out of that game" -- suggested he
was pleased with the performance of his players and won't replace any of his veterans like Michael Bradley
, Jermaine Jones
or Clint Dempsey
. The big question is whether Klinsmann
starts Portland Timbres midfielder Darlington Nagbe.
Klinsmann said Nagbe, who made his first appearance for the USA in November 2015 and came on midway through the second half for
Jones, was still adjusting to the international game.
"He’s becoming a fixture of this team," Klinsmann said of Nagbe at Monday's press conference in Chicago. "It takes some time.
His tremendous upsides are his technique, how smooth he is on the ball, how he can create something out of nothing and take people on. What he's learning right now is the tempo at the international
level in both ways -- defensively and going forward."
Klinsmann said Colombia bottled up the U.S. attackers.
“The other thing, the big learning curve for all players
coming fresh into this program is there’s no space really," he added. "You saw Darlington coming in and how Colombia squeezes the field defensively and suddenly Darlington sees there’s no
space to go in. ‘Where should I go? What should I do?’ He has to learn how to find solutions dealing with far tighter space than he’s used to in MLS, but that learning curve is
happening now. So give him some time and -- I’m very positive about it -- he will figure it out.”
Klinsmann said it might not be any easier against Costa Rica, which does a
great job of defending with numbers.
“They defend with nine guys and leave only one up front and then they try to catch you on the counter," he said. "The Costa Rican team is a very
compact, very organized, very disciplined team that makes it, especially in that defensive shape, difficult to break through because they play a 5-4-1. We have to find ways and spaces to get through
and create chances."