Direct From Antigua
Klinsmann Shares Thoughts on Four Key Players
Despite a rash of injuries to players like Landon Donovan and Brek Shea, U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann is convinced his team is ready to go. Here, his take on four key contributors.
BY John Godfrey PostedANTIGUA—United States men's soccer coach Jurgen Klinsmann was perfectly willing to discuss the four players who will miss tonight's World Cup qualifier due to health/injury concerns—Landon Donovan, Fabian Johnson, Edgar Castillo, and Brek Shea—but he was much more interested in talking about some of the athletes who remain in the squad. Here is a quick snapshot of comments the coach made Thursday night at Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds. On Michael Bradley: Having Michael in particular means a lot to us. He has become one of the leaders of the team. It’s wonderful to watch, wonderful to see. He’s trying to take the next step, trying to do things the right way. It’s just awesome. He’s throwing himself into the cold water and learning from different people—and he’s a fast learner. Having him onboard in the training sessions you already see the difference. He’s great for us to have. He looks good. He looks pretty fit. He looks like he has recovered well from the calf injury and can’t wait to play for the team. On Eddie Johnson: He’s totally excited to be back in the group. He’s fun to watch. He’s a character. You know that better than I do. I’m just starting to get to know him. On Sacha Kljestan: Sacha Kljestan looks good. He is very happy to be back with the team, and we are very happy to have him. (Kljestan, for his part, spoke candidly about his return to the U.S. roster: “It’s exciting. It’s an opportunity more than anything. A few guys are injured and hopefully for me that means I’ll get a few minutes. I don’t think there’s anybody more willing or ready to make a statement than myself so hopefully if I get a chance I’ll make a statement and help the team. I don’t even know if I’m playing tomorrow, or which position, so we’ll see.”) On Geoff Cameron: We are very, very pleased with Cam’s development. He came in for the first time in the January camp in Phoenix, and I was impressed. And from there every time I saw him he said to my face, “I want to go to Europe. I want to make it. I want to play through. I’m not the youngest anymore. I’m not 18 or 19.” And I told him what it takes there and what to do. And he was spot-on. He was very hungry. And it finally it came through. He still has a lot of room to improve. I still think there is plenty of upside for him. You’d rather [see Cameron] play the same role [for Stoke City] that he plays for the national team. But I’m not going to change the Stoke coach’s mind. He’s trying to get points.
October 12, 2012
October 12, 2012