032113_isi_martinandklinsi_usmntbf02292012f221 Bernd Feil
Direct from Denver

Klinsmann Addresses Media, Focuses on Win

United States head coach Jurgen Klinsmann is hoping that lessons learned against Honduras will translate to a win vs. Costa Rica. In fact, he said it needs to happen.
BY Jon Arnold Posted
March 21, 2013
4:47 PM
Editor's note: ASN's Jon Arnold is in Denver and will be posting numerous stories today, tonight, and tomorrow.

DENVER—After losing the first match of the final World Cup qualifying round, United States manager Jurgen Klinsmann has called Friday’s home match against Costa Rica a must-win contest.

He’s not alone in making that declaration. The trope goes that CONCACAF teams must win at home and get a few points on the road. With only five home matches, each takes on enormous importance. While the manager wasn’t panicking after losing a road match, he does hope his side will learn from the mistakes made in that match and apply those lessons Friday.

“Well, definitely you always learn more form a defeat than from a win. So you analyze it, you find the reasons why we couldn’t adjust so quickly to the climate, to the field conditions with just two-and-a-half days prior to the game coming in,” he said at a news conference here Thursday afternoon.

Unfortunately, unlike a club team there’s not always ample time to review tape and talk about what went wrong. The players are only available for a certain time, and especially on an international break only long enough for one match, players have to quickly return to their clubs.

That makes it tough to guarantee players understand changes the coaching staff wants to be made from match to match.

“The challenge for a national team coach is obviously always, once the game is over, take the game in Honduras, the next day everybody is on a flight to wherever they’re playing,” Klinsmann said. “It’s not like you can have two days later a nice meeting and say, ‘Hey guys, this we did really well, and this we had some issues here.’ You wrap it up really quick."

“When the players come in now, you talk about it, but then obviously you have to move on. The coaching staff knows exactly why things didn’t work out the way we wanted them to work out, and we definitely will do things differently in the Costa Rica game.”

The Americans are guaranteed to do plenty of things differently against the Ticos, partly because of large variances between the team that played los Catrachos and the one that will line up at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park outside Denver. Four of the starting 11 from the loss to Honduras aren’t available because of injury and Klinsmann elected to drop long-time center back Carlos Bocanegra. In his absence, Clint Dempsey, the Tottenham midfielder who is recovering from an injury of his own, will wear the captain’s armband.

He said that many times the players who help the team in World Cup qualifying aren’t the players who end up taking the pitch at the actual competition.

“I think you have to try new things to see what new strength can you add to the team and build upon what you already have,” he said.

Klinsmann is keeping his starting line-up secret, closing training sessions, and speaking cryptically about which players will slot in at some of the trouble spots. One thing he was candid about, however, was understanding the importance of putting the memory of defeat in the past with a victory over the Ticos.

“We can’t wait to play the game because it’s been a couple of long weeks since the game in Honduras, and always when you have a negative result, you want to fix that as soon as possible with a positive result."

Jon Arnold (@ArnoldcommaJon) is a writer based in Arizona and is ASN's CONCACAF correspondent.

Post a comment