61914_isi_klinsmannjurgen_usmntpm061614220 Perry McIntyre/isiphotos.com

What Jurgen Klinsmann Said, and What ASN Heard

In this World Cup edition of an American Soccer Now staple, John Godfrey reads between the lines as Klinsmann speaks to the press about depth charts, victories, injuries, and more.
BY John Godfrey Posted
June 19, 2014
2:39 PM
Editors note: Jurgen Klinsmann's quotes are real. John Godfrey's interpretations are real to him, but keep in mind that he is taking high-octane malaria pills.

Overall thoughts on the Ghana match:
What Klinsmann said: “I was still convinced we were going to win this game even after they got the equalizer. I had the feeling that another two or three chances would come and we would need just one of those opportunities, which then happened.

What we heard: If I fell out of my helicopter over the Santa Monica Freeway I would land on a mound of soft German streudel and not have a scratch. I'm leading a charmed life, and now U.S. Soccer gets to benefit from that. A huge compliment to them for extending my contract.

On John Brooks' big day
What Klinsmann said: It’s a big moment for John Anthony Brooks, it’s a special moment for the boy. He did well. We could see in every training session and we could see with his club as well that he’s a very good talent coming through the ranks.

What we heard: You media kittens gave me grief for choosing Brooks instead of Clarence Goodson. I don't hear you questioning my decisions now.

On whether Brooks has moved past Omar Gonzalez on the depth chart
What Klinsmann said: “No, it’s really position based. John is the left center back and Omar is the right, so if something would have happened to Cameron it would have been Omar. This is how we train. We put so much work into our last four weeks in that specific position that we don’t want to now mess things up. We will move forward with john filling that role and for the right center back role we have Omar as cover.”

What we heard: Yes, absolutely.

On Jozy Altidore's injury
What Klinsmann said: “We have to deal with it. We feel really sorry for Jozy and hope that it’s not that bad and that we are going to get him back as quick as possible. All you do as a coach is give him a positive hug and tell him listen you’ll be back and stay positive you’ll be back. Don’t cut if off now. And that’s what I told him right away in the locker room as well. I keep him positive and we have big hope that he’s coming back in this tournament.”

What we heard: He's not coming back in this tournament.

On how the plan will change if Jozy Altidore cannot play
What Klinsmann said: “I don’t want to go too deep into details, because obviously we want Portugal to guess a little bit as well, but you know when one of your key players is not available, does it change certain things? Absolutely it does. Jozy is a very strong key player in our group, so we’ll think about the right way to handle that situation. We’ll still field 11, you know, we’re not a man down. We still have somebody coming in and we’ll make it very, very difficult for Portugal in Manaus. We’ll find solutions.”

What we heard: He's not coming back in this tournament.

On Matt Besler's hamstring injury
What Klinsmann said: With Matt it’s no problem. I think we made the right decision. We held him out of the game so he didn’t get any injury, so he’s all fine."

What we heard: With Matt it’s no problem. I think we made the right decision. We held him out of the game so he didn’t get any injury, so he’s all fine.

On Clint Dempsey's broken nose
What Klinsmann said: “We are going to call the doctor. I’m the coach—I don’t know things like that. Maybe he has the option of getting a mask on, broken nose or not, I don’t know how much a mask can protect him. Whatever he feels good with. I think that with a broken nose- it was tricky during the game, It could barely breath and he struggled with that, but Dempsey’s nose is broken.”

What we heard: Clint's femur could be jutting out his thigh and he would still try to play. We're fitting him for a "Phantom of the Opera" mask right now.

On Clint Dempsey's early goal
What Klinsmann said: “Well the whole bench was jumping around. It’s a very special moment in the opening game for each team in the World Cup, and to score inside of a minute, I think there can’t be anything better than that. Overall though, we sat back a little too much instead of taking the game to them. We let them come and reacted to them. A similar thing happened to us in Jamaica; we scored two after two or three minutes and suddenly the team dropped and I was screaming on the sideline like crazy to keep the line high and take control of the game and keep control of the ball, which we had problems with.

“[Against Ghana] we had problems just to control it and connect passes. It was maybe because of that first goal because we were up suddenly and we’re thinking we have to defend, but no, go for the second one, get control of the game. Ghana had to push it, they had to come [forward] and they did that well with very good players as you saw tonight.”

What we heard: If Michael Bradley just plays an average game, we retain much more possession and Ghana gets maybe half as many chances. But Michael had a clunker—I can't even count how many times he gave the ball away—and yet somehow we won. I'll take it, and I'm crossing my fingers that the best player on our team plays like it against Portugal.

On tactical changes made at intermission
What Klinsmann said: “Overall I think it was the right move to go into a four flat midfield line with Clint right in front of them and in front of him have Jozy. That worked out well because Kyle had to cover for the center backs. Nothing really was created by Ghana coming through the middle. They were really more dangerous coming over the wings. That’s where their goal came through a beautiful play that they did. Overall, I think the compactness was there. They got some things over some sort of crosses just really made it inside not to a specific target; that looked good.”

What we heard: Scoreboard, baby.

On traveling home after the win
What Klinsmann said: "On the plane, it was very quiet. Everybody was tired, and they were all sleeping. We got in after 4 this morning and so we let them sleep in until lunch time and then off we go from there."

What we heard: Setting up camp in Sao Paolo was a mistake. We lost a day to travel after Ghana, and it's going to happen again after the Portugal match. If we come in second in the group, our next match will be in Salvador, just down the road from Recife. But camp is down south. How did this happen?

On if he will talk to Joachim Low about Portugal
What Klinsmann said: “I don’t think that I will touch base with Joachim about Portugal, even if I know he would tell me whatever he thinks about them. I think we’ve already done our homework and we’re well prepared for Portugal. We watched their entire qualifying campaign; we’ve analyzed all their individual players, like they do about us as well, so that works and then you obviously watched that game against Germany too. We got a lot of information about things that happened there yesterday afternoon, and then you do your own thing."

What we heard: I don't need him. I never did. He was my assistant, and this article is now over.

That's what John Godfrey heard. What did you here? Tell us below.

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