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Godfrey's Column

Reading Between the Lines: Klinsmann's Konference

U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann spoke to the media shortly after announcing a 23-man roster for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers. Here is what he said, and what we heard.
BY John Godfrey Posted
March 18, 2013
8:15 PM

On the recent rash of injuries

What Klinsmann said: “We have a roster together that gives us the confidence to approach both games very, very positively. I think we have a group of players coming in that have everything to get the job done and so we are excited about everyone being here in Denver by tonight.”

What ASN heard: "This is a total nightmare. It sucks."

On leaving Bocanegra off the roster

What Klinsmann said:“With Carlos, I have had several very good conversations over the past weeks. The reason he’s not here is because he’s simply not playing. He’s not getting any minutes with Racing Santander in the second division in Spain, so he has no flow, he has no rhythm, and he understands the situation. Carlos is still in our picture. This is not the end of his national team career.”

What ASN heard: "You might want to give Don Garber a call, Carlito."

On the pecking order at outside back

What Klinsmann said: “It’s definitely a challenge, no doubt about it, but bringing in Tony Beltran and Justin Morrow. Those are two guys that play that position day in and day out with their clubs. They’re doing very well. I had them both in the January camp so I absolutely think they have the quality to come to the next level now. But we also have other options maybe coming out of midfield. I’m comfortable that we are covered there.”

What ASN heard: "Total. Fricking. Nightmare."

On Maurice Edu's likely position

What Klinsmann said: “You can look at Mo in different ways, which is a big plus for us. We already tried him at center back very successfully last year in August, in Mexico. It worked really well. We know he can play on the side, as well, and we know he can play any role in midfield. First of all, I have to give him a big compliment because he worked his way back into this group with his move from Stoke to Bursaspor. We had Andy Herzog go down to watch Fenerbahçe against Bursaspor two weeks ago and he confirmed that Mo is really back. He’s sharp, he’s in rhythm. The team is doing very well right now, they’re challenging for a European spot for next season. It’s just great to have him back in rhythm because that first half a year with Stoke just didn’t work out the way we all hoped it would work out.”

What ASN heard: "Clarence Goodson will not start."

On who he is considering as captain

What Klinsmann said: “That is a great question, and thank you for understanding, but I’d like to mention that to the players first when they come into camp tomorrow and then I can give you the answer to that one. I know the answer but I’ll keep that to myself just for one more day because I want to communicate it to the team first.”

What ASN heard: "Michael Bradley."

On Friday's match

What Klinsmann said: “Every home game in the Hexagonal is a must-win situation. You want to get all the points possible in your home games so, independent of the result in Honduras, it’s a must-win on Friday night here against Costa Rica.”

What ASN heard: “Every home game in the Hexagonal is a must-win situation. You want to get all the points possible in your home games so, independent of the result in Honduras, it’s a must-win on Friday night here against Costa Rica.”

On Clint Dempsey

What Klinsmann said: “We are very confident. He played the second half yesterday after his calf problems, that was the first game. He would have played already at Inter Milan in their Europa League game there but he stayed home because of the birth of his third child, which we are totally happy and thrilled for him and his family. He’s in a good training rhythm. I was in touch with him constantly. He’ll be in here tonight and we’ll have enough training sessions to get adjusted to the altitude and we are confident that he can go the distance in both games.”

What ASN heard: "Clint is a warrior."

On Michael Bradley

What Klinsmann said: “No, I’m not worried, but once he’s here we talk about it and we want to always know what’s going on in their club teams and therefore I’m curious to hear his side of it what’s happened the last couple of weeks. Michael is the type of player where even if he’s maybe on the bench on one or two games, he finds his ways back into the team right away and we’re confident he’s doing that in Roma, as well.”

What ASN heard: "Michael is a warrior."

On Omar Gonzalez

What Klinsmann said: “We just want to give him the opportunity to grow and to mature in our environment, and I think he’s done well in Honduras. The second goal happened because of a sequence of mistakes by several players involved, and we give away the game, but overall he played an absolutely good game. I had him with me the whole January camp, which was a pleasure, and to see his potential. Now for him to kind of get to another level is by playing and gaining experience and growing, and I think he’s done well so far. We believe that there’s a real special player coming through the system.”

What ASN heard: "Omar is a warrior."

On Landon Donovan

What Klinsmann said: “You all know what his decision was, to have a break, until the end of this month. We spoke at length at the end of January, toward the end of our camp. He expressed his desire to stay away from the game, still, for a little while. If he will become part of our plans again, that depends on how he comes back and how I look at the whole picture and how I look at the development of this team. The door is always open, as I said, but at the end of the day I will make decisions based on what I think is best for this team going forward. As of today, right now, he’s not part of the plans because he is simply not playing or training.”

What ASN heard: "No comment."

That's what we heard. What did you hear?

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