111412_usahoward_isi_usmntjt1016123619 John Todd/isiphotos.com
Direct from Russia

Howard and Altidore Talk Klinsmann and 2012

Jurgen Klinsmann took over the United States national team roughly 16 months ago with new ideas for the program. As the last match of 2012 approaches, ASN asked Tim Howard and Jozy Altidore how it's going.
BY Noah Davis Posted
November 13, 2012
2:32 PM
KRASNODAR, Russia—The words, directly from the players:

Howard on the national team in 2012: "We've had a couple good wins in there. Some tough games, of course. There are always tough games. As far as qualifying, it went according to plan barring one result. That's qualifying. If you get that one result, it's not nearly as tight at the end. Because we didn't get the one result that I'm thinking of, it was a little bit tighter than it should have been. But otherwise things went okay. I feel good, to the extent that [the team is] always a work in progress. That's the thing about a national team: very rarely is it ever set. You hope that by the time you get to the later stages of World Cup qualifying and the World Cup it is set, but that's not always guaranteed. Right now, we have a really good nucleus of players, guys who are playing at a really high level with their clubs."

Howard on the transition from Bob Bradley to Klinsmann: "It's always a transition whenever a new coach comes in. There are lots of new ideas, and a new coach will bring his own staff in. Everyone has to adapt to each other and learn. It's been a positive experience. It's been a good experience football-wise, but it's [also] been a positive experience because everyone has had to buy into trusting one another. Everyone has really had to figure out what this person is about or what that person is about. It's building relationships, really, and I think that we have done a good job of that."

Altidore on the national team in 2012: "It was a transition year with Jurgen coming in. Everybody was trying to get on the same page and trying to figure out an identity of who we are [as a team]. I think we are more or less getting close to that. I think it was a pretty successful year. To look at a transition year and win the amount of games we won was a success. Do we still have things to work on? Yes, but I think that more or less it's going in the right direction."

Altidore on his own play with the national team in 2012: "For me with the national team, it was a little difficult in terms of getting that consistency of playing, but that's how it is at the top. You have a lot of good players around. For me, it's been a year to jot down as an experience, to keep going forward, and to try to learn more about myself as a player and a person."

Post a comment