U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann is approaching last week’s loss with typical German pragmatism – served up with a side dish of his own perennially positive nature.
The period between Friday’s loss in Jamaica and Tuesday’s chance at result reversal against the Reggae Boyz in Columbus, Klinsmann says, is about regeneration, digesting the result and consequences and calm analysis.
And the manager made it clear that his team has ample opportunity Tuesday to reassert its group leadership Tuesday in the first of three winnable contests.
If the man is worried, he isn’t showing it – a calming balm that Klinsmann always offers. None of that means he didn’t see what the rest of us saw on Friday:
“Definitely, we need to improve,” he said. “We need to step it up.”
Where, precisely, did Klinsmann believe the United States needs something better? Here’s what he said to U.S. Soccer video team:
Possessing the ball, combine much better through the midfield, be patient and play the ball faster with one or two touches instead of three, four, five touches … and get them into difficulties. Because they [Jamaicans] were very aggressive. They were challenging every one- against-one ball. And you can avoid that by moving the ball around quicker.
“Certainly we learned that you cannot away cheap free kicks close to your 18-yard box. We knew about this. We were aware [the Jamaicans] have very good free kick takers. They took those opportunities and besides that, they had no chances at all! It’s kind of weird to see a game like this were you lose on two free kicks, and you are leaving a place empty handed because of set pieces. Obviously it’s frustrating in the first moments, but it’s reality and then you bounce back.”
Here’s the short video from U.S. Soccer: