KANSAS CITY – A hallmark of Jurgen Klinsmann’s program has been scheduling tough friendlies all along, facing the likes of Brazil, Germany and Italy, often traveling to face the toughies on the road. Is it about to pay off, now that the United States was drawn into a group of pain?
U.S. center back Matt Besler says so:
“I think that was the mindset of why we scheduled hard friendlies, for situations like this,” Besler said Friday after the draw from Brazil. “The year that we’ve had, I feel like the team’s mentality is that we can go play with anyone. Now we’ve got to go prove it.”
Besler, speaking from Sporting Park, where he and other U.S. national teamers were gathered for Friday’s draw, said he chatted briefly with Clint Dempsey before talking to reporters here. The topic: facing Ghana. Again.
“I assume I’ll find out a lot more,” he said.
What about the travel involved upon arrival in Brazil? It’s quite extensive, as everyone is talking about now. There is extensive travel in Major League Soccer, as well. More than in most leagues around the world, in fact. Does that help the United States just a bit, perhaps?
“We all knew the travel was going to be a topic,” he said. “But it’s not an issue for us. We travel a lot in MLS play, and even in CONCACAF, too. … We see it as an advantage; we’re used to it.”