November 11, 2016
SOME BLASTS FROM THE PAST
Klinsmann hopes that bringing in ex-USA players to talk about dos a cero will inspire his team
By Michael Lewis
|Sacha Kljestan: "one of the best meetings that we had."
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Jurgen Klinsmann is making sure he won't leave any stone unturned in his team's preparation for the fifth renewal of dos a cero.
Earlier this week, the U.S. national team head coach brought in three retired players to talk to his team and a new generation of players to relate the importance of the USA-Mexico encounter. Those players were Columbus Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter, Josh Wolff, the hero of the first encounter in 2001, and former Crew standout Frankie Hejduk.
The Americans have won the four previous encounters between the two CONCACAF rivals at MAPFRE Stadium by a 2-0 result. They will try to make it five in a row Friday night at 8 p.m.
Red Bulls midfielder Sacha Kljestan called it "one of the best meetings that we had."
"Frankie gave a good speech," he added. "He is obviously very positive. He gave a good history to guys who haven't been here before. That was pretty awesome. That was a good moment for the team to look back on what we have done in the past that has made us successful. I think the young guys really enjoyed that."
Midfielder Alejandro Bedoya also welcomed the input.
"It's hard to explain," he said. "They were able to tell us about the history a little bit and their own experiences. I think it really resonated with the young players especially, the guys who have not been apart of this yet. I think its awesome to see how loose they were with us, too. I think that's the most important thing to the young guys. There are going to be nerves and everything but at the end of the day, I think it’s to express yourself on the field and hopefully we'll get a W."
Klinsmann just loved the enthusiasm that the three players showed, particularly Hejduk, as his younger players were educated about past dos a cero encounters.
“Put yourself in the mindset of our younger players,” he said. “Cameron Carter-Vickers comes through the ranks at Tottenham Hotspur and he’s on the way to kind of becoming a senior national team player, and he was just looking at them with big eyes and saying, ‘Wow, look at these stories.’ So it’s important that older players connect to the younger players and tell them what it means to them and the feelings they have.”
Bedoya particularly was impressed with the energy that Hejduk displayed.
"He even did a cartwheel after he got done talking," he said. "I don't know how many espresso shots he had.
"Frank is quite the character and but was awesome to hear from him."