November 20, 2016
'1,000 PERCENT SURE WE'LL QUALIFY'
Report: Beleaguered coach Klinsmann still upbeat on USMNT's World Cup chances
In his first interview since his team was hammered by Costa Rica, 4-0, Tuesday, U.S. national coach Jurgen Klinsmann said he was certain his team will qualify for the 2018 World Cup, according to Reuters.
|Jurgen Klinsmann: "We lost the two opening games and played the two best teams right away. We have eight more games to get the points needed to qualify. We've always reacted strongly when things were nerve-wracking."
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Many journalists and fans have stated they want to see the former German international standout and World Cup winner (1990) replaced as coach.
"It's important to put this in the right perspective," Klinsmann told Reuters. "We lost the two opening games and played the two best teams right away. We have eight more games to get the points needed to qualify. We've always reacted strongly when things were nerve-wracking.
"This team is always capable of reacting. We'll correct this with the two games in March and we'll take one game at a time from there to get our points. I'm 1,000 percent sure we'll qualify."
The USA is last of the six teams in the CONCACAF hexagonal with a 0-2-0 mark and a minus five goal differential.
Klinsmann said he was aware of the criticism bandied about him, but he said that he would not panic.
"When things go slightly wrong, there are some people who come out and are ready to chop your head off," he told the news agency. "In the long run, that's going to make the development of the team difficult. It's important to stay calm and be patient.
"There are definitely issues to be addressed but there is no reason to exaggerate them or panic. I've been doing this for 35 years and there are always many reasons why certain things happen, both positively and negatively."
President Obama gave Klinsmann support at a recent meeting when the coach attended a dinner in his native Germany this week.
"He said, 'Coach, it didn't go well in Costa Rica, but it's only the start of the World Cup qualifying and you'll get back on the right track,'" the German said.
"He understands that it's a long qualifying process. He also understands dynamics of soccer as a global sport and how it builds bridges."
It should be noted that the Reuters writer who reported the story, Erik Kirschbaum, also wrote the book "Soccer Without Borders."
According to MacMillan Publishers website, "Soccer Without Borders:"
"Journalist Erik Kirschbaum lays out Klinsmann's vision for making the U.S. men's soccer team a dominant world power for the first time in its history."