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Jurgen Klinsmann

U.S. Men's National Team Roster Announcement Quote Sheet

U.S. Men’s National Team Roster Announcement
Quote Sheet
U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann
Nov. 12, 2012 – Frankfurt, Germany

On how he views the progress of the team in 2012:
Jurgen Klinsmann: “I think we can take a lot of positives from this year. It’s been a very successful year, but also a year of transition. We introduced new players and young players into the group. We have a bit of a different approach than before my time. We got to know each other a lot more throughout all those games. I really think that we are developing a style that suits us and that the players are enjoying. Overall, we are excited about the upcoming year ahead. It’s going to be a big year.”

On the ways the team has improved this year:
JK: “One thing is the technical game on the field. We are improving the way we push the whole game into the opponent’s half, keeping the ball, playing out of the back, and here and there putting high pressure on the opponents.  Obviously, we are trying to build more belief in what we’re doing by going into big nations and trying to beat them. It happened in Italy for the first time ever, and then in Mexico at Estadio Azteca in August. Those results give you more confidence and a sense that if you can beat those teams and go eye-to-eye with them, you are on the right track.”

On the situation with Timmy Chandler:
“Timmy was always committed to the team. With his dual citizenship situation and having a choice, it’s a big, big decision. Timmy is maturing now. He’s becoming a better pro and a more mature player, and he knows now that once he makes the final decision that’s going to be his life. So I don’t want to put any pressure in a situation like that. The choice should come from the player. Obviously, there comes a time when there is no time left, and he knows that. We are thrilled that he is now back in the group. The group welcomed him with open arms. He gives us quality on our roster. He’s maturing in the Bundesliga and he’s one of the best players in Nuremberg. It’s good to have him when we play one of the best teams in Europe.”

On the decision to bring Jozy Altidore to the match against Russia:
“We are happy having Jozy back in the group. Obviously, he was left out of the last games against Antigua & Barbuda and Guatemala because of the way he played in Jamaica and maybe a couple other things from the previous months that I wasn’t so happy about. I mentioned it to him, and now having him back in the group gives us an opportunity to talk through that stuff and also to see his total commitment on the field. He’s an important player for us. He’s fighting his way through the Dutch league and doing well there, and we hope he brings the same energy into our group. We often forget that Jozy is not a 30-year-old player that you already expect to be kind of perfect and mature. He’s still going through ups and downs, which is totally normal. So when a down period comes and I leave him out of the roster, that’s not the end of the world. But it’s also a little signal to say ‘Hey Jozy, maybe there were things we didn’t like before.’ Now we can catch up and see how it goes.”

On choosing to play against Russia, which is currently ranked No. 9 in the world:
“We ask for these games because they are big learning curves for us. Playing in Italy, in Mexico and in Russia – we are not the favorites there. For us, we can take a lot from the games no matter how the result ends up. But still we want to go there and beat Russia knowing that it’s one of the top teams in Europe at the moment. In World Cup qualifying they are 4-0, so that’s not going to be an easy task. We need to measure ourselves against the best teams out there and build even more confidence. We want to close the year in a very positive way and then go into a busy 2013 that includes World Cup qualifying, the Gold Cup and some exciting friendlies.”

On having to play in big matches with different rosters and how that helps the team develop:
“Winning in Italy, we did it with a roster that maybe wasn’t the best on paper. It was the same in Mexico when we missed key players, and it’s the same now for Russia. For us the most important thing is that we grow as a group. We need more players in the bigger picture because we play so much in the coming year, so whoever goes to Russia and is part of that game will take a lot of benefits out of it. The biggest benefit you could have is to beat them. I think that more and more the players get the sense that they are ready for bigger challenges and bigger goals. They have to set those goals for themselves. Every individual player has to tell himself they want to get to the next level, and games like this can get you there.”

On calling in several younger players to the roster:
“Calling in players like Mix Diskerud, Joe Gyau and Joshua Gatt is a clear signal to this generation of players that we are watching you, follow you, and want to help you get to the next level. This is a first taste for them and what it means to be with the senior National Team. They can train alongside guys like Timmy Howard, Jermaine Jones and Carlos Bocanegra and say ‘I want to get to this level.’ It’s also really an opportunity for them to come in, get accepted right away and show what they can do. Maybe they will even get some minutes in the game against Russia.  It also means for them that they go back to their clubs with bigger expectations. We will tell them that now we expect you to become starters in your club team, break through there and get even hungrier. So it’s important that we give these guys the opportunity to join us.”