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World Cup Quote Sheet: USA vs. Portugal - Jurgen Klinsmann


U.S. MNT Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann Speaks to the Media about the USA's 2-2 Draw with Portugal at the Post-Game Press Conference

U.S. MNT head coach JURGEN KLINSMANN
On his overall thoughts about the game:
JK: “It was a thriller, a real exciting match. I think everybody who had the chance to be today in Manaus will talk about this game for a long time. If we would have said starting the tournament with four points after the first two games, we would have been really happy about it. Obviously when you get goal [scored on you] in the last seconds of the game when you have pretty much six points then it’s a bummer for a moment that you have to swallow. But, it was an outstanding game by all the players. We discussed at halftime with all the players. We said, ‘It’s all good guys, we’re going to get this first goal, then we’re going to get a second goal.’ So, we felt very confident that we’d turn things around, which we did and we could have added a third or fourth goal with the chances we had. Unfortunately, we didn’t do that and it ended in a tie. Overall, it’s been quite an amazing game.”

On if he expects a draw in the game against Germany with both teams needing only a point to advance:
JK: “I don’t think we are made for draws, except if it happens like tonight – a late goal in the last seconds. I think both [the USA and Germany] want to win the group. We want to go into this game, recover fast and go at Germany, get three points and have seven points on our side and be in the driver’s seat for the Round of 16. That is our goal. It’s a little bit more difficult now after that second goal [given up to Portugal], we would be through already, which maybe some people didn’t expect so much before the tournament, but I’m sure that in four days we are going to see a very exciting match in Recife. I think there’s coming a lot of respect now from our opponents since we started this tournament. We’ll do everything now to get recovery time for the players, get back to our base hotel – they’re going to see their families. In two days from now we’re going to Recife and prepare for that match.”

On his emotions about the last seconds of the game:
JK: “These finishes are very emotional for all of us, for the fans for the players, for the bench and that is what a World Cup is all about. You live through those emotions positively and negatively. You just kind of cross it off then and move on. We have to move on quickly. We’re going to take this point and do everything now just gearing toward Germany. We won’t talk anymore about Portugal. That’s now off the table. It’s all about how we’re going to give Germany a lot of problems four days from now in Recife. That’s what we’re going to do and this is what a World Cup is all about. The World Cup is always about the next thing that comes up, so this was a little bit of a bummer but we move on and get the next one.”

On his vantage point for the final play:
JK: “We talk about it when you see goals, it’s always a sequence of mistakes that happen and that’s unfortunate but that’s why goals happen. Also for you when the other team is making mistakes and you’re going to get to score. In that moment, I think Michael Bradley got caught in the middle of three or four guys and lost the ball unfortunately. Then the counter break comes and even if we had in this moment three center backs on the field, we were not able to get to that cross, which was a beautiful cross and so they finished it off. But it’s not over until it’s over, both ways, and I just hoped the referee could let it go for another 30 seconds because DeAndre Yedlin was already going at the other goal, and then he blew the final whistle. But it is what it is and now we’re going to get everybody recovered and hungry and excited about that match in Recife.”

On recovering psychologically from the game and how the team will move past the result:
JK: “It’s not very difficult because I think the team is showing amazing progress throughout the last couple of weeks. We’ll build on everything we worked on. It’s been more than five weeks, and you see more and more the quality and results coming through that building process. The way we controlled most of the game today against a very strong Portuguese side is telling you how far we made it already. We’re going to build on all the good things that we did today and take these things into the Germany game so we can hopefully avoid then the things that didn’t go so well, which were not many, and continue that path. I think the spirit is very good. We are full of confidence. We make it a little bit more difficult with the next game to play to qualify, but we knew from the beginning that it was going to be a tough group to go through. We are right there; we have one foot in the door. We just have to talke the second foot in there and get it done.”

On fears from that there could be a predetermined tie between the USA and Germany:
JK: “I think you’re talking about a game that is decades away that is only part of Germany’s history and not the United States. The United States is known to give everything they have in every single game. If you look at the past, we made things happen, otherwise Mexico wouldn’t be here or that last World Cup when we did the same thing with a team that went into the World Cup. We have that fighting spirit and that energy, that determination to do well in every single game. So, we’re going to go into Recife very ambitious with a lot of confidence to beat Germany. This is our goal. Then we’ll see what happens on the field. I’m actually pretty confident that we’re going to get a good game there.”

On the team’s character to fight back from a goal down and what he saw from DeAndre Yedlin:
JK: “Maybe it was better [to give up a goal] this time than in the Ghana game where we scored in the first minute and then we defended a bit too much. This way, when you concede a goal, you take the game to the opponent and if it’s Portugal, who cares? You go forward and that’s what we did. I think had an amazing game and scored two beautiful goals and had so many chances to kind of finish it off.

“We’ve been working on a lot of little things for more than five weeks and one thing is to have DeAndre in our group now for a reason. Not only because he’s one of our biggest talents, a youngster coming through the ranks, but because he has the qualities to make an impact in a game right now in this World Cup, which he did. And we knew [he would], which is why he’s here. So now a guy comes in that hasn’t played yet and maybe in the next game against Germany he will make an impact; this is our hope. That’s what our belief is – that every one of these 23 guys on this roster will make an impact on this World Cup hopefully. We knew with DeAndre’s speed and with his defensive skills playing up in Seattle at right back, we have another weapon to push back the defense and create problems. I said before if the ref doesn’t blow the final whistle so early maybe DeAndre goes down and maybe we score the third one. It’s fun to watch that kid.”

On saying ‘No’ to a an arranged draw between the USA and Germany:
JK: “Jogi’s doing his job, we are good friends and I do my job. My job is to get everything done to make us go into the Round of 16 – that’s what I’m going to do. There’s no time right now to have friendship calls, it’s about business now.”

On the play of Michael Bradley so far in the tournament:
JK: “I think everybody is just growing into this tournament. It’s always important to get the first game because you’re nervous, you’re tense, you want to start well. And, especially with that group, you know how difficult the start was with Ghana. We got that game under our legs and we got the three points and now we just start to build with every moment.

“Michael is undoubtedly one of our key players and I think he showed that tonight. He has an engine that is unbelievable. He’s covering up for other players all over the place. His vision and his passing is just outstanding. Here and there it’s not going to be a perfect game all the time. I’m not expecting perfect games from anybody. I expect they give everything they have and then when he makes a mistake that the other guy is there to help him out. This is what happens right now in this team – when somebody is making a mistake, he gets a clap on the shoulder and the other guy comes in and helps him out. I’m absolutely sure that Michael will grow big time into this tournament. There’s no better stage to do it than in the next game against Germany. Every game you play now is getting bigger so that’s when you want to see those things coming through. I’m very happy with all of them.”

On the play of Matt Besler:
JK: “It is just fun to watch Matt. He’s one of our most promising center backs that we’ve brought along here the last two-and-a-half years. This is something that hasn’t just happened in five weeks, it’s been three years since we’ve been working on this puzzle, on the team, on the players to make them understand what it takes to perform on the level of a World Cup. When you see Matt Besler coming through and breaking through and going through pain and still keeps his composure and his focus and there were many positive things on the field. For a coach this is very rewarding when you see things coming alive in a tournament like this, but that’s also because we’ve been working on these things for three years.”

On the prospect of beating Germany and potentially knocking them out of the tournament:
JK: “Our goal is to go to the next round, so we will do everything in our capabilities to go into the next round. I’m not thinking about what goes on in other peoples’ minds and situations. It’s about what’s important to us, so we’re going to take our game to Germany and give everything we have, give them a real fight. I think if you see that team from tonight, how they can do that, then are capable of surprising even more teams in this tournament.”

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