On December 6th of last year in Salvador Bahia, USA was drawn in a spectacular group commonly described as the group of death. USMNT will have to face Portugal and the later crowned FFIA World Best Player – Cristiano Ronaldo with an impressive showdown against Sweden scoring all goals.
Ghana is potentially the best African team and come to Brazil with arguments and will be another tough opponent. the Black Stars have great players with experience such as Gyan, Essien, Asamoah, Boateng, Muntari and young legs up front with the Awey brothers. USA will play the team that eliminated them four years ago.
Saving the best for last is the entry of Germany, who is a favorite. Refer to these World Cup odds in this group. The Mannschaft coached by Joachim Low is one of the best teams in the world and a definite World Cup title contender. Low and Klinsmann know themselves very well. “It’s already something special to have the USA in our group. Jurgen and I have had a very good and close relationship for a long time. We have always exchanged ideas on a regular basis, but that will certainly change before the World Cup match.”
Jurgen Klinsmann on his squad :
“Obviously it’s getting more and more exciting. With naming the 30-man roster we enter another big step toward the World Cup. The clock is ticking and that is good on our end because we can make decisions and move forward. It’s been quite a process over the last two-and-a-half or three years leading the team toward the World Cup in Brazil and a lot of players were a part of that process. By naming our 30 players, it’s not that easy because you have to leave quite a few players out that were part of this important process that took us to Brazil. Making those phone calls and telling them that they are not part of the 30-man roster now was unpleasant because you give those players a message they don’t want to hear. It hurts you because you know it hurts the player in that moment, but it’s something that a coach has to do. Now, we are obviously excited about the 30-man list and moving forward and moving into a camp at Stanford for the next two-and-a-half weeks with the game against Azerbaijan on May 27, then moving from there to New York and facing Turkey before we actually have to name the 23-man roster. It’s exciting because we can get to work and we can see the players now, day-in and day-out, training and scrimmaging and doing a lot of work and getting a much more detailed picture from every one of them over the next three weeks.”
On how to decide and how to cut players when finalizing the 30-man roster:
“Every call you make is tough because it’s a very personal one and it has a big influence on their well-being in that moment, but also career-wise because you are missing out on the biggest tournament that you can play in in your career. Certainly there were some calls where you know that it’s a 50/50 situation. If it’s Michael Orozco who was recently injured and that’s probably the reason why he’s not in there. If it’s Eddie Johnson that took us to Brazil with important goals against Panama, against Mexico and Antigua, and Tim Ream who played an outstanding season with the Bolton Wanderers and became Player of the Year in Bolton. Others, like Brek Shea who scored the winning goal in the Gold Cup final, and Sacha Kljestan who’s playing on a very high level with Anderlecht, and (Edgar) Castillo who is with Tijuana and played a very strong season. There are so many, but you have to make those calls. You explain it from your perspective the best way you can do it, but obviously you know that the player on the other end of the line has to swallow that news. It’s something you’ve got to do and we have to do it that in three weeks again when we have to leave seven out of that 30-man roster on June 2. It’s definitely not easy for the players to take that message and you try to encourage them as much as you can to look ahead. They are all still part of our roster and part of the National Team program after the World Cup.”
On how many spots he thinks are still open for the 23-man roster:
“The next three weeks are definitely about the form they are in. The players know I don’t have to name them right now; they know they have a battle ahead of them. It is a daily competition. It is an awesome competition to be in because it’s about going to the World Cup. They should take it very positively and in a very exciting way. The good thing now is that we can see that every day; their approach to it, in their shape right now, and what exact time phase they are in right now. It’s a lot about timing and a lot about momentum going into the World Cup and we all know that. They are part of that inner circle and now they have to show it. There’s nothing more exciting than doing exactly that. If you want to put it that way, there are seven spots to compete for. We coaches will give them all the support and input and all our thoughts, but they have to do it on the training field and in the games.”