The U.S. National Team held their first training session at StubHub Center on Monday after returning from a near two-week World Cup "dry run" at their base for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Sao Paulo.
U.S. boss Jurgen Klinsmann addressed the media ahead of the U.S. match against Korea Republic on Feb 1. Following the training session, U.S. Soccer revealed that more than 23 thousand tickets have been sold for the match.
Klinsmann's comments are below.
(On the U.S. National Team's training camp in Brazil....)
KLINSMANN: "I think that it was really helpful for the team, but also for everyone involved in U.S. Soccer to experience our team base hotel in Sao Paulo, to train at the Sao Paulo FC facility, to meet the people and get around the city. I personally went to Natal, Recife, and Manaus, and we have a better picture of what to expect and what will challenge us. It’s not going to be all perfect and we have to be patient and tolerant with things, but if we know that in advance and adjust it mentally then there is no problem at all.”
(On whether he has any concerns about the facilities in Manaus…)
KLINSMANN: “Before a draw you say if I can avoid playing there and playing under those conditions it would be nice, but once the draw was done there were no complaints from our end because both teams will have to play under the same circumstances. It’s going to be hotter than other places, but the [city] itself is absolutely gorgeous. To be in Manaus is an experience and therefore, I want the players to take it all because this is something unique. The people are excited to host World Cup games. [The city] offers a different face of Brazil and that is what the World Cup is about to see the different faces of a country, and Manaus is one of those different faces. I’m really looking forward to it. The stadium is gorgeous, they still have some issues with the training sights, hotels or whatever, but that’s where we have to adjust. Overall, it’s been very helpful that you go there to meet the people and talk to them.”
(On whether there are more players who could make the World Cup roster after the January camp…)
KLINSMANN: “The good thing about this camp is that we have more guys who can widen the pool. I’ve told these guys that in soccer so many things happen in a short amount of time so it is a lot about timing and how you prepare yourself a couple of months before a big tournament happens, and how you show up on the field. Then God forbid, other things happen with injuries or whatever, so the door is always open until May when we cut it down to 23 guys.”
(On whether he feels like he's running out of time to prepare for the World Cup...)
KLINSMANN: “I never feel like I’m running out of time. You need timelines and deadlines are always good. The first game is in June and that’s a great deadline because it is what we’re looking for. Then you adjust everything that you do if things don’t work out or there is an injury or whatever, we’ll make an adjustment and make the best out of it. The excitement just gets a little bit bigger because we see the light at the end of the tunnel. We’ve been to Brazil, we feel prepared and now we’re going to follow the players in all their different club teams and see how they’re doing over the next couple of months.”
(On the injury status of Fabian Johnson…)
KLINSMANN: “The surgery is done. He has a couple of screws in there, but that’s all good. He wants to play on Saturday and I think that he’ll be allowed to play on Saturday.”
(On what he expects from Korea Republic....)
KLINSMANN: “I think that it is the game at the end of January camp that you want to see the players implement the things that we worked on over these three and a half weeks…In a World Cup year and against a World Cup opponent, it’s something that they can match themselves with. [Korea Republic is] a pretty good team, I think that Costa Rica already experienced that because they had absolutely no chance against them the other day. We get a nice bench mark for the group and then we will go forward from there.”
(On the status of Jermaine Jones, who is looking to move away from German club Schalke…)
KLINSMANN: “We've been in contact; he hasn't solved his situation yet. He obviously has a deadline 31st of January that his people are working on, and with his club, they have a clear understanding that he is looking for a new club. ... It's now the 27th. So he has four more days and then, hopefully, he presents a solution there… Every player that doesn't have a solution right now on the table is a concern, absolutely. So we want him to solve it, but he's kind of used to these kind of situations ... and every time he solves it. So he has to solve it, obviously, this time as well. He has to do that within the next four days. We're in touch and we're positive that he finds a good solution and then gets back on the field and play. Because that's what we need the players to do”