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June 19, 2013
Klinsmann: 'We are growing with every game'

US coach Jurgen Klinsmann likes the way his team is coming together through the final round of World Cup qualifying.
US coach Jurgen Klinsmann likes the way his team is coming together through the final round of World Cup qualifying.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
SANDY, Utah -- Jurgen Klinsmann gave the U.S. National Team a thumbs up after its 1-0 World Cup victory over Honduras on Tuesday night. In fact, if the U.S. national coach would give his side three thumbs up -- if he had three thumbs -- for every game the Americans won in the CONCACAF hexagonal this month.

"The big picture is that we’re growing with every game, especially difficult games like tonight against a very strong Honduras side," Klinsmann said. "We have to find ways to break them down, find ways to create chances. The belief is there that sooner or later the ball will go in the net.

"I think the team understands that it’s not only a physical grind that you’re going through in these games, it’s a mental one. I think mentally we’re getting stronger, we’re getting tougher. We are now prepared to go through those games. At the end of the day you have to find those opportunities, and we do, and that should give the team more confidence. Every game is a new game to start. We’re always going to talk about the same principles but I think we see here a group that is really sticking together and therefore tonight really deserves a big compliment. I also told them a big compliment for the last three and a half weeks, how they brought all their energy into this camp.”

Klinsmann also complimented Jozy Altidore, who scored for the fourth consecutive game -- and his third successive qualifier -- to break a scoreless deadlock at Rio Tinto Stadium.

“We are very happy for Jozy," he said. "We always told him from a coaching perspective that it takes a lot of hard work, it takes a lot of adjustment, it takes the right moment to be there, it takes a hunger. The energy he put in now in the last four or five games has been tremendous. It’s not only that he scored those goals but the work that he does for the team is awesome. How he starts, the high pressure that we would like more and more, he kind of shifts the defenders to the side, he chases the ball down, he wins balls back.

"That energy from Jozy is very important to that team. He can pump us up with Clint. He can lean on Clint if there’s a difficult moment. I think they really get a better understanding with every match together. And obviously the biggest thing for our strikers is always scoring. It gives you confidence. It gives you energy. We are very pleased with his path.”

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