August 7, 2011
By Charles Cuttone
Klinsmann has little prep time for first game
CHESTER, Pa---New United States National team coach Jurgen Klinsmann knows he doesn’t have a lot of time to prepare for his first game as the new head man, what with a game against regional rival Mexico at Lincoln Financial Field on Wednesday, not even two weeks after he was given the job.
|New U.S. National Team coach Jurgen Klinsmann plans to spend Sunday deciding whether any last-minute roster changes need to be made in advance of Wednesday’s friendly against Mexico at Lincoln Financial Field.
Photo by Michael Lewis
But, don’t worry about his being ready for the task, or about what kind of team goes out on the field in Philadelphia.
Klinsmann, who has lived in the U.S. for more than a decade, has done his homework, and Wednesday’s game will be just the first, minor test, a pop quiz if you will, under the new coach.
The schedule, timing-wise, is difficult, but it is what it is, and after all part of any national coach’s job requirement is the ability to improvise and adjust to difficult circumstances. It’s just part of the job, Klinsmann said in an interview with a select group of reporters before Saturday’s Philadelphia Union-Houston Dynamo MLS game at PPL Park.
“Obviously it’s not ideal for either of the two teams, because even Mexico has to deal with those things. There are players that are overseas, playing, They are just starting the season, similar to ours, some have not even played a game yet.”
Klinsmann is already up to speed on players in MLS, and knows he may have to make a few changes to his announced roster before the game, due to injuries or other reasons players can’t make it. One change has already seen FC Dallas’ Zach Loyd replace Germany-based Timmy Chandler.
“My guys have already told me, take a look at this guy, take a look at that guy. We talked to a lot of the MLS coaches already. The message came in Tim Chandler can’t make it in from Nurnberg so, who is the next right back? I spoke to Bruce Arena, I spoke to Schellas (Hyndman) in Dallas, I spoke to coaches there, so my trust is then in their words, how do I identify the next right back after Steve Cherundolo.”
Klinsmann arrived in Philadelphia early. The U.S. team will train on Tuesday and Wednesday, and he and his staff will spend Sunday considering any changes that might have to be made.
“Then tomorrow morning (Sunday) we know more about the roster, who comes in, who is definitely confirmed. What situations we have to deal with, maybe injuries, maybe we have to call up some other guys from MLS real quick. That’s the usual stuff you deal with as a national team coach.
“You can never be sure about your roster, because they still have games to play, so we kind of already discussed what would be the case if someone is injured and who would be called up instead. Its just a normal approach to an international game.”
Klinsmann will use the couple of days in Philly as a get-acquainted session as well. “The two days of training gives us an idea of where they are, and how good they are physically and also get to know them a little bit over those couple of days and then build from there. It’s not ideal, but it is what it is and I never complain about those circumstances.”