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U.S. MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM

May 30, 2012
A BIT TOO NAÏVE?
Klinsmann says U.S. must toughen up its game

By Charles Cuttone
Executive Editor

US midfielder Jermaine Jones muscles past Brazil’s Sandro in the first half of Wednesday’s 4-1 loss at FedEx Field.
US midfielder Jermaine Jones muscles past Brazil’s Sandro in the first half of Wednesday’s 4-1 loss at FedEx Field.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
LANDOVER, Md---Jurgen Klinsmann thinks the United States is still missing something. That’s much is evident, as they lost to Brazil 4-1 at FedEx Field on Wednesday at FedEx Field.

“We need to get an edge more,” said Klinsmann, who has seen the team experience an up-and-down week as it readies for World Cup Qualifiers next weekend.

“Maybe we are a little bit still too naïve,” he said. “Maybe we don’t want to hurt people, but that’s what we’ve got to do. You got to do that. At the end of the day, we got to step on their toes more and get them more frustrated and make a case with the referee as well.”’

It was the Americans who were frustrated, with Brazil taking a 1-0 lead on what Klinsmann called a questionable penalty call when central defender Oguchi Onyewu was called for a handball just inside the penalty area, allowing Neymar to give Brazil a 1-0 lead on a penalty kick.

Following a 5-1 win over Scotland on Saturday, Wednesday’s loss was a letdown, but Klinsmann said it was necessary.

“We need to play this, big nations,” he said. “We get a lot out of it. When you lose games, you have to try even harder.

Klinsmann said one of the things the U.S. still needs to get over is the awe factor of playing teams like Brazil.

“I think maybe in the first 20 minutes, we showed too much respect, which is understandable. We are playing Brazil.”



   
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