US driven by positive attitude

Coach Jurgen Klinsmann feels the time is right for them to shine

US driven by positive attitude

The days are long gone when it was a surprise for the United States to reach the World Cup finals, but for a country used to sporting success they are still some way short of making a major impact on the tournament.

It remains one of the final sporting frontiers for the United States to conquer although they reached the semifinals in 1930 and caused one of football's greatest upsets when they beat England the last time that the World Cup was held in Brazil in 1950.

Since that inaugural event they have reached the quarterfinals just once, in 2002, although this will be the United States' seventh successive appearance in the finals, a consistent run bettered only byBrazil, Italy, Argentina, Germany, Spain and South Korea.

They face a tough challenge going far in Brazil after being drawn in Group G with Germany, Portugal and Ghana although head coach Jurgen Klinsmann is adamant his side has every chance of reaching the round of 16.

"I'm not worried at all. I'll just take it the way it is and we're going to prepare the best way and we're going to be well prepared for the World Cup," Klinsmann said."We'll build up confidence and believe that we can get good results to get into the next round.”

The US have a solid team with a lot of depth in the midfield and an experienced coach who knows what it takes to win the sport's ultimate prize.The main strength of the team is their central midfield, particularly Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones, who provide the steel and overall focus to dominate the centre of the park. 

The US have surpassed Mexico as CONCACAF's best team after dominating the qualifying tournament. In the final round of qualifying, the Americans won seven and drew one of their 10 matches, scoring 15 goals and conceding eight.They have also recorded confidence-boosting victories against European opposition since Klinsmann took over in 2011, including Germany, Italy and world champions Spain.

"I look at things always from a positive side. We have a young team, a team that is growing. We've built a lot over the past two years," Klinsmann said.

"We're going to take it one game at a time, starting with Ghana who gave us some issues in the recent World Cups. If we start off there well, then it builds even more confidence for the next two big ones," he added.

Defence remains a weakness and Klinsmann has not yet settled on his best unit. He has opted for Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler as his central defensive pairing but there are question marks when they are up against top strikers.

"We're not underdogs. All 32 nations in the World Cup are big names," Klinsmann said.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
GET IT
Comments (+)