Greetings from Philadelphia, where Juergen Klinsmann’s tenure as U.S. men’s national soccer team coach has begun in earnest. A week after being formally introduced in New York, Klinsmann conducted his first training session Sunday evening with 13 players and held another Monday morning at the University of Pennsylvania’s Rhodes Field with a group of 18. The final four to arrive later today are Carlos Bocanegra, Ricardo Clark, Clarence Goodson and DaMarcus Beasley.
The team will train again late today and twice on Tuesday.
TV for Wednesday’s match vs. Mexico: ESPN2, Univision, ESPN3.com. Coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET, kickoff at 9:13.
This friendly hasn’t exactly captured the imagination of fans supporting either side. Ticket sales have surpassed 23,000 but are far below projections. A good walk-up will provide a respectable but underwhelming count. We’ve already discussed the reasons — late weeknight start, international match fatigue, overtapped market, high ticket prices, second meeting between the teams in 6 1/2 weeks — but a half-full stadium for USA-Mexico is going to look strange.
For additional notes.....
*Klinsmann’s support staff includes Thomas Dooley, Tab Ramos and Claudio Reyna — all four were on the field for the final 18 minutes of Germany’s 2-0 victory over the United States in the 1998 World Cup group opener at Parc des Princes in Paris. Klinsmann scored in the 67th minute. Ramos entered in the 72nd. At the time, USA call-up Juan Agudelo was 5.
*Under a German coach, seven players have German ties: Jermaine Jones (Schalke), Michael Bradley (Moenchengladbach), Edson Buddle (Ingolstadt), Steve Cherundolo (Hanover), Ricardo Clark (Eintracht Frankfurt) and, indirectly, Landon Donovan (formerly with Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich) and Heath Pearce (ex-Hansa Rostock).
*Speaking of Bradley, he will move to a new club soon after a split with Moenchengladbach. And his father Bob Bradley, the former USA coach, is a candidate for Egypt’s national team job. Go figure.
I’ll be back soon with comments from Klinsmann.....