After unveiling his roster for the approaching World Cup qualifiers against Costa Rica and Mexico, Juergen Klinsmann addressed several national team topics during a media teleconference Monday afternoon:
On the decision not to recall veteran defender and captain Carlos Bocanegra and whether this is the end of his national team career…..
“He is simply not playing [for Racing Santander]. He is not getting any minutes, so he has no flow, he has no rhythm. He understands the [U.S.] situation. Carlos is still in our picture. He understands right now he is behind other players: very positive approach from Carlos, very professional, really shows great character of him. We’ll play it by ear over the next couple of months. Hopefully his situation will improve there. He is on loan [from Rangers] until the end of the season and then he probably makes another switch in his career.”
On the possibility of utilizing Maurice Edu in the injury-depleted backline…..
“You can look at Mo in different ways, which is a big plus for us. He was successful [in central defense] in August in Mexico. We know he can play on the side as well. He can play any role in midfield. I have to give him a big compliment because he worked his way back into this group after his move from Stoke. … [In Turkey], he is sharp, he is in rhythm.”
With Bocanegra, Tim Howard and Landon Donovan not on the squad, who are the captain options? Klinsmann said he wanted to tell all of the players first before making it public. The smart money, however, is on Michael Bradley.
On the injury-depleted squad…..
“When I coached the German team, we had moments like that, and on club level as well. There are moments when things come together and it works in a certain way. The good thing about it is, whenever someone can come in, it’s a huge opportunity. In the January camp, we had a chance to take a closer look at quite a few players, and that is why Tony Beltran and Justin Morrow are now in the picture. We are not complaining about the situation. We take it the way it is. Do we wish we have those players back as soon as possible? Absolutely. But we feel comfortable with this roster and every guy to get the job done.”
On Clint Dempsey returning from a calf injury (he played the second half for Spurs yesterday)…..
“He is in a good training rhythm. I was in touch with him constantly. We are confident he can go full distance in both games.”
On Landon Donovan‘s future with the national team…..
“If he will become part of our plans again, it depends on how he comes back and how I look at the whole picture and how I look at the development of this team. The door is always open, as I have said, but I will make decisions based on what I think is best for this team going forward. Right now, he is not part of the plans because he is simply not playing or training.”
Is there a point where you tell Landon your country needs you, your national team needs you, can you get off the couch and start training?
On the inclusion of Brek Shea and DaMarcus Beasley…..
“Brek is getting back into a rhythm and got some playing time. We want to see where he is right now. We need to work with him the next couple of days, but we are pretty confident he can add another element to our group. Beas is just a wonderful player because he can play different positions. We have always followed him the last 18 months.”
On possible concern about Bradley not starting in recent matches…..
“I’m not worried. I’m just curious to hear his side of it. But Michael is the type of player that, even if he is maybe on the bench for one game or two games, he finds his way into the team again. We are confident he is doing that at Roma as well.”
On facing Costa Rica…..
“Obviously, it’s a must win. We are confident we can achieve that Friday night. We know they are not easy to beat and it will demand everything from us.”