Highlights of Jurgen Klinsmann’s conference call
I’ll link to the full transcript from U.S. Soccer when it’s available. Until then ... here’s what you really want to know:
Klinsmann said he wants to bring about 20 field players into the May training camp, but also develop a stand-by player roster, a list of talent available on short notice in the event of injuries. “I don’t want to go with more numbers because it reduces the quality of training sessions.That’s the idea behind it right now.”
On Caleb Porter’s role with U.S. Soccer going forward: Klinsmann said he met Tuesday in Chicago with Porter and says he has a more complete understanding of where things went wrong. Obviously, as he’s said before, there’s disappointment for the opportunities lost.
“That said, we believe Caleb is a very talented coach. We chose him for a reason. He has a huge career ahead and sooner or later he will jump into the professional field.”
Klinsmann said wants to find appropriate roles for Porter within the program, whether that’s with the youth side or in some other player development role. “The goal is to keep Caleb connected to us, because we really think he has a lot of upside. He learned a tremendous amount in the last four months…. And we think he has a tremendous coaching career ahead of him.”
He said Porter was the right under-23 coaching choice. “The reason it didn’t work out was definitely not because he’s a college coach and that we needed a professional coach.”
Klinsmann singled out Mix Diskerud and Joe Corona as players that stood out in his mind from Porter’s under-23 team.
He said Herculez Gomez is absolutely on his radar, and that he’s seen several of the Santos striker’s matches over the last few weeks and months. Essentially, Klinsmann said, every time Gomez scores, his chances of a U.S. call-up increase.
“Hopefully he continues that goal scoring period, and the more he scores the more his chances increase. It’s really as simple as that. But that’s our message to all players all the time. …Herculez is on the radar screen. But he’s always been on the radar screen. Hopefully he can make his case even stronger over the next couple of weeks.”
Klinsmann clarified what he believes has been a media misconception, lost in too many discussions of 4-4-2, 4-3-3, etc. Essentially, system of play and formations are one thing, but that’s not the “style” per se.
“When talk about a style … it’s not depending on the system. It means we want to play a more pro-active way, a more forward-minded style, a more high-pressure style. We want to play our own game, to have more possession … but that doesn’t lock you into a system. The system is just a way to adjust things on the field, on how to get things done.
“In all those systems, you can play pro-actively, can play high-pressure, can put the other team into their half, you can be highly aggressive. You can use whatever system you want to express yourself.”