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Play for a tie in tonight’s qualifier? No way, Klinsmann says

Oct 16, 2012, 8:40 AM EDT

Italy v USA - International Friendly Getty Images

KANSAS CITY – Should the United States find it’s conservative side tonight?

After all, a tie will do, sending the United States on to next year’s final round of qualifying for Brazil 2014.

So, should Jurgen Klinsmann arrange a lineup a set of tactics that would emphasize defensive cover over all-out attack?

Absolutely not, he says:

Our approach to the game is clear: We want to win. You only can win a game if you attack and go forward, and that’s what we’re going to do. We are not looking for a tie.”

As any coach outside of Italy will tell you, it really is difficult to play for a tie. Not to mention dangerous.

Especially in this case. Because Klinsmann’s MO all along has been pressing in high places on the field, adding numbers to the attack, playing vertically (rather than passing sideways or backward), and generally applying major heat to the other side. So, a more cautious approach would mark a distinctively different style, a significant downshift at a dangerous time.

Besides, the United States should be able to get its business done. Since a 1-0 loss to Guatemala back in 1988, the United States has a 17-game unbeaten streak (12-0-6) going against Los Chapines.

  1. whordy - Oct 16, 2012 at 9:24 AM

    The most important thing tonight, beyond Klinsmann that or Bob Bradley that or anything else, is that we are still the USA and they are still Guatemala. With all due respect to them, we should be able to beat them even if Rex Ryan was out coach.
    Which is why I am optimistic.

    • Steve Davis - Oct 16, 2012 at 9:27 AM

      Listening to the US players yesterday (and while it’s always dangerous to guess what people are thinking) I do believe they feel the same way. They are quite optimistic and confident, too.

    • handsofsweed - Oct 16, 2012 at 6:05 PM

      Ha! If Rex was our coach, we wouldn’t even need to play this game. Or the Hex. Or WC 2014. We would be defending and future World Champions and all would hail our greatness from sea to EVERY shining sea. On the whole planet. Forever.

  2. dfstell - Oct 16, 2012 at 9:29 AM

    We absolutely shouldn’t try for a 0-0 tie. That could end in disaster. Plus, versus a team like Guatemala, we should be able to possess the ball. I mean….we shouldn’t be reckless, but I’d like to see us score a goal or two.

  3. packerken2000 - Oct 16, 2012 at 9:51 AM

    I’ve never liked the idea of playing for a draw. All it takes is one mistake late and you’re left scrambling for a goal. That only leads to more mistakes. It’s like prevent defense in American Football. It just prevents you from winning.

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