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U.S. center back Matt Besler reacts to World Cup draw

Dec 6, 2013, 12:47 PM EDT

Matt Besler head shot

KANSAS CITY – A hallmark of Jurgen Klinsmann’s program has been scheduling tough friendlies all along, facing the likes of Brazil, Germany and Italy, often traveling to face the toughies on the road. Is it about to pay off, now that the United States was drawn into a group of pain?

U.S. center back Matt Besler says so:

“I think that was the mindset of why we scheduled hard friendlies, for situations like this,” Besler said Friday after the draw from Brazil. “The year that we’ve had, I feel like the team’s mentality is that we can go play with anyone. Now we’ve got to go prove it.”

Besler, speaking from Sporting Park, where he and other U.S. national teamers were gathered for Friday’s draw, said he chatted briefly with Clint Dempsey before talking to reporters here. The topic: facing Ghana. Again.

“I assume I’ll find out a lot more,” he said.

Soccerly.com: Beckerman’s reaction? “Not the worst thing”

What about the travel involved upon arrival in Brazil? It’s quite extensive, as everyone is talking about now. There is extensive travel in Major League Soccer, as well. More than in most leagues around the world, in fact. Does that help the United States just a bit, perhaps?

“We all knew the travel was going to be a topic,” he said. “But it’s not an issue for us. We travel a lot in MLS play, and even in CONCACAF, too. … We see it as an advantage; we’re used to it.”

  1. takethelongview - Dec 6, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    Good for Steve for getting the interview. Now, how about ESPN? They have four national teamers on-site; they have on-air personnel and plenty of cameras on site; they have a bloated World Cup show that needs filler; they have a game they would wish to promote to a wider soccer audience watching said studio show.

    So how in the world has ESPN not pre-arranged to get the four national teamers in KC on air? Sure, they have training…but this is a league that needs attention.

    Until someone says the players or the league refused to make themselves available, this must be regarded as another example of a broadcast partner FAILING to promote the league to the best of its abiity.

    • takethelongview - Dec 6, 2013 at 1:52 PM

      ESPN started the first of two interviews from Sporting Park (why feature reaction shots from a bar in Atlanta earlier in the broadcast, when an actual MLS supporters group was having a party in an actual MLS stadium?) at 10:33. My DVR stopped recording at 10:30 because the Guide said the show was over at 10:30. So, likely, many interested parties will have missed this part when they go back to watch later.

      Now, clearly, ESPN’s proper focus was and ought to have been on the World Cup. But NBC Sports takes a fair amount of time to promote upcoming MLS broadcasts when during its BPL studio shows. I didn’t see that from ESPN today, a shocking omission given the big game tomorrow. I believe cross-promotion from broadcast partners was an element mentioned for improvement in the Don’s State of the League address earlier this week.

      ESPN could have done more. They should have done more.

  2. midtec2005 - Dec 6, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    ESPN is a disgrace, they don’t care about soccer, and they don’t care about being fair in sports they do cover. That’s why I go here, not espn. That’s why MLS has stopped pandering to espn and went looking elsewhere for coverage. Screw ESPN, they are a joke.

    • omeimontis - Dec 6, 2013 at 4:18 PM

      ESPN is only in it for the money.

  3. omeimontis - Dec 6, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    Wouldn’t be nice if Klinsmann can knock off Germany. May be Germany will hire him back as coach.

    • bear06 - Dec 7, 2013 at 3:50 AM

      He could of stayed for another WC cycle after the 2006 WC but he didn’t want to, so I doubt he’ll want go back to coach Germany again since he lives in Cali with his family.

  4. boscoesworld - Dec 6, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    It’s a tough draw but you gotta play whoever they put in front of you. I don’t think the players are freaking. In order to be the best you gotta beat the best!! Hope Besler goes overseas on loan to tweak his game. He is good now but could be great. On another note. Alexi Lalas makes my ears bleed!!!!!

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