Skip to content

Jurgen Klinsmann says it would’ve been “half a miracle” if U.S. clicked vs. Ukraine, USMNT missed MLS contingent

Mar 6, 2014, 11:54 AM EDT

Cameron's size, poise on the ball and pace make him a perfect option at center back this summer. AP

With the USA’s 2-0 defeat to Ukraine highlighting some issues Jurgen Klinsmann must fix before the squad flies down to South America for the World Cup this summer, you have to remember one thing: he wasn’t able to select most of his squad for this friendly.

As Major League Soccer gears up for the start of the 2014 season this weekend, Klinsmann didn’t select any of his MLS contingent to travel to Cyprus on Monday night, then play on Wednesday before traveling home on Thursday and then playing in MLS on Saturday. Understandably the USMNT head coach thought that was too much, and used the Ukraine match to put his vast number of European-based players under the microscope.

Talking to reporters after the game, Klinsmann was asked if his team missed their MLS-based players in the loss to Ukraine.

“Definitely,” Klisnmann told MLSsoccer.com. “When you don’t have your main group together, there’s always going to be a bit of a drop of quality. That’s natural. That’s why our job is to zoom in and name 23 guys who are up to the task of the World Cup.”

One of the areas hardest hit by MLS absentees was the USA’s defense as both starting center backs, Matt Besler and Omar Gonzalez, plus left back DaMarcus Beasley weren’t selected due to club commitments in the U.S. and Mexico. Klinsmann felt it was a great opportunity to look at others back there, but that he wasn’t expecting some miraculous galvanization of a makeshift back four.

“But we still got an opportunity to get Brooks back in there and we saw where Gooch is at,” Klinsmann said. “Geoff Cameron took the right back role and [Edgar] Castillo flew all the way from Tijuana and played, I thought, a decent game. So it’s understandable that it wasn’t clicking, it would be half a miracle if it was clicking. But we need these type of games.”

(MORE: Three things we learned in USA’s defeat to Ukraine)

Chucking four guys together on the back line is never easy, and you saw that on Wednesday. But with Besler and Gonzalez to come back into the lineup for the friendly against Mexico in Arizona next month, the USA’s domestic players will get a chance to show what they can do. The extra-depth Klinsmann will get from essentially having two very different squads is quite remarkable and a unique situation that most national team’s won’t have.

Despite a loss which left plenty of questions about the USA’s chances in Brazil this summer, it’s not all doom and gloom. The MLS cavalry is about to arrive. Let’s see what these guys can do first, before making any rash judgements.

Latest Posts
  1. VIDEO: Arsene Wenger hails Arsenal’s spirit after last-gasp comeback

    Aug 23, 2014, 3:38 PM EDT

    Everton v Arsenal - Premier League Getty Images

    Wenger believes Arsenal deserved a point after stirring comeback.

  2. VIDEO: Roberto Martinez bemoans Everton’s late collapse against Arsenal

    Aug 23, 2014, 3:14 PM EDT

    Aston Villa v Everton - Premier League Getty Images

    Martinez upset at last 10 minutes, as Everton let 2-0 lead slip at home to Arsenal.

  3. Bundesliga Wrap: Leverkusen stuns BVB, Hoffenheim cruises

    Aug 23, 2014, 2:55 PM EDT

    Germany Bundesliga Soccer AP

    Dortmund couldn’t find a goal, though castaway striker Julian Schieber netted twice for his new team as the Bundesliga roared into a new season.

  4. Saturday Premier League roundup: Chelsea win again, Arsenal fight back

    Aug 23, 2014, 2:38 PM EDT

    Diego Costa AP

    Gunners grab point at Everton, while Chelsea, West Ham and Swansea win.

  5. Everton 2-2 Arsenal: Late goals seals dramatic comeback for Gunners

    Aug 23, 2014, 2:24 PM EDT

    Britain Soccer Premier League AP

    Gunners come back from 2-0 down to bag crucial point at Everton.

  6. VIDEO: Palace manager “won’t be watching Match of the Day” after loss

    Aug 23, 2014, 2:09 PM EDT

    Crystal Palace v West Ham United - Premier League Getty Images

    Crystal Palace is a club in turmoil, and caretaker manager Keith Millen says it’s unfair to the players.

  7. VIDEO: Mourinho hails Chelsea’s “complete control” half vs Leicester

    Aug 23, 2014, 1:45 PM EDT

    Diego Costa AP

    The Blues boss says his team had to work for it, but ultimately dominated newly-promoted Leicester City on Saturday.

  8. WATCH LIVE – Goals from Coleman, Naismith has Everton ahead vs. Arsenal

    Aug 23, 2014, 1:22 PM EDT

    Everton v Arsenal - Premier League Getty Images

    Gunners defend sloppily and Everton take full advantage. Watch the 2nd half live, here.

  9. Newly promoted Burnley battling, struggling to adapt to Premier League life

    Aug 23, 2014, 12:54 PM EDT

    Swansea City v Burnley - Premier League Getty Images

    Dyche: “We knew this would be a challenge, a difficult one, and we are enjoying the way the team are operating, but we need to get points on the board.”

  10. WATCH: Leverkusen scores fastest goal in Bundesliga history at BVB

    Aug 23, 2014, 12:50 PM EDT

    Denmark Soccer Champions League AP

    Karim Bellarabi nutmegged Matthias Ginter and put Bayer Leverkusen into the record books nine seconds into the match at Dortmund.

  11. Watch Live: Everton vs. Arsenal (Lineups)

    Aug 23, 2014, 12:01 PM EDT

    Everton v Arsenal - Premier League Getty Images

    Toffees and Gunners clash at Goodison as top four hopefuls collide. Watch live, here.

  12. Swansea City 1-0 Burnley: Dyer’s strike wins it for the Swans

    Aug 23, 2014, 11:57 AM EDT

    Dyer's goal was enough to sink Burnley. Getty Images

    Dyer’s solo strike the difference as brave Burnley fall at the Liberty.

  13. Crystal Palace 1-3 West Ham United: Sam’s Hammers score freely

    Aug 23, 2014, 11:55 AM EDT

    Crystal Palace v West Ham United - Premier League Getty Images

    Three different Hammers netted for Sam Allardyce as West Ham rebounded from a loss to Spurs to win a London derby at Palace.

  14. Southampton 0-0 West Bromwich Albion: Stalemate at St. Mary’s

    Aug 23, 2014, 11:52 AM EDT

    Saints and Baggies battled it out in the sun at St. Mary's. Getty Images

    Saints, Baggies fail to score in closely fought encounter on the South Coast.

  15. Chelsea 2-0 Leicester City: Costa scores again, Hazard ensures win

    Aug 23, 2014, 11:50 AM EDT

    Diego Costa, Dean Hammond AP

    The Foxes were game, but Chelsea’s class shone through by the time 90 minutes were in the books.

  16. VIDEO: Alan Pardew gives happy dance to make Remy Cabella smile

    Aug 23, 2014, 11:20 AM EDT

    Alan Pardew AP

    The Newcastle boss went above and beyond the call of duty, putting on clown shoes for a moment on the sidelines.

  17. LIVE – Premier League half time roundup: Hammers ahead, Chelsea being held

    Aug 23, 2014, 10:55 AM EDT

    Crystal Palace v West Ham United - Premier League Getty Images

    Four games on the go, but goals are scarce. Watch them all live, here.

  18. Aston Villa 0-0 Newcastle: Guzan saves a point as Villa moves top

    Aug 23, 2014, 9:41 AM EDT

    Aston Villa v Newcastle United - Premier League Getty Images

    American goalkeeper Brad Guzan helped Aston Villa stay unbeaten by keeping Newcastle at bay in a scoreless draw at Villa Park.

  19. Watch live: Crystal Palace vs. West Ham United (Lineups)

    Aug 23, 2014, 9:36 AM EDT

    Marouane Chamakh, Cameron Jerome AP

    West Ham’s second London derby in as many weeks provides a chance at win No. 1.

  20. Watch Live: Swansea City vs. Burnley (Lineups)

    Aug 23, 2014, 9:27 AM EDT

    Monk Getty Images

    Can the Swans sweep aside new boys Burnley? Watch live, right here.

Featured video

Week 2: Saturday PL preview