Jun 20, 2014, 9:00 AM EST
The United States men’s national team is not buying the buzz around Cristiano Ronaldo’s potential absence for Sunday’s Group G match-up.
In fact, the Yanks are preparing for one of the world’s best players being at his best, and at least one US player is using an American sports team accomplishment as inspiration.
Jermaine Jones says the United States can be the San Antonio Spurs to Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal’s Miami Heat, referencing the Texas team’s triumph over LeBron James and company in last week’s NBA Finals.
“The NBA finals showed how it works,” Jones said. “The [San Antonio] Spurs were the better team and that is why they won the championship.”
Portugal keeper Beto says Ronaldo is 100 percent, and the U.S. players seem to be planning accordingly. Kyle Beckerman and Fabian Johnson are openly marveling at what CR7 can do, while Jones is saying the team needs to be wary of giving too much attention to the player.
Then there’s Jurgen Klinsmann, who is wary of a fired-up Ronaldo:
“[Portugal] is an even more dangerous team than before,” Klinsmann told reporters in his postgame press conference on Monday night. “When you get that 4-0 result from Germany, now you’re going to come into Manaus pretty angry. And I don’t know how Cristiano Ronaldo behaves when he’s angry.”
We’re assuming like Hulk… the green one (because the Brazilian one is hurt).
As for the NBA talk: if Rip Hamilton is bringing Clint Dempsey his masks, maybe the Spurs can bring the US that ultimate team swagger.
Rip Hamilton is bringing his masks to Brazil just in case Clint Dempsey needs one for Sunday: pic.twitter.com/0yx5habI7n
— NBC Sports Network (@NBCSN) June 19, 2014
So Bradley is Duncan, Dempsey’s Parker and Zusi would be Ginobili?
Nov 27, 2014, 12:00 PM EST
Spanish giants drop Christian symbol as they link up with Abu Dhabi based bank.
Nov 27, 2014, 10:55 AM EST
Can Spurs and Everton make a top four charge? Will Saints stun Man City?
Nov 27, 2014, 10:00 AM EST
Watch the incident unfold, as Brazilian striker is behind bars.
Nov 27, 2014, 9:13 AM EST
Wilshere has surgery on left ankle, as young midfielder set for another lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Nov 27, 2014, 8:51 AM EST
Bradley opens up about his first season at Stabaek, his future in Europe and much more.
Nov 27, 2014, 7:28 AM EST
Klinsmann’s men drop further in FIFA’s latest rankings.
Nov 26, 2014, 11:15 PM EST
Is the FA getting too involved in non-events?
Nov 26, 2014, 10:30 PM EST
Wenger was in good spirits following his side’s victory that put an end to his two-match losing skid.
Nov 26, 2014, 9:50 PM EST
Yes, Barkley dove and yes, (news flash) Martinez is overly protective of his players.
Nov 26, 2014, 9:10 PM EST
Thigh injury sidelines Moses for 8 weeks.
Nov 26, 2014, 8:32 PM EST
“I feel that right now I am playing some of the best football of my career,” Fabregas said.
Nov 26, 2014, 7:38 PM EST
“It goes without saying, I’d love to come,” Heskey told BBC Radio Leicester.
Nov 26, 2014, 6:44 PM EST
Poor Franck. All fired up and not even on the 23-man shortlist.
Nov 26, 2014, 6:00 PM EST
Can Liverpool build off this draw in Sofia? Their manager Brendan Rodgers has cause for optimism.
Nov 26, 2014, 5:21 PM EST
All the action from the penultimate games in Groups A-D, as two teams booked their spot in the last 16.
Nov 26, 2014, 5:19 PM EST
The raid on Southampton continues, as their recruiting guru heads to Spurs.
Nov 26, 2014, 4:43 PM EST
It was an upbeat display from the Gunners, who move on to the Champions League knockout stage.
Nov 26, 2014, 4:42 PM EST
Reds cough up late goal, but can still advance to the last 16 of the UCL with a win over Basel in their final group game.
Nov 26, 2014, 4:10 PM EST
Watch Ronaldo go level with Raul as he puts some pressure on Messi.
Nov 26, 2014, 3:41 PM EST
Good start for the Arsenal, scoring early through Yaya Sanogo.
- VIDEO: PST Extra examines huge top four showdowns in Premier League 0
- Huge blow for Arsenal as Jack Wilshere is out for three months 0
- Bob Bradley talks Stabaek, job offers, offseason plans and more 0
- USA drop five places in latest FIFA world rankings; England on the up 1
- Despite their struggles, Liverpool’s season intact as spirit shines through 4
- Champions League roundup: Arsenal, Atletico Madrid through, tense elsewhere 3