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Jurgen Klinsmann: Nobody gave US a chance, this is a huge step

Jun 26, 2014, 2:19 PM EDT

USA v Germany: Group G - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Getty Images

When the U.S. were drawn into Group G at the 2014 World Cup, nobody gave them a chance of qualifying.

Now, with the group stage done and dusted, Cristiano Ronaldo‘s Portugal and the USA’s arch-nemesis Ghana are heading home.

The U.S. are heading into the last 16 alongside Germany.

Hold that thought for a second… Yeah, it’s an incredible achievement from the Jurgen Klinsmann’s side.

[ RECAP - USA 0-1 Germany

[ RELATED - U.S. player ratings vs. Germany ]

The German legend always believed the U.S. could shake things up in South America and they have stunned everyone by making it through to the knockout rounds.

Speaking to ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap on the rain-soaked pitch in Recife after the game, Klinsmann was defiant after his side’s 1-0 defeat to Germany proved redundant following Portugal’s 2-1 win over Ghana to send the U.S. through.

“It is huge for us getting out of this group,” Klinsmann said. “Everyone said we had no chance. We took that chance and now we really want to move on. This is a huge, huge step and we can’t wait to get to the Round of 16… It was a big game. Although we gave them too much respect to start with. We should have created more chances.”

That being said the U.S. defended well despite Thomas Muller‘s 55th minute game-winner and the star at the back, as he is so often, was veteran goalkeeper Tim Howard.

“Tim Howard is one of our stars. He is one of our leaders,” Klinsmann said. “In the World Cup if you want to go far, you need one of the best goalkeepers in the world. We have that.”

The U.S. also has a spot in the last 16 of the World Cup.

Klinsmann is looking forward to the challenge which now lies ahead for the USA, as they will likely face Belgium in Salvador on Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET.

“We are growing, we are learning in every game,” Klinsmann said. “Now we go into the Round of 16. We will analyze this game, say what we did wrong and take some of the good things we did. Whoever we face now, we are going to take it to them. For all the players it is a tremendous achievement. We will put the entire group stage behind us. Now that the group stage is done, another tournament starts and anything can happen in the knockout stage.”

  1. mazblast - Jun 26, 2014 at 3:03 PM

    Somewhere out there, probably in ESPN’s studio, Landon Donovan is in a corner, sobbing his eyes out, moaning, “They can’t do this without ME! It is impossible! I’m Landon Donovan!”

    • twerkslikeMiley - Jun 26, 2014 at 3:05 PM

      Never seen such unwarranted hatred for arguably the best player in our soccer’s history. What is your deal?

      • sportsfan18 - Jun 26, 2014 at 3:38 PM

        he gave himself his only thumb up too…

      • wandmdave - Jun 27, 2014 at 7:00 PM

        Its a reaction against so much unwarranted hatred for JK for leaving him off.

      • wandmdave - Jun 27, 2014 at 7:01 PM

        as well as unwarranted pessimism.

  2. christophershearin - Jun 26, 2014 at 3:51 PM

    the us will never make it to the next level if we keep hanging on to dinosaurs like donovan, the man was great, but its time we moved on, honestly, dempsey, howard, jones, beasly should all be done after this tournament in a US kit, not to take away the amazing talent they all posess, but for us to take the next step, we need younger players taking key roles in the next WC cycle

    • twerkslikeMiley - Jun 26, 2014 at 4:27 PM

      What does LD have to do with this article?

      He’s not on the team. He’s moved on, I’ve moved on, and most other US soccer fans have moved on…but why can’t you?

  3. mogogo1 - Jun 26, 2014 at 6:05 PM

    I realize it’s all for the motivation of the players, but it’s kind of funny how every single coach in every single sport has to claim that nobody gave their team a shot at winning. They went 1-1-1 in pool play. It’s not like that’s so crazy-good that nobody could have imagined them doing it. Most everyone thought Ghana was their best shot at a win…and they won that game. Portugal would be tough…and they got a tie. Most figured Germany would beat them…and that’s what happened.

    • nappy25 - Jun 26, 2014 at 11:25 PM

      Most of the world had the US losing to Portugal and Germany as soon as the draw came out. Ghana was pretty much up in the air, but the majority had the US lucky to get 3 points. I wanted a 1-2-0 outlook, but we got a 1-1-1. When we beat Ghana everyone became more positive, including me. Nobody gave this team a chance.

      • mogogo1 - Jun 27, 2014 at 1:47 AM

        I know you didn’t intend to do so, but you did an exceptional job of making my point. They outperformed what “most people” thought they’d do by a single point– you say most had them lucky getting three points and they got four. You yourself were a single goal in the Portugal game from exactly predicting their record. That is far too fine a line to say that nobody gave them a chance.

        Most people thought they’d be lucky to advance and they managed to advance on a loss thanks to goal differential over Portugal who had the exact same record. Lucky indeed. The big picture never changed.

  4. bnwpnw - Jun 27, 2014 at 12:26 AM

    House money baby!

  5. iowahbr - Jun 27, 2014 at 3:24 PM

    Fro those of us that only watch soccer once every 4 years and only if the US is in it the game against Germany looked like a very one-sided total route even if the score ended 1-zip. From b-ball the word always was you can’t score if you ain’t got the ball and the US never had the ball. What good is advancing if the US is so less talented than Germany showed. I’ll take may answer off the air, thanks.

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