KLINSMANN NETS PROMOTION

Aside from his managerial duties, Jurgen Klinsmann has been promoted to become the technical director of US soccer. This role will allow the former Bayern Munich man to shape up the entire system starting from the youth academy.

He is also working extremely hard to prepare the team for the upcoming World Cup 2014. United States were expected to be a major force at this tournament, but such dreams have taken a step back after a tough draw in the group stages. The US will not only be up against former world champions Germany, but Portugal and Ghana will also be their group opponents.

There is a lot of possibility that the US may not even reach the knockout stages of the competition, but Klinsmann has already come up with excuses if the national team fails to do so. He says that the players should also be held responsible if they failed to reach the knockout stages.

Klinsmann is aware of the competition and threat posed by other sports like basketball and baseball for the huge population of youngsters in the country. He says that not reaching the quarter-finals of the World Cup will be a huge opportunity missed for the nation, as it would mean the loss of a whole generation.

“If you miss an easy shot in a game, you want the player to go to the supermarket or the butcher shop the next day and have a fan ask them why they missed that shot. We’re not there yet. But in the big leagues in Europe and South America, if you miss a shot, you’re held accountable for it. Then you don’t miss it anymore. This is something that will grow over time. The more it grows, the more often fans see (players) in the street and tell them, ‘You were crap yesterday.’ And this is important,” said Klinsmann.

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US WANT WINS

The US national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann says that winning is all that matters when it comes to the World Cup. His team are expected to be one of the dark horses for progression to the latter stages of the competition.

However, they have been given a tough draw at the World Cup after being grouped along with Germany, Portugal, and Ghana. All three teams have the chance to finish in the knockout stages, which makes it difficult for Klinsmann. As a result, he has adopted a 'win at all costs' policy ahead of World Cup.

After going through a difficult period under his regime a few years ago, Klinsmann appears to have found the perfect combination in order to get the results. The US team will be coming into the World Cup after having suffered just one defeat in the last five matches. Their recent friendly match against one of the World Cup qualified teams – South Korea – ended in a 2-0 victory for the Americans. They have two friendlies scheduled between now and the start of the World Cup. It will be against Ukraine and Mexico.

Ghana will be the first opponents at the World Cup and they will be followed by matches against Portugal and Germany.
"We started to work on it as soon as I took the job on and we went into the final phase of qualifying for Brazil 2014 convinced that we’d have to score late goals to get results and away from home too. In football you need to have special players to get special results and if you don’t have those players, like Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, then you have to look for a way of compensating, by working as a team and having a winning mentality," said Klinsmann to FIFA's official site.

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INSIGHTFUL TOUR

The United States national team recently returned back to the country after a short training camp in Brazil, which has offered a lot of insight into the challenges that lay ahead of them according to manager Jurgen Klinsmann.

The US will be one of the teams participating in the World Cup 2014. They have been given a tough group in the form of opponents like Germany and Portugal.

Despite this, Klinsmann has been sounding confident of progressing to the knockout stages. The US have done well in major tournaments and Klinsmann says that it will hold them in good stead.

He has also revealed that he took numerous trips to cities hosting the World Cup where he had a look at the various facilities. Brazil have been criticised for lacking in the preparation for the World Cup. Klinsmann has acknowledged that the competition is going to be far from ideal for the players, but has said that it should not mean that they should get anger at the facilities. Heat and humidity will be a major test for the players in the location where the US team will be based for their matches.

Klinsmann has selected Manaus as the base for the camp and he says that apart from the heat, it is absolutely gorgeous place. He also said that the stadium was also equally good.

“It was really helpful these two weeks for the team, but also for everybody involved with U.S. Soccer to experience our team base hotel in Sao Paulo, to train at the Sao Paulo FC facility, to meet the people, to get around the city and get a feel for it. I personally went up to Natal, to Recife. I went on the way back to Manaus to check the facilities there. We have a much better picture now of what to expect and what will challenge us," said Klinsmann.

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ENGLAND MUST DO BETTER

Former German star Jurgen Klinsmann has said that the England national team should at least reach the quarter-final stage of the World Cup 2014 in order to live up to the status of being one of football's top teams.

England are regarded as the founders of the game and they have won the World Cup once in their history. However, the last few decades have been very difficult for the England national team, as they have not managed to win any major trophy. They have also failed to get past the quarter-final stage in the last few major tournaments.

As a result, expectations are low about England doing well in Brazil. Klinsmann reckons that if England do not do well at the World Cup 2014, then they may not be regarded as one of the top teams in the coming years. Klinsmann is currently the manager of the US national team, who have qualified for the World Cup under his guidance. He also had a very successful spell as the national team manager of Germany during the 2006 World Cup. Klinsmann was speaking ahead of the friendly match with Scotland.

"It's a must to go in to at least the quarter-final. It's as simple as that. They are definitely one of the powerhouses still in the world of football but they've got to prove it. The way you put expectations on the German team is 'at least the final'. That's the expectations now because of that golden generation they're bringing through," said the former Tottenham striker to the BBC.

Klinsmann is widely known for his spell in England with Tottenham. His German international team are regarded as one of the strongest in the world right now.
England were recently defeated in the friendly match with Germany 1-0 to follow with the 2-0 defeat against Chile a few days ago.

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QUALIFICATION IS CLOSE

At the start of the campaign, Mexico were expected to comfortably qualify for the 2014 World Cup, but it has proven to be a nightmare for the nation after losses against lower level opposition. Mexico are in danger of missing the World Cup following the latest defeat at the hands of Honduras.

They will be taking on the United States in another key match. Rather than take advantage of the poor form shown by Mexico, Klinsmann has said that he expects Mexico to qualify for the World Cup at the end. This is likely to be the start of crucial mind games between the two managers.

Klinsmann will be hoping to come out on top after the end of the mind games. Mexico come into the match in the fourth position behind the likes of Honduras and United States.

The US themselves are not in a great position because they only second in the table behind Costa Rica. The trailer leaders by one point and will be hoping to take the leaders or at least maintain the gap after the end of this round of fixtures. Mexico have managed just one victory in the last five World Cup qualifying encounters. Thus came an end to the managerial reign of de la Torre, who was retained after much displeasure following the Confederations cup.

“I said it already in the summer, just stay calm and Mexico will get their points. Hopefully not obviously tomorrow night. But in general they will get their points and also if things go wrong for them tomorrow night, they will still get their points. Even if they have to go through the fourth place theoretically, they will qualify for this World Cup. Mexico will go to the World Cup," said the former Bayern Munich midfielder ahead of the match.

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HOLDEN LIMPS ON

The United States midfielder Stuart Holden has suffered a number of serious knee injuries in the past few years, and manager Jurgen Klinsmann has said that there could be a repeat of the same.

The United States recently managed to lift the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. However, this success was not fully celebrated by the manager, who took off Holden after just 23 min on the clock in the final. After the match, he said that the player had to be taken off because he appeared to have suffered an injury that could be very serious.

Even though Holden left the pitch on his feet, Klinsmann has said that the initial prognosis is not looking good for the player. The 27-year-old is regarded as one of the best players for the national team, but he has not been available for the manager to choose since taking over the national team a few years ago. This is due to a succession of injuries that have limited his ability on the pitch. Holden had a collision with Panama midfielder Alberto Quintero after just 20 min on the clock. This collision proved to be more than just another incident in the match, as it resulted in the player being replaced.

Holden suffered his first major injury back in 2011 and since then he has played just five matches for his club. He has been with the US national team without any major injuries only for the last two months. His club Bolton Wanderers have been relegated to the second division of English football without a player of his stature in the squad. He will not be returning to his club in order to undergo treatment and it is further bad news for Bolton manager Dougie Freedman, who is expected to get the club challenging for a promotion spot.

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FUTURE UNSURE

Former Germany and Bayern Munich legend Jurgen Klinsmann has said that defender Carlos Bocanegra faces an uncertain future with the United States national team if he continues playing for Scottish club Rangers next season.

After a lot of financial difficulties, Rangers have been demoted to the third division of Scottish football. Even though they have secured promotion to the second division, it is unlikely to please manager Klinsmann. He has said that the defender should consider moving away from the Scottish club and play for a club in a top-flight.

Bocanegra is considered as one of the important players for the national team and he has made more than 100 appearances during his stellar career. However, he has a contract with Rangers for one more season and it looks unlikely that he is going to move in the summer. Klinsmann has said that playing in the second division will not be an ideal test for someone who wants to play international football. Even though Klinsmann refused to rule out Bocanegra being called up for the national team, he did admit that there are several players competing for his position.

Klinsmann has taken some controversial decisions in recent months. He has been extremely cold towards striker Landon Donovan, who recently returned from a four-month sabbatical.
"Next year, they are in the second division which is the third highest division in Scotland. Rangers is Rangers, one of the biggest clubs in history. But that division in Scotland, I'm not sure if that's where you want to be.

Players make their own decisions and they have to deal with the consequences of that. Carlos is aware of that and knows at the end of the day that its a continual competition," said Klinsmann. There is a lot of pressure on Klinsmann after a poor run of results.

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UNDER PRESSURE

There is a lot of pressure on United States manager Jurgen Klinsmann after the recent run of poor results. This is partly due to the absence of the star striker Landon Donovan, who has taken a self-imposed sabbatical from the game.

This along with the poor form of striker Jozy Altidore means that the team has managed just one win in the last five matches. As a result, they sit perilously close to dropping out of the play-off position in the group table. Only the top three teams qualify for the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil automatically, while the fourth placed team will have a play-off.

United States sit level on points with Honduras in the fourth position while many expected them to challenge for the top spot. Altidore has not managed a single goal for the nation from open play in the last two years. His last goal from open play came in 2011, but Klinsmann has said that he has no concerns about the poor form of the striker. After the failure of Adu, Altidore is regarded as one of the important strikers for the national team. The 31 years of age, not many expect Landon Donovan to continue at the national team for long.

Klinsmann has said that he is still a young player, who has a lot to learn in football.

"When there's a moment where he's not getting the message then maybe you leave him out for a game or two like we did - and he got the message. He came back and he was really on top of it. He's totally [improved], he's on a tremendous growing path and his upside is big. He's still only 23 years old. You're talking about a young player that already has 50 caps, so the expectations might be over the moon," said Klinsmann.

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RODGERS GIVES UP FOOTBALL

The 25-year-old former US national team player, Robbie Rogers has revealed that he is gay. He has followed up this stunning announcement with the fact that he will be retiring from professional football.

Rodgers revealed in a blog post on his personal website that it has been extremely tough period for him to hide from the fact that he was gay. He has also revealed that he could not go any longer from hiding the truth from his loved ones, but he was not sure before how they would react. Hence, he had lived with this secret for this long.

Very few footballers have openly admitted that they are homosexual. It has been primarily due to the fear that they would not be allowed to continue playing professional football as they have done before. Rogers has revealed that he managed to live with this lie in all this years due to the presence of football as an escape route. Even though he did not say that he is retiring from the sport, the 25-year-old has said that he is departing the game for the moment. He has not revealed his future plans as of yet. Rogers represented the likes of Stevenage and Leeds United in English football, but he is best known for his spell with MLS club Columbus Crew.

"I always thought I could hide this secret. Football was my escape, my purpose, my identity. Football hid my secret, gave me more joy than I could ever have imagined. I realized I could only truly enjoy my life once I was honest. . . . My secret is gone, I am a free man, I can move on and live my life as my creator intended," said the 25-year-old, who has struggled in his career since leaving Columbus Crew.

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JURGEN BACKS ANDREA

The United States national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann is of the opinion that the Inter Milan manager Andrea Stramaccioni can become one of the big managers in world football if he continues in the same tradition.

Stramaccioni was a player for Inter Milan during his playing days and he was recently appointed as the manager of the Italian Serie A team during one of the worst years of the club history. However, he has been able to get the club back up its feet in a relatively short span of time, as they are once again challenging for the Italian Serie A title this time around.

The 36-year-old is one of the youngest managers in European football at top-level club, but this should not be a major hindrance in the coming years according to Klinsmann. He has said that he can certainly build up the necessary experience over the years, which will make him even better. After struggling for most of the last season, Inter Milan were in danger of relegation at a time when Stramaccioni was handed the job by the Inter Milan President Massimo Moratti. He then managed to get European football for the team, while they are just two points behind table leaders Juventus this season.

“Stramaccioni is not as famous as Giovanni Trapattoni, Arrigo Sacchi, Fabio Capello or Carlo Ancelotti, but he is making a name for himself. He could win the Scudetto because a coach who wins 10 games in a row has to be good and has to have a team that follows him. Experience counts, but a debutant can have an innocence that can change games," said Klinsmann. The United States manager feels that Stramaccioni has the capability to win the Italian Serie A title in the future. Many Inter players have already sung the praises of the manager this season.

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