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2014 World Cup: Ghana's opponents USA admit their players not up to task in tough group

Published on: 15 May 2014
Landon Donovan, center, kicks the ball as he runs drills with team during first day of training camp for U.S. Men's National Soccer Team at Stanford, Calif., on Wednesday.

USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann has admitted that the pedigree of his players are below those of their group opponents Ghana, Portugal and Germany.

The German coach's most immediate task during the U.S. soccer team's World Cup training camp at Stanford is to whittle his 30-man roster to 23 by the June 2 deadline.

But Klinsmann also must spend the next two weeks preparing his team for Ghana, Portugal and Germany in the so-called Group of Death.

One month before the opener -- the U.S. plays Ghana on June 16 — Klinsmann is realistic about the state of his team relative to its competition in Brazil.

"A lot of our guys don't have the same foundation,'' he said Wednesday, noting that many opposing players have participated in the Champions League or various cup matches in recent weeks.

"We're behind. We know where we stand in comparison. That's why we start earlier and work harder.''

(bullet) Brazil and Mexico are among the teams that called just 23 players -- their final World Cup rosters -- to training camp.

Klinsmann opted to bring 30 to Stanford for the two-week session, which began Wednesday.

"We're not sure yet -- simple as that,'' he said. "We have 50-50 cases all over the place ...

"But this is World Cup preparation. We have to build a foundation. We're doing our homework, fine-tuning elements, building every piece if it's tactical, technical and chemistry-wise.''

A handful of players were expected to arrive this weekend, including goalkeeper Tim Howard, who just finished his club season with Everton in the English Premier League.

Asked about reports that Brazil's infrastructure won't be ready for the start of competition June 12, Klinsmann called it a "World Cup of patience.''

"It's not going to be perfect,'' he said. "Transportation is a big task. Hotels for the fans is a big task.

"The teams will be fine. But it's going to be an extreme type of World Cup.''


This article has 9 comment(s), give your comment
  • Eric says:
    May 16, 2014 07:24 am
    Be mindful of the mind games. Let's be focused.
  • millennium says:
    May 15, 2014 11:54 pm
    At papa Nkrumah. Kalanga and co, call it whatever you want it, mind games etc. But the truth is USA is preparing as a team under a very good coach. What are we doing? They know their weaknesses and they are working on them. Do we know ours, and if we know, are we willing to admit them and work suitable solutions for them. That's why i think our complacence will not help our course in Brazil.
  • millennium says:
    May 16, 2014 02:11 am
    The US is training now while our team remains scattered. They are training combining German tactics and American ingenuity while focusing on the opposition. While we have players who did excel over the years in their careers, we must admit that most of these players have gone past their prime. The Americans are under a better manager than Ghana, and they are preparing better than us and have younger and hungrier players, i will not be surprised if they surprise Ghana. I wish, hope and pray i am wrong.
  • Ezekiel says:
    May 15, 2014 08:49 pm
    We've got rookies of our own u know. They are as vibrant and ebullient as they come.
  • Donovan says:
    May 15, 2014 06:00 pm
    8 of the players we field against Ghana will be rookies but fast and full of energy,u better watch out though!
  • ZG GH4LIFE says:
    May 15, 2014 03:37 pm
    Mind games aint gone work here man, We do not care if you are ready or not, here we come
  • Don Dominic says:
    May 15, 2014 03:57 pm
    It better you realise that early so that u will not be suprise when U lost to Ghana.
  • Zi Kalanga says:
    May 15, 2014 03:58 pm
    Mind games
  • Papa Nkrumah says:
    May 15, 2014 04:04 pm
    We don't care. we are still playing to win and winning very well against all opponents