U.S. Men's national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann was in Nashville for last night's Olympic Qualifying debacle and had plenty to say about it, about the U.S. team and the future of the players and head coach Caleb Porter.
Here are Klinsmann's comments from last night (and apologies for spelling mistakes, I'm about to fly out of Nashville and wanted to get this out):
“We all feel really sorry for the guys,” Klinsmann said. “They had it, it was all there already, and then comes this last-second moment. It’s brutal because they worked really hard and I think they played a tremendous game and turned it around after halftime. That’s the third game in five days and they showed a tremendous, tremendous performance.”
More Klinsmann quotes after the jump:
One bad performance and it can kill you in a qualifying stage.
Overall, the way Caleb developed the program in these just couple of months was outstanding. He’s done an outstanding job. How he put his thoughts and ideas into these guys. There’s a bright future ahead of him in his coaching career.
Overall, these players have tremendous potential. We can see and read them where they could be two, three, four years from now. We saw some players out there that can only get better.
Obviously you want to get results and you want to be in big competitions like the Olympics, but you can clearly see the way they played against Mexico that game, the way they played Cuba and tonight, that there’s a very good group. But, they were not consistent enough and they lost the game against Canada and it killed the situation.
It’s a learning experience. They need to handle a big disappointment at an early stage in their careers and it doesn’t kill them, it makes them stronger.
What you saw in terms of style of play, pace of the game, technical elements of the game. You saw that tonight, you saw it against Cuba, you saw it against Mexico, and it’s important for us to see that we’re on the right path in terms of style of play.
There will be players that help us in qualifying. There will be players fro that group that will help us, hopefully after a successful qualifying campaign, in Brazil. It’s the next generation.
Sometimes the talent comes out when they’re 19 or 20, and some times it takes longer.
I was extremely pleased tonight to see Freddy Adu be all over the place, being a fighter, being an inspirer on the field, very creative. And it seems he’s maturing and we always thought he should be already be at whatever level he should be, but he’s 22 years old so give him the time to show his game, and tonight he showed a wonderful game. He will only improve. he will only get better.
This won’t be the last setback they’ll have, not on the field or off the field.