US Soccer coach Juergen Klinnsman: "We cannot win this World Cup"
In Klinsmann's defense, the interview in which he said it was in December. The Times just got around to publishing the piece yesterday. So... hopefully Klinsmann has since changed his mind?
"We cannot win this World Cup, because we are not at that level yet,” Klinsmann told the New York Times for a profile of the men's soccer team's new coach. “For us, we have to play the game of our lives seven times to win the tournament. Realistically, it is not possible."
Realistically? What does being realistic have to do with World Cup expectations?
Sure, if I were a betting man (or woman!) I would not put money on the US Men's Team to win the World Cup. But the fun of the World Cup is getting your hopes up when your team that has little likelihood of winning.
Klinsmann may be pulling a psychological ploy on his players, not unlike when Bill Parcells used to declare "I can't coach you guys!" and storm out of practice.
But when you do that, you shout profanities and you jump up and down like Daffy Duck. You don't explain in reasonable terms to a team why they cannot possibly win. Because then they believe you.
I only watch soccer every four years, so all's I know is what I hear people who get up at 3 a.m. to watch Premiership or Bundesliga. They tell me we've got Tim Howard who might be the best goalie alive. They tell me we've got an acrobatic and physical defender in Geoff Cameron for whom Stoke City just paid a mint. They tell me we've got a highly sought-after right back in Fabian Johnson.
Oh, and we've also got a coach who's convinced we can't win.