Daily news roundups

Klinsmann: “We got the job done.” More morning news.


Attempts on Goal – Mexico: 19, USA: 1; Shots on Target – Mexico: 3, USA: 0; Corner Kicks – Mexico: 15, USA: 2; Open Play Crosses – Mexico: 20, USA: 8; Yellow Cards – Mexico: 0, USA: 3; Attendance – Mexico Supporters: approximately 99,500, US Supporters: approximately 500; Final Score – Mexico 0, USA 0. And some American sports fans continue to think draws are boring?

Jurgen Klinsmann explained his game plan after the US secured a 0-0 World Cup qualification draw against Mexico for only its second point ever at Estadio Azteca on Tuesday. “We didn’t want them to play out of the back. We didn’t want them to combine through the midfield. So we hoped they would hit those long, diagonal balls. Still, they created their chances. They had opportunities. But we did close down the spaces and didn’t allow them to play their usual combination play…We had to grind it out together. But we got the job done.”

There were justifiable concerns about the US backline but at center back, Matt Besler stepped in admirably for an injured Clarence Goodson and Omar Gonzalez was a beast. Brad Guzan, who has done a fine job filling in for Tim Howard, said of Besler and Gonzalez, “They definitely stood tall. And I think a lot of credit goes to them because I think they were getting a lot of unfair criticism going into this game, saying that they weren’t going to be good enough to get the job done. I think not only those two but the entire back line really stepped up and they were fantastic.”

Klinsmann said of the centerback duo, “We have to give credit a little bit to our January camp. It gave us the chance to have Omar and Matt work every day side by side. There was already a great understanding because they trained for a month together. So we were very calm.”

Gonzalez said, “It felt really comfortable and playing with Bes [Besler] was great. Going down the line I think that could be a good pairing.”

Besler said, “We have a great understanding of how each other play, a good partnership. And I love playing with Omar. He’s a real easy guy to play off of. I just know what he’s going to do. He’s very good in the air and with his tackles and so as a partner of his, it’s easy to play off of him.”

More on what the defensive performance could signal from ESPN, SI, MLSsoccer.com, and Goal.com.

Klinsmann said of his team’s performance after a tumultuous week in the lead-up to the Costa Rica and Mexico qualifiers, “We have a simple goal, which is qualifying for the World Cup. We want to improve this program one step at a time, which I think we’re in the middle of and doing a very good job. And we’re pleased there’s so much discussion, so much debate out there. Because it shows you again you can’t stop soccer in the United States anymore.”

Should Mexico have been awarded two penalty calls? Klinsmann unsurprisingly didn’t think so, calling the tackle from behind in the box in the second half that most observers would reasonably call a penalty “a simple block.” Let’s just say that it’s nice to have some referee decisions in a CONCACAF tournament go our way, especially on the road and in the Azteca.

Match reports, recaps, and reaction from US Soccer, MLSsoccer.com, ESPN, SI (1), SI (2), Sporting News, SBI, Soccer America (1), Soccer America (2), ASN, Goal.com (1), Goal.com (2), Goal.com (3), ProSoccerTalk, Prost Amerika, Tropigol, Philly Soccer News, and The AP.

Player ratings from ESPN, SI, Soccer America, SBI, Goal.com, New York Times, MLSsoccer.com and Prost Amerika.

In other CONCACAF qualifying action, Panama defeated Honduras 2-0 to move to the top of the Hex while Costa Rica defeated Jamaica 2-0 to move to second place. The US, now in third, resume their World Cup qualification campaign on June 7 on the road against Jamaica and June 11 in Seattle against Panama.

La Naciòn reports that Costa Rica Football Federation vice president Jorge Higalgo says the federation will appeal FIFA’s decision to reject its protest and let the result of Friday night’s US win stand (Crappy Google translation here).

An article on the US Soccer website recounts the efforts made by grounds staff in Colorado to keep Friday’s World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica going. Legendary.

Noah Davis recounts the history of the US victory over Mexico on Nov. 23, 1980, the first win since the 1934 World Cup. The side-story on the refusal of Mexican television networks to release footage of the loss is equally interesting.

Former Cosmos and USMNT star Rick Davis talks about his playing days. The contrast in traveling with the Cosmos versus traveling with the national team is something else.

Philadelphia Union

Red Bulls manager Mike Petke says Saturday’s match against the Union is not a must-win for winless New York. “It is a cliché. It’s exactly what it is. It’s four games in.”

The latest Daily Doop notes that Thierry Henry is still questionable with a hamstring injury for Saturday’s game and that Red Bulls defender Brandon Barklage is unavailable with a red card suspension.

In an article from Dave Zeitlin on the Union website on the strong showings from Aaron Wheeler and Leo Fernandes against Pumas, Fernandes says of learning the game as a child in Brazil, “Overall, Brazil helped me become more technical but the United States helped me become a better player. I’m just trying to prove that I belong on the Union.”

Keon Daniel did not play in Trinidad & Tobago’s 3-0 loss to Peru in a friendly on Tuesday.

Zolo Times has some thoughts on Soumare, Adu and Kleberson, the Pumas game, and more.

Kerith Gabriel talks to Heather Mitts about her new gig as a sideline reporter for local Union broadcasts.


On June 15 at the HillTop Complex, West Mont United will host its inaugural 3 v 3 Soccer Showcase, open to boys and girls teams, U-9 – U-18. Click here for tournament registration information.


Lancaster-native Zarek Valentin tweets that he’s in Norway with second division side FK Bodø/Glimt. Montreal Impact says it is a one-year loan deal that will give Valentin “playing time and experience overseas.”

President Obama joked that the turnaround to LA Galaxy’s poor start to the 2012 season began with their visit to the White House last year during the team’s visit to the White Hose on Tuesday. “You can call it coincidence, but I’d like to point out that right after they visited with me, the Galaxy built the best record in the league.”


Former Philadelphia Independence goalkeeper Karina Leblanc, now with Portland Thorns, has been named a UNICEF Canada Ambassador. This is the first time a professional woman soccer player has been so named.


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