USMNT coach Klinsmann: Denver proved it

Coach's postgame comments following WCQ win in blizzard conditions in Colorado

USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann at DSG Park on March 22, 2013

Photo Credit: 
Garrett Ellwood / Colorado Rapids

U.S. Men’s National Team Head Coach JURGEN KLINSMANN

On the result:
“I think the most important part is we have three points and it prepares us for Mexico. The second half was a battle; it was tough to create a good passing game. We wish the conditions would have stayed as they were at the beginning of the game. Overall, great character shown by all the players to fight and just gave everything they had. We want to thank the crowd for the amazing support. They suffered as much as we did.”

On playing on the snow-covered pitch:
“You adjust to the conditions, meaning you try as much as you can to push the ball forward into the opponents half. You can’t pass through the channels, you can’t pass one and two touches to midfield; that’s not the game you can play anymore. We told them at halftime, be smart, don’t pass backline balls, don’t pass it inside, and go from there. It’s a simple adjustment to the rather severe conditions. It’s for both teams really difficult to play all the way through; we can’t even discuss whose disadvantage it is at the end of the day. We wanted to score a second goal. We would have loved to play through it, we would have loved to score even more goals, but you adjust and get it over with. A different climate or different environment, this is really the tough part of it for all the players, to within a few days adjust to different climates. “

On if he would have reconsidered playing the match:
“I would have done anything kind of possible not to stop. I mean you start it off, you score a first goal, you want to add another one, you don’t get the penalty that you clearly deserve to get, then you don’t want to stop it obviously. You want to keep that advantage and finish it off.  You want to see a second and a third goal, but under those conditions you can’t play through with it, it’s tough to do that.”

On his plans to deal with the conditions:
“From a tactical side, from passing elements, you couldn’t play today. It was just simply impossible, but I think you know how they adjusted to it, what they made out of it, certain players were just admirable. You never know how players adjust to it until they are on the field, once the game starts. Costa Rica did really well to adjust to the snowy conditions. They gave us a really tough game.”

On plans for the next match against Mexico on March 26:
“Altitude is one of the main reasons being here. That’s a topic that if you talk to sports scientists, there is almost no ideal time frame. Some say 10-12 days you need at least to adjust to it. First of all we came to Denver because we knew we had a huge crowd behind us, which they proved it. The fans were awesome and pushed us the whole 90 minutes. We chose location for these five home games based on where we really feel like 100 percent support, with crowds with real home advantage. How much it helps us at the end of day to adjust to higher altitudes in Mexico City, we will see that on Tuesday night, but I think every day on talking to these so called experts helps you. Any altitude helps you.”