Klinsmann ready to 'zoom in on' Jamaica

Klinsmann and the U.S. national team will give their undivided attentions to Jamaica in the upcoming weeks.
For the next week and a half Jurgen Klinsmann's full attention will be on Jamaica. But this is no vacation. The United States plays the Reggae Boyz twice in four days in World Cup qualifying, with the first match in Kingston on Sept. 7.

"We know we have to give everything we have in order to beat Jamaica," Klinsmann said. "We are well aware of their strengths. It's a good side, especially at home. They will try everything to beat us."

Klinsmann's efforts were prematurely undermined by the absences of Landon Donovan and Michael Bradley through injury and the fitness questions hanging over Clint Dempsey and others early in the European seasons.

"There will be never a game when you have everybody 100 percent on board," the ever-zen Klinsmann said. "It's just the way soccer works. You always have to deal with injuries, with some players not being in form, or whatever it is."

"We'll try to joggle things as good as we can."

The upbeat German coach has a habit of buoying above criticism or potential pitfalls. The 48-year-old pointed out that the critics were snickering before he took a second-string roster into the Azteca Stadium last month and posted the Stars and Stripes' first-ever win on Mexican soil.

"Some people smiled. The Mexican media made jokes about it," Klinsmann said. "And then we did it."

This year the United States has also beaten Italy by a similar 1-0 scoreline as the one posted against El Tri. Klinsmann, who led Germany to third place in the 2006 World Cup, says the next step is submitting quality performances consistently, instead of sporadically.

"Our goal is, going from game to game, to become more consistent, to become more efficient and hopefully to give the players tools that they know how to be really consistent," Klinsmann said. "There's a mental side of it, there's a physical side of it, there's a lifestyle side of it. There are so many elements that play into that whole thing. We're trying to develop that."

An obvious boost to building consistency would be to fly into Jamaica and grab a tough CONCACAF away win. That's exactly Klinsmann's plan, though he's not taking any result for granted.

"If we really do our homework, if we give everything we have and we really are prepared to take every little piece of our work seriously, yes, we can beat also big nations away from home," he said. "But it doesn't give you a guarantee for tomorrow. Tomorrow is another whole new animal."

Jamaica's roster for the upcoming duo of games features eight MLS players, a cluster of European-based exports and a handful of homegrown stars. Klinsmann said that each member of his coaching staff had watched Jamaica's recent games and that the United States knew what to expect.

"They have tremendous physical qualities. They have a lot of speed in there," he said. "They're dangerous in transition."

After the match in Kingston, the U.S. will host the return game in Columbus on Sept. 11, a "special day and moment" which "excited" Klinsmann. But it's too early to think about that fixture.

"Nobody should think one second about the home game at the moment," Klinsmann said. "Everybody really has to zoom in and focus only about the game in Kingston. Once that game is over we can think about the return leg."

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