Klinsmann doesn't regret choosing difficult opponents: "That's where you learn"

Klinsmann explained that he learned a lot about the USA by facing a tough team in Belgium and argued that's more important than building false confidence with easy opponents.
CLEVELAND -- Even after a 4-2 beating by a superior Belgium team, U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann maintained that he wants to continue scheduling tough opponents for the Stars and Stripes.

"I think we saw a lot of things that we wanted to see and this is why we play teams like Belgium," Klinsmann said. "When you lose, it's not such a great pleasure but I'd rather play Belgium 10 more times than play El Salvador a 100 times. That's where you learn."

Belgium capitalized from some poor mistakes from the United States and looked particularly strong on the counterattack. Kevin De Bruyne cited the errors from the Red, White and Blue as the turning point of the game after a tight opening half between the two sides.

"Every mistake that the U.S. made, we scored a goal," De Bruyne explained. "In football, it's very important to score when you create chances. I think the U.S. didn't create a lot of chances."

The United States has had mixed results against higher ranked opponents in Jurgen Klinsmann's tenure. Against Italy and Russia, the team defied the odds and managed impressive results on the road. However, there's also been plenty of times where the United States has also been dominated by better sides - the defeat against Belgium comes a year after the team lost to Brazil by the same scoreline, 4-1.

Though he didn't exactly enjoy seeing his team on the end of a rout, Klinsmann believes that going against better sides allows him to see where the United States is as a team.

"It's obviously a negative result but an important game. We know where players are," Klinsmann said.

Klinsmann also stressed that for young defenders like Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler, playing against top attackers and seeing high level talent at center back like Vincent Kompany shows where they need to improve.

"They see top class players against them, proven players that have quality and that's why they play for big clubs like Manchester City," Klinsmann said.

Brad Guzan, who came on for Tim Howard in the second half, agrees with his head coach. He believes that the USA will recognize the areas where it needs to improve and should bounce back from this performance.

"Tonight the result didn't go our way but we can use this to build on and ultimately get better ahead of the World Cup qualifiers," Guzan told Goal.

He added, "They are a top team and anytime that you can get the chance to play a top team, it's going to test you as individuals. It's going to test you as a team and tonight I think we have to go back to the drawing board. We need to work on getting better as a team and use these games today and Sunday as a building block to the World Cup qualifiers."