Jurgen Klinsmann continued to stand by his plans to call in a strong USA squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers, but did reveal on Tuesday that Michael Bradley is out.
Klinsmann revealed on Tuesday that Michael Bradley would not be taking part in the October qualifiers as he continues to recover from the severely sprained ankle he suffered in the USA’s last round of qualifiers in September.
Speaking to media at Rio Tinto Stadium prior to Tuesday’s U.S. Open Cup final, Klinsmann announced that neither Bradley or John Brooks would be taking part in the upcoming qualifiers.
“John Anthony Brooks with Hertha Berlin, he will be out. He’s not back with the team yet,” Klinsmann said. “I spoke to Michael Bradley this morning. He’s also trying to catch up. It’s not going to be in time for our two games because he’s still not in training with his team in Roma.”
Klinsmann did reveal that he does plan on having veterans Jermaine Jones and Clint Dempsey in camp with the national team when it convenes for the start of training camp on Sunday.
“I spoke to Sigi (Schmid) a couple of times and they expect (Clint Dempsey) back on the weekend, so therefore we’ll expect him in camp on Sunday and then we’ll see where he’s at,” Klinsmann said.
Klinsmann also addressed the fact that he was planning on calling in a best-available roster despite the fact MLS would be playing games during the international break.
“It’s absolutely no issue for us,” Klinsmann said when asked if he would consider the MLS schedule when deciding on his team. “Obviously we see the busy schedule MLS is going through, but we make that no difference. This is World Cup qualifying. We want to end it on a very high note, so we’re going to call in the guys we believe in.
“There are obviously a lot question marks,” Klinsmann added. “Eight or nine guys on yellow cards still, and some injuries happen so it might force you into some changes after the first game against Jamaica.
“If that’s going to be the case we’ll make some changes, but we’re not looking at the MLS schedule at all.”
In past World Cup cycles where the USA has qualified early, previous U.S. coaches have used the final qualifying matches to try out new players. Klinsmann is taking a far different approach. He wants as strong a team as possible, and sees the matches as an opportunity for players to make their cases for being on the 2014 World Cup team.
“There’s a World Cup waiting for you in Brazil. All you need to say is Brazil. The race is on,” said Klinsmann. “This about showing, especially the coaches, but everyone, that you deserve to go to Brazil. All these games, every training session, everything that goes on in the camp, has a meaning. They know that once they come in it’s about serious business. We want to do well. We want to improve as a team.
“We still have a long way to go,” Klinsmann said. “The benchmark was CONCACAF. We managed it. We qualified in advance, which was nice, but when you look towards Brazil, and you look at the nations that are going to qualify, and have already qualified, this is a whole different ballgame so we have to start preparing for that.”