Gulati: It's the group of death because we're in it

The U.S. Soccer Federation president was bullish on the USA's chances of progressing to the knockout rounds and the direction of the side under Jurgen Klinsmann.
U.S. Soccer Federation president and FIFA executive committee member Sunil Gulati talked up his country's chances of exiting a difficult Group G and progessing to the knockout round of the World Cup.

The Yanks were drawn alongside Germany, Portugal and Ghana, and will kick off their tournament with a match against the Africans — who have overseen the exit of the Americans in the last two World Cups — on Monday. Gulati says the USA is confident it can achieve its goal of getting to the last 16.

"We're in a tough group with Ghana, Portugal and Germany, but it's called the group of death because we're in it as well," he told the Times of India. "We know we'll have three challenging matches, but we're confident we can accomplish our goal and get out of the group.

"Then, we begin to dream what might be possible."

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Asked about national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann's performance, Gulati was full of praise, and backed the German to pick up positive results.

"In the two and a half years that Jurgen has been our head coach we've had our two best overall winning records in back-to-back years," he said. "We've won the CONCACAF Gold Cup and we finished first in World Cup qualifiers.

"We are very pleased with the direction of the team and look forward to meeting other challenges in the future. Germany is one of the best teams in the world and will be a difficult opponent. Jurgen obviously has a wealth of knowledge about Germany. We're hoping that can be an advantage come June 26, but we also know it's up to how we play and we'll need to put in a great effort to come away with a positive result.

"It's well known that Ghana has had the better of the last two matches against us in the World Cup. Our goal is for a different result this time around."