THERE is a fine line between speaking the truth and making excuses, and U.S. national team fans are starting to wonder whether Jurgen Klinsmann has crossed that line.
The U.S. coach recently criticized the fitness levels and training habits of his players after many of them wilted in the South American summer heat during last week’s 3-2 loss to Chile. He recycled his well-established concerns about the length of the MLS season and delivered a clear message in what is becoming a sort of Klinsmann code speak: that the team would have beaten Chile if everybody would have shown up to camp in shape.
In other words, Klinsmann did his job, but others did not.
“I don’t blame anybody. It’s just reality,” Klinsmann said on FOX Sports 1 on Wednesday when asked about his criticisms. “What happens here is that maybe soccer isn’t as far as American football, baseball, basketball where athletes in their offseason go specifically for their own preparation before they join their preseason with their professional teams. We don’t have that culture yet.