CARSON, CALIF. (AP) - The U.S. national team will take the field against Costa Rica at the Home Depot Center on Friday in the second match of new coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s tenure, which has so far been met with enthusiasm because of his energetic and positive nature.
Klinsmann’s behavior represents a contrast to that of former coach Bob Bradley, who cut an imposing figure with his trademark grimace. In his first match against Mexico on Aug. 6, Klinsmann was constantly smiling and even gave a little shimmy when Robbie Rogers scored the equalizer in the 1-1 draw.
“One of the things that I’ve been most impressed with is that often times, someone has a huge reputation and they don’t live up to it and so far, he’s lived up to it, which has been hugely positive,” said goalkeeper Tim Howard. “You can see why he’s so successful. His attention to detail is there, he is upbeat and the energy has been fantastic. He really just instills that in us. It’s been a short time, but we feel it as players, there’s that freedom.”
For forward Jozy Altidore, Klinsmann’s expertise has had the most profound impact.
“It’s a bit more professional, he’s brought his style into it, which is different,” said Altidore. “He really emphasizes team unity and has been very supportive of us, and given that we’re going to play a lot of top teams in the world, it’s definitely a positive.”
Klinsmann said he wants to develop a style of play that people want to see. “It’s a bit more attacking minded on a higher pace if possible,” he said, “so we’ll see how we can stretch it now in the next two games, but with every game we try to improve things.”
The men’s team will take on Belgium in Brussels next week.