Message delivered in U.S. men’s soccer win

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“We don’t know yet how we’re going to manage that,” Klinsmann said of his rosters for the two tournaments. “It boils down to how their own schedule looks like, what league do they play in, what do those schedules look like. You know, we have to put that puzzle together.”

Klinsmann acknowledged it’s not an easy puzzle to solve, but it’s a welcome one.

He’s been trying to build depth since taking over 15 months ago, pulling in young and untested players such as Zusi and giving guys such as Johnson a second chance. The moves have finally begun to pay off after a couple of ragged games, including a loss at Jamaica and a narrow win last Friday in Antigua that kept the Americans off the brink of failing to qualify for the World Cup.

Now, it’s a matter of finding out which players in Klinsmann’s pool best fit together and making sure the confidence gained Friday night only builds heading into a busy 2013 schedule.

“Something you have to repeat to the players all the time is every game starts nil-nil,” he said, “and you have to have the right attitude, the right spirit for it, the right approach, and match the opponent right away with that fighting spirit, otherwise you’re going to look bad.”

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