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FLOYD: Jurgen Klinsmann finds consistency for U.S. in World Cup qualifying
With the goals pouring in, Klinsmann at the other end can take confidence in …
3. The Omar Gonzalez-Matt Besler pairing. As Klinsmann has phased out an aging corps of center backs, including 34-year-old ex-captain Carlos Bocanegra, he’s chosen these MLS standouts in their mid-20s to protect veteran goalkeeper Tim Howard.
Besler offers the anticipation and organization that allows the 6-foot-5 Gonzalez to assert his aerial dominance. While Klinsmann acknowledged the back line “is not perfect,” Gonzalez and Besler have allowed just one goal over four consecutive qualifiers together.
“One thing that really helps is consistent pairing and getting the coordination and the understanding and having that communication that comes with time,” Lalas said. “The ability to blood them in games that mean something and still not pay the price in results is valuable.”
Thanks to those results, one victory in the final four qualifiers — which take place in September and October — likely will book the Americans’ tickets to Brazil. As a result, a seventh straight trip to the World Cup seems inevitable.
And Klinsmann has the tempering of his own tampering to thank.
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