TOUGH GROUP

The United States national team face the prospect of a very tough group at the World Cup 2014 after being drawn along with Brazil, Portugal, and Ghana. Portugal and Brazil will undoubtedly be the favourites to qualify from the group, while Ghana will be the likely dark horses. Even though United States have done well in recent major tournaments, they are unlikely to be considered as favourites to qualify for the next stage. Despite this, manager Jurgen Klinsmann has said that he is optimistic about the chances of doing well in Brazil.

Klinsmann says that there are a lot of surprises waiting for the teams in Brazil, which is a huge country. Klinsmann did well with the German national team at the 2006 World Cup, but he says that the playing field is totally different when it comes to 2014. One of the major reasons for such thoughts is the vast nature of the country itself, which will pose climate and logistical challenges for the teams. The North of the country is extremely hot during the month of June, while the south of Brazil is extremely cold.

This is expected to be a huge factor in deciding the outcome of the group stages. Hence, Klinsmann remains confident and optimistic despite the draw.

“I call this tournament the ‘World Cup of Patience’. Because of the Brazilian style of life, there will be a lot of surprises waiting. … It’s not going to be a perfect World Cup for anybody. I’m pretty sure we are going to make it through to the [knockout] round. Nothing will be laid out perfectly. There will be delays and logistical challenges with the hotels, fields, stadiums or whatever,” said the former Tottenham midfielder, who had been linked with a return to his former club after they sacked Andre Villas-Boas.

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