Jurgen Klinsmann has received heavy criticism for his comments about the United States’ chances at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, but he’s still sticking to his guns.
Speaking to the press Wednesday after arriving in São Paulo, the U.S. men’s national team head coach reiterated the importance of tempering expectations heading into the tournament.
“I think for us now, talking about winning a World Cup is just not realistic,” Klinsmann said, via The Associated Press. “First we’ve got to make it through the group. So let’s stay with our feet on the ground and say let’s get that group first done, and then the sky is the limit. But a half a year before and even today before the World Cup starts, to say that we should win the World Cup is just not realistic.”
The German-born coach rubbed many American soccer fans the wrong way when he said in a December interview with the New York Times that the U.S. “cannot win” the 2014 World Cup.
A recent study by the Times shed some light on U.S. fans’ anger, as it revealed that supporters of the red, white and blue were surprisingly confident in their team’s World Cup chances.
For all of America’s optimism, though, Klinsmann might have a point. The U.S. faces an extremely tough draw in a Group G that includes Portugal, Germany and Ghana. The Americans kick off the gauntlet Monday against Ghana at 6 p.m.
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