Klinsmann's Tough Talk Stirs It Up

Klinsmann's Tough Talk Stirs It Up

Jurgen Klinsmann, the former German star who now coaches the U.S. men's national soccer team, has spent the past 18 months taking his sword to the game's sacred cows in the U.S., determined to point out the shortcomings of a culture that he sees as having largely accepted mediocrity.

For players still patting themselves on the back for making the 2002 World Cup quarterfinals, Klinsmann had this to say during a rare in-depth interview last week: "Just because you won a game in the World Cup in the knockout stage, you haven't won anything."

In Klinsmann's eyes, nearly all of his players are below the level he demands. Even Clint Dempsey, who scored 23 goals for English Premier League Club Fulham last year, will have to work harder to truly impress his national coach, a former international star who won a World Cup for Germany in 1990.

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