Video Score: four / 5
Movie Score: four / 5
The US national team striker Aron Johannsson says that he hopes to sign for the team in 2014. He is competing for a starting spot along with Sunderland striker Jozy Altidore. Altidore has been leading the line for the US national team under Jurgen Klinsmann for more than a year, but his poor form since moving to Sunderland should be a cause of concern. Klinsmann, though, need not worry since he has Johannsson on a good run of form. The AZ Alkmaar striker has bagged 22 goals in just 35 matches for his club. Even though AZ are only mid-table right now, Johannsson has reasons to believe that he will start ahead of Altidore.
Altidore has for long been seen as the main striker in the national team, but there are fears that he may not have been as good as people thought after his move to Sunderland. The 24-year-old has managed just two goals in 31 appearances for the Premier league outfit. Prior to the move, he managed 38 goals in 67 matches for the Dutch club. Johannsson only has six appearances at national level, but he is hoping to add to it before the World Cup starts. The US are in a tough group containing the likes of Germany, Portugal, and Ghana.
“I try to focus on my game every day at training and at every game for my team AZ and that’s all I can do. I try my hardest to make the decision as hard as I can for Jürgen. Obviously it would be a great honor to be on the airplane to Brazil and to get any minutes at the biggest stage in the world would be amazing. If everything goes the right way 2014 can be the most important year of my career so far,” said Johannsson.
Video clip Ranking: five / five
US national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann has stated that he is worried at the prospect of his players not getting top-level experience by staying in the MLS. The MLS is nowhere near enough in comparison with the European leagues in terms of the quality. In the past, American players managed to secure a loan or permanent moves to European clubs, which helped them compete against the best in the world. It is simply not happening in recent years according to Klinsmann, who fears that this may have recuperations for the national team.
Klinsmann has so far done well after being appointed as the national team manager. This has helped him earn a new contract that he signed only recently. The US is expected to make an impact at the World Cup, but Klinsmann is remaining tight-lipped about the chances of doing well at this major tournament. To add to the problem, the US have been given a very tough draw in the group stages where they will be playing the likes of Germany, Portugal, and Ghana. All teams are capable of aspiring for promotion and Klinsmann reckons that it will be difficult period for the national team.
Players like Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey have had successful careers in Europe, but it is simply not translating into the current crop of youngsters.
“There is no demand for USA players in Europe. It is just a sign of reality. The demand is not there. It is a very, very tricky situation that players face right now. You want them to play in the best clubs in best leagues in the world and obviously MLS is not there yet,” said Klinsmann, who became one of the best midfielders in the world during his time at Tottenham. He has been the national team manager of USA since 2011.
Online video Ranking: 4 / 5
Video clip Ranking: 5 / 5
Scotland were recently taking on United States in a friendly match, which sparked memories of the humiliating 5-1 suffered at the hands of the North Americans just over a year ago. Since then, Scotland brought in former Celtic manager Gordon Strachan to take charge of the team. The recent friendly match between the two teams finished as a credible 0-0 draw and this led to the praise from the US manager Jurgen Klinsmann about the good work done by Strachan. Scotland failed to qualify for the World Cup, but they will be involved in a few high-profile matches over the course of the next few months.
There will also be a strong favourites to qualify for the Euro 2016 if this form continues. Klinsmann said that the strong performance from Scotland is a testament to the work done by Strachan since taking over. This was a poor result for the US considering that they have the World Cup in a few months time. Klinsmann, though, has said that this performance is a message from Scotland that they are ready to fight for Euro 2016 qualification. Scotland are under pressure to qualify for the Euro 2016 after seeing nearby countries like the Republic of Ireland make it to the European Championships in recent years.
“The team is committed, they are sharp, they are very compact, very difficult to play through and dangerous. Any moment, they can hurt you. So, therefore it was a different Scottish side. At the time that they came over [to the United States in 2012], the season was over, it was difficult for them to take that on a highest note. But you also can see the handwriting of Gordon Strachan. They are building towards the Euro 2016 qualifiers,” said the former Tottenham striker after the match.
Online video Rating: 4 / five
Video Score: four / 5