Klinsmann furious at ref calls, wants US to become "nastier"
LANDOVER, Md. – The nostrils were flared. The glare was intense.
US national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann was not a happy man following Wednesday night's 4-1 loss to Brazil at FedEx Field and he wasn't interested in hiding it. But while he called out his own team, it wasn't entirely their performance that had him fuming.
It started with the referee calls that the US manager felt marked the match on the first and final goals conceded, both making him "furious."
"You go down 1-0 with a very questionable penalty because [Oguchi Onyewu] says it hit him in the stomach and plus it was outside the box," Klinsmann said in the postgame press conference, referring to the call which led to the spot kick converted by Neymar after just 12 minutes.
WATCH: Klinsmann reacts to Brazil loss
"The fourth goal, my information is the guy was two yards offside," continued Klinsmann, citing Alexandre Pato's 87th-minute strike. "So we’re here talking about a goal two yards offside, you’re talking about a penalty that’s not here and that kind of pisses me off to be honest. But it is what it is."
Klinsmann was not done. He accused his team of showing Brazil too much respect at the start of the match and demanded a greater edge, going as far as suggesting it was necessary for his players "to hurt people."
"I think we need to get an edge – more nastier," Klinsmann said. "Maybe we’re a little bit too naïve. Maybe we don’t want to hurt people. But that’s what you’ve got to do. You’ve got to do that at the end of the day. We’ve got to step on their toes more and get them more frustrated and make a case with the referee maybe that’s wrong for us, not only the opponents. There was a clear penalty on Herculez Gomez in the second half not given. But it is what it is."
It was a clear appeal for more gamesmanship by Klinsmann, who pointed to Barcelona as an example of a team that knows how to work the referee. But the former German great is not clear how to bring the "nastiness" out of his team just yet.
"I don’t know. It’s something you certainly discuss. Something that comes also out of their personalities," he said. "And we have to develop it a little bit and mention it here and there. … But it needs to be developed, certainly. How? I don’t know yet."