Klinsmann: MLS talent pool deeper than first expected

HOUSTON – Whatever happens between the US national team and their counterparts from Canada here on Tuesday (9 pm ET, ESPN2/Univision Deportes/Sportsnet), Jurgen Klinsmann has learned at least one thing about the crop of players trying to win his favor.

“The last three weeks showed us that we maybe have a deeper pool than we thought,” Klinsmann told reporters before Sunday’s training session. “We have a lot of good players coming through, and their job is to challenge whoever’s in front of them. It was great to see there’s a next generation of players that are eager and hungry to get to the next level."

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Many of the challengers in the current camp come from the ranks of Major League Soccer, and with the main focus of the camp being to indoctrinate a young or inexperienced group to the international level, Klinsmann feels that the quality in the US is progressing in the right direction.

“I think MLS is definitely improving every year and has a very strong case. A lot of teams really play good quality stuff there,” Klinsmann said. “We tell the players, we chart them individually, and if they’re better off here that’s fine with us. At the end of the day they have to prove it in the national team environment no matter if they’re playing Mexico or Europe.

“All that matters is what they bring to the national team program.”

Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.