USMNT manager Jurgen Klinsmann plans to go "eye-to-eye" vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina in Sarajevo
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina — For anyone thinking the USMNT will be packing it in when they take on No. 13-ranked Bosnia-Herzegovina on Wednesday night in Sarajevo (2:30 pm ET, ESPN2 and UniMas, live chat on MLSsoccer.com), you're in for a surprise.
Manager Jurgen Klinsmann told media on Tuesday that his team wants to go toe-to-toe on the road against a Bosnia squad that features international stars such as Edin Dzeko (Manchester City) and Miralem Pjanic (AS Roma).
"What we expect from the game is we want to kind of keep the tempo keep the rhythm with Bosnia. We want to play eye-to-eye," Klinsmann said in his pregame press conference. "We want to see how our players play in an environment like this. We also have a few young players that might get an opportunity to get introduced to the senior level."
One of those will be 22-year-old forward Aron Johannsson after the ex-Iceland youth international was cleared by FIFA late Tuesday to make the switch to play for his country of birth.
The other highly anticipated debut is that of Hertha Berlin youngster John Anthony Brooks, while fans will also be curious to see whether former New York Red Bulls defender Tim Ream, who is currently at Bolton Wanderers, makes a return to the field for the red-white-and-blue.
"It's an important match to see where our players are especially for all the Europeans at the very early stage of the season," Klinsmann said. "It's a wonderful opportunity and we are curious to see how our players compete with them. And we want to kind of achieve a positive result."
Klinsmann also discussed two players who were not in Sarajevo, making it clear that Dempsey's absence was related to lack of match fitness and that "Clint will remain our captain," although goalkeeper Tim Howard will replace him in the role on Wednesday.
"Because of this big move for Clint back to MLS to Seattle and he hasn't really played a game yet in the preseason, we thought it's better to let him settle into Seattle and getting into rhythm training, training and training because he's not 100 percent yet," Klinsmann said. "We need him to be fit and sharp in three weeks when we play World Cup qualifying."
The USMNT boss also revealed that Nürnberg right back Timmy Chandler was not included in the Euro-heavy squad because he just doesn't make the cut. Chandler last played in the USMNT's 2-1 loss to Honduras in the opener of the CONCACAF Hexagonal.
"Timmy's not here because other players are ahead of him in the ranking of the team. It's as simple as that," Klinsmann said. "No problem at all. At the moment other players are ahead of him."
One of those is Seattle Sounders midfielder Brad Evans, who is looking for his fifth straight start at right back for the US.