HOUSTON — One lackluster night does not erase three good weeks, at least according to Jurgen Klinsmann.
There won’t be any highlight reels coming from Tuesday’s scoreless draw with Canada at BBVA Compass Stadium, but the overall body of work was enough for the national team head coach.
“You just hope that after those three weeks of work, you get that moment to shine," Klinsmann said in the postgame press conference, "and we wished for the strikers to score a goal and midfielders to do the final pass. I think we saw it so much through the three weeks that we have a pretty good picture of where they’re at because, as we said before the game, we were impressed with the shape, willingness and qualities.”
With a squad made up of five players making their debut appearances for the national team, Klinsmann was generally complimentary of the overall effort, focusing on the intense three-week training camp in Southern California that may have been tougher than Tuesday’s soporific match.
“It’s always difficult to start the season with your first game and only training scrimmages [to prepare],” said Klinsmann. “Then with Canada basically just staying back and being very defensive-minded, then you hope sooner or later, you unlock the result — but it was not the case.”
Despite holding nearly two-thirds of the possession and out-shooting their Canadian counterparts 13-3, the Americans were never able to seriously threaten their opponent’s goal and open up the game.
“It was missing kind of the last little piece to it,” said Klinsmann. “Creating final chances, playing the killer ball into the box, finishing things off and unfortunately, we didn’t do that tonight against a very, very defensive-minded Canada.”
Despite the expected upbeat talk from the jovial manager, there was one small glimpse of frustration within the positivity when he was asked if he was surprised by any performances tonight.
“No," he concluded, "no surprises.”