If we should be honest, the USA went into last night’s game against world football giants Italy not expecting to get a win. And even Klinsmann agrees with me.
“For us, the goal was to learn – to come here to learn,” Klinsmann said after the game.
For 78 years now, all matches between the two sides have ended in favour of the Italians, so all soccer analysts who predicted a win for the 2006 world cup winners were only following a formality. The Americans under the leadership of Jurgen Klinsmann made history by beating Italy for the first time.
A striker and a world cup winner himself in 1990, the German seemed to have brought his onfield experience at Inter Milan (Between 1989 and 1992) in the Serie A to bare on a country that has failed to beat Italy on the 11 occassions they have met. And the fact that did it on their own soil is what makes the win even more memorable. Klinsmann could not hide his excitment.
“Obviously from our end, we are really pleased with the game and with the result,” Klinsmann said. “If you beat Italy on their own soil then that means a lot.”
It is obvious Klinsmann’s knowledge of the Italian style of play was a contributing factor to the way the Americans played on Wednesday. For several years in his career he played with the Italians and scored against them in European and world competitions.
Another strategy Klinsmann has used since taking over the American national team is to take the guys to Europe to get the needed experience. He started off with France, then Belgium and Slovenia. So far it is working as the German has won 10 of his matches.
Dempsey, who scored the winner in Genoa, thinks this match was a “confidence builder”, but the real test is yet to come when they get into World Cup qualifyers.
“It’s just a confidence builder,” Dempsey said. “We’re just trying to move in the right direction and trying to get as sharp as we can for the summer and the World Cup qualifying games because the goal is to qualify for the World Cup.”
“I like to think that we’re closing the gap and hopefully one day we can do something special.”