The Straits Times
Published on Oct 11, 2012

Klinsmann sees region's growth in US football struggles


WASHINGTON (AFP) - United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann sees his team's struggles to advance from the semi-final round of World Cup 2014 qualifying as a sign of the improvements made by football rivals in North America.

The Americans are locked in a fight with Jamaica and Guatemala to decide two spots in next year's Confederation of North and Central American and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) final qualifying round for Brazil's World Cup.

A US under-23 side failed to escape regional qualifying and missed the London Olympics, serving notice that an extension of America's run of World Cup trips dating to 1990 is not a certainty.

"What happened to the Olympic team was a huge warning to whoever thinks Concacaf is an easy region to go through. Teams in Concacaf have improved a lot," Klinsmann said.