Featured Matches
Previous
Real Salt Lake
Montreal Impact
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
AC Milan
Olympiakos
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Vélez Sarsfield
Estudiantes de Caseros
10:15 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Groningen
Aberdeen
1
2
LIVE 45' +1'
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 2
Game Details
Sligo
Rosenborg
6:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 2 - 1
Game Details
Stjarnan
Motherwell
7:15 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 2 - 2
Game Details
Shakhter Karagandy
FK Atlantas
3
0
FT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 3 - 0
Game Details
Shakhter Karagandy
FK Atlantas
3
0
FT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 3 - 0
Game Details
Hapoel Be'er Sheva
RNK Split
0
0
FT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 2
Game Details
MyPa
Dinamo Minsk
0
0
FT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 3
Game Details
Omonia Nicosia
FK Buducnost Podgorica
0
0
FT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 2 - 0
Game Details
Haugesund
FK Sarajevo
1
3
FT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 2 - 3
Game Details
Kuban Krasnodar
Sillamae Kalev
5
0
FT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 9 - 0
Game Details
Inter Baku
Elfsborg
0
1
LIVE 90'
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 1
Game Details
IFK Goteborg
Györi ETO FC
5:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 3 - 0
Game Details
Lech Poznan
Kalju
5:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Liberec
MFK Kosice
5:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 0
Game Details
Tromso
Víkingur Gøta
5:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
KS Flamurtari Vlorë
Petrolul Ploiesti
5:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 2
Game Details
SV Grödig Amateure
Cukaricki Belgrade
5:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 4 - 0
Game Details
Chikhura Sachkhere
Bursaspor
5:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
AIK Solna
Linfield
5:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 1
Game Details
Zimbru Chisinau
CSKA Sofia
5:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Shakhter Soligorsk
Derry City
5:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 0
Game Details
FC Vaduz
Ruch Chorzow
5:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 2 - 3
Game Details
Hapoel Tel Aviv
Astana 1964
5:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 3
Game Details
Esbjerg FB
Kairat Almaty
5:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 1
Game Details
FC Spartak Trnava
FC Zestafoni
5:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
FC Groningen
Aberdeen
1
2
LIVE 45' +1'
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 2
Game Details
FC Zorya Luhansk
Laci
5:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 3 - 0
Game Details
Sligo
Rosenborg
6:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 2 - 1
Game Details
Zawisa Bydgoszcz
S.V. Zulte Waregem
6:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Vojvodina
AS Trencin
6:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 4
Game Details
Asteras Tripolis
RoPS
6:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 1
Game Details
Hajduk Split
Dundalk
6:15 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 2 - 0
Game Details
ND Gorica
Molde
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 4
Game Details
Jagodina
CFR Cluj-Napoca
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
NK Koper
Neftchi Baku PFC
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 2 - 1
Game Details
Ferencvaros
Rijeka
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 1
Game Details
Siroki Brijeg
Mlada Boleslav
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 2
Game Details
Diosgyor VTK
PFC Litex Lovech
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Crusaders
Brommapojkarna
6:45 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 4 - 0
Game Details
St Johnstone
FC Luzern
6:45 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
St. Pölten
Botev Plovdiv
7:05 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 2
Game Details
FH Hafnarfjordur
Neman Grodno
7:15 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Stjarnan
Motherwell
7:15 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 2 - 2
Game Details
Real Salt Lake
Montreal Impact
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Vélez Sarsfield
Estudiantes de Caseros
10:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Sport
Paysandu SC
10:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 2
Game Details
AC Milan
Olympiakos
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Next

No recent activity

 Posted by Doug McIntyre
Jun 30, 2014

Klinsmann pulling out all tricks for US

SALVADOR, Brazil -- Jurgen Klinsmann is never shy about offering his opinion. Say whatever you want about the U.S. coach, but the one thing you can't deny is that he usually speaks his mind.

That was the case again Monday, at the end of what had been to that point a sleep-inducing prematch news conference, when Klinsmann was asked if perhaps the appointment of Algerian referee Djamel Haimoudi for Tuesday's round-of-16 match against Belgium (4 p.m. ET, ESPN/WatchESPN) was any cause for concern.

Klinsmann didn't hesitate. "Well, we hope it's not a concern," Klinsmann said.

"Is it a good feeling? No."

Klinsmann then went on to list the reasons why having Haimoudi manning the middle might put the Americans at a disadvantage against one of Europe's most dangerous teams.

Haimoudi's mother tongue is French, meaning many of the Belgian players would be able to communicate with him on the field without American players knowing what was being said. His home country faced the Belgians in the first round. Finally, he mentioned that Algeria was seconds away from advancing to the knockout round for the first time in their history (a feat they accomplished here in Brazil) at South Africa 2010 before Landon Donovan's iconic stoppage-time goal sent them home instead.

Was Klinsmann implying that some measure of payback, subconscious or not, could come into play?

Or maybe was it just Klinsmann being Klinsmann? Or perhaps it was just another touch of gamesmanship from a coach who has already taken every opportunity to stack the deck in his team's favor over the past few weeks.

Jurgen Klinsmann could be playing mind games by implying Algerian referee Djamel Haimoudi might have a bias against the U.S.

There was the time the coach trotted out backup strikers Aron Johannsson and Chris Wondolowski to speak to the media, then proceeded to start neither in place of the injured Jozy Altidore against Portugal.

And on Monday, just before Klinsmann took the stage at Arena Fonte Nova, U.S. Soccer announced that Altidore suddenly was fully recovered from his hamstring injury and "ready and available" to play, which anyone who has been paying attention understands may or may not be true.

That's not to say Klinsmann's mind games are a bad thing.

Like U.S. players, national team coaches have long been almost naively honest in their approach. Veteran goalkeeper Tim Howard has spoken about this admirable but ultimately self-defeating trait before and even during the tournament, saying that this time around the Americans have to be smarter about taking whatever advantage is available to them.

At the World Cup, the difference between winning and losing is negligible.

U.S. vs. Belgium: Tuesday, 4 ET (ESPN and WatchESPN)

- Chris Jones: U.S. belief grows
- Doug McIntyre: Klinsmann pulls out the tricks
- Jeff Carlisle: Altidore's role vs. Belgium
- Jeff Carlisle: Klinsmann justified so far
- Roger Bennett: How far can the U.S. go?
- Doug McIntyre: Beasley's U.S. rebirth
- Read: Tim Howard assesses Belgian attack

Games are decided by the slimmest of margins. Klinsmann, a former world champion, knows this as well as anyone. As a player, he was known as a diver. But instead of denying it, he embraced the role, famously launching himself to the turf after scoring his first Premier League goal with Tottenham Hotspur in 1994 and instantly endearing himself to English fans and media in the process.

So really, it was no surprise that Klinsmann jumped at the chance to put Haimoudi in the spotlight on Monday, to guarantee that the official's performance will now be scrutinized more closely than it would have been otherwise.

It's a tactic iconic managers Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho use as a matter of course, and it's not even limited to soccer. Some of the most successful American coaches, guys such as Phil Jackson and Bill Belichick, do the very same thing.

Like Klinsmann, they know sports at the highest level have nothing to do with honor. What matters -- the only thing -- is giving your team every possible chance to win.

Doug McIntyre

Doug McIntyre is a staff writer for ESPN The Magazine. He has watched or attended almost every U.S. men's national team game since Paul Caligiuri's "shot heard 'round the world" and has covered the Yanks for The Mag since 2005. Follow him on Twitter @DougMacESPN.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.