BOSTON (CBS) – 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich show had the voice of the New England Revolution Brad Feldman on their show Friday morning to discuss all things World Cup, including the egregious flop in Thursday’s Brazil-Croatia match, Team USA advancing past the “group of death,” the comments made by Jurgen Klinsmann and much more.
The United States kicks off group play on Monday against Ghana, but footie fans here in the States are discouraged after head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said the chances of his team winning the World Cup is “unrealistic.”
Count Feldman as being in the majority of fans not pleased with Klinsmann’s assessment.
“I don’t like it. We’re American sports fans and we have this run-through-a-brick-wall, exceptionalist belief in ourselves as a nation and our sports culture. There’s this can-do attitude that we believe make us a nation of winners. I think in terms of public relations it was a poor choice by Klinsmann, who is usually pretty smart and savvy around these kinds of things. I think he just overdid it. I think he could have phrased it differently.
“In terms of motivating his players it’s probably a good move. In terms of the perception of the public there’s other ways he could have said it. To be brutally frank, the way Germans culturally often are, we’re not quite there as a soccer nation to have the feeling that we’re favorites to win it. Our guys are good, the culture of the sport has progressed incredibly over the last two decades, but everybody in the world is playing this sport. I think sometimes we tend to lose sight of that.
“We have such a good sports culture here in the United States with games we either invented or improved upon and we’re only 7% of the world’s population. Seventy percent of the countries around the world consider themselves nations where soccer is the no. 1 team sport. There’s countries in Asia that will never win a World Cup but are mad for soccer. A lot more people are trying to win the World Cup than the World Series or the Super Bowl, so just to be in the conversation is good.
“I think Klinsmann could have framed the whole thing in a way that was more positive while still maintaining realistic expectations. Something got lost in translation for a guy that’s been in this country for twenty years.”
Feldman picked the United States and Germany to make it out of the “group of death” and also had some thoughts on the Brazil-Croatia match from yesterday: