U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann says his critics don't understand the sport and are reacting emotionally rather than basing their criticism on facts.
Klinsmann oversaw a 2-1 loss to Mexico and a 4-0 loss to Costa Rica as the U.S. started the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualification with two defeats. But the under-fire coach brushed off the losses, saying those calling for a new man to take over the U.S. don't grasp the situation.
“The fact is, we lost two games. There is a lot of talk from people who don’t understand soccer or the team," Klinsmann told the New York Times.
“I’m not afraid,” Klinsmann added. “What you need to do is stick to the facts. Soccer is emotional and a lot of people make conclusions without knowing anything about the inside of the team or the sport. I still believe we will get the points we need to qualify, and I am even confident we could win the group.”
The coach, whose job status is reportedly being evaluated by U.S. Soccer, also spoke to Reuters and did a Facebook Live earlier Sunday, with the Times reporting that Klinsmann was in Germany meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the interim between the 4-0 loss in Costa Rica and today's interviews.
Klinsmann said he's yet to speak face-to-face with U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati but has texted with him and will meet with Gulati in the coming days.