Despite two crushing losses in World Cup qualifying, U.S. men’s national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann says he is still “1,000 percent sure” the team will qualify for the 2018 tournament in Russia.
“This team is always capable of reacting. We’ll correct this with the two games in March (against Honduras and Panama) and we’ll take one game at a time from there to get our points,” Klinsmann told Reuters. “I’m 1,000 percent sure we’ll qualify.”
The U.S. followed up a heartbreaking 2–1 loss at home to Mexico with a 4–0 drubbing at the hands of Costa Rica on the road, putting Klinsmann’s future as manager in doubt.
Six CONCACAF teams are attempting to qualify for the World Cup through a double round robin competition. The top three teams qualify and the fourth-place team goes to a playoff against the fifth-place team from Asia. The U.S. and Trinidad & Tobago are the only countries without a point through two games.
“It’s important to put this in the right perspective,” Klinsmann told Reuters. “We lost the two opening games and played the two best teams right away. We have eight more games to get the points needed to qualify. We’ve always reacted strongly when things were nerve-wracking.”