NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The United States men’s soccer team has its work cut out for it at the upcoming World Cup.
The United States is in what has been dubbed this year’s “Group of Death,” containing Germany, Portugal and Ghana.READ MORE: Exclusive: Cellphone Video Shows NYPD Sergeant Throw Man To Ground During Violent Arrest On Lower East Side
It will be very difficult for the U.S. to get out of Group G, and head coach Jurgen Klinsmann isn’t expecting a miracle in Brazil.
In fact, he’s being brutally honest and realistic about his club’s chances.
“We cannot win the World Cup because we are not at that level yet,” Klinsmann said, according to the New York Times. “For us, we have to play the game of our lives seven times to win the tournament.”
But part of Klinsmann’s plan is to have the U.S. competing with the best of the best in the future, leading to sustainable success against the most talented teams in the world.READ MORE: New York City Councilmember 'Baffled' By Mayor's Hesitance To Mandate Masks As Delta Variant Spreads
And while he’s tempering expectations, he’s looking forward to seeing how his team faces the daunting challenge head.
“It is one of the most difficult groups of the whole draw,” Klinsmann said back in December, according to Yahoo! Sports. “It couldn’t get any more difficult or any bigger, but that is what the World Cup is all about. We are looking forward to the challenge and we don’t see ourselves as any kind of outsiders. If you want to get into the top 10 or 12 teams in the world you have to beat these guys.”
This year’s squad is very young, which likely explains Klinsmann’s controversial decision to leave 32-year-old Landon Donovan off the roster.
USA, which is No. 13 in the latest FIFA world rankings, will open up group play against Ghana on June 16, then take on Portugal on June 22 before squaring off with Germany four days later.
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