After coming in for criticism during the World Cup 2014 by being realistic about his team’s opportunities at the tournament, manager Jurgen Klinsmann has said that he is confident that the USA will be able to reach the semifinals of the next World Cup. The country has come on leaps and bounds in terms of football since the last hosted at the World Cup in 1994. That is a possibility that USA could be the surprise hopes of the World Cup 2018 given the plethora of problems faced by the current hosts Russia.
Fifa have been adamant that the World Cup will not be shifted due to political reasons, but the possibility of such a shift is looking increasingly likely with Russia openly supporting the war in Ukraine. Klinsmann received a lot of praise for transforming USA into top team, as they almost reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup at the expense of Belgium. It was only through the late goals from the Europeans that sent USA home. The World Cup in Russia will provide a different experience with colder climates, but the schedule of the MLS season is once again expected to help USA.
The players appeared much fitter due to the MLS campaign coming halfway through. “This is our goal going towards Russia, not to stop at the Round of 16, maybe not to stop at the quarterfinal. To say clearly, listen, we have four years to prepare this cycle. Our goal is going to a semifinal in a World Cup. And that means a lot of work, a lot of competition, a lot of grind,” said Klinsmann about his ambitions for the next World Cup. A number of players like Clint Dempsey and Tim Howard are expected to retire before the next World Cup, while Landon Donovan also recently announced his retirement.