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Klinsmann admits to missing MLS stars as USA crashes to Ukraine

USA boss Juergen Klinsmann agreed with calls that perhaps his squad for this week's international friendly with Ukraine lacked the cohesion of his MLS-based regulars.

The German did not select any local players for Wednesday night's 2-0 loss to the Ukrainians in Cyprus because the 2014 MLS season kicks off this weekend.

The likes of Landon Donovan, Michael Bradley, Matt Besler, Graham Zusi, Clarence Goodson, Eddie Johnson, Omar Gonzalez and Brad Evans were all left back home as Klinsmann turned his European-based stars but the lack of solidity and organization was there for all to see without the influence of MLS.

"Definitely," the US head coach replied when asked if his team had performed below par due to the lack of MLS-based players.

"When you don't have your main group together, there's always going to be a bit of a drop of quality. That's natural. That's why our job is to zoom in and name 23 guys who are up to the task of the World Cup."

But Klinsmann defended his decision: "It's still the right way to do it because flying over MLS players, arriving on Monday, playing Wednesday night, flying back on Thursday and playing on Saturday would just be too much.

"We have to make those compromises and we gladly make those compromises because it means we can have a better look at more European-[based] players. And then with the Mexico game [on April 2], we do it the other way round and have a look at the MLS players. It works well."

Klinsmann is preparing his roster for this summer's World Cup in Brazil which sees the US up against Germany, Portugal and Ghana in Group G.

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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