Juergen Klinsmann has begun preparing his USA players for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Despite the tournament being eight months away, Klinsmann says it is vital to get fitness levels to a standard that will allow the US side to compete with the world’s best teams.
Ahead of Friday’s qualifier against Jamaica in Kansas City, Klinsmann has put his players through functional movement screening tests, comprehensive blood testing and the VO2 max test in order to start getting his players up to speed.
“The level in the World Cup is two or three levels higher, and the reality is that the last two years of World Cup Qualifying and the Gold Cup don’t give you the real picture,” Klinsmann told USsoccer.com.
“The global picture is facing the strongest nations in the World Cup, and you need to be prepared. It’s not easy to put a number on it, but it requires at least 30-40 percent more than what we have needed so far.
“It’s crucial for us to benchmark them throughout the year and always have this data,” Klinsmann continued. “You need to be able to understand what players are going through, whether it’s injuries, losing form, or sometimes losing focus.
“We can tell them what they are lacking and where they can improve. The only time they can really work on these things is when they are with their club teams, so giving them feedback is really important.”
Following the Jamaica clash later this week, the USA wrap up their 2014 qualifying campaign with a trip to Panama City to tackle Panama on Tuesday.
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