Are you mad?
I’m not mad, I’m sad. Because I worked very hard to have this opportunity to play in the World Cup, just like the others. Sometimes decisions don’t go in your favor. Life is like that. But it’s still frustrating, and it hurts a lot.
What did Jurgen say to you, what were his reasons?
What we talked about is private, but he told me I wasn’t going. I told him that I respected his decision. If it was my choice, it would be different.
I couldn’t believe it. It was a little incredible for me. I felt like it might be a dream, but then it was just very sad.
Is this unjust?
After the ten days in Stanford, when I look in the mirror, I can say that I deserve to go to Brazil. Not only for what I’ve done in the past, but I’m in good form. I’m strong physically and I worked really hard in each training. I think my teammates wanted me there. It’s hard, but at times, decisions don’t go your way. Life is like that at times.
Do you hope to still go? Will one day you tell us what really happened between you and Klinsmann?
I’ve already said what we talked about is private. I am very sad, but after today, I hope we support the team and move forward, hoping that the team will do well.
Do you think that the decision was made before you went up to training?
I don’t know. I’m not the coach. But if this was based on what I did in training and with the group, 100% I deserve to go to Brazil.
If there’s an injury, would you return?
Of course. It’s my country, my teammates. If there’s an opportunity to go to Brazil, that’s good. But I hope no one gets hurt. It’s good for the 23 who are going. They need our support.
If a forward or midfielder gets hurt, would you replace either?
For me, I’ve played many time as a forward, many times as a midfielder. For me, it’s an important thing that I can play either position and help the team in many areas.
Did Klinsmann give you a hint as to how or in what way others were ahead of you?
He didn’t say. I don’t know. I’m glad for the others, but again, I think I deserved to go, too. So that’s hard.
Did Klinsmann ask different things or anything more advanced from you than did your former USA coaches?
Every coach is a little bit different. They each have their own style and they look at slightly different things. That's what happens.
What would you say to your fans?
The support I received yesterday was incredible. Fans on Facebook, Twitter, wherever, my family, friends, teammates in Stanford, teammates here, it’s incredible. I didn’t know how many of them felt about me, as a professional, as a person, but now it’s very clear. That, for me, was very important.
What did your teammates in Stanford say?
They know that these decisions are hard. For the 7 who aren’t going, its a hard moment, because the ones who are in the 23 are excited and energetic and the rest are very sad. SO it’s hard, but they were very sympathetic and they know how we feel. It was sad to leave them.
How badly do you want your next goal?
I want to play again with my team. I didn’t want to be back with them so early, but it’s good - soccer is good because there are always opportunities to play another game. Tomorrow I’m going to play and it would be great to score, but I want to help the team win.
Were you surprised that all over the world, your exclusion was news? In Mexico, Chile, all over? They disagreed with Klinsmann, did you expect that?
For me, that’s very sympathetic of all of them. It was interesting, because I got many messages on Facebook from a lot of people in Mexico. They said, “When you play against us, we don’t like you, but we’re very sad for you and we have a lot of respect for you.” From Africa, Asia, there were many messages, too. It was very incredible and it made me feel really glad and very lucky that so many people reacted that way.
Do you realize now how important you are to the soccer of this country?
Many are important to the sport here. I know that for much of my life, I have worked to help soccer in this country. It’s good to know people respect that.
Many have called you “the best ever”.That’s nice, but I’d rather not have them saying that and be going to the World Cup instead.