CHICAGO — The U.S. soccer team will be missing a key figure for the Gold Cup final against Panama on Sunday: its coach.
Jurgen Klinsmann was suspended for one game Friday by CONCACAF’s disciplinary committee, the result of his ejection in the 87th minute of a 3-1 victory over Honduras in the semifinals Wednesday.
FIFA rules call for anyone ejected from a match to be suspended for the following game, the disciplinary committee decided.
“I don’t think it changes too much,” U.S. captain DaMarcus Beasley said Friday. “It’s always good to have him on the bench, but he’ll give his wisdom before the game … make sure we get off on the right foot. But it’s not going to be the same not seeing his face on the sideline,
giving us instructions when we need it and being the enthusiastic person that he is on the bench. Especially, when we score or he needs to tell us something if we need to change something.”
Klinsmann was irate Wednesday after the referee failed to issue cards on a series of hard fouls against the Americans. He could be seen yelling and gesturing angrily in the direction of the referee, and was told to leave the field after he slammed a ball into the ground.
Klinsmann later apologized, saying he acted out of frustration.
“I was talking to the ref as well. There weren’t any cards,” Beasley said. “I got hit three, four times in somewhat the same sequence, and they didn’t call anything but a foul. So I could understand his frustration. I was frustrated.”
The Americans are seeking their fifth Gold Cup title.
They also are looking to extend their record 10-game winning streak in all matches.
“This is what he lives and dies for,” Eddie Johnson said. “This is the opportunity that American soccer has been wanting, to have a coach with such experience, who’s played at the highest level and played on big teams and managed big players, to be in this position to help us get to where we’re trying to go in American soccer.”
GERMAN SUPER CUP: Borussia Dortmund will be looking to end Pep Guardiola’s winning start as Bayern Munich coach today when the teams renew their rivalry.
“It’s a title and every title is important, regardless of the opponent,” Guardiola said on Friday.
The Champions League finalists meet at the Westfalenstadion in Dortmund for the first title of the season, one week before Bayern starts its German Cup defense and two before it begins defending its Bundesliga title.
Guardiola has overseen wins in each of Bayern’s pre-season friendlies, including four-goal victories over Hamburger SV and Borussia Moenchengladbach, as well as a 2-0 win over Barcelona on Wednesday.
“I’m happy up to now but we need a bit more time,” Guardiola said after 61 goals scored and three conceded in nine games. “Perhaps we need to improve a little up front.”
He took over from Jupp Heynckes, who made way after leading Bayern to an unprecedented treble.
“We’ll be well prepared and we’ll deliver a good game,” Guardiola said ahead of his first possible title as Bayern coach. “(But) it’s only the start of the season. There’s still a long, long road ahead.”
The game will be shown live in 195 countries, reflecting the growing interest in German football since Bayern defeated Dortmund 2-1 at Wembley Stadium to become European champion in May.
NOT FOR SALE: Barcelona vice president Josep Maria Bartomeu insists that Barcelona will not sell Cesc Fabregas to Manchester United, regardless of the price.
Speaking at the presentation of new coach Gerardo Martino on Friday, Bartomeu says “it doesn’t matter how much Manchester United is willing to offer, we won’t let him go. We are counting on him.”
Last week United offered 30 million euros ($39 million) to bring the 26-year-old former Arsenal captain back to the Premier League.
Bartomeu says the Spanish club is not “bothered” by United trying to lure away its midfielder. He says “it’s normal that they are interested in Cesc. He’s a great player.”