Trying to make sense of Klinsmann's incredibly confusing interview

Trying to make sense of Klinsmann's incredibly confusing interview

If you've been paying any attention at all over the last four years, you know that United States men's national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann is the king of head scratchers. The things he says are so often different from the things he does, or the things we see, that it can leave you utterly befuddled and dumbfounded.

On Thursday, the Washington Post published an interview with Klinsmann ahead of Friday's USA-Peru friendly in the nation's capital that took this ongoing disconnect between his utterances and reality to a new level.

Let's cherry-pick some of the weirder things he told the Post.

"It's heating up, and I think that's pretty cool. The players will feel the heat."

Klinsmann was talking about the pressure on his team, which now has to win a one-game playoff with Mexico to qualify for the 2017 Confederations Cup because it failed to retain its Gold Cup title in July, crashing out in the semifinals.

Apparently, Klinsmann thinks it's cool that his team has been relegated to a playoff.

"I am having fun being measured by every game and judged by every game. … People understand what they are seeing and people don't understand what they are seeing."

As often, Klinsmann was suggesting that he welcomes the increased scrutiny on his national team. But then he implied that only certain people were qualified to scrutinize it. He does that a lot. He'll demand criticism, but when it actually comes, he'll write off the critics as uneducated.

"It was definitely our best game, [but] there were these [officiating] calls. Everybody was saying, 'Yeah, that's true, it's crazy.' Three days later, it was a loss against Jamaica, two mistakes on two set pieces, and suddenly it was bad coaching. People see the result and they think, 'That must have been really bad.' "

Aside from making little sense, what this statement is probably intended to mean is that the perception of the 2-1 semifinal loss to Jamaica in the Gold Cup changed. It didn't. Virtually nobody thought it was a good game and that the USA was undone by bad calls and then changed their minds.

The first Jamaican goal was a tad unlucky but perfectly legal. The second came on a rare but legitimate call on goalkeeper Brad Guzan. There were no bad calls. And it wasn't a good game by the Americans.

"It's a good thing you have so much comments and opinions because it shows you that a lot more people care. They care about the game, they care about the national team. They care about saying their opinion. Do they understand really what happened in the Gold Cup? Some of them absolutely do and a lot of people don't. I take it, it's not a big deal. But it also explains we have a long way to go to educate people on the game of soccer still in this country."

Again, Klinsmann welcomes feedback but then turns around and says few people are qualified to give it. Then, as he has in the past, he says the soccer-watching public lacks the knowledge to judge his team.

"Maybe someone [in Europe] doesn't get in the starting 11, but I know he is playing a high level week in and week out within his team. Players here in MLS, they do not have competition in their teams. It's just the way it is. They are not putting national team players or designated players on the bench competing for starting jobs."

Yet another dig at Major League Soccer. First Klinsmann said he has no preference of where his players are employed – whether stateside or in Europe – and that he judges them individually and on the merits of their own ability. But then he says those in Europe face much tougher competition for playing time.

Not at all untrue, of course, but the way he puts it is that national teamers and designated players in the league start automatically. That too may well be true, but considering his ongoing war of words with MLS commissioner Don Garber and Klinsmann's insistence that he doesn't mean to troll the league, it's a fairly incendiary and imprudent thing to say.

Leander Schaerlaeckens is a soccer columnist for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter @LeanderAlphabet.