USMNT coach Jürgen Klinsmann has lauded the recent progression made by new Hamburger SV striker Bobby Wood and Hertha Berlin centre-back John Anthony Brooks.
In a video blog on his personal Facebook page following the USA's comfortable 4-0 win over Costa Rica in the Copa America Centenario in Chicago on Tuesday, a game in which Wood scored, Klinsmann said:
"Bobby Wood is progressing and growing. He's getting stronger and getting more confident. Compare where Bobby was two years ago to where he is now. He's learning. He's a sponge […] he's learning in every training session […] and he paid that back yesterday with a beautiful goal. When he can play closer to goal then obviously he's more dangerous. If he has to come from the wing sometimes in a 4-3-3, it's maybe a little bit more difficult for him to get in a position to score, but he can do that as well, and he's shown that. Having Bobby grow and getting better every game is huge for us."
Klinsmann, who laced his boots for FC Bayern München and VfB Stuttgart, among others, during his playing days, also reserved praise for Brooks.
"We can all see a wonderful development in Brooks over the last two years since he came on at half-time against Ghana in the World Cup in Brazil and scored a beautiful header. Since then, he's been a normal path of growth. He's had ups and downs like all young players do, but I think this year he came out a lot stronger with Hertha Berlin. He played 23 games and had some injury problems, especially when he was supposed to play for us! But now he's healthy, he's fit and he's playing very consistently, which is a great sign. Hopefully he'll keep that consistency going now throughout the entire tournament."
The Copa America hosts are currently second in the Group A standings on three points, and must beat Paraguay in their first-round game on Saturday to reach the quarter-finals.