U.S. midfielder Jermaine Jones made a neat cross-sports reference today when talking about the team’s upcoming match against Portugal.
Portugal, of course, is home to Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the undisputed top two players in the world. But that doesn’t concern Jones and the USMNT. Why? Because, Jones says, you win as a team.
To illustrate his point, Jones pointed to the NBA. He compared the Ronaldo-led Portugese team to LeBron James and his Heat squad, and said the Spurs victory over Miami proves it’s the better team – not player – who wins.
“The NBA Finals showed how it works,” Jones said. "If you stick together like a team, and fight like a team ...you will win the game. The Spurs were the better team and that is why they won the championship.”
USMNT Coach Jurgen Klinsmann, meanwhile, isn’t buying in to the idea of a downward trending Portugal squad after their 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Germany last week.
“[Portugal] is an even more dangerous team than before,” Klinsmann told reporters on Monday. “When you get that 4-0 result from Germany, now you’re going to come into Manaus pretty angry. And I don’t know how Cristiano Ronaldo behaves when he’s angry.”
The USA-Portugal match gets started at 6pm eastern on Sunday.