Vásquez cheers on Germans, despite semifinal loss

Chivas USA boss coached the likes of Schweinsteiger, Mueller

CARSON, Calif. -- Germany may have dropped out of the running for the 2010 FIFA World Cup on Wednesday, but there has been no more exciting side in this year’s tournament than the Die Mannschaft.

The Germans put on a show in their 15th consecutive World Cup appearance, scoring four goals on three separate occasions, including knockout stage victories against both England and Argentina on their way to a place in the semifinals.

Cheering for head coach Joachim Loew and his squad every step of the way is Chivas USA head coach Martín Vásquez. Vásquez served as an assistant coach to Jürgen Klinsmann during the 2008/2009 Bundesliga season and is well-acquainted with many of the players and coaches in the 2010 German World Cup squad.

“Their level of play and their discipline are at the highest level,” said Vásquez. “They really play like a team. But having been around five or six of them and seeing the way they played and trained every day, I’m not surprised.”

Vásquez has been particularly impressed by the German side’s organization and resilience. The squad was both resolute in defense and aggressive in attack.

“They’re so persistent in their mentality,” said Vásquez. “If you score on them, they continue to come at you and come at you. That discipline is part of their culture; it’s what brings success.”

While at Bayern Munich, Vásquez had a hand in helping to craft the technique of some of Germany’s most important players, including Miroslav Klose, Philip Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, and Thomas Mueller. Their successes have given Vásquez plenty of reasons to be proud.

“It’s been fun to watch them,” Vásquez said. “Guys like Klose and Lahm. And Schweinsteiger – he’s really been the difference. Two years ago when I was at Bayern, he was under the limelight of [Franck] Ribery, Luca Toni, and Klose. But now, he has just blossomed. He’s the boss now. You can see that the coach has those expectations and he has responded to them.”

“Thomas Mueller – we brought him up,” continued Vásquez.“He was in the amateur team and Klinsmann brought him up and he played with us in the Bundesliga and Champions’ League. He stood out, that’s why we brought him up. It was just about giving him the opportunity.”

Germany will play Uruguay in the FIFA 2010 World Cup third place match on Saturday. The Germans finished third in 2006, topping Portugal in the consolation game.