Two losses and a draw are not exactly what many American Liverpool supporters hoped for during their summer preseason tour of the States, but manager Jurgen Klopp will be the first to point out that these matches are not about results, but performances. And in these performances, Klopp liked what he saw, with steady progress as more players became available and built up their match fitness.
“We have to work on everything, that’s normal, but I liked a lot,” Kloppo said to the club’s official website in an interview.
“A lot of moments in the first half I liked a lot; positioning was much better, defending was better, we were closer together apart from the second goal we conceded.
“We were pretty wide, there was a lot of grass between our players. I have to watch that back, I don’t know exactly how it happened. It was intense.
“We have players in the team who played tonight 60 or 70 minutes; with the training and the sessions we had, it’s a bit too much usually actually but we have to do it because we don’t have that much time. So they had to go through that.
“The first half was really good, then there was a little like a dip when everybody felt the intensity, but that’s normal that you feel it – you only have to fight it.
“I liked a lot of the game tonight; we had sensational set-pieces, really good goalie saves, and a bit of luck involved for Sporting. That was a really good step for us.”
No one can accuse Kloppo of being a pessimist.
Still, Klopp and the rest of the coaching staff will probably be disappointed they didn’t get more from the performances, and that a combination of extreme high temperatures, injuries, and international tournaments have conspired against the Reds this preseason.
They will no doubt be happy to return to Europe, where they will be greeted by more extreme temperatures because this is the world we live in now.