Jurgen Klinsmann wasn't thrilled with FIFA's selection of an Algerian referee for Tuesday's match against Belgium, and although it wasn't exactly a critique, the US manager did have concerns.
"Is it a good feelng? No," Klinsmann said, when asked about the selection of Djamel Haimoudi, who worked Holland's 3-2 win over Australia and Costa Rica and England's 0-0 draw in the group stages. "He's able to speak French with their players on the field, not with us. We hope it's not a concern."
Klinsmann did, however, praise Haimoudi's previous tournament work.
"We know that he did already two games so far, and he did them very well, so we wish that he continues his refereeing the perfect way he's done so far," he added.
Klinsmann also expressed concern that Algeria had advanced out of the same Group H which Belgium topped, and he mentioned the US's famous stoppage-time win over Algeria in 2010.
"It's the country that we beat in the last second in the last World Cup," Klinsmann added.
Maybe it's a bit coincidental, or maybe Klinsmann has a point about being able to communicate with the referees, but it seems like he's being more candid than critical.
Belgium manager Marc Wilmots wasn't buying it, either way.
"If we starting going into this, it is looking for excuses ahead of the match," he said.
If the US wins on Tuesday, it will tie the furthest it's advanced in over 50 years whereas Belgium last made it to the semifinals in 1986.