USA boss Klinsmann hails 'respected' Ibarra
Miguel Ibarra is now "totally respected and part of this group", according to Jurgen Klinsmann, as the United States coach lauded his new midfield gem on Sunday.
After producing a number of impressive training displays in the lead up to USA's international friendly in southern California, Ibarra was rewarded with his first start for the senior national team.
Ibarra, who became the first player from North America's second tier to be called into a senior national team camp since Clyde Simms in 2005, when the Minnesota United star was selected for an October friendly against Ecuador, played 79 minutes in Sunday's 2-0 victory against Panama.
The 24-year-old reigning MVP of NASL did not look overawed by the occasion and Klinsmann was pleased by his performance at Stubhub Center.
"Every time he comes in, he's a regular already, and he proved that in every training session," Klinsmann told reporters in a media conference.
"He has an endless engine, he gives everything. He's very smart tactically, he helps out defensively and he always has an eye for the forwards and he himself, as he shows us with his club, he can finish things as well.
"I think he's done a very, very good job, Miguel, and he's totally respected and part of this group now."
First-half goals from veterans Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey set USA on their way on home soil.
The victory was long-overdue for Klinsmann, who had overseen a five-match winless streak prior to Sunday's triumph.
"I'm obviously pleased to see the team finish off this almost four weeks camp in good style, a lot of energy," Klinsmann said.
"Great crowd out here, a lot of energy, it was really fun."
Klinsmann, who was critical of his team's fitness following their loss to Chile last time out, added: "It obviously slowed down [in] the second half as you could see, but [we were] trying to add another, third goal. Didn't come but the pushing was there."