Unfortunately, the press conference to formally introduce Klinsmann to the U.S. on Monday did not answer this question or give a clear idea of what we should expect over his tenure.
There is hope for the future! Klinsmann, as any new coach, will bring with him a new urgency to everyone involved with the MNT. The players in good graces with the previous coach, on the fence, or on the outs are now back on a level playing field where only their performance can determine who gets selected.
“I think today is a very important day and perhaps [emphasis added] the start of a new era for us,” Gulati said at the press conference in New York. “We’re extraordinarily excited about having Jurgen Klinsmann join our team, to lead our team and to help lead our technical program. Jurgen’s experience, both as a player and coach, and as a resident of this country – and I think all three of those are important – we think are huge assets.
by David Fleenor
Fortunatley some of the talk was with Claudio Reyna. The former U.S. international is the current USSF US Youth Soccer Technical Director but our problems that need answers are more immediate in nature.
The sound bite was eerily like something one would have expected to hear from former head coach Bob Bradley after the 4-2 loss to Mexico in the Gold Cup final but not from the new coach of the team. The reason Klinsmann was brought in presumably was that there were major issues with the program that needed to be solved.
In his opening comments, Klinsmann quickly admitted that his new job will be a challenge but seemed to have an overall disconnect with the situation or have clear ideas of his direction. When asked how he intends to fix some of the issues of the team, Klinsmann replied; “I don’t think there is anything wrong with the team. They lost a Gold Cup final against a very, very good Mexico team that over the last couple of years became one of the top 10 teams in the world and have a lot of talent.”
Klinsmann’s record coaching in Germany is hard to accurately read when trying to determine his future success with the U.S. MNT. The World Cup winner spent 2 years at the helm of the Germany national team and was part of a team that revamped the German national team program and ultimately finished in third place at the quadrennial event hosted in 2006 in Germany.
After all the recent turmoil, rumors, and speculation, U.S. Soccer and Sunil Gulati finally got their man with the naming of Jurgen Klinsmann as the new head coach of the U.S. men’s national team. The reaction of many fans makes it easy to believe that we have the man to get us to our Emerald City but the reality is that the journey is just beginning.
Klinsmann will most likely stick to his roots and bring with him a more attacking style of play which will have any fan of the U.S. team breathing a sigh of relief and should have more opponents in the CONCACAF region worried,Tony Romo Youth Jersey.
Klinsmann went on to include a very broad approach to his plan for developing a national playing style (much like how he worked to develop the style in Germany) which included talking to just about everybody involved with soccer.
But in the end one must wait to see discover where the Emerald City is and how far the Red, White and Blue will get down the yellow brick road with Klinsmann leading the parade.
“I think a quarterfinal is already huge,Austin Collie Jersey. I think going through the group stage is really, really important and then going to the knockout stage where anything is possible. But obviously you want to improve, you want to get better, you want to be better than the last World Cup and the World Cup before, but you can’t promise anything because once you’re in the knockout stage, anything can happen.”
Regardless, it is easy to see that finding talent from the pool of players for Germany is much different than for the U.S. One only has to look at the last U.S. roster and see how a player, Jermaine Jones, who only got the most marginal of looks with the German national team can quickly find a place in the U.S. roster.
“It is important over the next three years, especially in the beginning, that I have a lot of conversations with people engulfed in the game here to find a way to define that style. What suits us best? Your opinion is important. College coaches’ opinions are important,Brett Keisel Jersey. Youth coaches’ opinions are important. Everyone is involved in that process, players as well. I’m looking forward to a lot of talks.”
This Isn’t Germany Anymore
Ironically, Gulati has been pursuing Klinsmann as the head coach of the U.S. MNT for longer than Klinsmann has been a coach. This odd situation begs the question of why this inexperienced coach is the right man for the job with a relatively inexperienced soccer nation?
There’s No Map to the Yellow Brick Road
Gulati continued pointing out that Klinsmann is familiar with the U.S. he ‘know(s) the difference between Duke (University) and the Portland Timbers’ from his 13 years living in the U.S. and that he is ‘multi-lingual’ before making the general assessment that,Dustin Keller Youth Jersey; ‘His record is extraordinary,Emmitt Smith Cowboys Jersey. It speaks for itself.”
After declining to stay on with Germany, Klinsmann eventually found himself at German’s top club Bayern Munich in 2008/09 but despite a record of 16 wins, 6 draws and 7 losses in the Bundesliga and a run to the Champions League quarterfinals was replaced by Bayern due to a ‘difference of opinion’ with the board.
The rumors at the time and that continue to some extent, however, was that the architect of that German team and the new philosophy was assistant coach Joachim Löw. And that Klinsmann was more the figure head and not the main man pulling the strings.
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It will be hard to take much from the match but the U.S. will get an early indication of where the team is headed when they face Mexico in Philadelphia on August 10.
HAVE YOUR SAY… Was Jurgen Klinsmann the right hire for U.S. Soccer? What will he bring to the team? Will he raise the level of the national team program? Add your comments below.
Hope for the Future