U.S. Men's National Team

Klinsmann discusses some plans for USMNT future

JurgenKlinsmann830 (ISIPhotos.com)

Photo by ISIPhotos.com


MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. –- Always his analytic yet positive self, Jurgen Klinsmann spoke to a group of reporters during a group interview in Los Angeles and outlined his plans for the U.S. national team.

With one eye on the upcoming matches against Costa Rica on Friday and Belgium and another on the future, Klinsmann gave his impressions on his first few weeks as U.S. national team coach. Klinsmann touched on a number of topics, including his staff and the future of a team that is very much in a period of transition.

Central to his plans is naming a first assistant and Klinsmann revealed that his choice will be former Chivas USA head coach Martin Vasquez. The USMNT coach described Vasquez as someone who will play a role similar to the role Joachim Loew played for Klinsmann during his time at the helm of the German national team.

Vasquez is not yet under contract with U.S. Soccer, but a team official states that discussions are pending. Vasquez will simply be Klinsmann's first assistant on an interim basis until a contract is finalized, with Klinsmann also revealing that there will be full-time head coaches hired to handle the Olympic and Under-20 sides. 

"Martin Vasquez will play that (first assistant) role for me, he's got an exceptional amount of talent and qualities that are perfectly suited for his role here," said Klinsmann. "He knows the American landscape inside out and is connected well within the Mexican market, he has knowledge of coaching teams on and off the field." 

During his brief tenure as the head of the U.S. national team, Klinsmann's focus has centered around youth development and making sure that the United States can remain competitive on the youth and senior levels. Klinsmann believes it is important for potential young national team players like Josh Gatt and Joe Corona to start their tenure at the U-20 or U-23 level, an area that Klinsmann insists will be an important feeder group for the national team. 

"If I bring in a guy just because it’s reported to me that he’s a very talented kid, but maybe I don’t have the whole picture, that won’t be good for anyone," Klinsmann said. "Then you shoot where they are to suddenly high media attention and something that they can’t fulfill.”

Although Klinsmann is focused on the future of the national team, he admits that he is interested in reaching out to former U.S. head coach Bob Bradley. Klinsmann said he has a tremendous respect for Bradley, and during a recent conversation with Michael Bradley said that he'd like "to sit down with Bob and pick his brain and have a soccer talk.”

Although Klinsmann wants to make a connection to the past, he's focused on the future, which includes bringing a more "open minded approach" to the team. This even extends to the fan as Klinsmann would like when possible, to hold open training sessions for his supporters, a practice that will start this Wednesday. One thing about Klinsmann is undeniable, he's certainly enjoying the experience. 

“I’m going to enjoy this job very much,” said the smiling Klinsmann. “I really enjoy every second of it already.”

  • biff

    thanks for the link. the translation is pretty bad, not sure that the $4.5 million means for bob bradley. Quite frankly, the US soccer press should do a better job of finding out what ol’ Bob is up to.


  • abc

    It does, there are other articles about it as well. Why would you be surprised, it’s Qatar, they have nearly unlimited money (see their WC bid). But Bradley isn’t looking to just get paid, managing a crappy national team with no hope wouldn’t improve his resume. The pay in Egypt might be 1/5, but the job possibilities post-Egypt are far far better than post-Qatar.

    The US soccer press is really nowhere to be seen on so many stories, it’s quite sad.


  • ThaDeuce

    i like all the moving and shaking that klinsi brings. i’m excited to see different players and old players out of position as he gets acquainted with the squad. trying out different personel and being creative with the players he has is fun to watch.

    i’m even intrigued with vasquez. reading his wiki page makes him sound like the grim reaper, everything he touches dies. yet, he and klinsi have a mutual trust, respect, and a chemistry which clearly klinsi values over a stellar resume. i bet they work well together, and it will be nice to see that on the bench.

    bottom line, if we get better or worse, lots is going to change, energy should be up, and it’s going to be fun to watch and cheer on our boys. this is an exciting time for nats. a big transition. even if we played better under bob, this will be more entertaining. what is soccer about anyway? go usa! but i do think, even if the senior team doesn’t get it together though i bet they will, that the changes in the us soccer structure will be worth everything in the end.


  • ThaDeuce

    last sentence of first paragraph should read in your head: torres on left flank. i.e. : )


  • ThaDeuce

    and in middle paragraph, i also like that we have a german and spanish speaker, for the players. very forward thinking, and american!


  • Catamount

    Not worried about Phillip Lahm’s comments in the slightest. He sounds like quite a few other Germans who were uncomfortable with Klinsmann. Based upon what I saw with the German team and what I saw in the first game against Mexico with the US, he places a great deal of responsibility on the players to sort things out on the pitch. He sees his role as supportive of the vision and tactical awareness of the players. His adjustments in the second half showed a strong tactical sense of the game. When Torres and Donovan moved to the middle and Shea and Rogers entered the game, magical things happened. He worked with what the players were already doing rather than dictating to them how to play. “Yes, sir! Whatever you say, sir!” players aren’t going to like this approach.


  • dantheblue

    Sorry to burst your bubble but Jackson has a very inflexible idea of playing on team. Kobe gets his way and the rest of them plays within a specific foundation of the triangle. Bad comparison …


  • solles

    “I like Klinsi and hope he does well with the US, but this perception of him as a flawless savior is peculiar to say the least. It’s not 2006 anymore.”

    Perhaps but theunceasing steam of ignorant “Kiinsmann Bayern Munich disaster” statements are more peculiar when you look at the club’s actual performance during that time, just more evidence that people are lazy and would rather repeat an opinion than form one.


  • solles

    “Bayern Munich” and “professional cry babies” are two terms that pretty much always fit well together.


  • Felix

    Not crazy about the Vazquez hire. All reports were that he was not taken seriously at Bayern Munich – but who knows if its because he’s American or because of his soccer accumen. Regardless, it doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.
    Obviously, the Nats won’t have the same hang-up about his nationality like they did at FC Hollywood.


  • GW

    Yes, but that was Bayern.

    The USMNT is a whole different ball of wax.

    The list of managers who have “failed” at Bayern would make your head spin.


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