Though Jurgen Klinsmann’s time in charge of the U.S. Men’s National Team is over, residual drama from his time in charge remains.
Former USMNT assistant coach Andy Herzog elaborated on the relationship between Klinsmann, MLS, and commissioner Don Garber, stating that the latter groups had no interest in taking advice from Klinsmann, reports ESPN FC. While Klinsmann’s opinions towards MLS are well-known and controversial, they appeared to open a significant rift between the coach and the domestic league.
“MLS, the American league, is getting better and better, but Jurgen wanted to help them and give them some information, some inputs, where they were making some mistakes,” Herzog said. “Jurgen said, ‘Yeah, we need to do this, this and this better,’ and this was the reason why he started to have a fall-out with the [commissioner] of the league, Don Garber.
While Klinsmann and Herzog were ultimately fired for the lack of on-field results, the rift between their staff and U.S. Soccer led to several public criticisms from both sides during the German’s tenure. While news of the rift is nothing new, the level of fallout that Herzog describes adds perspective to the Klinsmann era.
“Jurgen wanted to help the league keep improving but [MLS executives] were not happy and thought he was just criticizing everything,” added Herzog. “One point Jurgen was not happy with was that they were buying and overpaying over-aged former European superstars like crazy, but they have already found out that it is not a good way.
“And this was a big problem, because there was a big pressure from [Garber]. … When we lost a game, [Garber] came and said: ‘No, he’s criticizing our league and he’s making some mistakes, too.’ So this was a problem — a bad relationship between the American league and Jurgen.”