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Klinsmann reveals details of talks with U.S. Soccer

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Juergen Klinsmann emerged from his extended vacation recently to discussa variety of topics with Kansas City Wizards television analyst Sasha Victorine and revealed that U.S. Soccer's unwillingness to give him full control of the national team in writing ultimately led to the end of discussions about him possibly taking over as U.S. national team head coach.

“We had conversations maybe about three or four weeks period of time, and very positive conversations, but we didn’t get it to a positive ending because we couldn’t put into writing what we agreed to verbally."

Klinsmann confirmed a report from ESPN last month that revealed that Klinsmann had met with U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati to discuss the U.S. head coach position before U.S. Soccer gave head coach Bob Bradley a contract extension. Gulati refused to discuss or acknowledge any talks with any other candidates when asked after Bradley's re-signing.

Klinsmann stated that it came down to wanting complete control of the national team and not being able to get such control agreed to in writing.

“It’s obviously always about authority. When you have conversations with a club team or a national team it’s who has the last word in what issues, and that’s why we couldn’t get into the written terms," Klinsmann said.  

"Verbally we agreed on that the technical side is my side, and I should have a hundred percent control of it. In written terms, they couldn’t commit to it, and at that point I said well, I can’t get the job done because I have to have the last say as a head coach for my entire staff, for all the players issues, for everything that happens with the team.

"Unfortunately they couldn’t commit to that and that was basically the end of our talks, and then they agreed then to continue with Bob as the head coach and that’s totally fine."

You can see Klinsmann's full interview with Victorine here.

What do you think of these revelations? Wish Klinsmann had been given the job? Not convinced Klinsmann was the right man for the job? Are you glad Bradley was re-signed?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Get rid of Gulati and Flynn!!! PLEASE!!!

    For these two jerks, the USMNT is their cash cow and to heck to developing a program to make the US the true international power it can be. We’ll continue to lose out on the Subotics, Rossis, and Mosysians…

    All Gulati, Flynn and Bradley want to do is advancing out of the group stage. Klinsmann knows we can be a world power with the proper system from the grass roots up.

    We’ve plateaued these last 8 years under Bradley – we can do better…and will once we ditch the Midget, Daddy Warbucks Flynn and Bunker Bob!

  2. The tight fisted ways of U.S. soccer make no sense. A 31 million dollar annual budget suggests U.S. soccer could hire someone for 2 million dollars annually easily. Yet, someone clearly does not want to take a risk. A bolder way forward needs to be done to achieve full potential. Thus, it is time for the directors to stop worrying about control of their own fiefdoms and finally worry about the greater benefit of the USSF program.

  3. Is Mori an American citizen?

    He was born in Argentina. Just living here from the ages of 10 to 16 doesn’t mean anything. Any foreigner can do that. He needs to have an American passport or be elgible for one to play for the USMNT. If he doesn’t or is not eligible for one,then there is no point in pursuing him.

    You can’t hang this one on Sunil.

  4. Eh. His comments raise questions, but we have no answers, and I’m going to decline to speculate until we do. I have no problem with Bob staying on. He had a good four years, and he’s only wiser and more experienced now.

  5. Not joking at all. The guy you say never played the game was capped by the United States soccer team. Are you saying that didn’t happen?

  6. It is players like this that might have more Impact on the US program than Klinsmann or Bradley:

    River Plate’s rebound this season has included the contributions of 19-year-old striker Rogelio Funes Mori, who lived in Texas from age 10 to 16. He was the winner of Univision’s “2008 Sueno MLS” reality tryout TV show and but left FC Dallas’ youth program to try out for River Plate.”

    Let’s see if Sunil can sign him!

  7. What is really stunning is that neither Gulati nor the Board have any clue how to win a World Cup or even advance to a semi-final. So why do they think they know more than Klinsmann such that they feel the need to retain some amount of control over the national team? If I were to buy the New England Patriots, on what basis of expertise/experience would I have to tell Bill Belicheck how to win a Super Bowl? I would have zerp expertise in that area, just as Gulati has zero expertise in how to win a World Cup.

  8. Klinsman had the Bundesliga to give him talented young players for the 2006 World Cup.

    Tell me where Bradley goes to get a similar crop of players for 2014.

  9. “BB does give a lot of players caps but that can hardly be called development.”

    Since when is BB responsible for developing senior players? When would he have time to?

    Holden for example is developing rapidly right now because he found a good situation at Bolton. How much did BB have to do with that? Ddi BB arrange Edu’s success at Rangers? Did BB screw up Adu’s club career? Was it Arena who made Mcbride a success at Fulham?

    When are people going to realize that national team managers don’t develop players? They spend so little time with them over the course of a year.

    That happens at the clubs. National team managers just take these guys and try to plug them into some kind of system that makes the best use of whatever talent is available. Did Del Bosque or Van Marjwik develop the Spanish or Dutch players? Hell no. They just figured out the best way to let them play together.

    The major characteristic of a great manager, in any sport, is lots of very good and one or two great players. Do you think del Bosque wins the World Cup if he manages the US? Would Lippi have taken the 2006 USMNT and won the World Cup with it? Would Phil Jackson be so great if he hadn’t had Michael Jordan?

    USMNT fans have way unrealistic expectations.

  10. i hope that is a joke. he said that is why he didnt want the job. both the last time around, and now. i’m assuming klinsmann has no reason to lie.

  11. I think many of you answered your own questions (BB doesn’t have the talent pool, so that’s why his teams play the way they play, semi-successful). The fact of the matter is that any of us can coach and qualify the USMNT for the World Cup at this point, so BB is not going to get fired before 2014. BB does give a lot of players caps but that can hardly be called development.

    Now think of this. Instead of BB for 8 years, we have a coach like Klinsmann who concentrates on young player development and structuring for future success. Coming up on 2014 things might like a lot different. Where are the future Xavis, Maicons, Schweinsteigers? Maybe they are 10-18 years old right now and in the US, and we build not only for 2014 but beyond.

  12. “Fans and the public deserve better. ”

    Really? Why? What does that mean?

    The NFL is the the best supported sport in this country and how much input does the average fan have with the inner workings of the NFL? Was the avaergae fan able to stop the NHL work stoppage a few years ago? How about the MLB baeball strike back in the 90’s?

    My guess would be the average fan has next to no influence.

    It seems to me the USSF is more acountable to the people who are the big money guys, the Hunt family or Anschutz and the like.

    Follow the money.

    On reading these posts what seems to be clear is that no one here is in possession of an offical job description for the manager of the USMNT. Some of you think he’s responsible for all levels of soccer in this country down to the youth teams. Others seem to think he runs the MLS. Still others think he just runs the senior team and that’s it.

    I’m not in possession of the job description so until I see that, I have no idea what Klinsman is referring to when he says “total control”.

    I also don’t know what JK is like behind closed doors. He’s very media savvy and personable but you hire people to do the job you want them to do, not the job they say they want to do. It seems to me the USSF and JK just disagree on that. By going public, JK has turned the whole thing into something of a popularity contest and he is always going to win that because the US fan base is always about the grass being greener on the other side. A lot of you seem certain you can do a better job than Sunil. Since I’m not entirely sure what he does, I don’t feel that way.

    Klinsman may have turned Germany around but he had guys like Lamm, Schweinstieger,Klose, Podolksi and others waiting in the wings.

    He wouldn’t have anything like that available to him here and now. The quality of the German player pool in 2005-6 was far superior to what the US player pool in 2010-11 is.

    And it always gets back to the players.

  13. I heard an interview with Klinsmann, where he explained how things worked. Of course, Klinsmann did not micromanage U8 players and the like, but they came up with a technical development plan/strategy that all youth teams, including Bundesliga academy teams had to follow.

  14. Let me ask you something.

    Does the US have a midfielder right now who you would call a dominant, all-around, player? One who can hold things together and get everyone involved, maybe score a few himself? Someone like Fabregas, Snejlder or Xavi.

    Or failing that do we have a dominant attacking player like Rooney, Forlan, C. Ronaldo, Ibrahimovic, Milito or Messi?

    How about dynamic defenders like Alves or Maicon?


    US players have the talent to play the style you describe but since none of them play at the top level with people like the ones I just named, on a regular basis, it’s a lot to ask them to suddenly do so for the USMNT, especially against players who are better at it and more used to it than they are.

    BB’s style, such as it is, is based on giving his guys a framework with which they are familiar and comfortable. To do what you ask for would probably take those players past their comfort zone. It’s doable but would probably be pretty ugly for a while. Everyone praises Spain but those guys have played that style with the clubs and country for years.

    It makes a difference.

  15. that is not correct klinsmann didn’t have full control over the German youth system he had control over the national team and the u-21 the other teams in Germany are under the technical director of the German FA it would be way to much micromanagement for one person to control ALL age levels of a big FA like Germany or the US not to think about all the youth academies etc.


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