Photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com
By FRANCO PANIZO
If Jurgen Klinsmann has his way, he will be coaching the U.S. Men’s National Team far beyond 2014.
In an interview with SI.com published Thursday, Klinsmann expressed a keen desire to remain in charge of the U.S. following the completion of his current deal. Klinsmann’s contract is set to expire at the end of 2014, but he hopes a strong showing at the World Cup in Brazil in June will help him keep a job that he feels is nowhere near complete.
“Yeah, absolutely,” said Klinsmann when asked about his interest in extending his contract. “A lot of the stuff we’ve done now is foundation work. It’s really just starting to connect the dots that you always talk about in the soccer landscape in the United States: Getting connected to the youth level, to coaches’ education, getting connected really well with MLS.”
“So yeah, that is my interest to continue that work. I’d love to be measured on success. I like that. But also you want to see that people in your environment are happy with how things are going, meaning now Sunil (Gulati, the U.S. Soccer president) and Dan Flynn (the USSF general secretary). I think they are impressed with what we’ve built now in two years, how we connected the (U.S.) youth teams to us … A lot of the stuff that we laid out and continue now to deepen is happening. Therefore, yeah, there is a big interest to continue that network.”
Klinsmann – who was hired as the Americans’ head coach in July 2011 and has posted first-ever road wins against Italy and Mexico – also talked about his plans for next year’s build-up to the World Cup. The 49-year-old German said he is hoping for three send-off games in the United States and one friendly in Brazil before beginning World Cup play, and added that U.S. Soccer is currently in discussions with England about a possible match. Klinsmann also said that scheduling would largely depend on the World Cup draw on Dec. 6.
One other topic of interest that Klinsmann touched on was the status of John Brooks. Klinsmann has yet to cap-tie Brooks despite starting the young German-American centerback in a friendly in August, but Klinsmann is not concerned about the possibility of Brooks switching allegiances, saying he is “fully confident” that Brooks has chosen to represent the U.S. over Germany.
Would you like to see Klinsmann stick around beyond 2014? Think one World Cup cycle is enough? Want to see the Americans face England stateside next year?
Share your thoughts below.