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Klinsmann keen on staying with USMNT beyond 2014, working on scheduling England friendly, and more

Jurgen Klinsmann

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.

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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.

Comments

  1. We should keep JK for another 4 years until 2018 or beyond. I do not understand the argument for only one world cup cycle. JK has changed the system we play but it has only been 3 years, which for a national team is not that many games. Also, its not just about who is playing now, it has to do with youth soccer. You have to make sure we are coaching the right way and developing talent, which I do not think other coaches such as BB or BA were worried about. Teaching skills not winning big, making sure they know how to do all of the individual things. We have been pretty competitive against European teams I can only assume we will get more competitive as we advance with JK.

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  2. Agree with comments that JK *did* have a talent base from which to build… His comments are a bit dismissive there.

    However, think the one cycle and you’re out crowd is missing it. The real work JK has done has been about the culture of the MNT: Possess the Ball, Attack with a Lead, Expect to Win. That mindset was NOT in place under BB. But the MNT is not enough. To fully embrace this culture throughout the infrastructure of US Soccer (youth teams, etc.) will take 12+ years. Brazil wins WCs because their kids grow up seeing WC winners and expect to be that themselves.

    Making a change after WC14 would be a big miss.

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  3. Only an absolutely horrible showing at the world cup would prevent Klinsmann from returning, and deservedly so. I don’t believe Klinsmann has received enough credit for what has happened in the last 3 years. Those still singing Bob Bradley’s praises should look at the tape. We are a much better team. Bradley may be a great coach, but he was a poor manager. All those early goals we would give up under Bradley… to me thats poor preparation and that falls on him. Bradley’s player selections were often questionable… Clark, Bornstein, Finley etc. cost us in the World Cup.

    Klinsmann’s results speak for themselves. Four More Years.

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  4. I am intrigued by playing against England. The result of the game would help shape the perception of US soccer players oversees and would therefore be very important to our players. Hopefully the added pressure will result in added toughness and help our cause in Brazil.

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  5. Unless a manager wins the World Cup, he should move on. If he he did well, maybe we’ll have him back in 4 or 8 years. Maybe he will get lucky and the next guy will make a mess of qualifying and we’ll bring him back to right the ship.

    After following this team for the last 20 years, I firmly believe it is better to stick to 4 year cycles for the coach. There might be a few exceptions, but it is better to get a new perspective (Doesn’t have to be a drastic change in style, just a new set of eyes evaluating the talent pool). Just look at what has happend with the last two coaches.

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  6. One cycle, IMO, is enough and would be best to bring in a fresh face after WC 2014. If the USMNT does win the World Cup next summer, which I honestly believe is possible, Klinsmann can happily pocket his $10.5 million in bonuses and move on to a new challenge and make way for a new coach.

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  7. So could England be the European team this summer? Now who is the South American team attending our send off party?

    US vs Iran / England vs SA team — game 1
    US vs England / Iran vs SA team — game 2

    I bet it’s Mexico or Ecuador if either of them qualify

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  8. Let me whine about a part of US soccer. JK’s comments. I don’t like the comment of what “we have built in two years”.

    Makes it like it was ground zero when he got here. Add a comment about a lot of it being “foundation work” and it is the JK Nat team rather than the US Nat team.

    I like JK, but come on, US soccer moved up VERY quickly from close to nothing, but it wasn’t in the last two years, it was over decades of hard work by MANY people…with plenty of successes along the way.

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    • @Quit whining about soccer in the US: Well, this time I agree with you. Let’s not forget that in February, 18 months after he took over from Bob Bradley, Klinsmann was still starting three d-mids and playing defensive-minded soccer and was perceived by some as giving preference to players who grew up in Germany and the team had absolutely no counter-attacking capability (only a lot of back-passing). It seemed during the Honduras game in February that player morale was low and a lot of fans felt Klinsmann was making bad roster decisions. And then came that wonderful mutiny story published ahead of the Costa Rica Snow Bowl game in March, basically confirming that a lot of players in the pool were not happy with Klinsmann.

      We will never know what would have happened had that story not been published, but things were looking grim and I think had the story not been published, then chances are high that the USMNT would have ended up with one point at most in March and Klinsmann might have been close to getting fired. My feeling is that the article opened the door to allowing player leaders to voice their frustrations and Klinsmann was forced to listen and he finally became more flexible and we quit seeing his three d-mids and Daniel Williams at right wing and he opened up the offense. And, lo and behold, chemistry improved. And, of course, Klinsmann gladly patted himself on the back 🙂

      I hope some day we get the inside scoop on the internal team discussions that no doubt were happening after the story was published. Would most likely make interesting reading.

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    • yeah, i don’t really believe that’s what klinsmann’s trying to say, but i did think the “foundation” comment sounded bad (also how he’s apparently “connected the youth teams to us”).

      he’s certainly helping our team evolve, but it’s not like he had to build it from scratch. bradley did the important job recruiting the next batch of players, and klinsmann’s done the important job of actually getting them to replace the old guys.

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      • That is kind of my point, Nate Dollars, about Klinsmann now heartily patting himself on the back and taking full credit for the success this year. But my major point is that until the mutiny story, Klinsmann was driving the team and he was headed straight for a cliff. If you look back at the comments on SBI from earlier this year in last the summer and autumn of 2012, a huge majority of USMNT fans were suggesting strategic changes from Klinsmann, but he stubbornly refused to budge until the mutiny story. And then after that a lot of the changes he made were changes that had been suggested by fans the previous year. The real heroes of the team’s success, in my mind, are the players who had the courage to talk to a reporter about how bad it was under Klinsmann and also Brian Straus, the only journalist with the courage to write about it. I would be almost certain that other journalists heard the same grips that Straus was hearing but for one reason or another decided not to report it.

  9. i would love for him to stay past 2014, as well…as Technical Director, which he should’ve been hired as in the first place. maybe sunil’s a genius, and brought klinsmann on in his preferred role as manager, so he could try to use the TD position to keep him on.

    either way, i think the ideal solution is (and has been) to have klinsmann running things as technical director, and hire a manager who has experience implementing his vision.

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      • i think he’s an ‘idea’ man, and his strengths are in his vision and charisma. he has the respect, creativity, and energy required to manage an upgrade of the US soccer system. i don’t see him as a bad game-day manager; but no one person can perform both roles.

        originally, i really wanted marcelo bielsa as manager. he did wonders with chile, is a great tournament coach, and plays an attractive, high-energy style. however, i’m no longer so sure that, if needed, he would be able to conform his style to what klinsmann would dictate for our system.

      • and thanks for the meaningful reply, mr. bojangles. was kind of just expecting the normal, “smh, another klinsmann-hater” response.

  10. Would make a lot of sense, I think. There’s something to be said for consistency. The best part about the interview though IMO was his comment on Brooks. That’s great to hear.

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  11. Lock him in for the next cycle, he has a great approach…he’s the perfect coach for the transition of th US program.

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    • I’m drinking the kool aid too. But all it takes is a poor showing, 3 and out at the WC, a couple bad lineup choices or a string of results like those at the beginning of his tenure and I bet lots of people (myself included) might be looking for some change. But if he keeps it up like now I’m satisfied.

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      • That’s the tough thing about a decision like this – you have to consider the counterfactual. If we go 3 and out in Brazil, the real question will be whether we would have done better with a different manager. That’s going to be a tough question to think about rationally when disappointed.

      • Im in the koolaid too, but ya dont sign anything until after the WC

        One thing we know is Jurgen dominates Concacaf with style

  12. Lets face it….whoever is coaching in the next cycle (Klinsmann or whomever) they will inherit a squad requiring very few player replacements. As it stands there are only 7 players that would require replacement (Jones, Donovan, Dempsey, Beasley, Goodson, Cherundolo & Beckerman). Only 4 of which are likely starters in Brazil).
    Whoever the next coach is will have a strong core to build around (Guzan, Bradley, F. Johnson, Besler, Gonzalez, Jozy) and a lot of very talented young players (Brooks, Johannsson, Boyd, Corona, Mixx, Williams, Gatt, Yedlin, Ferrell, Chandler, Lichaj, Powers, Klute, Gil, Packwood, Pelose, etc….). Could see JK staying or another high profile coach being interested.

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  13. I certainly like the progress that is being made on the youth level. Assuming a respectable performance in Brazil and we would be nuts not to bring Klinsmann back.

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  14. There is nothing magic about getting a new coach every cycle or keeping opne forever — look at Del Bosque with Spain. Personally I would like JK around for one more cycle no matter what happens in Brazil. I have always wanted JK but not merely as the coach but more as an initiator and promoter of change. In that role, I am extremely happy with his progress and definitely want to see him around to continue. IMO his overall “soft” impact on US Soccer has been vastly under-rated, ignored. I realize that there have been many changes to US Soccer that originated before JK but he has certainly served as a re-enforcement and very visible promoter of those changers.

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  15. In April I would have laughed at the idea of another Klinsmann term but now it is a very real possibility. I’m still skeptical both that it would be a good decision and that it is one that Gulati would want. After all, the economist in him must surely realize that we have paid 5 times as much as what we paid for the last two coaches and for pretty much the same results, at that point. I still want a technical director with experience in developing young talent in Europe and a successful MLS coach for the national team. On the other hand, with Klinsmann you know what you’re getting and you could do worse.

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  16. Everyone keeps hoping for some white knight outside back to emerge and displace Beasley and Evans. Baring injury or turn of form, one if not both of them may be starting in Brazil. If that happens, complaining about them playing becomes irrelevant. I do not think Lichaj or Reem or anyone else is going to make the 23. If Cherundolo get healthy ( I think he had a reserve game today), he is a huge upgrade over Evans. I don’t know if FJ is an answer as an outside back. He may have to play there but Klinsi would prefer he play LM. I think Juergen turns to either Williams or Chandler before either Lichaj or Reem. My other point, is that it doesn’t matter who we put at defense if we make stupid turnovers in the middle of the pitch.

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    • not sure what your comment is in response to, but i don’t think people are hoping for a ‘white knight’ (that’s r@cist), just someone who inspires confidence at the position. beasley and evans (especially) have done admirably so far, but you can tell they’re out of position, and it’s only a matter of time (or opposition level) before that catches up to them.

      fabian is absolutely the answer at LB, especially since we already have a natural left winger on the field, in beasley.

      and if klinsmann plays danny williams at RB instead of lichaj, i’m turning off the tv (then immediately turning it back on).

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  17. Even if he doesn’t stay as head coach; I would love for Klinsmann to take maybe a technical director role with USSF. As long as he and the USMNT make some noise in Brasil, Klinsmann will get another cycle as head coach.

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      • Was it Arena’s fault we were drawn into the Group of Death? There were three teams ranked in the top ten in that group. The lads had a terrible start against the Czechs, but tied eventual champion Italy. A horrible giveaway by Reyna and a cheap penalty did us in against Ghana.

      • Please, let’s not forget that Reyna was injured on that play. It’s not like he made a mistake that they capitalized on, his body gave out and he couldn’t compete for the ball.

      • I agree Cody, that was one of worst plays in US world cup history. Ghana player just wanted it more, Reyna was asleep at wheel. That said, Rico Clark takes the prize for biggest flummox in World Cup.

        Anyways, the original point about Arena and the draw still stands. The penalty against Gooch was a brutal and game-changing call.

      • I think guys get conservative in the second cycle, start to rely on “their guys” and are reluctant to let new blood in. Arena in 2006 had some bad luck (I think if we faced Ghana first and the Czech’s last, we would have made the next round.) But he also did things like try to make of his guys, Eddie Lewis, into a LB… with disaster striking almost immediately in the first game. (Lewis sprinted up field and left a hole that the Czechs ruthlessly exploited on the turnover)

        Obviously, there are lots of variables, but most of the time, i like to see a fresh perspective after a world cup cycle

  18. i didn’t realize we had chose São Paulo as our base. hopefully our draw is kind to that location. makes sense that he would want to stay given what he is trying to build. if we do well in Brazil and things are as promising then as they are now, i’d be all for it.

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  19. if U.S. go 0-0-3 or 0-1-2 I don’t how he sticks around…. 1-0-2 or 0-2-1 in a group of Death would be a close call, but if he gets out of the group he stays 75/25 given how Gulati chased after him for years…. if he gets US to the 1/4 finals he stays if he wants to 100%… if he gets U.S. to the semis he may get England throwing much more cash his way..

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  20. if Egypt qualify for the WC and do well, I’d like Bradley to either stay onboard so he can become a Legend throughout Egypt and Africa or take a job in England or Germany. Perhaps as a manager of a Championship club. Bruce Arena should also go abroad. Take a job in Scandinavia

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    • It’s quite amazing that Bradley didn’t get a European sniff. His resume certainly warrants it, much more than these flash-in-the-pans-that-never-work-out managers that are all the rage in England. In the interview with SI this week (awesome read, by the way), he bluntly stated that he would be coaching in Europe if he wasn’t an American.

      How many teams will Mark Hughes get a chance with? He inherited a bad situation at QPR last year, but was horrible anyway. DiCanio is another obvious one.

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      • Bradley is a competent enough coach. He deserves a shot in BPL. His biggest obstacle is his personality. He is just a collosally boring individual. His stoicism may not translate well with ridiculous sports tabloidism.

      • “much more than these flash-in-the-pans-that-never-work-out managers that are all the rage in England.”

        England and specifically the BPL has never been a good place for any manager regardless or race color creed or national origin. They fire people too quickly.

        The expectations are astronomical and the leash is very short. It’s real Christians versus the Lions kind of stuff.

        Bob Bradley is certainly a good enough soccer coach and certainly a man of great character. But the Egyptian situation is rather unique and it’s hard to know if the skills he showed there translate to a job in England.

        I think BB would do just fine with an EPL team if they gave him a real chance but I also think that for the most part the owners in the BPL are sub human stains and that Bob should go elsewhere

  21. actually for the next cycle I wanted the Dutch manager of AZ or the Italian that ran Ireland

    we need new managers every cycle if you ask me. Implementing new styles. Maybe make JK head of US SOCCER and restructure everything

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    • We need one style from the top down. I think that’s his point and that’s what he’s ‘accomplished’. Changing managers and style of play every four years wouldn’t help this cause.

      The reason we need one model is so that when these kids grow up and move through the system, they’re not taking all their time and energy learning a new system at each level.

      It will take a while, but like JK says, it will pay dividends.

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    • The Dutch Manager (Verbeek) got fired recently and the Italian (Trapattoni) while a Legend is widely considered to be past it and unwilling to adapt to modern tactics.
      For the record I like Verbeek and have no idea why he was fired

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      • +1 verbeek would be a good US coach but we need someone in Europe to help us out too!

        4 years from now we might have some good MLS options but i would promote anyone yet

  22. It is interesting how Klinsmann refuses to change his stance on his defense. He is very comfortable with Beasley and Evans as the starters. They must be great locker room characters because for me they have no done enough to warrant being the unquestioned starters (they should be on the team, they have def earned that). In his interview he stated that Cameron was a back up, Chandler was a possibility, and completely ignored Lichaj and Spector (and Ream I guess). He also gives Castillo a lot of credit and that baffles me too.

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    • You can also make the argument that the quickest way to ruin a player’s confidence, not to mention lose the locker room, is to suggest that the guys currently playing are not the guys he wants playing. I’m sure he has reservations about Evans and Beasley like the rest of us, and probably wishes Johnson/Cherundolo/Chandler were all guaranteed to be healthy or committed (in Chandler’s case), but there’s no way he’ll say that in public.

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    • You are not the only one to voice such a concern. Lots of folks (even the Wizard of Ives himself in a recent podcast) wonder if DMB and Evans can truly hang on the international stage. I have to believe that Fabian Johnson and Steve Cherundolo are in JKs calculus, especially if Bedoya, Zusi and Diskerud keep showing as strongly as they have and create a situation where you simply need to have them on the pith as well. That said, Beasely and Evans are great utility guys and I think it’s hard to argue that especially Beasely has been anything other than textbook in terms of giving the US national team everything they have asked for during this campaign. Heck in my mind, based on how solid and consistent a team player he’s been over the past two years he’s a candidate to wear the armband let alone start.

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    • Have you watched Evans play for the NATs? He might not have the resume you desire, but he has earned his spot in the starting lineup. Beasley is a little bit more of a question mark for me, but who is better? Fabian Johnson would be, but Klinsman wants him in the midfield. Also, Beasley does bring a lot of experience with him, and some quickness.

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      • He’s earned our respect and right now is the starter, yes, but I think That Guy is correctly saying he shouldn’t be the unquestioned starter. By that I mean it wouldn’t kill the team to give some other players a shot, especially since these games don’t really effect anything.

      • For what it’s worth (and I do mean this as a compliment) when I see Brad Evans name in the starting lineup, I don’t get that worried, want to vomit feeling that I used to get when I saw Bornstein was going to play.

      • Beasley although he is shakey has the speed to keep up with anyone tho. Like if he learns to just become a solid defender and not overcommit, he can honestly be a very solid LB

      • beasley may still have the speed to keep up with most in the world (although i doubt that), but he’s not always going to be the fastest on the field at the world cup level, which is why it’s nice to have a natural defender on defense.

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