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Klinsmann’s son causes a stir with tweet mocking Donovan’s World Cup omission



As if Jurgen Klinsmann wasn’t already going to face a mountain of scrutiny over his decision to leave Landon Donovan off the U.S. World Cup roster, his son decided it would be a good idea to throw gasoline on an already-prodigious fire.

Jonathan Klinsmann, the 17-year-old son of the U.S. national team coach, posted the above message on Twitter shortly after the announcement of the final 23-man U.S. World Cup squad. The mocking tweet set off a backlash from U.S. fans aimed at not only the younger Klinsmann, but also the latter Klinsmann as conspiracy theories began to fly regarding just why Klinsmann’s son held the U.S. national team’s all-time leading scorer in such seemingly low regard.

Jonathan Klinsmann posted an apology for the original tweet before eventually deleting his Twitter account. That hasn’t kept U.S. fans from being up in arms over the classless tweet posted by someone who, along with being Klinsmann’s son, is also a U.S. Under-18 national team goalkeeper slated to play for college power Cal in 2015.

So what should we make of the offending tweet? Should we chalk it up to a moment of childish stupidity, or is it a peek inside the family perception of Donovan? Do we really want to blame parents for the mistakes their children make, or does the shocking nature of the decision to drop Donovan from the World Cup squad make it inexcusable for father and son?

What do you make of the controversy? Think it’s just immaturity or think there is more at play than meets the eye?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. He should have come back to Everton and he would now be going to the World Cup
    As for Klinnsman he was a cheat as a player no wonder his son has no class – they’ll miss you Landon #COYB #EFC

  2. You know, as a dedicated US Soccer and American Outlaws supporter for more than a decade, I am not happy with Klinsmann and want him fired. His decision to cut Landon was personal and not professional. Please remember, Landon’s personal relationship with Klinsmann, not his perceived inability to still play soccer at the international level, was clearly the driving reason he was cut from the 23-man squad going to the World Cup. The two men have had a relationship going back to 2009 when Donovan was brought over on loan to German powerhouse Bayern Munich. Klinsmann was the manager of the team and it was on his dedicated desire and instance that Bayern acquired Donovan. Klinsmann wanted Landon above any other footballer in the world! It didn’t work out. Donovan played in six games and was allowed to go back to the Los Angeles Galaxy after the loan period and Klinsmann looked stupid to his Bayern bosses and was fired shortly thereafter.

    Let’s think about that for a second, Klinsmann was fired because he put so much faith in Donovan in 2009, insisting to his Munich bosses that of all the players in the world available at the transfer window, Landon was the player he wanted most. In retrospect, it made him look kind of stupid. 2009 is not ancient history. President Obama was still President. How do you think this plays out in Klinsmann’s mind? He went all out and insisted on Landon joining Bayern. He got his wish. It didn’t work out. He got fired. That not only was the reason Klinsmann distrusted Landon, but that his then 13 or 14 year old son also must have heard his father talk about Landon in the negative manner and saw what happened to his father with the German media. This, is why Klinsmann’s son tweeted what he really felt, which was a topic in the Klinsmann family ever since he was bitterly fired by the best club team in Germany, his native land.

    And please dive deeper into what Klinsmann said during his news conference about his son’s tweet, he said to the affect that his ‘son did not realize he had followers.’ Why would Klinsmann say that instead of just saying his son was wrong? What difference does his son having followers make? So if his son did not have followers he would probably be ok with his son’s comments if no one else had found out. And on the espn documentary, training camp had just opened when he said that everyone thinks Landon is a sure bet to make the team but unfortunately that’s not how it goes. He ALREADY knew that Landon was not going to be selected. Why? He never gave Landon the fair chance. Timmy Chandler has done everything possible to demonstrate that he wants nothing to do with the US Team but yet he is going to Brazil?? Julian Green and Brooks are going to the World Cup over Landon? Why does Klinsmann punish Landon for taking a few months of time off in 2013 for mental reasons? The man played both the MLS and European seasons in the same calendar year. I don’t care who it is, that is taxing on a player. Landon was not in the right stage mentally, and if he felt like he needed a break to gather himself after his long career dedicated to the USA, he deserves that. No one, especially a German has a right to punish a US soccer legend for doing something that he needed to do for himself, not only for Landon’s professional setting, but for his personal well being as well. Landon is not merely a worker to Klinsmann’s narrow minded way of thinking. I am very upset that Klinsmann has used his personal agenda and dislike of Landon, communicated through his son, to prevent Landon in representing OUR country.

    Klinsmann makes the hand gesture during his press conference and interviews several times that the other players were ‘slightly’ or ‘just a little bit’ ahead of Landon. And he uses the ‘just a little bit’ hand gesture with his two fingers when he talks about this. So with all the experience Landon brings and the heart he brings and the passion and desire along with just how much his teammates look up to him and publicly say that we need him to make a run at the World Cup, this us not enough to overcome that ‘slight’ advantage (Even supposedly in Klinsmann’s eyes) that the other players have over Landon? Give me a break. This decision was made as soon as Landon said that he needed to take a mental break from soccer. You know something, I was an advocate for Klinsmann when he was hired after the 2011 Gold Cup, which I was at that game, but due to all of this, I am now disgusted that Klinsmann is the coach of our beloved US national team. He used his personal dislike of Landon to do what he has now done. I hope he gets fired before the World Cup starts. But unfortunately, that won’t happen. No one should get away with disrespecting the one player that has been the icon of US Soccer.

  3. This is ridiculous, it’s pathetic that some people try & sit there (oh so smug) & defend this decision…FIRE KLINSMANN

    Bruce Arena, who coaches Donovan for Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Galaxy and also skippered the 2002 and 2006 World Cup squads, told the San Jose Mercury-News, “If there are 23 better players than Landon, then we have a chance to win the World Cup.”
    Meanwhile, soccer guru and Sports Illustrated writer Grant Wahl flatly stated, “Cutting Landon Donovan will prove to be a mistake.”

    Last year, Michael Bradley said plainly, ‘If we’re going to play more than three games in Brazil, we need Landon.’ This week at Stanford, goalkeeper Tim Howard said, ‘For me, it’s a very easy equation. If Landon is on the field, he’s our top one or two players … he strikes fear in our opponents.’

    Here’s more lunacy: Somehow Donovan is one of the best 30 US players, but not one of the best 23. Even if you didn’t think Donovan would start, his ability to impact a big game off the bench is obvious.
    Donovan is clutch. He’s been at his best in World Cups. He’s been at the heart of every good US World Cup moment since 1994, the beginning of the modern era of US Soccer. He’s been an incredible servant to his country, and ambassador for the game.
    And he just got cut for Brad Davis.

  4. Hey Klinsmann:

    Way to show your true cards & rip the collective heart out of US Soccer.

    How did this happen? Can’t be based on time spent in the system (Julian Green) or talent (Brad Davis).
    Is it because his body is failing so much he can’t channel his World Cup mojo for solid bench minutes?
    His presence adversely affects the team?

    He isn’t German?

    Your ego can’t co exist with his?

    Your disdain for Donovan seems to run deep based on your son’s tweet. It’s also ironic how you were the manager at Bayern Munich during Donovan’s first int’l club stint that was a “disaster”.

    You are kidding yourself if you don’t think this fiasco and his absence won’t affect the team’s (& fan’s) psyche. And you should resign if you seriously think Brad Davis can offer more value in a supporting role. When has he ever played well in a high stakes INTL game? Never.

  5. I know Jurgen and he’s arrogant. I know his son who is even more arrogant. The two of them have never been well liked here in southern Caliifornia athletic circles. His sons behavior on the basketball court and pitch has been dispicable at times beyond rude toward teammates – ref – and coach. Entitled little brat – whose txt – tweet shows his true color. Landon does not like Jurgen and his cerebral style of coaching – voodoo coaching. Juergen can’t stand Landon – his son knows this they talk about everything and are attached at the hip. And to clear the air – no axe to grind – my son a former teammate is at an Ivy playing soccer and lacrosse and we have put the Klinsmans family very much in our rear view mirror thank god….. Ugh!

  6. As a general rule teenagers should not Tweet. It is too short a trip from a half-formed thought to eyes of millions of people. As Pooh-bear said
    “When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.”

    So I have to give JK and son a pass on that.

  7. Bahahahahhhahahahahahhahahahahah
    Jonathan Klinsman you will never play in a World Cup at any level even thou your dad is the coach of the whole country !!!! You’ll never be 1/4 as good as your dad and up until Your tweet no one knew you existed 🙂 :@:/:p

  8. Oh Jesus…Have none of your kids ever done something out of left field that completely and utterly surprised you?? Fire the coach? Really?? There are ample reasons for LD to have been left off the roster.

  9. The comments on this article are IMMENSELY stupid. Saying that JK is at fault for his son’s tweets. I think we know damn well that kids will do and say whatever they want, regardless of what their parents taught them. This isn’t a 6 year old kid that repeats everything they hear. This is an 18 year old with a functioning brain and an opinion. You wouldn’t make a big deal about it if he wasn’t JK’s son. I’m 100% certain he wasn’t the only one with this sentiment. I’m 18 years old, and a lot of us also have the same feeling toward LD. I’m sorry to say, but he’s old and overrated. Some of you need to stop holding on to the past.

  10. So Klinsman raised a worthless POS? Says a lot about Klinsman consistent with his reputation in Germany as an insufferable a-hole.

  11. This is what i don’t understand… People on twitter rip everybody.. celebrities, sports stars, everybody. Why did dippi_mufc call Mathew Mccaughey a d**k turd? Heck if I know and neither do you.

  12. Everyone commenting here on this tweet needs to get some perspective.

    First: If you don’t have a teenaged son or daughter that uses social media, save your righteous indignation. You are not yet qualified to talk about child rearing.

    Second: There are 23 players representing your country that need your support. Don’t waste your energy before they begin playing.

    That is all.

    • You are not a USMNT supporter. You are a Klinsmann suporter, based on your own post. Go, read it again. See what you prioritized. We used to call people like you lackeys.

  13. Klinsman addressed his son’s tweet in the press conference when asked. He was very sincere about it, angry, said is son felt horrible, and didnt realize what he was doing (or that people actually followed him). He was just messing around with his friends after leaving school. Said his son is incredibly embarrassed, and looks up to LD, has a poster of him etc.

    Really sounded pretty sincere to me. People f’ up on twitter all the time, and this time it was just a 17 year old kid.

    Kudos to JK for answering the question in detail too, he could have easily brushed it aside and said we are not here to talk about that.

  14. On a day where we see an horrific act of classless in the young Klinsmann’s tweet, we also see one of pure class in Brad Evans…

    You got off easy this time @Cristiano
    9:10 PM – 22 May 2014

  15. Keep in mind JK took a young German national team to the semi finals in 2006 after he came under a lot of scrutiny with his player choices. You may not like his choice(s) but he has proven himself as a coach, and keep in mind he has played in 3 WC’s and won one. No one heading the USMNT previously has a fraction of his playing, coaching or FIFA political experience. He may just know what he is doing.

  16. Everyone’s reading way too much into this.

    A) Jurgen didn’t post this, his kid did. That’s on the kid.

    B) The kid’s post makes it pretty clear that it was a surprise to him that Donovan was left off – that completely contradicts all these conspiracy theories that Klinsmann has been plotting Donovan’s downfall over the dinner table with his 17-year-old son.

    C) Donovan’s exclusion was 100% of his own making. He decided to take a 3 month sabbatical and abandon his teammates during critical World Cup Qualifying matches. And guess what? They learned that they don’t need him to succeed. The mystique around him was shattered. But he chose that. And his form and fitness have been atrocious recently – when he came into the Mexico match last month, all he did was look like he’d had a few too many donuts lately. No one is to blame for Donovan being left out but Donovan.

    D) If you say you’re a USMNT fan but you can’t support the USMNT because LD being left out, you’re not a USMNT fan, you’re an LD fan. Support the team or admit you’re not a real supporter. (You can dislike Bush, or Obama for that matter, but you support the troops.)

    E) If this team does well in WC2014, gets out of the group, or even makes a deep run, who among you will still be calling for Klinsmann’s job?

  17. Although I respectfully disagree w/ LD’s omission from the final 23, I don’t think JK should be held accountable for his son’s toxic stupidity. In my life I have said a lot of stupid things that were toxic, and it was of my own toxically stupid accord. My parents happen to be decent people. I find this incident incredibly disgusting not just because of the vile negativity spewed publically from this tyke and not only because of LD’s stature as a person who is human and generally carries himself with more than acceptable class as a world renowned American soccer player and public personality, what actually bothers me the most is that this child has worn our US Soccer jersey & that is behavior that is unbecoming of anyone who is ever given the honor to represent our country at any level. This kid is young and I do have empathy for him, my hope is that he picks up some type of class by observing, if not his own parents, but perhaps by being around some of his teammates or even watching Landon himself. There are plenty of American men and women role models who appreciate the honor of being among the chosen few allowed to represent our nation on soccer’s world stage.

  18. the tweet shows disrespect and jr. defending his Dad. Juergan probably critiscised Donovan around the dinner table over the sabbatical, lack of European success, lack of toughness. But he would have been usefull. Altidore is a mess and will doom the US with botched scoring chances and missing easy tap ins. Maybe Johannsen can rescue the US but LD could have been a good second half sub.

  19. Can Landon Donovan hold his own in comparison to Ronaldo, Postiga, nani, Klose, Schweinsteiger, Ozil, Podolski? The Legend of American soccer is unfortunately very outclassed by the players on the German and Portuguese teams, and playing in this WC will not do anything for his reputation or his legacy. The US will likely not get out of the first round, so why should this not be a building block in the foundation for the next major tournament? Does anyone really see a past his prime Donovan leading the US team past Germany or Portugal? No matter how much I wish to see it, it is an unlikely happening.

    • Always play to win now. This is not a club side that can build over the years. Players who might be great in four years have plenty of time to improve and reach their pinnacle by 2018. The World Cup squad should be the best 23 players available at the correct positions.
      It’s unAmerican not to try your best, no matter how good your competition is.

      • It is not the best 23 players, it is the best TEAM you can assemble. Donovan is currently not fit, unmotivated and no longer a kid. Trying your best means leave the people not motivated home. LD is currently unmotivated.

  20. I’ve said it before Klinsmann doesn’t respect US Soccer, and obviously his son neither. There’s no doubt now it was a personal vendetta by Klinsmann Sr. against Landon. I am so sorry for Landon and this unfair treatment from the Klinsmanns. This team will pay dearly for the injustice that has been perpretated on Landon. It is also no brainer that Klinsmann promised WC roster spots to all the mercenaries he recruited the last few years. Our best player ever, our brave american born and grown Landon Donovan has been discarded like a burnt match in complete disrespect to make way for a legion of homies brought about by somebody who until today I had a lot of respect for. And his son, he better take that US shirt off, it will never fit him.

    • There’s plenty of doubt about all the things you’ve said. One tweet from a 17-year-old does not confirm anything but that the 17-year-old needs an attitude adjustment.

  21. Maybe Jonathan has learned his lesson not to leave his Twitter account logged on where Jurgen can access it….

  22. All conspiracy theories aside, this was a stupid classless thing to put out on twitter and undoubtedly reflects what he has heard at home from his father. I expect Jurgen to publicly apologize for his sons crass comment as well as his half hearted apology. I also find it incredible that US Soccer gave Klinsmann a 4 year contract extension before the results from WC2014 are in. Sunil Gulati and Klinsmann should both be fired if this turns into a train wreck.

    • Sunil needs to go first. He should have been in Klinsmann’s face a few times telling Klinsmann not to alienate the US football fan. Four years ago, I fully expected that Bocanegra and Cherundolo might help the US get to the World Cup in Brasil, but were very unlikely to get selected to the final team. However, when footballers play nearly 100 caps or more for a team, they need to be treated with more class and tact than Klinsmann has shown to Bocanegra and Donovan.

      Let’s remember, Klinsmann wouldn’t have had the great winning record in 2013 if it were not for Landon Donovan.

  23. Disgusting. If these childish comments are a reflection of his father, Jurgen Klinsmann (JK), the US National Team coach, then we know what we can expect today and in the future from JK. His son does not respect Landon Donovan, and I don’t believe JK respects American soccer (football). Remember, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Pitiful and boorish. Read you’re off to college — try Decorum 101, punk.

  24. It’s just a 17 year old kid being a 17 year old kid. Now lets all hang our hopes on that 18 year old who is going to lead this team to victory. Does no one see the contridictions here????????

    • One is a kid who is good at one thing (soccer) but is doing poorly at another (public relations).

      The other is a kid who is good at one thing (soccer) and is doing that one thing.

    • Who is hanging their hopes on Green? Not me. He won’t see the field (just like LD wouldn’t have … and probably torn the team apart with speculation and controversy over sitting on the bench). Green is there for experience for 2018 and beyond.

      • Why not just buy him a ticket to Brazil and have him watch the matches if thats all he is going to do? Green is going to play, might even start.

  25. Kick the kid out of the USSF Development Academy. He doesn’t deserve to repesent the US or wear the badge. He is taking a spot from a deserving American.

      • Sunnil is clueless. I have a 76 year old mother who doesn’t want to watch the games now. US Soccer alienated a lot of fans.

      • F-k your mother and f-k you, too.

        It’s a team. Not a man… a team. If you don’t want to watch because your favorite player got old, then don’t watch.

  26. This kid was 5 years old when Donovan erupted at the World Cup in Asia. But he needs to understand the impact Donovan has had on the trajectory of US Soccer.

    Unfortunately, social media gives people the ability to make rash, unfiltered decisions.

    • 57Tele, I was thinking the same thing yesterday, but 271 comments on this thread, 1000+ on the other, everyone talking about Donovan—I think they’re ad got noticed.

  27. The kid might be a young f*cknut, but like father, like son. Where would he learn such hatred for the best player the USA has ever produced? Look at it this way, when you ask ANY other team at the world cup if they have heard of or have any fear of any player on the USA team, they will say Landon. They don’t mention Dempsey or Altidore, or any number of German team rejects that happen to have been created by an American dad on a weekend pass.
    I think Klinsman has had a chip on his shoulder against Landon for a long time, and at home they discuss it. No matter what arguments you come up with, the team is better with him on the field.

  28. Everybody should just ignore this…We are too close to World Cup for a social media controversy to devolve and blow up in the locker room. Everybody should just let it go for the betterment of the team.

    • Wait, it’s our fault now? I’m pretty sure Klinsmann’s pissing contest with Landon has messed up our locker room chemistry, not our fixation on this tweet.


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