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Klinsmann putting undefeated record vs. Mexico on line in CONCACAF Cup

Jurgen Klinsmann USMNT 21

photo by Erich Schlegel/USA Today Sports


If there is one thing to inspire confidence in the U.S. Men’s National Team chances against Mexico on Saturday, it is Jurgen Klinsmann’s track record against the North American nation.

Klinsmann enters Saturday’s highly-anticipated CONCACAF Cup having never lost to Mexico. Not as a head coach. Not as a player. Not ever.

Klinsmann’s all-time record against El Tri going into the weekend’s brawl at Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, is 5-0-5. The majority of the victories (three) have come as U.S. coach, but Klinsmann’s undefeated run also includes a narrow World Cup victory as a player in which he sparked a late rally for Germany. He also has a win as Germany head coach.

Some may just chalk that history up to pure coincidence, but others might see it as Klinsmann knowing what it takes when facing Mexico, especially when you consider some of the results he has picked up while in charge of the U.S.

Klinsmann, who as U.S. coach is 3-0-3 in six meetings against Mexico, picked up the famous first victory for the Americans at Estadio Azteca. It may have been just a friendly, but the 1-0 win in Mexico City on Aug. 15, 2012 ended a long run of futility for the U.S.

The next meeting came in that same soccer cathedral on March 26, 2013, though this time there was more at stake. The two regional powerhouses were playing their third match of the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, and the U.S. defended valiantly en route to recording a 0-0 draw.

Nearly six months later, Klinsmann got his first taste of dos a cero. The U.S. beat Mexico at Crew Stadium on Sept. 10, which helped the Americans punch their ticket that night to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

The other three games were all friendlies. First was the 1-1 draw in Klinsmann’s debut match in charge of U.S. back on Aug. 10, 2011, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and more recently was another 2-0 triumph in San Antonio, Texas, this past March 15. Sandwiched in between those two meetings was a 2-2 draw on April 2, 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona, that served as one of the final tuneups before the World Cup in Brazil.

With Germany, his only meeting with Mexico as a manager came on June 29 in the third-place game of the 2005 Confederations Cup. The Germans prevailed that day, 4-3, but it took them until extra time to oust Mexico.

As a player for the European nation, Klinsmann was 1-0-2. His most notable outing came in the Round of 16 of the 1998 World Cup in France, as he helped save Germany from elimination by scoring a 75th-minute equalizer that pushed the team to a 2-1 come-from-behind win on June 29 of that year.

Klinsmann did not get on the scoresheet in either of the other two games he played vs. Mexico, and they both ended in draws. He started and played 71 minutes in a scoreless draw at Estadio Azteca on Dec. 22, 1993, and had a 45-minute stint off the bench in a 1-1 draw in Germany on Oct. 14, 1992.

Klinsmann’s success vs. Mexico obviously speaks for itself, but he faces a major challenge on Saturday as he leads the U.S. into a battle for bragging rights and a 2017 Confederations Cup berth in front of an expected pro-El Tri crowd of 90,000.

The match is undoubtedly going be intense, and there will be a lot stake. Klinsmann’s unbeaten record included.


    • That’s not really that realistic considering mexico hasn’t beaten the US in 4 yrs and even before those 4 yrs each game was a grind so stop it with the foolishness and make some sense when posting….and I’m not trying to be disrespectful when I say that but come on that comment was not well thought out

  1. All good things do come to an end. Unfortunately our winning streak will come to an end today. Mexico will control the midfield and dominate the USA. JK chose players who lack the mindset, technical ability and composer to go up against the Mexican Hybrids. It’s going to be physical and a rough game but the technical ability of the Mexicans will rule the day. How long has JK been on the job? I’m sure long enough for an average Coach to build a stable, solid and cohesive team. Oh crap, JK is not average. He is a genius so he is unable to do what the average coach is able to accomplish.

  2. for this type of game, i think we need a player like benny feilhaber who can be physical and get fouled a lot and win free kicks for the usa.

    and maybe this isn’t the moment, but how about replacing jozy with dom dwyer?

  3. Don’t push the whole undefeated record thing, that is like jinxing it. Nothing that has come before comes in to play here.

  4. usa has no depth and identity and Mexico will win this game easily 4 to 1.
    usa needs a new coach and a real soccer pyramid.
    gulati and klinsi need to be out but it wont happen, its sad.
    if Chelsea fire mourinho, I say we get him or bielsa.

    • Yeah we should hire Mourinho. Or how about Pep Guardiola. Jurgen Klopp would be good too, I know he just signed with Liverpool but I’m sure he’d cancel his contract to manage us. Or I could see us getting Sir Alex Ferguson to come out of retirement. That Arsene Wenger guy would be a good choice too.

      • Why do people always reach for the most established club coaches when selecting an all-star coach? Waste of money, assuming you can snag one. Just hire the skills you need, which means you first identify which skills make a national team coach effective. Doing anything else is like buying an SUV that never goes off road – paying for unneeded capabilities. Worse, those established coaches tend to make it about themselves, so the enhanced skill set can actually work against a national team.

  5. Klinsmann’s record against Mexico means squat and has no bearing whatsoever on the outcome of this game.

    If Klinsmann wins, it’s all because of his tactics and strategy. If he loses, it’s the players fault.

    From the mumbo jumbo he has been spouting this week, he’s set up a narrative of playing his vets to either win (hey look Klinsy is a genius!) or blame the “old” players and give him an excuse to tinker even more. Anything to keep the Klinsy train rolling as a success.

  6. Klinsmann’s record has a lot more to do with Mexico being a claustrofudge during that period than with his abilities as as coach. He’s not better than an average CONCACAF coach and damn sure not good enough to get a job in his native country.
    Expect his team to play CONCACAF style with 10 men behind the ball, very violent and hopping for the best.

    • You do remember that the German FA wanted him to stay, right? He got fired at Bayern but everyone gets fired at Bayern. There’s no way you can go from getting offers from the German NT and Bayern Munich to unemployable in one year.

      But yeah, I remember under Coach Bob how we used to play like Barcelona…teams couldn’t even get the ball from us we were so good at maintaining possession.

      • Under Bradley, we actually did look like a possession team at times against smaller, less-established nations, like some Caribbean members of the confederation. Not so much like Spain, but more of a Brazil type of possession. But once the skill levels became comparable, we’d begin to look more like England. And against blatantly more skilled teams, we’d try to play like Italy did in the 1960s thru 1980s or so (not quite Inter’s catenaccio, but a simpler, national team version).

      • I certainly can’t remember that…I remember winning really ugly against those nations and then being told afterwards that the “result is all that counts.”

        Under Klinsmann, in 2013 and 2014 there were times when we actually looked like a European team. The Gold Cup in 2013, for example, when with our B team we played better stylistically than we probably ever have. Sure, it was CONCACAF, but we never looked like that in CONCACAF before.

    • Who knows? I am going for the win though haha. Might be a little more difficult now that a likely starter, Bedoya, is out. Bobby Wood to replace him, but I don’t see Wood starting considering he didn’t make the 23 man cut in the first place. Wonder what JK will do.


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