Former U.S. National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann spoke about the state of the national team program in a wide ranging interview with Kicker magazine.
The former U.S. and Germany boss thinks that missing the World Cup will have long lasting effects for the Americans as they try to rebuild off a failure that’s slowed the program’s growth.
“It’s been set back by several years,” Klinsmann said. “That was a huge disappointment. The qualification really was never in doubt, but then the team had a blackout againstTrinidad and Tobago. They only needed a point, were too sure of that and underestimated that final match.”
He still thinks soccer is on the rise, though. He even went so far as to praise MLS and its stability over the last two decades.
“Sure, there are a lot of things to catch up on: the youth academies, in the universities, in linking the pieces,” Klinsmann said. “But MLS is stable after 20 years. It has role-model character. It has a backbone, mostly thanks to Phil Anschutz. He kept things together when they could have fallen apart.
“By now, MLS has caught up in the infrastructure. What happened in U.S. soccer in the past 20 years, it is a bit like a fairy tale. It still needs patience, but the league’s getting stronger with every year.”