[U.S. SOCCER] Juergen Klinsmann says he failed reach an agreement with U.S. Soccer to become U.S. national team coach and replace Bob Bradley because they could not reach a written agreement on what they had verbally agreed to, but he had a lot more to say the U.S. national team and U.S. soccer in Sunday's interview with former MLS player Sasha Victorine on the Kansas City Wizards' pregame show ...
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"We had conversations, maybe about three or four weeks period of time, and very positive conversations," Klinsmann said during an interview broadcast Sunday on the KCWE pregame show. "But we didn't get it to a positive ending because we couldn't put into writing what we agreed to verbally. It's obviously always about authority. When you have conversations with a club team or a national team, it's who has the last word in what issues, and that's where we couldn't get into the written terms."
He said there was a verbal agreement he should have complete authority on the technical side but U.S. Soccer couldn't commit to it in written terms.
"At that point," he added, "I said, 'Well then, I can't get the job done because I have to have the last say as a head coach for my entire staff, for all the player issues, for everything that happens with the team.' Unfortunately, they couldn't commit to that, and that was basically the end of our talks, and then they agreed then to continue with Bob as the head coach, and that's totally fine."
Klinsmann said the USA could have advanced beyond the second round, where it lost to Ghana, 2-1, in overtime.
"I said [after the game] they were not, it didn't look like they were really well prepared for that game," he said. "They were maybe still dreaming a little bit about their last-minute winner against Algeria instead of focusing right away on the game against Ghana. They had that big opportunity. They missed that opportunity, which was a pity I think."
Klinsmann went on to say American coaches like Bruce Arena or Bradley could coach in foreign leagues like the English Premier League.
"It's not that such a big of a gap to coach in Europe," said Klinsmann, "Maybe image-wise, name-wise, but not working-wise."
He said American players have improved over the last 10-15 years but lacked credibility in Europe.
Klinsmann cited Landon Donovan, who briefly played for him at Bayern Munich but was stymied by political problems Klinsmann had at the club.
"He showed at Everton it's no big deal," he said of Donovan's most recent loan stint in Europe.
But Klinsmann said Americans must break through in Europe's "big 10."
The former German international insisted that American soccer must define what kind of style of play it wants to play.
"Every country has its own style," he said. "Every environment, every MLS club should have its own identity, based on its neighborhood."
Klinsmann said it was a "big excuse" to suggest that American soccer's diversity make it impossible for American soccer to develop its own identity. He added that anyone who didn't buy into an American soccer identity needed to move aside.
"Nobody works at Apple not believing in the Apple product," he said.
On the question of what it will take to produce the great American striker, Klinsmann suggested that American players needed to be hungrier and grow up in a more challenging environment.