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Another German coach who got away
bigsoccer.com, August 10th, 2011 4:32PM

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TAGS:  germany, men's national team

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It took almost five years for U.S. Soccer to land Jurgen Klinsmann as national team coach. Roger Allaway recalls the time it signed another German coaching great to coach the national team -- or so it thought.

Dettmar Cramer, a legendary coaching figure and a man who helped set up the U.S. soccer coaching schools, was hired as national team coach in July 1974, just months after he served as an assistant coach of the West German national team that won the World Cup in Munich.

But Cramer coached all of two national team matches -- 3-1 and 1-0 losses to Mexico in September 1974 -- before he was lured back to Germany to coach Bayern Munich. The USSF, as it was known then, threatened to sue Cramer for $10 million for breach of contract, but there was one small problem. Cramer never had signed a contract.

Cramer, who is still alive at the age of 86, worked in nine countries around the world. He is perhaps best known for his work in Japan in the early 1960s.

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