WOITALLA: Gulati says U.S. Soccer to conduct complete review of technical areas

By Mike Woitalla
in Munich

Theo Zwanziger, the president of the German soccer federation (DFB), says he believes Juergen Klinsmann will remain coach of the German national team.

Klinsmann says he'll decide after discussions with his family, following the World Cup.

U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati won't say who the candidates for the U.S. job are if Bruce Arena doesn't remain at the helm. But Klinsmann is an obvious choice, especially because he has no intention of relocating from his Southern California home to Germany.

"It's certainly an extraordinary situation for a German national team coach to be a California resident," Zwanziger told Kicker Magazine. "But that is not the determining factor. It will not be the deal-breaker."

But if Klinsmann remains Germany coach, his itinerary will be far more arduous than during the two years before the 2006 World Cup.

Germany will play 14 games in Europe from August 2006 through November 2007, including 12 European Championship qualifying games. That's a lot of time away from the family.

Klinsmann still has a game to coach at this World Cup, Germany facing Portugal on Saturday for third place.

Gulati says he will talk with Arena next week, and the federation isn't rushing into a decision regarding its next step. A report in Britain's Daily Telegraph that U.S. Soccer made Klinsmann an offer is false.

"We won't be doing anything until after the tournament's over," Gulati said. "We're using the rest of the tournament and a short time after that for some reflection. We're sticking to that timetable. We're going to analyze the situation and go from there."

Moves to improve the U.S. game, Gulati said, extend beyond the U.S. head coaching job.

"Back in March we announced we would have a complete review of all our technical areas," Gulati said. "It's a process that [D.C. United president] Kevin Payne is heading up. We named a technical committee and we'll have subcommittees on the men's and women's side."

The technical committee is comprised of Payne, the men's national team coach (Arena for now), women's national team coach Greg Ryan, former men's national team star Tab Ramos and former women's national team star and current Naval Academy coach Carin Jennings Gabarra.

"That process is ongoing and will come into full focus now," Gulati said, "not because of the results here in Germany but because of the time available. We'll look at everything we do, from player development to coaching education, the Bradenton residency camp, grass-roots stuff, what we're doing at all levels of the game.

"We'll look at how we might do it better, whether we should change some things, and so on."

Gulati also that Major League Soccer's technical committee will be assessing ways in it can "improve and intensify the process they've got underway."

"They'll be joint stuff," Gulati says. "We're meeting in Berlin with the Commissioner [Don Garber] and others to continue those discussions."

Gulati also said the federation is reconsidering playing in the Copa America, the South American championship that invites out-of-region guests.

The USA participated in 1993 and 1995, when it made a historic fourth-place finish, but conflicts with the MLS season has made the tournament inconvenient.

The Copa America would provide a good dose of high-level, high-pressure competition for the team while giving it a chance to improve its reputation in the wake of the 2006 World Cup failure.

"We will look at it," Gulati said. "There are a number of challenges, not the least of which is next year the Copa America starts three days after the Gold Cup ends, which is our confederation's championship. It's not just a challenge for MLS players, but our European-based players will need a break after the Gold Cup.

"We'll talk about it internally and maybe have a meeting with CONMEBOL [the South American confederation]."
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