Klinsmann is new U.S. coach

[U.S. SOCCER] U.S. Soccer has named German Juergen Klinsmann U.S. men's national team coach, replacing Bob Bradley, who was let go on Thursday.

Klinsmann, who turns 47 on Saturday, has lived in Southern California since he retired from a long playing career in 1998. He has had two previous coaching stints, the first as Germany boss at the 2006 World Cup that it hosted. He coached Bayern Munich for part of the 2008-09 season.

Klinsmann’s first game in charge of the USA will be a friendly against Mexico on Aug. 10 in Philadelphia.

The son of a bakery owner, Siegfried Klinsmann, Juergen joined a soccer team at age 9. In 1981 at age 16 he signed with Stuttgart Kickers before moving to rival VfB Stuttgart, with which he made his first division debut at age 20 and tied for the team scoring lead his first season.

In 1989 he moved to Inter Milan and in 1990 helped West Germany win the World Cup. Klinsmann would captain Germany to the 1996 European Championship title. His club career took him to Monaco and Tottenham Hotspur. He returned to the Bundesliga in 1995 and with Bayern Munich won the UEFA Cup and league title.

He retired after the 1998 World Cup and moved with his American wife, Debbie, to Southern California, where Klinsmann had spent many of his vacations. In the USA, Klinsmann took courses in computer technology and Spanish -- he had already been fluent in Italian, French and English -- and became a partner with Mick Hoban and Warren Mersereau in the sports marketing consulting firm SoccerSolutions.

To prepare for the German federation's coaching license, he spent time in the U.S. training camp with Bruce Arena and with Coach Sigi Schmid and the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Two years before Germany was to host the World Cup, the program was in dire straits. The Germans had made a first-round exit in the 2004 European Championship. Klinsmann, who had never coached, provided a detailed plan to revamp Germany's player development system and coaching education -- and was hired to rebuild the struggling team.

Klinsmann took heat from the German media for commuting from California and many German coaches took offense to his use of a team psychologist and American fitness coaches. He brought many young, untested players into the squad and changed the team's style from patient buildup to swift attack. The team went undefeated in its first five games.

At the 2006 World Cup, Klinsmann's team played exciting, attack-minded soccer in a tournament plagued by dull, defensive play. The style and Germany's run to the semifinal made him hugely popular in Germany despite its third-place finish. He stepped down immediately after the tournament and returned to the USA.

Klinsmann's second coaching stint did not go as well. Hired as head coach of Bayern Munich in 2008, he was fired before completing his first season.

“We are excited to have Juergen as the head coach of our men’s national team,” said U.S. President Sunil Gulati in a statement. “He is a highly accomplished player and coach with the experience and knowledge to advance the program. Juergen has had success in many different areas of the game and we look forward to the leadership he will provide on and off the field.”

32 comments about "Klinsmann is new U.S. coach".
  1. James Froehlich, July 29, 2011 at 2:11 p.m.

    This can be a turning point for soccer in the US. For the USMNT, I predict chaos as JK tries to remake the soccer establishment. Win or lose we will at least be TRYING to play the "beautiful game". Best of luck Jurgen -- you will need it.

  2. Valerie Metzler, July 29, 2011 at 3:04 p.m.

    I have been hoping for this for a long time!

  3. F. Kirk Malloy, July 29, 2011 at 3:07 p.m.

    OMG! Finally a bold move. Loved what he did to the German national team, let's hope he brings the same excitement and attacking play to the USMNT (and has real input at the development level). HIP HIP HORAY!

  4. J Sagett, July 29, 2011 at 3:13 p.m.

    It's about freaking time!

  5. John Klawitter, July 29, 2011 at 3:16 p.m.

    This is the best of all possible outcomes. Mexico is coming up awfully fast and it will probably be too soon for him to get a lot done, but at least line-up selection and field tactics should show immediate improvements from the Gold Cup Final.

  6. Scott O'Connor, July 29, 2011 at 3:16 p.m.

    Let's hope he got the deal he wanted back in '06 and '10 when they couldn't agree upon how much control JK could have over the entire soccer industry here. If he truly was responsible for Germany's resurgence by building the youth system, then this could be great for our future. It's about time Mr. Gulati! I'm glad they finally saw the dire straits we were in and made the change. This is the perfect time with nothing going on and a decent amount of time to get a new administration and team running for WC 2014 qualifying.

  7. Mike Gaynes, July 29, 2011 at 3:17 p.m.

    This should have happened in 2008, before we lost three years of futility. The key is this sentence: "Klinsmann, who had never coached, provided a detailed plan to revamp Germany's player development system and coaching education." IF he is allowed to do the same thing for the US, a new day dawns. If, however, the petrified, ossified, Gulatified current system for training players and coaches remains in place, this change will make little difference in the long run.

  8. Scott O'Connor, July 29, 2011 at 3:22 p.m.

    I'm hoping that upcoming success makes the loss to Mexico and loss of opportunity to play in the Confed Cup 2013 worth it. Had we won the Gold Cup, somehow, there would have been no grounds for firing BB and we would have been stuck until we missed (or nearly missed) WC qualification.

  9. Power Dive, July 29, 2011 at 3:25 p.m.

    Wow. This is damn exciting.

  10. Scott O'Connor, July 29, 2011 at 3:25 p.m.

    I think JK can hit the ground running. I think he has probably been ready to step into this particular job for several years. He probably already has a well laid out plan to get things headed in the right direction quickly. He's German, that means he's organized, disciplined, and has a plan.

  11. Gole goal, July 29, 2011 at 3:44 p.m.

    Finally A USMNT Head Coach who has played at the highest level and won. Better yet a coach that doesn't come out of the college ranks. This a good move, now lets hope good players are selected to the National Team. After-all the selection process on the US sides for youth to senior is what US soccer is very bad at.

  12. Philippe Fontanelli, July 29, 2011 at 3:55 p.m.

    While I am happy about bye bye Bradley we must wait and see what the future will hold for USMNT. At the momment the morale is very low and hopefully Klinsman appointment will energize our players. I hope that Klinsman lines himself up with a couple of savvy scouts to seek out US talents playing across the country, South America and in Europe. Let's not loose any more US born players. (note: I have purposely refrained using American, not wanting another confrentational war started. LOL)

  13. David Huff, July 29, 2011 at 4:12 p.m.

    These are heady times indeed, akin to the toppling of Communism in a football-sense where our USMNT has been unshackled from the bonds of oppression imposed by the overlords of MLS/SUM/USSF and their willing stooges Flynn and Gulati. This is a program that I can get behind and fully support, effective immediately my boycott of USSF/MLS is suspended subject to permanent removal if further reform take place with regard to the replacement of Gulati and Flynn. For now though I will bask in the glow of this great victory for the fanbase and the future development of the US program. Ein volk, ein USA, ein Klinsmann, sehr gut!!! A special thanks also to Mexico, had they not beaten Team Bradley we would not be able to celebrate this momentous change, Viva Mexico!!!!!

  14. Cesar Sastre, July 29, 2011 at 4:15 p.m.

    Very long overdue. Now let's bring US soccer to the next level!

  15. Olivier Lurz, July 29, 2011 at 4:20 p.m.

    I can guarantee you that he got the deal he wanted. If USSF did not want to give him total control he would have walked away again (like the first 2 times they tried to get him). He feels that in order to accomplish what he wants he needs total control. That's what he did in Germany with the DFB. He will shake things up and this could be what US Soccer needed to finally reach the next level

  16. beautiful game, July 29, 2011 at 5:03 p.m.

    JK needs to sort out the squad and develop a sound team concept...my money says that he will do better than expected with the addition of some new blood.

  17. Paul Lorinczi, July 29, 2011 at 5:28 p.m.

    This is the reason you hire Klinsmann,

    "Klinsmann, who had never coached, provided a detailed plan to revamp Germany's player development system and coaching education -- and was hired to rebuild the struggling team." It's not about selections and formations, it about helping the US become a world power.

  18. john haley, July 29, 2011 at 5:41 p.m.

    I am tired of Euro's will/can do it better. Yes more history, some more soccer educated. But we have great coaches in the US at all levels. We study the game, get trained including by Euro's. Home to Coerver training, which a lot of Euro's are starting to adopt.
    In other parts of the world, not only are kids kicking a ball around at all ages, instead of playing COD5 on the Xbox, they have academies that pay for kids to train at all levels. Here in the US clubs are trying to make money off of the youth, from $500.00 per season (up to 4 per year) to $5,000.00 per season. Most parents cannot afford this, tack travel fee's (several more thousand a year), training camps (several more hundred's to thousands), and then Regional Fee's and ODP (more hundred's to thousands). Ever wonder why the kid gets his gear for free and pays Boys and Girls club $160.00 to play Football is not playing soccer?
    How many lower income families can afford this. Soccer gets the rich, I know of clubs that will start a kid over a better player, because their parents can pay the fees on time. What crap. I am calling out you coaches and board members that do it for the money or prestige. For the US to turn around, it will require work and sacrifice. I train Competitive kids twice a week, and they complain about fitness. Parents tell me all of the time what their opinion is. Try telling an English or Dutch club what your opinion is. Spoiled kids and parents. Good news is that I have trained many that play/played in college and come back to play adult. They have learned to love the most beautiful game on Earth. You want a simple fix for the US Men and Women, learn to play team defense. It is so glaringly bad when I watch them play, it makes me cringe.

  19. Roger Sokol, July 29, 2011 at 6:13 p.m.

    Sunil has made the change at the proper time. JK will have time to prepare the US for World Cup qualification. You can quibble about some decisions Bob Bradley made as USMNT coach. But even if he had done differently, I don't think the results would have been that much different. He was limited by the pool of players available. Some hereabouts have argued about his player callups. But even if he had called in a Paco Torres, Herculez Gomez, or other currently available players, I don't think the results would have changed much. As others have pointed out, the whole player identification and development system has some huge flaws. It is that system that has limited the US's potential. Let's hope Jurguen has the authority to begin changing the arc of that system. I expect that the US will stll qualify for the WC under JK. Even with a tremendous impact on the current players, I don't see the US progressing much further than at the 2010 WC. His success should be measured on how he impacts the player pool for WCs beyond 2014.

  20. Rene Guerra, July 29, 2011 at 8:43 p.m.

    Kligsman is cosmopolitan enough --football-wise...and in general as well-- to understand that, at the professional level, where athletics and entertainment fuse seamlessly, football is not just about making goals, but, about playing beautiful football --i.e, the ornate, embroidered style Argentina used to play decades ago and which, thankfully, Barcelona has revived-- and building up and making beautiful, spectacular goals.

    He will be wise enough not to try to make the MNT dive into the kick & run, vertiginous football typical of Europeans.

    The improvement of football in the U.S.A. will only make football improve in CONCACAF, the American continent, and even in the entire world, or at least be even more competitive than now is.

    NOTE: In reality, America or the American Continent is not just the United States of America, but the entire landmass from Alaska up north to Patagonia, down south in Argentina and Chile. Italian explorer and cartographer Amérigo --or Américo-- Vespucci (1454 - 1512) was the first cartographer to make a map in resemblance of the landmass Columbus had, inadvertently discovered in his four expeditions from 1492 through 1502. The maps Vespucci made were referred to as "the maps of Américo" and soon after the landmass was given the name "América". The United States of America clearly means a set of states in America --which at the time were the 13 colonies of England-- that have coalesced into one independent country.

    One of the first steps Klingman should take to harden the MNT --before throwing it to fight the lions of the European arena-- should be to persuade the Federation to secure the MNT a berth in Copa América (America's Cup) --which was created in 1975 with such name although it existed since circa 1910 as the Campeonato Sudamericano de Selecciones (South American Tournament of National Teams)-- adopting such name precisely to mean that the MNTs of the entire American continent --from Alaska to Patagonia-- should participate. Currently, all South America plus two to three non-South American invitees participate. Invitees have included: Canada (1 time), Costa Rica (4 times), Honduras (1 time), Japan (1 time), Mexico (8 times) and the U.S.A. (3 times).

    Then, Klingsman must persuade the Federation, to in its turn, persuade the MLS to do the same in Copa Libertadores (Liberators' Cup), a tournament played to honor the liberators of the republics in the American Continent. George Washington --being a prominent liberator-- should be included in the honoring. econd only to Simon Bolivar, who liberated from Spain what now are the five republics of Colombia (440,831 sq mi ), Venezuela (353,841 sq mi), Ecuador (109,483 sq mi), Peru (496,225 sq mi) and Bolivia (424,163 sq mi). A total of 1,824,543 sq mi, almost four times the land area that Washington liberated (477,544 sq mi).

    So, Klingsman

    Welcome, Klingsman; do not disappoint us.

  21. Fred Stephen, July 29, 2011 at 9:33 p.m.

    You can print this: For the new coach to have successes he will need complete control,of all levels of Us youth soccer. Our younger U17 U19 U21 are not making there mark. SOMETHING IS WRONG PLAYERS ARE NOT RECEIVING THE TRAINING TO MAKE THEM SUCCESSFUL AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL. We develop athletics but not soccer wise players. There are to many individual youth clubs with hi paying head coaches who claim to develop players.
    There are new programs like the academy programs were some are under MLS teams and others thru other soccer clubs. Until we in the USA except that form u-6 thru u-21 the clubs need to be structured with the thought of development at the younger ages, we will go out of the backwards to catch up.

    It starts at the top and (in this country there are to many coaches making 6 figures , for inadequate work. It will many years before we can compete at the highest level.

    Thank You


  22. David Mont, July 29, 2011 at 10 p.m.

    Why is everyone so high on Klinsmann? He hasn't proven himself as a coach at all. Took bronze with Germany at the WC-2006, but for Germany that's not much of an accomplishment, esecially playing at home. And afterwards, we find out that it was really Löw who was the brains behind the team. After that, his only coaching experience was a short and rather disastrous spell at Bayern. Not a very impressive coaching resume at all.

    I wasn't a fan of Bradley, he clearly had to go, but I'm not at all sure about Klinsmann.

  23. beautiful game, July 29, 2011 at 10:16 p.m.

    David M, so who are you more sure of after critiquing Klinnsmann...we'll see if JK can get the job done; we know for sure that BB couldn't.

  24. James Griffin, July 29, 2011 at 11:20 p.m.

    Yeah it was time for a switch from Bradley. However, it disturbs me that in all of the U.S. we cannot find an American coach. Great players often do not make great coaches. What we do need is a more comprehensive approach to players selection to our National team. We do not have enough 1v1 players. Perhaps Klinsman can put us on the right track. I will remain cautiously optimistic. I remember that everyone loved Bradley as long as we won...

  25. Andres Yturralde, July 29, 2011 at 11:37 p.m.

    Thank you, BB! In good order. In good heart. Moving forward. All the best, JK!!

  26. Mark Grody, July 30, 2011 at 2:40 a.m.

    Just bring in some new Turks & we'll be fine.

  27. Paolo Jacobs, July 30, 2011 at 5:29 a.m.

    California Klinsmann will have his hands full.... Huge expectations.... but so did Germany leading up their WC..All we ask from Klinsy is make sure the US is competiting at a high level and qualify for Brasil WC, and get out of the group stage, while helping Claudio Reyna develop a US youth system that is symetrical thru-out, which is even a bigger task in my view...In Germany, the clubs produced their own players thru their Academies, but MLS teams r just beginning to start them up... Hugh difference

  28. Walt Pericciuoli, July 30, 2011 at 8:51 a.m.

    Great news for sure, but unless he has full control of all of US Soccer development, he'll have a very difficult time of it. Despite what is being said here on these forums, the USA talent is not there. Maybe a couple of players are overlooked, but overall the talent is just not there in the quanity that we need to progress to the next level.Good luck Juergen and the US MNT

  29. Charles Stamos, July 30, 2011 at 12:34 p.m.

    I can see JK watching the Mexico game from the club level with his coaching staff around him and not taking credit/blame for whatever result might happen. you have to say the team on the field Aug 10 will be more Bradley'sthen JK's. Good luck to the US.

  30. Carlos Thys, July 30, 2011 at 11:51 p.m.

    Probably the harshest moments of Juergen's career in soccer (either as player or coach) came in the spring of 2009 as the two men who hired him for FC Bayern, Uli Hoeness and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, betrayed him and dumped him "with prejudice."

    It was ugly for Juergen in Munich those fiinal weeks with FC Bayern. But, Jurgen is a savvy businessman; he forced Uli Hoeness to pay his "silence," as Juergen did not go to the German media with all the dirt on the FC Bayern apparatus. I share that because I hope that was a strengthening and toughening half year for Juergen. He'll need it, as there are thousands of voices in the USA who think they can do this job better. My only concern: Juergen, you've made plenty of money in your life. You're a very wealthy man. I surely hope you're not sucking the federation bankrupt with your own salary and with all of your plans in the next 24 months.

  31. Carlos Thys, July 31, 2011 at midnight

    Sorry. My comment above was too soft. I'll be more explicit: Juergen never comes cheap. It was very much this way in his player contracts, which he regularly broke in the last 6 years of his playing career. He forced the German DFB (Deutsche Fussball Bund) to new spending heights. And, no, he did not revamp their youth development programs. He also was part of his own demise by huge infrastructure spending at FC Bayern. So, Soccer America editors and staff, please do for us -- the general public -- what we'll not be able to do: Watch closely and hold Juergen accountable for $$ spending. He is very free with other peoples' money. And, with our 'easiest of easy' upcoming World Cup 2014 qualifying groups, I'm not really sure that much has to be done for the USMNT program. Does it? (Juergen is laughing himself silly at our easy qualifying group)

  32. Luis Arreola, July 31, 2011 at 5:49 p.m.

    Paolo, Germany clubs can sign and sell their underage players individually. MLS Academy clubs can't. And the few they do get to go overseas that are of age and homegrown, the 90% goes to MLS or Ussf directly. In other words no realistic interest in player development in USA. No money in it. In Germany the money is in the players each club produces for the inndividual club that produces the talent. Small clubs get money with a player transfer fee from a bigger club by negotiating. USA big clubs recruit from small clubs to win USA Cups. There is no incentive from small or big clubs to develop players. Its a destructive system that selfishly benefits a greedy few economically. Forget about producing talent in USA. The Hispanics are wising up and going to their old countries at ages 16,17 to get looked at and contract offers.

Next story loading loading..

Discover Our Publications