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Column: We Need Klinsmann

  • SI.com, Tuesday, July 18, 2006 5:08 PM
U.S. soccer needs Jurgen Klinsmann to replace Bruce Arena as national team caoch, writes Grant Wahl of SI.com. "It's not too complicated, really," says Wahl. "By showing the door to manager Bruce Arena -- who was denied his wish of remaining for a third four-year term -- Gulati is saying that he'll find a better alternative to Arena." And there aren't too many better alternatives around than Klinsmann. For one thing, he just led Germany to a much better than expected third place finish at the World Cup. As a player, he has himself won both the World Cup and the European Championship, as well as several leagues in various countries across Europe. He understands American soccer having lived in Southern California for eight years, having followed MLS, and having popped up in peculiar places like U.S. soccer conventions and Soccer America's offices. He also lives a few hours away from the national team's training ground. But here's the big question: does he even want the job? Klinsmann has said he feels burned out and isn't even thinking about it. As Wahl points out, it's not as if he has to be hired next week. "If you give Klinsmann some time to rest on the beach, that may change." Perhaps, but we should also keep in mind that Klinsmann has said no to Gulati before. In 1998, when Gulati was MLS' deputy commissioner, he tried tirelessly but failed to get Klinsmann to sign for the L.A. Galaxy. The U.S. will have some impressive talent to work with for 2010, including Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley, Bobby Convey, Clint Dempsey, Oguchi Onyewu, Eddie Johnson, Freddy Adu, and perhaps, Giuseppe Rossi, if someone can convince him he has a better chance playing for the U.S. than Italy. The right coach could do the trick; if not Klinsmann, then who? What about Manchester United assistant (and former Metrostars and Real Madrid coach) Carlos Quieroz? He has flirted with the job before...

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