Commentary

Klinsmann: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly

As most of you already know, USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann had a distinguished international career as a player, reaching the pinnacle of the sport by winning both the 1990 World Cup and the 1996 European Championship with Germany. The California resident also had an impressive goal-scoring record with his national team, hitting 47 goals in 108 appearances.

At club level, the well-traveled Klinsmann won considerably less, but his strike-rate remained remarkably consistent -- close to a goal every two games -- just about wherever he went: Stuttgart (Germany), Inter Milan (Italy), AS Monaco (France), Tottenham Hotspur (England), Bayern Munich (Germany), and Sampdoria (Italy).

At the age of 50, the story of Klinsmann’s career as a coach likely still has a long way to run. Aside from guiding his home country to an unlikely third-place finish at its own World Cup in 2006, Klinsmann’s only other noteworthy achievement is winning the 2013 Concacaf Gold Cup, which his USA achieved with a squad of largely second-string players. Wedged in between the Germany and USA jobs was a one-season stint at the helm of Bayern Munich, which resulted in his premature dismissal. 

Assuming he remains USA coach through the 2018 World Cup, this will have been, by a distance, Klinsmann’s longest head-coaching job. Some might even call it his first significant job.

To be sure, there have been some good times and some bad times since the German took over in 2011. Among the good times: a satisfactory performance at the World Cup (on paper, anyway), the 2013 Gold Cup triumph and some impressive friendly scalps, including away wins at Italy, Mexico and most recently, the Netherlands. Bad times on the field have really only included losses selected poor performances -- recent friendly losses to the Republic of Ireland, Chile and Denmark come to mind since the World Cup.

The German’s off-field contributions have been similarly up and down.

Regardless of what diehard USA fans think of Klinsmann’s campaign to nationalize and -- at the very least -- give a chance to anyone that can reasonably obtain an American passport, it’s hard to argue that expanding the pool of players in the national team rotation hasn’t been a net positive. Similarly, he has done much to overhaul the structure and scope of the USA project, while always urging his players at every level to strive for more.

All good things.

But the German has a decisiveness and a candor about that decisiveness that tends to be something of a double-edged sword. He lacks diplomacy in expressing his convictions, particularly during interviews and press conferences. For example, he regularly denigrates the quality of MLS despite the fact that many of his most important players play in the American league. His handling of the Landon Donovan saga was -- at best -- disrespectful to the country’s biggest star and most historically significant outfield player. But the way he relentlessly compares U.S. soccer -- its leagues, its players, its soccer mentality -- to his homeland in a condescending way is enough to drive most longtime USA fans up a wall.

It’s Tuesday, and the men’s national team is in Germany ahead of a friendly with its coach’s former team, and once again, Klinsmann is saying mildly condescending things about the country he works for. During the pre-game press conference, the German again harps on how “different” things are in his adopted country. “The focus” is different, he says, adding that he has “no deadlines.” In another interview, he goes on to ooh and ahh about the quality of the relegation struggle in Germany’s Bundesliga, while saying that, again, MLS needs to catch-up.

So what does all this mean?

Klinsmann mentions how when he was Germany coach, “the deadline” was the first game of the 2006 World Cup. In what way was it any different with his current team in Brazil last summer? If the U.S. hadn’t beaten Ghana in its first game and progressed from the Group of Death, would things be different right now? Sure, Klinsmann signed a new contract ahead of the tournament, but as everyone in soccer knows, contracts mean a lot less than results.

Regardless, talking about “no deadlines” and “making one step forward, two steps back” and then reiterating that his team lacks the “mental strength” to beat the likes of Belgium, smacks of someone who sounds so comfortable in his job that, well, it doesn’t matter what he says, really. You could be forgiven for thinking here that Klinsmann is the coach of some comfortably mid-table club whose only priority was to avoid relegation.

If by “no deadlines” the German means that there are no benchmarks for his work, well that is absolute B.S. For starters, the Gold Cup starts in less than a month, and, as the success of Concaacf teams at the World Cup last summer shows, there are some damn good teams in this tournament. A poor performance here -- i.e. at least making it to the final -- and U.S. Soccer could decide to hang him out to dry. (That's what happened to Bob Bradley after the 2011 Gold Cup final, a 4-2 loss to Mexico.) 

But let’s be clear about one thing: while Klinsmann’s record as USA coach certainly isn’t bad, at this moment in time, he still has yet to achieve as much as Bradley or Bruce Arena before him. Which is to say: he is not yet the master of this job, so it might behoove him to stop sounding so comfortable and maybe start treating everyone involved in this project, from the players, to MLS, U.S. Soccer, the fans, even the media, with a little more respect. 

40 comments about "Klinsmann: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly".
  1. Ric Fonseca, June 9, 2015 at 9:21 p.m.

    Mr. Fadner, for you to compare Klinsmann with the likes of Bradley or Arena, is specious at best and pure "B.S." as ytou say above, simply and because even though JK has been here for what, 15+ years, does not make him a "native American" as are both BA and BB. these two guys grew up with the sport here, and thus have a different mentality as to what comprises a "US player", while JK, has had to learn the hard way. I'd like you to compare him and some other coach say from Mexico, Argentina or England, and see how they'd react to what JK is faced with. It'd be a nice article to read and see just how much "respect" they would treat "us..."

  2. Casey Bantle, June 9, 2015 at 10:57 p.m.

    Mr Fonseca, it isn't specious to compare the current coach of the USMNT to former coaches of the USMNT. The other coaches accomplished more and did so without denigrating the US system over and over again. Aside from the Gold Cup, Klinsmann hasn't really done anything for US soccer except cut its best player ever from the World Cup squad.

  3. Joe d. Shaw, June 9, 2015 at 11:15 p.m.

    Brilliant commentary and I agree with Casey. Not sure what would make me happier, seeing JK hit the road or Sepp Blatter banned from football. I've followed the US National team programs since the 70s and have rarely missed a men's team game in that time...until Kolonel Klink cut Donovan that is. That was disgraceful and Paul Gardner's commentary's sum up Klinsmann and his egomaniacal arrogance. Klink has to go sooner rather than later. Thank you Mr. Fadner and keep up the good work

  4. Allan Lindh, June 9, 2015 at 11:17 p.m.

    Jurgen Littleman's scornful opinion of MLS is of course objectively correct. What sane person actually believes that the best MLS club could really compete in the Championship in the UK? The Galaxy in their good years (with LD) might have avoided relegation. The reason we don't win internationally is that our players aren't as good, and JK being a jerk isn't to blame for that. If in the next 20 years kids in the US start to grown up with a ball on their foot, in 40 years we might make it to the WC final. In the meantime, we should all relax, and put our efforts into going to the park with a ball with our kids and grandkids.

  5. James Froehlich, June 10, 2015 at 12:21 a.m.

    Ric--it just doesn't pay to try to defend JK from the professional JK haters! They are so blinded by the Stars and Stripes that they can't see the positive impact that JK is having. Because JK is a foreigner and has the audacity to tell us that the "emperor has no clothes", he needs to be dumped. JK is saying nothing that players, coaches, and fans from other countries haven't been saying for years -- we just don't measure up! That may hurt but it's something that many WITHIN the U.S. have also been saying for years: our youth development sucks; we continue to rely on pay-to-play and college soccer to provide our players and ignore the large ethnic communities that actually love the game. (This is changing under JK).
    JK expands the player pool; he challenges our players to push themselves, to become real professionals, not some suburban dilettantes; he actually pushes to change how we play from solely relying on athleticism and boom-ball to real possession soccer. Little to no comments are ever made when the USMNT actually play decent possession ball as in the recent Netherlands game. I too have watched the USMNT since the 80's and JK has made more progress than any previous coach in changing the culture of US soccer.
    When I read the anger and hatred directed at JK, it's obvious that the source has to be more emotional than rational. Xenophobia? Defensiveness? Or, feard that maybe just maybe, he's right!!!

  6. Sean Hooper, June 10, 2015 at 12:41 a.m.

    I agree with Allan. I don't know why people get so upset at JK. I love him as head coach. He speaks the truth, MLS can't compete with Premier League. Our best team would be lucky to not be in the second tier. Our national team as guts, but the fact is we need to do what he's doing. Finding anyone who can get a passport to be on our team. I hope JK stays around for a long time, I love his attitude, his coaching, his leadership. And true players will love playing for him. Every time we score I see the way he leaps for joy and I know deep down he truly cares about our National Team and bringing the best quality players and play we could possible have. Maybe the Americans who get their panties in a bunch when JK is speaking the truth need to grow some balls and see it's the truth.

  7. Sean Hooper, June 10, 2015 at 12:42 a.m.

    THANK YOU JAMES! Agree 100%

  8. Joseph LaRose, June 10, 2015 at 12:52 a.m.

    James needs credit for his insightful commentary. I think our JK senses big things with the MLS. His comments not hate, but comments meant to help drive a point home. We have the teams, but separate by leagues still. USL + MLS is trying. NASL is biased. Cmon! We have a great potential!

  9. John Soares, June 10, 2015 at 12:56 a.m.

    I don't think "Americans" are blind or idiots on the subject. The US is rated a "probably" generous 27th in the world.
    However unless JK is stupid, he new what he was getting into when he took the job. To bad mouth players in public is not the "sign" of a good coach. To bad mouth the MLS that will provide most of your future players is equally bad form. Both are what they are and he is not making them better. The Donovan fiasco...enough said. AND yet I do believe he has good "technical" coaching skills. If he would only learn to pocket his enormous ego and buy a roll of duct tape he might just reach the top level:).

  10. Joseph LaRose, June 10, 2015 at 12:58 a.m.

    Point is. Screw your EPL knowledge. States work better with a more worldly take. I'd trust a German over an English man to understand business if it hit them in the face.

  11. R2 Dad, June 10, 2015 at 1:14 a.m.

    Wow. Why so butthurt, rec soccer parents? Is it possible that JK actually knows better what international standards are than BB, Arena and the rest? I'd have to say yes. It sounds like everyone wants to feel good about themselves rather hear the truth. Is the MLS = top European leagues? No. Sorry no one likes to be reminded of that, especially MLS management. Compare JK to Jill Ellis--they're polar opposites. JK doesn't tell us what we want to hear, Ellis does. Ellis is well liked by the media, JK is generally not. Ellis scheduled power-puff warm-up matches for the USWNT, JK is feeding the USMNT to the Dutch and Germans ahead of the Gold Cup this summer. Ellis has allowed Abby to take a break from club soccer ahead of the world cup, to give her body a rest. JK demands that players demonstrate good club form in order to be chosen to wear the US strip (Tim H will discover this soon enough). Who is going to end up hungrier, more ready, more prepared, the USWNT or the USMNT? Ellis will come out smelling like roses if the USWNT wins the WC in Canada, but if she doesn’t, allowing these old players (Abby, Boxx, Rampone) to keep on playing vs bringing in new, younger, hungrier players will look like a sentimental sop to the old guard. JK cut our most celebrated player just before the 2014 world cup. I guess we asked for change, but only as long as no one’s feelings got hurt.

  12. Erik Nieman, June 10, 2015 at 2:50 a.m.

    Love him or hate him, JK has been good for US Soccer. He wasn't hired to hand hold MLS into global spotlight. Nor was he hired as a PR rep. He was hired to put US Soccer onto a truly competitive trajectory on the global stage. And it would be hard to discredit his staff's effort. I find that most of his haters are Donovan fans. But I have to say Landon was a bit of a whiny bitch after being left out of the WC, whereas a true professional would have redirected focus back to his "friends" on the national team. I'm sure the constant media coverage distorted things a bit, but he became and apparently remains a distraction. Oliver Khan and JK had the same spat in 2006 but it also was part of a larger plan for a brighter future for Germany's national team. Current results support the decisions and direction in both cases.

  13. Kevin Leahy, June 10, 2015 at 7:09 a.m.

    There is a bottom line in all sports. Your record! I have no doubt that Arena could be successful anywhere. Klinsmann is very knowledable but, to criticize your players in the media is self serving and does not give players a feeling that, you have their back. In 3 years or less, we will have our answers to his tenure. His main task is with the future as, I see it. His organization of the entire program is really how he will be measured.

  14. Joe Linzner, June 10, 2015 at 8:25 a.m.

    Combine chest-beating nationalism with covert xenophobia and unwillingness to see reality and you get experts that pretend personal professional acumen to arrogantly judge JK and his football acumen, both as player and coach. What exactly have Arena and BB accomplished at the World stage that exceeds what JK has done? Domestically they may be successful but on the international stage, not so much.

  15. David Mont, June 10, 2015 at 8:47 a.m.

    James Froehlich: I'm a foreigner myself, having been born and grown up not far from Klinsmann's homeland. And I can't stand the man -- I think he's a lousy coach and even worse human being. So, go ahead and call me xenophobic and keep thinking that I dislike Klinsmann mainly because he's a foreigner. This surely must make you feel better.

  16. Greg Milton, June 10, 2015 at 9:11 a.m.

    It is sad to see that this article was even published. The article goes on to opine on the obvious and then goes onto insult JK because he does not praise US soccer in areas where it is clearly deficient, as if Bill Belichick has ever been praised for being PC or diplomatic. Sport is pure competition, a coach cannot afford to be diplomatic to praise players and, or a playing style that is certain to not fetch results. DM for you to dislike, and assuming you mean literally, or just generally dislike JK, and the he is a "worse human being" as if you know him personally, and as if JK doesn't have to constantly remind himself that he does not have a single world class star player (Dempsey maybe), and yet sound encouraging is direct evidence of his good nature. I have no problem saying that many of the national team players are not even the best in this country. Rather, many of the US players are the beneficiaries of the "pay to play" system. For certain there are "human beings" in the US, in ethnic communities that can exponentially out play many of the US player pool. Ie. Jordan Morris who seems to be ok, but I can tell you that there are far better strikers and midfielders in amateur leagues than the Stanford soccer team. However, the refreshing point, is that JK gave a kid a chance and that kid did something special, and I will say again that there are many more in the US who do not get that chance, and I hope JK does and creates merit based system where the best players get a shot like they do in football and basketball (where the game winning play in the superbowl was made by a man who was a security guard) Many of you guys are just petty lil bleeps, I hope JK invites you all to play a game of soccer and even at his 50 plus age, I am certain he will humble you all (the haters that is) and then you will see what a lousy human being you are when you have to go up against someone who put his life into soccer. You owe him and the sport an apology

  17. Tim Gibson, June 10, 2015 at 9:22 a.m.

    I'm a HUGE fan of MLS for many years now & of the old NASL as well. I am also a huge supporter of USA's game during that same timeframe. A lot has changed with our national team over the years, mostly UP but then sadly reversed on several occasions. So, 1 step forward often followed by 2 steps back. I see nothing wrong with JK challenging MLS. As a matter of fact, MLS needs to be pushed now with so many other leagues challenging Europe's top leagues for market share. We can't get stagnant as our player pool continues to improve. "Now" seems to be more urgent than ever before but it appears MLS is more interested in expansion. Is quantity better than quality?
    For our National program, JK has opened up the door for the discovery of youth talent unlike ANY one before him. Our game had become old & in the way under his predecessors. That has now changed under JK and for the MUCH better too(just look to the U-whatevers on our national program). Controversy aside, he has brought in foreign players that some say weakly qualify as nationals but he is only doing the same as every other national program would do with a decent recruiting system. His predecessors gave up on anyone that had options, JK has pursued his. Say what you will haters but America needs to be challenged to make the next jump, the hardest jump into the elite. Is JK the 1 to take us there?....Maybe not, but he has pointed the way & I , personally, can not thank him enough.
    GO USA!

  18. John Polis, June 10, 2015 at 1:02 p.m.

    To characterize Coach K's references to MLS as scornful or disrespectful is just not accurate. He said nothing in a scornful or disrespectful way, and most of what he said was said in secondary references to what he hoped players would do when selecting their next clubs. Any media portrayal of it as being rude or disrespectful is symptomatic of writers who for some reason just doesn't like the guy as well as previous coaches. He is refreshingly honest and it's my opinion that some soccer writers may not have the same access they had to previous coaches and it rankles them. He's the first guy since Bora to coach the U.S. team who has both played and coached at the highest level. That it took so long for U. S. Soccer to realize how important this is still surprises me. Expansion of the player pool, infusion of a new attitude of professionalism into the national team, some historic wins (most recently in Amsterdam, but also in Mexico, set him apart from his predecessors. I'm afraid this story is old news that, as I said, is symptomatic of a writer who just doesn't like the present coach.

  19. John Polis, June 10, 2015 at 1:06 p.m.

    And, by the way, are we still on Landon Donovan? Anyone who saw him play in MLS just prior to the World Cup could see that he couldn't cover ground like he used to. He admitted as such that he couldn't even train hard two days in a row. The standards for the national team are higher now, and despite any previous reputation, you have to prove your readiness every time out in training. Enjoyed watching Landon from his early days with the U-17's but the drama that played out over his non-selection proved to me that objective analysis of a player's complete readiness for World Cup play is not a strongpoint of those covering the game in the USA.

  20. Kent James, June 10, 2015 at 1:42 p.m.

    Fadner's column is an excellent assessment of JK's tenure; he's done a lot of good things (finding new players, challenging experienced players, willing to criticize existing methods...generally shaking things up). But he also has some weaknesses; maybe he didn't intend to disrespect American soccer or his own players, but he has, and for the the most part, that was unnecessary and unhelpful. He, of all people, should know that the US will never be Germany, and he should stop being critical when we're not. That's not to say we can't learn from Germany (and we should), but we will have to excel on our own path, not following the Germans. I liked both BA and BB as national team coaches, and thought they did well with what they had. It's hard to believe that the players we have today are not as good as those squads (are we going backwards on player development?), so I think the expectations were that JK would exceed the results of those earlier squads. He has not done that. So purely on results (as JK's "what have you done for me lately" mentality likes to use to judge), his tenure has been average (and if BB's results were not sufficient for 8 yrs, should JK's be?). I think we've maintained the levels we previously achieved, which may just be an indicator of how difficult it is to move up to that next level, or maybe JK is not the coach we hoped he would be.

  21. Kent James, June 10, 2015 at 1:54 p.m.

    JK's supporters seem to conflate criticism of JK with xenophobia; while some people don't like JK because he's German, I don't think most of his critics feel that way. I consider myself a critical supporter; I liked Bob Bradley, and was disappointed to see him fired. But once he was fired, I thought JK might be the ideal replacement. I do think JK's done many good things, but do not think that he walks on water, or that he will single-handedly take the US to the next level. I like that he's gotten quality opponents, I like that he's willing to experiment with formations and players, I like that he's willing to speak directly. I like that he's confident, but dislike it when that confidence goes to far, and becomes arrogance. He can be unnecessarily critical and undiplomatic, which often causes more harm than good. I like that he looks at how other countries do things to see if their methods can be used to our benefit, but don't like that in this search, he seems to only see Germany (and German-American players). I think the true test of the importance of his tenure will be the Gold Cup; the US performance there should indicate where we are under JK's tenure, and if we should continue under his reign. Given our play at the Netherlands, I am hopeful that our performance will justify his continued leadership.

  22. John Polis, June 10, 2015 at 4:43 p.m.

    Well, for months now I've been sick and tired of people comparing a world class player and coach like Jurgen Klinsmann with previous U.S. coaches, and saying he's never done anything special with this team. I've only got one question. Who has ever put a week together like this week. Are you kidding me? Victories in Europe over Holland and Germany in Europe. Lineup changes galore in both. Victories over Mexico in Azteca, plus many others over our arch rival. I could go on and on. Great coaching these players up. Great fighting spirit. Let's forget the constant comparisons with Bradley and Arena. We've moved on. We are in a new era now.

  23. Santiago 1314, June 10, 2015 at 5 p.m.

    Phhhuck Me!!! We just Beat Germany and Holland,on their own Fields, in the same week...Congrats to our Prick Coach JK...I don't care what you say. .. JUST WIN, BABY WIN. ..We can see an AMERICAN SOCCER CULTRE/STYLE developing....***HIGH PRESSURE ATHLETICISM ON DEFENSE***FAST PACED CREATIVE PLAYS ON OFFENSE***ATTITUDE OF ARROGANT AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM*** WE ARE THE USA...WE DON'T CARE WHERE YOU WERE BORN...WE DON'T CARE ABOUT THE COLOR OF YOUR SKIN...JUST BLEED RED, WHITE and BLUE...WE ARE THE USA!!! ...and WE BELIEVE THAT WE CAN WIN!!!! ....Right "F"ing NOW!!!

  24. Chris Sapien , June 10, 2015 at 6:58 p.m.

    Love the USA! Bleed red, white & blue, and follow our leaders until they lead no more! Santiago has it right, although maybe a bit off topic. Bottom line is, if you had a microphone stuck in your face multiple times a day, eventually your honest opinion comes out regardless of any attempts at PC. That is where JK resides folks, take it or leave it.

  25. Chuck Carlson, June 10, 2015 at 7:59 p.m.

    No doubt that it is a great accomplishment to beat the Netherlands and Germany in Europe. That said, these were friendlies. Did you see the faces of the German administrators during the game? They were laughing-compare that to the faces of Spanish League club administrators who were facing relegation. One group cares, the other sees their game as a training exercise. For those who think Klinsmann has accomplished more than Bruce Arena, I am guessing you were not old enough to watch the 2002 World Cup. The US made the quarterfinals in that tournament, and but for Hugh Dallas ignoring a blatant handball by Torsten Frings, had a real chance at the Semis. That 2002 US team also did not include a single player born in Germany and had only 3 players (David Regis, Earnie Stewart, Carlos Llamosa-only Stewart played in the quarterfinal-for 10 minutes) who grew up playing their soccer outside the US. Has there really been progress when more than half the US starters v Germany were not only born outside the US but grew up playing their soccer outside the US?

  26. Paul Lorinczi, June 10, 2015 at 8:37 p.m.

    Are we there yet? No are we moving in the right direction? Yes the 2 results this week demonstrate that Klinsmann knows what he is doing. MLS needs to win a few Ccl tournaments before they can pat themselves. for now, Liga MX is the better league.

  27. Erik Nieman, June 10, 2015 at 8:59 p.m.

    At the end of the day, the article is bs. The line that cracks me up the most is the jab against JK's credentials claiming his post with US soccer is his first real job. In reality, it was winning hardware on the world stage followed by laying the ground work for a complete overhaul of the current world champion team. Based on that alone, let's stop the comparisons. And JK's "arrogance" in my view is blunt honesty aimed at getting the most out of the U.S. talent pool. His honesty shows a higher level of confidence in our players than those opting to tout (even inflate) MLS' ability to turn out world class players. The guys are professionals who don't need a cuddle. They need a coach and they have a good one. They're getting better and will hopefully continue to battle through each game. The rest is just noise... Like this hack job.

  28. Scott Johnson, June 10, 2015 at 10:57 p.m.

    Why are so many LD fans still butthurt about the 2014 Cup? Primadonavan slacked off the entire year, he wasn't in form, and he got cut--nobody has a guaranteed roster spot. It was good, as a US soccer fan (but not as a Portland Timbers fan) to see him have a good final season with the Galaxy, but the only regret I have about Donovan not going was the Altidore injury, and how it moved the entire US midfield out of position.

  29. Scott Johnson, June 10, 2015 at 10:59 p.m.

    That said, LD's TV commercial for the where he plays EA FIFA World Cup in his bathrobe, was pretty damn funny.

  30. Kent James, June 10, 2015 at 11:38 p.m.

    Very impressive win over Germany. But just as the losses to Ireland and Belgium were not times to despair, the impressive wins over the Netherlands and Germany are not times for jubilation. Okay, we can 'jubilate' a little...but as impressive as they were, we're not there yet. But they are a huge step in the right direction. I think what was most impressive was the overall attitude of the team; they did not panic when they went down a goal early, and they continued to press and play with confidence. And certainly JK deserves a lot of credit for that. If this level of play is maintained at the Gold Cup, then we're in business. But that being said, JK should give some credit to the MLS players, whose play doesn't appear to have suffered. One thing JK needs to be less arrogant about is that he seems to think there is only one path to becoming a great player, and that he always knows what it is. Players are not all the same, and some need the challenge of a European environment in order to thrive, whereas others may develop more by getting more playing time in a lesser league (like the MLS).

  31. John Polis, June 11, 2015 at 1:31 a.m.

    No U.S. coach has ever put a national team on the field against Germany in Germany and won -- let alone win in any world champion's back yard. It's a big win where Klinsmann boldly predicted before the game that it would be the highest benchmark test to date. (How's that for putting your own rear end on the line?) Then he puts a lineup out there without Altidore, without Dempsey, without other so-called starters. He augments that with great substitutions in the second half, terrific tactical awareness and a fighting spirit that is stamping this team as never-say-die. (Remember the late win against Ghana? Remember the come from behind win, down 1-3, over Holland? Remember the late win over Panama in WC qualifying? It's a trademark of his teams and it's about time he gets credit for it. From the players' efforts, to brilliant substitution (Klinsmann has a knack for this), it was a big time performance. Klinsmann-coached U.S. teams have won in Italy, in Azteca, in Holland and in Germany. Milestones all. There are more to come.

  32. Amos Annan, June 11, 2015 at 9:38 a.m.

    US lacks players that grew up with a ball at their feet (like every other country) and competes with 4 other more popular sports. Still they are able to compete with the world's best.

  33. Joe Linzner, June 11, 2015 at 10:34 a.m.

    Xenophobia is palpable all over the place. Not only towards Klinsmann but his selections of G/A players as well. All over BS and the criticism is based on what?? He has a better won/loss record than both Arena and Bradley (and that is not a criticism of both previous coaches) especially against higher ranking teams which he insists on challenging not the supposed Minnows of Concacaf. Saying he talks too much and blames everyone else for his failures, name these failures, name a statement that actually denigrates and doesn't hit the nail on the head!!!! Name them not your xenophobic interpretation of what you think he said. Just because you feel insulted of his MLS criticisms which are also factual and his being German born. How can a foreigner even dare say anything that speaks to a truth of the matter. Ask yourselves, if an American born Coach with a WASP last name aired similar observations would you criticize with equal VENOM. I think NOT. That is Xenophobia!!!

  34. Greg Milton, June 11, 2015 at 11:35 a.m.

    I am with JL, it is sad to see a number of the posts and how they bear such negative feelings / hatred even for a man who is promoting US Soccer. And the irony, is that the rest of the world respects him, and certainly nearly every league thinks MLS is a joke, and he is merely telling the absolute truth of the matter of how far MLS and the US needs to go. The US is getting better, I really wish he would just get rid of the old school squad and just give the reigns to the new kids on the block as they are coming along quite nicely. Someone was complaing that Beinhelber (spelling..whon cares) was left off and that was a smack in the face, as if the 100 or something Mexican and Latino kids who do not have their "papers" in order but who can ball much harder do not merit a chance. Even the Stanford kid got a shot off in within minutes and outside of the foot at that, which if you ever played is like trying to do a reverse dunk....anyway Germany controlled that game hands down but apparently the US knew that was going to be the case and stuck with it....Thx JK

  35. Santiago 1314, June 11, 2015 at 11:55 a.m.

    @Joe&Chris...Least we forget, this is why people Despise JK..**Quote from Jurgen Klinsmann in article by Randy Harvey of the Houston Chronicle Sports..7/10/14 pgC1&3….”It makes them feel accountable, not just walk away with a bad performance and nothing happens,” he said. “If you have a bad performance, then people should approach you and tell you that, to make sure that next game is not bad anymore and you step it up.”… The Article is about the National Humiliation that Brazil feels and How (THE USA PLAYERS) don’t have that kind of pressure…***JURGEN*** FIRST, YOU Parked the Bus In-Front of the Goal(Didn’t BELIEVE USA Could Win)… THEN, YOU Re-Arranged the Chairs on the TITANIC(No Sub for Jozy)…and NOW, YOU are Throwing the Players OUT of the Bus, for the Dogs to Eat…<<< THROW YOURSELF OUT >>>…OH, but Knowing you, You will Take a Helicopter Ride Off the Top of the Bus, so you don’t have to face the Wolves…I was for Keeping You, Hoping you would Learn some Humility…But Asking for Fans to Accost the Players and Frighten them into Better Performance!?!?!?…WHAT AN  ARROGANT, JERK, PRICK, You are !!!!...What a Hypocrite!!!…YOU Left Germany because YOU couldn’t take the Magnifying Glass that YOU were under and because YOU liked the anonymity that Athletes have in the USA… NOW YOU WANT TO HAVE THE FANS DO YOUR JOB !!!…   <<<< Come on SUNIL… Enough is Enough…GET RID OF HIM!!!! >>>> THIS IS AMERICA!!! and WE BELIEVE WE CAN WIN and WE CAN DO IT OUR WAY… so PISS OFF back to Germany…Oh, They don’t want you their either…!!!

  36. Santiago 1314, June 11, 2015 at 12:04 p.m.

    Having said that..I Re-Post from other article... Santiago 1314 commented on: June 11, 2015 at 10:04 a.m.I still say that JK is A JERK, and he screwed up the last World Cup with his Roster Selections and Line-ups, BUT... He can be as big a Jerk, Prick, Wierdo as he wants, as Long as the Players play like they are right now...May be Because of him or may be InSpite if him, but this is working... Don't fix what ain't Broken....

  37. Scott Johnson, June 11, 2015 at 12:05 p.m.

    As far as criticisms of JK go, here's my take: 1) His criticism of MLS is spot-on; it's a second-tier league. It's improving, and I'm a fan, but it is what it is. 2) Many of the older players, I'm sorry to say, sh1t their pants every time someone challenges them with the ball; if the US team intends to advance past the round of 16 (without catching a lucky break like facing Mexico like they did in 2002) they will need to be able to take the ball down the throat of other sides' defense, not just play defend and counter and win with athleticism. 3) I see (hopefully) the importing of German army brats as a temporary solution. The younger kids--guys like Morris and Rubin (in the U20s) and Pulisic (in the U17s)--are growing up in a stronger soccer culture, and aren't afraid of the world's best. But they're not ready yet. 4) Once that happens, expect MLS to continue to improve--we just had a MLS team (a BAD one, at that) reach the finals of the CONCACAF Champions League--won't be too long before an MLS side wins it. (The Liga MX isn't THAT good, you know...)

  38. William Anderson, June 11, 2015 at 12:27 p.m.

    News Flash: This just in...

    Soccer America still detests JK.
    Details to follow.

  39. James Froehlich, June 11, 2015 at 6:06 p.m.

    William--you nailed it!

  40. Santiago 1314, June 12, 2015 at 12:11 p.m.

    Hey, at least MLS is up to 2nd Tier...Lot of Good players coming out of 2nd Tier leagues, like Holland, Belgium, France, Argentina, Brazil...Ship'em In, Ship'em Out.. I don't really care, as long as they Bleed RED, WHITE and BLUE, Like this current crop...

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