Jurgen Klinsmann: 'It's an honor to take on such an exciting challenge'

Three years after being fired as U.S. men's national team coach, Jurgen Klinsmann has returned to coaching at struggling Hertha Berlin.

He replaced Ante Covic three days after Hertha lost to Augsburg, 4-0, and will serve as the head coach until the end of the season. The move comes three weeks after he was appointed to the Hertha board. At the time, he said it was a club he was emotionally invested in.

"My father was a proud Hertha supporter and my son Jonathan played here for two years," he said after being named head coach. "It's the only club I'm actually a member of. Some things in football happen overnight, but that can't be said for my relationship to Hertha. I was asked whether I would help the club stabilize their season. It's an honor to take on such an exciting challenge and I'm incredibly motivated to do so. When I step into a role like this, I give 100 per cent."

Klinsmann's new staff includes assistants Alexander Nouri and Markus Feldhoff and former Hertha and Chicago Fire defender Arne Friedrich in the role of performance manager. Former Germany goalkeeper Andreas Koepke will serve as the interim goalkeeping coach on leave from the same role with the German national team.

"I've brought in new members of the staff who are incredibly well prepared," Klinsmann said. "They're full of energy and expertise, and champing at the bit to get started. The team needs to play better in the next few weeks. The most important thing now is to pick up points and move up the table. And when we're safely in mid-table, we need to keep looking up. That's what we'll be judged on."

In Klinsmann's first coaching job, he led host Germany to third at the 2006 World Cup. He led the USA to the 2013 Gold Cup title and first in the 2013 Hexagonal and to the round of 16 at the 2014 World Cup. But he was fired after the USA opened the final round of 2018 World Cup qualifying with a pair of losses.

Klinsmann's only previous job as a club head coach was at Bayern Munich in 2008-09. He was fired with five games left in the Bundesliga season.

Photo: Chris Coduto/Icon Sportswire

6 comments about "Jurgen Klinsmann: 'It's an honor to take on such an exciting challenge'".
  1. Bob Ashpole, November 29, 2019 at 5:42 a.m.

    Bit unusual to have a board member of a first division club actually coach the first team. Best wishes to JK and Hertha Berlin.

  2. Peter Bechtold replied, November 29, 2019 at 6:38 p.m.

    The term "coach" is a bit of a misunderstanding, unless you think of a HC in the NFL. His assistants noted above will do the practice coaching; JK will provide the atmospherics in the locker room as he did for Germany in 2006 with J. Loew as his assistant.

  3. Bob Ashpole replied, November 30, 2019 at 7:47 a.m.

    It isn't "misunderstanding". It is common usage in the US to refer to the first team manager as a "coach".

  4. Nick Gabris, November 29, 2019 at 11:59 a.m.

    Good for him!!! Was a fantastic player, good soccer mind! Too bad it did not work out with the USMNT.

  5. Wooden Ships, November 29, 2019 at 3:47 p.m.

    Thought he had assumed the Ecuadorian National team managers job?

  6. R2 Dad, December 3, 2019 at 12:40 a.m.

    Will be an interesting experiment. JK will get through the season but has little time to determine his best XI. He needs to get out of the cellar before the break. 3 matches to get 2 results would do it. Otherwise, it's a winter break with not much momentum, budget for transfers or optimism, frankly. And it will only get more difficult once the second half of the season fires up and his hire hasn't had that new-manager bump. What to do with Salomon Kalou? If JK can generate a few more goals, he should be able to get to 35 points and safety--but that is still 24 points away.

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