Klinsmann is USA’s Man

United States Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati tried to get Jurgen Klinsmann as USA soccer coach twice.  It turns out third time is a charm. In press conferences Friday and Monday, the USSF announced and gave details on the newest USA coach. Klinsmann will replace Bob Bradley.

A manager who accomplished a lot during his time.  He won the 2007 Gold Cup. Advanced to the final of the Confederations Cup.  Beat Spain. Got up 2-0 on Brazil. Advanced to the round of 16 in the World Cup. But even the best soccer managers – like Klinsmann – often get replaced after a four year run.

Mike Segar/Landov

For those unfamiliar, Jurgen Klinsmann is a former super-striker for Germany in the late 80’s and 90’s.  In 2004, after Germany performed miserably in the European tournament, they asked Klinsmann to rebuild. Klinsmann restructured the youth system, put an emphasis on attacking, and keeping the ball on the ground.  He changed things radically.

And in 3 short years, the team went from a disaster to a 3rd place finish in the World Cup.  His work is still paying off for Germany.  His assistant coach took over after Klinsmann left Germany, and they still run a very similar team that Klinsmann ran.  Germany also finished 3rd in this past World Cup under that system.

So in he steps for USA, under a similar scenario.  USA has made great strides the past 20 years in soccer, but has seemed to plateau out between 12 to 30 in the World Rankings.  Klinsmann’s job will be to rebuild a USA team that is similarly on a downward slope right now after losing to Mexico and Panama in the Gold Cup

Klinsmann knows the US system.  He has lived in California for 14 years, and helps give feedback to Toronto FC, which allows him to see all MLS teams.  But he also brings with him the best from the European game, and a style that will be pretty unique to US Soccer fans who have grown tired of the lack of creativity in the US’s game.

Klinsmann and the US had never been able to previously come to an agreement.  This was in large part to Klinsmann’s desire to have full control over the youth system, and revamp it pretty dramatically.  Gulati never wanted to give up that power.

Something has changed.  And while we haven’t gotten specific details, it appears as if Gulati has changed his stance a lot, which is good for US Soccer.  Klinsmann has always faulted the USA Youth Soccer program.  He says it’s backwards with every other country in the world.  In the US, if your kid is good at soccer, you have to pay to get him on good teams in hopes of earning a college scholarship.  Klinsmann says many poor, but great soccer players, never get realized because they don’t have the money.

Expect Klinsmann to bring major changes to the lineup as well.  One of Bradley’s biggest criticisms is that he played favorites for much too long.  Players like Freddy Adu and Jose Torres, whom got sparing playing time with Bradley, but are very creative players may see more playing time.  Players like Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley may have to prove their worth on the field all over again.

Jurgen Klinsmann will be the United State’s coach through atleast 2014, and we may be seeing the biggest transitional period for US Soccer that we’ve ever had.

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