Klinsmann Reveals Talks With U.S. Soccer

June 30, 2010 - Bildnummer: 01587207 Datum: 21.06.2005 Copyright: imago/Team 2..Bundestrainer J  rgen Klinsmann (li.) und Co Trainer Joachim L  w (beide Deutschland) - Torjubel; Nationalteam, Vdig, quer, Trainer, Coach, Nationaltrainer, Nationalcoach, Jubel, jubeln, Torjubel, Umarmung, umarme, Assistent, Assistenztrainer Confederations Cup 2005, Confederationscup, Konf  derationencup, Konf  derationen, Nationalmannschaft N  rnberg Freude, Fu  ball L  nderspiel Herren Mannschaft Gruppenbild optimistisch Randmotiv Personen.

Remember when we were all trying to figure out what Sunil Gulati was doing in the aftermath of the 2010 World Cup in regards to Bob Bradley and the somewhat-up-in-the-air coaching situation for the U.S. Men’s National team?

Apparently, Gulati was making another run at former Germany and Bayern Munich manager Juergen Klinsmann.

Another unsuccessful one, as it turns out.

And much like the talks in 2006, things broke down when it came to control.

Klinsmann detailed the negotiations in this interview with Kansas City TV reporter Sasha Victorine.

“We had conversations maybe about three or four weeks period of time, and very positive conversations, but we didn’t get it to a positive ending because we couldn’t put into writing what we agreed to verbally,” he said in the interview. “It’s obviously always about authority. When you have conversations with a club team or a national team it’s who has the last word in what issues, and that’s why we couldn’t get into the written terms.

“Verbally we agreed on that the technical side is my side, and I should have a hundred percent control of it. In written terms, they couldn’t commit to it, and at that point I said well, I can’t get the job done because I have to have the last say as a head coach for my entire staff, for all the players issues, for everything that happens with the team.

“Unfortunately they couldn’t commit to that and that was basically the end of our talks, and then they agreed then to continue with Bob as the head coach and that’s totally fine.”

There are two sides to the coin here.

If you believe that the United States Soccer Federation, under Gulati’s leadership, is in need of an overhaul – this news isn’t particularly good.

It sort of reads that Gulati is intent on running the whole show – something the newly extended Bradley doesn’t seem to worry about.

But if you happen to think that Klinsmann’s hot and cold managerial history doesn’t present the sort of resume that would warrant handing over the keys to the national team, let alone the entire national structure, then you’re probably happy.


I’m somewhere in between.

I think Bradley has accomplished a lot of good things in his time in charge of the national team. (Man, we need a nickname.)

But I’m also a believer in the two-cycles-is-too-many theory for World Cup coaches – see Arena, Bruce.

So, if it’s a choice between Bradley and Klinsmann, I guess I’d take Bradley.

Still, I can’t help but wonder if we’re going to be wishing there was a door No. 3 a few years from now.

31 thoughts on “Klinsmann Reveals Talks With U.S. Soccer”

  1. It was time for the U.S. to move on. If not Klinsmann, another high profile coach. The only time a coach should stay for another World Cup is if he gets us to the final.
    We need to grow as a Soccer nation and we can’t with a coach with so little international experience.
    Unfortunately I believe we will remain stagnant on the world stage as long as those running our Soccer federation hold us back from progress.

  2. Staying with Bob Bradley was the biggest mistake for the future of US Soccer. However, the insight as to how much control the Federation has over the decision making process makes me believe why we continued to see MLS trash on the field. Bornstein who is not a natural defender was giving opportunity after another. Clark finally showed his worth when he stunk it up in the midfield. Findley somehow came out of nowhere to score 0 goals. In any other setting if you have a bad game here and there you are going to ride the bench, simple as that.

    With Mexico and a smaller Concacaf teams sniffing at the #1 spot I don’t think USA has an easily qualification into the World Cup. I don’t even think they will win the Gold Cup either. The Defense is terrible and our quality players who don’t play in Europe,,,eh-hem, Mexico, will never be given the shot like our salary cap phenoms. Gomez should of been given findleys slot, torres/edu over clark, castillo over bornstein.

  3. dumb move.

    our structure needs to be overhauled since all we have done is become a mediocre team from a crappy one. bradley has no creative anything and the way our national system works well isnt working. im sorry, in the usa when we have more athleticism than any other country in the world WITH one of the highest populations we should be MUCH better than we are now. The soccer players are there, they just arent staying and arent learning

    1. The reality is very simple. The group controlling soccer in this country today doesn’t know what to do because they are not from anywhere in the world where soccer is treated as a top sport. They want to develop the American way of organizing soccer. And this would be OK if they were humble enough to bring people from outside to help them out BUT they don’t. They are afraid of becoming useless or to be on the background. So they keep trying new “things” all the time. Meanwhile, other countries are reinventing themselves because they have not WON a world cup in twelve years, and this for them is unacceptable. But, the Americans are happily playing to be a top six nation, knowing that they can’t be more than a top ten nation. Think about it, if you have Argentina, Brazil, England, France and Germany hungry to get another championship and the usual giants Italy, Spain and Netherlands looking to win on every tournament you are already out of the top eight, then you always get at least two other Europeans nations playing well and one or two surprises from Asia and Africa. So, you better be playing your best to maybe become a Cinderella story and be among the best eight. The reality is this, for dozens of nations with established histories in the sport and with very substantial investment into the game it is almost impossible to win, imagine to a country where we don’t even think they are going in the right direction. Soccer is hard already for those doing everything right, imagine for those who don’t. It is time for a complete change or…You know and I know.

    2. I agree the structure needs some overhaul if the US is ever going to progress from being a mediocre team to a good one (although the progress already made is no mean feat). But I swear it drives me nuts when people say stuff like “we have more athleticism than any other country in the world”. What does that even mean? How can you measure “athleticism” and compare it between one population and another.

      And the whole idea of “we have one of the biggest populations, so we should be much better than we are now” is ridiculous. The prowess of a nation’s football team is not a simple function of it’s population. If it were, then China and India would dominate world football.

      1. Dave C. — I completely agree with you statement: “The prowess of a nation’s football team is not a simple function of it’s population” HOWEVER, a large population is certainly an extremely valuable resource and if equal efforts in coaching etc are applied to two populations, it is quite reasonable to expect that the larger population will produce more high quality players. If that does not occur then I believe it’s also quite reasonable to question the quality of the coaching and the other resources being applied to that larger population.

        1. True, but I think right now the US suffers from both problems – the coaching quality is not the best, and the population who actually play soccer (seriously) is pretty low.

      2. Dave C, I could not agree with you more. Perfect. Most of the European nations have severe lack of youth and even with that kind of struggle they are always there.

  4. Until our youth development is overhauled and our youth coaches actually learn how to play the game than we will see results for our National Team. Pay to play club soccer needs to be thrown out because it sets high barriers to entry for most kids who could play but can’t pay (Read Dempsey’s story).

    Youth Soccer needs to take a page from Pop-Warner and Little League Baseball in which every city/region follows a code of conduct along with low fees for children to play. It’s a numbers game and the numbers are in favor for the US to become a true super power.

    1. That is not the problem and soccer it is not a numbers game or China would win everything and they treat soccer much more seriously then US does.

  5. Come on. The USA will be in Brazil 2014 for sure. The USA will fight Costa Rica for first place in qualifying. Costa Rica is the only national team that has improved with the hiring of Lavolpe. Honduras will not be a force since the corrupt people responsible for the coup d’etat last year are the ones running soccer and they already stole the money made during the last world cup. A caribean team will probably end up in a playoff for the 4th spot.

  6. “But if you hap­pen to think that Klinsmann’s hot and cold man­age­r­ial his­tory doesn’t present the sort of resume that would war­rant hand­ing over the keys to the national team, let alone the entire national struc­ture, then you’re prob­a­bly happy.” ———- C’mon Randy–if you think there’s a case to be made about his “hot and cold Managerial history” then lay it out and do away with the misleading innuendo. If you are referring to Bayern then you need to do some research before making negative implications. Your tactics would fit well in the current political climate !!!

    1. I really would love to understand why this Klinsmann is so hot in US when NOBODY in the world of soccer talks about him when a good door opens anywhere else.

      1. First, he was an elite international striker; Second, he was instrumental in revamping the makeup/style of the German National Team that seriously over-performed in 2006 and was one of the stars of 2010. Loew may have been the XXX’s and OOO’s guy but it was Klinsmann’s vision and HE brought in Loew (A great manager hires great people). In addition, he could have had the National Team job again if he wanted it. Third, his term at Bayern was not the disaster that some people want to say it was. He fought Bayern’s management to improve their style and make it more offense oriented. (Sound familiar). Read the history of this on the web for yourself. Fourth, he has been in the US for nearly 10 years, has learned how the US Soccer system works and how we play (or don’t play) and most importantly has shown that he is interested in the LONG-TERM. He wouldn’t have worked miracles in Brazil but he would have been the best chance we’ve had to shake up US Soccer.

        1. OK. I just don’t think Americans are like Germans or should play like them, but…Apparently you do. I don’t believe in “one man saves all” for nothing in life. But maybe you think it is important to win the World cup in order to get more fans to the sport. I strongly disagree with that. The American soccer does not need a good or great coach, need a lot of good management team in the head of the federation. We need to win under 15, 17, 19, 21 and 23 titles, then you built a base for the world cup. That is what everybody does.

          1. Sergio — I NEVER said that the US should play like Germany and neither did Klinsmann. If you listen to his interview with Sasha Victorine, you will hear him say that the US needs to develop its own unique style. I also NEVER said that Klinsmann would win a World Cup for us. What I believe he can do is change our youth development to emphasize skills rather than size and athleticism. That won’t happen quickly but if it is ever to be started, he could have been the one to do that. You say that you want a good management team in charge of US Soccer, so do I and the first step would be to have a National Team Coach who considers youth development to be one of his jobs.

        2. I think people get a little carried away with Klinsmann. He may be a decent coach, but I don’t know why people expect him to be some kind of messiah.

          He had a decent run at the 2006 WC, but let’s not forget it was at home, and was hardly unprecedented – Germany got to the final in 2002, so it wasn’t like German football was in the moribund state that Klinsmann fans make out.

          1. Dave — I don’t think I ever used the word “messiah”. However, if the choice is between two “competent” coaches, one who says nothing about making improvements, has no discernible vision for future growth and the other who believes that changes need to be made, I’m sorry but I have to go with the change. I would hope that you would at least agree that the path we’re on is not acceptable, even if Klinsmann is not your choice to make the needed changes.

        3. Short, I have been working in soccer for many years in Brazil and I can assure you that everywhere in the world there is a HUGE problem of competition between the PRO and the YOUTH departments. They are naturally disconnected once a regular pro coach makes at least twenty times more money than a great youth coach while the importance of both is practically the same to any serious soccer organization. But, the most important thing is the amount of quality professionals involved on those youth departments. In Brazil, when a pro team like Corinthians announces that their under 15 team will be running tryouts; four thousand kids will show up in less than a week trying to get a spot in the practice squad. And the club will have at least ten people there capable of making a decision in minutes about their talent, physical capability and decide if they need a psychological evaluation in order to be part of the organization or not. And the director of the youth department has nothing to do with the pros. His life is to produce players and better citizens. To get their coaches happy and ready to take over a better position inside the department and produce players to the next level up. The only coach talking to the pros on a regular basis is the under 23 coach, nobody else. And that is my issue with Klinsman. But not only with him. I have an issue with any PRO coach who wants to take care of the youth. Just because is almost a different sport. A pro coach almost doesn’t speak the same language as a youth coach, their focuses are completely different and they must be. You must build a strong team of specialists in your youth department and start developing talent, some of those will become pros and some of the pros eventually will turn great players.

          1. @Short Passes –
            I didn’t mean to imply that you (or anyone) had actually used the term “messiah” – I was just referring to the fervently pro-Klinsmann crowd who seem to think he could single handedly reform the whole of US soccer.

            Even if he could overhaul the whole of US youth soccer tomorrow, I doubt you would see any impact for at LEAST 10 yrs, if not 15-20 yrs. And I’m not sure how dedicated ANY national team coach could be to such a long-term project, given that their tenure is typically only 4 years.

          2. Sooooooooooo let’s just ignore the problem, as US Soccer and BB will surely do, and it will just go away !!!!!!!! BRILLIANT Everybody complains but when somebody steps up and proposes to actually DO SOMETHING, all we get are more complaints and we wonder why US Soccer never changes!! As the cartoon character, Pogo once said, “We have seen the enemy and it is US”

          3. Well I don’t think anyone is saying that the “problem” should be ignored. I just don’t think you can expect a national team coach to overhaul the whole youth structure of a country – as far as I know, this is never the case in other countries. By all means, hire someone as some form of director to oversee the program, but just let the national team coach just coach the national team.

          4. I can’t believe that I need to explain this !! It’s called management 101 ———– you get control of the technical staff (which was what Klinsmann wanted) . Then you explain exactly what you want taught, to whom and how and then you fire everyone who doesn’t get the message. Then your APPOINTEES carry out your instructions. (It’s called a “turn-around CEO) It was pretty obvious that Klinsmann would have cleaned house, which was the real reason he wasn’t selected!!! For those of you who question how we could turn over our youth development to a “rookie”, I say that our youth development is a mess, anything will be an improvement!!

          5. short passes, I Won’t agree with you on that one. And by the way, you are guessing. You don’t have access to that kind of information, I think. So, your explanation is more like a wish and I can understand and respect that, but your comment should express more that instead of sound like you KNOW exactly what Klisman would do because you don’t. And Dave C is 100% right. The pro coach is ONLY responsible for a gigantic job of making a better PRO national team. There is no such thing of a PRO coach designing a plan for the youth. I bet Klisman does not even know how to do that.

    2. @short passes: I think “hot” would be his third place finish at the 2006 World Cup and “cold” would be his firing from Bayern Munich.

      That’s really all I meant there.

  7. OK Sergio, you win — I don’t have the time or indeed the interest in explaining to you how Klinsmann might implement organizational change in US Soccer. Talking to a wall would be more productive. I get it — you just don’t like Klinsmann 1!!

    1. You should be at least a little bit more respectful with others writing here. I don’t know Klinsmann and I don’t care personally if he coaches whoever. But if you don’t know this by now, let me tell you how it works. This place here is a blog, not YOUR web site where your opinion should be the only one published. You can have one of those if you want, go for it, but don’t try to be a smart ass in here trying to push your opinion like the only truth. People here will care about your opinion until the page two, so, don’t get all nervous about it, there is nothing personal in disagreeing, it is just the rule of the game, if you don’t like the rules, don’t play it. Understand one little thing pal, your opinion is JUST your opinion. Be happy we are trying to talk about it. By the way, I don’t need explanations about soccer from you, believe me, so, try the wall, a perfect match for ya.

      1. @Short Passes – getting control of the technical staff for the national team should be 100% the responsibility of the national team coach, you’re right. If Klinsmann were able to do this, then it may well lead to an improvement in the national team.

        But what you can’t expect him to do is overhaul the whole footballing infrastructure of the nation from youth level up. You can’t expect a guy who is going to be in a job for 4 years or so to be fully devoted to implementing a long term plan that would not come to fruition for 10- 20 yrs. That’s why that sort of job needs to be done by someone other than the national team coach.

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