TUES, 2:45PM ET
MILL0
SOU2
TUES, 2:45PM ET
CEL0
MAR1
TUES, 2:45PM ET
POR2
LIL0
TUES, 3PM ET
DONS4
MUFC0
WED, 2:45PM ET
ARS
BES
WED, 2:45PM ET
BRA
LUFC

6 Questions for US Soccer Federation About Jurgen Klinsmann’s Contract Extension

jurgen klinsmann 6 Questions for US Soccer Federation About Jurgen Klinsmanns Contract Extension

The news that Jürgen Klinsmann has received a four year contract extension from US Soccer that will take the Head Coach through the 2018 World Cup was well received in many quarters. But while appreciating the move and its intent of giving long-term stability and direction to a previously anchor-less US program, I do have some questions about the deal.

US Soccer President Sunil Gulati has long been infatuated with Klinsmann’s reputation and his talking points about transforming the US program, so it should be no surprise he has gotten this extension plus the added responsibilities of being “Technical Director” before he has really accomplished anything.

My questions about the deal are:

1. Bob Bradley’s US side won the CONCACAF Hexagonal in 2009, didn’t struggle in the semifinal stage in 2008 the way Klinsmann’s team did in 2012 and eventually won its group in World Cup 2010. Yet Bradley had to wait one month after the tournament to get an extension amid media speculation that Gulati was looking for another option. What if Klinsmann fails to advance the US out of its group in Brazil? Will he be given the sack as he has fallen short of Bradley’s established mark?

2. Bradley lost in the final of 2011 Gold Cup and was sacked. Will Klinsmann be given a similar termination should the US lose in the 2015 Gold Cup?

3. As US head coach, Klinsmann took a distinct interest in the progress of the youth teams, but the US Youth National Team program is at its lowest in two decades. The U-17 team didn’t qualify for the World Cup, the U-23 team didn’t qualify for the Olympics playing Klinsmann’s favored system and the U-20 bombed out of the U-20 World Cup. Now Klinsmann has added Technical Director to his responsibilities. Does this mean he will be held accountable if and when the US Youth national teams fail again?

4. Why the hurry to give this extension a week after the draw? Who exactly was knocking on Klinsmann’s door? Following his spectacular failure at Bayern, I am not sure any major European club is interested in his services. Besides, Klinsmann has stated publicly on numerous occasions he is more cut out for national team management, or maybe that was merely a way to justify his Bayern failures.

5. If Klinsmann were given this extension due to qualifying performances, then why was Bruce Arena — whose side buzzed through CONCACAF with almost identical results and score lines in 2005 — not given an extension that year? That summer in the U-20 World Cup, the US beat eventual champion Argentina and did well in the U-17 tournament as well. If that standard was being applied, Arena would still be US manager.

6. Finally if Klinsmann is being asked to set a direction for the US program with his new title, is he now responsible for hiring youth coaches, dictating tactics for the entire program and establishing a general style by which the US plays?

Perhaps Klinsmann earned this extension from the good work he is doing to establish the United States as a soccer power, which is largely below the radar. But at the same time I wonder about the timing of this move and whether it was in fact fair to Klinsmann’s predecessors who both enjoyed similar success in portions of their tenures.

Editor’s note: For the latest USMNT news, analysis and opinion, visit the US Men’s National Team page.

This entry was posted in Jurgen Klinsmann, US National Team, World Cup, World Cup 2014. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kartik Krishnaiyer

A lifelong lover of soccer, the beautiful game, he served from January 2010 until May 2013 as the Director of Communications and Public Relations for the North American Soccer League (NASL). Raised on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the old NASL, Krishnaiyer previously hosted the American Soccer Show on the Champions Soccer Radio Network, the Major League Soccer Talk podcast and the EPL Talk Podcast. His soccer writing has been featured by several media outlets including The Guardian and The Telegraph. He is the author of the book Blue With Envy about Manchester City FC.
View all posts by Kartik Krishnaiyer →

11 Responses to 6 Questions for US Soccer Federation About Jurgen Klinsmann’s Contract Extension

  1. MrD5000 says:

    You seriously suggesting that Bradley and Arena are both a better coach?

    Jeezzz never a better case of jingoism seen on here.

    Go figure, who’s won what and then change you article title to “1 Reason To Back Klinsmann”

    • KapUSMC says:

      I like Klinsmann, but you are entirely to dismissive of Bradley and Arena. Both were very good managers as well. All managers have won the hex, and all three won the Gold Cup. But Arena and Bradley lead teams to good results on the big stage as well. Arena had a World Cup quarters out of a group the US wasn’t supposed to advance from (Beating Portugal ironically enough, since the US are matched up with them again) and Bradley had the 2nd place Confed Cup beating Spain 2-0 in the midst of one of their most dominant runs ever. Again I like Klinsmann, and the way the team is playing, but to date he has done exactly what was expected of him.

      (Also worth noting, Bradley had a pretty impressive record at 24-5-7 record at Egypt and Arena has won a significant amount of silverware in MLS).

      • sucka99 says:

        Great managers. But are they program overhaulers? When they got Klinsi they got him for more than just on field results. His is a project that will take much more than a few years and it’s silly to judge him based on a few years in charge. Judge him after 2018 or don’t make the hire.

  2. Guy says:

    Personally, I don’t have any questions. I think it was a good move, period. What was done in the past has absolutely nothing to do with what may/should be done now.

    Klinsy is our guy, so let’s ride that horse and see where it takes us.

  3. Porque? says:

    This extension makes NO SENSE, especially given the draw the US got for World Cup 2014.

    The US can easily go 0-for-3 in Brazil. What will Sunil do then?

    • MrD5000 says:

      “quite easily” should actually read “more likely”. A cruel draw that really puts the U.S. in a hole.

      It’s shouldn’t be the result so much as the way that the U.S. plays that should determine their success at the WC.

  4. mengele says:

    Poor Kartik, most likely in dire need for attention with this cheap jab at Klinsi. Too many “ifs” to justify the time reading it (rethoric about sacking after hypothetical 2015 Gold Cup loss in the final). Actually what credibility has one who doesn’t even mention Manchester City in the race for EPL this year while sees United still in the contention?
    Stay with the MLS and USL, suits you better.

  5. Smokey Bacon says:

    Clearly, us soccer must be looking past the World Cup by giving him this extension. It must be all this other stuff he is allegedly bringing to the table. His record as coach is nothing special compared to either Bradley or Arena and there is a real possibility of going 0-3 next June. I think it’s marketing. Klinsmann is a recognized brand that adds cache to US soccer in a way their Bradley or Arena or any homegrown coach could never match.

  6. john marzan says:

    “1. Bob Bradley’s US side won the CONCACAF Hexagonal in 2009, didn’t struggle in the semifinal stage in 2008 the way Klinsmann’s team did in 2012 and eventually won its group in World Cup 2010. Yet Bradley had to wait one month after the tournament to get an extension amid media speculation that Gulati was looking for another option. What if Klinsmann fails to advance the US out of its group in Brazil? Will he be given the sack as he has fallen short of Bradley’s established mark?”

    klinsmann has the benefit of low expectations (does anybody else realistically think the USA will advance to the next round WITH ANY COACH?).

    being bracketed in the “group of death” allows USA the excuse to resign klinsmann knowing that he will not be blamed for not surviving out of the group stages.

  7. john marzan says:

    i still think losing to ghana is a firable offense.

  8. Matt says:

    The main difference between Bradley/Arena and Klinsy is potential. When both men were sacked, I felt they had already reached their maximum capacity as managers, leaving them on the wrong side of their peak capabilities with the USMNT. I don’t anticipate having that feeling with Jurgen anytime soon.

    It also helps that he doesn’t have a propensity for making the same personnel mistakes over and over again (Jonathan f****** Bornstein, you still haunt me)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>