Saturday, July 30, 2011

Jurgen Klinsmann is Your Next USA Soccer Coach

It is pretty clear that Washington Post's Soccer Insider Steven Goff doesn't love this hiring--"[Klinsmann] energized a stumbling German national team program leading to the 2006 World Cup, but much of the credit for the technical improvements were attributed to top assistant Joachim Low. Germany, the host team, advanced to the semifinals before losing to eventual champion Italy in an epic extra-time match in Dortmund."

Fair point, if I knew who was doing the attribution to Joachim Low.  Goff doesn't say who did that.  Klinsmann may not be a brilliant tactical guy.  I'm not sure that's what the US needs right now.  What US Soccer needs is a coach who can evaluate talent, particularly developing potential elite talent.  I don't know if I (or anyone) wants to think what Clint Dempsey or Jozy Altidore might be right now, if they had had the advice of Klinsmann on the training pitch for the past four years.

Goff may be dubious on Klinsmann, but let's make something clear--this isn't is The Talisman hire that Argentina did with Maradona, or Mexico with Hugo Chavez.  Klinsmann will bring more professioanl experience, international experience, World Cup experience to the table than any previous USA Coach.  At the very least, I think, US fans can rest assured the best possible Starting Eleven will be on the pitch for the US going forward.  And that hasn't happened in years.  Not just under Bradley, I should add.  Bruce Arena had a soft spot for David Regis, which never, ever worked out well for the US.

Klinsmann brings a ruthless appraising eye to the US Roster--no one gets on the squad based on kick-ass MLS stats, I'm guessing.  Robbie Findlay, for example, should probably get used to not being on the US squad.  Klinsmann will put people in a position to succeed.  He also brings decades of knowledge of what a World Class player looks like.  He was on the pitch with them, he was one of them, and he has coached several.  He'll have things to teach to his offensive players.  That's a new wrinkle in the US program.  When it came to the tricks of the trade of being a striker, what did Bradley, or Arena, or Steve Sampson have to tell Jozy Altidore that he didn't already know?  Klinsmann will teach him some shit. That alone is worth making the switch.  And you know..maybe he can teach this:

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