Friday, July 29, 2011

US Soccer Fans Rejoice As Klinsmann Named New National Coach

Today the United States Soccer National Team finally got the man they've been chasing for several years.  Jurgen Klinsmann was hired as National Coach, replacing the recently fired Bob Bradley.

Klinsmann had twice been offered the job before, most notably in 2007 shortly after he coached a young German team to the semi-finals of the World Cup.  At the time, there apparently were disagreements on the level of control that Klinsmann would have over an American program.  Those issues appear to be solved now.

New Men's National Team Coach Jurgen Klinsmann
Photo: Mike Cassese/Landov
The German coach is not without his detractors, however.  He left his club position at Bayern Munich after less than a year in 2009 because of problems with the team.  Some said at the time that he lost the locker room.

Grant Wahl from Sports Illustrated asked Bayern President Uli Hoeness if he thought that Klinsmann could make a good coach again.
  "I still think that Jürgen could be a good coach for a national team. I'm not so sure anymore if he's a good coach for a [club] football team. Jürgen is a free spirit who needs his time out, you know ... In the national team you have your day off, your weeks off, your weekend, and that is for his character very important. With us I had the impression that was not the right thing for him. I could easily imagine if he's taking [a national-team job] as he was with Germany, it was a super time. I still believe that could work."
Klinsmann will actually be meeting his players shortly.  The United States have a friendly against Mexico (is there every such a thing as just a "friendly" against Mexico?) scheduled for August 10, barely two weeks away.  
However, after that, it's several months before the serious business of World Cup qualifications take place.  Plenty of time to install a new system that many expect will be more aggressive and factor in a more controlling style of play that the Europeans favor.  

Hopefully, Klinsmann will be able to find the players to run the type of system that he wants to, and most certainly we will see some turnover on the national team as we look to get quicker and more aggressive on the ball.  I would expect Freddy Adu to take advantage of this going forward.

One thing is for certain:  it's an exciting time to be an American soccer fan.

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