Home / Dave Brockington / Klinsmann



It took less than a day, but LGM called for his hiring, and the US FA took note and duly responded.  Correlation, or causality?  You be the judge.  And for our next trick, we’ll solve the manufactured debt ceiling crisis.

Considering how swift the appointment was made, especially in light of the past difficulties the US FA have had with negotiating with Klinsmann, it’s safe to assume that this hiring was a done deal before Bradley was fired.

What I like about this hiring, as I implied in yesterday’s post, is that Klinsmann is more likely to give the next generation a solid look.  Bradley was in stasis, and we were left wondering how the next generation would be discovered, let alone develop.  Plus, Bradley let Giuseppe Rossi get away.  Klinsmann is a solid tournament manager, as evidenced by Germany’s 2006 run with an sub-par side — my German mate in Plymouth during that tournament predicted that they wouldn’t get out of the group stage, and yet they finished third.  His brief tenure with Bayern was largely successful, and he’s credited with revamping their youth academy.  Consistent with his negotiations with the US FA, he demanded considerable control at Bayern, and was eventually sacked for not getting along with the directors.  Hopefully the US FA have given him acres of space to just get on with his job.

What I don’t like about this hiring: Klinsmann scored 30-odd goals for Spurs.

While Bradley’s career with the USMNT is over, and I believe his replacement is a superior choice, he should be lauded for the run in the 2009 Confederations Cup, especially that match against Spain in the semi finals, which I posted about here at LGM at the time (I’d link to the posts, but I can’t seem to make the archive work that far back.)

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  • Well, I’ll be damned. He must think this team stands a better competitive chance than I do.

    Yes, he did well in 2006. With a really young team.

  • wengler

    Some minor quibbles: While I understand what you are saying when you say US FA, it’s actually the USSF. Also Rossi was eligible to play for the US, but that didn’t mean he was ever going to play for the US. He’s an Italian that happened to be born in New Jersey. ESPN’s fascination with him is stupid and overblown, and the only reason he is ever talked about as the “great player that got away”.

    I’ll be interested to see how Klinsmann does. That August 10 game is almost certainly going to be all MLS and reserve players. The team selection will probably be more interesting than the tactics.

    • Dave Brockington

      US FA / USSF: I went (and go) with the generic international standard in referring to various national football associations. As for Rossi, yes, of course being a dual citizen he had the choice of national teams to play for, and he did have a long run in the Italian U-17, U-19, and U-21, and the ESPN reference aside (living over half the year in England, ESPN wasn’t even available until very recently) he’d be an automatic pick in any starting XI for the USMNT.

      • wengler

        Yeah, but he didn’t want to play for the US, he wanted to play for Italy for the obvious reasons that he’s Italian and they are a lot better team.

        You can’t draft a player that doesn’t want to play for you. This Rossi in the US XI myth is the one that refuses to die.

        • dave brockington

          I understand that, but I can be wistful, can’t I? Indeed a few comments above I point out that Rossi did turn out for every under-whatever age group Italy had on offer, so I wasn’t surprised when he scored that goal against us in 2009.

          • Desert Rat

            You can be wistful, but to blame Bradley for Rossi, who preferred to play for Italy over the US (and by the way, given the choice of countries, I think he made the right choice) is to speak from ignorance, or alternately, a very strong, unreasoning anti-Bradley bias.

            I think it was clear that Bradley was a second-choice hiring, based more on Gulati not wanting to give up control to Klinsmann in 2006. I think Bradley did about as good a job in those four years as could be expected…Gold Cup win, Gold Cup runner up with a B team, Confederations Cup Silver, Round of 16 exit.

            The 2010 World Cup team had a nice path to the final 8, but forgetting the favorable round of 16 draw, this team wasn’t good enough to do better than they did. The team went to South Africa with a slow, immobile, injury-plagued center backfield, not one true left back in the entire roster, a glaring hole next to Michael Bradley in midfield, and strikers who were strikers in name only. These are not the ingredients of which deep World Cup runs were made.

            Where Gulati made the mistake was in reupping Bradley for another four years. He should have handed the keys to Klinsmann last year after the World Cup, whatever the cost. Instead, he left Bradley dangling for 3-4 months, which wasn’t fair to Bradley, and frankly, told the players that Bradley was on a very short leash. What’s surprising is that the players seemed to be pretty supportive of Bradley, even after the Gold Cup debacle.

            I blame the US’s poor form since the 2010 World Cup on Gulati as much or more than Bradley.

            • DingDong

              Sorry, I have to agree with Wengler. I was about to write a complaint about “US FA” as well. It’s the “USSF.” I don’t even know that the “US FA” is an “international” way of saying it– it’s just what they use in the UK and Ireland. The French have a “federation” (like us), the Germans have a “Bund,” the Australians (not that anyone cares) have a federation. Anyway, not worth a long comment about, but “US FA” just comes off as wrong and slightly pretentious to me!

  • Bill Murray

    Between Arena’s leaving and Bradley’s hiring, I (and many others at the same event) talked to Sunil Gulati and it was apparent he really wanted Klinsman then.

    Given that Rossi played his youth internationals almost exclusively with Italy and turned down Arena for being at the pre-2006 World Cup training camp, I doubt Bradley had much to do with Rossi not playing for the US.

    The guy the US let get away was Neven Subotic, but that was Thomas “wrong again” Rongen, who left Subotic off the U-20 World Cup roster in 2007, not Bradley. And man could the US use Subotic, as seen by how crappy the US defense was this summer. Rossi would have been great, but the US never really had a chance to get him.

    • Amen

    • Thlayli

      You can just about put a team together of players who could have played for the USNT but chose otherwise. Myhill in goal, Subotic and Hangeland in the back, Rossi and Ibisevic up front … a little light in midfield with Jones off the table, need someone better than Arturo Alvarez.

      • Desert Rat

        Of course, this cuts both ways. Until recently, most of the national team had US and foreign passports. A good chunk of the stars of the last two decades could very easily have played for someone else, rather than the US.

        Still, Subotic was a loss.

  • giovanni da procida

    Was the success of Germany in 2006 due to Klinsman or Low? I’m not saying Klinsmann isn’t a good coach, but I’ll wait and see how he does.

    Then again, I think its usually a bad idea to give a coach two world cup cycles (see Lippi, Marcello), so Bradley should have been replaced last year.

    I agree that there was no chance that the US was going to get Rossi.

    • wengler

      If your coach wins the World Cup, I understand sticking with him for another cycle. Arena got the US to the quarterfinals in 2002. That was a great accomplishment. Bradley got them to win the group(with help from Robert Green), but they went out in the Round of 16 in 2010. That should’ve been the end of Bradley’s tenure as coach.

  • Lee Brimmicombe-Wood

    A spurs supporter writes:

    What’s this bollocks about not liking Jurgen because he scored for Spurs?

    I remember the songs on the terraces after he first scored and did that celebration dive:

    “Chim-chimery, chim-chimery,
    Chim-chim cheroo,
    Jurgen was German,
    But now he’s a Jew…”

  • cpinva

    for a brief moment, i thought this was about something important. maybe a replacement for geithner at treasury, or the redskins signing a proven QB who wasn’t on his last legs. then i realized it was about soccer, and, well, frankly, who cares????????????????????

    • Evidently you do, enough to interrupt your busy day.

    • Thlayli

      Why is it that, whenever there’s a soccer post, someone feels the need to make an “Eeeewww, soccer!” comment?

      The PageDown key is on the right. Nobody is forcing you to read this.

      • N.C.

        Not only that: the complaint is “why are you talking about soccer when you could be talking about FOOTBALL?”

    • Furious Jorge

      Fuck the Redskins.

    • When I get a comment like that when I post on the world’s most popular sport at Balloon Juice, I’m tempted to disemvowel it, but instead, just wait until the other commenters make the troll look like a buffoon.

      Thanks for doing your part, guys.

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