Klinsmann signs four-year USMNT extension, appointed U.S. Soccer technical director

USA manager Jurgen Klinsmann

Photo by ISIphotos.com


Regardless of how it ends, the 2014 World Cup will not be Jurgen Klinsmann’s last as head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team.

U.S. Soccer announced on Thursday that it has signed Klinsmann to a four-year extension that will keep him in charge of the U.S. team through 2018. As part of the new deal, Klinsmann has also been appointed the technical director for U.S. Soccer.

“One of the reasons we hired Jurgen as our head coach was to advance the program forward and we’ve seen the initial stages of that happening on the field and also off the field in various areas,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati in a statement released by the federation. “In the past two years he has built a strong foundation from the senior team down to the youth teams and we want to continue to build upon that success.”

Long pursued by U.S. Soccer, Klinsmann signed on as head coach in July 2011 and has been largely successful during his time in charge. The Americans are coming off one of their most successful years in history, one that was highlighted by winning the 2013 Gold Cup and a first-place finish in CONCACAF’s 2014 World Cup qualifying.

There has been evidence in the past of things growing stale during a second World Cup cycle under the same head coach, but that was not enough to keep U.S. Soccer from extending Klinsmann’s stay and making him the federation’s technical director.

“I am very fortunate to continue the work we started more than two and half years ago,” said Klinsmann in the same statement. “It’s exciting to see the progress we have made, and we continue to make improvements on all fronts. The role of technical director is a huge challenge and also a huge opportunity as we look to keep connecting the dots to the youth national teams, coaching education, the Development Academy and the grassroots efforts in this country. These are fascinating topics and I am excited work with so many talented people and hear fresh ideas. For sure it means more work, but also many more fulfilling opportunities.”

Klinsmann and the U.S. found out their 2014 World Cup opponents during last week’s draw in Brazil. They were drawn alongside Ghana, Germany, and Portugal to make up one of the more difficult groups in next summer’s World Cup.


What do you think of U.S. Soccer extending Klinsmann’s contract and making him technical director? Happy? Concerned that complacency might settle in at the World Cup and beyond?

Share your thoughts below.

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207 Responses to Klinsmann signs four-year USMNT extension, appointed U.S. Soccer technical director

  1. Tony in Quakeland says:

    I’m going to be a belittled minority but…ugh.

    I’d be okay with him as a TD, but I don’t want him for another four years. His game management and coaching has been for more lucky than good.

    Go ahead, attack me. i can take it…

    • BB says:

      I agree. Why right before the World Cup? Wait and see how he does before you commit to another cycle.

      • louisz says:

        maybe because the federation doesn’t expect us to do well in our group because of the competition and he is given an extension based on what he did these past two years.

        • Kevin_H says:

          Agreed. While World Cup results matter, to base a coach’s impact on the team/country solely on three games is a bit short-sighted. I know a lot of people will disagree with that.

          • the original jb says:

            I completely agree. Not enough sample time for 3 games. If you look at the last 2.5 yrs, however,the results are pretty impressive. And all while making a complete change stylistically.

            On a personal note, I love JK’s attitude and positivity and his attempts to be transparent.

            • rainORshine says:

              results from non-concacaf WC teams from 11/12 + all non-concacaf games plus WCQs v costa rica and mexico in 2013…

              – GF – 18; GA – 23; GD: -5
              – 5W – italy, CR, germany, bos, mexico
              – 3T – russia, mexico, scotland
              – 7L – bel x2, ecuador, france, brazil, costa rica, austria

              avg shots: US – 8.4, opp – 12.4
              avg SOG – 3.6; opp – 5.5

              • Mason says:

                Holy cherry pick, Batman!

                (rainOrShine posted this down thread, too. I responded there.)

              • RAMONE says:

                US soccer fans are officially getting spoiled / entitled.

                Friendlies are not always the first team. Friendlies offer an opportunity to tinker. Sure you always WANT to win (meaning your tinkering is genius), but sometimes the goal is style of play and tactics …. you don’t win any respect or trophies for friendlies.

                It is a building process (not sure what 2011 friendlies have to do with 2014 WC and beyond, but OK). We rolled through the gold cup with our B team and a little bit of A sprinkled in this year. We rolled through CONCACAF WC qualifying with barely even a serious challenge. We won in Azteca in 2012 for the first time in ….. you guessed it.

                Yes, the 2002 WC run was legendary, but have we really forgotten how friendlies against strong teams went in 03-04? 07-08? Don’t even get me started on the 1990s or before. While our RECORDS might have been better during some of those early new coach stretches, are you really going to take pride in wins over Canada, Wales, New Zealand, Jamaica, El Salvador, China, etc. to run up those records? Bradley, Arena, Sampson, Milutinovich, Gansler … none of them EVER won more than the occasional big name away friendly (or even home friendly). Their records were largely bloated because we were playing the 3rd tier teams in friendlies regularly and when we played first tier we almost always lost.

                If I can thank Klinsmann for anything, it is that the level of friendly on average has risen DRAMATICALLY since the US soccer I came to know in the 80s, 90s and 2000s. Sure, we could go back to beating up on Barbados, Kuwait, and such – but that didn’t work and will not work to make the team stronger. If you want to train to play at a high level you have to play high level teams which means you will lose some. Klinsmann is doing better than fine and I have no problem giving him 8 years to try to transform US soccer into consistently the dominant nation in CONCACAF and hopefully competitive with anyone in the world.

        • downintexas says:

          Since we are in the group of death I’m not worried about results as much as how we play. If we lose all 3 but play well that’s one thing. If we play poorly that’s another.

      • Smacking says:

        I suspect it’s actually a combination of his success up until this point, a statement about US Soccer’s confidence going forward regardless of 2014 results and a protection from him being poached if the team makes it out of the group.

      • Paul Miller says:

        My guess is we did this now, right before the World Cup, because other countries were expressing interest in him. US Soccer has seen both the good and the bad but feels like things are moving the right way, and doesn’t want someone else to sign him up.

    • Ian says:

      Not an attack, but please enlighten me: How have JK’s results been “more lucky than good”? I honestly don’t get that assessment.

      • John says:

        Seriously how many times has bringing in the right sub changed the game for the US. Pretty often it seems.

        • bb says:

          Exactly. It’s happened too many times now to be considered a fluke.

        • Roman Lewandowski says:

          I would ask how many times he deployed a hopelessly bad starting lineup/formation and had to fix it in the second half.

          • foooo says:

            and I would ask what is so wrong with trying new formations and actually making positive changes when these formations don’t work out? Hmmmm?

      • Tony in Quakeland says:

        Happy to.

        People forget that in the early part of the year there was a lot of chatter that he might get fired. The team looked inept and confused. (Remember the Strauss article? To JK’s credit the approach started to change after that, but before that it was plain the team was a tactical disaster.)

        He gets credit for several things that I think fall in the “luck” category:

        – Results against Mexico and Italy. Frankly, these games were not appreciably differed than previous games against Italy or in Azteca. In fact, the WC 2006 draw as a significantly greater achievement. The only differences is we scraped up a couple goals and Mexico was abysmal in its finishing.

        – Snow in Denver and bizarrely bad defending by Jamaica essentially saved the qualifying campaign.

        – Pattern of playing guys out of position. He was at times lucky that out-of-position players like Beasley’s more disastrous defensive mistake did not cost him. More bizarre were things like playing EJ on the wing. He scores twice from there in one game, and was pretty much garbage there from then on.

        There are other things. He is given credit for bringing in players, but the team depends on Donovan, Dempsey, Bradley, Altidore and Howard… just like 2010. He is nowhere close to solving the back line and if we go into this group with Evans and Beasley as our full backs, we’re going to get smoked.

        Now, he has changed some things. He has settled on roles a little more. And if he gets us out of the group I might get a JK tattoo. But a bounce here, as shot there and 2013 would have been a horror show. Right now I do not see the great leap forward that justifies a four year extension ahead of the World Cup. I see more luck so far than anything else.

        • Ian says:

          Solid response. I won’t argue with much, other than the basic premise the events in question were the outcome of a lucky break here, another lucky break there. After so many lucky breaks, one should ask if the odds are actually tilted in one’s favor. And I think that’s the case with Klinsmann. He’s doing enough to make a difference, and that’s all we can ask of him.

          On a couple of your points:

          Snow Bowl could have been anyone’s game. USMNT players aren’t Inuits; they don’t do any better in 4 inches of snow than Costa Rican players. Deuce was the difference.

          Our fullback situation – nay, our entire back line – is atrocious. Klinsmann has his work cut out for him. That’s more a issue of timing. We don’t have Cherundolo, Bocanegra, Onyewu anymore. It’s a changing of the guard, and JK is still tinkering. Yeah, he better get it nailed down within six months.

          Thanks for the response.

          • Tony in Quakeland says:

            And you are right. If someone is continually lucky, you have to ask if it’s more than luck. And if he gets us out of the group, I will credit the mysterious alchemy that so many else see. But until them I have not seen a change from the past. In fact, for most of his reign, we have been more conservative than we ever were under Bradley. I also thnk he is benefiting from demographics as a new borader, deeper pool of US players comes of age. (Alas, no Donovans or Dempseys yet, but maybe…)

            • anthony says:

              This coach’s ability to change the mental tactical approach to playing soccer toe to toe with the italians, germans, mexico away was a significant chance opposed to the defensive style of play in the past. A coach can get lucky once or twice and then have that sight of relief, its finally over, some how some way it was done. Eventually they get fired, but Jurgen has struggled early on as every new coach will and learned from it through a systematic approach of applying certain tools to the team during the qualifying process (which took some time), gold cup and leading up to the end of the year. Good or great coaches have to always make players feel uncomfortable challenge them to get better and see how far they can go, instead of staying to their limitations. Jose Torres was so favored by him, now he’s gone. So far he has done that, lets see if he continues to do so.

          • Shaggie96 says:

            Sorry, but I’ll take Besler, Gonzalez and Brooks over Bocanegra, Onyewu, and Demerit any day of the week.

            Fullbacks on the other hand, I agree with.

            • RP says:

              No way. 4 years ago Boca, DeMerit and Gooch were more proven than what we have now. I take those guys.. and feel the risk is lower. At LB we’ve improved. At RB we’ve declined as well. Unless possibly Chandler maximizes his potential.

          • Tony in Quakeland says:

            By the way, they put up a really good Armchair Analyst article about JK on the MLS site. Don’t agree with all of it, but I think it is good reading in the context of this discussion.

            link to mlssoccer.com

            • Paul Miller says:

              Ugh, Doyle lost me with ‘tika taka.’ That’s Brit speak for:

              “I don’t understand this short passing and possession style of play, and don’t understand how any system that doesn’t seek to hit the opponent’s channels more than they hit yours works, despite our British idiotic style of play pretty much leading to dismal results since the time half a century ago when we hosted the World Cup.”

              I don’t think Doyle is British, and if he isn’t, he deserves more disdain for thinking Brit speak is cool.

            • Paul Miller says:

              Second try to get through the moderation review – Ugh, Doyle lost me with ‘tika taka.’ That’s Brit speak for:

              “I don’t understand this short passing and possession style of play, and don’t understand how any system that doesn’t seek to hit the opponent’s channels more than they hit yours works, despite our style of play pretty much leading to dismal results since the time half a century ago when we hosted the World Cup.”

              I don’t think Doyle is British, and if he isn’t, he deserves more disdain for thinking Brit speak is cool.

        • Petro4ever says:

          I think those are fair points, although I don’t really agree with many of them.

          As far as playing guys out of position, I think any new coach has to experiment with different line-ups to test players’ versatility/flexibility, and also to figure out ways to get as many of the team’s best players on the field in line-ups that make sense. Klinsmann had a unique challenge in that the top segment of our player pool is heavy on midfielders (particularly central, defensively-oriented midfielders) and light on quality defenders (both centrally and on the outside). I think most coaches would experiment with ways to get as many of our mids on the field at once while also getting as many players into the defender depth chart as possible. Hence, those weird line-ups with Jones, Bradley, Edu, and Torres all playing at once, as well as (later) Beasley and Evans at outside back. Eddie Johnson at wing has been, I think, an attempt to compensate for Altidore’s early scoring drought and the relative youth of our other striker prospects. It’s not my first choice, but I also don’t think it’s been a complete disaster, as for all of his shortcomings, he does give us an interesting alternative when we want a second player in front of goal who’s skilled in the air, but don’t want to pull our primary striker. Outside of Fabian Johnson, I don’t think our other left wingers have been lighting the world on fire either.

          As for lucking out in the snow game and against Jamaica, luck has always been part of qualifying, and good luck and bad luck tend to cancel themselves out over the course of a cycle. For example, we got help from the snow during the Costa Rica home leg, but then lost Michael Bradley to a freak injury in warm-ups prior to the road leg. I think, overall, Klinsmann’s managed the natural ups and downs of the team well — our highs and lows haven’t been particularly extreme.

          I’m not sure how results against Italy and Mexico could be described as “not appreciably different.” The Italy win was a historic achievement, and while Mexico has been awful at home over the last year, the friendly win and WCQ tie at Azteca got us over an important psychological hurdle that I think will help us in high pressure environments in the future, and possibly even have residual benefits for next cycle, when some of the younger players who played in the road friendly will likely still be on our roster in larger roles.

          Overall, I’m not sure how I feel about extending Klinsmann through the next cycle before this one is over. But it’s defensible as a way of keeping him from jumping ship to a higher bidder if things do happen to go well in Brazil. Plus, it’s not immediately clear who the candidates would be to replace him, as manager of the USMNT still isn’t that attractive a job (it’s not a bad job at all, but realistically, international coaches still are not clamoring for it).

        • Adam M. says:

          My main disagrement stems from your assertion that the team depends on Donovan, Dempsey, Bradley, Altidore and Howard. The only truth there is that they remain our best players. But the team has almost never consisted of these players on the field at the same time under JK for various reasons, and none of the players you mention play on the back line. JK has done an exceptional job learning his players, broadening the pool, and getting from them what he can regardless of pre-conceived notions of position. That does not mean these players are good enough to consistently produce results against better European or South American opponents. But neither are Donovan, Dempsey, etc. For me, JK has proven that he can extract the most out of the quality he has at his disposal, and he has done so with a generally congenial attitude and forward attitude towards playing the game that leans the US more toward the skilled play necessary to be consistent down the road as our talent improves. Its a process that deserves more than 4 years and he is rightfully getting it.

      • Tony in Quakeland says:

        And I didn’t take it as an attack. You asked me to justify an opinion. Fair play to you.

      • slowleftarm says:

        Good points guys, interesting read.

        • Tony in Quakeland says:

          Thanks. Nothing I love more than an intelligent difference of opionion.

          • Sharkbait says:

            Luck has been mentioned quite a bit between your posts and some of the people respectfully disagreeing with you (oh whom I would be one). The sites I frequent most often are this one, AmericanSoccerNow, Grantland, and ESPNFC and several months ago I believe there was an article on one or more of them quoting someone’s work (off a new book I think) regarding the luck factor involved in soccer. Unfortunately I can’t for the life of me remember who wrote it or where I read it but the gist was that luck plays a larger role in soccer than most other sports. The main thing I took from it being that because so few goals are scored as a percentage of shots taken that a lucky bounce or fluke play can win or lose games more easily than in most sports.

            It was a very interesting read if you haven’t seen it. Maybe you have but if not hopefully someone here knows what I’m talking about.

            • Adam says:

              I remember that too….I actually had just read the book. Its called “The Numbers Game: Why Everything You Know About Soccer Is Wrong” (or something like that). The author(s) spend a good amount of time in the book showing that much of the game is random and while long-term success can be reasonably predicted (Soccernomics), what happens over the short term is not nearly predictable as you would think. Its a good read for soccer nerds and if you are commenting here, I would assume you are with me in that category

              • Both books are excellent reads. The Numbers Game says chances of winning any soccer game is dependent upon 50% talent and 50% luck (weather, refs, totally weid stuff like a beach ball coming on the field to deflect the soccer ball into the net)

              • whoop-whoop says:

                “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.”

                Funny how when you repeatedly have players at the right place at the right time, the ball tends to find its way into the back of the net, or… takes a bounce off of a player to stay out.

                Proficient poachers are often called lucky too aren’t they, but inevitably, its a result of uncanny anticipation and consistently putting themselves in dangerous positions. Sometimes all you have to do is have the good sense to to invite lady luck in.

          • LAMF says:

            According to my research, this is the first time such a discussion has taken place on the internet. History has been made.

          • bb says:

            it’s stuff like this that helps make SBI one of the best sites & community on the interwebs, and definitely the best SPORTS communities.

            • Ian says:


              I’m consistently impressed with how civil we keep our discussions. It’s RARE that we see ad homs or anything of that nature. Everyone, give yourselves a pat on the back.

    • QuakerOtis says:

      You’re not entirely off base. I like this simply because it puts JK in the director position under positive circumstances. He can have a better long term effect as director than as manager (not that he’s horrible). If we have a poor showing at the WC or some time later (or if there is a change of heart), I don’t see why he or US Soccer are prohibited from hiring another person for the managerial role. It might even be better to have him step down as manager before 2018, let a new manager challenge the players with a fresh perspective, and then let Jurgen work more closely with managers at the earlier developmental levels.

    • Benny Dargle says:

      From a game management perspective, we want to sign up Andreas Herzog for four more years. I think he is JK’s current version of Joachim Low.

    • Derrick says:

      Kilinsmann was hired to improve the US Soccer’s youth development system and three years are not enough to do it. The Klinsmann hire is more about Klinsmann’s ideas than his coaching track record. I am happy with it and expect probably Caleb Porter to take over in 2019 or so.

    • usaalltheway says:

      Tony in Quakeland has got it right.

      JK’s coaching is not what others love to make it out to be. The record is good, but it’s mostly against very weak teams or B teams of European giants, such as Germany and Italy.

      I for one don’t like this at all and history is on my side with this one. Keeping the same coach on for back to back World Cup cycles is death.

      • foooo says:

        usaalltheway, what did you realistically expect JK to accomplish at the helm of the U.S. team in the time he has held the position?
        I repeat for emphasis… name the realistic expectations that JK did not accomplish. Then, maybe we can have a mature discussion.

        • usaalltheway says:

          Move mountains with his mind…just kidding. 😉

          To get the team out of the group in the World Cup in a convincing fashion as well as get new and younger players into the pool.

          Apart from that, I am not a fan of this idea of turning over the national team to this man. He isn’t even American. This is our NATIONAL TEAM. The idea that we can’t do it without the help of a foreign power and foreign players (i.e. all these German Americans and the Iceman) is a bit frustrating. They are all nice guys and have no issue with any of these nations outside the connect of football, but how can we be happy with an American team that is mostly comprised of non-US players?

          Again, this goes back to being a dual-national myself and knowing first hand what that is actually about. Brazil didn’t bring Pep G. in for a reason; no non-Brazilians at the head of their NATIONAL TEAM.

          JK has fine for one go around but I want an American at the head. I am sure this will get all types of hate thrown my way but that is how I feel. Besides, I am not impressed with him as a coach. He simply isn’t that good.

    • Darwin says:

      You’re such a martyr.

    • Gary Page says:

      There are tons of opinions and comparisons on this thread and mine is no better or worse than anyone else’s. However, I think we can all agree that Michael Ballack knows a thing or two about soccer. He was recently quoted in saying this was a good move for the US and it was Ballack’s opinion (he played for Klinsmann in the 2006 WC) that Klinsmann is a good coach who does a great job in motivating players. Seeing as how Ballack doesn’t have any particular stake in either side of this argument, it is logical to assume that this is his honest opinion. I value his opinion.

    • futbolisimo says:

      No way, Tony in Quakekland, I’m right there with you. You took the “ugh” right outta my gut… Totally boring decision on behalf of USSF, and the little man in charge, Gulati… Bruce Arena! Bruce Arena!! Bruce Arena!

  2. Eric says:

    A year ago, I would have said no way…but after the qualifying campaign the USMNT has had, plus some truly remarkable friendlies results, I’m glad to hear that Klinsi decided to stick around for another cycle.

  3. Rory Miller says:

    A sign that the USSF understands that our World Cup draw presents a hefty challenge and Klinsmann shouldn’t be judged solely on what happens there.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I still think you wait and see how he does on the biggest stage before likely giving him a promotion, payraise, and significant extension. Particularly bearing in mind his sales pitch was to raise us to an elite level, which makes the draw excuse less compelling.

      • betamale says:

        nah, everyone will be calling for his blood when we lose three games and bounce out. This just takes the mob rule out of the decision, which is smart.

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          Klinsi’s performance has had enough pendulum swings to make “mob rule” a tad dismissive and “snapshot.”

          • foooo says:

            Pendulum swings!! Ack, we haven’t become a nation that dominates and wins all the time. Fire JK at once!

            This contract extension is smart b/c it’s about a long-term vision, esp. in youth development, and less about the hysterical whining of fanboys with unrealistic expectations about becoming a world power in three years.

      • KNPonder says:

        Fair enough; however, say the US gets 6 points and advances to the quarterfinals. Meanwhile, England (or another “top-tier” team) has a horrible World Cup getting just a point. Can you pay JK enough to keep him? I know that JK has said that the US gig is the one that he wants and I believe him, but some of those teams could make it real tough on US Soccer when re-negotiating. Not saying that this will happen, but you have to think of those things when you are having success and have a high profile manager.

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          That’s the mentality that bound the Houston Texans to the now-much-esteemed Matt Schaub. After his first good game of the season in a contract year we sewed him up for three more years. He hurt his foot at the end of that season and missed the playoffs. He underwhelmed at the end of contract year 1 and then got outright benched contract year 2. We are considering some sort of escape for year 3 but doing the smart thing at this stage has cap and financial consequences.

          If he goes to Brazil and flops then we are committed for four more years. And Gulati then has to worry about buyout expense in terms of making an otherwise straightforward decision — like Egypt after leg 1 against Ghana. We would have done it to avoid market interest lessened by how he might do.

          I also think you empower the signee by contracting at potential peak. If he qualifies well, and the team competes OK but not great at the World Cup, maybe we’d be better off paying the “reality check” rate.

          Personally, I think Klinsi has a sufficiently spotty record that we could have waited.

          • Nader says:

            Sufficiently spotty? What?

            We just had the greatest single year in US Soccer history. We set several offensive records with a B team during the Gold Cup.

            • The Imperative Voice says:

              Germany to the semis at home is arguably under-performance. Run out of Bayern within a season. Squeaked through the semifinal CONCACAF round after a couple of mediocre years between qualifying cycles. Blew the Honduras game. I understand he had a strong year and if culminated by at least a solid showing in Brazil — mindful of draw — a lengthy commitment would make sense. But a commitment right now is riding the emotional wave unless we have options or other outs.

              In February we wanted him fired, now he’s worth four years without even his first USA World Cup. There is a happy medium here, we see how he does and go forward.

              I’m also reticent of treating him like the most incredible coach in the world. If he left for money there are others. He’s trading on this one run of quality.

              We’ve basically shifted the risk of performance issues to ourselves.

              • Nader says:

                Klinsmann was run out by Uli because they didn’t get along. Bayern averages a new coach almost every 1.5 years for like the past 15 years.

                Semi-finals for Bayern was incredible for Germany–they failed to qualify at all for the preceding Euro Cup. They were in a really bad place. Klinsmann was loved beyond measure after that.

                They even threw a freaking parade for him.

              • Gary Page says:

                At the time every analyst I saw said that 3rd place was a good result for Germany because they were very young and untested as a new generation of players was being brought in. As for Bayern Munich, I think they were one or two points out of first when he was canned. What other US coach even approaches JK”s record? Only Bora comes remotely close.

          • SBI TroII says:

            A Houston Texans fans? I’m sorry.

  4. Ian says:

    Awesome! Judging by the past two years’ results, it’s no mystery why USSF re-signed Jurgen.

    I do wonder what would happen if the US bombed hard in the WC. Would the USSF try to buy out the contract? Making him tech director indicates the US Soccer is in it for the long haul, results in 2014 be damned. (For the record, I don’t think we’ll bomb out in the group stage. We’re totally capable of finishing second in our group.)

    • wandmdave says:

      capable and likely are two different things. I’m just looking for the W versus Ghana as a realistic goal. Anything else would be gravy.

      • wandmdave says:

        just to clarify its realistic but still a stiff challenge.

      • Ian says:

        True. I don’t think it’s likely the US will take second – as in, I wouldn’t bet my life savings on it, but there’s a solid chance. We’re not Australia in group B. Yeah, if we beat Ghana and tie Portugal, and run up our goal difference, I think we’re in a good position

        • Mason says:

          If we beat Ghana and tie Portugal, while Germany beats Portugal and Ghana, then USA-GER will be a 0-0 draw with both teams advancing. GD won’t matter.

  5. Reboot says:

    So… US Soccer realized that USMNT were drawn into a very tough group in 2014, so they don’t want people to judge JK by this WC performance. Takes the pressure off Klinsmann’s back, but wouldn’t plenty have clubs and countries come calling for him had he left?

    I guess the bigger point is that JK makes his home here in the States, with his wife who is American. Not going anywhere else anytime soon..

    • Dante says:

      How many teams/countries came calling after his Bayern Munich fiasco? Oh right, just the Sunil. This contract may end up being a problem. It wasn’t ok for Bradley to get an extension, but we’re OK with Klinsmann getting one. Fantastic logic around US soccer.

      • John Maddens Chin says:

        It wasn’t okay for Bradley because the team was stale and the style of play was being outgrown by the depth of talent.

      • biff says:

        That is exactly the point, Dante. Klinsmann was a virtual pariah after the FC Bayern, with only one man who wanted him and that man just gifted him a four-year extension while the verdict is still out with nothing not yet proven. Remember, in September against Costa Rica Klinsmann played Orozco and right back and had Premier League club right back Geoff Cameron starting on the bench until Mike Bradley hurt himself in pregame warmups. And then inserts Cameron at d-mid and leaves Orozco at RB with Beckerman and Mix on the bench. I still don’t trust Klinsmann;s judgement and I don’t buy this argument that we are in a tough group so even if we flame out it is not Jurgen’s fault. Get real. Ghana is not a great team and should be no problem for the USMNT, while Germany and Portugal are no doubt tough opponents but also beatable or draw-able for the 13th ranked team in the world.

        • downintexas says:

          Agree, for me it all depends on how we play not the results.

        • BraveCajun says:

          There has been specualtion in the press that Switzerland wanted Jurgen to take over their national team after the World Cup.

          As for his tenure at FC Bayern, he was ousted for the very thing he did with the German national team. He bumped the status quo and starting implementing new player development measures. While also shaking up the starting line up. FC Bayern was ingrained in their traditional ways of doing things and Klinsmann was booted for his changes rather than his results. He had a decent showing in the Champions League, 6 wins, 3 draws, and one loss. His one loss was to Barcelona, which ended up winning the tourney. His club was only 3 points off first place when he was canned.

  6. Jason says:

    USSF is looking long-term here. 2014 was never the end goal. Let him coach again the next cycle and choose a replacement for 2022. Of course this is barring a complete embarrassment in the 2014 WC, 2015 GC, & 2016 Copa.

  7. Samster says:


    • Colin in MT says:

      I think this is an overlooked positive of Klinsmann. Yes, Bob Bradley got Jones and Cherundolo (and maybe Johnson) to come in. But this seems to be more of a focus for Klinsmann, and I think it’s an important consideration.

      Plus, naming him as the TD helps to ensure that the growth of youth development in the US continues (a process that was started long before Klinsmann, but he seems to have infused new energy into it). At some point, maybe in the not too distant future, the US will be producing players that can excel at that next level. Until then, dual nationals are not a bad stopgap, and Klinsmann seems to have some sway there.

  8. John says:

    The U17 performance last night must of been what sealed the deal, haha

    I think it’s a good move as you didn’t really want him going into the World Cup thinking he was coaching for his job in anyway. I think this could give him alittle more freedom to take some risk. However I wonder how the tough draw played into the decision.

  9. Strider257 says:

    I am still undecided on Klinsi as USMNT coach. Some things have been good, others less so. However, it seems unwise to me to make this commitment before the Cup. If he has really accomplished a LOT we’ll see the results then. If that goes reasonably well, then reward him.

    • Jurgen says:

      I don’t blame JK for insisting on a commitment before the WC. It’s a tournament. There are too many variables (aside from the obvious tough draw) that will affect how the USA does. Especially after you get out of group play (hopefully) injuries, a bad bounce, a bad call, etc., can end your run quickly.

      There is already enough to judge him on in the cycle. He’s earned the right to enter the WC not stressed about keeping his job.

      Good call, US Soccer.

  10. Travis says:

    Would have preferred to get a new coach just because I do not believe in the same coach doing multiple WC cycles. 8 years (in jurgens case 6) is a long time to spend coaching one national team. In the second part there is almost always a bit of a drop off (Arena’s first four years were better than his second four).

    • Stephen says:

      It seems to have worked out pretty well for Spain.

      • biff says:

        did you see spain last summer in the confed cup? Will not be surprised to Spain go down next summer. Del Bosque is great, no doubt about it, but comes a time where a team needs to be freshened up.

      • pele says:

        and Germany

      • Travis says:

        Spain has so much talent it would be impossible to mess up that team, the same goes for Germany. Those really are not legitimate comparisons. I just think that after a certain amount of time players begin to tune out a familiar voice, change is needed every so often at the international level.

        • GW says:


          “players begin to tune out a familiar voice, change is needed every so often at the international level.”

          No problem, you change out the players. The US is on a four year cycle. After four years most of the players will need to be replaced.

          LD tired of JK’s “voice” ? Fine. we don’t need you. So where is LD now?

          Mikey hates JK because of his dad?

          That is real evident in how he plays for the US isn’t it?

          It should be very evident JK knows a thing or two about how to handle soccer players.

          Besides how many managers do you know who can tell you ” I was a legitimate star and a World Cup winner” and tell you how he did it? How easy is it to buy such credibility?

          As far as a manager goes players want to win and have you make them better.

          Do that and they don’t care what you are saying. If you don’t, they also don’t care what you are saying.

          It seems to me the US is winning and the players are listening.

  11. Zezo says:

    Because an American coach isn’t good enough for the American team? This non-American is filling the team with non-Americans!!!!!

    • MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

      Theres nothing against american coaches. The USSF knows that if you want to go to the next level you need coaches with a proven track record on the INT’l scene. Unfortunately right now there arent many American coaches who have coached or played at an elite level. If you wanna be elite then you gotta train like an elite. Only way you get there is by bringing in ppl that have been to the top and let them show you the way.

    • Ian says:

      Zezo, what JK is doing vis-a-vis “zee Germans” isn’t at all uncommon in world football. Look at the Boatengs. Look at Johnathan de Guzman. Heck, look at Ernie Stewart, who was born in the Netherlands, played for the USMNT and was coached by a Yugoslav (Milutinovic).

      JK is finding the best ELIGIBLE players he can.

    • Tom_in_So_IL says:

      He could be. He been living here for 10+yrs.

  12. bryan says:

    this is fine by me and makes perfect sense.

  13. dude says:

    I’m not a huge fan of two cycle terms for decent national team sides- the continuity is great for the minnows who need growth and stability, but the potential for stagnation is pretty great.

    I would much rather he took a greater role in the USSF. He’s clearly made some changes that have paid dividends, and he’s been a dual national whisperer since the very beginning- we’ll thank him for Fabian Johnson, AJ, and Boyd especially for a long time. Heck, he’s still got the ear of one of the top prospects for Bayern Munich- even if Green seems unlikely, the possibility is impressive.

    It’s already been decided on, so we can only hope for the best. I hope a rift doesn’t form between USSF and JK before we can bring him in on a higher, administrative level.

    • Travis says:

      +1, I said a lot of the same things above, generally in the second cycle the performances just aren’t as good. Jurgen could do a lot of good things for USSF but I just don’t believe in coaches doing two cycles, it doesn’t work out great usually.

      • Sharkbait says:

        Man this is just something I can not wrap my head around. I hear it so much but to me it seems to fly in the face of logic. But hey, that’s just me I guess! One of the things I can’t stand in this world is the idea of change “for the sake of change”. “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” right?

        I do get that we’ve seen poor results in the past from NT coaches in their 2nd cycle but considering we’ve only been getting ANY good results with the NT for around 20 years I’d say that’s still a pretty small sample size. Hey things gotta change eventually right?? Maybe giving JK the keys to the castle so to speak (manager and technical director) will be the difference this time.

        • Lost in Space says:

          The pitfall of coaches hanging around to long is that they tend to keep players on the squad beyond their sell by date or when they are in poor form.
          With Bruce Arena’s 2nd cycle it was Eddie Lewis
          With BB it was bringing Clark & Gooch when they hadn’t recovered fully from injury or Bornstein in the ’11 GC when he wasn’t getting club games.
          If some of JK’s players don’t perform will he leave them home? That’s yet to be determined. Will see how things play out with Dempsey, Jones, and Dolo over the next 6 months and after the Cup.

          • GW says:

            The Bruce and BB kept those guys because they had no better alternative.

            You can’t say BB did not turn over every rock in looking for players.

            Care to name the the unappreciated stars that those guys left off of their World Cup teams.

            Mike Grella, Jeremiah White?

      • Donk says:


        • Travis says:

          What am I supposed to be citing? I just said I don’t feel coaches don’t do as well in the second cycle. Bradley got fired a year into his second cycle and 2006 was a disaster of a WC for Arena.

        • dude says:

          Raymond Domenech and Marcello Lippi met in the World Cup final in 2006 with France and Italy. They met again in 2010 on the train ride out after the group stage.

          That’s a dramatic example, but it holds true in general. Bruce Arena is the only example we have since the US started making it to the World Cup again.

  14. KNPonder says:

    At first glance, this seems premature. I am usually against two world cup cycles for the same coach, but he has only been on the job a couple of years, so it is not a full cycle. After thinking about it a bit, a new contract does make sense. If JK flops at the World Cup in a tough group, will it really undo the strides of the past couple of years? If he gets out of the group and wins a knockout round or two, will we be able to keep or afford him? I recall reading a few weeks ago that he was already on the radar for other teams (could have been related to the contract talks . . . who knows). Face it, even if he flops at the WC, he will still get interest from other teams. I don’t think US Soccer had much of a choice here. Better to lock him up at a fair rate and try to continue the success. We are somewhat lucky that this is probably the job that JK wants most so it makes it a good fit.

    • biff says:

      would you mind naming the other teams who would be interested in Klinsmann?

      • Nader says:

        Switzerland have already publicly expressed interest in Klinsmann.

      • BraveCajun says:

        Only a national team that is currently seeded for next year’s World Cup.

      • KNPonder says:

        As others have noted, Switzerland was the name that I read. Could have been a smokescreen for contract leverage for all I know. With that said, I firmly believe that JK would garner interest as a coach from teams at both the both the national and club level.

  15. Marten08 says:

    Jurgen has done a good job, no coach in the world can justify a 5 year commitment this year plus 4. A coach should not go through two World Cup cycles. Too much same old same old, too much familiarity with players.

  16. MisterJC says:

    When Klinsmann was first hired, it was with the intent of long term development. That means more than one World Cup cycle. To me, this move was expected. The timing of the extension is irrelevant…

  17. selfmade says:

    All that am hearing is if USA beats ghana and then draw with gee and Portugal then we ll qualify which basically means that the usmt is weak and unambitious that’s why they are planning of beating only ghana and not Germany or Portugal!!!! If u can’t beat Germany or Portugal, then forget about advancing in the wc because there are more solid team as one progresses and we gold coasters are waiting patiently to eat our USUAL DAILY BREAD which is of course the USMT!!!! Klinsmann will be sacked after the ghanas game!!! Vivaaaaaaaaaa the REVOLUTION!!

  18. David M says:

    We’re screwed! The separation next year will cost the USSF millions.

  19. AlexH says:

    So what is a Technical Director and what does JK have to do now that he is the Technical Director that he did not do before? Inquiring minds want to know.

    • John Maddens Chin says:

      Technical director does a number of things–but his main work will be overseeing scouting and academies, including quite literally the technical aspects of the teams in terms of their playing style and skill focuses. They are basically the soccer-wise administrator of US Soccer–worried entirely with the soccer aspects of the game as opposed to financial, logistical, etc.

  20. Joamiq says:

    I’m not Klinsmann’s biggest fan, but I’m still happy to hear this. He’s very much still in his early/intermediate development phase as a coach, and I absolutely think he’ll be a better coach 4 years from now. He has already shown an ability to learn from his mistakes – no more 3 d-mid/3 forward lineups etc. – and while I think he still makes significant tactical errors, I think having the experience of 2014 will make him a much better coach going forward. And between his status as a giant in the history of the game and his irrepressible optimism (and the fact that our guys are not a bunch of wankers), I don’t think the team will tune him out if he’s around longer than 4 years. I think the “no multiple cycles” camp needs to be a bit more nuanced – not all multiple cycle situations are the same.

    • biff says:

      Joamiq, please reread what you just wrote, which could be used as a great argument to not extend his contract…

      “I’m not Klinsmann’s biggest fan, but I’m still happy to hear this. He’s very much still in his early/intermediate development phase as a coach, and I absolutely think he’ll be a better coach 4 years from now. He has already shown an ability to learn from his mistakes – no more 3 d-mid/3 forward lineups etc. – and while I think he still makes significant tactical errors, I think having the experience of 2014 will make him a much better coach going forward.”

      • Joamiq says:

        It’s not an argument either way, as it doesn’t say anything objectively about how good he is, nor does it compare him to alternatives. All I’m saying is that I think he’ll keep getting better.

  21. mat says:

    Usually never a good idea to keep a national team coach for over a cycle. For the US even less (Arena & Bradley come to mind). I like JK but not sure I’m enamored by this announcement.
    I will, however, gladly eat crow if he proves me wrong.

  22. biff says:

    Well, Tony in Quakeland, this will probably be the first and last time we are in complete agreement. I think this is a major mistake and I betcha Michael Bradley especially, but also quite a few other players let out a big groan when they learned the bad news. What I wanna really know now, is whether these news reports are true that Klinsmann stands to get payout of between $500,000 and $10.5 million in bonuses based on how deep the USMNT advances at next summer’s world cup.

    link to washingtonpost.com

    If that is true, then this sort of bonus for simply doing his job is obscene and did he get a similar bonus package for WC 2018 and does anyone know what Bob Bradley’s bonus was for a good showing in WC 2010 and Bruce Arena for a great showing in WC 2002.

    • Anthony says:

      Bonuses for doing well in the world cup is par for the course across all federations. US players get bonuses for games won going deep in the tournament. I don’t what it is for this tournament, but for 2010 the bonus pool for the team that went there was $20,000,000: link to sportingintelligence.com

      It’s probably greater now, because the USSF is making even more money.

      • Dante says:

        It’s widely known that the USSF hands out bigger bonuses for success at the World Cup than any other federation. The idea that Klinsmann could become the highest paid international manager is pretty sad when the USSF is in the red. Let’s just run up the score on Belize again, so we can all feel good about Klinsi’s plan.

  23. biff says:

    *Reposting without the link to the the Washington Post bonus news story*

    Well, Tony in Quakeland, this will probably be the first and last time we are in complete agreement. I think this is a major mistake and I betcha Michael Bradley especially, but also quite a few other players let out a big groan when they learned the bad news. What I wanna really know now, is whether these news reports are true that Klinsmann stands to get payout of between $500,000 and $10.5 million in bonuses based on how deep the USMNT advances at next summer’s world cup.

    If that is true, then this sort of bonus for simply doing his job is obscene and did he get a similar bonus package for WC 2018 and does anyone know what Bob Bradley’s bonus was for a good showing in WC 2010 and Bruce Arena for a great showing in WC 2002.

    • John Maddens Chin says:

      Hold on a second–this reeks of Klinsmann hate for the sole reason of hating Kinsmann.

      How can you possible express outrage over the bonus and then in the same grouping of sentences admit you have NO idea whether or not previous coaches earned the same thing.

      That’s ridiculous. You aren’t asking a question–you’re shooting your mouth off. You don’t care if the other coaches did. You just want to hate.

      And to end your nonsense–Bob Bradley was given a $400,000 dollar bonus for advancing out of the group.

      That took me .37 seconds to find according to Google.

    • Nader says:

      Haha, what?

      Get ahold of yourself, you are extremely irrational. And John Madden’s enormous chin is entirely correct. Your entire comment is irrational hatred that contradicts itself several times. I mean really, you’re furious over Klinsmann getting a bonus for success, yet then ask others to tell you if Bradley and Arena got one–like there’s some huge conspiracy surrounding Klinsmann.

      Get help dude.

      link to usatoday30.usatoday.com

      • biff says:

        Thanks for that, Nader. Here is the lead to the story…

        “Bob Bradley earned a $400,000 bonus during the year when the U.S. reached the second round of the 2010 World Cup, raising his compensation for the 12-month period to $941,792.”

        Great, another bonus of 1.6m and Bob would have reached Klinsmann’s base salary.

        • Nader says:

          Sorry, not engaging you. You’re trying to move the goal posts.

        • Beto says:

          Comparing Bob’s compensation to Jurgen is comparing Apples and Oranges. First of, are you surprised?!? I mean Bob and Bruce were both excelent coaches but neither had the plan, ambition or ability to potentially take the US to the next level.

          Plus in this market, one of the world’s biggest economies, a winning team that doesn’t fear any opponent at the world’s greatest stage will easily justify these bonuses.

        • Joamiq says:

          So is your problem the base salary or the bonus? Nader is right – shifting goalposts indeed.

    • bryan says:

      “I betcha Michael Bradley especially, but also quite a few other players let out a big groan when they learned the bad news.”

      oh for F’s sake…

  24. John Maddens Chin says:

    Not really understanding the comments about more than one cycle coaches. That holds true with generally established teams when a coach is merely asked to coach–but the entire point of hiring Klinsmann was to destroy the current culture and rebuild into something bigger, better, and more long-term.

    That is further evidenced by the fact that he’s been made the technical director–giving him power over all the lower teams and academies. This is what we wanted. This is what he promised.

    He’s unifying the entire organization under a single style–like a Spain or a Brazil or an England. His position gives him a final say in scouting measures and technical aspects of the teams, which means he can pick and choose the players that he and the staff best believe fit the system of possession-oriented, high-pressuring, game control soccer he wants to play. This means the end of the Robbie Findleys.

    It probably means the end of players being chosen while not striving for better. It means more MLS players will probably be moved into the youth teams and that Klinsmann will be working directly with the coaches and technical directors of the MLS clubs.

    There is literally no downside to this.

    • mat says:

      I don’t have issue with JK staying in the US Soccer picture, but to repeat as coach for a national team, is, for some reason usually not a productive outcome, if one refers to the history of national teams in general. In recent memory the only success story, albeit a great one, I can think of is the Spain coach, but it seems the exception to make the rule.
      Reasons? I can’t say, perhaps the particularities of coaching a national team vs. a club team makes that when coaches become entrenched they can lose some of their impact, their discourse becomes used an inefficient, they might lose some perspective on the player pool, etc…
      Again, I really would like JK and US soccer to prove me wrong, but there are too many counter examples for me to be optimistic about this decision.

      • Nader says:

        If I’m reading his comment correctly, Madden doesn’t disagree. What I got out of it was that generally coaches don’t stay because they’re just coaching and that can get stale. Klinsmann’s expectations have been well beyond simply coaching, and he’s been asked to transform the entire US Soccer entity. So, we should probably see at the end of 8 years some of the first players coming through that played under the new technical style and coaching from the ground up.

        That’s what I got from it at least.

        • mat says:

          Yes, that’s how I see it too. I’m a huge JK fan and regularly defend him around here, but would have preferred JK as tech director while working with another coach (that we would have selected), at least for the broader peripheral vision this would afford. My personal resistance to this whole 2 for 1 nomination is the loss of perspective it may generate. A bit like having a coach be the GM. Too much power concentrated into one individual, but hopefully JK will avoid the temptation of tyranny!

    • Beto says:

      When he was hired it was expected that he would be in charge of a long term redevelopment of USSoccer. Now that we are overall satisfied with the first 3 years of this project time to buy into to the full deal.

      I understand the hesitation of US fan to lock down a coach for two cycles and to be giving out contracts like this when we look at the USMNT history as well as the general practices around the world but this is a gamble that USSF is taking and i for one think that this is a pretty good time to make this gamble.

    • Dante says:

      An albatross of a contract is a major downside.

    • Joamiq says:

      I agree. Simply stating that having a coach for more than one cycle is usually bad is not an argument, unless you think that all coaches and all situations are exactly alike.

  25. Roo says:

    JK is a great coach, and has definitely improved the USMNT, and is taking us further as a soccer nation. The results speak for themselves, some of his decisions in the first year of his tenure may have been questionable, but look at it this way: he was trying to see who can cut it and who can’t, if the goal is to simply get W’s in friendlies then by all means play the same folks and play the same way you been playing, but if the goal is to challenge yourself and get better as team you have to take risks. He has and they’ve paid off, and they will in the long haul regardless of the results at the 2014 WC. The US is playing better soccer and will play better soccer because of JK and the players. Also as a US supporter you totally should have confidence in our ability to beat Ghana, Portugal, and Germany, lets not complain, we can beat anybody. The players have that mentality and we should too. If we’re gonna go to the next level we don’t need a mamby pamby draw. Love the draw we got it’s what we want to improve whether we go through or not.

    • Nader says:

      The players have to have that mentality. Us fans? We have alcohol.

      • Beto says:

        +1, the second year of a cycle (all friendlies and the first qualifiers; the least important year of a cycle) were not pretty but if that was all we had to endure to get to were we are today im on board.

        Ps as fanatitics its our job to be upset whenever things aren’t great regaurdless of when it is. Its their job to have the program firing on all cylinders when it counts. So drink up!

    • Gary Page says:

      I think you are one of the few who really “gets it.” These are the things Klinsmann has been talking about ever since day one. As I have written before, I think everything he has done has been aimed at the World Cup, including playing players out of their normal positions, having players play in different formations, not bringing in Altidore and Donovan in order to challenge them, etc. If you take JK at his word and look at his moves in that light, it all makes sense. Unfortunately, Americans seemingly no longer have the ability to view things long term and strategically. Everything is about the immediate.

  26. blokhin says:

    Are you people paid posters by JK and his agent? Or just completely irrational?

    I’m OK with the technical director stuff through 2018, because I do agree with Europeanizing/Lat Americanizing the US soccer system down to the junior levels-he wants to do it, if he can actually do it, that is great, BUT

    How on earth is it logically OK to give the coach an extension BEFORE the true litmus test of the World Cup?

    Unfair to judge him on three games? Well, life is not fair and plenty of coaches get the boot after poor WCs-welcome to big league soccer, boys and girls!

    There is pressure to perform at the biggest stage-if he is asking his players to do it, then he should be accountable as well.

    Oh, what you say? Yay USMNT is SO much better than before, under all those other coaches-but hey, why have him prove it in games that matter against top-notch competition, because that would be unfair-WHAT?

    JK has done only one thing better than his predecessors, have the USMNT B-team beat up on other B-teams in the Gold Cup by a bigger scoring margin. That is it!

    USMNT has won Gold Cups and Hexes and beaten top-ranked teams in the world before-and also recruited dual-nationals to play for the team.

    If USMNT gets out of the group, JK deserves that extension 100%-I’d give it to him the moment they clinch. But they go 0-0-3, or 0-1-2- he would have failed in his 3 year quest to get USMNT up to the world class level and he should pay the price-he can tech director in that case, just not the coach.

    To believe otherwise would be to put JK above the USMNT program and if you’re a USMNT why would you do that?

    • Nader says:

      he would have failed in his 3 year quest to get USMNT up to the world class level and he should pay the price-he can tech director in that case, just not the coach.


      Dude. Quit stealing straw men from Burning Man. It takes months to build them that large.

    • bryan says:

      how are the people without knee-j3rk reactions the ones being irrational?!?!

      no one knows how this contract is structured. maybe it’s a 4 year extension but made up of options that would allow USSF to cut ties if things completely S the bed. i highly doubt the contract gives USSF no room to maneuver if things start to go way south. i also don’t see JK limiting himself so that if a team like Real Madrid came calling, he couldn’t take it.

      everyone calm down. there are plenty of reasons to keep him, and there are plenty of reasons to question an extension before the 2014 WC even started. but since we don’t know everything, there is no reason to freak out.

      • blokhin says:

        fair enough- my reaction is to the “fans” who on one hand talk about 1) how this team is WAY better than before and 2) how JK ‘s rah-rah talk is spot on about challenging players and raising their level-yet don’t want to actually see his test results come in, post-WC….

        sorry folks, you can’t have it both ways.

      • biff says:

        legitimate point, bryan. I will not be surprised that in the next few days we will hear all sorts of pseudo horror stories that Klinsmann was getting lucrative offers from clubs and countries and that if US Soccer did not act fast, we would have lost Jurgen. yeah. sure. Klinsmann’s got a good thing with the USMNT and he’s not about to give it up if he doesn’t have to.

        • bryan says:

          yeah it’ll certainly be interesting to see what we learn over the next few months regarding this move…if anything.

    • biff says:

      Well put, blokhin. agree with just about everything but I am not convinced that Klinsmann is the man to be technical director. Klinsmann is more of a salesman or PR man, a positive thinker like the guy he brought in to bend frying pans last year. Let’s not forget Klinsmann’s spat with the DFB German football association in 2006 when he wanted the coach of the German field hockey team to be name soccer technical director and then when Matthias Sammer, now FC Bayern sport director, was appointed, that was the beginning of the end.

      link to edition.cnn.com

    • bb says:

      I’d rather lock JK in rather than let him slip away if we do well at the WC. If we do bad…contracts are also cancelled all the time. it just takes some money to buy them out. 😉

    • GW says:

      “How on earth is it logically OK to give the coach an extension BEFORE the true litmus test of the World Cup?…….But they go 0-0-3, or 0-1-2- he would have failed in his 3 year quest to get USMNT up to the world class level and he should pay the price-he can tech director in that case, just not the coach….To believe otherwise would be to put JK above the USMNT program and if you’re a USMNT why would you do that?”

      Blokhin and others,

      Your perspective on this is a little narrow.

      I would not have given JK an extension at this time but the fact that the USMNT did tells you that, most likely :
      1. The USSF are happy with the last two years and the direction that the program appears to be headed. It tells you they are confident that the USMNT will do well in Brazil. Clearly you think they are nitwits but unfortunately they pay JK not you.

      2. The Group of Death business means that failure to get out of the group which, prior to the draw, should have lead to JK’s dismissal, can now be “excused”. And that might be a justifiable excuse.

      The USMNT could give the three greatest performances they have ever given in history and if Germany, Portugal and Ghana respond in kind, which all three are more than capable off, the US could lose all three games. So the USSF is giving itself some leeway to retain JK should they want to.

      3. As others have pointed out, if the USMNT goes to Brazil and plays miserably JK can be fired. It will just take a bit more money. Having a signed contract in sports these days means that someone has pay more if they change their mind about something. It’s only money. But obviously the USSF is gambling that this will not the case.

      4. The USSF seem to have reason to believe that if the US does well in the World Cup, JK may get some offers he may well find difficult to refuse. Whether you think this is BS or not apparently the USSF feels it is a possibility. This action probably gives them a bit of a break on the price they will have to pay should that happen.
      Unlike you I would say that JK has delivered on the balance of what he was asked to do.

      Qualify for the World Cup?

      Win the Gold Cup and qualify the US for the Confederations Cup playoff in the future?

      Change the team’s style and “mentality” so that they will hopefully go further in the World Cup?
      Yes to the first part and we will see about the second.

      JK’s teams have won every competitive game they needed to. As for the friendlies, they have served their purpose which was to
      • Allow JK to evaluate players
      • Allow the players to develop teamwork and team “attitude”
      • Allow the coaching staff to evaluate tactics
      Anything else is irrelevant. But I’m pretty sure JK has a winning record there anyway.

      “JK has done only one thing better than his predecessors, have the USMNT B-team beat up on other B-teams in the Gold Cup by a bigger scoring margin. That is it!”

      Comparisons to Arena and Bradley’s teams are illogical and irrelevant. There is no way to know if this edition of the USMNT is a better team than the 2002 WC team, for example.

      They can only be judged on who they play today and, going forward, who they will play in 2014. So far their results have been pretty good.

      I find it unrealistic that you would expect JK to turn the USMNT into a world beater from day one.

      I also find it ridiculous that people think the Strauss article had anything to do with how the team was developing. Correlation is not causation.

      In the run up to the 2006 World Cup Germany lost some friendlies rather badly. JK was called before the German parliament to explain the losses. Do you really think the Strauss article and the resulting tempest in a teapot can compare with that sort of pressure? I still maintain JK paid those sources to go to Strauss and create a little useful “us against the word” material.

      • Joamiq says:

        Staaaahp, you’re being too rational and nuanced. This is an internet comments section!

        • GW says:

          Okay how about this.

          Most of the criticism of JK seems to come from people who appear to place little if any value on logic and appear to know little if anything about the dynamics around sports teams in general.

          In English, the players will always tell you about a manager,if not with their words they do it in how they play.

          JK bitchslapped Donovan all over the place and he came back on fire in the Gold Cup. Same with Jozy. It seems to me players want to play for this guy.

          And all this BS about how this team is not better than BB’s or the Bruce’s teams, what a load of manure.

          It doesn’t matter. Those teams aren’t playing now, JK’s team is. Unlike some of these f++kwits, I’m actually interested in how the USMNT will do in 2014, not 2002 , 2006, or f++king 2010.

          And I don’t care if half these guys would not p++s on JK if he was on fire by the side of the road. All that matters is how they play for him.

          Anyone who can get a guy like Brad Evans to show so well against Germany is a coach who knows how to make chicken soup out of chicken s++t.

    • Beto says:

      Magee and Wondo scored more goals than Dempsey or Donovan this year but you know who got paided more…

      Yes, on paper we achieved a few first time things this cycle but mostly it was things we have already achieved. In reality this USMNT is better than ever in terms of confidence, ability, potential, chemistry and for the first time we have a leader who has been there before and is comitted to take us to the top.

    • Gary Page says:

      Michael Ballack, who played on the 2006 German team under Klinsmann, was quoted as saying that this was a good move by the US and that Klinsmann is a good coach who does a great job of motivating players. I value his opinion over yours.

  27. ed says:

    1. Hes done a good job, team has improved.
    2. depth has improved
    3. junior levels have improved with his influence
    4. let him keep the system moving in the right direction
    5. Early exit would be unfairly blamed on him given the group
    6. Advance would send his stock soaring.

    This is a good decision on both sides.

  28. BeardedSoccer says:

    The only thing about this that make me sigh is this is a sure sign that the USSF has absolutely 0 hope that we will advance past the group stage in 2014. There is no way he would get an extension now if for example we were placed in group H.

    I would not be surprised if when the 23 names are selected, there are some head scratchers of experienced players who are left off in favor of young inexperienced players. If they are basically throwing in the towel on 2014, they will select players that will be around in 2018. I could see players like Eddie Johnson, Demarcus Beasley, Sacha Kljestan, Chris Wondolowski, Clearence Goodson left of the plane.

    • bryan says:

      you could also take this as a sign USSF believes we will get out of the group, and in doing so, would make JK a hot commodity after the WC. so they “lock” him up now.

      either way, i doubt anyone is locked into anything. contracts always have clauses that allow for certain things.

    • Roberrrrto says:

      Of those players you mentioned, only Beasley and Johnson belong in Brazil. I’d much rather see Green (if we can get him), Gatt, and Diskerud over the other players. Young, yes, but talented and hungry.

      USMNT is in much better shape now because of Jurgen. Just look at what our U-17 team did to England. We chased him for years and don’t want to let go. I believe… now, if we could just convince US Soccer to keep the Centennial crest permanently.

  29. Tom_in_So_IL says:

    I like it what other Coach with world trophies wants to coach our team.

  30. rainORshine says:

    results v non-concacaf WC teams from 11/12 + all non-concacaf games plus WCQs v costa rica and mexico in 2013…

    – GF – 18; GA – 23; GD: -5
    – 5W – italy, CR, germany, bos, mexico
    – 3T – russia, mexico, scotland
    – 7L – bel x2, ecuador, france, brazil, costa rica, austria

    avg shots: US – 8.4, opp – 12.4
    avg SOG: US – 3.6; opp – 5.5

    • Mason says:

      Your match selection criteria is so arbitrary that it dulls your point completely.
      1) Matches that were played two years ago don’t tell you much about the team today.*
      2) It’s not JK or USSF’s fault that teams that were scheduled for friendlies fail to qualify.
      3) You left out the GC completely (which included wins against CR, and Honduras x2).
      4) You ignored WCQ matches against Honduras for some reason, even though they placed in group above Mexico.

      *Regarding the France match you use as the “start” of your marking period: Do you know who the US started in CM at that match? Beckerman and Edu. Jones came on in the 66′ and Bradly didn’t play. The CBs at the kick were Clarence Goodson and Carlos Bocanegra. Are any of those starters even on the plane to Brazil at this point? JK was still finding out the breadth and depth of the pool at that point. He didn’t really start to settle on his “first XI” until early in 2012, and even then it has evolved slowly as players have been injured or dipped/surged in form.

      • rainORshine says:

        what is your point?

        that JK has “proven” himself?

        tell me that is not your point

        then tell me what your point is

      • rainORshine says:

        1) i included matches from the current JK tenure
        2) ok
        3) why would i include GC – which was basically CONCACAF B teams. trying to just include good, WC – caliber opposition
        4) honduras is not very good – see point 3. anyway, we won 1 and lost 1 with an overall 0 GD, so…

        this is “arbitrary” to you? do you actually know what “arbitrary” means?

        as for your “extra” info – yes, i agree than JK has made terrible choices from the beginning

    • RAMONE says:

      By this measure Klinsmann looks good.

      Bradley’s results vs non-concacaf WC teams (WC 2006) + all non-concacaaf games plus WCQs v. mexico and CR with same basic date range you used here (11-2007 to 11-2009) … where quite frankly the only reason we had so many good opponents was the Confed Cup (otherwise we only had one small stretch of any decent scheduling):

      GF 21; GA 28, GD -7
      5W – Sweden x 2 (notably didn’t qualify for the following WC), Poland (also not in next WC), Mexico, Spain (Confed cup win we all remember).
      3T – Mex, CR, Argentina
      8L – England, Spain, CR, Italy, Mexico x 2, Brazil x 2

      Bruce Arena (11/1999 to 11/2001)
      GF 15; GA 11, GD +4
      5 W – Mex x 2, Chile, S. Africa, CR
      1 T – CR
      6L – CR x 2, Mex, Colombia x 2, Brazil
      Arguably a much weaker slate of opponents and if not for Mexico being our whipping boy those years …….. then we go on to have our best modern WC showing in 2002. I don’t remember my South Africa soccer history well enough to tell you whether the team we beat 4-0 in the 2000 US cup was their A side (so maybe take away a win and 4 goals there).

      I think Klinsmann’s results are fine … arguably the same or better than recent results in the same period for US coaches in their first cycle and against significantly stronger opponents (and more of them).

      I think we quickly forget how bad things used to be 10 years ago and before.

      • RAMONE says:

        Sorry, Arena was 5-1-6 (initially counted the 2000 US Cup final win over Mexico … but that was decidedly a B if not C side we beat).

      • Dante says:

        The US also beat Egypt at the 2009 Confed Cup.

      • rainORshine says:

        great comps.

        what it comes down to for me:

        is staying on for another cycle an expectation or something earned through especially good results?

        for me, its the ladder. arena run to QF, coupled with the manner in which US went toe to toe with germany in WCQF was, quite frankly, extraordinary. right or wrong, it was a no-brainer to retain arena.

        i was not a fan of retaining BB. i dont think his results warranted an extension. a massive gaffe by robert green and stoppage time goal v algeria was difference b/t 2 points and 5 and winning group. was a bit of fools gold for me

        from a big-picture results standpoint the cycle has seen, as you have pointed out – no substantial movement of the meter.

        WC was/is supposed to be the test. JK has said it himself 1000 times. this is a step backwards as far as expectations

        make him earn his money, for crying out loud

  31. Len says:

    I’d have to consider myself a JK fan generally. Perhaps my memory is faulty, but as a USMNT fan I literally dreaded some past games against CONCACAF opposition, particularly under BB (who incidentally, I thought was a wonderful person). We played the same dreary defend and counter game against (respectfully) El Salvador as we did against Brazil. We had limited possession no matter what team we played and all our players seemed to have the first touch of a brick layer (and that’s being unkind to brick layers). We frequently got behind early and against CONCACAF teams that meant an eternity of opposing players falling to the ground as if shot if they came within a foot of a US player, screaming to the heavens and rolling around in agony, apparently too injured to get on the stretcher, only to miraculously recover on the sideline. Inevitably, toward the end of the game, the keeper would go down and spend about seven minutes on the ground, while at the end of the game the referee would add 4 minutes of stoppage time (this is admittedly not a specific game). I don’t know about you, but to me it seems better. Is that JK, better players? IDK, but it’s much more enjoyable. I

    I could discuss tactics, subs, player selection, formations (and I probably will at other times). Every game is not an aesthetic beauty. There have been some stinkers. It still seems better to me. Just my opinion and I don’t mind riding it a while longer to see what happens.

    • Joamiq says:

      While I’m happy about the extension, I would caution you somewhat. Under JK I don’t think we’ve gotten nearly enough practice at bunkering and countering, and given that we’ll have to do that next summer, I’m a bit worried. Possession is nice, but I’m not sure the personnel is really appropriate for the approach.

  32. GW says:


    The interesting thing about this World Cup is that we will finally see what kind of team all this experimentation has produced. If JK runs true to form he will do whatever it takes to win, which means it may not be pretty.

    And to prove the point the US could hardly have found three more credible teams to prove their real worth against.

    In 2002 the US were underrated and a bit lucky, though they were also great. In 2010 England were their usual, overconfident, inflexible selves. Slovenia and Algeria were two dour, unpleasant , difficult teams to beat but were no great shakes, really. If we could send the current USMNT back in time as our 2010 WC representative, they would have beaten all three teams and probably beaten Ghana.

    At any rate the USMNT now has as legitimate a litmus test as it is ever going to get and it should be fascinating.

    • Len says:

      I agree. It will be fascinating and I’m hoping for a decent showing (of course I want us to advance, which is not impossible but realistically that will require all the stars to align). I think it would be a mistake to tie JK’s fate to that result under these particular circumstances ie a hugely difficult draw, and that’s why I’m OK with effectively saying that his fate is not tied to that, by extending his contract now. As I noted above, subjectively, without stats (“lies, damn lies and statistics”) or in depth analyses, it seems better than what it was pre JK. Not really sure I understand the JK hate but everyone’s entitled to an opinion. Time tells everything. This is quite an interesting ride and I can’t wait for World Cup.

  33. MikeG says:

    I think we are seeing Klinnsman grow as a coach. I think he needs better minds around him with the exception of Andreas Herzog.

  34. MikeG says:

    Donovan is THE playmaker and if not used in this role in the WC I see our chances not very good. Bradley and Jones as the DM with Donovan as the CAM or withdrawn striker complemented by Fabian Johnson and Dempsey on the RW.

  35. Goalscorer24 says:

    If we do well at the World Cup it is a good move. If we don’t, not too great a decision.

    • foooo says:

      Why? JK was also signed as TD, which means his position is not all about Brazil 2014.
      Besides, how would you characterize doing well at the world cup? 3 points? 0 points but close scores? All three matches played at a high level, however you judge that?

      Whether the team “does well” in Brazil or not, based on everyone’s subjective criteria, what’s far more important is the greater vision of youth development and movement away from relying almost exclusively on counter-attacking soccer.

      • MikeG says:

        Claudio Reyna did a great job as Technical Director. I read the manual. is every club team doing it? Go to a youth soccer game anywhere.

  36. Fredo says:

    I don’t get the extension. Klinsi hasn’t done anything that hasn’t already been done. I think he needlessly plays players out of their club positions. The failure of the U-17’s and U-23’s to qualify does not give me hope that he’s the man to be Technical Director. I don’t like his new-age motivational hogwash. And, I absolutely believe he should be judged on how the team starts, plays, and adjusts in Brazil.

    • John says:

      While this is true we don’t know what was going on behind the scene really. Klinsmann is a pretty big name and very well could have been getting interest elsewhere. Lets say he has a great world cup and gets the team out of this group, his price very well could have sky rocketed even more.

    • Joamiq says:

      I’m not sure it’s fair to say he’s not doing anything that hasn’t already been done. This has been by some measures the team’s best year in recent memory, with the exception of 2002 for obvious reasons.

  37. chris_thebassplayer says:

    JK’s extension prior to the WC is the best thing that could have ever happened. A rare enlightened move by USSF that will enable us to maintain continuity and growth.

  38. Matt says:

    I am happy with JK’s coaching to date but not sure about offering an extension at this time. It seems to me we are using double standards when evaluating coaches based on pre-conceptions. The World Cup is a closer measure of where we stand than friendlies and a B side Gold Cup. Using the rationale I have seen that the team has definitely improved, and has better depth and players… then to me it seems … if Arena beat a similar Portugal team in 2002 and Bradley lost to a similar Ghana team in OT in 2010, doesn’t that mean JK needs to get results from those two matches (being evaluated as superior by the contract extension). I know folks are pointing to friendly results, which is all well and good and I am delighted with them but compare that to these coaches:

    Steve Sampson: 4th Place at Copa America including wins over Chile, Mexico and Argentina (3-0_. Friendly win over Brazil., Nigeria

    Bruce Arena: 2002 Quarterfinals in World Cup with wins over Portugal and Mexico. Confederations Cup win over Germany; Friendly wins over: Germany, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, etc.

    Bob Bradley: Confederations Cup 2nd place with wins over Spain and Egypt; Won World Cup Group and only lost in OT in the 2nd round.

    I am not saying that JK’s year did not equal or surpass the aforementioned coaches, but why is he getting a 4 year extension now.

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