Klinsmann hired as US coach
After a five-year courtship that saw two engagements but never a marriage, US Soccer finally has its man.
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Friday morning, less than one day after the federation fired Bob Bradley, ex-German national team coach Jürgen Klinsmann was named head coach of the US Men's National Team.
"We are excited to have Jürgen as the head coach of our Men's National Team," USSF president Sunil Gulati said in a statement on Friday. "He is a highly accomplished player and coach with the experience and knowledge to advance the program."
The hiring comes after US Soccer failed in two previous attempts to bring Klinsmann on as head coach. After both the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, Klinsmann had discussions with president Gulati.
On both the occasions, the sides fail to reach agreement. On both the occasions, US Soccer turned to Bradley.
This time, Gulati finally got his man.
"I am proud and honored to be named the head coach of the US Men's National Team," Klinsmann said, via US Soccer. "I am looking forward to bringing the team together for our upcoming match against Mexico and starting on the road toward qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup."
That match against Mexico, a friendly on August 10, will mark the German's debut, with another friendly (against Costa Rica) scheduled for September 2.
Klinsmann, who turns 47 on Saturday, is best known for a stand-out playing career that began in 1981. Debuting with Stuttgarter Kickers in Germany, the Göppengen-born striker spent time with VfB Stuttgart (Germany), Inter Milan (Italy), Monaco (France), Tottenham Hotspur (England), Bayern Munich (Germany) and Sampdoria (Italy), winning UEFA Cups in 1991 and 1996 and a Bundesliga title with Bayern in 1996-97.
Internationally, Klinsmann made 108 appearances for the German national team, scoring 47 goals. In 1990, he scored three goals while helping Germany to the 1990 World Cup. In 1996, he won his second major international title as part of Germany's 1996 European Championships-winning side.
Individually, Klinsmann was named West German Footballer of the Year in 1998, German Footballer of the Year in 1994 and England's FWA Footballer of the Year in 1995.
Klinsmann's coaching career is highlighted by his tenure with the German national team, who he led to a third place finish in the 2006 World Cup before leaving the program. In two years running Die Mannschaft, Klinsmann compiled a 20-8-6 record and is largely credited with turning around a team that failed to win a match at the 2004 European Championships.
In the summer of 2008, Klinsmann was appointed head coach at Bayern Munich, a job that would last less than one season. The former FCB star left the club with five matches left in the 2008-09 campaign. Bayern, the defending league champions, were in third place at the time of his departure and had been eliminated by Barcelona at the quarterfinal stage of UEFA Champions League.
Since leaving Bayern, Klinsmann has worked in television (most prominently, with ESPN during the 2010 World Cup) and acted as a consultant for Major League Soccer's Toronto FC.
For US Soccer, Klinsmann becomes the 35th coach in the national team's history and the first foreign coach since Bora Milutinovic left the program in 1995.
Klinsmann will be formally unveiled as head coach at a Monday press conference in New York.