Juergen Klinsmann said he negotiated with the U.S. Soccer Federation for nearly a month to become coach before ending talks when the USSF wouldn’t put his authority in writing.
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The USSF rehired Bob Bradley for a second four-year stint after ending talks with Klinsmann, who coached Germany to a third-place finish in the 2006 World Cup.
"We had conversations, maybe about three or four weeks period of time, and very positive conversations. But we didn’t get it to a positive ending because we couldn’t put into writing what we agreed to verbally," Klinsmann said during an interview broadcast Sunday on the Kansas City Wizards’ pregame show.
"It’s obviously always about authority. When you have conversations with a club team or a national team, it’s who has the last word in what issues, and that’s where we couldn’t get into the written terms," Klinsmann said.
"Verbally we agreed on that the technical side is my side, and I should have a 100 percent control of it. Written terms, they couldn’t commit to it. At that point I said, ‘Well then, I can’t get the job done because I have to have the last say as a head coach for my entire staff, for all the players issues, for everything that happens with the team.’ Unfortunately they couldn’t commit to that, and that was basically the end of our talks, and then they agreed then to continue with Bob as the head coach, and that’s totally fine."
Klinsmann also held talks with USSF president Sunil Gulati in 2006 but ended them when he wasn’t guaranteed access to top Major League Soccer players for both the CONCACAF Gold Cup and Copa America the following year.
In announcing the decision to rehire Bradley last month, Gulati wouldn’t discuss whether he spoke with other candidates.