Friday, July 29, 2011

It's Klinsi

It's a bit weird to be writing about Jurgen Klinsmann getting the head coaching job at US Soccer so long after I thought it should happen. 

I thought he should come in after Bruce Arena's tenure, and I thought Arena stayed overlong. When Bradley got the job instead of Klinsmann, well, I thought it was a mistake. Not one that would sink the program, but one that wouldn't move the men's team forward.

It's not just that Bradley hadn't been exposed first-hand to techniques and approaches outside of the USA that constitute top-level soccer. Klinsmann has shown a willingness to think outside the box and shake up the status quo. It's easy for teams to get stale. 

Plus, I've never bought into the thinking that the American player is so fragile that he needs an American coach to understand him better. I've always thought it was about landing a coach who understood the game better and could point players in that direction. 

Klinsmann is in a weird position, coaching-wise. He could be at a number of clubs, even after Bayern Munich canned him. The reason he's not isn't because the offers aren't there. It's for the same reason he turned down the USA position in the first place. He's happy. He can afford to be picky. If things don't line up the way he wants, Klinsmann can pass on an offer. 

The timing of Rongen losing the USA U20 position and Wilmer Cabrera's recent middling U17 results could have given Sunil Gulati the carte blanche from the U.S. Soccer board of directors to hand Klinsmann the keys to the castle in terms of overhauling the US development system. Things could change drastically from top to bottom. 

It was the development system that was the sticking point back when Klinsmann first refused Gulati's offer. 

All that said, I was hoping Marcelo Bielsa would be the pick. It's not that I'm unhappy about Klinsmann, but other coaches offer a number of qualities to the USA post as well. I like how Bielsa's talents line up with what the USA team seems to need.


Jamie said...

I'm glad that your back blogging, I missed your old blog that you had with Luis. Your writing has always had a very thoughtful quality that many other soccer writers lack. I look forward to reading more.

what'sgoingon said...

What I like about Klinsmann is that he appears to have a clear grasp of the way soccer works in this country. I believe he also has good ideas about how to significantly improve the development of young talent in this country. I am looking forward to the long term developments of the whole program under his guidance rather than short term results. The early results with the USMNT team may be erratic.