Gulati and Klinsmann, sitting in a tree…
(Hey look, I’m not dead! Aren’t you thrilled?)
Okay, they were probably in an office. And likely not kissing, although you know those Europeans. But whatever the environment and level of affection, ESPN tells us that Jurgen Klinsmann met with US Soccer President Sunil Gulati yesterday. Details, they are scant:
The source indicated Klinsmann, who turned down the Yanks’ job after the 2006 World Cup, met with U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati and said Klinsmann is interested in the position, but gave no other details. A U.S. Soccer spokesman declined to comment. Klinsmann did not immediately return an e-mail message.
I’ve mentioned before that I am not a member of the Bob Bradley Is History’s Greatest Monster Club, and as the article notes, his record since taking the helm at the USMNT in late 2006 is 38-21-8. Maybe I’m really nice (I’m kinda not) but that’s not terrible. That being said, I do think after a World Cup is the most logical time to look into coaching changes. I think the team performed decently in South Africa, and obviously was much improved from four years earlier. I think Bradley has been overall a fine enough coach, but I also have come to think that perhaps he’s shown us what he can do, the point to which he can take this team, and now it’s an appropriate time to let someone else have a go.
Klinsmann has been the obvious choice for a while for those wanting a non-MLS coach, and perhaps he’s had a change of heart (and Gulati a change of brain) since 2006. My caution on this subject has always come from hearing people talk about Klinsmann in particular or foreign coaches in general as though they are all Footie Jesuses (Jesi?) who will forgive our sins of poor marking and endless long ball and save us from the damnation of embarrassing struggles against teams ranked miles below us. Foreign coaches can suck, too – if they didn’t, every other country would be tied for first in the FIFA table – and we just need to be rational about the possibilities. I would expect that Klinsmann might be stronger in some areas of coaching than Bradley or other MLS coaches, but he’ll also be working with the same player pool and within the same system. Limitations will exist, no matter who is pushing against them.
So what do you all think? If Klinsmann does take over, what would you expect to see in the coming months? Improvements, restructurings, etc…where do you see US Soccer going if this meeting proves fruitful?