Friday, October 27, 2006

Klinsmann Confirms Talks with U.S. Soccer

Telling us what we already knew, Jurgen Klinsmann confirms talks with U.S. Soccer. This comes on the heels of some unofficial leaks that he was on the short list of both the U.S. and Mexico.
"Absolutely I’m interested. I kind of needed some time to reflect after the World Cup. I’ve been in touch with Sunil and had several conversations, all very positive."
When this possibility first surfaced immediately following his outstanding job of guiding Germany to the late stages of the World Cup, I was immediately for it. With the unimaginative job that Bruce Arena had turned in, I thought his willingness to shake things up was just the thing to keep U.S. Soccer from backsliding.

I still think he would be a good option, but I've had a lot of conversations about this with some very savvy soccer friend, and now I don't think he's the only option that can ensure building the program. Other interesting names, like Jose Peckermann, have surfaced. His work with the Argentine youth system alone bears a good long look. His only downside would be his lack of knowledge of U.S. soccer in general, but he wouldn't be afraid to make everyone earn a spot (I'm looking at you prima-Donovan).

A lot of folks also still think that the coach will have a more American flavor. (Klinsmann at least lives in California.) Of the best candidates in this pool, I think Peter Nowak, current coach of DC United, and Steve Nicol of New England are the best bets.

So that gives you a pool of what are probably the top four choices from Sunil Gulati will choose next month. What do I think? I would be very happy with either Klinsmann, Pekermann, or Nowak. Although each of these candidates is very different, they could all improve the standing of the game and the U.S. and the performance of the U.S. teams.

If we're going to live in fantasy land for a moment, Ideally, a combination of Pekermann and Klinsmann/Nowak would be best (thanks for the idea Xavier!). Leave the overall structure and development to Pekermann and leave the coaching to either Klinsmann or Nowak. I'know this idea isn't really workable, but it would probably do wonders for U.S. soccer.

In any case, it's looking like Klinsmann is the number one candidate. Hopefully he, or someone, takes the job real soon.

NP: "Gravity" - Pylon

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