Juergen Klinsmann - Photo Credit: ISIPhotos.com
Soccer News: JURGEN KLINSMANN on Talks Soccer Today
Today the U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann spoke to the media and answered questions. Klinsmann is an intelligent, well spoken and direct person wth a plan for our country to compete successfuly on the world stage. It takes courage to lead change and courage to have the patience to allow change to occur. Becoming a world soccer power can not happen overnight.
Here is what the leader of our soccer country said on the Final Round of World Cup Qualifying, CONCACAF as well as having Omar Gonzalez, Brad Davis, Brad Evans, Clarence Goodson, Matt Besler, Jozy Altidore, Sacha Kljestan, Timmy Chandler in the mix.
On beginning the Final Round of World Cup Qualifying:
“We are very excited to get the Hexagonal started with that game in Honduras on Wednesday afternoon. We are excited because it looks like we’re going to have everybody coming in healthy and ready to go for a very important game. We want to start the qualifying round on the right foot. We want to go to Honduras with confidence and determination to get, hopefully, a win. That’s our goal and there’s a lot of work behind us, especially with the group that was part of the January camp that already started this preparation. Obviously the Europeans and the players that are based in Mexico are now joining us finally so we’re all ready to go.”
On whether he sees Mexico and the U.S. qualifying relatively easily out of the group or whether it will be a struggle:
“There is no easy way, not for Mexico, not for the United States, not for anybody. You have to get your points, you have to win your games and you have to get the job done. You have to go into every game with the expectation that it’s going to be difficult, that it will challenge you to the limits. That’s our approach: take it seriously every time you go out onto the field, very seriously, and be very awake and then we’ll see how it runs out through those 10 games. I told the players it’s all about alertness, commitment and determination. The way they train, the way they presented themselves already this morning, it looks like they are ready.”
On how he selected his center backs:
“It is exciting for us to see players like Omar [Gonzalez] now being ready at the international level. Matt Besler is knocking at the door, he had a very strong January camp. Others as well, Brad Davis or Brad Evans, they are here because they had very impressive three-and-a-half weeks in January in camp with us. Clarence [Goodson] is in preseason right now in Denmark and Gooch is not playing at all at Malaga, so there are always reason for why we choose certain players and why we do certain things. We believe Matt Besler has the capabilities to step it up to the international level. So does Omar, so that gives us more options and a very busy year 2013.”
On going to San Pedro Sula to play in a World Cup qualifier:
“Every continent has its tricky parts and difficult environments and San Pedro Sula definitely has its own difficult environment, but those are challenges that players need. They need to go through those games, they need to prove themselves and they need to find ways, on the field, to get the job done. I will always welcome these opportunities, these matches, because that’s what it’s all about, going to these places that are not your home, cozy environment and proving a point. I the players are ready for that. Some have been down there already and others have played enough World Cup qualifiers already. We have an experienced team. We have players that are ready to step it up but obviously you know to expect a difficult situation.”
On Jozy Altidore, his club season and what he expects of him moving forward:
“We are very pleased with Jozy’s development over the time I’ve been in charge. We don’t expect him to be perfect. He’s a still very young player who is developing. He is becoming more consistent, he scores goals on a regular basis for Alkmaar, he’s already done a lot in such a young career. I think the way he managed that situation last week was awesome. He deserves a big compliment. He’s still going through a maturing curve on the field, off the field, and our job is to get him to an international, consistent level. By consistency I mean, as a striker, we would like to work him towards the way where he scores consistently for us. He did the first couple of steps already in the club environment, he is becoming a consistent goal scorer. He is settled in Europe now after a little bit of a roller coaster since his transfer there at the age of 18 and it’s great to see. We work on his consistency. He is maturing automatically. The way he presented himself last game against Russia and the way he worked for the team was very, very positive. We will just keep working, day in and day out, with him, whenever we have him.”
On Sacha Kljestan:
“Sacha is similar to Jozy. He’s becoming a consistent influence in his club. We watch his club games. We have people there that scout him that go to Anderlecht and see his games. He’s done very well. He won the championship and played in European competition and he is also becoming more of a consistent element overseas and we want him to bring that kind of quality back into the National Team environment. He’s been a bit in and out also because of the depth that we have in the midfield. You know, we have an enormous amount of quality in every midfield position and that’s why there’s obviously a fight going on for those spots. But he’s always been in our plans and our roster and we are pleased with his development over the last couple of years.”
On excitement of having Timmy Chandler in the mix:
“It’s a huge opportunity for Timmy and I think he’s simply just maturing, he’s growing into his role as a fulltime professional and that’s why we were very patient with Timmy to mature It’s a coach’s job to understand where certain players are in their own process and pick them up to help them get to the next level. We are patient with Timmy to get to the next level, now this opportunity coming up, a big World Cup qualifier coming up. He had a game yesterday, but he comes in on the right foot with a win for his club team, which was very important for them and hopefully with a lot of confidence now joining us today in Miami and then going down to Honduras. It also gives us more options and more quality in our own roster and he definitely has qualities you’ve seen already in some games that we want to build on. He still has a lot to improve, he still has a way to go, which is alright; he’s only 23-years of age.”
On calling in Jose Torres for the first time since September qualifiers:
“He was injured in October but we know Jose’s qualities and we know his game, I think that move from Pachuca to Tigres is another step upwards. It helps him to get to a higher level and also moves him out a bit of his comfort zone and the place you grew up and played for eight years. Now in a new environment he needs to prove himself and become a starter. He started the season off really well and he’s a player that has so much more to reach and we will help him in that process.”
On if all players called in for qualifier are fit to start:
“They need to be fit to start, all of them. In a time window of three days we can’t afford to bring anyone in with question marks. That’s why we also chose to give out the roster so late, to see who’s healthy or not but we are thrilled because everybody’s on board. It is very important to know that a player who flies in is ready to go. We can’t bring a player in if he has question marks and injuries, that doesn’t work in such a short period of time.”
On Honduras and where they fall in the hierarchy of CONCACAF:
“We have a lot of respect for this team. I think they’ve done very well over the last couple of years, obviously qualifying for South Africa, challenging us and Mexico in this region and having played overseas with more presence than ever before. I personally saw them in South Africa in games and the only thing they were lacking was the confidence to beat one of the bigger nations, to really believe in it at the end of the day and playing-wise they’ve done well. You have strikers up front in Bengtson who can always harm an opponent, you have Espinoza in midfield who has a lot of creativity and a wonderful touch, they have a very strong defense physically so that’s why we respect them, that’s why we’ve done our homework. You’ve got to give them a compliment to what they’ve done over the last couple of years.”
Background on Klinsmann from US Soccer
Klinsmann has been involved in soccer almost his entire life as a player, coach, television analyst and consultant. As a player, Klinsmann was one of the game’s premier forwards and enjoyed a 17-year career that included stints in four major European leagues for a number of clubs, including VfB Stuttgart, Inter Milan, AS Monaco, Tottenham Hotspur and Bayern Munich. One of the most well-known international players of all-time, he earned 108 appearances for Germany and scored 47 goals while helping the team win the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy and the 1996 European Championship.
Klinsmann also has a famed coaching career and was named manager of the German National Team in 2004. He guided Germany to a 20-8-6 record and a third place finish in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, earning him Coach of the Year honors in Germany. Two years later, Klinsmann took over the head coaching position at Bayern Munich.
Since his time in Germany, Klinsmann has worked in television broadcasting, is a partner in the sports marketing consulting agency SportsSolutions and signed on with Toronto FC as a consultant.
Klinsmann began playing soccer from a young age in his hometown of Gingen. As a 14-year old, he joined the youth program of Stuttgarter Kickers and signed a professional contract with them two years later. He made his debut at the age of 17 for the Kickers in the second division Bundesliga.
In 1984, he was signed by VfB Stuttgart, where he helped the club reach the German Cup final in 1986 and the UEFA Cup final in 1989. In 1988, Klinsmann was the top-scorer in the Bundesliga and was named Player of the Year in Germany.
Klinsmann made his national team debut in 1987 against Brazil. He participated in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, where he helped his team earn the bronze medal. In 1990, Klinsmann also helped his team win the 1990 FIFA World Cup with stellar performances throughout the tournament.
In 1989, Klinsmann joined Internazionale in Italy, and won the Italian Super Cup that same year and the UEFA Cup in 1991. Starting in 1992, Klinsmann played with AS Monaco of the French League 1, and then joined Tottenham Hotspur of the English Premier League in 1994.
In 1995, Klinsmann returned to Germany to play with Bayern Munich, where he helped Bayern win the UEFA Cup in 1996 by notching a record 15 goals in 12 matches. In 1997, Klinsmann played with Sampdoria of Italy and then joined Tottenham of the EPL mid-season, where he would close out his professional club career.
Klinsmann retired as a professional player after the 1998 World Cup. He had played 17 seasons with four major soccer clubs, scoring 226 goals in 506 appearances. Klinsmann also notched 108 caps with the German national team, scoring 47 goals. He represented his country in three European Championships (1998, 1992 and 1996), including winning in 1996. He also participated in three World Cups (1990, 1994 and 1998), including winning in 1990. He was named team captain of Germany from 1994 to 1998.
After retiring as a player, he moved to the United States with his wife, Debbie, and they currently reside in California with their two children, Jonathan and Laila.
Klinsmann was well-prepared to become a coach after his club experiences in the top European leagues. He learned from very successful managers and learned various tactical systems that emphasized different styles of play. In June of 2000, he earned his German Football Teacher License.
In 2004, Klinsmann became the Technical Advisor for the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer. In July of the same year, the German Football Federation asked Klinsmann to become manager of the German National Team.
Klinsmann melded young players with proven veterans and emphasized fitness and an aggressive, attacking style of play. He led Germany to third place at the 2006 FIFA World Cup and retired with a winning record of 20-6-8 after the tournament. Despite stepping aside as Germany’s manager after the World Cup, he left a foundation for ongoing success, including the core of the German National Team coaching staff and players.
In July of 2008, Klinsmann became the head coach of his old club, Bayern Munich where he aided in the design of a new player development and performance center. Bayern reached the quarterfinal of the Champions League that year, going 25-9-9 in all competitions under Klinsmann.
Klinsmann was hired as head coach for the U.S. Men’s National Team on July 29, 2011, and will make his debut with the team in a friendly match on Aug. 10, 2011, against Mexico in Philadelphia.
KLINSMANN FACT FILE:
CLUB SOCCER CAREER: Stuttgarter Kickers (1981-84), VfB Stuttgart (1984-89), Internazionale (1989-92), Monaco (1992-94), Tottenham Hotspur (1994-95), Bayern Munich (1995-97), Sampdoria (1997-98), Tottenham Hotspur (1997-8)
NATIONAL TEAM SOCCER CAREER: West Germany U-16 (1980-81), West Germany U-21 (1984-85), Germany (1987-98)
- PLAYER HONORS: German Player of the Year (1988, 1994), FWA Player of the Year (1995)
- CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS WON: Suppercoppa Italiana (1989), UEFA Cup (1991, 1996), Bundesliga (1996-97)
- NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS WON: FIFA World Cup (1990), European Championship (1996), U.S. Cup (1993)
- PROFESSIONAL COACHING CAREER: Head Coach, German National Team (2004-06), Bayern Munich (2008-09)
- COACHING HONORS: German Coach of the Year (2006)
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