Pro Soccer News: Paul Caligiuri on Jurgen Klinsmann
U.S. Men’s National Team's new Head Coach is the Perfect Pick for American Soccer. The times are changing for U.S. Soccer. Jurgen Klinsmann is bringing in a high-level coaching staff with a global perspective. Regardless of what happened as Jurgen Klinsmann's US soccer team took to the pitch for the second time, losing to Costa Rica in Southern Callifornia, there is new optimism for American soccer under this new leadership.
When U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati named JurgenKlinsmann as head coach of the U.S. Men's National Team, many of soccer's elite players and coaches were profoundly pleased. Former World Cup soccer star Paul David Caligiuri speaks out on the change in USA Soccer.
California-born Paul Caligiuri's professional playing career spanned 16 years, during which he made the "shot heard around the world," his game-winning goal in the World Cup qualifier against Trinidad and Tobago on November 19, 1989. Caligiuri's goal earned the United States Men's National Team the right to compete in the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy, its first World Cup berth since 1950. In the World Cup, Caligiuri scored the first World Cup goal for the U.S. national team in 40 years. He is a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame and is now a tremendous coach with keen insights and a deep ability to motivate his players to reach new heights.
The U.S. Men’s National Team took on Costa Rica at the Home Depot Center, and just before the game, SoccerNation interviewed Paul Caligiuri.
Paul Caligiuri followed up with this statement after the soccer match: "The result is obviously disappointing because every team wants to win, but clearly the U.S. outplayed Costa Rica and dominated possession of the game. By the time World Cup qualifying comes around, the entire U.S. pool of players will be familiar with the demands that this system of play requires and the core players will have developed more cohesion which will propel them to success.
Despite the loss, there are so many positives to take from last nights game. I believe Coach Juergen Klinnsman is pleased with performances of some new players, such as Jose Torres, Brek Shea, and Tim Chandler. It was exciting to see some new players get a chance. It gives hope to all soccer players to set their goals and standards high and work hard to get there!"
SoccerNation News: U.S. Men's National Team took on Costa Rica at the Home Depot Center in what hopes to be a sell-out crowd. How do you think the USA will do?
Paul Caligiuri: "If the USA wants to compete against the top soccer nations in the world, Costa Rica is a country we should beat."
SoccerNation News: Will the U.S. Men's National Team win?
Paul Caligiuri: "I believe we will win. I think, looking at the player rosters, the U.S. team is stronger, better and faster. Our players have more depth of experience and our newcoach will make these attributes work."
"The key is that we are stronger, better and faster, and what Klinsmann brings as a coach is a stronger tactical approach which will extract the best qualities from our American players. Klinsmann will organize these talents into a strong tactical approach. Jurgen has assembled a terrific team of players with the core coming from Europe. The U.S. Men's National Team now has more players than ever before who have been playing at a high level. "
SoccerNation News: There is speculation on what position Landon Donovan will play. Any comment?
Paul Caligiuri: "Landon Donovan is a technically gifted player and his great strength is his movement off the ball. I believe with the new USA look, Landon will able to exploit his creativity to a higher level."
SoccerNation News: What is so special about Jurgen Klinsmann?
Paul Caligiuri: "Jurgen Klinsmann was the most desired coach in the world. What makes him so special? His success, his experience. His global awareness and experiences outstretch any domestic person we have in America."
SoccerNation News: How do you know Klinsmann?
Paul Caligiuri: "Our on-field relationship lead to an off-field friendship. I played against Jurgen the first time in 1989. It was Hamberg SV against VfB Stuttgart in a preseason match where I first met Jurgen Klinsmann on the field. In time, the competitive experience of playing against Jurgen grew into a friendship and he asked me to coach with him at the Adidas ESP, (Elite Soccer Player Youth Program) in 2004."
SoccerNation News: What was it like to work with Klinsmann?
Paul Caligiuri: "Coaching with Jurgen is amazing. He keeps things simple but raises the level of intensity for the players by the speed of play. What I most enjoyed was being around Jurgen in the coaches' meeting after the practice sessions, and I was amazed at how his mind works.
One of Klinsmann's greatest talents is his communication with the player. Jurgen Klinsmann was Player of the Year in so many countries, he naturally relates to the players and he is a very positive communicator.
I wanted to model myself after his positive method of communications. A coach being a positive communicator is powerful. Positive communication provides the soccer player with the confidence to grow their game and be creative on the field. Landon Donovan will be able to exploit his creativity because Jurgen wants players to take risks, if you change fear to fate."
SoccerNation News: Klinsmann has made significant coaching changes. What are your thoughts on who he has brought on board?
Paul Caligiuri: "Jurgen has brought in Thomas Dooley, who has the most experience of any national team player with his time at two World Cups. (Thomas Dooley, the 1993 U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year and National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2010, is a retired German-American soccer defender and defensive midfielder and a long-time member and former captain of the U.S. National Team.)
Dooley understands the global game on all levels. Thomas Dooley (working with Todd Saldaña) coached the Pateadores' academy team, and the team won the U18 championship beating all the MLS academies. How you speak to the players makes a huge difference. Like Jurgen, Dooley is also an excellent communicator. For me it is not a surprise he took a last place team and transformed them into the best in the country.
Jurgen has brought on Tad Ramos who is arguably one of the best USA players ever. He became a U.S. citizen when he was 8 years old and has played the game around the world and has a global viewpoint. Ramos, another great soccer Hall of Fame recipient, has been brought on by Jurgen to help lead American soccer to the next level."
SoccerNation News: The Bob Bradley regime was a very American-oriented perspective. Jurgen Klinsmann brings in a whole new, global perspective. How will this impact soccer in America?
Paul Caligiuri's goal at the World Cup qualifier in 1989
Paul Caligiuri: "We have the most potential of any nation and can become the greatest soccer nation in the world. We just need to continue to feed our youth players the resources and guidance to reach the top. Now we are beginning to staff U.S. Soccer with a coaching staff that has world-wide experience. We are going to see some results on the field, but it is the guidance and resources for the youth players that will make the biggest impact in the years ahead. We need to help our young players reach these higher levels. Everyone knows that building a strong youth program is critical to improving your national team.
Jurgen understands our American culture and society as well as the global game of soccer.
Jurgen will implement programs that will work with new ideas and structure. He is a doer. He is the one guy who will get it done. Klinsmann is the one person others will listen to and follow, all the way from the U.S. Development Academy coaches to coaches at the State and college level. It is very important what we help raise the abilities of our players on all levels, and if you are not aware of what the rest of the world is doing in the world of soccer, it is hard to compete.
SoccerNation News: Any final thoughts?
Paul Caligiuri: "Jurgen has coached at the highest level in one of the top two countries in the world. The Germans are always a contender to win the World Cup. It doesn't get much higher than what he has done. Jurgen is a true leader."
Jurgen Klinsmann is an iconic figure for modern-day soccer. According to Paul Caligiuri, Klinsmann's worldwide relationships, his creativity and the respect that he has earned from FIFA all the way to youth coaches in America will help him grow this great sport in the U.S.