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Klinsmann Speaks

Jurgen Klinsmann recently admitted that he was the one that ended talks with the US Soccer Federation and the former German national team coach claimed that the reason why was because both parties could not mutually agree to the terms of the deal in writing.

Klinsmann has been a popular target for the post since he left Die Mannschaft in 2006. The German born coach led his homeland to a World Cup semifinal exit that year and since he currently lives in California the former footballer has always been on the US Soccer Federations desired list. And weeks before Bob Bradley agreed to a new four year deal with the team, Klinsmann was reportedly negotiating with the federation for the open post.

But as Klinsmann put it neither side could mutually agree on how much control the head coach should have of the team:

 We had conversations, maybe about three or four weeks period of time, and very positive conversations. But we didn’t get it to a positive ending because we couldn’t put into writing what we agreed to verbally. It’s obviously always about authority. When you have conversations with a club team or a national team, it’s who has the last word in what issues, and that’s where we couldn’t get into the written terms.

Verbally we agreed on that the technical side is my side, and I should have a 100 percent control of it. Written terms, they couldn’t commit to it. At that point I said, ‘Well then, I can’t get the job done because I have to have the last say as a head coach for my entire staff, for all the players issues, for everything that happens with the team.’ Unfortunately they couldn’t commit to that, and that was basically the end of our talks, and then they agreed then to continue with Bob as the head coach, and that’s totally fine.

Klinsmann finally speaking up about the situation is interesting because the US Soccer Federation has remained awfully silent on the subject. I guess it is one of those scenarios where the federation would rather not admit that Bradley was not their first choice. A notion that has angered several respected US figures including former national team coach Bruce Arena who expressed his anger with the federation a few weeks back for not moving quick enough to bring Bradley back. Arena also would go on to denounce the notion of a foreign-born coach improving the USA’s chances of winning the World Cup.

Klinsmann’s comments confirm that Bradley was not the ideal man for the job, but was it inappropriate for the German to speak out about the situation knowing that the federation was trying to keep the situation mum? It doesn’t do much good for Klinsmann to publicly speak about the way things went behind closed doors, but on the other hand the German legendary former player has every right to speak his mind and tell it like it is. The US Soccer Federation should have opened up about their courting of Klinsmann after they reached their deal with Bradley because it was going to come out anyway.

And having it released to the fans this way makes it sound as if the federation was trying to cover up their attempt of landing Klinsmann rather than Bradley.