Former Germany manager Jürgen Klinsmann has been appointed head coach of the USA days after Bob Bradley was sacked.
Klinsmann enjoyed a stellar playing career at both club and international level lining out for Stuttgart, Inter, Monaco, Tottenham and Bayern Munich as well as winning the World Cup in 1990 and the European Championships in 1996 with Germany.
Following his retirement as a player, Klinsmann relocated to California with his family. However, he returned to European football in 2004 after being appointed German national manager. Klinsmann guided his homeland to the semi-finals of the 2006 World Cup but returned to the US following an unsuccessful spell at Bayern Munich two years later.
Bradley had been awarded a new four-year contract following last year’s World Cup, however, he was widely considered to be a conservative coach who mistrusted flair players. Losses to Panama and Mexico in the 2011 Gold Cup appear to have provided an excuse to fire him.
In contrast, Klinsmann, who had been repeatedly linked to the post, is just the kind of box-office name that the US Football Federation were said to be looking for. Despite having been out of the game for the last two years, the German is undoubtedly a better candidate than the other big name linked to the job: David Beckham.
‘I am proud and honoured to be named the head coach of the US men's national team’, Klinsmann said. ‘I would like to thank the US Soccer Federation for the opportunity, and I'm excited about the challenge ahead. I am looking forward to bringing the team together for our upcoming match against Mexico and starting on the road toward qualifying for the 2014 Fifa World Cup.’
‘We are excited to have Jürgen as the head coach of our men's national team,’ Sunil Gulati, president of the US football federation, said. ‘He is a highly accomplished player and coach with the experience and knowledge to advance the programme. Jürgen has had success in many different areas of the game and we look forward to the leadership he will provide on and off the field.’
Klinsmann’s first game in charge will be against neighbours and close rivals Mexico in Philadelphia on 10 August.