Jurgen Klinnsman: Can He Lead?
Written by Ben Roth at 6:12 PM
As many avid soccer fans know, the USA men's soccer team fired previous coach Bob Bradley and hired former german national teamer, Jurgen Klinnsman. Bradley didn't do a terrible job with the talent the team had. He led them to consecutive round of 16s in the 2006 and 2010 world cups. The problem he faced was being a defensive minded coach and thinking of keeping shutouts rather than scoring goals. All this has and will change under new coach Jurgen Klinnsman. Klinnsman himself was a forward and career leader in goals for the german national team in his playing days. Therefore, just by nature he thinks scoring goals. That mentality is the environment he wants this national team and the rest of US soccer. He has said himself that currently the USA team is not a 5 star caliber squad and presently cannot win a world cup. The process of changing USA soccer's mentality will take time; probably not in his USA coaching career, but over decades. Klinnsman is preaching to the players that they shouldn't be afraid to make mistakes and that taking risks is what will help them in the long run. Another philosophy the german has is waiting for the young players to evolve and not rushing them straight into playing time. Under coach Bob Bradley, countless young players were supposed to be "the next Pele" of American soccer and ended up being busts. Klinnsman doesn't want the same thing happening with current MLS players Juan Agudelo and Brek Shea. With Bradley, Agudelo was starting or playing heavily in almost every US game in the past year. Though, so far with Klinnsman, Agudelo has played only a couple dozen minutes combined in two games under the new coach. This mentality should be contagious and will help US soccer in the future. We won't see an instant change like most US fans want, but hopefully by the 2014 world cup we can move up from our current 30th ranked team in the world to be a top 20 team. Klinnsman understands soccer isn't a main sports priority in America, but if the team succeeds it might soon be.