Jurgen Klinsmann was announced as the head coach for the U.S. Men’s National Team on July 29, 2011, just 12 days before the USA takes on Mexico in a friendly match in Philadelphia. After a long courtship, Klinsmann is excited for the challenge and ready to begin the journey.
“There are always different moments, different timing, and right now the timing is right,” said Klinsmann. “We had a clear understanding of what we want to do, and that’s why I’m really happy that we’ve thought about this and found a comfort level for moving forward.”
During his press conference at NIKETOWN on Aug. 1, Klinsmann outlined his philosophy and opinion on soccer in the United States and how he plans to further the development. He also discussed the first steps he would take as head coach.
“I’m really proud that I get that opportunity to be part of the future of U.S. Soccer,” said Klinsmann.” It’s going to be a challenge, absolutely. It’s going to be quite demanding the next couple of weeks to get my hands around this. There is a game coming up next week against Mexico already in Philadelphia, so it’s a lot to do. But that’s all part of the job.”
The match against rival Mexico is Klinsmann’s first task as the new head coach, and he hopes to have the 20-player roster announced within days.
“We’ll be calling up the players now, getting the squad together and knowing that isn’t going to be too easy since a lot of players had their breaks and some haven’t even played a game yet in the new season in Europe,” said Klinsmann. “It’s not going to be easy to form a highly competitive team, but we will get it off the ground.”
Klinsmann will take his time deciding and identifying both the players and his assistant coaches for both the FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign and the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
“When you come into a situation like this, you analyze every individual player, the team itself and the program, which I’ll have the chance to do during the next couple of weeks, to see how I can develop them further,” said Klinsmann. “I won’t confirm a full time staff over the next couple of months, because I want to see what’s out there. There are a lot of good, highly qualified coaches in the U.S. that I might not know. I want to make sure that I get to know a lot of different people, a lot of different approaches, because covering this country here is a different challenge than a small country like Germany.”
Looking past the Mexico game, Klinsmann will be faced with two more upcoming friendlies against Costa Rica on Sept. 2 in Carson, Calif., and against Belgium on Sept. 6 in Brussels.
While tasked with these immediate challenges, Klinsmann also discussed his overall obligations as the head coach.
“The main responsibility is the men’s team and moving that program forward, but it’s about discussing with a lot of people involved in the game about what happens in the youth scene and in all the developmental areas,” said Klinsmann. “I think there are a lot of different challenges ahead of us, especially on the foundation level. It’s come a long way, soccer in the United States. I’m now getting this opportunity to move it further. It is an exciting moment.”