Awarded the Golden Glove as the top goalkeeper at the 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship, Jonathan Klinsmann is back to anchor the defense for the U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team as it prepares to open the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Korea Republic on May 22 against Ecuador.
Here are five things you should know about the U.S. goalkeeper:
Making His Own Way
The son of a legendary World Cup winning striker for Germany and former U.S. MNT head coach, Jurgen Klinsmann, Jonathan has carved a different path as a goalkeeper. Just like his father, the younger Klinsmann started out as a forward and only casually played goalkeeper with friends, but eventually
fell in love with the position as he joined the FC Bayern Munich youth team in 2008.
After moving back to California, Klinsmann was part of U.S. Soccer Development Academy side in Irvine, Calif. Klinsmamn made 33 appearances in his final season before moving on to college at the University of California.
Klinsmann enrolled at Berkeley in the fall of 2015, appearing in eight games while making four starts during his rookie campaign for the Golden Bears. His workload increased as a sophomore in 2016 as he appeared in 14 of Cal’s 17 games, including 12 starts. Klinsmann follows a number of other highly successful goalkeepers who have made their college home with the Golden Bears, a list that includes MLS veterans Josh Saunders (2001-02), Stefan Frei (2005-08) and U.S. MNT goalkeeper David Bingham (2008–10).
The Legacy of the American No. 1
The clear-cut starting goalkeeper for the U.S. U-20 team during qualifying, Klinsmann has appeared for U.S. Youth National Teams in a variety of age groups, including a U-23 camp in 2015 while just 18 years old. In 2016, he appeared in six of eight U-20 international matches for the U.S. Klinsmann has been between the posts for six of the team’s seven matches this year, with the U.S. recording a 4-1-1 mark in those games.
A native of Newport Beach, Calif., Klinsmann looks to follow in a long line of highly-decorated U.S. goalkeepers who have gone to the U-20 World Cup, a list that includes Tony Meola, Kasey Keller, Nick Rimando and Tim Howard.
The Man with the Golden Glove
At the 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship, Klinsmann won the Golden Glove as the tournament’s best goalkeeper, appearing in five of six matches at the competition as the U.S. claim its first U-20 regional crown. Klinsmann recorded a pair of clean sheets during the tournament, including one in the final against Honduras, a match the U.S. would go on to win on penalty kicks, 5-3.
A Busy Spring
Following the successful CONCACAF U-20 Championship in early March, Klinsmann kept himself sharp with a pair of training stints with European professional clubs. The first of the two stops was with one of his father’s former clubs in Germany, VfB Stuttgart; he also spent a portion of the spring with Everton of the English Premier League.
Shortly after his time at Everton, Klinsmann rejoined the U.S. in London for its final training camp before the selection of the 21-man squad for the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup.