Jurgen Klinsmann, coach of the U.S. national soccer team, has been given a contract extension through 2018. Along with the news, Klinsmann also assumes the role of Technical Director for U.S. Soccer.
In his two and a half years at the helm, Klinsmann has an overall record of 27-10-7. The U.S. team of 2013 set the single-year record for wins (16), winning percentage (.761), and consecutive wins (12). The year saw Klinsmann & Co. qualify for the 2014 World Cup at the top of the CONCACAF region, and win the Gold Cup by defeating opponents with the back-ups of the U.S. squad.
This is phenomenal! When I heard the news, I spun several times in my office chair — I’m dizzy with excitement. Klinsmann has been a boon to soccer in America. Not only is he finding ways to win, but he is building depth for a national team that has somehow failed to do so before.
The Gold Cup held last July is a prime example of this. The majority of the national team starters were taking breaks from the game at the time. What was left were mostly players who were trying to prove their worth to Klinsmann. The Yanks still one their first three games with a goal differential of +9, including a 6-1 drubbing of Belize.
No one expected the back-ups to produce this level of play. The records mentioned earlier were not set by the best of the USMNT, those records were set by the second and third best players in the USMNT. It’s a sign that America is beginning to produce soccer talent.
As reports came out of the new extension, Klinsmann is in Brandenton, Florida at the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Winter Showcase. At this very moment, the guy is working to improve the future of American soccer.
U.S. Soccer did a good thing by giving Klinsmann the extention. This now enables the USMNT the chance to enter the 2014 World Cup without fear of what the future holds. No matter their performance (this isn’t an excuse to fail!), the players now have a feeling of consistency and structure.
The World Cup begins in 182 days from today. Klinsmann can now focus on what is important to the national team’s success.