May 27, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; Azerbaijan head coach Berti Vogts and United States head coach Jurgen Klinsmann walk onto the field before the game at Candlestick Park. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Wilbon to Jurgen Klinsmann: Get out of America

United States men’s national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has gained his fair share of detractors after leaving Landon Donovan off the 23-man roster for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Sure Donovan might have lost a step, and Klinsmann has his reasons.

Klinsmann has followed up that move by deciding to say the Americans cannot win the 2014 World Cup, another comment ruffling feathers. Now he is taking his show on the road and is calling out all American sports, specifically Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant.

From the New York Times Magazine:

“This always happens in America,” Klinsmann told me, waving his hands in the air. “Kobe Bryant, for example — why does he get a two-year contract extension for $50 million? Because of what he is going to do in the next two years for the Lakers? Of course not. Of course not. He gets it because of what he has done before. It makes no sense. Why do you pay for what has already happened?”

Klinsmann has a point to a certain degree, American sports overpay superstar athletes for their legacy. Some players are willing to take it and be over paid, some let their competitive spirit take over and accept a more reasonable deal to bring in players.

Nevertheless, Pardon The Interruption’s Michael Wilbon didn’t take to kindly to Klinsmann’s words and went on quite the rant. Wilbon said Klinsmann was overpaid and that he should get out of the country if he doesn’t like it, we know what we’re doing.

[h/t] USA Today’s For The Win

Tags: Jurgen Klinsmann Michael Wilbon

  • jason

    Truly, a myopic thought.

  • asa

    I am not offended by Wilbon’s opinion here; I find it to be accurate. This being said, I do think he missed the point with Klinnsman’s remarks. Kobe IS overpaid and it is based on what he did in the past, that’s a fact. And while Klinnsman may be “gutless” for admitting defeat already, this could be a motivating thing to say to players and also a sort of German sense of humor, in my opinion. But the real meat and potatoes of what I’m trying to say here, is that I think that Klinnsman is correct in how he framed American sports coaches in his NYT article. In America, typically coaches favor their star player and listen to him and there is preferential treatment. I know this because I was a star player myself when I was younger and found my way to the bench towards the end of my college soccer career in the United States. Eventually I was cut from my team, who was ranked in the top 5 in the country for Division III. Yes, we had friendlies against a few Division I teams and beat them, and played against Semi-Pro teams in America and Pro team reserve squads in foreign countries. I am familiar with top level soccer in America and the process that goes with it, from a first-hand basis…I was in the system from age 5 until 22. I was cut from my college team (coached by an American) a little more than 1 month following official release from a 3 day stay in a hospital where I was admitted for mono. I was on IVs for 3 days with extreme fatigue. I left the hospital bed and went straight on a plane to a foreign country to play against Pros there for a few weeks (and it was hot as balls there). After playing ok for a few weeks I eventually relapsed and couldn’t move, kept going and was cut late in preseason. I don’t think for one minute that if I (one of the last players off the bench) was instead a star player, I would’ve been cut. Klinnsman is just speaking the truth on this and Americanism is soccer has a long way to go to develop it’s identity. My situation is not really that unique from what I’ve heard. In this case, my past contributions did matter, and they simply weren’t enough. I don’t blame my coach for cutting me but I also don’t blame Klinnsman for cutting Donovan and acting the way he does. Wilbon speaks truth but really comes across as uninformed towards how soccer politics and culture really is. Which, is not his fault it’s just the reality.

  • Alan Condon

    Wilbon says “HE HASN’T WON ANYTHING!?” Emmm, Klinsmann won the 2013 Gold Cup in July last year winning all 6 matches in the tournament! Either Michael Wilbon has an incredibly short memory, or (more plausibly) he has no clue about soccer. He should get his facts right before he spirals off into another rant of no substance again. Absolutely incompetent and embarrassing for a proclaimed sports “analyst.” Here’s MY argument in response to Wilbon’s clueless rant. Have a read – am I wrong?