Jurgen Klinsmann, who was head coach of the U.S. men’s national team between 2011 and 2016, has now been appointed as manager of the South Korea national football team.
Since coaching the USMNT Jurgen Klinsmann has only managed Hertha Berlin back in his native Germany. However, that spell ended after just 10 matches.
On his return to management, as quoted on the BBC, Klinsmann said, “I am very happy and honoured to be following in the footsteps of great coaches who have directed the Korean national team, from Guus Hiddink to former coach Paulo Bento.
“I know that the Korean national team has been improving and achieving results over a long period of time. I will do my best to achieve successful results in the upcoming Asian Cup and 2026 World Cup.”
Klinsmann’s time with the USMNT
The German arrived at the USMNT with an impressive CV. As a player, he represented Inter Milan, Tottenham Hotspur, Bayern Munich and Germany. Whilst as a manager, he had also coached Bayern and Germany.
Klinsmann won the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup Final with the USMNT and helped them qualify for the 2014 World Cup. Ahead of the tournament, he surprisingly left out star forward Landon Donavon.
The USMNT was involved in a group of death in Brazil which included Germany, Portugal and Ghana. Klinsmann guided them through the group with a victory over Ghana, a draw with Portugal and a defeat to Germany. However, they went out in the round of 16 to Belgium.
Klinsmann stayed in place for the next World Cup cycle but this did not go to plan. He was sacked after defeats to Mexico and Costa Rica. Bruce Arena then took charge but they still failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
South Korea could meet the USMNT in 2026
Klinsmann’s contract with South Korea will take him to the 2026 World Cup which the USA is co-hosting with Mexico and China. The USMNT has already qualified as hosts so there is a chance that if Klinsmann helps South Korea to qualify that they could play each other in the tournament.
South Korea have appeared in the last ten tournaments, so it will be a huge disappointment if they failed to qualify. They have some very talented players which include Son Heung-min of Tottenham. Son will be in his 34 in 2026 so it will likely be one of his final major tournaments with the side.
South Korea have other top players including Napoli defender Kim Min-jae. They also have Hwang Hee-chan of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Lee Kang-in who plays for Mallorca.
The USMNT still do not have a permanent head coach since Gregg Berhalter’s contract expired. Anthony Hudson is currently taking interim charge. Many fans would like to see Jesse Marsch take over. Marsch who most recently managed Leeds United is still available after he failed to agree on a deal to join Southampton.
It would be quite a story if Klinsmann was to lead out a side against the USMNT in their home tournament in 2026. No doubt it would add an extra edge to the excitement of the tournament.