After replacing Bob Bradley as the boss of the national team last week, the former Germany and Tottenham striker is keen for his side to adapt to a playing styleJurgen Klinsmann says one of his biggest challenges after being named the new USA coach will be to decide on a style of play for his team.
After the nation have struggled to stick to a playing style over the last few years, the former Germany and Bayern Munich coach is keen for his team to stick to a system.
“One of my challenges will be defining how the US should represent its country,” explained Klinsmann. “What should be the style of play.
“It’s not just about the players but the people who are surrounding them in this country, like the media and coaches. There is such a wealth of knowledge in this country that in Europe and South America is unheard of."
Klinsmann says the progress of the team during his tenure will be built on the foundations laid over the past two decades.
“I think you can be proud of what you have accomplished over the past 20 years,” said Klinsmann. "It’s come a long way, soccer in the United States. I am now getting the opportunity to move it forward, to build on what’s already been built.”
While fans and media alike have positively reacted to the USSF's (United States Soccer Federation) decision to hire a foreign coach, Klinsmann does not see his arrival as a slight against domestic coaches.
Having lived in the US for over 13 years, he does not look at his ideas as foreign, but rather acknowledges that his experience abroad will allow him to introduce something new.
“There is a lot to do," said Klinsmann, who replaced Bob Bradley as the US coach. “Having played in Italy, England, France and Germany, I have my own ideas of how to move it further. I will step by step introduce the ideas that I have but will always be checking to see if it suits the American game.”
After being linked with the job for almost five years, Klinsmann is relishing the opportunity to take charge of the team, but admits becoming one of the top 10 teams in the world will not be easy.
“We have quite a way to go still before we break into the top 10 of the world,” said Klinsmann. “I’m glad that I have an opportunity to be a part of the future of US soccer."
Klinsmann and USSF president Suni Gulati have been in constant discussions over the growth of the sport in the country.
After the team's subpar performance in the Gold Cup earlier this summer, Gulati believed that the team needed to make a bold decision to move forward, despite hesitating to agree with some of Klinsmann's requests during previous conversations about the position.
Last year, Klinsmann was quoted as saying that he declined the US coaching position because Gulati would not be willing to put certain stipulations on paper. While neither party would confirm or deny that anything has changed, the German said that the two had an understanding, and Gulati acknowledged that the agreement was more than a verbal one.
“We didn’t do this on a handshake,” Gulati said.
"Over the years, there were different moments and maybe different opinions, which is normal. So maybe it was never the [right] moment [previously]."
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