Soccer

Klinsmann new US coach

2011-08-01 21:36
Jurgen Klinsmann (File)
New York - New US coach Jurgen Klinsmann believes his mix of international experience and American knowledge will allow him to improve the national team.

The former Germany striker and coach, who has lived in the United States for 13 years, was introduced on Monday and he spent much of the time talking about how to mold future American stars, not managing current ones.

"It all starts down to develop the next Landon Donovan," Klinsmann said of the US one day becoming a serious contender for World Cup titles.

And "one day" is the key phrase - he believes "we still are quite a long way away from that."

"You need maybe 10 Landon Donovans at different positions with different characteristics in order to one day be there," Klinsmann said in an interview.

Perhaps it's partly a way to temper expectations as he takes over from Bob Bradley, whose sacking was announced on Thursday. The US reached the round of 16 at last year's World Cup, but blew a two-goal lead in the Gold Cup final loss to Mexico in June.

But Klinsmann makes clear he views his charge as bigger than just preparing Donovan and his team-mates for major tournaments.

"It also is vital I am involved in all the discussions with a lot of coaches out there, how we improve the grass-roots level," Klinsmann said. "I'm fascinated by that approach."

Klinsmann won a World Cup title as a player and starred for elite European clubs, then coached Germany to a third-place finish at the 2006 World Cup.

His wife is American and he concedes his two football-playing kids consider themselves more American than German. Klinsmann feels fluent in his adopted country's culture, and believes he will know which parts of the European system will work here and what must be uniquely American.

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