The men's national team has a new coach, Juergen Klinsmann. Will he be able to inject some magic into the way Americans play the sport?
U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati poses with Juergen Klinsmann after he was named head coach of the men's national soccer team. (Credit: Reuters)
Every week, our panel of sports fans discusses a topic of the moment. For today's conversation, Patrick Hruby (writer, ESPN and The Atlantic), Emma Carmichael (writer, Deadspin), Jake Simpson (writer, The Atlantic), and Hampton Stevens (writer, ESPN and The Atlantic), talk about the U.S. men's soccer team's new coach, Juergen Klinsmann.
Following a series of uninspiring matches capped by a come-from-ahead loss to Mexico in the Gold Cup final, the United States' men's national soccer team clearly needed a coaching change. Buh-bye, Bob Bradley. Hello, Juergen Klinsmann. Question is, will the charismatic German—a longtime object of hardcore American soccer fan ardor—cure the numbing, nice-try middlingness that long has defined Team USA's play?
Granted, Klinsmann's credentials are impressive. He won a World Cup as a player for Germany; in 2006, he coached his home nation to a third place finish in the tournament. And don't expect a culture clash: Klinsmann lives in California, speaks fluent English, and has an American wife and two soccer-playing children whom he says consider themselves more Fourth of July than Oktoberfest.