Five years after the pursuit began, the U.S. Soccer Federation has hired Juergen Klinsmann to coach the men’s national team.
Klinsmann, a legendary figure in German soccer with strong ties to the United States, replaces Bob Bradley, who was fired Thursday. He will be introduced at a news conference Monday in New York and make his U.S. coaching debut in an Aug. 10 friendly against Mexico at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.
“I’m excited about the challenge ahead,” he said. “I am looking forward to bringing the team together for our upcoming match against Mexico and starting on the road toward qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.”
Spurned in 2006 and last summer, USSF President Sunil Gulati again approached Klinsmann, 46, several weeks ago and reached a deal in recent days.
“He is a highly accomplished player and coach with the experience and knowledge to advance the program,” Gulati said. “Juergen has had success in many different areas of the game and we look forward to the leadership he will provide on and off the field.”
While Klinsmann boasted an illustrious playing career — third all-time leading scorer in German national team history, World Cup champion in 1990, European champion in 1996, 17-year career in top European leagues — he hasn’t fared as well as a coach.
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He energized a stumbling German national team program leading to the 2006 World Cup, but much of the credit for the technical improvements were attributed to top assistant Joachim Low. Germany, the host team, advanced to the semifinals before losing to eventual champion Italy in an epic extra-time match in Dortmund.
On the club level, Klinsmann lasted just one season with Bayern Munich (2008-09).
Klinsmann has lived in Southern California for many years, is married to an American and has worked with both the USSF and MLS clubs. Since last winter, Klinsmann has served as an adviser to Toronto FC, which remains one of the league’s worst clubs.
Klinsmann’s hiring was first reported by longtime U.S. soccer writer Michael Lewis on his new blog, Tropigol.