Klinsmann: USSF wouldn’t give me 100% control of USMNT

Jürgen Klinsmann said that the US Soccer Federation USSF would not put his authority in writing even though they had verbally agreed with him to take over the US National Team as head coach.

Ultimately Sunil Gulati chose to rehire Bob Bradley (who’s done a fine job so far, it has to be said) for a second four-year stint after Klinsmann ended the talks with USSF.

In an interview on Kansas City Wizards’ pre‑game show, Klinsmann made the following comments:

“We had conversations, maybe about three or four weeks period of time, and very positive conversations. But we didn’t get it to a positive ending because we couldn’t put into writing what we agreed to verbally.

It’s obviously always about authority. When you have conversations with a club team or a national team, it’s who has the last word in what issues, and that’s where we couldn’t get into the written terms.

Verbally we agreed that the technical side is my side and I should have a 100% control of it. Written terms, they couldn’t commit to it. At that point I said, ‘Well then, I can’t get the job done because I have to have the last say as a head coach for my entire staff, for all the players’ issues, for everything that happens with the team.’ Unfortunately they couldn’t commit to that and that was basically the end of our talks, and then they agreed to continue with Bob as the head coach and that’s totally fine.”

Klinsmann has been previously approached by the USSF in 2006 right after he led Germany to a third-place finish in the 2006 World Cup, and he was also sounded out by the current Liverpool owners while Rafael Benitez was in charge. Klinsmann ultimately returned to management with Bayern Munich but left before the season was over, with his methods not going over well with the team and senior club hierarchy.

Also see: Klinsmann’s first interview after the World Cup by Sasha Victorine. Thanks to writer and translator Steve Amoia for the heads up.

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