BRIAN SCIARETTA - Monday, August 8, 2011
As Jurgen Klinsmann era begins for US Soccer, the reaction towards his hiring has been especially positive among the ever increasing German-American contingent.
In recent years the number of young German-born American players has grown significantly and to many of these players, the hiring of Jurgen Klinsman represents an exciting moment for US Soccer.
Terrence Boyd, 19, is currently at his first season at Borussia Dortmund where he plays with the club's U-23 team. He made his US debut in May with the U-20 national team when they played a series of friendlies against France.
"I think Klinsmann as head coach is positive for the US soccer future," Boyd explained. "Both the MLS and the national team are developing fast and Klinsmann will improve it because some European influences are missing to make them more successful. Furthermore Klinsmann is a good motivator and could bring soccer closer to the people."
Boyd was living in Germany for the 2006 World Cup and saw significant difference in how the German public viewed his teams as opposed to German teams of the past.
"You could see this during the 06 World Cup in the Germany. We still feel like we won it because the way Germany played was offensive orientated and was exciting to watch. I hope he will bring this style into the U.S. team as well. For me as a German -American I hope that the chance is now bigger than before to get called into the team one day."
In a similar position to Boyd, Nurnberg forward Jann George is also making strides in Germany. George, 18, has never been to the United States but holds citizenship through his American father who served in the US Military while being stationed in Germany.
George is currently a forward with Nurnberg's U23 team but has signed a professional contract with the club and is top prospect there.
He has already stated his intention that he, like is teammate and close friend Timothy Chandler, would rather play for the United States over their native Germany. The opportunity to play under Klinsmann however does add an extra incentive.
"I'm sure it's an advantage for German-Americans that Jurgen Klinsmann is now the head coach," George told YA from Germany. "I'm trying everything to call his attention to me."
Also at FC Nurnberg, Tyrone McCargo is confident the move will be a good one for the US national team. McCargo, 17, was born in Nurnberg joined the club during the offseason and will begin the season with the U-19 team.
"I think he will do a good job as head coach because he is an experienced man," McCargo discussed. "He knows a lot of Soccer in Europe and can bring all of his experience to the United States. He also [lived] in the States and he knows what to teach the players on his team."
Perhaps the American that can offer the clearest insight into Jurgen Klinsmann is former US national team forward David Wagner who is now the head coach of Borussia Dortmund's U23 team.
Wagner retired from the game in 2005 and immediately began to purse his career in coaching. It was at this time when Wagner began to study the game in Germany, Jurgen Klinsmann was beginning to change the style and coaching methods within Germany.
"In my opinion this is great for both Jurgen Klinsmann and US Soccer because I think Jurgen did a good job with Germany when he prepared the team for the 2006 World Cup. He has a lot of new ideas that he put into place within the German Federation."
"The result was really unbelievable. The team played a great style. He had both a game plan and he also had plans to improve the youth teams. They didn't win the title but they got great reactions from the German public."
Wagner especially notes that the combination of Klinsmann and the US Soccer seems to make sense right now because of Klinsmann's knowledge of the game in both the US and Germany. He senses that there is generally a feeling of optimism within Germany that Klinsmann will be successful.
"The reaction here in Germany has been very positive this week," Wagner said. "It's been positive because Jurgen Klinsmann has been living for a long time in the United States so he knows the style of the American game. Now he can take the idea of German soccer along with his ideas and compare them with the American game and find the best way for the US team."
One of the common criticisms of US Soccer has been its inflexibility and resistance to change but Wagner is confident that Klinsmann's time in Germany has prepared him well since the German fed was also difficult to change.
"In my opinion, to change German soccer like he did in 2004 and 2005 when Jurgen started to coach the German team was much more difficult that it will be to change the US Soccer. The German federation thought they did a great job the last 40 years because they won every title in the world and then someone comes along and says ‘hey, I have a new plan.'"
"It wasn't easy for him but it shows me he was the type of guy that doesn't take the easiest path," Wagner concluded. "If he is convinced and believes in his ideas he will take the hard way - like what he did in Germany. The success he had showed he was right."