Friday, July 29, 2011

Bradley Out! Klinsmann In?

Yesterday the USSF announced that US National Team Coach Bob Bradley was being dismissed as coach of the team.  So ends one of the more curious tenures of any coach of the national team.  As any fair-minded person can see, Bradley's tenure was far from a disaster-- under him the team won its group in the last World Cup, and his cumulative record during his tenure was 43-25-12-- not a bad effort at all.

And yet, it is also true that under him the team tended to fall behind in key games, and despite some key wins over Spain and Brazil early in his tenure, the team was also recently trounced by both Spain and a rising and dangerous young Mexican team.  It's clear that there is an offensive spark missing, and Bradley's cool and somewhat distant demeanor seems too detached from these challenges.

So, I think this was the right call.  And now, the name on everyone's lips is--once again-- Jurgen Klinsmann.  It's no secret that USSF boss Sunil Gulati has wanted Klinsmann all along, and now he will probably get his wish.  Although Klinsmann does not have Bradley's coaching experience, he does having something that Bradley does not-- first-hand experience of European football, and the mindset of championship sides like Germany.  And I think that is what is missing.  When he was the boss of the German national team, Klinsmann made the team engage in team-building exercises devised by the Japanese.  Given the recent success of the Japanese Women's team, maybe there is something to that. 

Klinsmann's philosophy is based on team camaraderie, attacking, and physical fitness.  I don't know how fit or cohesive the team is right now, but it's clear they need Klinsmann's attacking philosophy on the pitch.  That alone makes him the right man for the job.

As has commented,

"Truth be told, Klinsmann is a bit of an oddball. What other coach takes time to speak with groundspeople at games, comes to training sessions for teams he isn't in charge of, just to check out techniques and new approaches, and not only champions yoga as a way to help players prevent injuries, but joins in the sessions?"

Jurgen Klinsmann, the team-building, yoga-practicing philosopher of attacking football, looks like just the right ticket for the team.  If he gets the job and starts winning, he will surely be a strong candidate for the honored title of 'Jedi Knight of Football," bestowed only upon the most worthy players and sides here at Jedi Soccer.