CHICAGO: The U.S. Soccer Federation and Jurgen Klinsmann have agreed to a four-year contract extension that will keep the former World Cup champion in his role as head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team through 2018. As part of the new deal, Klinsmann also becomes the Technical Director for U.S. Soccer. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“One of the reasons we hired Jurgen as our head coach was to advance the program forward and we’ve seen the initial stages of that happening on the field and also off the field in various areas,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. “In the past two years he has built a strong foundation from the senior team down to the youth teams and we want to continue to build upon that success.”
Klinsmann has been at the helm for more than two years, compiling an overall record of 27-10-7. In 2013, he led the U.S. to one of the most successful years in MNT history, highlighted by the first place finish in CONCACAF qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The team captured its fifth Gold Cup title, winning all six matches en route to the championship. The USA defeated No. 2-ranked Germany and also set single year records for wins (16), winning percentage (.761), and consecutive wins (12).
“I am very fortunate to continue the work we started more than two and half years ago,” said Klinsmann. “It’s exciting to see the progress we have made, and we continue to make improvements on all fronts. The role of Technical Director is a huge challenge and also a huge opportunity as we look to keep connecting the dots to the Youth National Teams, Coaching Education, the Development Academy and the grassroots efforts in this country. These are fascinating topics and I am excited work with so many talented people and hear fresh ideas. For sure it means more work, but also many more fulfilling opportunities.”
In addition to guiding the senior Men’s National Team, Klinsmann has been extremely active in building an integrated philosophy throughout the U.S. Youth National Teams, working closely with the coaches to develop performance driven standards both on and off the field.
Last month, Gulati and Klinsmann announced three-time FIFA World Cup veteran Tab Ramos as the Federation’s Youth Technical Director. Ramos will oversee the long-term strategies for development of both coaches and players at the youth level in the United States, working closely with Klinsmann and the Youth National Team and Development Academy coaches.
Klinsmann is currently in Bradenton, Fla., attending the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Winter Showcase and will be speaking with all of the club coaches on hand.
“It is vital that we stay focused on the development of our youth players and make sure the messages we are providing the senior team are being spread through our Youth National Teams as well the U.S. Soccer Development Academy,” said Klinsmann. “With Tab as our Youth Technical Director we will be able to continue to connect the dots and see more improvement.”
The United States has been drawn into Group G of the 2014 FIFA World Cup along with Ghana, Portugal and Germany. The U.S. opens its tournament on June 16 against Ghana with kickoff at 6 p.m. ET at Estadio Das Dunas in Natal, located on the northeast coast of the country in the state of Rio Grande do Norte.
The USA will then face Portugal on June 22 at 6 p.m. ET at Arena Amazonia in Manaus, in the state of Amazonas, and will finish group play against three-time World Cup champion Germany at Arena Pernambuco in Recife, which is the capital of the state of Pernambuco and is also located on the northeast coast of the country. Kickoff for that match against Germany is 12 p.m. ET.
– ussoccer.com –