Or so says Juergen Klinsmann, who claims to have had “positive conversations” with U.S. Soccer for “three or four” weeks before the deal fell through due to control issues.
After reaching an alleged agreement with U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati to “have 100 percent control of the team,” Klinsmann says U.S. Soccer wouldn’t “commit” in writing to the terms. “Verbally, we agreed that I should have a hundred percent control of [the team],” he told Sasha Victornine (via SBI). “Unfortunately, they couldn’t commit to that and at that point I said, ‘Well, 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.’
“That was basically the end of our talks, and then they agreed to continue with Bob as the head coach,” concluded Klinsmann. “We didn’t get it to a positive ending because we couldn’t put into writing what we agreed to verbally.”
The botched deal marks the second time in four years that U.S. Soccer passed on Klinsmann in favor of former interim head coach Bob Bradley. For those out of the loop, German-born but California-residing Klinsmann was a top goal-scorer at World Cup. In 2006, he led the German National Team to a third-place finish.
U.S. Soccer has long been criticized for its suspect behavior. In his 2006 book Soccer in a Football World, author David Wangerin chronicled the Federation’s 100 year history, calling it “clandestine.”