Guesties: Klinsmann the right hire

Posted: August 10, 2011 by terryvandrovec in Uncategorized

By Ariy-El Boynton
Guest blogger

Last month, Bob Bradley was let go as the U.S. men’s national soccer coach. He will be most remembered for the reaction he gave after Landon Donovan’s stoppage time goal against Algeria in the 2010 World Cup. (I still got emotional seeing the goal and the craziness that ensued from all over the country from fellow fans). Bradley was far from a household name and extremely dull.

The U.S. team underachieved under Bradley, and would lose to Ghana in the next match of the 2010 World Cup. The final straw occurred when Bradley’s team couldn’t get it done against Mexico in the 2011 Gold Cup championship in Los Angeles.

Enter Jurgen Klinsmann, a German native, who was named the head coach on July 29. The 1995 English Player of the Year has won a World Cup as a player and reached the World Cup semis as the coach of the German team. He was named the German Coach of The Year in 2006.

His hiring didn’t create a buzz; the debt ceiling and the NFL lockout were bigger news. Apart from the World Cup, U.S. soccer, for the most part, is on the back burner. (That may change briefly tonight when he makes his U.S. debut in a match against Mexico.)

I am excited because maybe he’s the one.

The one guy who starts a movement that allows the U.S. team to rise above the haters. Those media members (I’m looking at you Jim Rome) and the general public who diminish the United States’ futbol team. It’s extremely easy to hate after watching 10 minutes worth of action, I get that. I also understand about why there would be a discontent between some folks out there and the world’s most popular sport. I hear this kind of stuff:  not enough scoring, boring, un-American, the refs, forgetting to turn the clock off at the end if both halves. It’s different, but it’s also great.

I believe, under the right circumstances, that soccer can become bigger than most thought. In order for that to happen, Klinsmann needs footballers, or a footballer, to become larger than the game.

Klinsman orders the footlong when he eats at Subway.

Work with me for a minute:

What do you think about when you see: The Babe, The Splendid Splinter, The Glove (Gary Payton), The Bus, The Fridge?

They all had “it.”

Or try: John Madden, Tony Hawk, Ichiro, Joe Montana, The Rock, Michael Jordan, Patrick Roy, Shaun White.

These subjects give TVFury readers’ an instant reaction. If you’re a fan, I bet you could blog on all of these guys.

OK, now try: Alexi Lalas, Donovan, Tim Howard, Cobi Jones, Ernie Stewart, John Harkes, Kasey Keller.

They played or have played on the national team. I won’t bother looking to see if they have any nicknames. How many of you can engage in a lengthy conservation about any of them?

If you didn’t raise your hand, it’s not your fault. Their leaders were forgettable.

However, there is a new general on the United States’ side. Klinsmann’s charisma will be a big asset. He has “it”. American swag that is. He brings experience at the international level that Bradley, Bruce Arena and Steve Sampson (former head coaches) couldn’t match.  Yes, he’s European, but now he’s an American (he has been a United States resident for 13 years).

I will be the first to admit, Klinsmann is just one piece of the puzzle. Soccer needs a Tiger Woods, who changed golf with a large smile and even a bigger ego. Wayne Gretzky raised hockey to a higher level, with amazing plays. He was an international player that was adopted by US fans as their own.

Why won’t have soccer have “the one”?

Even without a star to speak off, soccer in the United States is on the rise. If you don’t think it is, you’re blind.

Numerous soccer-only channels can be now purchased, soccer-only stadiums are being built in all parts of the nation and there is a great surge on both coasts (especially on the west coast).  The women’s team had a great World Cup showing this summer.

Klinsmann said this: “You can’t stop soccer anymore in this country.”

With him on board and that one “it” player, he’s right.

About the author: Boynton is a sports writer in Madison, S.D. But he is originally from Seattle, making him authorized to speak on soccer. He’s also training for a marathon and a Twittererer.


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