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Jurgen Klinsmann’s US Soccer Coaching Debut Ends Anticipation

Jurgen Klinsmann (Hunter Martin/Bongarts/Getty Images)

We all know who the girl on the train is. She’s the girl on the commuter rail who looks mysterious, intriguing, and dangerous — all at once. Of course, you don’t talk to the girl on the train, because it’s 7:57 in the morning and no one wants to start their day off with flirtation. And, of course, this only adds fuel to the already brewing stimulation.

And what is that stimulation exactly?

The GOTT (girl on the train) sparks the intangible “it” feeling. You can’t pin-point how you feel about the sentiment, or the person. I suppose this is because you don’t really know her, and thus you don’t know if the vertigo is actually justified. Thereinlies the dilemma with the GOTT. You can’t quite circumvent that palatable feeling persistently evoking, because you don’t what she is. And it doesn’t help you inexplicably act with the smoothness of a 17 year-old before prom around her. Consequently, the GOTT becomes a cross between fusion energy (something real that cannot be harnessed) and also the lochness monster (a speciously construed creature). You are left with expectations that cannot possibly be met, which only adds to the quagmire that is the GOTT. You don’t want to meet the GOTT because you’d rather imagine her for what she is to you rather then what she ACTUALLY is — if that makes sense. The perception before interaction is more important than the reality. Perception creates promise and potential; reality creates limits and disappointment.

The reason I bring up the GOTT is not to make you become more introverted (seriously, talk to the girl if you like her), but because the GOTT appeared in the form of coach recently. And The United States Men’s National Soccer Team did the unthinkable. They took those last couple hundred words I wrote about being pensive, and said “Eff you.”

They talked to the GOTT, sort of.

The president of the United States Soccer Federation (which by the way sounds like a vessel in Star Wars), Sunil Gulati, has been eyeing former German national team coach and star player, Jurgen Klinsmann for an extremely long time. His fascination with the enigmatic coach has been palpable and logical. Klinsmann’s accolades include being a member of the 1990 West German team that won the World Cup. He also successfully guided the Germans to the semi-final of the 2006 World Cup as a coach. However nothing ever came to fruition and the courtship was elongated over rumoured issues of autonomy.

Klinsmann’s goal seems two-fold:

  1. Establish a better youth system for the program
  2. Implement a focused level of discipline and structure that he’s renowned for utilizing.

Now that Gulati has locked up the exuberant Klinsmann, the wheels of progress are seemingly in motion. The problem for the GOTT (Klinsmann) is he’s dealing with damaged goods. The USMNT doesn’t know what it wants to be. There are a myriad of young players in Europe, which is fine if they were playing. The team’s three best players (Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey, and Tim Howard) will all be transitioning to the twilight of their careers come the next World Cup in 2014. But that’s not to say those players still can’t be effective stalwart’s for the squad. They can and, presumably, will. In the meantime, Klinsmann is faced with challenge of phasing out others who don’t belong on the national stage anymore, all-the-while finding new contributors AND fixing the pedagogy at the youth level.

Klinsmann started the journey Wednesday night in the team’s 1-1 draw against Mexico. The first half was a woeful display of futbol. No possession for the Yanks; mixed with precise passing and creativity by El Tri. The second half was a different story. Klinsmann pushed his back-four forward as well as making proper personnel adjustments. This lead to a stronger counterattack for the US side, and eventually a draw.

A weird night. A weird feeling. I guess that’s the upshot when you finally meet the lochness monster.

About Ryan Hadfield

Ryan Hadfield is the author of the weekly Sports Media Musings column at Sports Of Boston. Hadfield is known as one of the top sports media critics in Boston. He also contributes to Boston Sports Media Watch. In November 2011, Hadfield helped launch the new SoB Point Taken blog featuring his podcasts & musings on sports, media and culture. Follow Ryan on Twitter.

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