We have been playing pat-a-cake for a month or so with the possibilities of which coach will utimately coach the US team. Jurgen Klinsmann is the perfect choice but the names of Gerard Houllier, Brian Metsu, Eric Gerets, and Guus HIddink have also been mentioned. One thing is clear, US Soccer wants an experienced foreign coach and they should go for the best one possible that is realistically available.
Jamie Trecker in his latest opinion piece goes into if wishes were horses territory. He wants US Soccer to go all out and think big when selecting the MNT coach. Fair enough. But Jose Mourinho???
What in the world would possess Mourinho to come over here? He has the best EPL team that money can buy, his signings are all world class players. Mourinho wants to establish a legacy in a team that has never seen success like this before. In the pecking order Chelsea does not come close to the standards of European soccer that clubs like AC MIlan, Juventus, Real, Barcelona, Liverpool, Man U, Arsenal, and Bayern have established. There is an even bigger reason for Mourinho's success, as good a coach as he maybe, and i.e., Abramovich's deep pockets.
Trecker says that the canard that the coach should understand the country and the American soccer system should be 'deep sixed'. He goes onto mention Guus Hiddink and Otto Pfister's lack of knowledge of South Korea and Togo, before coaching those two teams, in the 2002 and 2006 World Cup, respectively.
Well, Jamie, both are journeymen coaches. If I am not mistaken Togo was Pfister's ninth job, most of them in African countries and most were unsuccessful before his Togo gig. Guus Hiddink has a reputation for taking teams and building them so that they are ready to compete succesfully in the international scene, just like he did with Australia, in this World Cup. If the US has gotten well past that rebuilding stage as Trecker states, then Guus Hiddink's name should not even be mentioned.
The circle of coaches that can realistically coach the US team should be narrowed down and not widened at this stage. The successful hiring of a coach to coach a team should lie in the convergence of the interests of both parties and not to some abstract concept like "make US Soccer better." Which international coach lives in the USA, has been successful both as a player as well as coach, understands English and is articulate, has mentioned that it is hard spending time away from his family, incorporates US style fitness with an attacking flair.
The coach that best fits these convergences is Jurgen Klinsmann. Let us not lose sight of our first choice as coach.