The first thing we learned at the press conference to introduce Jurgen Klinsmann as the new United States manager is how to spell the German's name. It's not Juergen or even Jürgen. It's simply Jurgen. Once that was settled, Klinsmann got to his vision for the U.S. program, which had little to do with the actual senior team he will be managing and more about the youth system in the country.
When Klinsmann did talk about the senior team it wasn't particularly cheery, acknowledging how far the U.S. had to go and the gap between them and their Mexican rivals. He called Mexico one of the top 10 teams in the world, while saying that is the U.S. were to ever win a World Cup they would "need maybe 10 Landon Donovans at different positions with different characteristics in order to one day be there."
With that settled, the attention turned to the youth program. Klinsmann received praise during his time as Germany manager for helping to reshape the youth development in that country and he hopes to do the same in the U.S.
"It also is vital I am involved in all the discussions with a lot of coaches out there, how we improve the grass-roots level," Klinsmann said. "I'm fascinated by that approach."
Klinsmann says that if the U.S. is to win a World Cup they will need 10 Landon Donovans and his focus will be on producing those Landon Donovans. That means expanding youth scouting. Two of the most integral people in the U.S. youth system, Claudio Reyna and Tab Ramos, will be on Klinsmann's coach staff.
"Definitely, we will dig into the whole generation of 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds, no matter whether they are in the U.S. or overseas," Klinsmann explained. "That’s why I have Claudio Reyna with me, to give me his input. Tab Ramos is important as a resource.
"These two will definitely talk to a lot of coaches over the next couple of weeks and months, where they see talent coming through. This is something that goes parallel with the work with the team itself."
First up for Klinsmann will be a friendly on August 10 versus Mexico, a match he has just nine days to prepare for. As a big name in world football and the man that the the U.S. Soccer Federation has been chasing for five years, there are high and unrealistic expectations for Klinsmann. The U.S. player pool is average and it is lacking depth, but it is one he'll have to win with or face plenty of heat.
As much as Klinsmann would like to focus on youth development, his did take the title of senior team manager and will need to prove himself by winning matches with that team. That said, it is clear that it is not his only responsibility and it is possible that he is successful on one front while being unsuccessful in the other. It's youth development and managing the senior team, essentially two different jobs, both of which Klinsmann has now.