Jurgen Klinsmann once played U.S. soccer using a fake name

Kevin C. Cox

USMNT coach spent a summer playing in the American minor leagues as Jay Goppingen.

Before Jurgen Klinsmann got into the coaching game he was a pretty good soccer player. In fact, he is widely considered to be one of the best soccer players Germany has ever produced, and, you may have noticed, Germany has produced a few pretty good soccer players.

Like many players-turned-coaches, there was a bit of a gap in his resume. It has long been part of American soccer lore that Klinsmann filled some of that in-between time playing under an assumed name in the minor leagues. It's even on his Wikipedia page.

Well, in an interview with Yahoo Sports, Klinsmann has officially acknowledged that he was, in fact, Jay Goppingen and played for Orange County Blue Star during the summer of 2003.

"I was just having fun and staying healthy and fit, and having a group of guys to kick the ball around with," Klinsmann said. "It was for me after a long career, it was just enjoyable. It was a lot of fun and the name thing is funny."

It's a lot like Shoeless Joe Jackson publicly admitting that he played minor league baseball under a false identity after his major league career ended without, of course, the whole being banned from the sport thing.

More from SBNation.com

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.