The “Group of Death” won’t end Jurgen Klinsmann‘s tenure as head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team.
Klinsmann signed a new contract with the U.S. Soccer Federation on Thursday. His new deal will see him continue as national-team coach through 2018 and also make him U.S. Soccer’s Technical Director, according to USSoccer.com.
“I am very fortunate to continue the work we started more than two and half years ago,” Klinsmann said. “It’s exciting to see the progress we have made, and we continue to make improvements on all fronts. The role of Technical Director is a huge challenge and also a huge opportunity as we look to keep connecting the dots to the youth national teams, coaching education, the development academy and the grassroots efforts in this country. These are fascinating topics and I am excited work with so many talented people and hear fresh ideas. For sure it means more work, but also many more fulfilling opportunities.”
Klinsmann, 49, has excelled in his primary role as head coach since replacing Bob Bradley on the sidelines in July 2011. He breathed new life into the national-team program by creating an environment in which competition and accountability among players reigned supreme. After some early growing pains, Klinsmann guided the U.S. to the top of the CONCACAF heap and early qualification for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
2013 was among the most successful years in men’s national team history, as the Klinsmann-led Americans qualified for the World Cup, won the CONCACAF Gold Cup and set new records for most wins (16), highest winning percentage (.761) and longest winning streak (12) in a calendar year.
“One of the reasons we hired Jurgen as our head coach was to advance the program forward and we’ve seen the initial stages of that happening on the field and also off the field in various areas,” USSF president Sunil Gulati said. “In the past two years he has built a strong foundation from the senior team down to the youth teams and we want to continue to build upon that success.”
Klinsmann and the USSF hope the national team can carry that form into 2014 and make an impact at next summer’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Giving the coach some extra job security might help the U.S. shock the world by escaping the World Cup’s “group of death” and continue making forward progress in the coming years.
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