The president of the U.S. Soccer federation has been in a pretty interesting position over the past week or so.
[RELATED: What now for Liverpool?]
Sunil Gulati employs Jurgen Klinsmann and work closely with Don Garber.
With those two having a very public disagreement regarding Klinsmann talking about the USMNT’s stars returning to play in MLS and Garber having a big problem with the comments, Gulati has sat back and been quiet. Until now.
In this great piece from Steven Goff at the Washington Post, Gulati had the following to say on Klinsmann, MLS and the overlapping philosophies between the two.
But first, Gulati made it clear that Klinsmann is the right man for U.S. soccer now, and through 2018 in Russia, at least.
“Jurgen is our coach and technical director, and I fully expect that to be the case through to the 2018 World Cup. We made that decision before this year’s World Cup and have full confidence in him in those roles. None of this is personal,” Gulati said. “Some things could have been phrased differently because the actual opinions of the two guys — and me and the leadership at MLS and U.S. Soccer — is actually closely aligned with where we see the game going.”
Gulati also revealed that he wasn’t surprised the issue got so much attention, as Garber labelled Klinsmann’s comments about MLS “very damaging” to the league, but stated that MLS and U.S. Soccer are on the same page and he has spoken with both Klinsmann and Garber about the issue separately before all three meet up in previously scheduled meetings in the coming weeks.
“Given some of the comments, I wasn’t surprised it became a hot-button issue,” Gulati said. “But the fundamental views of all of us involved are: ‘We’re on the same page.’ We got diverted from that, so it will go on for a little bit. I don’t view this as there being an undercurrent going forward. There won’t be any lingering issues.”
The main man in U.S. Soccer then moved to calm things down, stating that the “tone of all this needs to be brought down” and that “none of this is personal” while also adding that discussion and dialogue to help make both the national team and domestic league better is encouraged.
Read Goff’s piece in full by clicking the link above to see exactly how U.S. Soccer and MLS are dealing with the issue.