Jurgen Klinsmann

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Back coaching in Germany, Klinsmann hunts for paperwork

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BERLIN — Jurgen Klinsmann’s is facing more than his Bundesliga opponents in his return to coaching. He is also facing the German bureaucracy.

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Klinsmann needs to show Germany’s soccer federation, known as the DFB, a valid coaching license to remain officially recognized as head coach of his new club Hertha Berlin as he prepares for Sunday’s game against defending champion Bayern Munich.

Klinsmann continued living in the U.S. after being fired as national team coach in 2016 and said he left the paperwork on the wrong side of the Atlantic.

“It’s lying somewhere in my little house in California, in some drawer. We’ll find it again,” he said Wednesday.

“The things that the DFB needs, all the information, I’ve mailed all that over. It’s all being taken care of. It’s not a problem,” he said.

The paperwork issue was first reported by German newspaper Bild.

Klinsmann didn’t expect to be coaching when he returned to soccer with Hertha. Klinsmann had been tapped to join the club’s supervisory board in early November but ended up being offered the coaching role when Ante Covic was fired following a run of poor results.

Since then, Klinsmann has hauled Hertha away from the threat of relegation with two wins and two draws in his five games in charge.

Klinsmann claims he could have taken USMNT to World Cup quarterfinals

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Time has a habit of blurring memories. So it’s perhaps within that context that it’s best to judge former U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s comments about the state of the USMNT, and what he said he could accomplish if he hadn’t been fired in 2016.

Now with Hertha Berlin on an interim basis and in Florida for a mid-season training camp, Klinsmann told ESPN that he believed had he been allowed to stay on as USMNT coach, he could have led the side to the quarterfinals, if not the semifinals in the 2018 World Cup. In reality, the USMNT began World Cup qualifying with two demoralizing defeats, leading to his dismissal after a year in which the cracks began showing. The U.S. mostly took care of business at home but couldn’t beat Costa Rica at home, and eventually the loss at Trinidad and Tobago, combined with other results, meant the U.S. missed out on the World Cup.

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“As I said, I’d take that team in Russia to the final eight, maybe even the final four because there was a building block there and there was a plan for it and the plan got interrupted and it got even more interrupted when the U.S. didn’t qualify for Russia,” Klinsmann told ESPN.

It’s hard to know what kind of plan Klinsmann is talking about. Sure, there was a plan to go to the World Cup, but it’s clear the players weren’t executing that plan. Whether because the game-by-game plans were inadequate or the players weren’t good enough, the “plan” wasn’t working. Remember, Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones had to run over to the sidelines in the USMNT’s 2-1 defeat to Mexico because Klinsmann’s tactical plan was so convoluted. Most pundits believe that the first 30 minutes doomed the USMNT to the defeat.

Then, the U.S. went down to Costa Rica and got smashed, 4-0, in which it looked ill-prepared to deal with the heat, crowd, and CONCACAF-style tactics. So maybe Klinsmann would have recovered in 2017 and qualified the U.S. for the World Cup, but it’s certainly possible they could have continued to collapse and be out of the World Cup before the final matchday. That’s how bad it was.

Even if Klinsmann did get the USMNT to the World Cup, would Christian Pulisic have been enough to lead the team to the quarterfinals or further? The squad was in massive need of a refresh, but at the time no one had beaten out the likes of Jozy Altidore, Bradley, Jones, or Geoff Cameron and Omar Gonzalez, among many others. And you can argue the current USMNT players in those positions aren’t playing much better than the ones they replaced.

Perhaps with time, Klinsmann has forgotten some of those harsh moments and remembers the good times. He still talks about how the U.S. emerged from the “Group of Death” at the 2014 World Cup – a good achievement but not one that was impossible – and a couple of good performances at the Gold Cup and Copa America Centenario.

But there’s no doubt that for all of Klinsmann’s positives, he helped put the U.S. on the path to where it is now. The sooner he understands that, the better.

Bundesliga wrap: Adams returns, Leipzig goes top; Bayern teen strikes again

Tyler Adams Bundesliga Leipzig
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American midfielder Tyler Adams returned to the field for the first time since the summer as RB Leipzig held onto the table’s first position on Saturday in the Bundesliga.

RB Leipzig blasted Augsburg and has a little breathing room after Jurgen Klinsmann’s Hertha Berlin drew Gladbach to continue his fine early tenure

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Bayern Munich again got teenage heroics to move third.

RB Leipzig 3-1 Augsburg

Adams’ first action in more than a half-year saw the 20-year-old go 86 minutes at right back. The New Yorker had two interceptions and won 7 of 10 duels while making 84 touches and being fouled four times.

He didn’t factor in the scoring, as Leipzig trailed to an 8th minute Florian Niederlechner goal until breaking out for three in the second half. Konrad Laimer, Patrik Schick, and Yussuf Poulsen scored, and RBL leads the table by two points.

Bayern Munich 2-0 Wolfsburg

USMNT center back John Brooks and the visitors put a scare into the reigning champs, but late heroics came from a familiar place as Bayern broke through for all three points.

Teenager Joshua Zirkzee came on as a late sub and again scored with one of his first touches, just like he did at midweek.

The 83rd minute marker was followed quickly by a Serge Gnabry goal, also just like midweek.

Hertha Berlin 0-0 Borussia Monchengladbach

The new manager bounce is real in Berlin, where Jurgen Klinsmann has led Hertha to a 2W-2D-1L mark. The club was 3-1-7 when he took over, and this time got a point against second place Gladbach. Hertha kept Gladbach from manufacturing a single “big chance,” according to SofaScore.

The fixtures haven’t been easy: Borussia Dortmund (loss), Eintracht Frankfurt (draw), Freiburg (win), Bayer (win), and now Gladbach.

Elsewhere
Hoffenheim 2-1 Borussia Dortmund — Friday
Koln 1-0 Werder Bremen
Mainz 0-1 Bayer Leverkusen
Schalke 2-2 Freiburg
Fortuna Dusseldorf v. Koln — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Paderborn v. Eintracht Frankfurt — Noon ET Sunday

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 RB Leipzig 17 11 4 2 48 20 28 5-2-1 6-2-1 37
 Mönchengladbach 17 11 2 4 33 18 15 7-1-1 4-1-3 35
 Bayern Munich 17 10 3 4 46 22 24 6-1-2 4-2-2 33
 Borussia Dortmund 17 8 6 3 41 24 17 5-3-0 3-3-3 30
 FC Schalke 04 17 8 6 3 29 21 8 4-4-1 4-2-2 30
 Bayer Leverkusen 17 8 4 5 23 21 2 3-4-2 5-0-3 28
 1899 Hoffenheim 17 8 3 6 25 28 -3 4-1-4 4-2-2 27
 SC Freiburg 17 7 5 5 27 23 4 4-2-2 3-3-3 26
 VfL Wolfsburg 17 6 6 5 18 18 0 3-4-2 3-2-3 24
 FC Augsburg 17 6 5 6 28 31 -3 4-2-2 2-3-4 23
 1. FC Union Berlin 16 6 2 8 19 22 -3 5-0-4 1-2-4 20
 Hertha BSC Berlin 17 5 4 8 22 29 -7 3-1-4 2-3-4 19
 Eintracht Frankfurt 16 5 3 8 26 27 -1 4-3-2 1-0-6 18
 FSV Mainz 05 17 6 0 11 25 39 -14 3-0-5 3-0-6 18
 1. FC Köln 17 5 2 10 19 32 -13 3-1-4 2-1-6 17
 Werder Bremen 17 3 5 9 23 41 -18 1-2-5 2-3-4 14
 Fortuna Düsseldorf 16 3 3 10 16 35 -19 2-1-4 1-2-6 12
 SC Paderborn 16 2 3 11 18 35 -17 1-1-6 1-2-5 9

Klinsmann gets first point as Hertha Berlin manager

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FRANKFURT, Germany — Jurgen Klinsmann claimed his first point since returning to coaching as his Hertha Berlin team let slip a two-goal lead to draw with Frankfurt 2-2 in the Bundesliga on Friday.

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Hertha was clinging to a 2-1 lead in the 86th minute when Sebastian Rode hammered the ball in from a corner for Frankfurt to deny the Berlin team the win.

Hertha is in the relegation playoff spot in 16th and winless in its last six league games, while Frankfurt is 10th.

Dodi Lukebakio gave Hertha the lead with a shot through Frederik Ronnow’s legs. That goal was assisted by Marko Grujic, who later made it 2-0 with a header from a free kick.

However, Frankfurt almost immediately replied with a header of its own from Martin Hinteregger, the Austrian defender with five Bundesliga goals.

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Frankfurt’s fans expressed their disapproval of the video assistant referee after it ruled out two goals for the hosts. There was a rare disallowed own goal when Hertha goalkeeper Thomas Kraft palmed a cross into his own net but was found to have been pushed while jumping.

Klinsmann took over Hertha last week on a temporary deal until the end of the season, after Ante Covic was fired with the team under threat of relegation. Klinsmann hadn’t coached since being fired in 2016 by the United States, and last worked at a club in 2009 at Bayern Munich.

Jurgen Klinsmann signs on as Hertha BSC head coach

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Hertha BSC has hired former USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann as boss through the end of the season, the club announced Wednesday morning. Klinsmann replaces Ante Covic who had only been in the position since the summer.

The coaching position is Klinsmann’s first since he was fired from his post with the United States in 2016 and replaced by Bruce Arena amidst what would ultimately be a failed World Cup qualifying cycle.

Hertha sits 15th in the 18-team Bundesliga table, firmly in the relegation mix having lost its last four league games in a row. Aside from a four-match unbeaten run through late September and early October, Hertha has picked up just one points through its other eight league matches.

Klinsmann’s last Bundesliga spell came with Bayern Munich in the 2008/09 campaign, where he was sacked five matches from completion of his first season. The club sat third at the time of his firing and players later spoke of Klinsmann’s lack of tactical ability that led to dressing room turmoil. Klinsmann also led the German national team from 2004-2006 where he is credited with the birth of a youth revolution, overhauling the youth structure and helping the national team reload after a period of poor results.

Klinsmann had been appointed to the Hertha board just three weeks ago, saying he was “emotionally invested in” the club with his late father a big fan of the team while growing up in Berlin.

Covic had been with the club since 2003 first as a player – making 180 appearances in midfield over two stints – and then as a youth team and reserve coach.

“It was an extremely difficult decision for us, because Ante has been part of Hertha BSC for more than 20 years,” said Hertha sporting director Michael Preetz in the official team release. “He has conducted himself with a lot of passion, expertise and meticulousness ever since he took over as head coach of the first team in the summer. We regret that it has come to this, but ultimately, in terms of development and recent results, we felt there was a need for action. I would like to thank Ante for his commitment and in time we will talk to him about alternative ways for him to be involved with Hertha BSC.”