Jurgen Klinsmann

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Jurgen Klinsmann on USMNT World Cup failure, current squad

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Jurgen Klinsmann has been talking, and when he does, USMNT fans still listen.

Following his five-year stint in charge of the U.S. men’s national team, Klinsmann was fired with the USMNT struggling in 2018 World Cup qualifying.

Bruce Arena took over and by now we all know they lost 2-1 in Trinidad and Tobago in their final qualifier. That coupled with a series of other freak results meant they weren’t going to Russia.

Speaking to ESPN’s Herculez Gomez, Klinsmann was asked about what went wrong for the USMNT almost two years ago.

“Well what went wrong, I was not in charge anymore, so obviously when you don’t qualify for a World Cup a lot of things went wrong,” Klinsmann said. “You were not prepared for finishing things off. You were qualified 99 percent, so whatever reason it went wrong there with the entire environment, it went wrong and nobody would expect that the other two games go in the same direction.”

Despite plenty of criticism of the USMNT in recent months, Klinsmann was actually pretty positive about their new head coach Gregg Berhalter and says the Stars and Stripes have a very exciting young group of players coming through.

In fact, it sounds like he wishes he could have worked with them.

“You know you look at Tyler Adams, you look at obviously Christian Pulisic,” Klinsmann said. “You have several players, Josh Sargent, to come out of the Tab Ramos U-20 group over the last few years, who has done tremendously well with the U-20s. So when you have a U-20 national team that now three times went to the final eight of a World Cup, that means that you have quality, you have quality young players. So now you have got to feed those young players into the next stage of their careers. So now you have a midfield with Weston McKennie, with Adams, with Pulisic, with Sargent up front. They promise a lot of quality.”

Klinsmann did hammer the CONCACAF region as a whole, saying that the new Nations League format is “a waste of time” and that Mexico and the USA have to be playing friendlies against top nations if they’re going to get to the latter stages of World Cup tournaments.

Instead the opportunity to play friendlies against elite nations from the across the globe have now been limited and more games against CONCACAF opponents are the norm.

Klinsmann reportedly wants to step in at Spurs if Pochettino exits

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Jurgen Klinsmann and his people are trying to strike where the iron is hot at a club in which he’s revered.

The former Germany and USMNT coach is said to be ready to take over for Mauricio Pochettino if the manager leaves Spurs, according to The Daily Mail’s Steve Stammers.

Tottenham exited the League Cup at the hands of Colchester United on Wednesday on the heels of a loss to Leicester City in the Premier League and a draw at Olympiacos in the UEFA Champions League.

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You have to think Spurs would have a laundry list of coaches ahead of him on the depth chart, though Klinsmann is loved at Tottenham for scoring 38 goals in 68 appearances across two stints with the North London club.

It feels like the only chance it would happen is if Pochettino walked away midseason with no other good options available and Spurs looking for a feel-good short-term hire like Manchester United did with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

That said, there are some big names unemployed right now including Max Allegri. Surely this wouldn’t be Spurs’ move, right? Right?

Newcastle focused on extending Bentiez despite interest from others

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According to a report by the Newcastle Chronicle, Newcastle United is desperately trying to lock down manager Rafa Benitez before the expiration of his contract at the end of June, and is rejecting any and all contact from interested parties in a show of good faith to the club’s current boss.

The report states that the latest interested party to have intermediaries make contact has been former United States head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, but the club has to this point turned down his advances while it continues to push towards an extension with Benitez. The report by the Newcastle Chronicle followed up an earlier report by France Football stating the same.

Sporting director Lee Charnley has been attempting to sign Benitez to an extension for nearly two years, but the Spaniard has reportedly turned down all advances to this point. However with Newcastle United over the 40-point threshold usually required for safety, talks have restarted. Benitez has been reportedly asking for more control over the club’s transfer and recruitment process and wants assurances on financial backing in that department.

Still, should talks break down and Benitez moves on, a number of individuals including Klinsmann have made their interest known. Also linked with the position are David Wagner, Bruno Genesio, and Jorge Jesus.

The relationship between Benitez and the front office has not always been rosy, and Mike Ashley’s stinginess has repeatedly been a point of contention for the Spaniard. Still, Benitez is rightly seen as one of Newcastle’s most valuable assets, and if they can convince him to stick with the club through a season in the Championship, they can certainly figure out a way to keep him aboard as they target a top-half finish in the future.

WATCH: Keane scores, Klinsmann reflects as Spurs alums play at new stadium

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It says something about his playing career that it felt weird to see Robbie Keane pull out that celebration in a Tottenham Hotspur shirt.

But this was no ordinary game for the MLS and Republic of Ireland legend, as Keane scored and broke out the cart-wheel in a match between Spurs alumni and Inter Milan heroes at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday.

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Spurs themselves are preparing to face Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday, but Keane and former USMNT manager Jurgen Klinsmann were amongst them many to wear lily-white as the stadium crew got another test before the first team christens the ground with Premier League action at midweek against Crystal Palace.

Klinsmann spoke to the crowd at halftime via an interview, and expressed why the club means so much to him. The 51-year-old enjoyed two spells at White Hart Lane, scoring 38 times in 68 games for Spurs.

“I’m really honored, happy to be here today. It is such a special day to kind of get this stadium going and that hopefully takes Spurs into the future with lots of trophies,” Klinsmann said at halftime. “It’s very very special. Even if it’s 25 years ago, the way the people welcomed me, the way the club and my teammates and everyone at Spurs welcomed me, it is something I will never ever forget and always appreciate.”

Klinsmann received $3.35M settlement from U.S. Soccer

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CHICAGO (AP) Jurgen Klinsmann received a $3.35 million settlement of his contract with the U.S. Soccer Federation, according to the USSF’s tax filing.

His replacement, Bruce Arena, was given a $300,000 settlement during the fiscal year that ended March 31, 2018, according to the filing, which was released Monday.

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Klinsmann was hired in 2011 and in December 2013 was given a contract extension through December 2018. He was fired in November 2016 after an 0-2 start in the final round of World Cup qualifying in North and Central America and the Caribbean. His contract was settled for $3,354,167, the tax filing said.

Arena earned $899,348 in base pay during the fiscal year and a $50,000 bonus, according to the filing, which was first reported by The Washington Post. He quit after the U.S. loss at Trinidad and Tobago in October 2017 that ended the Americans’ streak of seven straight World Cup appearances.

Dave Sarachan, Arena’s top assistant, was the interim coach from October 2017 through last November. He had a base salary of $223,656 during the fiscal year.

Klinsmann’s top assistant, Andri Herzog, was given a settlement of $355,537 during the fiscal year. He is now Israel’s national team coach.

U.S. women’s coach Jill Ellis earned $291,029 in base pay during the fiscal year, which did not include a major tournament. He compensation was topped by under-20 men’s coach Tab Ramos, who had $295,558 in base pay plus a $30,000 bonus.

USSF CEO Dan Flynn, who has said he may be retiring, had $684,617 in base pay and $130,000 in bonuses. Chief operating officer Jay Berhalter, brother of new U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter, had $466,195 in base pay and $115,563 in bonuses.

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