NEW YORK – U.S. Soccer wasn’t taking any chances of losing Jurgen Klinsmann to another country or club.
The federation broke with tradition and gave its coach a four-year extension before the World Cup in part because it feared other teams would pursue him after the tournament in Brazil next summer, USSF president Sunil Gulati said Friday.
There was speculation linking Klinsmann to Switzerland and Tottenham Hotspur., his former club team.”We’ve obviously read some of those things,” Gulati acknowledged on a conference call. “At a specific level, none of those things are critical to us. But, certainly, the desire we have a long-term commitment to him and he has a long-term commitment to us was part of it, and market dynamics dictate some of that.
“The program has done well and . . . that would bring a lot of interest from the outside,” Gulati added. “So sure, some of that matters.”
U.S. Soccer waited until after the World Cup to give extensions to Bruce Arena and Bob Bradley. But Gulati said he saw no reason to wait after seeing not only the success Klinsmann had in his first2 ½ years but the direction of the program.
The U.S. is 27-10-7 since Klinsmann replaced Bob Bradley as national team coach in July 2011.