Juergen Klinsmann a good hire for U.S. 

July, 29, 2011
07/29/11
3:39
PM ET

The hiring of Juergen Klinsmann, the first foreigner to coach the U.S. national team since 1995, will usher in a new look for the squad. And at first glance, you might expect the ex-Bundesliga and Die Mannschaft star to bring a decidedly more German cast to the Yanks. In truth, though, Klinsmann's national team may look less "German" in some ways than any previous U.S. squad.

German influences have played a major role in the Yanks' rise into the upper middle class of world soccer the past 30 years. Klinsmann is the fifth national team coach born in Germany (Dettmar Cramer, Manny Schellscheidt, Lothar Osiander and Bob Gansler were the others), and the Sounders' Sigi Schmid, another German, was an assistant to Bora Milutinovic in the 1994 World Cup, when German native Tom Dooley played a key role on the squad. Some of the first Americans to play professionally overseas, Paul Caligiuri and Eric Wynalda, started in Germany. And as we pointed out last year, Bob Bradley's background and much of his philosophy is molded by German soccer, from his favorite player growing up, Bundesliga legend Gerd Muller, to one of his most important coaching mentors as he came up in New Jersey, Schellscheidt.

Luke Cyphers is a former senior writer for ESPN The Magazine.
Doug McIntyre is a staff writer for ESPN The Magazine. He has covered American and international soccer since 2002.

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