By DAN KARELL
Since taking over the U.S. Men’s National Team in 2011, Jurgen Klinsmann has been very outspoken encouraging his players to challenge themselves in the strongest leagues in Europe.
So when both Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley completed blockbuster moves in the last five months to leave the English Premier League and Serie A, respectively, many thought that Klinsmann wouldn’t be too happy with their decisions. Instead, he seems quite pleased.
Speaking to the Associated Press from the USMNT’s January training camp in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Klinsmann defended his star player’s moves back home, saying that MLS is sending a “serious signal” that they want to continue building to become one of the strongest league’s in the world.
“We are not there yet, and we know that,” Klinsmann told the AP. “But it’s exciting. The players who are in Europe, many of them some big players, are now back in MLS. ”MLS is getting better every year. We are working at full pace, hopefully we can prove a lot of good work already this summer.
“People jump in (MLS) financially, want the best American players in America,” Klinsmann added. “Suddenly they bring back a Clint Dempsey from Tottenham, they bring back a Michael Bradley from AS Roma, and they are working on other players as well. This is huge for football in the United States.”
Klinsmann’s charges will spend another ten days down in Brazil going through a “dry-run” of the USMNT’s World Cup preparations. Despite being drawn in Group G with games in the Northeast of Brazil, Klinsmann and U.S. Soccer elected to keep their base in the Southeastern city of Sao Paulo, where they’ll train at the Sao Paulo FC facilities.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for us,” Klinsmann said after the team’s first practice in Sao Paulo. ”It gives us the opportunity to be already at the facility we are going to stay in the World Cup, to get to know the hotel we are going to stay at and to get a feeling for the country.”
According to the report, Klinsmann has even asked his staff to learn some Portuguese in order to be able to communicate with local Brazilians.
What do you think of these developments? Do you believe Klinsmann’s comments? Do you think he’s accepted that a large chunk of his squad this summer will be based in MLS?
Share your thoughts below.