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Jurgen Klinsmann: a stadium design expert, too?

Dec 1, 2012, 11:40 AM EDT

HDC

CARSON, Calif. – A while back, a story floated around that none other than Jurgen Klinsmann was responsible for the Home Depot Center’s roof.

Turns out, it’s absolutely true. So said the U.S. national team boss Friday as Klinsmann had a few journalist over to breakfast at a nearby hotel. During most of the conversation, rain poured heavily outside the window.

Back in the early part of the last decade, Klinsmann was a globally known figure but more or less just another retired professional athlete living in Orange County, just south of L.A. The soccer movers and shakers knew him, of course, and Anschutz Entertainment Group president Tim Leiweke is certainly one of those.

As AEG developed plans for the Home Depot Center – the second major U.S. facility constructed just for soccer – Klinsmann urged Leiweke to put a roof over the thing.

“I told him, ‘Go to Spurs ground and see for yourself,’ and he did. I told him, ‘You need a roof!’ ”

That roof, by the way, added about $15 million to construction costs.

So, you should probably thank Leiweke, too.