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WATCH: Jurgen Klinsmann still adamant Europe is the place to be for U.S. stars

Feb 28, 2014, 12:31 PM EDT


On Friday U.S. national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann joined fans from across the country on a special Google hangout arranged by U.S. Soccer. In the chat press officer for the USMNT, Michael Kammarman, opened up the floor to several fans to ask Klismann their questions.

One of the most intriguing questions came right at the end, as a fan from Colorado Springs asked Klinsmann what he thought about several of the USA’s star players heading back to MLS and if he still advised his squad to play in Europe instead of picking the U.S. top flight.

“For MLS and for fans here in the United States it is great to have Michael Bradley back and Clint Dempsey back and see these players week in, week out,” Klinsmann said. “For us as a national team it is challenging because you want your top players playing with the best players possible. The best players possible are playing in the Champions League in Europe. That is where you would love to see your players.”

(MORE: U.S. call up European contingent for Ukraine friendly, Bayern star Green will train)

So, with the likes of Bradley and Dempsey switching potential Champions League soccer for MLS and huge contracts, does Klinsmann understand why they made the move back?

“You have to understand those decisions, they come back and get very good contracts that secures their future’s and they help the league to grow and get better. We need MLS to grow and get better every year, which it does, ” Klinsmann said. “They are doing a great job, we are still not where the Premier League is, or Serie A or Bundesliga or Spain. We have to make these compromises, they are what they are.”

While to finish the hangout, Klinsmann insisted he will do whatever he can to push his players to head overseas and play for top teams in Europe but also stated he is willing to help any of his players, no matter where they play their club soccer.

“I will keep pushing the players and if they have the opportunity to go to a good club in Europe and fight through the European system, and they can hopefully one day play in the Champions League, I will help them to do that,” Klinsmann said. “You got to take it the way it is and help everyone you can. I help the players in MLS the same way I help the player in Europe or Mexico.”

  1. jucam1 - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:14 PM

    Jurgen knows the truth, this is the “in between” generation for USMT. He is working behind the scenes to push all the really young US talent to Europe, praying that there will be more guys like Green that were raised abroad yet can claim US citizenship. Then with his contract extension he’ll have a true competitive team in 2018. He needed that extension so he could guarantee that he will be the head of the ’18 when he’ll have more international, young players, and players that are playing in real leagues. I love the MLS, but its just not there yet, Roy Keane is a star in the MLS for God’s sake. Jurgen will use this cup to analyze what type players he needs for a more favorable weather cup in Russia. He will get rid of all the old guard, and hopefully have enough players playing in Europe that he can count on by then. Jurgen knows that the USMT will not make it out if its group in 2014, and is preparing to be truly competitive in ’18. He knows that Bradley and Donovan are cooked, Altidore is massively overrated and stinks, his goalies are ancient, and he has a crappy D. I like that he is a realist and hope he gets the time and young talent to accomplish his goal of being a true competitor for Russia. He know his team is gonna get destroyed in Brazil.

    • bear06 - Mar 2, 2014 at 10:58 PM

      I think Jurgen knows that his team can advance out of the group. It won’t be easy and they aren’t favored, but it’s definitely possible especially if they get 3 points in the first game against Ghana.

  2. charliej11 - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    I wonder how much Altidore would pay to get to MLS right about now ?

  3. mdac1012 - Feb 28, 2014 at 4:08 PM

    In a perfect world, U.S. Players would be playing for top European clubs and getting minutes against the best talent in the world. But if it’s a choice between sitting on the bench in Europe or starting in MLS, that’s an easy choice.

    And in the cases of Dempsey and Bradley there were big monetary issues to consider. Both could have remained in Europe but were not going to see nowhere near the money they got from MLS.

  4. midtec2005 - Mar 1, 2014 at 12:49 PM

    This is an interesting issue. There isn’t necessarily a condemnation of MLS in these comments either… because Klinnsman knows it’s a complicated thing. MLS needs to grow, and if it continues to do so then American players will naturally get a lot more respect.

    If MLS gets good enough, you could see players transfer directly from MLS to champions league teams, that would be a wonderful scenario. So great American players coming back to MLS is a double edged sword. They aren’t playing on potential champions league teams, but they are helping improve MLS.

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