News

Klinsmann rewarded for recruitment strategy

Klinsmann rewarded for recruitment strategy

WORLD CUP:U.S. coach Juergen Klinsmann (L) celebrates their win against Ghana after their 2014 World Cup Group G soccer match at the Dunas arena in Natal June 16. Photo: Reuters/Brian Snyder

By Simon Evans

(Reuters) – Berlin-born John Brooks grabbed an 86th-minute winner for the United States against Ghana in World Cup Group G on Monday as Juergen Klinsmann’s policy of recruiting dual-nationals from Europe paid off.

With Frankfurt-born midfielder Jermaine Jones arguably the best player for the U.S. in their 2-1 victory, dominating in midfield and creating the opening goal for Clint Dempsey, there was a distinctly German flavor to the win.

Although he is unlikely to crow, the victory was vindication for former Germany players and coach Klinsmann.

The U.S. coach has faced criticism for his policy of searching out eligible players in Europe and Mexico to add to the homegrown talent.

PHOTOS: USA tops Ghana in first World Cup match | EXTRA: Everyone is tweeting about the World Cup

Brooks was the hero but another German-American, Fabian Johnson, produced pace and work-rate on the right side and former Iceland Under-21 international Aron Johannsson had to work tirelessly as a lone striker after coming on for the injured Jozy Altidore.

Bruce Arena, who was coach of the U.S. team at the 2002 and 2006 World Cups, has been vocal in his criticism of the policy and just before the World Cup also objected to having a non-American like Klinsmann as coach.

There have been others who have questioned whether the German-Americans have the same commitment to the cause as their team mates born on American soil.

The apparent hesitation of players such as Timothy Chandler, who have grown up in the German youth system, to commit fully to the U.S. team before making the decisive decision, added to the doubts.

But Klinsmann has clearly been able to increase his options and strengthen his starting line-up by including the sons of U.S. servicemen who served in Germany as well as Johannsson and Oslo-born midfielder Mix Diskerud.

Speaking after Arena’s criticism last year, Klinsmann defended the policy of seeking out talent outside the borders of the United States.

“The world is changing. It’s a global game. I believe Americans are Americans, no matter if they grow up in Japan, South Africa or Buenos Aires,” he said.

“Our job is to identify the best talents with an American passport and

“For me personally, America is a melting-pot, not only here in the U.S, but it’s a global melting-pot,” he said.

Against Portugal and Germany in the remaining Group D games, Klinsmann will again draw from that pot.

(Editing by Ed Osmond)

Recent Headlines

3 hours ago in Music

Graceland, home of Elvis, receives 20 millionth paid visitor

elvis284741843295

Tours of the famous estate began in 1982.

4 hours ago in Entertainment

Dan Aykroyd adapting ‘Blues Brothers’ for animated series

danaykroyd391647313397

The animated project will also feature the band's original songs, as well as soul and blues classics, and new material recorded specially for the series, which Aykroyd will help to develop alongside "Saturday Night Live" writer Anne Beatts.

5 hours ago in Entertainment

‘Frozen’ fans want Queen Elsa to ‘come out’

21-overlay-2

Fans are urging movie executives to make the film's snow queen Elsa a lesbian in the sequel.

5 hours ago in Music

Dolly Parton planning to renew vows on 50th anniversary

dollyparton850993298558

The "9 to 5" singer had previously expressed her desire to throw another wedding bash to celebrate the milestone but said her famously reclusive husband, who has rarely been pictured with her in public, "really hates" the attention.

5 hours ago in Entertainment

It’s ‘Star Wars’ Day: May the 4th be with you

starwarsday16125289429647

It's not a national holiday, yet it might be an intergalactic one.