Klinsmann – The Man to Fix TFC?
Well respected Toronto journalist Steven Brunt reported this afternoon that renowned former German National team coach and player Jurgen Klinsmann is about to sign on with Toronto FC as soon as next week as the promised consultant that we all so often heard about from Tom Anselmi during the town hall meetings with fans last week.
Brunt is reporting that Klinsmann, who now resides in California, will be given “free reign” by TFC to remake the front office and coaching staff however he thinks it should be done. He also will of course be responsible for head hunting the additions that will be coming into the TFC front office. Klinsmann and his company SoccerSolutions will look at the club’s infrastructure and at what pieces need to be brought in. The TFC Academy and encouragingly the club’s flawed scouting system,will also apparently be assessed with an eye to changes. What this means for current staffers like Cochrane, Brennan. Dasovic, Dichio and Beirne will of course remain to be seen.
And perhaps most importantly, according to Brunt, Klinsmann will be tasked with both suggesting a style of play for Toronto FC and then of course finding the right people to bring that style to fruition on the field.
Those that know soccer know who this man is and what experience he brings to the table. He has played at the top levels of the game as a player in his native Germany, Italy, France and England. He won a World Cup in 1990 with Germany and was capped over a hundred times by his country. And in 2006 as coach he took control of the host German side out of favour at the time to a third place finish in the biggest soccer event on earth. He had a less then stellar run in 2008 as coach of German powerhouse Bayern Munich. Most recently of course he was both linked to a job at Liverpool in the English Premier League and as a rumoured replacement for Bob Bradley at the helm of the US National Team.
Upon moving to the USA he helped launch his soccer consultancy firm known as SoccerSolutions. The firm lists clients on their website ranging from the LA Galaxy to Adidas and his former club Tottenham Hotspur. Klinsmann by all accounts loves the life he and his family have in southern California so it is doubtful he will be hiring himself to take over the club and moving to Toronto.
What comes out of this process we will all have to of course wait and see. And if any scribe less than Brunt was reporting this I would not even be speculating about his imminent arrival at Toronto FC. At first blush what I will say is this. I would rather have Jurgen Klinsmann and his consultancy make the choices for a new front office for this club then I would Tom Anselmi, Barry MacLean, Mo Johnston, the MLSE Board or any current or former staffer at TFC. Klinsmann brings a level of knowledge of both the North American and International game in one package that would arguably be hard to match in many other individuals.
If this consultancy hiring of Klinsmann happens to be true, to their credit TFC is being honest about the fact that it needs to bring in more qualified soccer minds to assist them in choosing what are arguably the most important single hiring decisions in the short history of this club. And there will always be those that will question any hirings and who makes them.. It is going to take results on the pitch to of course speak to the success of any changes that may flow from the next couple of months.
If this story is true, I for one am impressed that Toronto FC is wiling once again to eat some crow and admit publicly wthat they need help with some critical decisions. If Jurgen Klinsmann and his fancy consultancy firm make a tidy sum from MLSE in order to make sure that we get the right people in place to turn this club around, I say so be it.
Sign the bloody cheque! The clock is ticking.