The U.S. Soccer Federation on Thursday made a massive commitment to national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann, extending his contract by four years through the 2018 World Cup and making him technical director, with oversight of the country’s youth national teams and player development.
Hired in the summer of 2011, Klinsmann was earning an annual base salary of $2.5 million. The terms of his new contract weren’t disclosed. The U.S. has gone 27-10-7 under Klinsmann and enjoyed a fantastic 2013 campaign, during which the Americans finished first in the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying tournament and the Gold Cup (the regional championship).
“One of the reasons we hired Jurgen as our head coach was to advance the program forward and we’ve seen the initial stages of that happening on the field and also off the field in various areas,” U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati said. “In the past two years he has built a strong foundation from the senior team down to the youth teams and we want to continue to build upon that success.”
Klinsmann, 49, told SI.com’s Grant Wahl in October that he was interested in continuing his work beyond next summer’s World Cup in Brazil. But rumors persisted that Klinsmann would consider staying only if he was offered a new deal before the tournament. He now has that commitment. “I am very fortunate to continue the work we started more than two and half years ago,” Klinsmann said Thursday. “It’s exciting to see the progress we have made, and we continue to make improvements on all fronts. The role of Technical Director is a huge challenge and also a huge opportunity as we look to keep connecting the dots to the youth national teams, coaching education, the Development Academy and the grassroots efforts in this country. These are fascinating topics and I am excited work with so many talented people and hear fresh ideas. For sure it means more work, but also many more fulfilling opportunities.”