FIFA named United States manager Jurgen Klinsmann to its shortlist for World Coach of the Year late Monday night. The German-born U.S. coach led his adopted nation to the World Cup round of 16, where it fell to Belgium in extra time.
Klinsmann joins a prestigious list of coaches as a finalist for the award, which former Bayern Munich manager Jupp Heynckes won in 2013. Klinsmann also managed Bayern, for most of the 2008-09 season, in his previous coaching job before taking over for the U.S.
Since becoming the U.S. coach in 2011, Klinsmann became the first to lead the team to a win over Mexico in its historic Estadio Azteca, and he also won friendlies away to Italy and Bosnia-Herzegovina. The U.S. also won the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2013.
Before the 2014 World Cup, U.S. Soccer rewarded Klinsmann with a four-year contract extension that tacked on the role of technical director. The 1990 World Cup winner and 1996 European champion as a player for Germany will be on the U.S. bench through the next World Cup, Russia 2018.
On the women’s side, American forward Abby Wambach was once again named a finalist for the Women’s World Player of the Year, as she was in 2013. Seattle Reign coach Laura Harvey and Pia Sundhage, the former U.S. manager currently coaching her native Sweden, were named to the shortlist for World Coach of the Year.