Jurgen Klinsmann's behind-the-scenes power struggle, NYCFC's potential coaching change and more insider items from Grant Wahl.
Despite recent losses, Jurgen Klinsmann remains the U.S. men’s national team coach and technical director, but multiple sources say that Klinsmann’s duties in the latter area have become more ceremonial than before.
Over the past year, U.S. Soccer’s chief commercial director Jay Berhalter—the brother of Columbus Crew SC coach Gregg Berhalter—has started taking over a lot of the day-to-day technical director duties. Berhalter even called an important meeting in Chicago in August that did not include Klinsmann.
People on the inside have different views about it. One said Berhalter is a smart guy who gets things done. Another said if you’re going to give Klinsmann the technical director job you should let him do it without interference. Communication between Berhalter and Klinsmann is described as “not good.” One insider used the term “power struggle.”
A U.S. Soccer spokesperson said: “Any perception that there’s a power struggle is simply false. Everyone is working collectively to improve the technical side on a daily basis.”
That's not all of the behind-the-scenes happenings involving Klinsmann. In the last week, Klinsmann fired head trainer Sue Falsone. Falsone had been in the job for a year after having the same role for the Los Angeles Dodgers. I’m told that, among other things, Klinsmann was not happy with the way she dealt with Alejandro Bedoya’s illness that kept him out of the USA's CONCACAF Cup playoff against Mexico and friendly against Costa Rica.
Here are a couple of more insider items from around the soccer world:
Kreis out, Vieira in at NYCFC?
Multiple sources connected to Manchester City and New York City FC say Jason Kreis’s job as the coach at NYCFC is in real danger. It’s not a done deal yet, but all signs are pointing to his replacement being Patrick Vieira, the 1998 World Cup winner and former Arsenal star who has been serving as Man City’s elite development squad manager.
NYCFC missed the MLS playoffs in its inaugural year (it enters Sunday's finale with a 10-16-7 record), and Vieira has been looking for a place where he could be the No. 1 guy. But if Kreis leaves he won’t be lacking for interest among suitors in MLS, potentially in Chicago.
Platini could still be eligible for FIFA election
FIFA announced on Monday that its presidential election will go ahead as scheduled on Feb. 26, 2016. And while former favorite Michel Platini remains suspended by FIFA, if he’s cleared he would still have time to gain eligibility for the election. Today FIFA’s ethics committee released the names of those under investigation, which include Franz Beckenbauer.
In total, 14 of the 24 FIFA executive committee members from 2010, the year of the hosting-rights votes for World Cups 2018 and ’22, have either been under investigation, banned or suspended.