March 26, 2015

Berti Vogts has been pals with Jurgen Klinsmann for a long time, and now the German national team coach will work alongside his former player in a long-term role.

Vogts was hired as technical adviser to the U.S. national team Thursday after serving as a special adviser before and during last year's World Cup.

In an interview last May, Vogts said he has known Klinsmann since he was 16 or 17.

''He was a winger and then I told him, `Oh, that's not your best position, you have to play in the middle,''' Vogts recalled. ''He did that and he started a big, big career. He is always enthusiastic. He's more American than a German. The Germans are thinking about things. Jurgen is always positive. That's an American way of life. That's good. That's good for the team, good for the sport, good for all of them.''

Vogts will oversee the development of players in Europe, and collaborate with Herzog and Matthias Hamann on scouting, talent identification and club relationships.

''We had a fantastic experience with Berti during the 2014 FIFA World Cup,'' Klinsmann said in a statement. ''His knowledge and experience is a tremendous asset for us. With Andi Herzog having a big focus on qualifying the U-23 team for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Berti will make an even more important contribution.''

The 68-year-old Vogts was a defender on West Germany's championship team at the 1974 World Cup and made 96 international appearances in all. He coached his national team from 1990-98, winning the 1996 European Championship with Klinsmann as captain.

Vogts also coached Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga and the national teams of Kuwait (2001-02), Scotland (2002-04), Nigeria (2007-08) and Azerbaijan (2008-14).

''For me he's been a big mentor throughout my life,'' Klinsmann said last year, ''and he just has an outstanding soccer brain, an outstanding knowledge the way he reads the game, the way he analyzes things with his tremendous experience he has, is unquestionable, a huge benefit for us.''

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AP Sports Writer Ronald Blum contributed to this report.

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