Jonathan Klinsmann, the son of former U.S. and Germany coach Jurgen Klinsmann, likely will be the starting goalkeeper for the U.S. when qualifying for the Under-20 World Cup starts this weekend.
Klinsmann, who turns 20 in April, has played college soccer at California, appearing in eight matches in 2015 and 14 last year. Georgetown's JT Marcinkowski also is on the roster.
''Jonathan Klinsmann and JT Marcinkowski have done a great job in terms of competing with each other over the last six to nine months,'' U.S. under-20 coach Tab Ramos said during a conference call Thursday. ''At this point, Jonathan Klinsmann looks to be the one to be ahead as the starter for the tournament. Jonathan is really coming along well. I know that he's had some training opportunities in Europe, some training on the side not just with the University of California, so he's been doing a lot of homework.''
At the CONCACAF qualifying tournament in Costa Rica, the U.S. opens against Panama on Saturday, plays Haiti three days later and closes the first round against St. Kitts and Nevis on Feb. 24. The Under-20 World Cup opens May 20 in South Korea.
Jurgen Klinsmann was a star forward who helped West Germany win the 1990 World Cup and Germany to a title at the 1996 European Championship, then moved to California in 1998 to live with his American wife. He coached Germany at the 2006 World Cup and the U.S. at the 2014 tournament, then was fired in November after the Americans opened the final round of 2018 qualifying with losses to Mexico and Costa Rica.
Ramos, a midfielder on the U.S. World Cup team in 1990, '94 and '98, hopes to coach at the Under-20 World Cup for the third time. His team was eliminated at the group stage in 2013 and two years later lost to Serbia on penalty kicks in the quarterfinals following a 0-0 tie.