Optimism surrounds Klinsmann hire

U.S. Soccer coach needs a concrete plan to help the team get to the next level

Updated: July 30, 2011, 12:39 PM ET
By Alexi Lalas | ESPN Insider

Jürgen Klinsmann is the new U.S. men's national team coach, which means I spent much of the day trying to figure out how to type an umlaut. But eventually I started to think about the implications for the team, the program and the sport.

Before the announcement, I felt a general malaise had descended over U.S. Soccer. It stemmed from an accumulation of disappointing results and missed opportunities over the last year, which included losing to Ghana in the 2010 World Cup quarterfinals, failing to secure a 2022 World Cup bid, the Gold Cup final loss to Mexico and even the U.S. women failing to win the 2011 World Cup.

While these do not all fall on Bob Bradley, they all combined to create an environment which left the U.S. Soccer brand demoralized and stagnant.