WHEN Jurgen Klinsmann was appointed US Soccer Men’s National Team head coach, the aim was to raise the standard of the sport in the United States.
Well, a year later, the signs are that the 48-year-old former German international striker is well on his way to doing just that.
His first assignment was a 1-1 result against Mexico in a friendly international at home on August 10 last year and since then, he has overseen 16 matches, 14 of which were friendly encounters, with just two World Cup Qualifiers.
The man who helped Germany win the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy and the 1996 UEFA European Championship has so far secured eight wins, coupled with five losses and three draws, scoring 19 goals, while conceding 14.
In the 14 friendly internationals he has masterminded seven wins, suffered five defeats and orchestrated two draws.
After his 1-1 opening result, his teams suffered back-to-back 0-1 losses against Costa Rica at home and Belgium away, before registering his first victory, 1-0 against Honduras at home.
Since then he’s endured losses against Ecuador, France and Brazil, but has been able to claim some huge scalps such as Italy 1-0 in a friendly on February 29 this year, Scotland, 5-1, and then CONCACAF powerhouse Mexico 1-0 at the much vaunted Azteca on August 15.
These are clearly results which would provide the needed boost to propel the team to the next level.
The manager who guided Germany to third place as hosts of the 2006 FIFA World Cup Finals but who was heavily ridiculed by Bayern Munich and now Germany captain Phillip Lahm as a man with little or no coaching nous, has definitely begun to stamp his class on this team.
So coming off the high of registering their first victory against Mexico at the Azteca, the Americans will be looking to repeat a first World Cup qualifying win here. Will they do it? Can they do it? Only time will tell.