When it was announced yesterday that Julian Green decided to play for the USMNT over Germany, it sent American fans into a frenzy. After Taylor Twellman broke the news, it was Jurgen Klinsmann who confirmed the addition of Green to the player pool. Green is just the latest in a line of dual-nationality players who have committed to the States after Klinsmann took over. Klinsmann’s worth is becoming more about his recruiting ability than his coaching.
Green is following Aron Johannsson, who turned down Iceland and filed a one-time switch with FIFA to be tied to the USMNT. Klinsmann has been successful with a large German contingent that includes Fabian Johnson, John Brooks and Terrence Boyd. Klinsmann has a charm that makes it easy for him to talk to players, and the connections across the world to get on the good side of coaches and managers.
In the discussion on Green, Klinsmann mentions talking with Pep Guardiola when pursuing the player.
There are other dual-nationality players who can represent Mexico or Latin America countries that are on the USMNT’s radar. Joe Corona already has time with the senior team and had a good shift with Xolos during CONCACAF Champions League play on Tuesday. Greg Garza has ties to Mexico, but seems more likely to progress through the U.S. ranks. Germany and Mexico may be pipelines, but Klinsmann seems to have his eye on the entire world with someone like Dwayne Holmes from Huddersfield Town is on the radar.
Ultimately, it would behoove the USMNT to be able to develop these players internally and have them come up through MLS. Current Los Angeles Galaxy and former USMNT coach Bruce Arena has publicly argued against the infiltration of dual-nationality players. Still, it is Klinsmann’s duty to field the best team possible, and his role as technical director means he must find ways to develop new players.
Hopefully he will find a way to improve U.S. development, but for now Klinsmann must use all of his resources.
Many of the best national teams have recruited from available dual-nationality player pools. Klinsmann understands the global landscape of national team football and is using his charming personality and tactical approach to winning soccer to sway players. His ability to recruit and build a deep player pool brings more justification to his extended contract through the next World Cup cycle. Maybe some college coaches can take pointers from Klinsmann.