Monday, December 16, 2013

AmericanizeSoccer.com's 2013 Sportsperson of the Year: Jurgen Klinsmann

This is AmericanizeSoccer.com's third year to name its sportsperson of the year.  I have tried to go outside the box, as evident of the picks in 2011 and 2012.

I'm looking for something revolutionary and not run of the mill, someone who surprised the sports world but did it with class and style.  In 2012, I thought I was choosing well when I selected Oscar Pistorius.  A few weeks later, I felt dumbfounded (who could have seen that coming?).

This year, the award goes to Jürgen Klinsmann, who guided the U.S. Men's National Team to a 14-2-1 record in 2012, including a 10 game winning streak.  By the way, the 10 game winning streak included a Gold Cup championship (the bi-annual continental title that determines who is the best country at soccer in the CONCACAF region).    

Oh, did I mention, the USMNT dominated World Cup qualifying rounds and sewed up their spot early.  Even with the spot reserved for World Cup, they still went on to finish strong by beating a talented Mexican squad, an underrated Jamaican team and a resilient Panama.  

What Klinsmann did this year was to lead the USMNT to respectability worldwide and give hope to loyal U.S. supporters.  


People in the soccer spheres are paying attention now to the U.S. team.  The pundits know that the U.S. team is to be taken seriously.  


I am confident Klinsmann will figure out the very best starting eleven for World Cup.  Klinsmann developed lots of players this year and will not be without plenty of talent on the roster.  


His challenge in World Cup 2014 will be to provide even more pleasant surprises.  


The U.S. team is taking their 'Group of Death' fortune in stride.  The team is a contender to advance out of their group and won't let distractions be a foil.  He instilled enough pride and determination that the team will not let a difficult draw deter them from expectations.  


To a man, you hear all the players and the media talk about redemption versus Ghana and overcoming the challenges of playing the favorite team to win in Germany (along with Brazil) and the best goal-scorer in Ronaldo of Portugal.  The U.S. has trained itself and its media to embrace the opportunity of World Cup 2014.  


With his new contract, Klinsmann earned an added chance to win a World Cup in 2018.  His new contract was well deserved and keeps the U.S. program building towards its overall goals of world domination.  


That's right, I said it.  The U.S. wants to dominate in soccer and Jurgen Klinsmann is the coach that can help make it happen. He wants the U.S. to lay more groundwork and have more involvement in youth academies.  


After some trials and tribulations for the 2012 Olympics and getting started for World Cup qualifying, he has been able to develop players and find the right combination of talent on the field to keep the U.S. winning as a habit. This habit hadn't formed in quite some time and for this reason, Jurgen Klinsmann is AmericanizeSoccer.com's sportsperson of the year-2013.

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