Klinsmann rules out coaching US

Updated: 2006-12-08 08:43

NEW YORK, Dec 7 - Juergen Klinsmann ruled out becoming the next coach of the U.S. national soccer team on Thursday.

"(U.S. Soccer Federation President) Sunil (Gulati) and I have concluded our discussions about the U.S. men's national team program, and I have withdrawn my name from consideration as coach," Klinsmann said in a statement delivered to the ESPN network.

The decision dealt a major blow to the federation, which had sought the services of the former Germany coach and striker as a replacement for long-time coach Bruce Arena, who stepped down in July after eight years in charge.

Klinsmann had been in deep discussions with Gulati for the last month and an announcement of his hiring had been widely anticipated.

"I'm not going to go into details about our conversations. But I certainly want to wish the next coach of the U.S. men's national team much success, and I want to also thank Sunil for the opportunity to exchange ideas," said Klinsmann.

Klinsmann, who led Germany to the 1990 World Cup and Euro '96 titles as a player, lives in California.

Sports Illustrated reported that Gulati will now name Chivas USA coach Bob Bradley as interim coach, with the possibility of it becoming a permanent appointment.

Bradley has more wins than any coach in Major League Soccer history and is a two-times Coach of the Year. In 1998, he led the Chicago Fire to the MLS Cup title.

The U.S. team are scheduled to play their first game since the World Cup on January 20, an exhibition against Denmark in Carson, Calif.

Unpredictable and unconventional, Klinsmann silenced his critics by coaching Germany to an unexpected third-place finish in the 2006 World Cup on home soil.

After two years in charge of Germany, Klinsmann left with a record of 21 wins, seven draws and six defeats.

As a player, he won 108 caps and scored 47 goals.

Klinsmann was footballer of the year in Germany in 1988 and 1994 and won that honour in England in 1995.

Arena was the most successful national coach in U.S. soccer history, winning 71 of his 130 matches during an eight-year spell.

His contract was not renewed following a disappointing 2006 World Cup, although his side did manage a 1-1 draw with eventual champions Italy despite ending the match with nine men.

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