Former United States men’s national team coach and German soccer legend Jurgen Klinsmann is back in the coaching circuit. On Wednesday, the 55-year-old was named coach of Hertha Berlin, the club announced. Klinsmann was named as a board member for the German club just three weeks ago, and after four consecutive defeats, Ante Covic was sacked in favor of the former USA coach, who will take charge until the end of the season.
“The decision was extremely difficult for us because Ante has been part of Hertha for more than 20 years,” club sporting director Michael Preetz said, according to Bundesliga.com. “He has lived the job as head coach of the first team since summer with a lot of passion, expertise and meticulousness. Ultimately, in terms of development and recent results, we felt there was need for action.”
Hertha sits in 15th place and barely out of the relegation zone in Bundesliga play only because of goal difference. The team has won just three of its opening 12 games, and it’ll be up to Klinsmann to help stave off relegation.
This will be Klinsmann’s fourth coaching gig. He was the coach of the German national team from 2004-2006, Bayern Munich from 2008-2009 and the U.S. from 2011-2016.
He posted a 56.12 win percentage in charge of the United States and climbed out of the group of death in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. He was let go and replaced by Bruce Arena during the 2018 World Cup qualifying cycle where the U.S. shockingly failed to qualify for Russia 2018.
His son, U.S. youth goalkeeper Jonathan Klinsmann, used to play for Hertha Berlin before moving to Swiss club St. Gallen this year.
Hertha Berlin is a team that has some quality in players like Saloman Kalou, Vedad Ibisevic and Ondrej Duda, but it’s an aging squad that needs to get speed and youth during the winter transfer window to boost its chances of staying up. Klinsmann might need to make some moves during the winter transfer window in January to help keep this club above water.