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Old November 18th, 2006, 01:44 AM   #1
Sunshooter
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Pekerman to coach US - PA Sport


Former Argentina coach Jose Pekerman is on the verge of taking over the United States national team.

According to the US Soccer president Sunil Gulati, a deal is only being held up by some minor stumbling blocks.

"We did not sign the contract yet, but it just lacks some details," Gulati told the Mexican newspaper, La Opinion.

Pekerman, who took Argentina to the quarter-finals at the 2006 World Cup in Germany, is believed to already have an assistant and translator in place to work in North America should he take charge.

His assistant is expected to be Fernando Clavijo, who coached Haiti in 2003 and has also worked in America's Major League Soccer.

"Clavijo already signed his contract, but did Pekerman do it?" asked a journalist from the paper.

"Yes, we will see it in the Copa de Oro for Women's final (on November 26)," responded Gulati.

According to La Opinion, Pekerman would have green-lighted the decision to accept the United States' invitation to the 2007 Copa America in Venezuela.

Others linked with the post, held by Bruce Arena from 1998 to 2006, include former Germany boss Jurgen Klinsmann, Sir Alex Ferguson's number two at Manchester United Carlos Queiroz and Chivas USA coach Bob Bradley.

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Old November 18th, 2006, 06:49 AM   #2
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I could deal with this. He would bring credibility, no doubt, and as long as he meshes with the players could really turn us into a contender.
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Old November 18th, 2006, 07:18 AM   #3
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Not Klinsman but still seems like a good choice. A good international coach to take over... Lets see what he can do.
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Old November 18th, 2006, 01:51 PM   #4
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My only concern is he does not speak English and having to get things across to your players through a translator isn't always the best way to go.

He is a quality coach though and should do well.
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Old November 18th, 2006, 02:15 PM   #5
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I've looked at all the major sports sites and some soccer only sites and I haven't seen this reported anywhere else. Here is what ESPN.com wrote about him a couple of months ago...

Updated: Sep. 8, 2006
Pekerman an intriguing option
Archive

When U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati made the decision not to renew Bruce Arena's contract as national coach, he embarked on a quest to redefine American soccer.

Gulati likely is aware that his choice to succeed Arena will define his tenure, much as that of his successor, Bob Contiguglia, was defined by his somewhat unexpected appointment of Arena.

Jose Pekerman has been widely credited for his phenomenal success with Argentina's youth teams.The default choice for Gulati seemed obvious during the World Cup. Juergen Klinsmann had his Germany team rolling, yet his years spent in the U.S. left him familiar with the quirks of the American system. His choice of an American training organization for his German players indicated openness to new techniques and an appreciation of what the U.S. can contribute to the game of soccer.

The rampant speculation was that the decision was entirely Klinsmann's to make. If he was willing to take the job, it was his.

Yet Gulati insisted the search for a new coach would be a thorough one.

Recent revelations indicate that Gulati has lined up solid competition for Klinsmann, who might no longer be the favorite for the position.

Instead, that label might have fallen to another World Cup coach. Sources revealed to ESPN.com that Gulati recently interviewed Argentina's Jose Pekerman for the job.

Pekerman's credentials are especially impressive in an area that is dear to Gulati's ambitions for the U.S. -- the improvement of teams, starting at the youngest generations. No coach has won more youth world championships than Pekerman, who has three. Pekerman's Argentine squads won the FIFA World Youth Championships in 1995, 1997 and 2001.

The players he mentored were not young prodigies who flamed out. Instead, many of the prospects he worked with on the senior and youth levels are considered part of the wave of Argentine talent that constitutes a renaissance of the country's soccer. The list is positively star-studded: Lionel Messi, Juan Riquelme, Pablo Aimar, Javier Saviola.

As Pekerman's charges contributed more and more to the reputation of Argentine soccer, his own status increased. He was respected enough to be offered the chance to helm the senior "Albiceleste" team after Daniel Passarella resigned in 1998. Instead, Pekerman declined, reportedly recommending the coach (Marcelo Bielsa) eventually chosen.

He finally accepted the post in 2004, leading the team through qualifying.

At the World Cup, Argentina and archrival Brazil both went out at the quarterfinal phase, but Pekerman was not vilified by his country's fans the way Brazil's coach, Carlos Alberto Parreira, was by his. (Incidentally, Parreira also was considered a leading candidate for the U.S. post -- thanks in part to his previous coaching experience in MLS -- before signing on with South Africa.)

That's partly because Brazil's form looked poor in the entire tournament. The stars never appeared comfortable, and they failed to provide much evidence of the "beautiful game" so beloved by Brazilian supporters.

On the other hand, Pekerman had his team ready from the start of the World Cup tournament, playing attractive attacking soccer. Argentina's fans and neutrals alike thrilled to the creative moves, crisp passing and dynamic goals during the tournament.

Of course, such play built up expectations, and a fair number grumbled that Pekerman was too cautious with his substitutions when holding a one-goal lead against Germany. Klinsmann's team was able to tie the score, then advance on penalty kicks.

Others were less harsh, attributing most of the loss to the unexpected injury to starting goalkeeper Roberto Carlos Abbondanzieri in the Germany game. The tying goal was scored on his replacement, Leo Franco.

When Pekerman offered his resignation, Julio Grondona, the president of the Argentine federation, reportedly tried to dissuade him. Grondona earlier had been famously quoted as saying, "I would give Pekerman a job for life."

It remains to be seen how strongly Gulati favors Pekerman. A big issue is that Pekerman's English is very limited. Although many coaches use interpreters, the team building that results when a coach is able to communicate freely with his players cannot be discounted.

Another issue might be the U.S. federation's budget for salary. Gulati is an economics professor who is well aware of the bottom line. His work with the New England Revolution also indicates a propensity for thrift, as the Revolution payroll is the lowest in the league.

There's also the fact that none of Pekerman's varied coaching experiences includes American soccer. Gulati has said in the past that he would prefer someone with a working knowledge of the American style and system.

Certain elements remain as positives for Pekerman, however. There is his unparalleled ability to maximize the potential of young talent. For 2010, a new generation of players will need to be developed, especially in the wake of a number of resignations from international soccer by key players, such as Claudio Reyna and Brian McBride.

No doubt Gulati had in mind players like Freddy Adu when he decided Pekerman's skills made it worth investigating his availability.

Players such as Landon Donovan, the U.S. star who disappointed at the World Cup, might flourish under the Argentine coach. Donovan has compared his own game and style of play to Saviola's. The opportunity and the trust Pekerman showed in Saviola at the World Cup triggered an impressive performance by the player, who shone throughout the competition.

Pekerman's own playing career, although not particularly distinguished, fits the profile of firsthand experience that many believe offers motivational credibility when leading a team.

Some might wonder why a coach with an impressive résumé would consider leaving soccer-mad Argentina for the U.S. -- a country that often has shown the sport indifference. Yet Pekerman's early refusal of the Argentine national team job and his eventual resignation indicate a certain discomfort with the pressure of the post.

It's clear the man loves to coach, however. The possibility of working with rising talent while escaping the microscope many others are constantly under might strike him as ideal.

Ultimately, only Gulati knows how high Pekerman ranks on his list of options. At the very least, Gulati's consideration of Pekerman makes clear that Klinsmann is by no means a shoo-in.

Andrea Canales covers MLS and women's college soccer for ESPNsoccernet. She also writes for topdrawersoccer.com, lasoccernews.com and soccer365.com. She can be contacted at soccercanales@yahoo.com
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Old November 20th, 2006, 10:57 AM   #6
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Soccertimes: Gulati denies saying Pekerman would soon be hired to replace Arena.


(Sunday, November 19, 2006) -- United States Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati denied making comments that said former Argentina coach Jose Pekerman was about to be hired as manager of the U.S. men.

Gulati's denial came in an e-mail this morning to SoccerTimes.

La Opinion, a Spanish-language newspaper printed in Mexico and Los Angeles, reported this week that Pekerman would be signed to a contract as soon as final details could be worked out.

According to the story in La Opinion, Gulati said, "We did not sign the contract yet, but it just lacks some details" and that the deal would be completed within a week.

Gulati said he did not make those remarks.

Pekerman led Argentina to the 2006 World Cup quarterfinals before resigning. The USSF is searching for a manager to replace Bruce Arena, who served in that capacity from late 1998 until being fired following the Americans' first-round elimination in this summer's Cup in Germany.

The veracity of the La Opinion story was further questioned. The newspaper also reported that Fernando Clavijo, the Argentine coach of Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids, would be hired as Pekerman's top assistant and translator with a formal contract already prepared and awaiting signature.

Clavijo denied that. "That is not true," he told the San Diego Times-Union. "I have a contract with Colorado. . . Unfortunately, it's just a good rumor."

Pekerman, 47, is known to be one of the major international coaches with whom Gulati discussed his national-team opening. He might be of special interest to Gulati because he not only coached Argentina to the 2006 World Cup quarterfinals, but he built a strong reputation leading the nation's youth teams to prominence.

However, Pekerman does not speak English, though he is known to be affable and easily approachable.

Pekerman became coach of Argentina's under-20 and under-17 men's programs in 1994. The under-20s captured the World Youth Championship three times -- in 1995 (Qatar), 1997 (Malaysia), and 2001 (Argentina) -- leading him to name his three dogs Qatar, Malaysia and Argentina. The team also won South American Youth Championships in 1997 and 1999.

He was named to head the Argentine World Cup effort on September 15, 2004.

Gulati has regularly responded with "No comment" to questions about who will take over for Arena.

Jürgen Klinsmann, 42, who coached Germany to third place in the 2006 World Cup, has been a leading candidate for the U.S. job. He resides is California, and is familiar with the U.S and MLS programs.

The German publication Bild reported he had been offered in excess of $3 million a year to become U.S. coach, something Klinsmann termed nonsense, saying he had never discussed money with Gulati. "The speculations are not correct, as usual," he said. "The sums were invented freely."

It was Klinsmann's host Germany that eliminated Pekerman's Argentina in penalty kicks in this year's World Cup quarterfinals, following a 1-1 draw.
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Old November 20th, 2006, 07:20 PM   #7
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Okay, it's friggen' NOVEMBER already, almost DECEMBER...sort your house out, US Soccer!!! Argh!
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Old November 20th, 2006, 07:54 PM   #8
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Okay, it's friggen' NOVEMBER already, almost DECEMBER...sort your house out, US Soccer!!! Argh!
I'm with you. There is a game in January a lot of US players are off right now, time to name a coach and get a camp started before Christmas and another one shortly afterward.

I hope whoever comes in as coach makes everyone earn their starting spots. Make Beasley, Donovan and some of the others who stunk it up in Germany earn their starting assignments.

U20's start their qualifying for the Youth Championships in January--Adu (who is currently training with Man U) will be on that team. The Tourney will be in Canada this summer, meaning Adu will likely not appear in Copa or Gold Cup.
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Old November 21st, 2006, 01:49 AM   #9
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Pekerman isn't a good coach in my opinion and Klinsmann is bad as well, he is incredibly overrated. He had a staff of people with experience surrounding him. He himself doesn't really have any experience, he is more of the media guy simply...
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Old November 21st, 2006, 11:51 AM   #10
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Pekerman isn't a good coach in my opinion and Klinsmann is bad as well, he is incredibly overrated. He had a staff of people with experience surrounding him. He himself doesn't really have any experience, he is more of the media guy simply...
Tell me how many other coaches have won the world youth championships 3 times? Not to mention the 2 South American championships. "Bad" coaches don't do that...world class coaches do.

Klinsmann did things his way against normal German coaching practices and took a young German team to the semi-finals in the WC...and yet he is bad. I don't get it.
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Old November 23rd, 2006, 07:45 AM   #11
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Tell me how many other coaches have won the world youth championships 3 times? Not to mention the 2 South American championships. "Bad" coaches don't do that...world class coaches do.

Klinsmann did things his way against normal German coaching practices and took a young German team to the semi-finals in the WC...and yet he is bad. I don't get it.
Slin IS German. I chalk it up to bitterness.
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Old November 24th, 2006, 08:34 AM   #12
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In my opinion, Pekerman is a good and proven coach. Even if he made mistakes during the last world cup, especially against Germany, his argentinian team had some great periods of domination and collective brilliance. And his resume shows that he knows how to deal with young players, too.

But I somewhat agree with Slin about Klinsmann. He's not a bad coach but he's overrated. Don't forget he had two whole years to prepare his squad for the world cup with an offensive mastermind to assist him (Lw, his successor as Germany head coach.) His attacking philosophy was great but he didn't designed it, and his limited coaching skills were exposed against top tier teams.
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Old December 1st, 2006, 12:48 AM   #13
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Oh please I am bitter over what? I never wanted Klinsmann as a coach and I am glad he is gone, I dont like Lw either.

Klinsmann is simply a media guy, but has no coaching experience other than that job with the german NT team where he shared resposibilities with Lw.

And please winning with youth teams means NOTHING and besides that it's not so hard to win youth titles with Argentina either. Pekerman sucked on the pro-level that's the bottom line.
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