Klinsmann calls for MLS changes
US national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann has called for significant changes to take place in the country's Major League Soccer competition, including expanding the current season to correspond with the top leagues in Europe.
Klinsmann won his first match since taking over from Bob Bradley as the United States claimed a 1-0 triumph over Honduras on Saturday. And the German understands his more immediate challenge is to help the US overcome Ecuador in an international friendly at Red Bull Arena on Tuesday evening, but says major changes need to occur domestically if the country is to fulfill its potential in the long-term.
"The big challenge is for MLS overall, how can we stretch this season into a format that is competitive with the rest of the world?" Klinsmann asked.
"Right now, it's not competitive if you have a seven, eight-month season. That's not competitive with the rest of the world. We need an 11-month season for those guys. They can have three, four weeks off a year, that's the maximum. Otherwise you're not at the same level physically.
"If there is a national team player [in MLS], he has to do extra work, he has to do extra weeks and he can't go on vacation even if he says, 'I'm supposed to have six weeks off'. I will give him a hug and say, 'Have fun in six weeks and don't come back here.' It's not working," he said.
Klinsmann, who guided his home country to a third-place finish at the 2006 World Cup, also believes there are procedures and systems which can be transferred to his new job across the Atlantic.
"You can't compare the US program with the German program. It's completely different - different ways of doing things, different structures.
"The American soccer system is unique in the world. I've learned all that obviously over the last 13 years living in this country. I think I can bring a lot to the table because I also know the European ways of doing it," Klinsmann said.
Meanwhile, former England national team goalkeeper Chris Woods has joined Klinsmann's US coaching staff.