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Eddie Johnson: Fans need to be patient with Jurgen Klinsmann

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Former United States men's national team striker, Eddie Johnson, is living the retirement life. Not by choice, of course, but he's gone on with his life since being forced into hanging up his cleats with a life-threatening heart condition. Despite being out of the game he loves, he's not lost track of current events and has taken the chance to throw his two cents in about his former boss, Jurgen Klinsmann.

Speaking to The Mane Land after Saturday night's Florida Cup charity match, the USMNT's 8th all-time leading goalscorer offered some rare praise for the German.

"I think we're in a good situation," Johnson said. "I think we've got a very good coach who has a ton of experience as a player, and as a coach, in the biggest leagues in the world, and playing for Germany and playing in the World Cup."

-Eddie Johnson; Source: The Mane Land

In this day and age it's refreshing to see a player stick up for their former manager, whether you agree with what they're saying or not. Many of Jurgen's former players, both American and German, have taken plenty of shots at him through the media. So, Johnson taking this opportunity with no obligation to be loyal, is a bit of a breath of fresh air.

E.J. went on to plead with American soccer fans to be patient with Klinsmann and what he's trying to do with the U.S. men's program.

"I think with his philosophy and his understanding of the game, it's important for our national team. I think our fans need to be a little more patient with what he's trying to build here in our country. I think he's done a really good job since he's taken over as coach in turning the national team program around and I can only talk from experience as a player who has played under Jurgen Klinsmann."