As 2016 begins to grow smaller in our rear view mirror, the biggest story of that year will only be magnified in the new year. Jurgen Klinsmann’s firing was a shock, not because of results, just because of how much U.S. Soccer seemingly had invested in the German legend. One player who Klinsmann helped bring into the national team picture, DeAndre Yedlin, has spoken out about the move and the respect he has for his former manager.
Speaking to FourFourTwo, Yedlin says that Klinsmann should be remembered as a great coach:
“I have nothing but respect for Jurgen, because he has done so much for the country soccer-wise,” Yedlin told FFT.
“Klinsmann should be remembered as a great coach; I don't think a lot of people see it, but as players, we really appreciate what he did for America soccer.”
The 23-year-old went on to praise the amount of diversity that Klinsmann introduced into the national team by giving players from all backgrounds a chance. While he admits that it’s sad to see Jurgen leave, he says he’s excited for the new challenge of proving his worth to Bruce Arena.
“I was sad to see Klinsmann go because he’s been there throughout my whole international career,” Yedlin said. “It was Jurgen who brought me into the team, nurtured me, helped me develop and then placed the trust in me to win 43 caps for my country.
“But Bruce Arena is a great appointment, and I’m looking forward to the challenge of proving myself to him. Competition is healthy, and we have good players, and he will be great for our team. I’ve never been coached by him, but I’ve heard lots of good things.”
Yedlin had his fair share of ups and downs under Klinsmann. He won a spot in the 2014 World Cup in his first year with the team, then went on to play a significant role in the Round of 16 loss to Belgium after Fabian Johnson got injured. Towards the very end of Klinsmann’s tenure, Yedlin lost his starting spot to Timmy Chandler.
While some fans and media will reflect negatively on Klinsmann’s tenure, players like Yedlin give us a little insight into what the feelings inside the dressing room were towards him.