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Bobby Wood credits Jurgen Klinsmann for saving his career

The striker was given a chance and he took advantage.

Soccer: 2018 FIFA World Cup Qulafying-Mexico at USA Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

While not everyone involved with U.S. Soccer shed a tear when Jurgen Klinsmann was released from his national team managerial and technical director duties, there were some, mainly players, who were sad to see him go.

Among those who owe the German legend a lot is Bobby Wood. A middling squad player with 1860 Munich at the time of his USMNT debut, Klinsmann saw something in the striker to give him a look despite his less than stellar club standing. Wood says that could’ve been the difference between him succeeding in his career and moving to Hamburg and him dropping to the lower divisions or even quitting the sport all together.

“He’s very important to me. I believe if Jürgen had not been U.S. coach, then I might have stopped playing football or would have played somewhere in the fourth league.

That is why I am very, very grateful to him. At that time I was in a deep hole – it was real heavy. … He has believed in my quality. We are still in contact, he texts me.” — via Pro Soccer Talk

Some poke fun at Klinsmann for not calling up the “most deserving” players. But, this is one case where his eye for talent paid off with a gamble. As much as you hate or love Jurgen, there’s no denying that this was a stroke of genius on his part to give Wood a call-up on his pure raw talent. That confidence instilled from a national team chance was the boost he needed to go on to huge things.