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Why Jurgen Klopp Could Be the Perfect Replacement for Gregg Berhalter for US Soccer

With two years to go until the U.S. men’s soccer world cup hosts, it has a chance to make a federation-changing move. There’s only one right answer to the problem it now faces: convincing Jurgen Klopp to take over as head coach of the U.S. men’s national team.

The U.S. fired Gregg Berhalter on Wednesday following a disappointing Copa America performance. The move leaves the national team without a managerial position less than two years before the 2026 World Cup. It’s a disastrous move considering the squad has several competitive matches to play, as they won’t be competing in World Cup qualifying due to an automatic bid as hosts. It’s a self-inflicted wound, as U.S. Soccer elected to rehire Berhalter for this cycle after their Round of 16 exit at the 2022 World Cup.

Berhalter has been praised for leading a young squad out of the group stage at the 2022 tournament, but it was clear to many that the program needed a new voice to take things to the next level. The federation thought otherwise and took the path of least resistance, bringing him back despite intense criticism. There’s an obvious way to turn this huge negative into a positive.

Klopp is one of the world’s best managers and is currently unemployed. The 57-year-old German has resigned as Liverpool manager after the 2023-24 Premier League season after nearly a decade in charge, citing the need for a break as his primary reason. During his time at the Reds, Klopp led them to the Champions League title in 2019, the Premier League title in 2020, the FA Cup in 2022 and runners-up in the 2018 and 2022 Champions Leagues. Liverpool have won over 60% of their games under Klopp.

Contrary to what some might think, there are reasons why Klopp might be interested. The job of managing a national team is far less scheduling-intensive for managers. Klopp could embrace that as he recharges for an eventual return to club football. He could accept a short-term deal that would only last until the 2026 World Cup. The US also has a pool of players with the talent to make waves on the world stage under the right management. Finally, how often does a manager get the chance to take charge of a national team hosting the World Cup? Especially in a country that needs a boost to take its game to the next level. It’s a unique opportunity that’s unlikely to come around again.

There are many obstacles standing in the way of Klopp coming to America. He was said to be earning around £15 million a year at Liverpool, while Berhalter is due to earn $2.29 million in 2023. That’s a huge salary gap to make up. Klopp also resigned from his role at Liverpool, saying he needed a break. Returning to the hustle and bustle of the US men’s national team right now would be the opposite of a relief.

None of this means that U.S. soccer shouldn’t go all-in on bringing Klopp on board. Promise him whatever he wants. Let him run the program he sees fit. Bring in his assistants and let him redesign the whole thing. Offer him Dr. Evil money. Force him to refuse.

US soccer faces a problem of its own making. Adding Jurgen Klopp would solve the problem.