Jürgen Klopp reportedly rebuffs U.S. Soccer opportunity

The U.S. Soccer Federation approached former Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp about the men’s national team job that officially opened up on Wednesday when Gregg Berhalter was fired, according to a report out of England on Thursday.

Per The Independent, the USSF “made Klopp a top target” and “made initial approaches through intermediaries” to gauge the 57-year-old German’s interest.

However, The Athletic then reported Klopp had “rebuffed” the approach, and that he wanted a break from coaching. The report added that the U.S. remains interested in adding Klopp, were he to change his mind.

U.S. women’s nations team coach Emma Hayes has a longstanding relationship with Klopp dating to Hayes’ decade-plus at the helm of Chelsea F.C. Women. In May, Hayes said that she consulted Klopp before deleting her social media accounts. She confirmed to FOX sports on Monday that the two managers text each other regularly.

Klopp is available after leaving the Reds in May. He cited burnout as the reason why. Some hoped he could be tempted by the less demanding nature of a national team job, which would not require the same relentless day-to-day responsibilities due to the relatively infrequent windows set aside for international matches. 

What’s next for USMNT after firing Gregg Berhalter?

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Klopp also already has existing ties to the USMNT. He invited a then 16-year-old Christian Pulisic, the Americans’ captain at the 2024 Copa América and now the country’s undisputed best player, to train with Borussia Dortmund’s senior team during his final season with the German club. David Wagner, Klopp’s former assistant coach at Dortmund, is a German-American who made a handful of appearances for the USMNT in the 1990s.

Klopp also raised eyebrows on this side of the Atlantic when he wished American soccer fans a happy Independence Day in a social media message on July 4, just three days after the USMNT was eliminated from the Copa with a 1-0 loss to eventual semifinalist Uruguay. 

Shortly after Berhalter was let go on Wednesday, U.S. Soccer sporting director Matt Crocker told reporters during a conference that he was targeting a “serial winner” to lead the men next. That narrows the field. But Klopp certainly fits the bill: he led Dortmund to two Bundesliga titles and won Premier League, Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup crowns at Liverpool.

A U.S. Soccer spokesperson declined to comment when asked to confirm The Independent’s report of the organization’s interest in Klopp.

Doug McIntyre is a soccer writer for FOX sports who has covered the United States men’s and women’s national teams at FIFA World Cups on five continents. Follow him at @ByDougMcIntyre.

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