Zimmerman and the Coach Call Out


You may have heard the case of Preston Zimmerman calling out national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann for the way he is forming a roster.  Zimmerman happens to be an American playing in a lower division league in Germany.  He was a member of the under-20 American team in 2007 and has played in Germany on four different teams since the age of 18.  Like many these days, he took to twitter to share his opinion on the state of the U.S. National Team.

Fake American is a new term for me, but that is what Zimmerman chose for the players with a mother or father born in the United States (dual nationality).  In the case of Timmy Chandler, his father was in the U.S. military and born in New York.  Chandler was born in Germany.   Zimmerman continued that these players could not play for Germany and some can’t even speak English.  He is not alone in the thought that some of these players won’t be able to find a role on the German National Team.

The 140 character soliloquy continued by trying to debunk any claims of jealousy and anger toward training camps in Germany with “‘european players.'”  He also made a claim that a lot of college kids are just as good as reserve players but since they are real Americans they do no qualify.  A lot of the major college soccer teams are recruiting international players as well as some players that may have connections to foreign countries.  This may squash that part of Zimmerman’s beef.

Klinsmann has been unsuccessful, but with a small sample size.  It is hard to implement a new scheme with a holistic approach in seven games.  Zimmerman said he is never always right or always wrong, which makes sense.  He didn’t back down from his comments and ended with hoping that all players get the same shot to make the National Team.

Kudos to Preston Zimmerman for putting his thoughts out there and sticking to them.  There is some validity.  Unfortunately, there are some element missing from his diatribe.  United States soccer does not have the culture of Germany or England.  Soccer players with any talent are developed from a young age and groomed to play for their country.  These are points from Klinsmann’s initial press conference.  He acknowledged Major League Soccer as a budding professional league and the need to develop and expand the reach of soccer within the nation.  Still, there are those that relate to Zimmerman that Klinsmann’s early bias has been over the top.

The United States is not the only nation taking players that qualify that may not be “true” to their country.  These players from Germany can make an impact not only on the team, but on future soccer stars in the United States.  Until their is a more constructive plan to develop younger stars and/or soccer gains more attention on a national level, these players will be part of the plan.  Winning provides more impact.