Klopp for USMNT? Two former stars call for ex-Liverpool coach

Jürgen Klopp may be the ultimate pipe dream for U.S. men’s national team fans, but don’t tell ex-USMNT stars Tim Howard and Alexi Lalas.

With U.S. Soccer facing increasing pressure to dismiss coach Gregg Berhalter after the team’s embarrassing early exit from the 2024 Copa América, both Howard and Lalas went public in urging the federation to pursue Klopp.

The former Liverpool manager, who won six major trophies during an outstanding nine-year run at Anfield, has made no public pronouncements about interest in the USMNT job (or any other national team post).

That hasn’t stopped fans and pundits in the U.S. for citing him as the top target for U.S. Soccer.

“If you’re not going to go big, it flies in the face of what America is — we want big, we want bold, and dare I say we want arrogant in the things that we do, in particular in terms of maximizing the summer of 2026,” Lalas told the New York Post in an interview.

“Someone like Jürgen Klopp is out there. I know people scoff at the idea of someone with his pedigree and background would ever consider doing this. But until you have the conversation, you don’t know.”

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Tim Howard pledges in-person pitch to Jürgen Klopp

Where Lalas was simply interested in U.S. Soccer touching base with Klopp, Howard went much further.

“If I was in charge of U.S. Soccer right now, I’d be on my way to the airport. Why? Because I believe I could make a very compelling argument to Jürgen Klopp,” wrote Howard in an opinion column in the Daily Mail.

“After the disappointment of Copa América, after the United States lost to Uruguay and exited at the group stages, I will personally fly to Spain. I mean it.

“I know Klopp has only been retired a few weeks and I know he wants a break. But if we sat around his villa in Spain, I think I could lure him over here. 100 percent.

“The money is certainly there. So my pitch would be simple: he has a young group of players who can play progressive, front-foot soccer, exactly like his Liverpool teams. And in two years’ time he can go to the biggest World Cup in history.”

Howard’s insistence that the money will be there might be a stretch. Klopp reportedly made $19.1 million per season at the end of his Liverpool contract.

By comparison, World Cup bonuses took Berhalter’s contract for 2022 up to $2.3 million.

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