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August 7, 2010 at 12:19 PM

A stop and chat with German legend Jurgen Klinsmann

After talking to the Sounders after Saturday’s training session, the visiting Klinsmann took a few minutes to answer questions from reporters. Here’s the Q&A transcript with the guy who’s scored almost 300 goals for club and country.

* * *

(What brings you to Seattle?) “Actually vacation. We have a family vacation going up north, going to Canada and driving around the Northwest. So I called up Sigi and said, ‘I know that you have a game tomorrow, so can I watch?’ ”

(So you’ll be here through tomorrow’s game?) “Through the weekend and then going up north to Canada, yeah.”

(What’s your background with Schmid?) “Oh we’ve known each other a long time. We moved over family-wise in ’98 after the World Cup in France. Sigi then called me up and invited me over to the Galaxy, so for a couple of years I worked out a little bit on the side. Things were a lot different infrastructure-wise than they are today. So we’ve known each other a long time and I’m pleased that he’s really enjoying his work here in Seattle.”

(What’s your impression of the MLS game?) “Well I think MLS has come a long way. I look how it was 10-12 years ago and now with adding teams, adding soccer-specific stadiums, bringing in players from overseas, so it’s come a long way. Still has a long way to go and I think everyone knows that, but it’s awesome to see it.”

(Klinmann’s Bob Marley ringtone goes off) “I have to apologize, that’s my cell phone.”

(What does MLS still need to do to improve and become more internationally respected?) “Oh my gosh, you want to get in a long conversation! (laughs) I think you can only build a house one step at a time. And I think they’re doing a tremendous job. I think Seattle plays a big role over the last two years in what’s happened here, with the people behind the team — great fans. And the facilities like that (at Starfire Sports Complex) with the kids playing along side the pros, it connects people. I think that’s just wonderful to see. It’s a process that takes time, and next year coming in more teams. Vancouver will be part of it, Montreal will be part of it. When you look at it, where the league was 10 years ago when I was a little bit involved with it with the Anschutz group — when I think Phil Anschutz had five or six teams just to keep the league alive — and now where you are with different owners, different people involved with it, connecting it to the youth game, connecting it to a lower-level infrastructure, I think it’s come a long way and there are still so many things you got to do to be better.”

(Would you consider coaching at this level?) “No, I mean after my experience with Germany and Bayern Munich, and bringing back the family now, we’re just taking a break right now. If I go back into coaching one day, I don’t think it will be MLS to be honest.”


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