Jurgen Klinsmann smeared the sweat pouring down his face with the front of his mesh U.S. training shirt. "You play until the head coach wins," he said, smiling, to explain the extended length of a half-field game which had kept a cluster of journalists waiting in the sun.
The coaching staff – as well as others, such as former U.S. international Kyle Martino and U.S. U-17 coach Richie Williams – had played a pickup game with small nets roughly four feet across after a morning session for the U.S. national team during the second week of the January camp.
One of Klinsmann's side's goals stood out. Klinsmann propelled toward goal in his long athletic pants. A few yards from the endline, he scooped the ball over the head of the last defender. It bounced to Martin Vasquez, who stabbed it into the tiny goal.
When Klinsmann took over the U.S. national team shortly after the 2011 Gold Cup, he announced a tryout period for his assistant. Within half a year, he had chosen. Well, he'd picked two. Martin Vasquez and Andreas Herzog work on equal authority underneath Klinsmann. Additionally, Chris Woods, Everton's full time goalkeeper coach, flies in for international dates.
Klinsmann's last assistant on the international level, Joachim Low, has overseen a vibrant, exciting Germany side for half a dozen years now. So how did Klinsmann do picking his crew this time around?