CARSON, Calif. — The appointment of Jurgen Klinsmann as US head coach has created a sense of optimism for the national team and its fans, and two Chivas USA players are hoping to be part of the new boss' plans for the future.
Defender Heath Pearce and forward Justin Braun were members of the national team under former coach Bob Bradley, and they hope to once again take up a role with the Red, White and Blue.
"I think it’s huge,” Braun told MLSsoccer.com. “He’s a great coach and obviously has experience coaching some big teams. I think it’s a good change for US Soccer and hopefully he can swing things in a positive direction and get us to be one of the top teams in the world.”
Pearce, who has switched to center back this season, played at left back during his previous stints with the national team. During his first season with Chivas USA, Pearce has played every minute for the Rojiblancos, which has led for some to call for his return to the national team. The Chivas USA defender was a member of the 2009 Confederations Cup squad, and though he was named to the preliminary 30-man squad for the 2010 World Cup, he didn't make the cut.
In stark contrast to Pearce’s experience, Braun is still awaiting his international debut. Braun was called up by Bradley to each of the last two January camps, but he never made an appearance.
Back in January, Braun suffered a cut on his left Achilles that forced him out of the training camp early. This season he has tallied seven goals for Chivas USA and remains a prospect for a US team lacking a speedy target forward.
“The style of soccer will be different," Braun said. "With [Bradley] it was more hard-working, but with Jurgen — I’m not positive — but I think that he’ll bring some creativity in the system and a more attacking style. Personally, I’ll work in any system. If I get called up to the national team, then I don’t care what system it is. I’ll just be happy to be there.”
Neither the experienced veteran nor the young hopeful know what to expect from Klinsmann, but both are hopeful for what the future holds for themselves and the US.
“I think if you asked every player here, they’d have an interest of playing for the national team,” Pearce said. “Obviously, [Klinsmann] is an accomplished player and coach as well so he’ll be a great addition to US Soccer, and there is potential to do great things under him.”
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter: @adamserrano