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AP: Osieck may be part of new German mgmt team


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Former Canadian soccer coach may be part of new German management team


694 words

21 July 2004


The Canadian Press


© 2004 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

HAMBURG, Germany (CP-AP) _ Former Canadian national team manager Holger Osieck is returning to the German coaching setup as an assistant to Juergen Klinsmann, according to a report Wednesday.

Sueduetsche Zeitung, a leading daily, reported that the German Soccer Federation plan is to name Klinsmann as head coach, with Osieck as his assistant.

Osieck, 56, was an assistant to then-coach Franz Beckenbauer when Germany last won the World Cup in 1990.

Germany has been looking for a coach since Rudi Voeller, like Klinsmann a formmer star striker, stepped down as national team coach at the end of June after the three-time European champion suffered a dismal first-round exit at the Euro 2004.

Klinsmann met for five hours Wednesday with Germany's two leading soccer officials.

Klinsmann agreed to help rebuild the struggling three-time World Cup champions after the New York meeting with German Soccer Federation (DFB) president Gerhard Mayer-Vorfelder and general secretary Horst R. Schmidt.

``Naturally I will help the DFB, regardless of function. In New York, we had a constructive and open talk analyzing the national team,'' Klinsmann, a hero of Germany's 1990 World Cup champions, said in a statement.

``I declared there my willingness to shape and work toward building new structures. We agreed to continue those talks.''

Ever since former Bayern Munich coach Ottmar Hitzfeld and Greece coach Otto Rehhagel turned down the vacant coaching job _ which embarrassed the organization _ the German federation has stopped commenting on possible candidates.

Osieck recently joined FIFA, the world governing body of soccer, as technical director. He also served as apart of UEFA's technical study group for Euro 2004.

He stepped down as head coach of the Canadian men's team last September, after five years at the helm and a 20-17-9 record.

Osieck helped elevate the sport to an all-time high in Canada, leading the Canadians to an unexpected Gold Cup win in 2000. That championship run rocketed Canada 24 places to No. 61 in the world rankings and earned the Canadians a trip to the 2001 Confederation Cup in Japan, where Canada tied Brazil 0-0 in the tournament of continental champions.

Prior to coming to Canada, Osieck spent 11 years in the German Soccer Federation. He went on to coach club teams in Germany, Turkey and Japan before signing on with Canada.

Sueduetsche Zeitung also reported that Oliver Bierhoff will be chosen team manager, a newly created liaison post between the national coach and the media and Bundesliga and DFB officials.

Bierhoff, best known for scoring a golden goal in the final to lift Germany to the 1996 European Championship, had long ago expressed interest in the new post of team manager.

``If Juergen will agree to be coach, then I can imagine the job will be a lot of fun _ that would be a good model,'' Bierhoff said.

The German federation is hoping to restore its tattered reputation by recruiting the popular Klinsmann, whose 11 World Cup goals ranks among the best in history at soccer's premier event.

In recent weeks, the federation was tarnished by infighting and accusations of ineptitude in seeking a new coach. Klinsmann was one of the federation's most vocal critics.

``The whole image the DFB presents is pitiful,'' the 39-year-old Klinsmann said two weeks ago. ``Basically, you have to take the whole store apart.''

Dutchman Guus Hiddink and Denmark coach Morten Olsen had been considered the leading candidates to replace Voeller. There was some resistance in Germany, however, to hiring the first foreign national team coach.

Klinsmann, after his retirement, moved to Los Angeles and kept his distance from German soccer until recently. The former forward, however, did earn a coaching licence.

Klinsmann is one of the most travelled German players, with successful stints at Germany's Bayern Munich, Italy's Inter Milan, France's AS Monaco and England's Tottenham.

His collection of trophies includes winning the 1996 European Championship and the UEFA Cup in 1991 and '97. In his 108 national team appearances, he scored 47 times.

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