Guten Tag, America!
This is Jürgen Klinsmann.
I want to personally thank you for your tremendous support of the USA at the World Cup in Brazil. The massive turnout and enthusiasm of American fans from coast to coast gave our team inspiration the entire time we were there. The support of the American nation was the talk of the whole world!
Now, one thing I've noticed about you crazy Americans is that a lot of you like to pretend you are English when speaking about Soccer. To sound cool and "in the know", you will affect a pretentious English manner of speaking when talking about Soccer. You will say things like "kit" instead of uniform, and a 0-0 tie will be a "nil-nil draw". You will talk about the "pace" of a "side" on the "pitch". You will even use the plural form of team, as in "The USA are through to the Round of 16" . . . a manner of speaking you have never used in any other context in your entire life. You will use English terms that have nothing to do with Soccer, but you will do it anyway because if it sounds English it must have something to do with Soccer and will thus make you sound more credible.
But America, like Wondo approaching a sitter, you're doing it all wrong.
If you want to talk like one of the cool kids, you have to pick a kid that's, you know, actually cool.
England?! Are you kidding me? The same England who crashed out of the World Cup Group Stage in five days? Over the last twenty years at the World Cup, England has not progressed any further than the USA has. When England and the USA were in the same Group in 2010, it was the USA winning the group. Not England. If anything, the English should be speaking like Americans when talking about "Soccer".
America, you need a new role model to emulate. But who should it be?
Well there are some people who say that America should have enough self-confidence as an emerging Soccer nation to use its own version of the language when speaking about Soccer, just like we do for any other sport. Are they right? Perhaps. Someday, perhaps. But not yet. At least not while our midfield is still giving up 64% possession to Belgium.
So we still need a role model. But if not England, then who?
Well, I'll tell you who . . . the answer is right in front of your nase: You should emulate Germany!
Germany is a world superpower of Soccer:
- Three-time World Cup Champions, perhaps another on the way.
- Five-time Runners-Up, at the least.
- Five-time Semi-Finalists.
- Advanced to at least the Semi-Finals the last four straight World Cups.
- Advanced out of the First-Round Group Stage in 17 of 18 World Cups.
That's what a Soccer power looks like, America! Not a country who's greatest (and only) glory was when televisions had vacuum tubes.
And of course, your very own coach is a German. And as a German, I have taken USA Soccer to new unprecedented heights, er, pretty much the same heights as before, but we've looked much cooler doing it. It's a natural fit, America!
So if you want to sound cool and in the know when talking about Soccer, you need to pretend to speak like a German. Posing like an Englishman is out. Posing like a German is in.
So as a public service, I present you with this tutorial on how to pretend to speak Soccer like a German instead of an Englishman:
- Soccer is no longer "Football", it is now Fußball.
- A Team is no longer a "Side", it is now a Mannschaft.
- A Game is no longer a "Match", it is now a Spiel.
- The Field is no longer the "Pitch", it is now the Feld.
- A Soccer Player is no longer a "Footballer", he/she is now der Kicker or Fußballspieler.
- A team's Uniform is no longer its "Kit", it is now its Sportzeug.
- A Soccer Shoe is no longer a "Boot", it is now a Fußballschuh.
- Speed/Quickness is no longer "Pace", it is now Geschwindigkeit.
- A PK is no longer a "Penalty", it is now a Strafstoß.
- A score of Zero is no longer "Nil", it is now Null.
- A Tie game is no longer a "Draw", it is now Unentschieden.
- The Team is . . . is no longer "the Team are" . . ., it is now the Team ist.
So, let's practice. You are at a bar watching the World Cup and a pretty young Fräulein saunters up to you. The old you would have tried to impress her with something English-sounding like "Brilliant! The American side are through to the Semi-finals on a nil-nil drawn match, decided on a missed penalty!" But the new you knows better. You hit her up with "Hurra! The American Mannschaft ist through to the Semi-finals on a null-null Unentschieden Spiel, decided on a missed Strafstoß!" She is smitten and spends the rest of the evening buying you rounds of Beck's.
Yes I know it can be an awkward transition, like Michael Bradley playing in an attacking mid role, but keep practicing and you will get used to it. Once you get the hang of it, it's easier than scoring on Brazil.
I know I won't see most of you for four more years, but that should give you plenty of time to practice for the next World Cup cycle. So I'll see you then, when hopefully we will all be able to say "America ist World Cup Champion!"