Copa America: Klinsmann aiming for hat-trick vs Messi's Argentina

When the USA take to the field against Argentina in their Copa America Centenario semi-final on Tuesday wondering how they might get the better of the Albiceleste, they need only look over to the touchline for some inspiration.

Head coach Jürgen Klinsmann, in charge of the USMNT since 2011 but a product of German football, has famously beaten Argentina twice on the biggest stage and will be bidding to make it three out of three in Houston.

World Cup 1990: Germany 1-0 Argentina

The Göppingen native scored three times in the run-up to the final of the FIFA World Cup against defending champions Argentina. Unscarred by Germany’s defeat to the same opposition in the final four years earlier, Klinsmann played the entire 90 minutes, helping West Germany to a 1-0 success and their third World Cup triumph.

- © imago

Fabian Johnson

Born: Munich

Bundesliga link: VfL Wolfsburg, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, Borussia Mönchengladbach (current club)

The versatile Johnson started his career in his home town, though TSV 1860 Munich - not FC Bayern München - were his first club. He even played alongside the likes of Mesut Özil, Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels, Manuel Neuer and Sami Khedira - all in Germany's UEFA EURO 2016 squad - in winning the 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Championship. Yet, that moment and the subsequent 'big' move to VfL Wolfsburg helped shape his international future on the opposite shore of the Atlantic. As he struggled to establish himself at the Volkswagen Arena before Klinsmann came calling in 2011. "I told them that Jurgen wants to invite me in and they said congrats," said Johnson of the moment he told his parents - Charles, a former US soldier, and Sylvia - he could play for the US.

Did you know? Johnson's father played basketball for Bayern München while his maternal grandfather was also American.

Jermaine Jones

Born: Frankfurt

Bundesliga link: Eintracht Frankfurt, Bayer 04 Leverkusen, FC Schalke 04

Current club: Colorado Rapids

Born in Germany, Jones spent part of his childhood in Chicago and Mississippi before returning to the country of his birth. After making his name in the Bundesliga with Schalke in particular in 165 top-flight games, the tough-tackling, straight-talking midfielder has gone full circle, re-crossing the Atlantic in August 2014 to join New England Revolution before heading to Colorado last March. Jones made three appearances for Germany in 2008 before pledging allegiance to the Stars and Stripes.

Did you know? Former Germany women's team star Steffi Jones is no relation, but her mother was Jermaine's nanny in Frankfurt.

- © imago

Jürgen Klinsmann

Born: Göppingen

Bundesliga link: VfB Stuttgart, FC Bayern München (player & coach)

With 110 goals in 221 Bundesliga appearances, Klinsmann can justifiably lay claim to being one of the most potent strikers to grace Germany's top flight. After his playing career ended, he guided his home nation to third place at the 2006 FIFA World Cup before a short-lived stint in the Bayern dug-out. Appointed US boss in July 2011, 'Klinsi' - as he is known in Germany - revolutionised the squad by calling on German-born players. "It's great that we've managed to convince them to represent us, and also we benefit from them being products of the elite Bundesliga youth system," he told bundesliga.com in an interview. "Our dream is to have European-based players with Champions League experience. That's what we really want."

Did you know? The son of a baker, Klinsmann qualified as a baker himself in 1982.