Jonathan Klinsmann produced penalty heroics on his first-team debut in the Europa League against Östersunds. - © © gettyimages
Jonathan Klinsmann produced penalty heroics on his first-team debut in the Europa League against Östersunds. - © © gettyimages

Meet Jürgen Klinsmann's son, Jonathan Klinsmann, the new USA goalkeeper at Hertha Berlin


Jonathan Klinsmann is well-used to questions about his famous father, but the son of former Germany, Bayern Munich and USMNT coach Jürgen is set to make a name for himself after being called up to the US national team for the first time.

The 20 year old, who is a student at Berkeley in California, has been at Hertha Berlin since signing a professional contract in the summer of 2017. Hertha contacted his dad at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup where Klinsmann played every minute of the Stars and Stripes' run to the quarter-finals.

"It’s a big club, a Europa League participant, essentially a club that you’d like to play for and whose level you’d like to reach. To learn from Rune [Jarstein] and Thomas [Kraft] and to play in the second team to get used to the level of play in the Bundesliga is a fantastic opportunity. It was a chance I had to take with both hands," said Klinsmann, who has previously had trials with West Ham United, Everton and one of his father's former clubs, Stuttgart.

"It’s a completely different level to in the USA. I arrived in Berlin a couple of days early to acclimatise. I trained with Ilja [Hofstädt, Hertha youth goalkeeping coach]. He helped me a lot and gave me a lot of tips for training with the senior team. The tempo with the seniors is noticeably higher than what I’m used to, but I think it has been going very well for me."

Klinsmann might not have been at the opposite end of the pitch to where his father starred, notably winning the 1990 FIFA World Cup and EURO '96 with Germany, but for a radical change of position during the fledgling stages of his career.

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"I used to play as a striker, but one day I ended up in goal. One of my friends at school said I should go in goal. I loved it straightaway. Then I started playing at home in the garden with my Dad. He was always firing shots in. I never liked it when he scored past me. It just went from there," said Klinsmann, whose world-famous father endorsed the switch.

"I think he was happy with my decision because it took the pressure off me a little. If I’d been a striker like my Dad, scorer of all those important goals, it would probably have been more difficult and there would have been more pressure on me."

His surname makes comparisons inevitable, however. At 1.92m, he has the rangy build of his dad, holds Jens Lehmann — whom his father made Germany number one ahead of Oliver Kahn for the 2006 FIFA World Cup — in high esteem, and admits a hatred of being late as his one stereotypical German trait.

- © imago / Sven Simon

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