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Jurgen Klinsmann: Ex-U.S. men's soccer coach named interim boss at Hertha Berlin

By
Alex Butler
Former United States Men's National Team soccer coach Jurgen Klinsmann will coach his first game for Hertha Berlin against Borussia Dortmund at 9:30 a.m. EST Saturday in Berlin. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
Former United States Men's National Team soccer coach Jurgen Klinsmann will coach his first game for Hertha Berlin against Borussia Dortmund at 9:30 a.m. EST Saturday in Berlin. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 27 (UPI) -- Former United States Men's National Team soccer coach Jurgen Klinsmann has been named the interim manager of German Bundesliga club Hertha Berlin.

The club announced the move Wednesday. Hertha Berlin also fired manager Ante Covic. Klinsmann will coach the team until the end of the season. The club said sporting director Michale Preetz and Covic agreed to a "mutual termination."

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"It was an extremely difficult decision for us, because Ante has been part of Hertha BSC for more than 20 years," Preetz said in a news release. "He has conducted himself with a lot of passion, expertise and meticulousness ever since he took over as head coach of the first team in the summer.

"We regret that it has come to this, but ultimately, in terms of development and recent results, we felt there was a need for action. I would like to thank Ante for his commitment and in time we will talk to him about alternative ways for him to be involved with Hertha BSC."

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Hertha Berlin has lost three consecutive games and sits at No. 15 in the Bundesliga standings. The club finished No. 11 in 2018-2019 and No. 10 in 2017-2018. Hertha Berlin finished No. 6 in 2016-2017.

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The Bundesliga squad hired Covic in May to replace Pal Dardai.

"The way we've been playing recently and the results have led to this decision," Covic said. "Since Hertha BSC is not just an employer to me, such a decision hurts, of course. But I have always said that this club is more important than individuals. I love not only this profession, but I love this club with all my heart."

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Hertha Berlin joined the Bundesliga for its inaugural season in 1963. Hertha Berlin was demoted out of Germany's top division after the 1964-1965 season. They returned to the top division in 1968 before being relegated once again in 1979-1980. The squad moved back and forth between divisions before most recently returning to the Bundesliga's top field after the 2012-2013 season.

Klinsmann, 55, coached the U.S. men's team from 2011 through 2016, before being replaced by Bruce Arena. Arena resigned in 2017 and was replaced by interim manager Dave Sarachan. Gregg Berhalter was named the team's coach in 2018.

Klinsmann also coached Germany and Bayern Munich before assuming his role with the U.S. men's team.

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