The American soccer blogosphere blew up Monday afternoon over a rumor concerning United States national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann. Granted, it was a shocking rumor that, if true, would produce significant upheaval in the United States national team. But for now, it's only a rumor—and a longshot at that.
And for now, fans of the U.S. national team really shouldn't sweat it.
It all began with a tweet.
Irish bookmaker Paddy Power tweeted a late-breaking development in Everton's search to replace departing manager David Moyes, who is set to replace Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, according to BBC Sport. Klinsmann, it seems, had quickly become a trendy pick among bettors.
Then, the freak-out.
NBC's Pro Soccer Talk picked up the story, pointing out that Klinsmann's odds for the job had shrunk quickly and reporting that Klinsmann recently followed Everton on Twitter.
MLS blog The Sideline reeled off what-if scenarios like an auctioneer on Red Bull:
Would we be better off without Klinsmann now? Could we recover from such upheavel (sic) a year out from a World Cup? Would Donovan's dream of ever moving to Everton permanently be dead in the water? Was Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard one of the players speaking out against Klinsmann before the qualifiers in March, thus his time at Everton comes to an end?
Wait a second, everyone. Breathe in. Breathe out. Visualize your happy place. Now, let's think about this.
As of Tuesday, Klinsmann's odds had fallen to as short as 4-to-1, according to the Daily Star. But a more significant number is $2.5 million. That is Klinsmann's annual base salary with the U.S. national team (per Washington Post).
That might not be a large salary for a manager in elite European club football (for a comparison, see the Daily Mail's speculation over what Jose Mourinho might earn if he returns to Chelsea). But it represents a significant investment for U.S. Soccer, which paid Klinsmann's predecessor Bob Bradley less than a quarter of that, according to the Post.
As far back as 2006, Klinsmann was described as U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati's "dream candidate" (ESPN FC). After paying a premium to hire his dream coach, it seems almost unthinkable that Gulati would let Klinsmann go 13 months before a World Cup.
Besides, it was only a tweet, and it only meant one bookmaker was taking increased action on Klinsmann from bettors. Remember, a bookmaker's goal is not necessarily to predict what will happen; its goal is to make money.
The British media seem to have settled on Wigan's Roberto Martinez as the favorite to succeed Moyes at Everton, and unless something suddenly changes, U.S. soccer fans shouldn't worry about—or maybe daydream over—Klinsmann's departure.
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