Jonathan Klinsmann could have signed for any MLS side - Jurgen Klinsmann
Jurgen Klinsmann has said his son Jonathan could have signed for every Major League Soccer team but his move to Hertha Berlin is a "great story for the family" as the goalkeeper has joined his grandfather's favourite side.
Jonathan, 20, a goalkeeper with United States' under-20s team and the University of California, signed for the Bundesliga club earlier this month after a successful trial period in the German capital.
Former Germany and United States coach Jurgen, a Hertha member since 2004, told kicker: "My father [Siegfried] was a fanatical Hertha supporter; he took me to my first game as a kid between Stuttgart and Hertha.
"For us as a family too it's a great story that Jonathan has secured a contract with Hertha. It's the start of a hopefully long career for him."
Klinsmann Jr. was honoured as the tournament's best goalkeeper at this year's CONCACAF Under-20 Championship in Costa Rica, playing in five of six games to help United States claim their first ever U20 regional title.
Klinsmann Sr. revealed his own pivotal role in his son's move to Hertha, who are currently celebrating their 125th anniversary.
"I alerted Michael Preetz [Hertha's sporting director], then they watched Jonathan at the U20 World Cup. I told my son: 'If you make it at Hertha then you are really close to the first division. And you have to leave now if you want to make it in Europe, otherwise the gap will be too big.'"
Despite being a goalkeeper, Klinsmann Jr. impressed with a volleyed goal in his debut training session with Hertha.
Klinsmann Sr., a World Cup-winning striker in 1990 with West Germany, says his son's goalkeeping role could dampen some of the lofty expectations heaped on him.
"I think he's made a good decision playing in goal, where he enjoys it the most," he said. "Of course, he knows that way he will not be compared with me so much. He realises that it is not always easy with the Klinsmann name, but he's learned to cope with that."
Klinsmann Jr. will initially be Hertha's third-choice keeper behind Norwegian Rune Jarstein and ex-Bayern player Thomas Kraft.
Revealing that the young goalkeeper could have stayed in the United States, Klinsmann Sr. said the transition from U.S. college sport to the Bundesliga would be daunting.
"It's a massive change for him from college to the professional game," he said. "But he shouldn't get flustered when he endures a bad spell. Everything will take time. He is talented and possesses a healthy self-confidence.
"Fundamentally, he's an optimistic person not scared to take a risk. What he has already achieved in America has not happened by chance. He could have signed for every MLS team, they all approached him."
Commenting on his own situation after being sacked by United States, he said: "It's a very welcome break for me. Everything happened at a very good time because in the past six months I have again had time for other things. I'll see if something new transpires next year but I'm not chomping at the bit to tackle a new adventure."
Due to family commitments, Klinsmann Sr. was not ready to commit either on whether his next role would be as a club or national team coach.
"Both appeal to me, but my daughter is 15 years old and is in 10th grade," he said. "You cannot say then I am going to Europe to take over a club as the family has to accompany me. But a national team would definitely be easier because of my family situation."
Mark Lovell covers Bayern Munich for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @LovellLowdown.