U.S. U20 keeper Jonathan Klinsmann signs contract at Hertha Berlin
U.S. under-20 goalkeeper Jonathan Klinsmann has joined Hertha Berlin following a successful trial, the Bundesliga club have confirmed.
Klinsmann, the son of former U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, began the trial on July 3 and sporting director Michael Preetz said on Tuesday: "Jonathan has convinced us with his talent, his charisma and his ambition."
Goalkeeper coach Zsolt Petry, meanwhile, praised "Klinsmann's calmness and confidence," adding: "He's got a very good right foot and is on a good technical and athletic level."
It has been reported that Klinsmann, who will serve as third-choice for the German side, will play for the club's under-23 team in the regional fourth division to gain experience, and Preetz said he will "gain a foothold and continue to make progress step by step."
The 6-foot-4 Klinsmann, who was last playing for the University of California, was honored as the tournament's best goalkeeper at the 2017 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship in Costa Rica last March, playing in five of six games to help the U.S. claim its first U20 regional title.
He then started all five games at the Under-20 World Cup, conceding six goals in total, as the U.S. reached the quarterfinals.
Klinsmann said he was delighted to receive the contract offer for a club his late grandfather, Siegfried, had supported and where his dad, Jurgen, is a member.
"This morning after breakfast, Michael Preetz told me about the club's contract decision," he told the club's official website. "This was a very emotional moment for me, because this club has a history within our family. I am looking forward to getting to know everyone at the club, the city of Berlin and the challenge in Germany."
Despite receiving offers from other clubs including second-tier side Eintracht Braunschweig, Klinsmann had opted to fight for a deal in the German capital.
"I could have signed a contract at Braunschweig, but it's important in life to take risks," he said prior to signing the deal. "This club gives me a good feeling."
He added: "The club contacted my father following the Under-20 World Cup and asked whether I wanted to test myself. It's a big club, a Europa League participant, basically a club you want to play for and reach its level.
"To learn from [senior keepers] Rune [Jarstein] and Thomas [Kraft] and to get accustomed to the level of play through games for the second team is a great opportunity. It's a chance you just need to grab."
Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.