(Reuters) - Former U.S. and Germany coach Juergen Klinsmann’s son Jonathan will be the first-choice goalkeeper for the United States when qualifying for the 2017 Under-20 World Cup begins, head coach Tab Ramos said on Thursday.
Ramos, speaking on a conference call, said Klinsmann would start for the United States when they open in Group B against Panama on Saturday at the CONCACAF qualifying tournament in Costa Rica.
“We’ve had very good goalkeeper competition in this cycle,” said Ramos. “At this point, Jonathan Klinsmann looks to be the one who is ahead and the starter for the tournament.”
Klinsmann, 19, made 14 appearances for the University of California last season.
The United States also play Haiti and St. Kitts and Nevis next week with the top two teams advancing to the second round, which features two groups of three teams. The top two teams in those groups advance to the May 20-June 11 U-20 World Cup in South Korea.
Juergen Klinsmann won the World Cup as a player in 1990 and led them to the semi-finals as coach in 2006.
He was sacked as head coach of the U.S. men’s national team last November following consecutive losses during the qualifying campaign for the 2018 World Cup.
Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Toby Davis