Galaxy’s Jonathan Klinsmann Gets His Chance Starting In Goal


Jonathan Klinsmann is always the first Galaxy player out on the field for warmups.

As the backup goalkeeper, that’s usually all of the work he gets on game day. However, last Saturday, Klinsmann, 25, was pressed into action in the 24th minute after starter Jonathan Bond was taken off after suffering a shoulder injury.

“You always have to be ready and even in the warmup, you have to do it like you are going to play,” Klinsmann said following Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Vancouver. “I think I was very happy with my warmup today and I think me and (goalkeeper coach) Kevin (Harman) touched on that a little bit before the game too, so I was ready to go.”

Klinsmann had a couple of big moments in relief of Bond and will now move into the starting lineup as Bond recovers. Galaxy coach Greg Vanney said Bond could be sidelined for “2-4 weeks.”

Klinsmann and the Galaxy (0-1-2, two points) travel to face the Portland Timbers on Saturday (1:30 p.m., Apple TV, Fox/11).

“We have trained our system over a couple of years now and I have been lucky to have been part of the team for those couple of years, so I think jumping in for me as far as the system goes, I think it was seamless and it was easy,”  the son of U.S. national team coach Jürgen Klinsmann said. “The guys that are in front of me, I have full confidence in.”

Klinsmann joined the Galaxy ahead of the 2020 season. The 6-foot-4 Munich native made seven appearances in his first two seasons. Last season, he appeared in four U.S. Open Cup games. He re-signed in the offseason on a one-year contract with an option for 2024.

“I love his profile,” Vanney said. “Visually, his size and his presence and his athleticism, he can be a phenomenal shot stopper. For him, a lot of this is about experience and repetition and continuing to grow, not just in his physical presence, but in his communication and his leadership behind the backline.

“He’s been champing at the bit for an opportunity to get a little run of games here to see how that looks … It’s unfortunate, you never want (Jonathan) Bondy to get hurt, but this is how the game is and now it’s time for JK to get some reps and see how he does.”

In 2021, Klinsmann had a seven-save performance in a 1-0 win at Minnesota United. That was his last start in an MLS game.

“That is definitely the tough part about being a goalkeeper,” he said. “Your time may come now, it may come in a year or a couple of years from now, but you have to be ready.

“I think the one thing that helps me through all of that is believing in myself and being angry every time I drive to the stadium that I am not playing. I want to play so bad and then obviously 20 minutes in you get the chance and you are like ‘OK, you have to go now’ … that is the attitude, that is how you stay ready. And that’s how I will do it in the future.”

Chicharito, Costa updates Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez and Douglas Costa have yet to play in a game this season due to injuries.

“Javy is starting to transition out onto the field, so now he’s starting to work into the return to play, get his fitness level back, sharpness and all that kind of stuff. He has a week and change to get through all of that stuff, since he missed a good chunk of time,” Vanney said.

“Douglas has been on the field, he’s starting to do all of his fitness work, running, and hopefully he’ll be into training next week.”

International call-ups The Galaxy will also be without forward Dejan Joveljic (Serbia), Eriq Zavaleta (El Salvador) and Kelvin Leerdam (Suriname) due to international duty.

Galaxy at Portland When: 1:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Providence Park, Portland, Oregon

How to watch: Fox 11, Apple TV

Vito Califano

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