Jurgen Klinsmann sat on a podium and smiled after guiding the United States into its seventh straight World Cup.
Not to minimize the accomplishment, but the former German star player and coach will be judged not on reaching soccer's elite tournament, but on how well the United States performs in Brazil next year.
''The team's success, especially in official competitions and difficult games in Europe has been very good,'' U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati said Wednesday, ''but I think everyone understands that the World Cup is a different level.''
Beating Mexico by the now traditional ''dos a cero'' score at Columbus Crew Stadium on Tuesday night - the Americans have done it in four straight home qualifiers - clinched the World Cup berth with two games to spare.
Klinsmann helped Germany win the 1990 World Cup and the 1996 European Championship, then retired as a player two years later and moved to California with...