Soccer-U.S. hire former Germany coach Vogts as special adviser


* Former Germany coach hired to prepare for group opponents

* Vogts coached Germany to their last title in 1996 (Updates with Vogts comments)

BERLIN, March 31 (Reuters) - The United States have hired former Germany coach and World Cup winner Berti Vogts as a special adviser until the World Cup in Brazil as they look to boost their chances of getting through the group stage, the team said on Monday.

The United States have been drawn with Germany, Ghana and Portugal for the preliminaries at the June 12-July 13 finals.

Vogts, who won the trophy as a player in 1974 and coached Germany and current U.S. coach Juergen Klinsmann to their last international title at Euro 1996, has also coached African team Nigeria as well as Scotland.

He is currently the Azerbaijan national team coach, a position he will retain.

"We are absolutely thrilled to have Berti join us as an adviser," Klinsmann said in a statement. "He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, both as a player and a coach, and he knows what it takes to succeed at the highest level."

Vogts will help development of training plans, prepare scouting reports and will travel to watch opponents in the run-up to the tournament.

"Juergen asked me if I can help and I obviously agreed," Vogts told Sport Bild magazine. "We have a very good relationship for years.

"I will monitor everything and say my opinion when Juergen needs it. Among the things I have to do is watch our group opponents and pass on all my information."

Nicknamed 'the terrier' for his tough defending, Vogts was a stalwart at Borussia Moenchengladbach for 15 years and earned 96 caps for Germany before going into coaching.

He coached Germany from 1990-1998 before taking on other national teams with mixed success. Klinsmann played for eight years under his guidance and was Germany captain at the Euro 1996. Vogts had also coached his fellow German at the U-21 side in 1984-85. (Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Ian Ransom and Justin Palmer)

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