Jurgen Klinsmann Fired As U.S. Men's National Team Coach - uSports.org
  • Home  /
  • Features   /
  • Jurgen Klinsmann Fired As U.S. Men’s National Team Coach
Jurgen Klinsmann Fired As U.S. Men’s National Team Coach Jurgen Klinsmann Fired as USMNT Head Coach - SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 16: Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann of the United States gestures as he walks off the pitch after defeating Ecuador in the 2016 Quarterfinal - Copa America Centenario match at CenturyLink Field on June 16, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) Full view

SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 16: Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann of the United States gestures as he walks off the pitch after defeating Ecuador in the 2016 Quarterfinal - Copa America Centenario match at CenturyLink Field on June 16, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Jurgen Klinsmann Fired As U.S. Men’s National Team Coach

Jurgen Klinsmann has seen both highs and lows over his five years as head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team, but now his reign has reached its end.

Jurgen Klinsmann Fired As U.S. Men’s National Team Coach

The 52-year-old German was fired on Monday by U.S. Soccer.

The federation’s announcement came shortly after Sunil Gulati and Dan Flynn, two of U.S. Soccer’s top executives, met with Klinsmann at a hotel in the Los Angeles area. U.S. Soccer did not immediately name Klinsmann’s replacement, although it is expected that Bruce Arena  a Major League Soccer veteran who coached the national team from 1998 to 2006 — will take the post through the end of the current World Cup qualification cycle.

“While we remain confident that we have quality players to help us advance to Russia 2018, the form and growth of the team up to this point left us convinced that we need to go in a different direction,” Gulati, the U.S. Soccer president, said in a statement. He is expected to elaborate on the thinking behind Klinsmann’s dismissal during a conference call with the news media on Tuesday afternoon.

Klinsmann did not return The New York Times’ phone call seeking comment.

The coach had dined with President Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and several Nobel laureates and astronauts at a gala in Berlin on Thursday.

Klinsmann returned to his home in California over the weekend and was bemused by the criticism he was receiving in the media for the USMNT’s two recent losses — a 2-1 defeat to Mexico and a 4-0 thrashing by Costa Rica — that had damaged, but not completely erased, the U.S.’s chances of qualifying for the 2018 Russia World Cup. In an interview on Sunday, Klinsmann said he remained very confident that both his team would qualify for the World Cup and that he would keep his job.

The loss to Mexico marked the Americans’ first defeat in a home World Cup qualifier in 15 years. The USMNT also gave a terrible performance at the 2015 Gold Cup, where they fell behind both Jamaica and Panama. That was the first time the U.S. dropped its first two games of the final qualifying round. He led the U.S. to the semifinals of the Copa America Centenario this summer, however.

Klinsmann took over as head coach in 2011, finally agreeing to a contract after Gulati had pursued him on and off for years. He led the USMNT to the Round of 16 in the 2014 World Cup after facing a challenging group that also included Germany, Portugal and Ghana. However, Klinsmann was criticized for stating in an article published in The New York Times Magazine that he did not believe the Americans stood any chance of winning the tournament, as well as for his decision to leave popular veteran Landon Donovan off the final squad he took to Brazil.

Klinsmann stepped down as coach of the German national team after just two years despite leading his home country to a third-place finish in the 2006 World Cup.

“I’m not afraid,” Klinsmann said in an interview with The New York Times on Sunday night. “What you need to do is stick to the facts. Soccer is emotional, and a lot of people make conclusions without knowing anything about the inside of the team or the sport. I still believe we will get the points we need to qualify, and I am even confident we could win the group.”

He added: “The fact is, we lost two games. There is a lot of talk from people who don’t understand soccer or the team.”

These comments were perceived as arrogant and dismissive by many American soccer fans, players and coaches.

 The firing represents the first time since 1989 that U.S. Soccer has changed coaches in the middle of a World Cup qualifying cycle.

The U.S.’s next two qualifying games will be in March, against Honduras at home and Panama on the road.

SEATTLE, WA – JUNE 16: Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann of the United States gestures as he walks off the pitch after defeating Ecuador in the 2016 Quarterfinal – Copa America Centenario match at CenturyLink Field on June 16, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Written by Pablo Mena
Read more about: