Chicago, IL- It finally happened. Jurgen Klinsmann has been sacked as manager and technical director of the United States Men’s National Team. After losing to Mexico in Columbus, and then the horrid performance in Costa Rica, Gulati apparently has had enough. There is no word yet on who will replace Klinsmann.
US Soccer Fires Jurgen Klinsmann
— U.S. Soccer (@ussoccer) November 21, 2016
It’s hard to put a finger on what exactly was his final undoing. There were a whole lot of firsts for the USMNT under Klinsmann, just like he promised. Most of them were not good firsts, however. Pablo Maurer, a columnist and photographer covering Major League Soccer, has been updating and running a list of all the “worsts” that have happened under Klinsmann. After the Costa Rica match, the list proved to be quite telling.
— Pablo Maurer (@MLSist) November 16, 2016
If that wasn’t enough, maybe it was Klinsmann’s constant fickle with tactics. He started out with a 4-2-3-1. Then went back to a 4-4-2 after that failed. He switched to a diamond midfield for the 2014 World Cup, then back to a 4-2-3-1. Also throw in a failed attempt at a 3-5-2 multiple times. Another fun instance was when he finally went with some tactical continuity this summer between the Copa America and the final two World Cup Qualifiers before the Hex. Then he decided to throw everybody for a loop in the game against Mexico on November 11th, by going to a 3-4-1-2, specifically to put Christian Pulisic in a central role which Klinsmann said, “He plays all the time at Borussia Dortmund.” Any American soccer fan who has watched Dortmund the past six months knows that Pulisic has been played strictly as a winger.
Maybe it was Klinsmann’s constant attacks on the “knowledge” of the US Soccer supporters, media, and community. Klinsmann has proved one thing to us, the German National Team’s Success in 2006 (which many cited as a reason to hire him) was in spite of his leadership.
US National Team Going Forward
It’s clear that the technical director position, along with the manager position should probably be separate. There are very few who can do this, and frankly, none of them are available for hire. That being said, there are rumors that US Soccer has been contacting potential replacements for the last year, the biggest names being Peter Vermes and Bruce Arena. Per Grant Wahl, is likely that Bruce Arena will be appointed manager through the 2018 World Cup cycle. Based on the current turnover in Los Angeles, he might be keen to head on his way out.
Klinsmann fired. Source: Bruce Arena set to take over. Could be announced as soon as tomorrow.
— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) November 21, 2016
After that, they may chose to go a different direction. A popular choice definitely has to be Oscar Pareja. Time will tell. But for now, it seems Gulati finally grew a spine and made the best choice for the future of US soccer.