After five years in charge of the U.S. men’s national team, Jurgen Klinsmann has been fired as head coach and technical director.
U.S. Soccer’s announcement on Monday that they have parted ways with Klinsmann comes less than a week after a historically bad 4-0 loss in Costa Rica for World Cup qualifying. That loss contributed to the USMNT’s worst-ever start in the Hexagonal round of World Cup qualifying.
Klinsmann compiled a 55-27-16 record since he took the helm August 2011 and was praised for helping the USMNT get to the round of 16 in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. He also led the USMNT to their longest winning streak in the program’s history with 12 straight wins in 2013. But in addition to his recent struggles in the Hex, Klinsmann also led the USMNT to their worst Gold Cup finish in 15 years last summer and had a penchant for rubbing people the wrong way.
Sunil Gulati, the president of U.S. Soccer, issued a statement that did not disclose potential replacements for the job, but he said the focus was on qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, which will resume in March.
“Many are aware of the historic victories, including leading us out of the Group of Death to the Round of 16 in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but there were also lesser publicized efforts behind the scenes,” Gulati’s statement said. “He challenged everyone in the U.S. Soccer community to think about things in new ways, and thanks to his efforts we have grown as an organization and expect there will be benefits from his work for years to come.
“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. With the next qualifying match in late March, we have several months to refocus the group and determine the best way forward to ensure a successful journey to qualify for our eighth-consecutive World Cup.”
Bruce Arena, a former USMNT manager and the LA Galaxy’s current coach, has widely been rumored to be lined up as a replacement.