On Monday, U.S. Soccer fired Jurgen Klinsmann as coach of the men’s national soccer team. Klinsmann was not able to realize his ambition of introducing his attacking mentality to the national team and ultimately paid the price by being fired.
The U.S. soccer federation was not convinced that Klinsmann could get the team in the 2018 World Cup and cut ties with the German so they could hire another coach they feel can get them there.
The most recent losses to both Mexico and Costa Rica are what ultimately cost him his job, but many have not been pleased with the national team’s play the past few years.
Erratic performances of late raised many questions about whether the team could defeat CONCACAF opponents such as Honduras, Trinidad and Tobago and Panama.
The U.S. team has become a dominant player in CONCACAF the past 20 years along with Mexico. That was in jeopardy of being lost if Klinsmann remained, in the minds of the U.S. federation and a change was needed.
Last March the U.S. lost to Guatemala and that nearly cost them a place in the final round of qualifying for the World Cup.
The U.S. used to crush teams like Guatemala and Jamaica, but not anymore. It should not be hard to beat the lightweights in the region, but the U.S. team over the past few seasons was going through that.
The federation has not made an announcement about who will take the place of Klinsmann, but most in the know are of the opinion it will be former U.S. national coach Bruce Arena, the current coach of the MLS Los Angeles Galaxy.
In his prior stint as the national coach, Arena led the U.S. team to two World Cups and with his experience at that level, most are confident he get turn the team around so they qualify for the World Cup.
Klinsmann’s attacking style did not work the way he had hoped as the U.S. did not have and still does not have players who are capable of holding onto the ball and taking on top defenders.
Players under Klinsmann were often used in roles that they were not accustomed to as he tried to get more offense out of different positions on the pitch.
Now the team must quickly regroup under its new coach with little time for preparation.