Jurgen Klinsmann has been fired as head coach of the USMNT.
US Soccer released the following statement about Klinsmann’s departure on its website.
We want to thank Jurgen for his hard work and commitment during these last five years. He took pride in having the responsibility of steering the program, and there were considerable achievements along the way.
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. 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.
There has never been a greater time for soccer in this country, and with the support and efforts of the millions of fans, sponsors, media and friends, we look forward to continued progress in the game we all love.
Neither the timing nor the decision should surprise anyone. Klinsmann ended the Copa America with perhaps the worst U.S. tournament loss in the modern era (4-0 to Argentina). He followed that up in competitive matches with a loss to Mexico at home and perhaps the worst U.S. qualifying loss in the modern era (4-0 to Costa Rica). Many were calling for Klinsmann to be fired. He received more patience than many countries would have offered.
Klinsmann expanded the U.S. player pool, pursuing mostly German-based players with U.S. eligibility. But, he failed at the broader challenges of advancing the team’s style, establishing an American soccer identity, or producing consistent, competent results on the field. Klinsmann was on the sideline for some of the biggest USMNT wins and some of the team’s most inexplicable defeats.
His persistent meddling and lineup changes affected the team’s general cohesion and testified to a lack of vision for how to move the team forward. It was time for a change.