On November 21st
, Jurgen Klinsmann was officially fired as the head coach of the United States Men’s National Team. It followed a historic two-game losing streak in the 2018 Russia World Cup Regional Qualifiers, which severely decreased the team’s chances of being able to attend the World Cup.
The USMNT’s first loss was at home against Mexico in a widely publicized match that resulted in the USA’s first World Cup qualifying loss at home in 15 years. The second was a landslide loss with a 4-0 score line against Costa Rica.
Neither Klinsmann nor captain Michael Bradley had anything positive to say about the performance of the team: “On a night like this, there’s no point in trying to look at it any other way. You have to be big enough and strong enough to just be able to say we weren’t good enough,” explained Bradley.
Despite the recent setbacks, Jurgen Klinsmann and the United States Men’s National Team surprised many critics with their success at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. They advanced through a very tough group by beating Ghana 2-1, tying with Portugal 2-2, and losing only to the eventual champions, Germany, by one goal. However, they lost to Belgium in the round of 16.
The team continued to have a successful campaign in the Copa America tournament by finishing fourth and only losing three games against tough opponents, Argentina and Colombia, whom they played twice.
Klinsmann, however, still received criticism from fans and the media, about the 2014 World Cup, after The New York Times Magazine published an article that included a statement saying that he believed the United States had no chance of winning the tournament.
He also received backlash for unfairly criticizing Major League Soccer and leaving longtime international star, Landon Donovan, off the roster. His choice of players, his choices to move successful veterans out of their usual position, and his choices of formation were under attack as well.
Klinsmann has since been replaced by Los Angeles Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena who also coached the Men’s National Team from 1998-2006. He is a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame and coached MLS teams D.C. United to two titles and Los Angeles Galaxy to three titles. With his success in mind, there is no better time for Bruce Arena to reclaim his position and redirect this struggling team.