Jurgen Klinsmann has got to go. It’s not that we lost 4-0 to one of the best teams in the world featuring one of the greatest footballers of all time. It’s not that we came out showing the deference of a whipped puppy. It’s not that the United States now mostly seems to perform only with “backs against the wall.”
It’s that five years and some $12.5 million later, the results haven’t changed. Klinsmann hasn’t used his “knowledge and experience” to “advance the program.”
The 2014 World Cup was Klinsmann’s first “real test” as a manager. Fair play to him, the United States emerged out of a tough group. Then it lost in the first round of the knockout stages. Bob Bradley, the previous manager, made it just as far in the 2010 World Cup (and on about a fifth of the salary). Bruce Arena made it to the quarterfinals in the 2002 World Cup. Would you call that progress?
Or look at the Gold Cup. The United States won the 2013 Gold Cup with Klinsmann at the helm. But the United States had been at least finalists in the previous four Gold Cups. A Gold Cup win is expected. Fast-forward to the 2015 version, four years into Klinsmann’s reign. One-goal victories over Honduras and Haiti. A draw with Panama. A six-goal win over Cuba followed by a loss to Jamaica and a loss in the third place match to Panama. Add in a missed opportunity to go to the Confederations Cup. Would you call that progress?
The youth sides don’t seem to offer any more proof of advancement. The Under-23s failed (yet again) to qualify for the Olympics. The Under-20s and Under-17s have shown little to no improvement in their World Cup performances. While the youth teams aren’t directly Klinsmann’s responsibility, their performances should reflect on him, considering his roles at U.S. soccer.
Finally, look at the Copa America. The Yanks beat Paraguay, Costa Rica, and Ecuador in an off-year tournament we hosted. We lost to Colombia and Argentina (rarely looking a threat in either match). Would you call that progress? How are those results anything but the minimum standards we hold Klinsmann to by this point?
Yes, the United States has played a much more technically sound game this tournament, which has been refreshing. They still have a chance to finish third. But, five years into Klinsmann’s very expensive tenure, the United States seems no more of a threat than it was before. He’s done little to advance U.S. soccer and even less to justify his salary. It’s time to move on.