Not that this will come as any surprise but it appears to be official: the Jürgen Klinsmann era is over.
The New York Times is reporting that Klinsmann has been let go from both his jobs as USMNT head coach position and as technical director for US Soccer.
Minutes after the NYT story broke, US Soccer made it official.
The move comes after losses to Mexico and Costa Rica in World Cup qualifying during the recent international break which have jeopardized the USA’s hopes for a place in the 2018 World Cup. In interviews over the weekend, Klinsmann struck a defiant pose, expressing confidence that he would remain in the job and blaming the broad outcry against his performance as ignorance on the part of American soccer fans.
There’s no word yet on replacements, although the NYT is reporting that Los Angeles Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena is the clear early favorite.
More on this story as it develops.
UPDATE: Apparently Klinsmann sold his home in Orange County, California, less than two weeks ago for about $2 million. It’s unclear whether this had anything to do with his standing at US Soccer, but regardless, the timing is very interesting.
UPDATE 2: Here’s the official statement from US Soccer president Sunil Gulati:
“Today we made the difficult decision of parting ways with Jurgen Klinsmann, our head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team and Technical Director. 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.”