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Klinsmann relieved of duties with U.S.

Fan unrest pushed Gulati to act

Soccer: 2016 Copa America Centenario-Colombia at USA Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Under mounting pressure from fans, U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati announced today that Jurgen Klinsmann has been relieved of his duties. Klinsmann was both head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team and Technical Director for U.S. Soccer.

Statement from Gulati:

“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.”

A replacement for Klinsmann has not been announced but ESPN’s Doug McIntyre is reporting that LA Galaxy’s Bruce Arena will be the new head coach.

Arena was one of the top three candidates for the job and took the U.S. Men’s National Team to the 2002 and 2006 World Cups. In 2002 the U.S. finished second in their group and beat Mexico in the round of 16. The U.S. lost to Germany with a little bit of controversy (missed hand ball in the box) in what was one of their best matches. The 2006 campaign was much more forgettable as Arena could not get his squad out of the group with one draw and two losses.