Is it time for former German international Jurgen Klinsmann to be sacked as Head Coach of US Soccer? Klinsmann is not only the head coach of US Soccer, but also the head of the development that oversees the growth of the game in the younger ranks. It’s no surprise that with the last few months of results, US fans are not happy campers.
— Jürgen Klinsmann (@J_Klinsmann) March 30, 2016
Despite winning 4-0 against Guatemala in a must win game, the team had just been beaten in a shocking 2-0 loss to Guatemala. On the same day, the U-23 side played in a massive Olympic Qualifier against Colombia and lost 2-1, which means the United States lost 3-2 on aggregate.
Klinsmann has been one of the best managers that the United States has ever had. Jurgen has managed the USMNT a total of 81 times, 46 wins, 14 draws, and 21 losses. Not a bad record right? Well, if we take a look at the last two managers, current LA Galaxy manager Bruce Arena, and Bob Bradley, the number might not seem so impressive. Bruce Arena has a record of 130 games, 71 wins, 29 draws, and 30 losses. Bradley managed the US for 80 games, won 43, drew 12, and lost 25. History doesn’t lie, Klinsmann’s results have not been as impressive as his supporters believe. So the record for Klinsmann alone could not save him his job. What could possibly help him out then?
The one saving grace for Klinsmann may be the young talent that he has been able to attract and pry away from other countries looking to take advantage of their dual citizenship. Players like Julian Green, Gedion Zelalam, Darlington Nagbe, and Aron Johannsson are among the dual nationality players that chose to play for the US during Klinsmann’s reign.
Truly blessed to make my #USMNT debut! Great win for the team! Let’s go U23’s!!🇺🇸
— Christian Pulisic (@cpulisic_10) March 30, 2016
John Brooks is arguably the biggest grab for the US as the young center-back looks destined to captain the US side one day. The core of the future USMNT sides could include Green, Zelalam, Brooks, Christian Pulisic, Matt Miazga, and DeAndre Yedlin.
If those players develop as well as they should, we could be in for some bright days for US Soccer. With both his record and future talent, I don’t think it is time to fire Klinsmann. It is far too close to a major tournament with the Copa America Centenario this summer and the 2018 World Cup in Russia only 2 years away now.
A coaching change now could be devastating to the plans already in place for both of those competitions. However, I do have another thought that could end up being a perfect scenario for the future of US Soccer.
Let’s play out a scenario shall we? Let’s say that the US some how do not make the cut for the World Cup or are knocked out in their group for 2018. If either of those things were to happen, Klinsmann would be fired. Then comes the grueling task of hiring his replacement. Who would you want to come in and replace him?
My choice would be Portland Timbers coach Caleb Porter. Porter is young, American, and not to mention a great coach at every level he has been at. He even had a brief stint as manager for the U-23 side for the USMNT, meaning he knows what it would take to deal with the pressure of putting out quality performances for his country.
Having a young coach like Porter in charge of the USMNT team could not only boost the country’s thoughts on the program, but the player’s thoughts as well. A new coach after 2018 could give the USMNT a new chance to finally give the youth a full chance to play as the starters for the first team – 2018 will be the time we see a huge chapter come to a close with several high profile players retiring or moving on including Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard, and Brad Guzan. Moreover 2018 will be a huge turning point for US Soccer and I believe Caleb Porter is the man to lead the next generation of stars to heights we’ve only dreamed of.
Of course we all want to see the USMNT compete for a World Cup title and make it as far as possible in Russia, and if the US somehow makes it far in the World Cup, Klinsmann could save his job. The US could also make it into a scenario where Porter could take over in a Manchester City, Manuel Pellegrini/ Pep Guardiola situation. No matter what happens, Porter is the obvious next choice to manage the US in my opinion.