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Klinsmann canned as USMT skipper

Jurgen Klinsmann has the second-most wins and second-highest winning percentage among USMT coaches, but he also was on the losing end of too many crucial games that finally cost him his job.

Jurgen Klinsmann has the second-most wins and second-highest winning percentage among USMT coaches, but he also was on the losing end of too many crucial games that finally cost him his job.

The Jurgen Klinsmann era has ended for the US men’s national soccer team. On Monday, the US Soccer Federation announced his firing as the national club manager. As the skipper, Klinsmann went 55-15-28 with the United State. His 98 matches, 55 wins and 63.78 winning-percentage both rank second among US managers only two Bruce Arena, and he did lead the squad into the knockout stage of the 2014 World Cup, but even despite the success you could point to US Soccer hasn’t improved enough and lost too many big matches to continue on.

Since the 2014 World Cup, which was much tougher for USA to qualify for than it should have been, USA has had many disappointing results. The team was expected to blow through the Gold Cup but were beaten by Jamaica in the semifinals and then lost the third-place game.

After suffering a disappointing end in the Gold Cup, the US lost to Mexico for the right to participate in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, a great tournament to prepare a team for the World Cup against other federation champions. Then, draws to Trinidad and Tobago and Guatemala put the team’s ability to advance out of the fourth round of World Cup qualifications in doubt. USA won the due-to-die rematch against Guatemala four days later, but in the fifth and final round of qualifying USA dropped two games in November to sink them into last place. On Nov. 11 the Red, White and Blue lost 2-1 to Mexico and then four days later they were blown out 4-0 by Costa Rica.

Those two losses were just too much to forgive.

While the USMT still has time to clinch one of the top three spots that would guarantee them a spot in the playoffs, the team just doesn’t have any room for error.

And on top of failing to win big games, Klinsmann’s director for the entire US program hasn’t worked. The U-23 team has continued to fail to qualify for the Olympics. The average FIFA world standing hasn’t gone up much at all and his questionable roster decisions have continually hurt the team. Klinsmann butted heads with top American stars and regularly disregarded the MLS as a viable training ground for American players.

An immediate successor has not been named, but ESPN FC reported that there are ongoing negotiations with Arena for a second stint as manager. His contract with the LA Galaxy is set to expire next month. Arena did sign a two-year extension with the Galaxy, but another ESPN FC report says the new deal allows him to opt out should he be offered the national team job. Arena would be far from a long-term solution for the USMT but he does seem like the best fit right now.

The USMT is last in the six-team regional CONCACAF group with eight games to play. The top three teams will qualify for the World Cup while the fourth-placed team will play against a country to the Asian confederation in a two-legged playoff for a final qualifying spot. The 65-year-old Arena would likely just sign a two-year contract through the 2018 World Cup when the federation would then likely look for a new leader to take the program into the future. With no room for error now, the USMT couldn’t afford to take a gamble on an unknown coach. A second-stint for Arena is the safest move.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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