U.S. Soccer fires Jurgen Klinsmann, Bruce Arena likely to be interim manager

Jurgen Klinsmann has been relieved of his duties as coach and technical director of the U.S. men's national team, U.S. Soccer announced on Monday.

According to Sam Borden of the New York Times, current Los Angeles Galaxy coach Bruce Arena is likely to replace Klinsmann on an interim basis. However, Borden notes that details have not been finalized. According to Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated, Arena could be announced as soon as Tuesday.

In a statement, U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati explained the move, which comes after the team's horrible start to the hexagonal round of World Cup qualifying. The U.S. lost to Mexico at home and then 4-0 at Costa Rica in a 4-day span earlier this month:

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.

Klinsmann joined in July of 2011 and had a record of 55-27-16. He guided the team to Gold Cup glory in 2013 and a 12-game winning streak in 2013, a team record.

As for Arena, it's the move that makes the most sense, given the timetable -- even if not in terms of overall philosophy. The current Los Angeles Galaxy coach managed the USMNT from 1998 to 2006, winning two Gold Cups, and he has the most wins as USA coach with 71, 16 more than Klinsmann. He guided the U.S. to the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup, the best finish in the modern era. He also coached the team at the 2006 World Cup where the team finished last in its group with one point after playing Italy, Ghana and thee Czech Republic.

Since 2008, he has coached the Galaxy, winning three MLS Cups.

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Roger Gonzalez is an award-winning writer based in Virginia that has covered pro soccer from Europe's top clubs to Argentina's first division. Roger started out his pro soccer writing career with Goal.com... Full Bio

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