For much of the last year, Jurgen Klinsmann hasn’t had as much job security as we previously believed.
Citing multiple sources, ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle and Doug McIntyre reported Thursday that the U.S. Soccer Federation has contacted potential candidates to replace Klinsmann as U.S. men’s national team head coach within the last year.
The report comes in the wake of Team USA’s 2-1 loss to Mexico and 4-0 defeat to Costa Rica, which consigned Klinsmann’s team to last place in the standings after two games (of ten) in the final round of qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Klinsmann’s current contract runs through the 2018 World Cup, but the Costa Rica debacle has heaped immense pressure on him. Many fans and journalists are calling for his firing this week. He was considered untouchable as recently as June when he led USA to a fourth-place finish at Copa America 2016.
U.S. Soccer reportedly has contacted Los Angeles Galaxy coach Bruce Arena and Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Vermes to gauge their interest in the national-team job. Arena coached Team USA at the 2002 and 2006 World Cups and is a legend among MLS coaches. Vermes was the U.S. captain at the 1990 World Cup and led Kansas City to a MLS Cup title in 2013.
One source said U.S. Soccer also has considered elevating U-20 national team coach Tab Ramos — also a former national-team player — to the top job if it fires Klinsmann.
U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati told reporters Friday before the Mexico loss that he expected Klinsmann to remain in charge at least through the final round of qualifying, according to ESPN.
U.S. Soccer declined ESPN’s request for comment Thursday.
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