On Monday, the United States Soccer Federation parted ways with manager Jurgen Klinsmann. Klinsmann had a five-year tenure with the USMNT, but still had two years remaining on his contract.
The real trouble began in 2015 during the Gold Cup. The U.S. suffered a demoralizing defeat in a semifinal loss to Jamaica, which was their worst loss to a Caribbean team at home since 1969. The USMNT followed this performance up with another loss at the hands of Guatemala, a team they had not been defeated by since 1988.
Less than a month ago, the United States lost to Mexico in World Cup Qualifying and was then defeated four days later in a 4-0 pounding at the hands of Costa Rica, which was their worst shutout loss in a qualifying match in more than three decades.
Simply put, Klinsmann did not finish the job that he started years ago. The goal was to put U.S. soccer back on the map, and it looked as if there was a legitimate shot they could rise back to prominence before 2015. Unfortunately, Klinsmann had a massive ego that could not be kept in check during his duration with the USMNT. From communication issues with his players, playing people out of position, and massive PR blunders such as leaving Landon Donovan off of the national team in 2014, Klinsmann ultimately did more harm than good and it cost him his job.
According to ESPN, the United States have officially signed LA Galaxy's Bruce Arena to become the new manager of the U.S. The length of the contract, which, reportedly, will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 18 months to two years, has not yet been announced. Arena coached the USMNT for eight years, where the United States reached the semifinals of the 2002 World Cup.
Arena recently signed a two-year extension to return to his MLS team but, according to reports, the LA Galaxy will allow Arena to leave to accept his new position.
Unlike Klinsmann, who has made an effort to get players born outside of the United States, specifically from his native Germany, on the national team, Arena is a staunch advocate of having natural born Americans on the team. Here are his thoughts in 2013 after former USWNT legend Abby Wambach said the same sentiments:
"I don't even know some of the players, which is odd as the former coach. Players on the national team should be -- and this is my own feeling -- they should be Americans. If they're all born in other countries, I don't think we can say we are making progress. It should still be the case, in my opinion."
As the top candidate to replace Klinsmann, the United States Soccer Federation got their man. It is time to start performing.