Of all the U.S. defeats during the Jurgen Klinsmann era -- which now spans more than five years -- none has produced near-unanimous reaction like after Tuesday's 4-0 loss to Costa Rica: Time is
up on the men's national team coach.
"All of the evidence piling up points to one logical outcome for U.S. Soccer," wrote SI.com's Grant Wahl, "The time has come to move on from Jurgen
U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati wasn't ready to cut Klinsmann loose just yet.
“We won’t make any decisions right after games,” Gulati
told Wahl and other reporters inside the Estadio Nacional after the game. “We’ll think about what happened today and talk with Jurgen and look at the situation. Obviously it’s not a
good start to the Hex, and today in particular was not a good performance.”
ESPN FC's Doug McIntyrenoted that concerns about Klinsmann were nothing new:
"Klinsmann's lack of tactical acumen and odd lineup choices have confounded his players throughout his five-year tenure, but those players always seemed to bail their manager out by turning in a big
performance when his back was against the wall. Not on this night."
The irony of the loss, as Goal.com's Ives Galarcepnoted, is that "Klinsmann took the same players
and formation that played so well in the second half against Mexico on Friday and deploy them against the Ticos.
"What Klinsmann didn't account for was the fact several players would not
only fail to play as well as they did Friday, but would play much worse. Jermaine Jones looked tired and ineffective, Christian Pulisic was rendered largely invisible, Brad Guzan
lacked sharpness and John Brooks had one of the worst individual defensive performances in recent memory."
If Klinsmann is to be replaced, the obvious replacement, according to Wahl, is Bruce Arena, who took the USA to the 2002 and 2006 World Cups
and whose contract with the LA Galaxy is up at the end of the year.
"Arena would help the U.S. rediscover an identity," wrote Wahl, "one that has eluded this team since the end of World
Klinsmann has one more year on his contract, but added McIntyre, "if Klinsmann is the wrong guy, and the evidence now is overwhelming, the salary left on his contract that runs
until the end of 2018 can't be enough to save him."