It's easy to divide Jurgen Klinsmann's tenure as U.S. men's national team coach into before and after the 2014 World Cup. The USA's record (W-L-T) before Brazil 2014 in official competition:
17-3-2. Since then: 10-8-3. We'll concentrate on losses within Concacaf in the last year and a half for the new lows.
1. COSTA RICA 4 USA
0. World Cup 2018 qualifying Nov. 15, 2016
Klinsmann termed the loss to Ticos "the defeat that hurts the most in my five years." It wasn't the
first time the USA has lost to Costa Rica in San Jose -- it was the ninth straight loss in World Cup qualifying -- but coming on the heels of the 2-1 loss at home to Mexico it left the USA in last
place in the Hexagonal after two games.
Klinsmann tried to put a positive spin on the loss to his players. "'The last cycle we lost here too,'" he told them "'so we gave away these three
points here as well.' We didn’t give away the three points at home against Mexico, so now we are three points behind what we did in the last cycle, and we won the group with 22 points at the end
of the day."
What hurt the most wasn't dropping the three points but the reaction of the players after falling behind late in the first half. Even Klinsmann termed the result
USA 1 JAMAICA 2 2015 Gold Cup semifinal July 22, 2015
For a year after the USA exited the World Cup in Brazil, Klinsmann built up the Gold Cup
as the next big test for the USA, and it exited in the semifinals to Jamaica to which it had never lost in 13 previous games at home.
There were already signs of trouble during the group
stage when the USA was outshot, 50-20, by Honduras, Panama and Haiti. Jamaica went again on goals off set pieces -- the first a throw-in, the second a free kick -- which should have raised alarm bells
about the USA's defending.
But Klinsmann didn't help matters by insisting on harping about the refereeing, specifically the handball called on goalkeeper Brad Guzan for handling
the ball outside the penalty area.
3. USA 2 MEXICO 3 2015 Confederations Cup Oct. 10, 2015
The loss to Jamaica set up a one-off game against Mexico --
the winner of the 2013 Gold Cup against the winner of the 2015 Gold Cup -- for a berth in the 2017 Confederations Cup.
Most teams don't put a lot of importance in the World Cup dress
rehearsal but Klinsmann made a big deal of qualifying for the tournament next summer in Russia.
The Concacaf Cup was a big money maker for Concacaf and U.S. Soccer with a crowd of
93,723 fans at the Rose Bowl, and the USA took Mexico to overtime but El Tri was clearly the better team.
4. GUATEMALA 2 USA 0 World Cup 2018 qualifying March 25 2016
The first signs of trouble in 2016 came with a 2-0 loss to Guatemala at Guatemala City's Mateo Flores, where the USA had not lost since 1988.
All the problems that have
plagued the USA in 2016 were on display: conceding early goals and goals off set pieces -- the first off a corner kick in seventh minute and the second following a long goal kick in the 15th
5. USA 1
MEXICO 2. World Cup 2018 qualifying Nov. 11, 2016
Forget the streak of four Dos a Cero wins. The USA had not lost to Mexico at home in World
Cup qualifying since 1972 before Friday's loss in Columbus.
The match did not begin well as Mexico ripped apart Klinsmann's 3-4-3 and could have been ahead 3-0 after 25
minutes with a little luck. The USA recovered and created a ton of chances of its own in the second half before losing on Rafael Marquez's goal in the 89th minute.
But remarks from
Klinsmann and U.S. captain Michael Bradley after the game suggested a chasm had opened within the team from which it is still reeling.