No replacement was named, but U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati is expected to appoint LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arenaas Klinsmann's replacement. Arena had served as head coach of eight years (1999-2006), the longest tenure of national team coach.
Despite Klinsmann's success -- 2013 Gold Cup title, first place in the 2013 Hexagonal, second-round appearance at 2014 World Cup, fourth-place finish at the 2016 Copa Centenario and friendly wins at Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands and Germany -- his tenure as national team coach was rocky.
Since the 2014 World Cup, the USA suffered embarrassing losses to Concacaf rivals Jamaica and Guatemala -- teams that it has historically dominated -- was often badly outmatched against world powers like Brazil (4-1 loss in 2015 friendly) and Argentina (4-0 loss in Copa Centenario semifinals). Mexico's wins over the USA in the 2015 Concacaf Cup and 2016-17 Hexagonal opener were only by one goal but the gap between the two teams at the top of their games remained wide.
In any other major soccer nation, Klinsmann would have likely been fired a long time ago.
Klinsmann came in with the promise of change, inclusion and a new proactive approach. While Gulati gave Klinsmann the bully-pulpit to preach his reforms, tangible progress remained elusive in the short term. A weak player pool hurt Klinsmann in his six years at head coach. Klinsmann departs as 18-year-old Christian Pulisic, the greatest prospect the USA has ever produced, has broken into German powerhouse Borussia Dortmund and the most promising crop of young talent in a generation is trying to break into first teams around Europe.
Ironically, Klinsmann's downfall may have been trying to push Pulisic too quickly. While the 4-0 loss to Costa Rica was the breaking point, the critical loss was not to Ticos, who have beaten the USA at home in nine straight qualifiers, the major setback was the 2-1 loss to Mexico.
Klinsmann adopted a new 3-4-1-2 formation that he said was aimed to unleash Pulisic's attacking potential. The Dortmund teenager hardly touched the ball before Klinsmann was forced to abandon the formation. After 25 minutes, Mexico led, 1-0, but threatened to run the USA off the field in Columbus.
Throughout the Klinsmann era, the USA had responded after major setbacks. It opened the 2013 Hexagonal with a 2-1 loss at Honduras and entered camp for the next game against Costa Rica with a report of major disharmony within the team. The USA responded with a 1-0 win over Costa Rica in blizzard in Colorado.
After the 2-0 loss to Guatemala in March, the USA turned around and crushed Guatemala, 4-0, four days later at home. In June, the USA opened with a 2-0 loss to Colombia at the Copa Centenario, and Gulati hinted strongly before the next game Klinsmann would be out if the USA didn't advance out of its group as host. It won its next three games, beating Costa Rica, Paraguay and Ecuador to reach the semifinals.
Unfortunately, the USA's resilience ended last Tuesday at the Estadio Nacional in San Jose.
"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."