The biggest surprise of the World Cup training camp is Donovan’s exclusion from the final
23. He is passed over in favor of
. Klinsmann says, “I just see some other players
slightly ahead of him.”
June, 2014 –
In their opening game, the Americans
beat Ghana, 2-1, and despite surrendering a last-minute equalizer to Portugal
before losing to Germany,
advance out of Group G. In the round of 16, Tim Howard
fends off Belgium with 12 saves and Wondolowski skies a sitter before Belgium scores twice in extra time.
Green hits a spectacular volley and Dempsey nearly scores in the second overtime of a 2-1 defeat.
October, 2014 --
Klinsmann takes a few potshots at MLS, criticizing the
quality of play and decisions by players such as Dempsey and Michael Bradley
to leave European leagues for MLS. League commissioner Don Garber
objects and also slams Klinsmann for
leaving Donovan off the World Cup team.
December, 2014 –-
After helping the Galaxy win its third title in four seasons and the sixth of his MLS career, Donovan
April, 2015 –
The Americans beat Mexico, 2-0, in a friendly on a goal by Jordan Morris
, who had drawn Klinsmann’s notice playing for Stanford
University in a pre-World Cup scrimmage the year before. He stays in school rather than turning pro and leads Stanford to its first Division I men’s soccer title, and after a brief visit to
Werder Bremen arranged by Klinsmann and assistant coach Andi Herzog
, signs a pro contract with his hometown team, Seattle.
June 2015 –
A poor showing at the Gold
Cup leaves the USA fourth after losing a semifinal to Jamaica and the third-place match (on penalty kicks) to Panama. The result necessitates a playoff with Mexico, the tournament champion, for a spot
in the 2017 Confederations Cup, which Klinsmann had stated was the team’s primary objective for the year.
October, 2015 –
Mexico wins the playoff, 3-2, at the
Rose Bowl in extra time with Brad Guzan
in goal in place of Howard, who had taken a sabbatical from the national team – though he continued playing for Everton – earlier in the
January, 2016 –
A more relaxed atmosphere
ensues at the annual January camp after Klinsmann had consulted with several veteran players about excessive
training sessions and mandatory meals, among other things.
February, 2016 –-
Klinsmann predicts the USA will reach the semifinals of the Copa America Centenario, a
special edition of the competition staged in the United States with six Concacaf teams joining the 10 Conmebol members.
March, 2016 –
The semifinal round of 2018 World
Cup qualifying starts off badly with a 2-0 loss in Guatemala, but the Americans pound out a 4-0 win in the return leg four days later.
June, 2016 --
The USA fulfills
Klinsmann’s prediction by beating Ecuador, 2-1, in the quarterfinals. Argentina pummels the USA, 4-0, in the semis. The tournament performance is deemed a success though both Colombia, in the
opener, and Argentina clearly outclassed the U.S.
September, 2016 --
Qualification for the Hexagonal is duly achieved by routing St. Vincent & the Grenadines, 6-0,
and Trinidad & Tobago, 4-0.
Red Bulls midfielder Sacha Kljestan
, passed over for most of Klinsmann’s tenure, scores in both games.
November, 2016 -- A
run of four straight 2-0 qualifying wins against Mexico in Columbus ends in a 2-1 loss. After being overrun playing a seldom-used 3-5-2 formation, the Americans rally in a 4-4-2 but still are stung in
the 89th minute by a Rafa Marquez header off a corner kick. Four days later, they fall apart in the second half of a humiliating 4-0 loss in Costa Rica. Six days after that defeat,
U.S. Soccer announces it has relieved Klinsmann of his duties as head coach and technical director.