Jürgen Klinsmann has been released from his duties as U.S. Men’s National Team Head Coach and Technical Director, U.S. Soccer announced on Monday. The decision to part ways with Klinsmann comes one week after the United States’ humiliating 4-0 loss at Costa Rica in World Cup Qualifying.
Klinsmann was hired as men’s head coach on July 29, 2011, and leaves the federation with a 55-27-16 record in that span.
In five years under Klinsmann, the United States advanced to the Round of 16 in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, but has faced trying times in the days since, with struggles reaching 2018 World Cup qualifying as the Americans have failed to pick up points in each of their first two games of the Hex against Mexico and Costa Rica. The United States is now in danger of missing the World Cup for the first time since 1986.
Former national team and current LA Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena is reportedly in line to be the next coach of the United States.
Klinsmann has had a somewhat impactful presence on Brek Shea’s career with Orlando City. The Lions’ midfielder was called up a handful of times by Klinsmann since returning to MLS last season, but Klinsmann played him primarily as a left back — a move started by former Lions coach Adrian Heath, and egged on by Klinsmann who liked the idea of experimenting with Shea as an attacking left back for the national team.
But after making four appearances for Klinsmann’s side last year, scoring two goals in those games, Shea — who has 34 USMNT caps and four international goals since his first call-up in 2010 under Bob Bradley — was not called up for any appearances in 2016.
With Klinsmann out, is it possible that Shea can sneak back into the national team picture in time to help the Yanks qualify for the 2018 World Cup?
Unlike the main questionable Klinsmann omissions, such as Sacha Kljestan, Benny Feilhaber, etc., Shea’s main reason for not getting called up was tied to poor performances in league play, in addition to injuries sidelining him during key national team dates.
Shea has struggled to recapture his MLS form from his FC Dallas days since joining Orlando City. The left back experiment didn’t work out as hoped, and ultimately, he’s struggled to be a consistent attacking threat and fit for the Lions’ system.
Arena is good at assembling a quality team in tight situations, and it’ll be interesting to see whether or not Shea is involved in those plans. There’s no questioning the fact that the native Texan still has plenty of talent and can be an asset for the national team. It’s just a matter of getting him back in good form and the right system for him to succeed in, which hasn’t happened since he left MLS for England back in 2012.