Landon Donovan and Jurgen Klinsmann haven’t had the rosiest of relationships.
Since being left off of the 2014 World Cup roster and retiring from the game, Donovan has often been critical of Klinsmann and his tenure with the USMNT.
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Ahead of Saturday’s CONCACAF playoff match against Mexico, Donovan said he believes Klinsmann should be fired if the United States loses.
Speaking to ESPN FC:
Around the world, if a player plays poorly and a player has a bad string of results, they get dropped from the team.
Jurgen said many times he wants our players to feel pressure — so if they lose a game they can’t go to the grocery store the next day. If they lose a game, they are getting hammered in the press.
Well, the same holds true for the coach, and so we had a very poor summer with bad results in the Gold Cup. The last game against Brazil was probably the worst game I’ve seen them play under Jurgen.
The reality is that now, anywhere else in the world, if this coach had those results, and they lose this game against Mexico, they’d be fired.
I think if Jurgen wants to hold all the players to that standard, then he has to be held to that standard too.
Heading into the Gold Cup this summer on the heels of some great wins over the Netherlands and Germany, the United States’ performance was wildly disappointing, losing in the semifinals to Jamaica and finishing in fourth place.
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President of U.S. Soccer Sunil Gulati has shown great faith in Klinsmann, giving him a contract until 2018 as both manager and technical director of the program. However, pressure has been building after a string of poor results.
For Klinsmann, this is arguably his biggest match in charge of the USMNT. Not only does it have implications for the Confederations Cup in 2017, but it is also against Mexico, which always puts added pressure on a manager. If the U.S. loses, more people than Donovan will be calling for a change.