Prior to the U.S. win over St. Vincent and the Grenadines, U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati spoke about the status of Jurgen Klinsmann as the head coach of the USMNT.
Gulati confirmed that he remains behind the man at the helm despite the struggles of the past year, but fell short of guaranteeing him anything, saying he as president is in a no-win situation when it comes to supporting his man.
“We expect to qualify, I expect Jurgen to be the coach,” Gulati said in St. Louis on Friday. “But I don’t think anyone can honestly say, regardless of what happens, this is what we’re going to do. Whether it’s picking the team captain, the right-back, or the coach. No matter what happens, it’s unrealistic.”
“I haven’t figured out the right way to give the right level of support to the coach, that actually has credibility, without outright saying things that won’t be accurate. No one has got that kind of job security. Not me, not [USSF CEO Dan Flynn], not the players.”
“My guess is that he’s got the best won-loss percentage we’ve ever had, or it’s close. We got out of the toughest group at the World Cup. We won 12 games in a row. There’s more attention around this sport than there’s ever been. Part of that is controversy, part of that is his personality. All of those are positives, and we’re going through a bad spell. That happens.”
With the United States in a stretch of six matches that has seen three defeats to CONCACAF opposition on U.S. soil, Gulati confirmed that they have had long discussions about the way to escape the mire, not just focusing on defeats, but the eye test, which the U.S. has also badly failed.
“Is it different if it’s 0-0 and you lose a game on a bad penalty kick call or somebody slips or if you lose 5-0? The answer is, ‘Of course it is,'” Gulati said. “The result is the same, but if we had dominated Jamaica and lost the game on a free kick and a controversial call and so on, that’s different than getting outshot. That raises more concerns of course.”