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Jurgen Klinsmann may not really be the USMNT technical director after all

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Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

When Jurgen Klinsmann was gifted an unexpected contract extension in 2013, the added title of technical director came along with it. He's always been the man that Sunil Gulati has wanted to take over the United States Soccer program and introduce massive changes, so this step seemed a formality if anything.

According to Sports Illustrated, Klinsmann's role as the program's technical director has diminished to a "ceremonial" role more than a concrete one. U.S. Soccer's chief commercial director Jay Berhalter has reportedly been handling the day-to-day responsibilities as technical director behind the scenes for the last year.

The relationship between manager and technical director is an important one, but it appears that Klinsmann and Berhalter aren't on the best of terms. Berhalter called an important meeting that the U.S. manager wasn't invited to.

Behind the scenes turmoil isn't limited to just the manager/technical director relationship. In the last week, Klinsmann fired the USMNT's head trainer Sue Falsone because he was unhappy with the way Alejandro Bedoya's illness before the CONCACAF Cup was handled.

While Klinsmann's job still doesn't seem to be in jeopardy, it's quite clear that all is not well within the structure of U.S. Soccer. More importantly, if Klinsmann isn't the acting technical director then what has his four-year reign as USMNT manager been all about? He was brought in to implement system-wide changes and was supposedly in the middle of doing just that.

The belief around the American soccer community was that Klinsmann's goal was to build towards the 2018 World Cup by establishing a young core. His tactical deficiencies as manager have been tolerated because of his supposed good work as technical director. If he's not actually the man in charge, what's the point? The apparent "power struggle" within the federation makes it look weak and disconnected.