Jurgen Klinsmann is on the hot seat. Maybe not according to the people who make the decisions, but to the rest of us sane folks he's on his last legs as the United States Men's National Team manager. If we the people are set to get rid of the manager, it only makes sense for us to come up with a list of suitable replacements before we pull the proverbial trigger and make the final decision to make a change.
There are many factors to consider when thinking about a replacement for Klinsmann. What doesn't he offer us that we want? That list is probably too long to make, but in the end, we all just want results, right? Well, here are seven guys that we think would make perfect sense as the new USMNT manager.
One of the biggest complaints about Klinsmann is his lack of consistency and tactical acumen. The current New York Red Bulls manager would be the complete polar opposite of the German. Marsch is disciplined in his desired approach and has one true playing style that he is married to.
His high pressing 'Gegenpressing' style catapulted a team of role players to the 2015 MLS Supporters' Shield. The USMNT lack a true star player or any sort of identity. Having a true style to adapt to would give the team some consistency and a general blueprint for success, instead of the hectic nature of having no idea what's going on like they do under the current coaching staff.
U.S. Soccer has invested heavily in their youth development over the last 10 years. Having a manager like Pareja who is a genius at developing young talent would be a huge asset to the USMNT. A manager who isn't afraid to bring along the youth players at an accelerated pace, but also knows the X's and O's of the game. Pareja has turned FC Dallas into a consistent threat in MLS by molding the minds of young players and having tremendous on-field success. This is why he's near or at the top of most people's wishlists to replace Klinsmann.
Let's try to put the 2012 Olympic debacle behind us. Porter has had success at every level he's coached at (save for that 2012 nightmare). He guided the Portland Timbers to their first ever MLS Cup last season. Many credit his tactical decision of moving Darlington Nagbe to the center of the field in changing the Timbers' fortunes. He's another manager that has a consistent playing style and one that wouldn't be afraid to shake up the current player pool to find the right players for his system. Something the USMNT is dying for.
The man who lost out to those Timbers in MLS Cup 2015 last year was the Columbus Crew's Gregg Berhalter. The 42-year-old would be an interesting choice as the next USMNT manager considering his brother, Jay Berhalter, is U.S. Soccer's chief commercial director. That name may sound familiar as he's the man who is reportedly at odds with Jurgen Klinsmann in a supposed power struggle within the federation. Berhalter is a USMNT veteran and a very methodical manager. Some liken his style to former USMNT boss, Bob Bradley.
The current Sporting KC manager is a popular choice to replace Klinsmann due to his success in MLS. I, personally, am not a fan of this idea. Vermes is a fine MLS manager, but his overall tone as a leader is very rah-rah cheerleader and less tactical and intelligent. Not to mention his personnel decisions to give a player like Graham Zusi a Designated Player contract are questionable to say the least.
Another USMNT veteran, Kinnear is only 48-years-old but has been coaching in some capacity in MLS since 2001. The San Jose Earthquakes coach is a very blue collar manager, but his track record of holding his younger talent back is very worrisome. His on-field results cannot be argued with, but as a national team manager, you have to be willing to give any and all players a chance regardless of experience or age.
The wild card of the bunch is one of the best and most underrated players the USMNT has ever had. 'Dolo retired from international soccer in 2014 and has since taken up coaching with his beloved Hannover in the Bundesliga. He is currently their assistant manager but has managed a few of their youth sides. Sure, his inexperience as a manager at the top level doesn't give him the best résumé for the job. But at 37-years-old, he's played with most of the players in the USMNT player pool. Who else can identify with the modern game and the modern player like we would be able to? It's a shot in the dark, but it's a candidate that would be a welcome sight for USMNT supporters.