Jurgen Klinsmann will remain U.S. manager for remainder of Hex - Gulati
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati said he expects men's national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann to be the manager through the end of World Cup qualifying.
Speaking at a roundtable with reporters prior to Friday's 2-1 World Cup qualifying defeat to Mexico, Gulati said: "We have not had a coach in 27 years that has started World Cup qualifying and not finished World Cup qualifying. The last time was 1988-89 when Lothar Osiander took us through the first round and Bob Gansler took over in the second.
"We've never changed coaches in the [middle of the final round]. No one has started the process and not finished it since 1989 and I expect that to be the case here."
Gulati did change coaches in the middle of the last World Cup cycle, when Bob Bradley was fired following the 2011 Gold Cup and replaced by Klinsmann. But that change was made before the start of World Cup qualifying.
Klinsmann has since enjoyed some high points, like the round-of-16 finish at the 2014 World Cup, as well as lows, like when the U.S. fell to Jamaica in the semifinals of the 2015 Gold Cup.
More recently, Klinsmann led the U.S. to the semifinals of last summer's Copa America Centenario, and Gulati pronounced himself pleased with the team's performance in that tournament, despite being badly outplayed by Argentina in losing 4-0 in the semifinals.
"The team not only won important games against top-flight competition but played quite well through parts of it," said Gulati. "You're not going to play well every game. Unfortunately that Argentina was against a very good team without a couple of very important players, but they dominated the game. There's no way around that. We weren't in the game for the first 10 minutes. That was unfortunate."
Gulati indicated that the USSF conducted a review of the team's performance, talking to various stakeholders, including Klinsmann and some players.
"I think it's safe to say that winning affects a lot of things, and so the atmosphere and commentary from players was different than if we hadn't done as well," he said. "It was far more positive, as you would expect."
While last night's result was disappointing for the U.S., Gulati has long said that one game wouldn't change Klinsmann's status going forward. The U.S. faces another tough World Cup qualifier on Tuesday when it plays Costa Rica away.
Jeff Carlisle covers MLS and the U.S. national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreyCarlisle.