Former U.S. men's national team captain Landon Donovan believes coach Jurgen Klinsmann should be fired if the team loses to Mexico in the Confederations Cup playoff on Saturday at the Rose Bowl, Donovan told ESPNFC.
The winner of Saturday's game will represent CONCACAF at the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia. The game became necessary when Klinsmann's side failed to win the 2015 Gold Cup, where the U.S. failed to place after falling to Jamaica in the semifinal and Panama in the third-place game. Mexico won the Gold Cup, setting up the one-game playoff.
“Around the world, if a player plays poorly and a player has a bad string of results, they get dropped from the team," Donovan told ESPN FC. “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.”
Donovan told ESPNFC he wants Klinsmann to be held to the same standard as players.
Kilnsmann has compiled 42 wins, 19 losses and 14 draws in 75 games for the U.S. men's national team.
Klinsmann notoriously left Donovan, the U.S. men's national team's all-time leading scorer, off the U.S. men's national team's 2014 World Cup roster. Donovan played his last national team game last October, and retired from professional soccer after the 2014 MLS season concluded.
The United States earned a 2–1 victory over Peru in Washington, D.C. last month, and followed that up with a 4–1 defeat to Brazil in Foxborough, Mass.
- Christopher Chavez