I hate to say it, as a proud American soccer fan, but the Mexican national team takes results much more seriously than US Soccer does. Since Jurgen Klinsmann was named manager and technical director of the USMNT on July 29, 2011, Mexico has had five different coaches, and they're about to get their sixth. Juan Carlos Osorio, best known in this country for his awful tenure at the helm of the New York Red Bulls, was slated to take the top job, regardless of the results.
Since US Soccer has so far done nothing to suggest they will terminate Jurgen Klinsmann's contract, which runs through the 2018 World Cup, there's only one thing left to do. The United States Soccer Federation's board of directors must terminate the contract of Sunil Gulati.
With Klinsmann serving as both coach and technical director, he honestly answers to no one except Gulati. With all the votes of confidence Gulati has given Klinsmann in recent months, despite the unsatisfying nature of the team's results, he's shown he has absolutely no interest in making a change.
Normally, I wouldn't write a blog post like this without putting together a list of candidates to take the job I'm asking someone to be relieved of. Despite the abnormality of the circumstances, I have a list of people who I think would do a better job as the head of US Soccer than the current one. This list is in no particular order.
1. Mitt Romney
People who know me really well might be a bit surprised that I would suggest 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney should be given any job, much less a job running the American governing body of a sport I love, but I have a reason for it.
He's done it before. No, he hasn't been the president of the USSF before, but he has successfully run a large sports organization before.
On February 11, 1999, Romney was named president and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in 2002. When he was given the job, the group was running hundreds of millions of dollars behind its revenue goals and there was talk of scaling back the games, possibly even moving them altogether.
We all know what happened next. The 2002 Winter Olympics were very successful and Romney can claim a share of the credit for it. Therefore, he's on this list.
2. Joe Biden
People who know me really well would be a lot less surprised I would suggest Vice President Joe Biden take over US Soccer. Honestly, there are a few reasons Biden is on this list.
If it's one thing he's known for, Biden speaks his mind, even when it may not be the most appropriate time. You may recall, on March 23, 2010, right after introducing the president at the bill signing for the Affordable Care Act, Biden embraced President Obama and said, "This is a big [expletive] deal..."
He also strikes me as someone who hates to lose. Quite honestly, some of the results the USMNT have had in recent months, especially at the Gold Cup, would have driven him a little crazy, if he's anything like me when I watch games.
Biden is also very well-respected around the world. After Georgia's short, but disastrous war with Russia, then-Sen. Biden called the Georgian president to box his ears over the ill-advised stunt. As a former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and now as Vice President, Biden's used to getting his calls answered in foreign capitals.
3. Mark Cuban
Every list like this usually has one or more names on it that make people say, "What?!" I'm well aware Mark Cuban would be one of those.
Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, would not be scared of the amount of money that would be required to terminate Klinsmann's contract. Quite honestly, he could probably write Klinsmann a check and be done with it.
Cuban is also, and I say this with all due respect, a very sore loser. I'm sure it would be fair to say that former NBA commissioner David Stern had Cuban on speed dial for those times when Cuban felt his team had been wronged by the league's referees. I'm sure Cuban treats his coaches the same way when they fail to perform.
Honestly, it doesn't really matter to me who ends up succeeding Gulati. The important part right now is that whoever does, fires Jurgen Klinsmann. Because if Klinsmann is allowed to continue to run the USMNT into the ground, the streak of consecutive World Cups is in serious jeopardy.
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