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Report: Arena, Vermes, Ramos being eyed as potential Klinsmann replacements

Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA Today Sports
Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA Today Sports

U.S. Soccer has yet to announce any sort of decision on Jurgen Klinsmann’s U.S. Men’s National Team future, but the federation has reportedly already begun doing their due diligence on potential replacements.

According to ESPN, U.S. Soccer has reportedly been in contact with LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena and Sporting Kansas City boss Peter Vermes over the last 12 months. Tab Ramos, who has taken charge of U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team while serving as Klinsmann’s assistant, is reportedly also a candidate.

Klinsmann is on the hot seat following a pair of World Cup qualifying losses to open the Hexagonal. The U.S. opened the round with a late 2-1 defeat to rivals Mexico before being thumped, 4-0, in Costa Rica.

Following the Costa Rica loss, U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati said that he will not make any quick decisions regarding Klinsmann’s status and that the head coach would meet with U.S. Soccer officials in the aftermath of Tuesday’s loss.


  1. what a flipping mess, self inflicted, and easily predicted by some here. haven’t seen ussoccer in this state since Sampson. JK is a shitty leader of men and a tactical midget but a great salesman. and here we are…….

  2. I think Oscar Pareja at Dallas would be an excellent choice for USMNT Manager. The players call him el professor for good reason. He instills confidence has done well with both Columbus and Dallas

  3. I’d rather have Klinsmann than any of the 3. This is my main problem with people wanting Jk to get fired, there are no better options. Sure JK is not the most tactical of coaches, but with the current level of players that he has, only a coach like Guardiola, Bielsa, or Sampaoli would do a better job, and there’s no way any of them would take the job considering the severe limitations that they’d face.

  4. Who is being lined up to replace Gulati? That’s the firing that needs to happen. The men’s team has gone nowhere and the women’s team is suing their own governing body. Nice work.

  5. If Arena is the consensus pick, then why can’t he even get his club to win CCL? Even RSL has been close a few times.

    There’s no excuse when you had the likes of Beckham, Keane, and Donovan (in his prime) all on the same team. He can’t even make his club one of the best year after year in CCL and now you all want him back to lead the USMNT.

    Don’t forget Arena’s team lost against PR Islanders in CCL 4-1. How’s that for coaching?

    • Galaxy generally doesn’t try very hard to win CCL games, use the knockouts as more preseason friendlies. I don’t know that they are good enough to beat a top Mexican side, but they don’t put a lot of effort into either.

    • Nobody is saying the Bruce Arena will win a World Cup. He’s a steady hand with experience that is more than capable of getting us through an abrupt transition.

  6. As much as I want JK replaced with an American manager I think what we will actually see is simply JK on a shorter leash. If we get to the point of not qualifying then he’s replaced. I for one would be happy with Olson. I like Pablo but I think he needs more time. I also rate Vanney before Vermes. Arena would be fine but I would rather let look forward than back.

  7. USNT really needs more DM’s that can hold the ball.

    USNT needs a lot of friendlies in start of 2017 to develop new chemistries.

  8. A bit too late! This should happened after the Gold Cup 2015!!!!

    1. Arena best bet. 2. Ramos looked just OK or mediocre with youth teams. 3. Vermes just a maybe.

    I refuse to watch the Costa Rica game after Veteran’s Day insult.

  9. Klinsmann has earned this speculation and if he’s replaced, he’s certainly earned that, too.

    With that said, the names being floated in this article are a big indictment on how small our “program” really is. This is the reason I questioned everyone stating “Van Gaal, Bielsa and Capello” are speculative replacements. Why on Earth would they take over a post with so little in the cupboard and fans (and media) believing they’re better than they actually are.

    We can change the manager and there’s merit in that, but the talent isn’t going to suddenly improve. It’s not the national team manager’s job to develop talent. Our system isn’t where it should be and we’re seeing the reward for it.

    • I want to add something to that. For all the criticism, here is a major thing that I think people underestimate about JK, and notwithstanding a weird substitution, or a bad game, or any issue with the JK favs… If you are a German team, and JK talks to you about a player, you listen. If you are a premier club and JK rates a player… then so do you. You look at the development of our guys… NO WAY Morris gets looked at by Werder without JK’s help. Wood’s move was absolutely helped by JK having “a word” with the folks at Hamburg. Pulisic is all Pulisic, as I understand it. But Miazga and CCV… people didn’t call them until they had a chat with JK. Having a coach who knows soccer circles and is considered to be a great spotter of talent… that is invaluable to a young soccer country like ours.

      So if you are looking at developing a golden generation… you, the US, we ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE a European coach who sees and plays with all our u-20 age groups… Even better if they are known in Europe as someone who can spot talent. You give that up… suddenly you have situations like Bradley going to Villa and getting benched for WHOM exactly? Then he goes to Chievo and after JK arrives, Bradley is in Rome and playing. I am not crediting every move to JK, players get approached, scouts do their jobs, agents play their part. But when coach A is looking for guys, if a player asks JK, hey is this a good fit? JK calls that coach… the coach takes the call… and they have a chat… then he tells the player what the deal is.

      Arena can’t do that, Schmidt can’t do that, Ramos can’t do that…

      • This is why it would be great to keep Klinsmann as technical director (or something), because he could do all those things without actually coaching the team. But then you’d have to find a manager willing to walk into that situation..

      • Good point that tends to be overlooked. In addition to having coached Germany, during his playing days he played in Italy, France, England, and, of course, Germany. He has an amazing number of contacts and is a legend in Europe, not just in Germany. He doesn’t have to introduce himself to any young prospect in Germany, for example. He is probably a lot more respected in other countries than he is here.

      • Turk, but how much of what you just said is actually reality, and not just assumptions being made by you and others? I’m sure we will disagree on your answer, but doesn’t matter because neither of us will know for sure.

        Bottom line is we have had about 5 and a half years of Klinsmann already, and regardless of what happens the maximum life we were going to get out of Klinsmann’s tenure is 7 years (2018 Russia). So we are debating that year and a half. Do we conclude that we are currently in trouble and cut Klinsmann right now? Or do we gamble and let Klinsmann continue and see if we make the World Cup? I’ve been a Klinsmann basher since 2014, but at this point I don’t care if he stays or goes. Then end is near either way. Although I would get alot of satisfaction from seeing him get fired. The flip side is the new manager might not do any better and we still might not make the World Cup.

      • Look, UCLA… I’m not saying that JK is every US player’s agent, or that all the players listen to him. What I am saying is that I know for a fact Weder called Morris in specifically at JK’s request and I know for a fact that Roma made a call to JK before moving for Bradley. The rest is assumptions based on those two facts (I have heard rumors about Miazga’s deal too, but I can’t say its fact for sure). But I hear talk in the circles where I run, and the view of Americans has changed because of the work and effort Jurgen has been putting in, and I think I am right.

        How does this random know such things you might ask… well, some things get left unsaid… I don’t care if you believe me, but Euro scouts don’t just fly over to the US on a whim. They are called, and the more stature the guy calling has, the more they listen.

        Look, you really think we can’t win with JK? fine… keep yelling to dump him. But you have to look at the big picture.

      • jb, not sure what you think technical director does… but its not working with the players day to day in practices and really feeling them out. For example, the discovery of Morris… that doesn’t happen if Jurgen is just some technical director. He needs to be on the sideline coaching and watching the players… telling them stuff and seeing reactions. That is the experience that other coaches talk to him about. How did the kid respond when you did X? When you flipped this formation on him, and told him Y… what happened? What is his attitude? etc. I don’t think technical director is close enough to the action.

        but whatever… I have no say in these decisions.

      • Tottenham talked to JK about Yedlin. Werder and Morris is all Herzog, as he’s a legend at that club. Aron Johannson is quoted as saying he was star struck when JK called him about switching. Couldn’t believe a football-legend was calling him up.

        JK played under Wenger at Monaco and they communicated between each other as much as JK between Zelalem to ensure he was commited to switching when he became a citizen. Look pre-JK era at some of the comments made by Wenger. He didn’t respect us. Now he has no problem with Zelalem choosing US, playing friendlies here, etc.

        These are all actual accounts of the ways JK has helped behind the scenes.

      • Yeah Mac, when I say JK, I mean the whole staff. There are a bunch of folks we have hired in various countries. They are immensely helpful in assisting young kids break in and get opportunities when they would otherwise never have the chance.

      • Yeah TD will not have found Morris, who was simply spotted because uSMNT were warming up for the WC at Stanford, and needed bodies. JK asked for someone fast to simulate a speedy winger, and Stanford’s coach threw Morris in. JK was immediately impressed by his speed first, and then ability. He jokingly said he considered bringing Morris to Brazil (which compared to some of his experiments seems more like he actually considered it).

        Nor would a TD have the power to tell a manager who to play. Now we lost Bobby Wood because another coach would have seen him not even playing for 1860 Munchen. JK was the one that persevered with Wood.

  10. My main concern with most MLS coaches, Arena and Vermes included, is the skeptical comments they have made about dual-national players. There is no doubt our pool is stronger with the likes of Brooks, FJ, Jones, etc., and I don’t see many dual-national players choosing the US in the future if the manager is not proactive about recruiting such players.

    If nothing else, Klinsmann has done an excellent job recruiting both young and experienced dual national talent. It would be nice to continue that IMO.

    • By ‘dual-nationals’ you mean German-Americans right? Mix was already in the mix, and Ice-Man Johannsan is the only other dual.

      I’m fine with having dual-nationals on the team, but let’s be honest – JK only cared about the Germaricans.

      • You do have Timothy Weah (still only 16) French-American, and Siebatcheu also a French American well born in the US anyway, Justin Kinjo a Japanese-American, Niko Hamalainen Finnish-American who are closing in on National team age that if not the next manager, but the manager for 2022 will have to look at.

      • Hell throw Matt Miazga in the mix… Poland were pretty much ready to throw it all in and offer him a spot in Euro’s if he switched. And if Miazga is anything like me (a first generation Polish-American) is you love your home country first, but the its a close second. And he (nor I) would be upset to represent the second.

  11. Bruce is a good club coach, but the 2006 World Cup was not good. How we played like we were scared of the Czech Republic and how him and Beasley got into it, leaves a not good taste in my mouth and bad memories. NEXT!

    • I think that’s why most people say for the rest of this cycle they are ok with Arena. The end of the Arena era was strangely similar, starting players past their prime, odd substitution patterns, and players looking disinterested or confused.

    • I just want someone to take over for the end of this cycle and then (unless they win the WC) bring in a serious contender that has been fully vetted.

  12. I’m reading some comments by people saying we shouldn’t waste time on Arena and American coaches; that to do such would be a step backward. I suppose that’s true in some ways. But we aren’t going to lure one of the world’s elite coaches, and we don’t have the world’s elite players, so, at this point, let’s just hope for some fresh blood, some fresh ideas, and some fresh air.

    • Bruce is only the way to go if you are certain he has learned from his mistakes and has a better tactical understanding than he did last time around. Otherwise, you are downgrading from JK.

  13. Ideal scenario: Arena takes over and rights the ship to get us through Russia, hopefully with some success. He then retires from coaching (temporarily at least) to work with USSF as a liaison with NCAA to make it a better developing ground for players. There is not better person for that sort of role, and it would benefit the game tremendously if it were to happen.

    • The main issue with the NCAA is the practice time and the compressed schedule, and both of those are tough to fix. Players just need to accept if they want to develop their soccer they need to go pro and take online classes to work toward a degree, the college system will never be a mass player development spot, their goal is on education not athletic improvement at least in soccer.

      • Here’s what I don’t get about the NCAA… no school has to participate or follow its rules. the NCAA has no TV rights to Soccer, and any school, division, or group of educational institutions could form a group, have a tournament, or season, for as long as they want, with whatever scholarship and practice time rules they want. They could even say that the players have to live at the school 12 months a year to make up for the lessened class load because of extra practice time.

        They could make themselves the premier development league on earth… but instead… The fact that universities are still fucking around with the NCAA when it comes to soccer is a joke.

      • Of course decisions like that are made by college presidents, who don’t like to look like professional sports factories. It might also cause them some pressure in other sports that they wouldn’t want to take on.

      • You bring up good points, It’ll never be, nor should it, be the main development driving force. College soccer should be about education first, not developing professionals (unlike football and basketball is just a legit cash grab by NCAA).

        But so does Don Lamb. You cannot deny that in most countries, if you’re not good enough between 17-23, you’re done. Jamie Vardy stories are simply so rare we can almost say they’re impossible. The college game gives an alternate route for some of these kids who aren’t ready. I believe Cameron is the perfect example. No MLS or NASL clubs was interested in him at all (I think he wanted to bypass college, but couldn’t), and I believe he wasn’t even a highly a sought after recruit for Division I. It gave him a year or 2 to develop further into a decent MLS prospect.

        Arena I think could improve this alternate path. But I agree, if you’re dream is to be a professional, you have to pursue that dream immediately. For all the meteoric rise we saw with Jordan Morris, is hestitation and desire to return to school for one more year really makes me question his mental ceiling.

    • I can see arena now. .. June 12, 2018 St. Petersburg That look in his eye as his team is getting shelled. Me turning off the tv

      • haha. An Arena-led US team would not have a ton of expectations for advancing far in the World Cup, but at least he would be steady and do a decent job at minimum. He would be the perfect stop-gap until there should be a load of talent ready in 2022.

  14. If it is Arena, we can kiss Brooks, Johnson, and Chandler goodbye and say hello to Bornstein, Lichaj, Feilhaber. Yay 2006 all over again.

    • Yeah for all his nationalistic comments in recent history, Bruce NEVER shied from bringing in Dual-nationals when he was coach. If he had the same name recognition and social network in Germany that JK has, he also would’ve brought them in if he knew about them. Any of his comments that this current generation isn’t american enough is very hypocritical of him

  15. Ramos makes sense as he is already on the payroll and familiar with everything, day 1 nothing to catch up on. bet he still coaches the u20’s I have not been wow’d by his tactics but defiantly on the shortlist.

    surprised to see Arena over Sigi..

    one thing is for sure if they are still paying Jurgen’s buy out they are not splashing any cash on a big name. its going to be a current MLS/US coach that will take the job for patriotism not as a traditional job.

  16. Ramos! LOL. Let’s see. Sunil signed him to a big MLS contract for the Metrostars without their knowledge. They didn’t want him but Gulati just did it, and Gulati was no longer working for a MLS a few months later as owners were furious. Oh BTW…they are best buds. Sunil is godfather to Tab’s kid. Tab’s teams in NY were always in last place and played horrible soccer. He stopped. Then Sunil let him sit in on several Nat Teams to learn a bit and without any track record viola! U20 coach. He was terrible first cycle. OK the second. Nice to be able to learn on the job knowing there are no consequences. Oh yeah….Tab is known throughout soccer circles as a politician first and foremost .Not a hard worker. Big idea guy…sound familiar? Nice to have friends in high places. What a joke.
    Even if by some miracle JK is let go, and I doubt Sunil has the stones….we are still left with in over his head Sunil, hiring his Jersey buddies everywhere. How depressing.

    • Ramos was one of the three best USMNT players when he was signed by MLS I think you are exaggerating that story a little. Maybe they didn’t like the money spent, but not the player. Metrostars struggles were hardly related to just Ramos, they continually signed aged internationals who were simply cashing paychecks. Ramos never was really the same player after having his skull fractured against Brazil on the Fourth of July. I don’t know if he can manage a lick, but he’s hardly at fault for the Metrostars woes.

      • After his first contract the Metrostars did not want to sign him. Between injury and the turf he was done. Sunil just signed him without permission. . Sunil was parting ways with MLS shortly after. Owners were furious.
        There are so many great stories about the early days no one knows about, and folks won’t talk about them, or can’t for political reasons.
        It is an absolutely true story and I guarantee Ives knows it…but better to not let it out. What point would it serve him?

      • Sorry thought you were talking about his original contract. Who really cares about the other stuff? Its not what you know its who you know in almost every walk of life. Especially in small communities like US soccer everyone is connected to somebody somehow. Sir Alex Ferguson got Big Sam the England job pretty much on his word alone from reports. It happens everywhere.

  17. Arena if its for two years sure. LA has some rebuilding to do so he may be interested, who knows.

    Vermes, not sure, he seems to also throw players in the doghouse without much reason, Besler. Generally does pretty well with not the best budget in MLS and plays a more attacking style.

    Ramos, who knows what he actually believes? He got runover in 2013 trying to play high pressure JK original philosophy. 2015 looked both good and bad, has worked with a lot of the up and comers like CCV, Miazga, Zelalem, Arriola, and Rubin. Might be tainted by his association with Klinsmann. (Surprisingly Vermes has 3 more international goals, although he was a forward and Ramos a mid)

      • Does he want it and for how long is really the only question? If we’ve learned anything since 2000 its that extending managers to two world cups in a row is not a good decision. The only other sticking point would be how much money and control does he want?

        The only other realistic choice I have would be Oscar Pareja. He has youth development experience working for FC Dallas Academy and with USSF, and he has five years of professional managing experience. He’s Colombian, which will cause strife with some, but he’s lived here almost 20 years which 40% of his lifetime.

      • Does he want it and for how long is really the only question?

        According to another website, the verbiage in his contract may indicate he has/had interest if the position were available:

        “Arena’s contract with the Galaxy was set to expire next month, but the 65-year-old recently signed a two-year extension with the MLS club, multiple sources said. However, the new deal would allow Arena — who coached the U.S. at the 2002 and 2006 World Cups — to leave if he were offered the national team job.

        Given his age, maybe he calls it a career after Russia.

      • I’m a big Galaxy fan and a few years ago I would have welcomed this. But the last couple of years Arena has not been doing very well. While there have been some extenuating circumstances like injuries, I think he has made some bad personnel moves as well as failed to get the best out of the team. I’m not impressed with any of the names mentioned here. I hope we could do better. Based on his resume, the new Atlanta coach Martino would be a better choice than any of these guys. He’s coached both Argentina and Barcelona.

      • Arena is on record as being opposed to “foreign born” players. So, he’d either come in with a lot of players skeptical if not right hostile or he would dismantle half the squad or some combo of the two. I don’t see how that is a winning proposition.

    • Why is Ramos even being considered. He is Jurgen’s VBF and part-architect of USA going backwards, something which has not happened on the women’s side even though everyone said it would once the mighty Euro futbol brains put an effort into their European women’s sides. No the opposite happened – the US women dominated at the World Cup. Klinsmann and all associated with him (Ramos) must go. We have many excellent coaches in waiting – Arena, Vermes, Kreis, Kinnear, Porter, Pareja, Marsch, etc or me I could do better.

      • Women’s team dominated when Ellis decided to finally stop forcing the focus on Abby and let Carli Lloyd take the reigns. THEN they dominated. Until then they look uninspired and predictable.

        In many ways I agree, JK needs to do the same with the Jones/Bradley combo. Its just not working

  18. Tab Ramos? I am not sure what he gets you that is any different. Failure to get out of group stage in the Under 20 Wold Cup and inability to beat Mexico.

    • Um he got to the quarterfinal… and lost to the champs Serbia in pk’s. Not saying he should be senior manager, or he’s earned it, but he actually didn’t do that bad if you look back at the tourney. Not perfect, but not as bad as some people make out. I was overly critical of him too, until I looked back. Hard to play well against a physical team like Serbia when 3 of your starting attackers are out with injuries by then.

  19. That doesn’t bode well for JK.
    He was always above the job and the US soccer community, no matter what level of involved we are.

    It really would be a good idea for both sides to move on…….1 year ago.

      • Even worse is that he hasn’t exactly been covering himself with glory the past 2 MLS seasons. Especially some of his personnel moves. I think it’s close to the time when Bruce should retire.

      • I’d disagree with Gary Page on this one…Galaxy has always been a DP-driven, star-studded team, and their front office acquired players a lot of times and then just expected Bruce to work them in, which he usually did, very successfully. I just think the Galaxy had aged up to the point where certain key DP’s – Keane and Gerrard in particular – had kind of passed their DP expo date and were going to have to be replaced and certain other guys like De Jong and (unsurprisingly) Ashely Cole didn’t add a lot as the season wore on. The Galaxy were going to need a rebuild and some freshening on the roster; it kind of feels like the end of an era there…and probably a good time for Arena to move along and Galaxy to find their next generation’s coach.

        I think if there’s an American coach who can come in and instantly command the USMNT locker room and freshen the team up, it’s Arena. Everybody already knows he can do it because he’s done it; he was getting results (with vastly less talent) with the USMNT 14 years ago and he always had an “eff ’em” attitude towards even foreign superpowers…even in 2006 when we didn’t get out of Group, the USMNT still tied eventual winner Italy in the Group Stage, their only non-win on the tournament. We were just playing behind the 8-ball after a bad start against a loaded Czech Republic team, and then we got absolutely jobbed by the refs against Ghana…and hey, guess what, we were 3-and-done even though I thought we played pretty well with the exception of the opener.

        If anybody can turn things around in qualifying and take the USMNT into what’s likely to be the most hostile (and corrupt) World Cup in recent memory in Russia, it’s going to be Arena. We don’t have the luxury of a learning curve right now.

        In 2019, thought, I would like to see somebody like Pareja or Marsch.

      • If Arena is the choice, could we expect to see Landon make another comeback? I’m betting yes. The temptation to mess with JK would just be too great for both LD and Arena.

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