With a 2-1 loss on Tuesday night to Trinidad and Tobago, the United States men’s national team failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
It’s the first time since 1986 that the team did not qualify for the largest tournament in all of sports and is about to bring sweeping changes to the program.
After Jurgen Klinsmann was fired in November of 2016 after two disastrous losses in the opening matches of CONCACAF qualifying for the World Cup.
Instead of looking for a new, fresh face to lead the squad, US Soccer Federation (USSF) president Sunil Gulati and Co. chose to revert back to Bruce Arena, who coached the USMNT from 1998-2006.
What ensued over the next 10 months was an utter disaster, as the US finished with just 12 points in 10 matches to finish fifth in the six-team qualifying group. Had they been able to secure a point, the would have been in as they finished just one point behind both Panama and Honduras.
It’s only a matter of time before Arena is dismissed.
While the entire program, including USSF president, needs a complete revamp around young phenom Christian Pulisic, it has to be a priority to bring on a new coach and if possible, a big name that has attained success on the international stage whether it be with a national team or with a big club in Europe.
Here are some names, both at home and abroad, who should deserve to be looked at by the USSF for the managerial role:
In MLS and the United States
Tab Ramos: Manager of USMNT Under-20 squad
Ramos started his career with the national team as a player in 1988. In 2011, he took over at his current position and has guided the team into the knockout stages (quarterfinals) of the U-20 World Cup in each of the last two tournaments.
Peter Vermes: Manager of Sporting Kansas City
Vermes is a proven winner in MLS and in the United States. He won an MLS Cup in 2013 and a U.S. Open Cup this summer over the New York Red Bulls. He currently coaches US nationals including Matt Besler, Dom Dwyer and Graham Zusi.
Jesse Marsch: Manager of New York Red Bulls
While he hasn’t won a major trophy in New York, Marsch has kept his side competitive despite not having the most talent in MLS.
New York won the Supporter’s Shield in 2015 and finished first in the Eastern Conference last year. This summer, they made it to the US Open Cup Finals before bowing out to Vermes’ Sporting KC.
Luis Enrique: Not currently with a club
Whenever there is a former manager of Barcelona available, it’s at least worth it to take a look. The former player returned to the club as manager in 2014 and quickly filled up the trophy cabinet.
He won two-straight La Liga titles from 2014-2016, three straight Copa del Reys from 2014-2017, the 2014-15 UEFA Champions League, a UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup in 2015, and a Spanish Super Cup in 2016.
Why wouldn’t you go for this guy?
Of course, there is the little problem of actually convincing a manager of this caliber to come coach a dysfunctional national team.
Carlo Ancelotti: Not currently with a club
If you thought Enrique’s run at Barcelona was impressive, wait until you see Ancelotti’s.
The seasoned manager who has made his way around Europe has coached at some of the largest clubs in the world including Juventus, AC Milan, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and most recently, Bayern Munich.
He’s won three league titles and three Champions League crowns.
Claudio Ranieri: Manager of Nantes (France, Ligue 1)
This is a man that’s proven he can win with teams that might not have the most talent. We all saw that when he directed Leicester City to a dream Premier League title in 2015-16.
But Ranieri also guided Chelsea to unknown territory for the then-growing club during the 2003-04 season, leading them to their first ever Champions League semi-final. However, a loss to Monaco would result in his sacking.