United States men's national soccer team coach Jurgen Klinsmann is firmly on the hot seat, but he doesn't believe his job is in jeopardy.
"I’m not afraid," Klinsmann said, per Sam Borden of the New York Times. "What you need to do is stick to the facts. Soccer is emotional, and a lot of people make conclusions without knowing anything about the inside of the team or the sport. I still believe we will get the points we need to qualify, and I am even confident we could win the group."
The question marks about his job security have arose over the past two weeks due to a nightmare two games in 2018 World Cup qualifying. The United States lost 2-1 at home against Mexico on an 89th-minute goal before falling 4-0 to Costa Rica in an embarrassing overall effort on the road.
These were the first two games in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying, known as the Hex for the six teams involved. The Americans now sit at the bottom of the table with zero points and the worst goal differential in the group.
Despite these results, Klinsmann has gone on the offensive against those questioning his future with the team.
"The fact is, we lost two games," the 52-year-old coach said. "There is a lot of talk from people who don’t understand soccer or the team."
The German national added an attack on the local fans, per Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated:
Klinsmann has been with the team since 2011, leading the squad to a round-of-16 finish in the 2014 World Cup. The United States also earned a fourth-place finish at the recent Copa America.
However, the recent losses have created plenty of question marks about what the organization will do next. U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati seemed noncommittal when asked about the coaching situation after the loss to Costa Rica, per Wahl.
Steven Goff of the Washington Post also reported the team's interest in a reunion with former coach Bruce Arena.
The United States won't play another World Cup qualifying match until March 24 against Honduras.