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Klinsmann is right: the USA does need to grow up as a soccer nation

Jurgen Klinsmann has taught us all something very valuable: we have to fire Jurgen Klinsmann.

Jurgen Klinsmann might be the most patient teacher this side of Mister Miyagi.

He's said over and over again exactly how the United States needs to grow up and leave its seat at the kiddie table of world soccer. How he wants to educate us as a soccer nation to talk and think the right ways. How American supporters and the public need to put more pressure on the team to succeed. How the way we, as those invested in the fate of the USMNT, discuss the team has to evolve.

And he's right. He's obviously right, in fact. We do need to more openly put tangible pressure on the team to win when it matters. Like, say the Gold Cup, our regional championship. Or, for instance, the Concacaf Cup, against our biggest rival, with a trip to the Confederations Cup on the line. If the organization, from Sunil Gulati to the players on the field down to the kit man, didn't feel pressure to win this summer or this weekend, then we failed to make them feel it.

We also need to change the way we talk about the sport and the national team. What kind of person talks about referee decisions from a different game when making excuses for a loss? What kind of fan bashes the player pool, expanded as it's been in recent years, as insufficient to compete against the same competition we've been dominating when the bright lights come on for more than a decade? Who are we if we can't even discuss consecutive failures to qualify for the Olympics? (Though, there is still a potential way in on that last one.)

Through all this, though, Klinsmann has stuck with us. He has waited patiently for us to finally get it and stand up as the powerhouse we're waiting to be. He keeps us in his tutelage, trying different teaching techniques and hoping that he will finally break through and really reach us. At a certain point, it's on us to take his gifts, his investments in us, and run with them. It's time, at long last, to internalize the many valuable lessons Herr Klinsmann has taught us all over the last four years and finally take the next step toward the grown-ups' table.

We have to fire Jurgen Klinsmann.

It's the only way to show Jurgen Klinsmann the manager and technical director that we are worthy of Jurgen Klinsmann the teacher.

He won't go on his own. He can't - he's a true teacher, and he will stay at his post until his pupils finally stand up on their chairs reciting O Captain My Captain with knives drawn. Only when his head is on the platter will he be confiident that we have learned what we need to learn from him. Only then can he know we can find our own way forward.

It's the only way to really show Klinsmann, and ourselves, that we understand how to apply pressure and hold the manager and technical staff accountable for failure. Only by enumerating those myriad failures - his missing the podium at the Gold Cup, his failing to qualify for the Confederations Cup, his becoming the first U.S. manager ever to lose to a Caribbean opponent on American soil, his inability to improve on Bob Bradley's finish at the World Cup, his repeated refusal to match his actions to his words, the list goes on and on - can we demonstrate we are in fact well versed enough in the notions of soccer and athletic competition to do what is necessary. To do what any grown up soccer country would do in the face of such failure.

Only by firing Klinsmann can U.S. Soccer graduate into the adult world of international soccer. It's too bad Sunil Gulati has skipped out of class and will hold the rest of us back for another year.