This time around, the calls for change atop the U.S. soccer establishment were more pointed. By every metric, soccer in this country has never been more popular, and with that added attention came added pressure for Gulati to make a dramatic decision.
Klinsmann is a legend. He has starred as a player across Europe, winning a World Cup in 1990 and, with the help of a highly regarded staff, found success as a coach by instituting a new wave of attacking, exciting soccer with the German national team.
But that was mighty Germany, with its leagues-deep talent pool and glorious history. What about the United States?
Whatever the outcome in Philadelphia (9 ET, ESPN2), tonight is one for U.S. sports fans to remember. If only by association, this edition of the national soccer team is about to step out on to a new cut of turf.
The whole world will be watching.
The players* selected for tonight's inaugural "Klinsmannschaft," club home in parentheses:
Goalkeepers: Tim Howard (Everton), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra (St. Etienne), Edgar Castillo (Club America), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Zach Loyd (Dallas), Michael Orozco Fiscal (San Luis), Heath Pearce (Chivas USA), Tim Ream (Red Bulls) Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Ricardo Clark (Eintracht Frankfurt), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew), Brek Shea (Dallas), Jose Torres (Pachuca) Forwards: Freddy Adu (Benfica), Juan Agudelo (Red Bulls), DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Edson Buddle (Ingolstadt), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy)
*Zach Loyd replaces defender Timmy Chandler; Robbie Rogers has taken the injured Maurice Edu's place; and Clarence Goodson, also picked in the original group, has been injured and forced to withdraw.