Hey Jurgen,

This is a hard one to write for me. Back in 2011 when we first met, I thought you were the answer. I even told my friends that you were the one to bring us to the promise land. I remember bragging to everyone how good you were for us!!  And please, do not think that the time was all bad. So what we went 1-4-1, that win versus Slovenia was epic!! 2012 and 2013… I really thought we were on to something.

But then came May 2014… You told one our best that he had to take his ball and go home. .We tried to console Landon Donovan, and although you two kissed and made up publicly, I always knew there was tension there. It made for a very uncomfortable relationship. And posting a record of 6-5-4 made me start to talk to my inner circle. Have you lost interest in us? What did I do wrong? Should we try and change for you? But I never got answers to these questions, just more frustration. So I decided to give it another year. And believe me when I say this, 2015 started out OK. I started getting that old warm fuzzy again. But then came PPL park, July 25th. I was fine with under achieving, and playing for 3rd in the CONCACAF Gold Cup. I mean after all, sparkly hardware makes us feel good right? But my heart and soul were broken in a 3-2 loss to Panama. Yes Panama. I will give you 5 seconds to tell me 6 starters on the team. Can’t? Neither can 98% of the free world. I Mean we are The United States of America!! We are the strongest nation in the world. How could we lose to Panama?

Even the players seem like they gave up? Did you? Was this the writing on the wall that all my friends were warning me about?? This could not be you giving up on us, I was convinced. I was in denial. So I sat down last night with my 2 sons last night while they wore their Neymar and Pele jersey’s thinking to myself; ” I will have the last laugh tomorrow.” I didn’t expect a win, but at least a game.

And them came Hulk. Damn. Ok, down 1, we got this. We went into halftime only down a goal. I sat on my chair proud of what I was seeing. We were being dominated, but we are still only down 1. As I sat back down and watched the 2nd half, it felt as you had ripped our hearts out. 4 minutes into it, a penalty. No reaction huh?  I knew it was over. I turned my TV off, and went silently upstairs and thought of what could have been.

I was blind to how mad I should have been when you took my National Youth coaching license, and told me it was worthless. I was holding in my rage when you decided to change the age chart for US soccer teams, taking the U11’s I’ve been coaching for 3 years and told them the couldn’t play together, because we are no longer going by the August to July ages, but birth year. All so we could compete with the rest of the world in soccer. But you need to lead by example. And Coach, you are not doing that.

So I am sorry that I have to give you the “It’s not you, it’s me speech”. but I feel the healthy thing would be just to end our relationship. We will still see each other. Maybe at a party, or at a game, but I need to keep my sanity. We need to keep our sanity.

I wish you the best, and I honestly hope you find that special someone. But for the good of both of us, please, please.. Let’s go our separate ways.

Cheers,

BJ Nolek

P.S. You don’t happen to have Jill Ellis’ phone number do you? Is it too soon?

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