Jurgen Klinsmann took over the US men’s national team after they got embarrassed in the 2011 Gold Cup final against Mexico, giving up four straight goals to El Tri and losing 4-2.
His first game later that summer, coincidentally, also happened to against Mexico who, at the time, ranked eight spots better than the US in the FIFA rankings (No. 20 to the US's 28).
The US eked out a 1-1 draw in that game, but the writing was on the wall by the time Mexico won the Olympic gold medal the next year, and Kinsmann himself noted what most American fans had come to accept: There was suddenly a gap between the two CONCACAF rivals.
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The USMNT have steadily closed it ever since, however, heading into the teams' clash on Wednesday night at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. (11 pm ET, ESPN/UniMas). Since taking over, Klinsmann’s team has won 28 of 46 games, including the 2013 Gold Cup title.
They also finished first in the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying Hexagonal on the back of a historic draw in Mexico City a year ago and another 2-0 win in Columbus last fall, while Mexico struggled mightily just to make the trip to Brazil while dealing with mounting media pressure and four coaching changes when things got bad.
But what's been the biggest factor in the change? Cast your vote in the poll at right and let us know what you think in the comments section below.