Jurgen Klinsmann reportedly thought the 2015 Gold Cup was rigged

Mark J. Rebilas/Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Jurgen Klinsmann was loathe to take responsibility for any of the United States' losses in his tenure. He would blame his players, the referees, luck or pretty much anything else, but never himself. In the end, it would help lead to his firing.

But none of his public excuses were anywhere nearly a extreme as what he told U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati in private, per ESPNFC.

The U.S. lost in the semifinals of that Gold Cup, but not to Mexico. They lost to Jamaica. And there wasn't any fishy refereeing or ridiculous play in that much. They were simply beaten by a team that played direct soccer, which the U.S. couldn't deal with. There was nothing that would indicate any sort of rigging in that match. If there was any fixing going on, it was on the other side of the bracket, where Mexico scored a controversial win over Panama, but that had no bearing on the Americans losing and their worst Gold Cup since 2000.

Despite Klinsmann's claims, he still kept his job for more than a year after that Gold Cup loss. He added a loss in the CONCACAF Cup, to Guatemala in World Cup qualifying and losses to Mexico and Costa Rica to start the Hex in the 16 months that followed before U.S. Soccer let him go on Monday.

Klinsmann explained away the losses in public. In private, his excuses were even more bold; he told Gulati that he was convinced that the Gold Cup was fixed so Mexico would win, setting up the big-money playoff match against the U.S., a viewpoint that exasperated his boss.