In the end, heightened expectations were his demise.

Amid concerns that progress had stalled during his tenure, Bob Bradley was been fired as coach of the U.S. men's national soccer team.

In a surprising announcement Thursday, U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said Bradley had been relieved of his duties.

"We want to thank Bob Bradley for his service and dedication to U.S. Soccer during the past five years," Gulati said in a statement.

 "During his time as the head coach of our Men's National Team he led the team to a number of accomplishments, but we felt now was the right time for us to make a change. It is always hard to make these decisions, especially when it involves someone we respect as much as Bob. We wish him the best in his future endeavors."

Bradley was chosen as coach in January 2007 and went 43-25-12 overall. He helped lead the team to the Round of 16 of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. 

But the United States is coming off a poor showing in the Gold Cup tournament, including a stunning 2-1 loss to Panama and an embarrassing 4-2 loss in the championship game against Mexico.

The dismissal comes nearly a year after Bradley was given a contract extension to continue coaching the team through 2014, the year of the next World Cup in Brazil.

But even as Bradley was given a new deal, there were concerns that the team had hit its ceiling.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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