Former Germany player and boss Jurgen Klinsmann has been sacked as coach of the United States.
The 52-year-old, who won the World Cup as a player with Germany in 1990, took over as US boss in 2011.
"We remain confident we have quality players to help us advance to Russia 2018," said US Soccer president Sunil Gulati.
"But the form and growth of the team up to this point left us convinced that we need to go in a different direction."
Klinsmann steered the United States to the last 16 at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil after finishing above Portugal in their group.
The US are pointless and bottom of the six-country qualifying group, below the likes of Panama and Honduras, albeit only a fifth of the way through the qualifying process.
"With the next qualifying match in late March, we have several months to refocus," added Gulati.
"We need to determine the best way forward to ensure a successful journey to qualify for our eighth consecutive World Cup."
Analysis: 'Rift proved Klinsmann's downfall'
USA Today sports correspondent Martin Rodgers on BBC Radio 5 live:
Klinsmann has had some decent results as US head coach but ultimately too many setbacks and this was the time to pull the plug.
It now looks like Bruce Arena, the former US coach, most recently of LA Galaxy, will take over. Arena was head coach between 1998 and 2006 and maybe it is time to go back and do things the American way.
I think it's an admission that the experiment with Klinsmann didn't work. Everyone remembers what he did with Germany in 2006 and the free flowing and attacking football they played.
People expected him to come in and do the same with the US. The problem is the US is not blessed with the same kind of players as that Germany squad - or any Germany squad.
That's really where the downfall came. The way Klinsmann wanted to play, the players he had couldn't play that way.
It created tension within the camp and it created a little bit of a rift between some of the German-American players he had brought in and some of the more traditional American players.