January 25 – The US men’s national team may have to wait longer for a new coach following the exit of sporting director Ernie Stewart at US Soccer. Earlier this week general manager Brian McBride had also departed the federation.
Stewart will be heading to the Netherlands and a role at PSV Eindhoven and in conjunction with McBride’s departure the management shakeup leaves the future of coach Greg Berhalter, whose contract expired at the end of last year, further in doubt.
The US played a friendly match in Los Angeles on Wednesday against Serbia, with Berhalter’s assistant Anthony Hudson leading the team. The US lost 2-1 but used the match to debut eight younger players and only had two players who featured in Qatar last November.
Berhalter has been under investigation for a 1991 domestic violence incident that came to light following a spat with the Reyna family over comments Berhalter had made a conference on the attitude of Gio Reyna at the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
Stewart’s departure deepens the crisis around the men’s national team. Stewart had been leading a post-World Cup review of the entire men’s national team programme, but with his exit US Soccer now has three major vacancies to fill at the top of the organisation.
US Soccer has retained Sportsology to head the search for a new sporting director. “Working with key U.S. Soccer leadership, Sportsology has also already begun a full review of U.S. Soccer’s sporting department,” the federation said in a news release.
“The group will also analyze head coach candidates to accelerate the sporting director’s hiring process.”
“We want to do it right,” said US Soccer president Cindy Parlow Cone. “We want to make sure we have the right person in place. It’s not just a short-term fix. This is a long-term person that we want to put in place, and we have to make sure that they align with our visions and values as an organisation. So we’re going to move quickly, but we’re not going to rush the process.”
Cone said that it might well take until summer until both the roles of sporting director and national team coach are filled. This summer Concacaf will host the Gold Cup in the US, the US are the reigning champions.
In Qatar the US reached the round of 16, but Holland then dispatched them with ease. In 2026, the pressure and home expectation will be on the Americans when they co-host the tournament, staged for the first time in a 48-team format, with Canada and Mexico.
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