CHICAGO – Earnie Stewart, current GM of the Philadelphia Union has agreed to become the new USMNT GM. He will take over the role effective August 1, 2018.
Earnie Stewart Named USMNT GM
After the failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, the General Manager position was created so US Soccer could better identify, and be held accountable for coaching hires and decisions. While the main details of the job weren’t known until now, one could’ve assumed that it would have to do with the hiring and firing of coaching personnel associated with the US Men’s National Team. After more than six months, we now have someone to fill that role.
Earnie Stewart has represented the USMNT in three separate world cups, and played for D.C. United, helping them win the 2004 MLS Cup. He also spent time playing in the Netherlands.
His technical experience started out in the Netherlands, where he led VVV Venlo, NAC Breda, and AZ Alkmaar in a similar role with those clubs. Recently, he’s held the “Sporting Director” role for the Philadelphia Union for the last three years, helping them establish a pipeline of homegrown players into the first team.
“Having played for the U.S. Men’s National Team, I’m honored by the opportunity to return to help lead this rebuilding phase,” said Stewart via US Soccer’s Press Release. “We have a tremendous amount of young talent and passion in the U.S., and I’m ready to jump in, hire a new head coach and build a culture of success, with the ultimate goal of the U.S. Men’s National Team becoming a world champion.”
According to US Soccer’s statement on what the position will entail, Stewart will have the following duties to fulfill:
- Lead Hiring Process for USMNT Head Coach
- Create a successful environment for both the head coach and the team
- Ensuring that style of play, tactical principles, and key qualities are being implemented
- Creating Player Profile for each position based on the style of play, tactical principles, and key qualities.
- Working with the head coach to create positional depth charts based on the player profile, and the player’s current and potential ability.
- Evaluate and monitor players coming up through the Youth National Teams
- Communicating with the Sporting Development Departments to drive technical alignment and integration
Personally, I don’t think we’ll see the benefits of this position soon enough to judge the hire immediately. Philadelphia haven’t been entirely successful on the field since he took over, but you also can’t chalk that up to him. The players play the game, and Curtin coaches them. So too many moving parts to really judge his time in Philadelphia.
One thing you can judge is the integration of strong youth homegrown players into the first team over the last couple years. That’s a nice sign of players understanding a system and way of playing, and being integrated and prepared to jump into the highest level they can, as soon as possible. That’s the mark of a strong technical development department at a club, so I would argue that should be a factor when evaluating Stewart’s time with Philadelphia.
If he can help develop model of play and development for the national team to where we know what we’ll expect to see from them every time out, that will be a big step forward. But of course, all eyes will be on the first things on the to-do list, hire a head coach. That search, and those rumors are obviously going to start flying in the coming weeks and months. We can have a better idea of the future operating levels of this position, once we see him and the head coach in action. The clock is ticking on 2022, so it’s time to get it set.
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