USMNT to Hire Gregg Berhalter as Manager

Gregg Berhalter
COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 04: Columbus Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter enters the field before the MLS eastern conference semifinals game between the Columbus Crew SC and the New York Red Bulls on November 04, 2018 at Mapfre Stadium in Columbus, OH. (Photo by Adam Lacy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Chicago, Illinois (November 28, 2018) — The worst kept secret in American soccer is officially out of the bag.

U.S. Soccer will indeed hire Gregg Berhalter as its next permanent manager of the senior-level USMNT, Roger Gonzalez of CBS Sports reported. The announcement ends weeks of speculation regarding who would eventually succeed interim manager Dave Sarachan.

Gregg Berhalter Named Permanent Manager of USMNT

Sarachan replaced Bruce Arena in the wake of the US’ shock failure to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. His tenure as a caretaker of sorts saw the introduction of quite a few younger players with an aim towards development leading into the next qualifying cycle. He leaves the post with a 3-5-4 record, the most impressive result of which was probably the 1-1 draw with eventual World Cup winners France.

The 45-year-old Berhalter becomes the 37th coach in the history of the USMNT and the youngest since Steve Sampson took over in 1995. His previous stint was in Major League Soccer with Columbus Crew SC where he led the team to the playoffs in four of his five seasons in charge. The highlight was a run to MLS Cup in 2015 where they fell 2-1 to the Portland Timbers.

Berhalter finishes his tenure in Columbus with a 74-69-50 record. The win total is the second-most in club history behind Tom Fitzgerald who led the team from 1996-2001.

Prior to joining the Crew, Berhalter had one previous managing stop with Swedish club Hammarby. In so doing, he became the first American manager of a European professional soccer club. During his three seasons in Sweden, he compiled an 18-11-17 record but the club ultimately sacked him in July of 2013.

Berhalter himself has extensive playing experience at international level, earning 44 caps for the US between 1994 and 2006. He played a significant role on the back line during the USMNT’s run to the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup. His club career is also rather decorated with him having played for a multitude of clubs in The Netherlands and Germany. He finished his playing career with the LA Galaxy and joined Arena’s staff as an assistant in 2011.

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