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Report: Sarachan to remain USMNT interim coach through June


As expected, Dave Sarachan will remain in charge of the U.S. Men’s National Team through the summer.

According to the Washington Post, U.S. Soccer has extended Sarachan’s contract as interim coach through the end of June. Sarachan’s contract was set to expire at the end of March, but the interim boss recently signed a new contract with the federation lasting through the summer, keeping Sarachain in charge for four additional friendlies.

The move is a logical one as the U.S. continues its search for a general manager and, ultimately, a head coach. The federation is not expected to hire a coach until the summer when the World Cup is completed.

Until then, Sarachan will take charge for the upcoming friendly against Paraguay as well as May’s clash with Bolivia and a pair of June matches against Ireland and France.

“It was something I wanted to do,” Sarachan told the Washington Post. “I knew what the games coming up were in May and June. They are important and, for me personally, to keep this thing going with the group would be important. And I think the federation realized that as well.”

While at the helm, Sarachan has overseen a 1-1 draw over Portugal last November as well as a 0-0 draw with Bosnia & Herzegovina following the annual January camp.

The U.S. returns to action on Tuesday against Paraguay.


  1. I understand both sides wanting a coach now and waiting. Yes it would be nice to have one to get the ball rolling and yes it would be premature to hire someone they really ain’t sold on just to please people. They made the mistake with sarachan to begin with as he was an Arena hold over. Tab would have made the most sense as a caretaker to me as he could have brought in the youth movement more naturally because of his experience with the younger guys. Regarding the GM position maybe there is to much pressure and expectation to not fail to qualify for next WC. I just hope that whoever is chosen for these positions has an open mind and knowledgeable experience to what is needed to progress the team and program. I want to be clear with this last point I am not against hiring an American coach but does anyone really think that they would be the best qualified for the job. I hate hearing that they know the MLS and blah blah blah, they need someone who can pick best players from no matter what league that fits into the direction they choose to take the team.

    • thought i read somewhere tab didn’t want the (interim) job. that’s the other side of the sarachan equation: nobody better would’ve taken the job. so yeah, we’re fine for now; we can save the panicking for when it’s really warranted.

  2. it’s probably also good to keep in mind that, although June is mid-season in mls, it’s the off-season (when player and coaching contracts normally would expire) for most of the rest of the soccer world, yes?

    • my two cents: patience. gonzalez is gone, let him go. let ussoccer hire their gm’s first and then let the gm of the men’s team do his job and hire the right coach. every time gonyalez scores on us, i suggest you buy the Mexican guy next to you a beer and make friends. hey, the kid is good, right? patience, let’s do this right.

  3. This idea that we’re going to be terribly behind if we don’t hire a new coach right now is misguided. If we had qualified for Russia, we would be on the exact same schedule as we are now, starting a new cycle this summer. Our player pool will be based on how players are doing with their clubs, and when they are performing well. Whoever is doing well now may very well be long gone by the time the new coach is selecting his core group for the next Hexagonal, and creating a system now vs next year isn’t going to change that fact or make the national team any better.

  4. It’s too long under Sarachan and I’m suspicious. They could just be hoping that he wins a few of these friendlies to justify keeping him around as the permanent coach. It shouldnt be that hard to find a GM and Im sure they would not want to drop a signed coach on the GM. He should get to pick his own coach

  5. Reality check: the GM is hiring the coach and the GM isn’t hired yet. Unless you know who the GM is we don’t have a clue who the HC long list is. So it’s pretend to act like US Soccer has a chart done up and is waiting to see who comes available after the league seasons and Russia. We wish we had our crap that together and were just being patient. Instead, we first elected a president, who will hire a GM, and when he’s hired they will sit down and discuss names, who may or may not be available already, and Sarachan getting til June is placeholding for THAT BUREAUCRATIC process and not for some genius waiting game on the perfect coach.

    • I still don’t understand your argument though. Yes, we had an opening in October, but did you want lame duck Gulati to hire the next Coach at that point? Our failure has led to a reorganization of the federation as you pointed out. It will take a little time to get the pieces in place. Also, you continue ignoring the fact that the large majority of coaching talent is currently employed. It would have been nice to have it all sorted out by now, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. Your ‘alternative’ is to have the old regime hire a coach from the limited pool available. I’m glad we did not do that.
      Have patience.

      • My point is with a coach hired already you can begin shaping the future system and assessing how players fit it, as opposed to glorified tryouts where a caretaker coach plays a system the new one won’t necessarily use. The former you start building the new edifice under the new coach. The latter you create tape for players who may not be playing the roles or positions the new coach even sees them in, and then when the new coach comes in we start this evaluation process over from scratch. Because Coach X is not going to just accept Sarachan’s thoughts or how Player Y looked when perhaps played out of position.

        I am not “continuing to ignore” anything. Name people we are actually interested in, and then we can talk about whether they are coaching through Russia, on a full time club gig, or out of work. Depending where they are on that continuum you may or may not have a point. You can’t actually name anyone cause the whole point is without a president and GM they have set up the process where they don’t even know who they want to pursue yet. You start with an inaccurate premise that they have the next guys identified and are playing a waiting game. They aren’t. That their bureaucratic process happens to line up with when leagues are over and World Cup complete doesn’t mean that the intent of taking that time is to ensure availability. I think we need that time to sort out our own bureaucracy — a massive waste of time — and they wouldn’t even know if the eventual choice is already out of a job or as you describe. The idea is to buy US Soccer time to play its bureaucratic games and not to give the coaches time to get fired or run out deals.

      • To me the important thing is changing the course of the NT with strong leadership, and not empowering the bureaucrats with the power to pick coaches (or disempowering the old ones by terming them lame ducks). I really don’t want to become a federation where the president and front office bigwigs are more important than the coach. I think delaying all this to wait on a new president and hire a GM empowers them and the bureaucracy while the team just kind of splashes along rudderless on the water. I don’t think who becomes president or GM matters that much where it helps to wait.

        On similar grounds I object to how the coaching job has been turned into a referendum on where people want to force the team over the next decades. Most teams play a style suited to the current personnel and don’t try and force some sort of sea change. If you want a different style and players with different attributes that’s development, not head coach on the senior team.

        We are ceasing to be practical, and becoming bureaucratic and abstracted. I want a team that wins and has a coach. I don’t want cute infighting games and abstract mission statements.

      • stop trying to reason with people that have their minds made up, are narrative driven, but have no evidence to support anything they say! There is still way too much animosity and hate going on in too many threads because the USMNT didn’t qualify for the WC, so trying to have logical and down to earth conversations are hard to come by!

    • Nothing has come out about any potential coaching choices, so you don’t know who the federation is looking at. It makes no sense assuming it’ll be a MLS coach, because you just don’t know that. It would make sense that since a hiring hasn’t happened yet it could very well be that USSF is holding out for a coach already managing a NT that is in the WC, but we won’t know until we know! Sarachan is a decent coach and can hold down the position for now, but what you don’t want is to rush a coaching search when you don’t have competitive games for a few years, and a WC not for another 5 years!

  6. There’s no point in rushing to hire a new coach if most of the best candidates are busy with their clubs and national teams (the ones that are heading to Russia).

    • Mary Stock “MNT’s Bundesliga Boys” YouTube It’s true that almost all the good ones are in the middle of a Premier League or Bundesliga year. That means nobody will listen now.

      However, there is one who is above them all. For unusual reasons, he is not working. That doesn’t mean we’ll be able to get him. There’s a reasonably good chance within the year it can come about. I’m just worried about the slowness of those who have to approach him. Because he is above all the others–working and not working. I am very familiar with him.

  7. What disappoints me is that other than giving some of the kids a runout, waiting til June to make this decision basically wastes all of the head start we have on the rest of the region, for the next cycle, while they focus on Russia and now. We’re going to have burned 8 months under a caretaker when we could have been moving forward on coaching, system, selection.

    FWIW Sarachan has 2 ties in 2 games after being assistant on the first US team to miss the World Cup since 1986. He’s still picking people like Villafana who are the reason we are where we are. Other than justifying our own dithering on presidential elections and GMs and other fake structural solutions, I don’t get extending his tenure.

    • Couldn’t agree more. While some may think 4 years is plenty of time to get ready, why wait? The new coach should be hired and establish his system and assistant coaches soon. One thing that concerns me is that they may want to make this splashy p.r. push like they are going to get some big international name, have a bunch of people turn them down and then settle for some second tier coach. The fact is that there is a top tier international coach right in front of them in Atlanta. If they don’t make a big push to get Martino they are idiots. There is no need to look any farther.

      • The most important thing is to get the right person for the job though. It would be great if that person was available and willing now, but the evidence shows otherwise. Have a little patience fellas. Much better to wait a few extra months for the person they really want than pull the trigger on someone we have less confidence in.

      • Not the time for a hasty decision. Players development and dedication to becoming better players is not on the back burner. Each individual player would s a professional and accountable for there performance. A new coach at this point would not change much with the exception of a particular formation.

        I’m not sure the hype of Martino? Many think he took a Ferrari at Barca and Argentina and turned them into Corrollas. Similar to Arena he has a lot of talent and financial support and should be top of the league.

        A worth waiting for at least for an interview is the Belgium Nat coach Martinez. He is a very well rounded coach who has shown to being adept at coaching in tournaments with his time at Wigan and Everton

    • The only time I’ve heard Martino talk about the NT coaching position is to turn it down because of the commitment he made to the young South American players he convinced to join him in Atlanta.
      As far as a head start: That’s laughable. Most teams don’t have a definitive list of players for the world cup that starts in a couple of months and you want to start working in the one four plus years down the road. Unless that list is about 500 players long otherwise it’s a waste of time trying to predict who’ll be available and in form by then.

      • What is so “laughable” about using the extra time we have been given to implement a new system and find the players who can play in it, new and old? I think glorified tryout camps that don’t implement a system and in some cases recycle old players who should be cashiered on performance, is farting around.

        I mean, let’s say you like McKennie or Weah based on how they play now. OK, new coach comes in and wants to play x formation and y style. Do they fit that? The problem with the current thing is they won’t be playing Sarachan Ball when the new coach comes in. So this is tape and eyewash but the new coach has to set up his way and then we see if the people impressing now even fit it.

        Actually, at this juncture in a world cup year, a coach would probably already know 20 out of his 23 if they can stay healthy. And I think under a new coach we’d initially be more concerned with who he thinks his best 30 or so for his system are — including new folks — and not in some absolute tryout. Sarachan can turn this into an open ended tryout because there is no system to implement and all we’re judging is how they look and not whether they can actually play a role in the way the new coach wants to go.

        You can knock that all you like but every coaching change or cycle there is a player like Mixx or Gringo Torres or the like who is deemed surplus as not fitting a new direction the team wants to go. I’d rather be working through that now than starting to judge fit in September or whenever the heck we have a long term coach.

    • The coaches you want to run the National Team are working right now. Either at a club or a team getting ready for Russia.

      Can’t wait to get the youth movement going and I have about 0 percent faith in Sarachan to do anything beyond a placeholder role but now is not the time to do anything but be patient.

      • What you’re saying sounds reasonable except I doubt it’s factually what’s occurring. The real reason for the delay is not some holding pattern for some identified coach who is busy. It’s a delay to elect a president and then hire a GM, who then together would figure out who to pursue. We are waiting on US Soccer to determine its new slate of bureaucrats. So Sarachan is just a placeholder while they hire all the presidents and GMs and such before they even think about it. The whole point is they haven’t fully decided the “search committee,” much less identified the object of said search.

        You can read between the lines here on whether I think in terms of success it’s more important who the MNT coach is, or who the bureaucrats are.

        I wouldn’t mind being patient for an endgame but the whole point is I doubt there is one mapped out because the project has been delayed to await the bureaucrats who will then select, and without them there is no long or short list to monitor to see if they come available.

    • Millennials, learn to be patient. You’re not always going to get everything you want instantaneously. Let’s give those who are running the show time to make sure the right pieces are in place before hiring the most important person in the US Soccer system. Better to do it right than to do it quick for nothing more than the sake of expediency.

      • October to June is 2/3 of a year in cycles that normally are 4 years and in our case are 4-2/3 years. That’s 1/6 of the time we have to prepare for the next one, burned on having Sarachan play tie games as some sort of Zombie Arena Holdover,

        I mean, do you think a full time coach loses the kid who swapped to Mexico for lack of effort and caps? Do you think a full-time coach at this juncture isn’t already establishing his intended formation, style, etc. Quit pretending like it’s harmless.

      • I could understand 3 months. This is literally most of a year with an interim coach we have no intent to hire long term, when we have obvious issues we need to be working on if the next cycle is going to end differently.

    • Mary Stock “MNT’s Bundesliga Boys” YouTube I think you get it. You just don’t agree with it, yeah? I, too, am antsy to get going. I feel the time ticking by, like you do. Big organizations take a long time to turn around, like a ship. I’ve seen, though, that often, the result is better than if we’d jumped in. Let’s hope this will be one of those. In the meantime, you can get active trying to get people interested in getting the best from Europe. It will take your antsiness away b/c you’re working toward making the next step the best one. And tell people why. Here’s an answer to that: “Because we’re going to win the World Cup in 2030 IF WE GET THE BEST COACH THERE IS (and that means Europe).” I’m busy, too. At the end of the month, I will be submitting the name and background (resume) of the man who, hands down, we need to get to do this, to the group who are working on this at the USSF . (Yes, he’s from Europe (lol).) ( I know it’s a little early. but they’ll need to choose a GM who is pro-Europe. So this is about the GM, too.)

      • Imperative Voice, you are correct the primary reason for this holding pattern are the vacancies at President (now filled), GM (under way), coach (next).

        but lets get one thing straight Bruce Arena lost Gonzalez. He lost him when he didn’t call him up for a Gold Cup roster (probably would have been premature, but hey Morris got a call up when he was in college!), lost him when he claimed that the last 4 qualifying matches we not the right time to bring in new players, lost him when he failed us in T&T.

        By the time Dave “lame duck” Sarachan was failing to call Gonzalez up to the Portugal friendly Dennis te Kloese, the Monterrey staff and El Tri were already recruiting him. Your point has some truth; if USSF gave the job to Tab Ramos or someone else who could counter Mexico’s advances then ya we probably would have kept Gonzalez but not having a World Cup or a cap tieing opportunity until 2019 it was going to be an uphill battle.

        this holdover period sucks, and it is not harmless – we are going to be watching Gonzalez play against in the US for decades, thankfully no one is pressing on CCV, or Weah yet. but let rebuild this program the right way; carefully. until then if we have a lame duck coach administering awkward first caps across 6 friendlies its really not the worse way to go about this year.

    • The idea that a national team coach develops talent is almost laughable. A national team coach identifies players and organizes them into a tactical style that fits (fits the coach’s vision, or the players’ talents). There are some things a national team coach can encourage, but nearly all the talent is developed and refined by club teams. If a player’s club does not help him along, expose him to high level competitive games and nurture his talent, a national team coach is very unlikely to select the player.

      If you think of the players JK tried to “develop” like Rogers and Ibarra or even Shea it would be hard to claim they were overwhelming successes.

      Finally, it is presently unknown if Tyler Adams, or some others will be better than Bradley in 3-4 years, but time is not Bradley’s friend in this case. Today, I would still take Bradley over others and I suspect the fortunes of Toronto vs the Red Bull and other MLS sides will bear that out this season, but probably not going forward.

    • with all due respect , it is beyond ignorance to suggest villafana was one of the reasons we are not going to Russia. I would argue Geoff Cameron, John Brooks and any other euro player we have in the pool is just as culpable when you consider how we started the hex with losses at home to mexico and away at Costa Rica with the majority of our euro players playing big roles. I can even go back further to the GC in 2015 where we didn’t even make the final as an example of no player doing themselves any favors with that catastrophe! So instead of scapegoating MLS, how about throwing the narrative away and instead lay the blame on the whole pool that played apart in qualifying. And those that say oh our euro players wouldn’t have made those mistakes in T&T, well i suggest those fans look at the Costa Rica games home and away, the mexico game home, matter of fact any game away from home………

    • Mary Stock “MNT’s Bundesliga Boys” YouTube I, too, am antsy to get going. I feel the time ticking by, like you do. Big organizations take a long time to turn around, like a ship. I’ve seen, though, that often, the result is better than if we’d jumped in. Let’s hope this will be one of those. In the meantime, you can get active trying to get people interested in getting the best from Europe. It will take your antsiness away b/c you’re working toward making the next step the best one. And tell people why. Here’s an answer to that: “Because we’re going to win the World Cup in 2030 IF WE GET THE BEST COACH THERE IS (and that means Europe).” I’m busy, too. At the end of the month, I will be submitting the name and background (resume) of the man who, hands down, we need to get to do this, to the group who are working on this at the USSF . (Yes, he’s from Europe (lol).) ( I know it’s a little early. but they’ll need to choose a GM who is pro-Europe. So this is about the GM, too.)

    • I see some questioning Martino’s ability because he inherited some excellent club teams. You need to look at his whole resume. He got those jobs because he over achieved in the past. He took what had been a mostly middle of the table squad in Argentina and made them a title winner and constant contender. He took Paraguay far in both the WC and Copa Sudamerica. Having coached in MLS he knows US players and the talent pool better than the vast majority of foreign coaches. The only question for me is if he wants to take the USMNT job. If he won’t take the job, then you can wait and look elsewhere.

  8. Putting together a team without starting Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Graham Zusi etc is already a step in the right direction. At this point there is no where to go but up…
    MLS players – Gold Cup
    Yanks Abroad (in top leagues) fight for starting roles – international competition


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