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As USMNT coach search rolls on, Sarachan and staff given extensions through end of 2018


U.S. Soccer is in the process of looking for a new U.S. Men’s National Team coach, and won’t be rushing its decision. While the timetable remains a mystery, what isn’t a mystery is who will continue to run the team in the meantime.

U.S. Soccer has given contract extensions through the end of the year to caretaker USMNT coach Dave Sarachan and assistant coaches Matt Reis and Richie Williams, sources confirmed to SBI on Thursday.

The deal was first reported by the Athletic on Thursday.

The caretaker staff’s contracts were set to expire at the end of June, and the new deals give U.S. Soccer some security as the search for a full-time replacement rolls on.

Under Sarachan, the USMNT has earned two wins, three draws and one loss.

U.S. Under-17 head coach John Hackworth will also continue to work with the USMNT, though he was already under contract beyond June.

The USMNT returns to on on action in September against Brazil and Mexico.


  1. let’s take a closer look at dave sarachan, shall we? does anyone see any good reason why sarachan can’t be our permanent head coach for the usmnt?

    dave sarachan (wikipedia)

    junior college
    – junior college all american 1973 and 1974
    cornell university
    – cornell university team mvp in his senior year
    – sarachan began his coaching career by being an assistant coach at cornell (while he was still a player in the nasl at rochester lancers)
    university of virginia
    – the next year, sarachan began his LONG ASSOCIATION with BRUCE ARENA at the university of virginia (after bob bradley departed to become the head coach of princeton)
    so five years at uva as bruce arena’s assistant coach
    – then 10 years as head coach at cornell (his alma mater) 64-63-16
    dc united
    1997 – assistant coach to bruce arena, dc united
    1998 head coach dc united (after arena left to take over usmnt).
    – 2000-2002 assistant to bruce arena with usmnt
    — helped with preparations for 2002 wc korea/japan, used his knowledge of players
    chicago fire
    – 2003-2007 head coach chicago fire mls (after bob bradley went to metrostars).
    2003 & 2006 us open cup champs
    2003 mls coach of the year
    la galaxy
    2008-2017 assistant to bruce arena
    “Sarachan and Arena brought in 16 new players and the Galaxy cut their goals against deficit in almost half and was in first place for much of the season.”

    2017 usmnt assistant to bruce arena

  2. If the next “real” coach doesn’t come from MLS this move will be a little perplexing in hindsight. Since Berhalter and Marsh are names mentioned as top candidates, and their teams are decent…someone needs to direct the ship. And lets me real – how different are things going to be under one of them compared to Sarachan in the next freindlies if they were to take over immediately.

    I’m all for ripping US Soccer but this is the wrong fight. Enjoy the world Cup folks 🙂

  3. More I think about it, this is an ambitious as heck schedule and a non-qualifying team that needs prodding, being piloted in a complacent way to ties and losses by a mediocre caretaker coach, who then keeps getting extended. The two concepts seem at odds. Are we going for upgrade or are we going for safe. If we’re going for safe why aren’t we playing Luxembourg and Guatemala instead.

    I realize some will say, that’s what the full time gig is for, but Sarachan is getting all this time with the team and probably at least two more games. I don’t get setting up this schedule and then sending out an old shoe to coach it. And maybe we’ll win one of these. Of six. Is that really the goal?

    • This is a little cynical but we are playing this schedule because it makes money. Attendance has been pretty poor especially after failing to qualify so we need to bring in top teams to get fans in the seats and drive up ratings on TV. Secondly, I suppose it shows dual nationals like Efrain Alvarez and Timothy Tillman that the US still plays top teams even if it wasn’t in the World Cup.

      • What’s cynical about, if you’re going to play an ambitious schedule, have an ambitious caretaker? If the point is to pass the time til we transition then he’s fine, but this is not a pass the time schedule. He managed “one point” off Ireland and France.

      • I feel a disconnect between the schedule and the coaching situation. If you want to play this ambitious a schedule it screams, we signed an expensive coach, spared no expense, cut through the bureacratic malarkey, and are willing to risk this with a bunch of kids because we trust what we’ve created and think we’ve set them up to do their best.

        Instead, we have a mediocre caretaker extended and extended, who took one point from Ireland and France, and we’re tied up in federation politics and bureaucracy and delays, and you’re lining up the world’s best to play them this fall.

        So either hire the serious coach now, or bail on serious games until he’s hired.

        What’s the point to this schedule if the eventual hiree coaches maybe 2 games at the end with a few practices to get ready. The value in this schedule — and I’ve already said it is foolishly difficult for system implementation and talent evaluation — is in having the future coach around to guide you through it. Otherwise, don’t bother, and at least for September you might as well have scheduled Guatemala and Cuba.

        Otherwise the schedule seems to be about money because a caretaker for this schedule doesn’t make sense. You can justify it as “someone has to coach,” but this is not a “we’ll make do” schedule, and they are setting it same time as the coaching search.

      • Who is going to leave a job for a 3-6 month gig that’s going to do a better job than Sarachan? These friendlies are about money and looks to keep the casual fan spending money and interested. If the US goes out and loses to England 5-1 that doesn’t meet those goals. So until there is a new manager the name of the game is going to be keep it close and try and steal a goal.

    • dear imperative, unfortunately, i must call you out and defy you to justify your claim that sarachan is “mediocre” or or else take it back. because all sarachan did was revolutionize and reenergize a national team that was lost on the field and in the locker room and replace it with the exact opposite.

      what do you want, the special one, jose mourinho, some big name, high priced coach who doesn’t care about you or me or our country or our players or our league?

      but to be less focused on imperative, i defy anyone here to say right now why sarachan can’t be our permanent head coach.

      • Please explain how he has revolutionized US Soccer? Also, it is not the manager’s job to care about you or me or MLS.

      • Revolutionize? how? All he has done is give chances to new, hungry players. There is no wow to his game scheme. He didn’t play Parks for the last two games even though the kid played an almost flawless 20 minutes. He didn’t play Novakovich or Weah in the final game. He didn’t play Robinson in the Ireland game when he is clearly an upgrade from Villafana.
        Don’t forget he hardly used subs when a game was in the line, why? because he wants the job permanently even though he doesn’t offer anything new tactic wise to the program.

    • johnnyrazor said “Please explain how he has revolutionized US Soccer? Also, it is not the manager’s job to care about you or me or MLS.”
      well, as i said, all sarachan did was take a national team that was lost on the field and in the locker room and replace it with the exact opposite. that’s one huge thing that he did. he energized the team by taking away our despair and giving us hope, IN THE MOMENT. but equally important, he broke us away from the old (forgive me) joze altidore-michael bradley paradigm and let the kids take over. and i think pretty much everyone here unanimously was in favor of that, yes? we all want to let go of the past failures. we all want to embrace the future, meaning the next generation of usmnt players. we don’t think the usa will be winning the wc in 2022 but we look to 2026 and 2030 with hope. and that hope rests on the next generation of young players. and dave sarachan tapped into some our most inner and deep-felt hopes by letting the kids take over in the pre-wc friendlies. and in that way, he gave us hope FOR THE FUTURE. so to summarize, what sarachan did was he gave us hope IN THE MOMENT and IN THE FUTURE. and that’s how he REVOLUTIONIZED our usmnt,

    • johnnyrazor said, “Also, it is not the manager’s job to care about you or me or MLS.””
      if a candidate (and i actually don’t mean any disrespect to jose mourinho. he is a world renown football manager with a long history) for the usmnt head coach position such as for example jose mourinho “the special one” were to approach ernie stewart and apply for the job, i as a faithful usmnt fan don’t want ernie stewart to hire this person. because i’m pretty sure jose mourinho doesn’t in his heart give a crap about you, johnnyrazor or me or any of our usmnt players (he may even scoff at them/loathe them/disrespect them) or the usa or mls. johnnyrazor, are you joking? how can you separate the two, a man’s heart and his job performance? you can’t. we are not robots, we are people. we are driven passionately daily in our lives by our hearts. if a man’s heart is elsewhere, then his mind will be elsewhere and his priorities will be elsewhere. no, no, johnnyrazor, that won’t work. the usmnt coach must be someone who cares VERY DEEPLY about you and me and our players and our usmnt and the usa and mls. if this person doesn’t care in his heart of hearts about all of the above, then he isn’t qualified to lead us and i don’t want ernie stewart to hire him to be our usmnt coach.

    • i offer that dave sarachan IS QUALIFIED to lead us as usmnt coach. he cares deeply in his heart about you and me and the players and the usa and the usmnt and mls. he has energized and revolutionized our usmnt program, giving us hope in the moment and in the future. he understands our usa soccer culture. (he knows that players rest in december and the wc’s are in june. he would never have snubbed ld in 2014.) a foreigner with an impressive euro resume if highly qualified to manage clubs in europe, BUT NOT IN THE USA. we need an american coach who cares deeply about and understands our usa players and culture and who gives us hope and energy. and dave sarachan is such a man.

    • LouisZ said, “I don’t like this news. Sarachan doesn’t seem to like my boy Parks.”

      “Revolutionize? how? All he has done is give chances to new, hungry players. There is no wow to his game scheme. He didn’t play Parks for the last two games even though the kid played an almost flawless 20 minutes. He didn’t play Novakovich or Weah in the final game. He didn’t play Robinson in the Ireland game when he is clearly an upgrade from Villafana.
      Don’t forget he hardly used subs when a game was in the line, why? because he wants the job permanently even though he doesn’t offer anything new tactic wise to the program.”
      my reply to louisz: you probably make some valid points in your criticisms of sarachan’s management decisions. to be honest, my “soccer iq” is not that high as johnnyrazor has pointed out, so to be honest i wouldn’t know if your points are right or not. so i could say this. suppose ernie stewart is considering dave sarachan and another american candidate for the usmnt position. then i hope that people like you and johnnyrazor and others with higher soccer iq’s than mine will discuss and debate here about which candidate you guys think is the one that ernie stewart should hire. but if the candidate doesn’t care about our country or players or our league mls, or if they don’t understand usa culture and they don’t understand that usa players rest in december, or if they don’t feel the same way we feel such as our desire to let the kids take over now, then i think you don’t need a very high soccer iq to know that that candidate isn’t the right one for the job right now.

  4. On further thought, I was ok with Sarachan coaching the team 2 games, I think it’s wasting time on mediocrity to extend him this far out. Even if it’s a caretaker gig I’d prefer a more interesting coach get to handle this. It’s a little bit too much stability for stability’s sake.

    • I’d come at it slightly different and be like I don’t know if I want a coach this mediocre getting his claws in the team this long where he can start to do a system and have favorites. I think it’s a safe choice but for a team that missed the world cup and needs to get kids up to speed, I don’t think safe is what we need until the official hire comes in.

  5. Level of panic on here is stone cold ridiculous. This is a formality. And the correct one. We need to have a coach and the contracts in place are going to (potentially) expire. Sarachan has done enough to remain the interim. And believe it or not, he actually does have some bargaining power here — at least enough to get more than a month to month contract. Last thing a new regime needs is to find another interim manager.

  6. well, from my point of view, this is progress. =D =D =D we have an american gm, ernie stewart, and (for the time being) an american coach, one whom the players respond to and who can hold the ship steady and who is doing a fine job. he will no doubt as midwest ref said continue “trying new players and getting young kids molded into international caliber players”. he IS a good fit for the usa mentality and culture. he won’t take us down “the same team-splitting Klinsmann Trail some more” and he doesn’t have “the same tactics, snobbery issues, German bias, etc.” as happened before. and as panda said ” We want the right guy. Be patient!”

    my two cents: one way to look at this is it buys ernie some time to find the new coach. another way to look at this is it gives sarachan more time to continue his way. in the history of mls and ussoccer there is a precedent for interim coaches to earn the full recognition. that’s ernie’s decision. i’m excited that basically this means that sarachan has that chance. that very real chance! and even if ernie decides that another coach is the best person to steep our ship going forward, then AT LEAST if dave had one more group of friendlies to let our new younger line up take shape, it’s Bliss for us and the future of our team for years to come. the impact and legacy that sarachan can build RIGHT NOW can be enduring and awesome regardless of ernie’s final decision.

  7. Our US fans. USSF will act much dumber than that “as usual”. They will get very high profile Coach (but most don’t fit for US mentality and culture) pay very high salary, having a big mouth and look down all US fans (because US people do not know soccer). I have no hope for US soccer after they hired JK. Same f,,k cycle again.

  8. This is stupid. You could keep Sarchan on a month to month basis. This insures that no new coach can’t start before 1/1/19, which means that he will have only a couple of weeks to put together a January camp. At the same time he will have to put together a staff of assistants, plan for spring friendlies, and then play the Gold Cup in 6 or 7 months. Meanwhile, Sarachan will be in charge while we have friendlies against very good competition (even a Brazil C team is better than almost all CONCACAF competition). Stewart, as I wrote a little while ago, should already have 2 or 3 top candidates in mind whom he has already talked with. He should know who he is going to target. The only way this makes sense is if he has already settled on a coach who is either in MLS, or contracted somewhere else and the contract ends at the end of this year and we’re too cheap to buy out part of it.

    • From what I’ve read from other sources it actually won’t prevent the hiring of another manager. I don’t remember how much Sarachan makes a year but it is not cost prohibitive to have him and the new manager on the books. We can assume that there is buyout language in any interim manager’s contract as well that kicks in when the permanent manager is hired. I would imagine that Dave is probably in the running for any MLS opening that would occur between now and the end of the season so it protects the USMNT from having to have another interim manager.

      • I’m concerned this provides a basis for him to be considered with the rest, and suggests trust I don’t think the results earned. I also am not sure that at this length of tenure he’s good enough to have this much influence on the team. Or that a bunch of new kids need “safe” and “stable.”

      • Think of it this way would you prefer US Men’s National Team Interim Manager Richie Williams? The staff wasn’t going to sign month to months and probably weren’t excited to sign another 3 month deal, so sign to 6 months and let them go when the new staff is in place. All of the staff could have jobs tomorrow if they wanted this provides them income through the end of MLS season (where all will likely end up) so keeps Earnie (or whoever would do this before he arrives) from being distracted trying to replace the interim guy too. The US isn’t playing a meaningful match until next Summer (and you can debate without most the European players if the GC is really that meaningful).

    • “The only way this makes sense is if he has already settled on a coach who is either in MLS” – ding ding ding. Get ready for Marsh, Berhalter or Vanney…

  9. Why do people want so badly to rush the process? Even if we find a great candidate, the negotiations could take a while. Also,this is the timeline we would be operating with if the U.S. had made it to the world cup. It’s not as if these few months are going to make or break U.S. soccer. So many drama Queens around here! We want the right guy. Be patient!

    • Very few people are trying to Rush the process. However, It has been 7 months since Arena stepped down as the USMNT Coach/Manager. USSF has taken 6 of those 7 months to create their shielding General Manager position, and Hire Ernie to the powerless position.
      I fully expect the USSF & Ernie to take another 6-7 months at this point before making a decision.
      To me this extension/postponement of hiring a new coach speaks volumes that they are most likely going to go with a someone who is currently in the MLS coaching ranks, and they are waiting for the MLS season to end in November.

      • I’m not talking about people who are trying to rush the process. I’m talking about people commenting on sbi who think things should be going faster than they are. Too many people, yourself included, are forgetting that Stewart doesn’t even begin his new job until August, which also happens to be when coaches currently leading world cup teams will be available. But you go ahead and read into it what you want. If I was in charge of U.S. Soccer, I’d be waiting to get a larger pool of available coaches to interview.

    • It’s true in miniature perhaps, I don’t want a bad decision, but you have to also see the big picture of how incompetent this feels, which gets missed if you’re so dialed in that it’s “someone has to coach.” Someone has needed to fill the slot since November.

  10. If this is to ensure we don’t get stuck “coachless” in the fall then it makes sense, but if we don’t have a new coach on board for these challenging friendlies then I start to question the method. Seems like you want the new coach on board to go up against Brazil and go over to Europe. Fwiw, I think Sarachan has done a fine job and the young players seem to respond to him, but it is definitely time to try and bring an experienced high caliber manager in. It will be interesting to see who the candidates will be.

  11. This is a non-story. This timeline is the only one that makes sense If Ernie is considering coaches from MLS and coaches who are coaching in the World Cup. If the new coach is from the league, they will not do anything until their team is out of the playoffs, and if the new coach is coaching in the World Cup, that coach will want some down time, time to weigh options, and the negotiations themselves could take some time as well. Sarachan is doing a fine job, and he can hold the ship steady for another five months, no problem.

    • Such a strange move, back to the Championship and to a team that was just promoted from League One. At least if it goes through he will have all Summer to acclimate to his new team instead of being thrown in, in late August.

      • Agree not an ideal move but probably guaranteed mins and first team football which he needs. Still think he is the answer at the attacking CM position in front of Adams and mckennie and have weah and CP on the wings with Sargent, wood or nov up top.

      • Y’all overrate what people have earned sometimes, or where they fit. He has sat a lot. Like Green, he’s better off somewhere playing. It might not be high enough up the English pyramid for some, but what’s he earned?

  12. I have said before that Dave S is not the long term answer, but we don’t need to jump to get rid of him. As long as he is trying new players and getting young kids molded into international caliber players, we don’t need to rush into a long term solution. Particularly with a World Cup going on. But, if we don’t have a new coach by Jan 1, that is a failure on Earnie Stewart and USSF.

  13. I’m sure he won’t get the permanent position but the whole point of bringing in the GM was to get a coach and style and it might take time so I’m ok with this as long as he is gone as they find who they want but please hurry cuz the results haven’t been bad but they have been boring and stale.

    • And you think Sarachan is to blame for boring results in meaningless friendlies? A world class coach would suddenly make our mediocre players look like an elite team? That’s funny.

  14. I hereby nominate Joachim Low. Hopefully they have already at least asked him if he is theoretically interested in the job.

    • yes we should sign coaches outdone by Mexico who didn’t make it out of their group with a team that should never fail to advance

      • Who can we get that’s better the Low? The guys has an outstanding record for Germany for over a decade. Do you really have that short of a memory?
        This World Cup was a mess, but their exit had lots more to do with poor finishing than poor tactics from what I saw.

      • (1) Low as I understand it is already reupped before the tournament started (2) based on how it went I think we can do better (3) I don’t get going back down the same team-splitting Klinsmann Trail some more if he has the same tactics, snobbery issues, German bias, etc.

      • So you are basing his entire career on one match with Mexico and basically saying all 82 million Germans are the same person? He has done one thing that Osorio and Klinsmann haven’t and that’s managed a team to a World Cup title.

      • I think there is 0 chance he becomes our next coach, but I would sign him up now if he was available.

    • You so frk smart. Give Low twice salary as JK and USMNT play 3 games 2022 and out (as optimistic) or play 10 games on HEX and take vacation to watch 2022.

  15. Why? Why? Why? We should be able to hire a coach after the World Cup is over. Does this mean we will wait? Go away Bruce Arena lackey.

    • Surely just an insurance policy in case negotiations take a little longer than they would like. If we can’t get a coach by the end of the end of the summer it’d be truly puzzling.

  16. Somehow, I don’t think that is going to go over well around here. Except apparently with two cents. Imperative Voice any comment?

    • I take this as a sign this is going to go eveeeeeeeen slooooooooower than some feared. Like this basically makes clear he’s not working this out on the side from Philly, that it won’t start in earnest until August 1, and that if they are doing this they anticipate the new coach won’t be hired in time for the September friendlies, and they aren’t even sure after that based on a hiring for the remainder of the schedule.

    • And there is part of me nervous that this is like Bob Bradley, but with a worse coach, and we’re going to let him try and earn himself off interim rather than make efforts in favor of the coach we want. I don’t think a tie and a loss in the two real friendlies is worth anything other than a “someone has to coach them” choice.

      • I think your first post is correct that Earnie isn’t starting on this until Aug. 1 but I think you second worry won’t happen. Even if any big name manager with interest pulls out before USSF gets serious there are a couple MLS managers that would jump on it.

    • now the good things that we all liked that sarachan did in the last group of friendlies CAN CONTINUE. =D =D =D yes, more of that, please!


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