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Earnie Stewart officially named USMNT GM


The U.S. Men’s National Team has its first ever general manager.

U.S. Soccer has officially hired Earnie Stewart to oversee the USMNT. U.S. Soccer is set to announce Stewart’s hiring on Wednesday afternoon.

Stewart, who will leave his post as sporting director of the Philadelphia Union, emerged as the front-runner for the job in May. In addition to his work in MLS, Stewart has executive experience in Europe having previously worked with Dutch clubs NAC Breda and AZ Alkmaar.

Stewart has always wanted to ascend the ranks of U.S. Soccer, and he saw the general manager opening as the perfect opportunity.

“Having played for the U.S. Men’s National Team and seeing what the capabilities and possibilities were in the United States, this was something where I wanted to jump on board,” he said in an interview with U.S. Soccer. “My ultimate goal was to be at the top of the pyramid at some point in my career to help soccer in the United States. When this came along, it was an opportunity I could not pass up.”

In addition to his work in the front office, Stewart is a former USMNT midfielder. The 49 year old made 101 senior appearances and scored 17 goals for the USMNT while appearing at 1994, 1998 and 2002 World Cups.

Stewart’s first task will be leading the search for a new head coach in a process that will likely truly begin following the conclusion of the World Cup in July.

“As quick as possible,” he said when asked about a timeline for finding his new coach. “I think the head coach is the most important person within the National Team. He’s the man on the sideline. He’s the man that selects the players and he’s the man after the game that stands in front of the nation and tells them what they have just seen. I think that’s very important. As we had the process in getting a general manager, I think a similar process needs to take place for a head coach. We’ll do our due diligence. It’s very important to make sure we make the right choice.”

He also expressed a desire to establish a strong scouting network for both new and established players while creating a national soccer culture that extends all the way down to the youth ranks. However, everything he does will have one goal in mind.

“My ultimate goal for the U.S. Men’s National Team is to become a world champion at some point in the future,” he said. “I’m not saying that that needs to happen in four years, but making sure that we create this great big player pool, together in the landscape of the United States from academies to M.L.S. and also our players that are in foreign countries, that gets us into a place where we are a country that needs to be reckoned with. I think we already are. I think we’ve come a long way. After all these years, people recognize us and what our capabilities are.”


  1. No way to tell if this is a good move or not ,only time will tell. Don’t like his comments about being recognized in the world of soccer, in our last real game we lost to T&T. We clearly are not a team to be reckoned with. Tons of work to be done to get us competitive.

  2. big congrats to ernie. good hire. he’s the man we need in there, i’m sure.

    the future is looking a little brighter now for all of us with ernie in place.

  3. Congrats Earnie! Great hire. He’s been in the trenches on the management side and on the field. Good on US soccer!

  4. Since this has been basically known for two weeks I would think or hope that he has been assessing these last few friendlies and thinking about a new manager and has a few in mind. This first manager he brings in will define his tenure as the GM and I hope it is one with and attacking and strong tactical plan and can give the US a true identity other than run hard and then run some more.

  5. What does this even mean in the context of a national team?

    GM’s are most commonly associated with professional clubs (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, MLS etc…) and the acquiring of players via trade, free agency or drafting… obviously none of those things apply here…

    • Be interesting to see but I like the hire if it involves talent evaluation. Stewart’s been really good everywhere he’s been – he had to build the Philly roster on a dime and without the deep local talent pools of places like New York, LA, and Atlanta, but his very young, very cheap team has progressed markedly already over the course of the season. He also seems to excel at player development, and will really work with them in a structured, rational way – including with film evaluations – that seems to really foster progress; he was instrumental to Altidore’s success in Holland, for instance.

      He also knows both sides of the pond, having worked for teams from both the Netherlands and MLS, and I think that’ll help repair the MLS-versus-Europe rift that has seemingly divided the team for awhile.

      On the face of it, this is a very good choice.

    • It’s been successful in international hockey. Team Canada started this trend about 20 years ago and now USHockey uses the same set up. I can cite two observations although there are likely more: (1) it gives the coach a second set of eyes and ears to caucus with about personnel decisions; and (2) the GM can take things off the coach’s plate that are distractions around personnel. For example with (2) the GM can make difficult personnel moves on behalf of the coach so the coach doesn’t have to absorb all the heat externally and friction internally. Like, say, if you have to cut your captain for life on the eve of the World Cup.


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