U.S. Men’s National Team general manager Earnie Stewart says the next USMNT coach will be hired by the end of 2018, according to Goal.com.
Stewart was hired as the first Men’s National Team general manager in June, and he began acting in the position on August 1. After the failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup and resignation of head coach Bruce Arena last October, one of the largest tasks facing Stewart is hiring the next coach to lead USMNT.
As the Men’s National Team approaches a full year without a permanent head coach, fans have wondered who will be the next person to take the reins of the squad. While Stewart has some ideas about what he’s looking for in the next head coach, he says there have been no interviews with candidates so far.
“I want to make the right choice, and not a choice that is hasty,” Stewart said. “I don’t know what exactly I can say to [fans] more than the fact I’m putting a lot of thought, together with some other people, in making sure that we make the right choice for the future.”
How will Stewart evaluate who is the right choice?
“I think it’s important that you first have a set profile of what kind of characteristics he needs to have, That starts with the values of one, the American player, and what U.S. Soccer is about because it’s not about ‘Earnie’s coach’ or anything like that. It’s about having a coach that’s good for U.S. Soccer and where we stand and where we want to go to.”
While Stewart declined to name anyone under consideration for the job, two names that repeatedly have popped up as linked to the position are Columbus Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter and Sporting KC head coach Peter Vermes.
Stewart played alongside both Berhalter and Vermes on the U.S. Men’s National Team, and both have had success in MLS. Berhalter took the Crew to the 2015 MLS Cup Final, where the team lost 2-1 to the Portland Timbers. Peter Vermes has won the 2013 MLS Cup and the 2012, 2015, and 2017 U.S. Open Cups.
Stewart addressed the Berhalter rumors directly, saying, “we have a professional relationship and we played with each other. Then again, I can say that about a lot of others at the same time.
“I haven’t had interviews. He’s not the coach that he’s the shoo-in. That’s not the case.”
Vermes recently signed a multi-year contract extension as both head coach and technical director with Sporting KC, and while he’s never outright denied interest in the USMNT job, he remains focused on his job with Sporting KC
He told Major League Soccer in September 2017, “Of course, all of us as coaches think at some time that we would love to get to that level. Having played for the national team, Olympics, World Cup, the whole nine yards, it would be a humbling opportunity for me for sure.
“But with that said… I love my job. I love where I’m at in the club. I coach for the best organization in Major League Soccer.”
Whoever the next USMNT coach is, Stewart says he expects to make an announcement between November and December of this year.
Who do you think should be the next USMNT coach? Let us know in the comments below.