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Report: Gregg Berhalter set for new contract talks with U.S. Soccer

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Gregg Berhalter contract as U.S. men’s national team head coach is set to expire in the coming weeks, but the 49-year-old remains an option to return for another spell at the helm.

Berhalter is set to begin talks with U.S. Soccer over a new contract as USMNT head coach, ESPN reported Wednesday. Berhalter, who led the USMNT to a Round of 16 finish at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, is interested in a potential move to Europe, according to the ESPN report.

U.S. Soccer sporting director Earnie Stewart released a statement that suggests the process of handling Berhalter’s potential rehiring isn’t nearly as far along as the ESPN report suggests.

“As we always do after a major tournament, we are taking time to reflect. We will conduct a full review with everyone involved as we determine our next steps,” Stewart said. “We look forward to building off the performance in Qatar and preparing for the journey towards 2026.”

Berhalter was hired as USMNT head coach in December 2018 and has registered a 37-12-11 record in his four years in charge. The former Columbus Crew and Hammarby manager overcame a rough start in 2019 by leading the USMNT to the Concacaf Nations League and Gold Cup trophies in 2021.

Several young talents have become regular contributors during Berhalter’s time in charge including Timothy Weah, Brenden Aaronson, Gio Reyna, and Jesus Ferreira. He also helped dual-nationals Yunus Musah, Sergino Dest, and Malik Tillman commit their futures to the USMNT.

The USMNT returned to World Cup action this fall for the first time since 2014, finishing second behind Group B winners England. The Americans tied Wales 1-1 and England 0-0 before defeating Iran 1-0 to punch its knockout stage ticket.

However, the USMNT fell 3-1 to the Netherlands in the Round of 16, ending its 2022 schedule.

The USMNT will face Serbia and Colombia in late-January during its annual winter camp before the continuation of its Nations League group stage schedule in March against El Salvador and Grenada.

Comments

  1. setting aside contract talks, i think it’s just something GB does. when he lost That Canada Game he was immediately talking about how he’d handle the next Nations League window as some buzzards started warming up and circling. like some sort of psychology thing where he acts like nothing changes to encourage it be made so. and mcbride said something to the effect of that loss wasn’t enough, and the ball kept rolling. i have heard a theory whether your boss has discussed future projects with you as a signal of your survival chances in a layoff.

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    • not sure. jason kreis was the coach last time and i don’t remember him being formally fired. but he blew that qualifying effort and right around when he missed tokyo he was hired assistant at miami, a full time job posing a schedule conflict. so my guess is it’s effectively open. U23 already made paris when U20 made the final in qualifying. but U23 is an odd duck age group that other regions don’t field much that tends to wake up right before the olympics. so maybe sometime next year building up to paris. bears reminding it’s a weird 3 year cycle this time due to the pandemic. (as well as a shortened world cup cycle, we’re a half year into the next 4 years due to the timing on qatar).

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      • “he got us” is an exaggeration. the team talent dragged him kicking and screaming that far. if you want to credit the coach don’t make getting to the right selection and competent tactics this hard. and i don’t think we ever got all the way there, eg, his system, the lack of a 9 resolution.

      • Gregg did a good job for 2022.

        That’s no reason to hire him for 2026.

        Each World Cup is a unique situation. Semi finals will be the target if not actually winning the thing. It’s a completely different situation, with different expectations.

        Morocco has ridden home team advantage pretty far. Oh and having the players they do doesn’t hurt either. So the USMNT will be expected to match their success.

        Gregg has shown nothing that indicates he will be able to improve the team’s performance in 2026. He learns but very slowly. The Qatar 26 may become better players in the next few years. Or they might get worse. But it most likely won’t have a lot to do with Gregg, assuming he stays.

        He did eventually meet all the stated parameters and expectations so the USSF have that to use for cover. But Gregg has never been truly convincing.

        A new manager, regardless of who it is represents a risk. And no one in the USSF is interested in sticking their neck out and taking a risk. That’s one reason they represent all that is mediocre about the game.

        Of course, keeping Gregg is also risky. Teams are dynamic and are always changing and the risk is that Gregg won’t be able to handle that change in a timely fashion.

        The loss to Louie is only the latest example of the USMNT having no concept of a Plan B. It’s something we all have been pointing out for a couple of years now.

        They’ll probably keep Gregg because, while they have long known exactly what his pluses and minuses are. it’s the easiest thing to do.

        His performance was pretty good, for an American ( the signature line of the USSF) and for the USSF , that’s good enough.

  2. in terms of reality, my guess would be that the two sides want to continue and are posturing for contract negotiation. he claims europe is on the phone (raise my price) and they claim they aren’t even sure he’s the guy (lower it). those could be true but his european gambit sounded more like a preliminary plea for suitors to come knocking than like they are at the door, and that would be useful to try and egg his price upwards. stewart’s description of what we did as “success” likely hints at the result of any evaluation they do. this remains a team happy to lose right about now which promotes that level continuing. people acted dissatisfied with bradley but aren’t asking anything more out of those who follow. which suggests the system push is more of an aesthetic choice or long term skills push than a sincere drive to move us deeper in events at any short term. which to me is a waste with this particular pool, which won’t necessarily repeat itself.

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  3. perhaps we need a recent history lesson.

    personnel: when deciding rosters in 2019 he diverted miles, jedi, weah, CCV, wright, and sargent to U23. that might be a good chunk of his current senior lineup 3 years later. he favored bradley and yeuill over adams, who he tried to make a RB. he tried real hard to use brooks and miazga who i think are fairly useless. he dumped the first half of 2019 through the summer into zardes and jozy who were forgotten by the end. he never did sort out the 9 slot. the coach dumps tons of minutes on players he favors which complicates selection if they get hurt or he chose wrong. the coach does a soft sell on dual nationals, a few of which he has lost. the coach tends to drag his feet on calling promising prospects until they are already starting first team, deferring to another coach or waiting on stats to analyze. the coach adores “form” players despite it being fairly clear before and during his tenure that this is of limited predictiveness.

    tactics: his system has never worked. we don’t look good. we take balls to the flag and hit aimless crosses. we don’t pick 9s who could do something with whacked crosses. we can’t seem to decide what purpose the 9 is to serve, meaning each of them plays different and demands different service. we want to possession pass but have a midfield selected more like our empty bucket for 2014 brazil, guys better at breaking up plays and athletically crashing the box than passing to feet. it’s largely forgotten but the coach wanted a barca passing 6 so bad we spent a lot of time on yeuill and bradley, until the defense sucked so bad and adams got healthy we took the 6 slot back to traditional. we got to the world cup and executed about 4 different strategies not 1 cohesive set of tactics drilled to perfection. when we reverted back to the coach’s system for the round of 16 we got obliterated. the best this team has looked, to me, were england, first half iran, costa rica friendly, and the second half of the honduras qualifier. none of these were in the System TM.

    the coach was midtable at hammarby, mostly midtable with the exception of a home final he lost in MLS, 3rd of 8 in WCQ, and 2nd of 4 in world cup groups. we have probably the most talented team in the region. we are trying to dominate. we were not even close to owning our region much less beating teams outside it — which we rarely managed — which the arrogant snobs crying about how we don’t schedule hard enough might consider (no one remember being fed into the woodchipper 2018? how much did we actually learn from that……). we had an isolated successful period in a pair of summer tournaments staged exclusively as home games for us, neither of which we used the same tactics.

    explain to me how he is a personnel genius any more than any other coach with this pool, how the system is poised for lift off, how i am misreading his resume. dude takes years to get anywhere near the right players. dude’s team plays better against its system rather than in it. people are like give it time. at his geological pace he will run through players’ decade career window like nothing. through a scheduling quirk dude who missed year 1 got almost 4 years to prepare anyway. is what it is. when do you anticipate he rounds the corner? exactly.

    there are a list of prominent coaches out of work with significant success on their resumes. the suggestion no one we could get is available is basically saying we’re cheap and he’s what we can afford. not that there is nothing out there. there is plenty.

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    • IV – good points all.

      One question – and not trying to get you riled up. You state “explain to me how he is a personnel genius any more than any other coach with this pool”.

      Who has said GGG is a genius? Either in personnel or tactics.

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      • he gets a lot of “credit” for how many young players got brought in or “winning” dest and musah. to be fair, the latter was english for youth soccer but the former had a string of USA YNT on up to U20 worlds months before he leveraged us.

        if you go back to couva’s starters, the keeper, every single back except yedlin, every mid except christian, and every forward (including arriola) did not make the world cup 2022 team. ream and acosta are the only bench still around. most of the bench is either retired or gone too. and lest people suggest otherwise, lot of that activity eg howard dempsey nagbe, was international or complete retirement, not them getting beaten out.

        so any coach we had was going to be presented an existing losing team plus more holes in the roster than swiss cheese. despite the existence of a strong young player pool — most of whom we see now — he diverted many of them to U23 and U20 to start the cycle. 2019 was awful because he tried to go with the older end of the remaining pool eg zardes, guzan. only by 2020 did he go beyond dest — who was rushed in to secure him as a dual national — to incorporate his superior teammates like weah and miles. it took until qualifying for him to get to guys like richards. any coach confronted with our poor prior team and the massive hole left in it would have been trialing busloads. any team with our talent would be trying out a bunch of people just the same. ironically to me he kind of resisted it through 2019 only to begin integrating players after That Canada Game when his job came at risk.

        meanwhile he never did sort the tactics well. i giggle when people treat you like a youth movement guy and “the guy who tried a bunch of players when you started with the wrong bunch of veterans (jozy and zardes as his 9s or do people forget) while you dragged your feet on everyone young except the people who had locked in jobs under sarachan already eg mckennie. like a good chunk of his world cup lineup is guys he in 2019 said nah go play U23 tuneup games. i give limited credit for unscrewing himself just like at points in group he dropped the bull on his tactics. but i see limited value in a coach who seems to have the wrong instincts and have to fight himself on tactics and personnel good sense.

      • The introduction of new players – young, those not given a chance by a prior coach, and dual nationals – has been a statistic misused by analysts since Bruce Arena. People praised JK for bringing in new faces when the numbers actually showed his much maligned predecessor Bob Bradley as giving more players an opportunity when he was the manager.

        Doesnt matter how many you try if they aren’t up to it or the results don’t justify it.

      • Mr. Ref,

        “The introduction of new players – young, those not given a chance by a prior coach, and dual nationals – has been a statistic misused by analysts since Bruce Arena. ”

        I think you’ll agree that it’s not the number of new caps you issue. What matters is how many of them do you actually give a real chance to make their case? Six caps, for example, sounds good until you examine it and find all of them were for 10 minutes in garbage time at the end of a blow out of Grenada. Tough to get much of a read on a player in those circumstances.

        The flip side of that is giving a lot caps to players who, rather quickly, suck.
        Jackson Yueill got 16 caps and Lletget got 20 +. Why so many? Like it or not a national team manager has to decide quickly on players because the USMNT doesn’t play that many games.

        Bob tried out so many players because he didn’t have a ton of Arena stalwarts left over.
        JK basically wound up using Bob’s regulars when it got serious and importing Jermaine and Fabian.
        Compared to those two Gregg was spoilt for choice.

        Cameron, Beckerman, Zusi and Besler rose under JK.

        For me the important missing player for JK and Bob was Stu Holden. The 2010 and the 2014 World Cups would have both gone far better had he not been so seriously injured.

  4. Second terms are usually bad ideas because talent pools divide between the coaches favorites and those on the outside. This is doubly true with Gregg because it is clear that he values being able to play his way more than being able to play. Our talent pool is not big enough for such a divide. It might work for a while but players on the inside will grow complacent and players on the outside will grow cynical.

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  5. Hearing alot of rumors that USMNT is going to be invited to the ’24 Copa America, which is fantastic in so many ways. If this turns out true, then my belief we need a 2-year deal for the next manager makes even more sense. It gives us a major competitive tournament to work toward, just as the major european powers do with the euros. Sign the next USMNT thru the Copa, then decide if they are the right choice for the ’26 world cup. 4 years is a long ways away with so many things that can happen, and who knows, maybe a really big name manager would be available and want a 2yr deal thru a world cup if the next manager doesn’t work out. Heck, give Berhalter an extension if a better candidate isn’t available, just make it 2yrs not 4.

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    • i commented on this the other day. history says the opposite, that when we advance in copa america (1990s, 2016) it doesn’t forecast world cup success (1998 and 2018), and when we do poorly (2000s) it was followed by world cup success (2010). this probably has a lot to do with do we even bother sending first choice or correcting any failures the tournament exposes. 2015-2016 should have been a hint to klinsi but he didn’t change much. but we tend to backpat ourselves for making so much as the semis — and excuse our losses — such that accountability and learning is limited.

      and that’s not even to say we have to win the whole thing, it’s if we don’t win, consider why in terms of tactics and personnel. a lot of the people who want to play a tough schedule don’t seem to want to learn what it actually teaches. eg jedi struggled in 2018 to deal with good teams, as did dest with mexico. if the response is, well, but those were good teams, don’t expect the level to rise.

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      • 1995 surprised Argentina with a fairly seasoned veteran roster most of whom played a lot in ‘94. However, 3 years later a lot of those key players had aged past their primes for the WC (and were playing regularly in start up MLS).
        2007 we sent B/C team so A squad could win GC and qualify for 2009 Confed Cup that further prepared that group for 2010 run. 2016 probably papered over the flaws exposed in 2015 GC and Guatemala qualifying loss. That team benefited greatly from Colombia choosing to not care about winning the group because they wanted to be on Chile’s side instead of Argentina. The 4-0 drilling of CR likely made us over confident in both qualifying matches that cycle as well. In each of those years however the US also had qualifying to build experience and continuity. Those pressure games won’t be there this time. It sounds like this will be in the US so some of that pressure will go away.

    • i mean if you ask a lot of fans who to start in 2023 they will go after Z and maybe want both CBs swapped for hopefully healthy richards and miles. they will want to leave most of the rest intact. same coach, same tactics, most of the same lineup, then want magic to happen next time. that’s not really evaluating with any teeth why we just went out.

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    • the naivety of this comment is amazing. We aren’t the best, but we are so far from the worst that it boggles the mind. USSF isn’t openly corrupt, and only mildly corrupt at all.

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      • More naive in your part. I did said; “USSF is corrupt?” …NO…USSF simply is mediocre with “Third World Soccer Mentality” running it. USNT neeeds change mentality and we have the players to change formations/tactics for different games, and stop focusing one “system”. We far better than Iran and Wales, yet play we play them such fear and become ‘cowards’.

  6. I have a few concerns about have GGG stay for another cycle, but I want to add this proviso:

    The USSF and Earnie Stewart took a long time in hiring GGG following the 2018 debacle. If USSF hired GGG to implement a US style of play, GGG has stuck to his system. If USSF hired GGG on an 8 year plan to best succeed in 2026, GGG probably has done enough to stay.

    Reasons not to keep GGG:

    1) Selections during qualifying and leading up to the WC2018 were a bit unclear to the regular fan. GGG should not be termed because we don’t have a scoring forward. I have said before that the US hasn’t had a scoring forward since the pairing of Charlie Davis and Jozy A, and the good skills of Landon and Clint took us beyond not having any more than a hold up #9. that being said, GGG as a coach has the duty to find the best players to fit his alleged system. that being said, it made no sense to add Haji Wright to the WC team when he clearly hadn’t been called up before and had been excluded on a regular basis in lead up games. Happy for Haji that he made the team and got credited for a goal, but he did not play too well. Opposite for Sargent; too bad he got hurt.
    In the same vein, the dropping of Steffen from the team didn’t make sense, but it worked out.
    2) Insistence on system over best players. I think the national coach needs to put the best 11 on the field. I am not sure that he did so in the WC. Others on this site have stated repeatedly their concerns about the selections into GGG’s system, but it certainly appeared that we lacked personnel in certain slots, and that chosing system over players didn’t produce the best results over 3 games in group – and the knockout game. The contrary position is whether we would have had different results with a different line up. See Japan and S. Korea who play a system. Both made it out of group, but both lost at the same stage.
    3) Subs and game management. GGG was clearly outcoached by LVG. GGG still subs like it is an MLS game with 3 available substitutes. At the 70th minute against Wales holding a 1 goal lead – he started to make substitutes? That being said – game plan against England was fantastic and players were great. We had a tough group and GGG appeared to have a strategy for the 3 games to get us out. We were just gassed at knockout round v. Ned as a result. We all need to credit or cite to IV – a regular poster who has continued to state this as well.
    4) In the recent past, keeping a coach for a 2nd cycle does not work out well. Arena – Bradley – Klinnsmann.

    GGG seems a good guy and a good American coach. he doesn’t have to explain all of his choices to us, but he better explain it to Earnie, and it better make sense to Earnie. And, we better do well 4 years from now. Expectations are going to be high for a home team in the tournament.

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    • I continue to think we did the bare minimum relative to expectations after 2021 and the World Cup draw in April. To me it all started to go wrong in the final World Cup qualifying game at Costa Rica. Basically we had clinched and only needed not to lose by I believe six goals. So in essence Greg decided to be extremely pragmatic and play not to lose. That was super disappointing to celebrate a World Cup birth with a loss.
      Greg continuously changed lineups all during to octagonal and then goes against that in the World Cup. It left the team spent vs the Netherlands. With fatigue mental mistakes become prevalent. The Dutch were well coached and much more clinical but the US had a chance to make more of game of it.
      Keeping Gregg would be comfortable and ok with most of the players, but if you want real growth change is needed and I think we all would expect to go further than the round of 16 come 2026

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  7. No thanks. he got the team were they were supposed to be. Need someone to take this team forward. Someone who is a tactician. He was totally out coached against Holland and he brought the wrong players for the back end of the roster

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    • we seem to funnel everyone through “system” or “coach’s pet.” or to be stuck on ideas of “reputation” or “meritocracy.” so the bench is often like a mix of the next several esteemed players and a few coach’s pets, all picked with one eye at a specific system. i always thought a sign of a good coach was to know when to adjust and to have a bench with tactical variety — some qualities not existing in the lineup — in case what you’re doing isn’t working. target guys, speed guys, set piece deliverers, defenders. where if you went down 2-0 you could send on jozy and a guy to cross him the ball, so to speak. package ideas responding to situations.

      i think it’s an effect of a system zealot where he doesn’t want to adjust off his ideas, as that would be seen as a disproof or climb down. so even the bench is just more people to do the same stuff who he trusts. it kind of assumes you’re a tactical genius the other team never stops, or that one should perseverate when the tactics don’t work hoping they eventually do. but one thing i definitely learned from having teams bunker my select team was you have to improvise. if they are going to sit back and you meant to counter, ok, today it’s crossing. or wall ball. or long shots. or get fouled and set pieces. when i hear people talk about, say, green as not a system fit, historically that wouldn’t end the discussion. that would be a starter discussion. some on the bench would be there precisely because they were totally different than the starter. you’d only get completely dropped if you proved unworthy or were lazy or bad defending or something where you couldn’t even be trusted.

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  8. If the U*SSF signs him without exploring other options, that will b e a big mistake. We need to see who else is available and interested.

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  9. I have a feeling that USSF is going to give him the contract but have an out after 2 years or so.
    When talking about all the youth we had and the success with them, I wonder if nearly any coach would have had the successes GGG has had minus the complete lack of offense.
    Just like so many other teams, did we maybe win in spite of the manager instead of because of him?

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  10. That’s a fair assessment. I have gone back and forth with his as coach. I think there have been a lot of great things come from him and the players since he took over. Look at the possession we keep now. And playing from the back is much better too. We took some lumps figuring it out. And still will. But it’s been much better. I have seen games where we usually end up with way less of the ball. And now we control the game and tempo against teams we used to not. Mexico is one of those teams.

    With that thought. The lack of goals is what gets me with Berhalter. We are probably the deepest with our offensive talent. And yet we mustered 3 goals in four games. And the Holland goal was a little flukey too. That’s not totally on Gregg because the players missed some chances. But even going back before the World Cup( he was fired from his job in Europe because his teams were crap offensively). We never looked great offensively outside of a game or two.
    For me. It’s time to move on from Berhalter. Is he a great coach? Sure. But I think the team needs a different look now. I would throw the bag at Didier DeChamps and see what he does. But going into a World Cup on American soil maybe we should have an American coach.

    With that said I don’t think USSF really cares or takes my thoughts into consideration (If they did we wouldn’t have had that shit uniforms they put out ). So I’m guessing we will get more Gregg. However I think he will be under a lot more pressure

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  11. You have to wonder if Berhalter decides to opt for a club overseas as to whether the USSF has other viable candidates right now. Other may have strong opinions, but I give him a passing grade. He did well considering the amount of roster turnover coupled with a young, inexperienced pool, and perhaps a 2 year extension is appropriate. I cannot name a top quality coach available right now who would be a better alternative.

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