Greg Berhalter to return as USMNT coach: sources

Greg Berhalter is set to return as coach of the US Men’s National Team.

The coach, who led the U.S. to the round of 16 at the FIFA World Cup in November, is in talks to return as manager, according to multiple sources involved in or briefed on the talks. Athletic. The sources were granted anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the talks. The deal is still being finalized, but Berhalter’s arrival is imminent.

An announcement about the hiring is expected to come Tuesday, but Berhalter is not expected to coach the U.S. in Sunday’s Nations League final against Canada. It is unknown if he will officially take over the USMNT before the start of the CONCACAF Gold Cup on June 24.

As U.S. coach from 2019-22, Berhalter won the 2021 Nations League and Gold Cup trophies, qualified for the 2022 World Cup with the world’s youngest team, and then exited the group at the World Cup with a strong showing against Wales. Iran and England. The Americans’ five points tied for the most by any USMNT team in the group stage at the 2010 World Cup.

Berhalter, 49, currently holds the highest winning percentage of a USMNT coach with a 37-11-12 record.

Berhalter’s return will come as a surprise to some given the circumstances of his departure. Although America’s performance in Qatar was widely praised and the United States enjoyed success during his tenure despite fielding one of the world’s youngest teams, Berhalter’s contract expired after the World Cup in part due to problems with one of the team’s young stars. .

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Winger Gio Raina was sent home from the World Cup for his behavior after being told he would not be a starter for the US team in their opener against Wales. Raina’s lack of effort in the subsequent training sessions almost led to him being dropped from the team, but Berhalter wanted to keep Raina in Qatar.

However, after the match, he spoke about those issues without mentioning Raina by name during the question-and-answer portion of the leadership conference, which operates under Chatham House rules, which normally means no comments are recorded. However, those comments were published Athletic He said Reina is the player Berhalter was talking about.

After those stories, Reyna’s parents, former U.S. Nationals players Claudio and Daniel Reyna, longtime friends of Berhalder and his wife, Rosalind Berhalder, told former U.S. Soccer sports director Ernie Stewart about an incident 30 years earlier in which Berhalder kicked Rosalind. Both were freshmen at the University of North Carolina.

This prompted an American Football investigation. An independent investigation ultimately found Berhalter guilty destroyed Must be rehired by US Soccer.

America played aggressively. An attractive brand of football under Berhalder in Qatar. The U.S. is ranked eighth in the field in Qatar, behind the likes of England, France and Argentina. Field tilt refers to a team’s share of both sides’ touches in the attacking third. The U.S. was adept at getting its offensive moves into dangerous positions—when eliminated by the Netherlands, only three teams successfully took more of the final third than the U.S.’s 46 percent of their possessions. Ranked fifth in the tournament in successful counter pressure rate.

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A number of star players are backing Berhalter’s return to coaching. Star winger Christian Pulisic told ESPN that he’s “not here to hire the next manager” and that “whoever it is, I’ll play and give 100 percent,” but when asked if he would be “fairly satisfied” with Berhalter returning as coach, Pulisic made his thoughts clear.

“Yeah, no doubt about it,” Pulisic said. “The strides we’ve made with him in recent years are evident. I think it’s very clear.”

Last week, winger Tim Weah told the media, “Greg really keeps us together… We’re definitely a family, and nobody can take that away, you know. Greg really helped us build this kind of relationship with each other, so yeah, he’s a big, Was a hugely important part, so hopefully, yes.

In an interview Athletic Last week, Anthony Robinson reiterated those thoughts.

“A lot of people have touched on that – we all enjoyed the environment that Greg created, we all thought he was a good coach and everyone could see the level of football he played us,” Robinson said. “So I don’t see any reason why they wouldn’t have tried to continue with him. But, unfortunately, that’s not the case for the players. It’s up to US Soccer as a federation. And I’m sure they’re going to try their best to find whoever they think is the best fit for this team. The most important thing.”

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(Photo: Danielle Parhizkaran / USA Today)

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