Gregg Berhalter named USMNT head coach again
Gregg Berhalter is the head coach of the USMNT — again.
[ MORE: USMNT 3-0 Mexico, recap & highlights ]
U.S. Soccer announced Berhalter’s return on Friday, a day after the USMNT smashed bitter rivals Mexico in the semifinals of the CONCACAF Nations League.
Berhalter will begin his second stint as USMNT boss following the 2023 CONCACAF Gold Cup. His first major order of business will be Copa America 2024, to be played in the United States once again, with everything leading up to the 2026 World Cup in the U.S., Mexico and Canada.
Gregg Berhalter speaks after being named USMNT head coach (again)
"When I took over in 2018, I was coaching kids. To see the development of this group...has been amazing. To see the progress they have made...made me think, okay, what could the next 3 years look like?"— Joseph Lowery (@joeclowery) June 16, 2023
Gregg Berhalter, in his re-introductory #USMNT presser.
“The players were actually part of this process all the way through.” — USSF sporting director Matt Crocker on how much the players’ opinion of Berhalter influenced his return.— Doug McIntyre (@ByDougMcIntyre) June 16, 2023
Berhalter: "Interview process certainly was a grueling process, but gave me insight into Matt. We're trying to take the program to the next level.— Kyle Bonn (@the_bonnfire) June 16, 2023
Recalls locker room after defeat to Netherlands at World Cup. "That was intriguing to me because they were hungry."
New U.S. Soccer sporting director Matt Crocker, on the decision to re-hire Berhalter:
USMNT players react to Gregg Berhalter’s return
Christian Pulisic, who scored twice in the USMNT’s 3-0 victory over Mexico on Thursday, was a vocal supporter of Berhalter when he was the coach and throughout the entire coaching search — quotes via The Athletic:
Last week, Pulisic — the de facto spokesman of the USMNT — spoke not only for himself, but “a lot of guys on the team,” as he stopped just short of campaigning for Berhalter to be re-hired.
Berhalter led the USMNT to the round of 16 at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar before his contract expired at the end of the calendar year. There were, of course, extenuating circumstances around U.S. Soccer’s decision to allow his deal to expire — namely, his dealings with Gio Reyna after the 20-year-old winger was nearly sent home from USMNT camp; which then resulted in the airing, by Reyna’s parents (longtime friends of Berhalter, namely USMNT legend Claudio Reyna), of an incident which occurred 30 years earlier between Berhalter and his wife, Rosalind.
U.S. Soccer conducted an investigation which cleared Gregg Berhalter to be considered for employment once again. First, though, Matt Crocker was hired as the federation’s new sporting director, and it was his first major order of business to hire Berhalter’s successor — or, Berhalter, as it was.
During his first stint as USMNT head coach, Berhalter guided the Yanks to the 2021 Nations League title, the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup and qualification for the 2022 World Cup, where the youngest team at the tournament advanced from a group alongside England, Wales and Iran.
Former Leeds United manager Jesse Marsch was reportedly also a top candidate for the job, as were legendary French superstars Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira.