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Jay Berhalter steps away from U.S. Soccer

U.S. Soccer Foundation

Photo credit: U.S. Soccer

Stunning news out of Soccer House, where one of the most powerful and controversial men in the United States Soccer Federation is leaving the organization.

The federation announced Thursday night that U.S. Soccer chief commercial officer Jay Berhalter “stepped down” from his position.

“Jay has played an invaluable role in the growth of our Federation and the evolution of the game in our country,” said U.S. Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro. “His deep understanding of all the technical, commercial, and business aspects of the sport will have a lasting impact on the game across America.”

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Berhalter is the brother of USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter, and spent 15 years with U.S. Soccer. He played big roles in the U.S. hosted Women’s World Cup as well as the growth of the Development Academy for youth soccer and the National Women’s Soccer League, according to U.S. Soccer’s press release.

But reports earlier this week said he was being passed over for the federation’s CEO job. It was long discussed that Jay Berhalter had been hand-picked by outgoing CEO Dan Flynn.

There was plenty of controversy in Jay Berhalter’s final years on the job. That tumult escalated when his brother Gregg was hired to manage the United States men’s national team in a baffling hiring process that ignored some big and interested names.

Soon after, Jay Berhalter was mentioned as the probable CEO in waiting, but at least one report noted that new president Carlos Cordeiro did not want that.

Those reports and the impending status quo were met by a spate of terrible reviews from employees and former employees of U.S. Soccer on the job site Glassdoor.

The federation has to find a CEO, and there will be plenty of discussion about the future of the men’s team given the struggles under Gregg Berhalter. U.S. Soccer just hired legendary USMNT player Brian McBride as the program’s new general manager, operating under sporting director Earnie Stewart.