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Report: USMNT could wait until after World Cup to hire coach

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The search likely won’t begin until February.

Soccer: 2018 World Cup Qualifier-Panama at USA Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The wait for a coach to permanently assume the role as United States Men’s National Team head coach may take a while. According to Steven Goff of the Washington Post, the USMNT coaching search could extend beyond the World Cup next year. It is expected that U.S. Soccer will not make a permanent hire before the organization’s presidential elections in February.

Goff further reports that there is a chance that U.S. Soccer could continue to call on former USMNT coach Bruce Arena’s assistants or elevate one of the youth team coaches to carry the team through the January training camp and friendly against Bosnia. Dave Sarachan coached the USMNT during last week’s friendly against Portugal, and it’s possible that he could return for the January camp. It is unknown what the plan will be for the FIFA international windows in March and early June, where traditionally the USMNT play multiple matches.

There have been many coaches who have either been rumored to be approached by the U.S. Soccer Federation or even declared their own interest, from Sam Allardyce and Laurent Blanc to Michael O’Neill, Caleb Porter, and even Sasho Cirovski. Still, no one is even sure how the process for hiring a coach will go. Front Row Soccer reported a couple weeks ago that U.S. Soccer’s Board of Directors are set to meet next month to discuss the history of coaching hires and outline a new process. Before, U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati and CEO/Secretary General Dan Flynn would lead the search. Maybe this time, a hiring committee will be formed.

In the meantime, the USMNT head coach hiring silly season will continue for at least a few more months. There will likely be more possible candidates emerge in that time. Despite all that, do not be surprised if we’re watching the World Cup next year not just to see some good matches, but also to scout for a new USMNT head coach.