It’s finally official. Today, U.S. Soccer announced that they have hired Gregg Berhalter as the permanent head coach of the United States Men’s National Team. The 45-year-old Berhalter leaves Columbus Crew SC to take over a national team that hasn’t had a permanent head coach in 416 days. Dave Sarachan has served as the team’s interim head coach since Bruce Arena resigned on October 13, 2017.
Berhalter emerged as the odds-on favorite after a process that reportedly was narrowed down to two finalists: Berhalter and Oscar Pareja, the former FC Dallas coach that recently left to become the new coach of Club Tijuana. Jay Berhalter, the chief operating officer of U.S. Soccer, is Gregg’s brother, though it is reported that he had no role in the process of selecting a head coach
Berhalter amassed a 92-80-67 (W-L-D) record in 7 seasons as head coach with Hammarby in Sweden (2011-2013) and Columbus (2013-present). He began his coaching career as an assistant for the LA Galaxy after completing his playing career with them, a career that spanned 18 seasons with stops in England, Germany, and the Netherlands before ending in Major League Soccer.
He led Columbus to the playoffs in 4 of his 6 seasons, including a trip to the MLS Cup final in 2015. Columbus lost the final 2-1 to the Portland Timbers. He now takes over a USMNT who failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup and is now in a state of transition with its player pool, as the focus has shifted to identifying younger players who can form the core of the team going forward. He agreed to a contract that runs through the end of the 2022 World Cup cycle.
Thoughts on this coaching search finally ending? Do we have the right man in Gregg Berhalter?