U.S. soccer insider notes: Latest on USMNT's coaching search, Gregg Berhalter's future, Pulisic's modified role
The search for a new USMNT manager has taken a little longer than expected
The United States men's national teamon Thursday in an international friendly. It's expected to be the second-to-last game for Dave Sarachan as interim manager. Sarachan's deal expires in December and next week's game against Italy is the last of calendar year. Sarachan told The Athletic on Wednesday that , so what's the latest on the coaching search that's been open for over a year? Let's take a look.
What's the latest on Berhalter?
The name most connected with the USMNT coaching job is Columbus Crew coach Gregg Berhalter. His MLS season came to a close on Sunday after a losing to the New York Red Bulls in the conference semifinals. Berhalter has been, but things seem to be moving along slowly.
According to sources with knowledge of the situation, U.S. Soccer hasn't made it clear that he is the No. 1 choice and there hasn't been much interaction between the two parties involved. Now, that's not to say that he isn't the favorite, but U.S. Soccer is certainly taking its time with what is arguably the most important coaching hire this federation has had in quite some time, especially considering the young talent in the bright future on paper. There is extra pressure to make the right decision after the team failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
The process has been a slow one since Earnie Stewart was brought on as general manager on Aug. 1, and we are nearing the end of the period when the U.S. expected to make a hire. CBS Sports was told by U.S. Soccer last month that the goal for a hire was November. It wouldn't be all that surprising if the process gets pushed into December since the focus will shift from November friendlies to January camp once matches against England and Italy are in the books.
Berhalter getting looks from other MLS teams
Sources also tell CBS Sports that Berhalter is getting a ton of interest from many MLS clubs and that the Columbus Crew are actively interviewing potential coaches. What would Berhalter's departure mean for Columbus? One member of the team told CBS Sports this week that the club is operating as if nothing is changing. We'll see if that remains to be the case in the weeks or months to come.
Get used to Pulisic at right mid
Expect star midfielder Christian Pulisic to play on the right side against England on Thursday, with Tim Weah on the opposite side. That would be a bit further back than the winger role he's accustomed to, but it would be a good test on the 4-2-3-1 formation for Sarachan in a game that is just a friendly. Pulisic stars on the wing for Borussia Dortmund and can cut inside, but if he is asked to play a bit further back, it will be interesting to see how that looks in the run of play.
What does Pulisic want from new boss?
It sounds like Pulisic knows what he wants in the new manager, and it kind of comes off as if he is throwing shade at Bruce Arena and/or Jurgen Klinsmann regime.
"Yeah, I just want to see a guy with a plan. A guy with a great plan moving forward, and having a real style," Pulisic told Taylor Twellman of ESPN.
Of course, that style or plan seemed a bit unclear toward the end of Arena's tenure last year. The U.S. lacked confidence and made too many mistakes, particularly in central defense, leading to the shocking fifth-place finish in CONCACAF qualifying.
Rodman's daughter featured in U-17 World Cup
For those fans following the USA team at the U-17 FIFA Women's World Cup in Uruguay, you may have seen a familiar name. Trinity Rodman entered the in the second half of a 3-0 win over Cameroon on Wednesday. Rodman, a forward committed to UCLA, is also the daughter of five-time NBA champion Dennis Rodman. She is a quick and talented player with the real shot at becoming a part in the senior teams if she continues progressing, but where she shines is on the opposite end of where her father did on the hardwood.
And don't look now, but the U.S. takes on North Korea on Saturday. You can stream men's and women's games on fuboTV (try for free).
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