U.S. Soccer has its man. Just days after, former Columbus Crew boss Gregg Berhalter was officially announced as the new leader of the United States men's national team on Sunday. Berhalter, 45, takes over for interim coach Dave Sarachan, who led the team for a year after Bruce Arena's departure following the failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
Berhalter has coached the Crew in MLS since 2013 and is coming off a playoff exit at the hands of the New York Red Bulls in the conference semifinals. As the coach of the Crew, he compiled a record of 74-69-50, including an MLS Cup final appearance in 2015 where his team lost to the Portland Timbers. He becomes the first USMNT World Cup veteran to coach the team.
"This is a tremendous honor," Berhalter said in a release. "Having played for the national team I know what it means to represent our country. I believe in our players and our program, and together we will work to build something special and develop a team that will make our supporters proud."
Berhalter had 44 caps on the senior national team as a player from 1994-2006 and was on the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cup rosters. He was on the L.A. Galaxy roster in 2011 when they won the MLS Cup. Berhalter, however, has yet to win a trophy as a manager.
He's looked at as a coach who has done well with less, keeping the Crew consistent in in the playoffs more often than not despite one of the lowest budgets in the league.
"After a very thorough process, I am absolutely convinced Gregg is the right man to lead the National Team program moving forward," USMNT general manager Earnie Stewart said. "He ticks all the boxes with his background as a person, a successful coach and an accomplished former international player."
Early on in his tenure, the top priorities will be going through the player pool to continue thinking about how he wants to form the team, scouting American players throughout the world, and then begin preparing for the 2019 Gold Cup. The United States will host the competition next summer.
The next time the national team gets together is in January at the team's camp in California. The USMNT's next scheduled game is on Feb. 2 against Costa Rica, which you can stream on fuboTV (Try for free).