That's more experience than I was aware of, which is good, but also a pretty thin resume for federation sporting director I think, compared at least to Earnie SDtewart. That said, I have no real comparables to what sporting directors look like in other federations generally, so he might be more in line than I'd imagine.
Let's survey a few from Proper Footballing Nations then, shall we?
- Nigel de Jong
kicked the door down to be appointed Technical Director back in January. His player career ended in 2021 after several years in the middle east. He does not appear to have any club management, coaching or executive experience.
- however, he's probably just a public face, and the important guy is probably Nico-Jan Hoogma
, Director of Top-Level Football, who after a high-level playing career became general / technical director at Heracles from 2006-2018.
- TD John McDermott
started in 2021 after assisting for a year; was a coach for 15 years at Spurs, prior to that at Watford where he became Academy Manager; he also coached the national teams in the 2000s. He oversees
grassroots development but also the senior NTs.
- After the 2014 WC disaster, Gilmar Rinaldi
was appointed; he was Superintendent of Football at Flamengo from 1999-2001, became an agent for a while, and held the "General Coordinator" role (sometimes called
TD) until 2016 when he was fired
after exiting Copa America Centenario.
- From 2016-2019 the GC / TD was Edu Gaspar
, who then left for a TD role at Arsenal in 2019. He was Director of Football at Corinthians from 2011-2016, and assisted the Iranian NT in the 2014 World Cup.
- I can absolutely not make heads or tails of the CBF's current structure
, couldn't even tell you who has the role today.
- The FIGC's MNT Coordinator / GM was Gabriele Oriali
from 2014-2019. After a playing career in the 1970s, he was Solbiatese's Sporting Director in Serie C, Bologna's from 1994-1997? (promoting from Serie C to Serie A), then TD/SD at Parma till 1999 when he returned to Inter and was TD from 1999-2010. In 2019, he returned to Inter as TD again, although he also stayed
as Azzurri GM through Euro 2020 and apparently is still there now
- Apparently Miguel Herrera
is TD right now? He of course was a coach from 2002-present, including coaching El Tri from 2013-2015. It's very unclear.
- He maybe was an interim appointment because they fired General Sporting Director Gerardo Torrado
in summer 2022, or maybe it was Sporting Director of National Teams Ignacio Hierro, also fired at the same time. I can't keep it straight, but anyway:
- Torrado had a distinguished playing career that ended at Indy Eleven in 2017, whereupon he was appointed, before being fired last summer. No managerial or director qualifications.
- Hierro had a playing career cut short by injury, but prior to his appointment as SD in 2019, he was SD at Club Atlas, at Everton (Chile), some sort of director at Pachuca, and SD at Atlante in the Ascenso.
- Torrado was succeeded last year by Jaime Ordiales
, who had been Cruz Azul's SD since 2020
; prior to that he had 4 other Mexican managerial stints from 2008-2017.
- TD Yasuharu Sorimachi had a playing career in the 80s and 90s, followed by managerial jobs from 2001-2019 (including assistant with Japan from 2006-2007, and running Japan's U23s from 2006-2008), before being appointed as TD for JFA in 2020.
- "Chairman of the International Committee" is Tsuneyasu Miyamoto, who played until 2011 (including captaining Japan in the 2002 WC), then coached at Gamba Osaka from 2015-2021 (the last 3 years as Manager). He might be some other sort of executive, it's not clear
- Most FAs' Technical Directors or Sporting Directors have experience being such, or at least being club managers or NT managers before taking the role.
- Every FA seemingly allocates the responsibilities and titles differently, there's not some common formula that USSF is either following or defying.
- To the extent that some FAs divide it into more of an Earnie / McBride sort of setup, the McBride / GM role can be filled by a famous player with not much other experience, as with Gerardo Torrado in Mexico or Nigel De Jong in the Netherlands.
- However, the Earnie / senior SD/TD role is universally filled with someone with a lot of experience, sometimes decades, of management or executive roles.