USMNT Summer 2024: Beauty is in the Eye of the Berhalter

rguilmar

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I assume they are keeping him as I expect them to make the dumbest decision possible.
Can they out-stupid the Mexican federation who are rumored to hire Javier Aguirre*, a manager I quite like though might be a poor fit for how the Mexican national team wants to play, and keep current manager Jimmy Lozano on as an assistant. After the World Cup, Lozano would come back as head coach for the 2030 cycle.

Unreal.

*Aguirre is known in Spain as the manager you hire to avoid relegation. He will get results, but it might not be pretty. He’s pretty well respected there
 

Titans Bastard

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If all the team inspires is relentless, never-ending cynicism, why bother even paying attention?
 

Cellar-Door

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Alright, let's be positive (and pretend it's not gonna be Cherundolo). What are the options people would be pretty happy with?
Some thoughts:

I don't think the truly elite managers are interested.

Stretches... Moyes? Gallardo? Benitez?

More reasonable... Wagner, Queiroz, Renard
 

67YAZ

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Renard’s contract expires after the Olympics, so not bad timing. He is being connected to the Al Ittihad job, which Pioli was deep in negotiations for before pulling out. It’s silly season and all, so no clue how much substance to put into this rumor. But Renard could definitely use it as salary leverage if he wants the US job.

Gregg to the Fire watch is on…sigh…ugh…
 
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nayrbrey

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Statement from Matt Crocker:

“We are deeply grateful to Gregg for his commitment the past five years to the Men’s National Team and to U.S. Soccer,” said Crocker. “Gregg has earned the respect of everyone within our organization and has played a pivotal role in bringing together a young team and moving the program forward. We wish Gregg all the best in his future endeavors, and we know he will find success in his next coaching position.”

threads link:
https://www.threads.net/@iamfavianrenkel/post/C9QlyqUSWXK/?xmt=AQGzlh91Hz05d7hZihqCbAxZSry-6R7E8s9WNkQyu1rHzQ
 

Titans Bastard

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Berhalter statement:

View: https://twitter.com/PaulTenorio/status/1811176124711309744


Crocker statement about coaching search. This fits with how I've seen things for a while, which is that Crocker was lukewarm on re-hiring Berhalter but allowed himself to get swayed by the players' advocacy in the aftermath of a very messy and complicated situation. I think Crocker will do his own thing this time and completely own the hire in a way that wasn't entirely the case at the very beginning of his stint with the USSF.

View: https://twitter.com/henrybushnell/status/1811169429704564740


More Crocker:

When asked if he preferred a domestic coach or a foreign one, Crocker said: "I just want to get the best coach possible that can help the team win. Whether they're from the U.S. or elsewhere, they've gotta fit the profile, which is a serial winning coach, somebody that can continue to develop this potential group of players, somebody that's got a huge interest and a passion for player development."

When asked if speaking English is a requirement, he did not directly answer the question. "I think effective communication is critical, when you need to get a message across to the players," Crocker said. "That hasn't changed. And we'll be considering a really wide pool of candidates."


I find international manager selections hard to predict. It's hard to know who is available and interested and it's hard to know who will be successful and who will fail. It's a weird gig, generally.

The most compelling coach in MLS is Wilfried Nancy, but he's been doing so well that if I were him I'd be gearing up for offers from one of Europe's bigger leagues and wouldn't be interested in the USMNT. Steve Cherundolo feels like the floor. I'd find him to be a candidate who is not especially inspiring, though I suppose it's possible he could do well. I am distrustful of MLS managers who have only succeeded with one group of players, and he's too early in his career to even have a chance to shake that label. Pat Noonan has done well in Cincinnati, but it's the same one-group-of-players situation. Like with Berhalter in Columbus, he benefits from an extremely effective #10, which nobody will have at the USMNT.

Crocker is talking a big game about an international search. I hope it's true. The world is big and there are a lot of managers out there. I don't know who is available and interested, but the time feels ripe for an outsider with fresh ideas and a fresh voice in a locker room that feels a bit complacent at the moment. There's historical reasons for skepticism that the USSF will take the "international" part of the search seriously, but bear in mind that this is the first "clean" managerial reset under the current president, CEO, and sporting directors, so I think the situation is quite unpredictable.
 

Cellar-Door

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I see positives and negatives in the reporting out of this.

Positives:
Crocker is talking about an international search
They fired Gregg
history of winning
English not a requirement
Talk that he wants a quicker process to get a coach well in place by September

Negatives:
Lot of talk about development..... that's not what National Team managers do, they see these guys for like a week two to 3 times a year (not even that since there should be rotation/competition)
English hinted at as important

Then a detail from this story....
https://www.espn.com/soccer/story/_/id/40480333/usa-coach-gregg-berhalter-fired-copa-america

He was polling people on the board and throughout the org on what they thought....... that to me is terrible news. You were hired to make these decisions, why are you asking JT Batson who is a fundraiser... the Board who range from former players to lawyers and accountants, to just leeches like Motta.... these people hired you specifically because they lack the skills to do this job!
 

sezwho

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I see positives and negatives in the reporting out of this.

Positives:
Crocker is talking about an international search
They fired Gregg
history of winning
English not a requirement
Talk that he wants a quicker process to get a coach well in place by September

Negatives:
Lot of talk about development..... that's not what National Team managers do, they see these guys for like a week two to 3 times a year (not even that since there should be rotation/competition)
English hinted at as important

Then a detail from this story....
https://www.espn.com/soccer/story/_/id/40480333/usa-coach-gregg-berhalter-fired-copa-america

He was polling people on the board and throughout the org on what they thought....... that to me is terrible news. You were hired to make these decisions, why are you asking JT Batson who is a fundraiser... the Board who range from former players to lawyers and accountants, to just leeches like Motta.... these people hired you specifically because they lack the skills to do this job!
I get your general attitude towards US soccer, but now you are killing Crocker just for getting input from the organization? It doesn’t mean he has to follow it, and gong solo mission on hiring sounds hardcore but feels pretty dumb.
 

Cellar-Door

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I get your general attitude towards US soccer, but now you are killing Crocker just for getting input from the organization? It doesn’t mean he has to follow it, and gong solo mission on hiring sounds hardcore but feels pretty dumb.
I think running a poll on whether to keep his manager after a complete failure is concerning. Should he get input during the upcoming hiring process from the people with actual soccer experience... yeah he should. Should he be polling people on whether he should fire Gregg... no, that's concerning to me.
 

sezwho

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I think running a poll on whether to keep his manager after a complete failure is concerning. Should he get input during the upcoming hiring process from the people with actual soccer experience... yeah he should. Should he be polling people on whether he should fire Gregg... no, that's concerning to me.
Fair enough, perhaps we’re just splitting hairs on ‘polling’ here. To me that is exactly about getting input from abroad set of people with a broad side of experiences, I think it’s a bit of a step to say he was literally peg counting to figure out whether to fire Gregg.

Maybe I just haven’t acquired the hard won USSF antipathy and cynicism….which is strange for me :)

I started paying attention again after they missed out on the World Cup qualifier with Greg taking over the helm. Since then, I think they’ve actually done quite well. I blame l’affaire Reyna essentially exclusively on his family and think Gregg did well to create a sense of direction and a style of play within an extremely young team.

He clearly showed he wasn’t the guy going forward, that seems much clearer in hindsight, but I thought it was credible he could get the team to the next step and not a conclusion that everyone involved are inbred muppets (that’s not what I hear you saying but it’s generally the take for a significant set of fans).
 

Cellar-Door

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Fair enough, perhaps we’re just splitting hairs on ‘polling’ here. To me that is exactly about getting input from abroad set of people with a broad side of experiences, I think it’s a bit of a step to say he was literally peg counting to figure out whether to fire Gregg.
Interestingly I literally JUST watched Jeff Carlisle do a TV hit, and he basically walked that back, not directly but he changed his story, said Crocker only talked to a small group before making his decision. So perhaps he got some bad info originally or he misinterpreted Crocker reaching out to let people know what he was planning with asking.
 

Zososoxfan

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Just going down the list, the names that jump out at me as good/plausible:

Tuchel. The guy is a weirdo and has burned the bridge at every club after winning hardware. I'd take him in a heartbeat.

Gallardo. I've sung his praises for years. I still can't understand how he hasn't moved up the coaching ladder. Homerun hire if he has institutional support.

Marsch. If he's into it, he would be a great hire IMO. Canada had a clear identity of how they wanted to play and it suited the players. That's what international management is all about. I suspect he's looking to get back into club ball though.

Renard. Pretty established international manager. Looks like a mix of Sean Bean and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister). Gave an incredible halftime speech before Saudi Arabia came back to beat Argentina in their opening group stage fixture. Would take if Ze Germans (Tuchel, Klopp) say no thanks.

Klopp. While I would absolutely take him in a cocaine heartbeat and he's my first choice, I think we'd really have to be all in and give him control over the entire program to get the value--i.e., not just the mens senior team. Kloppo isn't good at coming in and fixing everything right away. He needs time with players to install a very good and player-agnostic system. Of course he'd improve the USMNT immediately if he came in and would give us some real credibility, I think there's a non-zero chance he would have trouble meeting the immense expectations that would come along with him if he's only get the USMNT for 2 years, as opposed to a more holistic longer term approach.

Some other FA managers that caught my eye (not taking account their potential interest in the job):

Potter (unlikely to take an intl job as he's got to be in demand still, right?)
Laurent Blanc
Phil Cocu
Van Nistelrooy
Lucien Favre (I vauguely recall a character issue with him, but that may have been another French manager).
Rudi Garcia
Big Sam Allardyce (this would be fun if nothing else)
Javi Garcia

I want to stay away from the 70+ contingent, including Quieroz (71) and Pekerman (74!). Same for someone like Van Gaal (who was also dealing with health issues at WC '22).
 

Zososoxfan

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One other thought--do you all think the selection of a Latin American vs. European manager would come into play in the proverbial board room? What's the makeup of the USMNT squad, current and medium term? Klinsi brought a very dual national focus to the program (e.g., Jumaine (sp.?) Jones). As I was writing about Gallardo, I was thinking how his intimate knowledge of Argentina's leagues probably means he could bend the ear of more than a few players. It seems like the German managers have a consistent philosophy, so that has to be attractive to a FA I would think.

Re language barriers, I think they should come into play to some degree. Coaches need to be able to communicate with their players. But OTOH, I feel like Bielsa's language barrier was overblown. The guy managed Leeds for what, 5 years, on the way to promotion? Yet, part of what made Renard's halftime speech so amazing, was how it almost didn't matter that the players didn't understand a word of his French (IIRC), he was pretty clear about what he was trying to tell them lol.

I'm talking in circles, so I'll hang up and listen.
 

67YAZ

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Laurent Blanc
Van Nistelrooy


I want to stay away from the 70+ contingent, including Quieroz (71) and Pekerman (74!). Same for someone like Van Gaal (who was also dealing with health issues at WC '22).
Ruud just signed a 2-year deal to be an assistant at ManU.

Blanc is the other name being touted for the Al Ittihad job along with Renard. I hope Crocker can be discrete in his efforts and not get caught up in one of these leverage games that agents and clubs play.
 
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rguilmar

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One other thought--do you all think the selection of a Latin American vs. European manager would come into play in the proverbial board room? What's the makeup of the USMNT squad, current and medium term? Klinsi brought a very dual national focus to the program (e.g., Jumaine (sp.?) Jones). As I was writing about Gallardo, I was thinking how his intimate knowledge of Argentina's leagues probably means he could bend the ear of more than a few players. It seems like the German managers have a consistent philosophy, so that has to be attractive to a FA I would think.

Re language barriers, I think they should come into play to some degree. Coaches need to be able to communicate with their players. But OTOH, I feel like Bielsa's language barrier was overblown. The guy managed Leeds for what, 5 years, on the way to promotion? Yet, part of what made Renard's halftime speech so amazing, was how it almost didn't matter that the players didn't understand a word of his French (IIRC), he was pretty clear about what he was trying to tell them lol.

I'm talking in circles, so I'll hang up and listen.
The obvious answer I imagine is that we would want to hire the best manager available. I would love to have a manager born in South or Central America as I can see the value in “recognizing” the huge Spanish speaking soccer playing population that at times feels marginalized. In terms of language, I don’t really care. Part of the allure of Renard, if not all of it, comes from Saudi Arabia’s World Cup performance, and as you mention he didn’t speak a lick of Arabic. The halftime speech in the “Where is Messi?” game was in English, and the players didn’t understand him at all. There was a translator in the locker room. I would rather use characteristics like this as tie breakers in the case of having multiple good candidates than qualifiers or disqualifiers for the job.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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That seemed obvious, so much of the Klopp wishcasting relied on the assumption that the things Klopp publicly said about quitting Liverpool were not true.

People on twitter just want the USSF to boil his kid's pet bunny to show we will not be ignored, but I say somehow find the middle ground between Klopp and "wait 6 months for an MLS manager" and figure out which well qualified unemployed manager wants the job and hire them.
 

67YAZ

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I'm curious what folks think makes the USMNT job attractive.

Like, how do you sell it to top coaches?
Well, the real top coaches are in the club game. And the best one who isn't currently with a club - Klopp - just said no. So there's that.

Among the managers willing to coach the international game? You can sell them on the talented group of young players and a World Cup on home soil. This squad could make a run and become massively popular, which would set you up for years into the future. That said, the top international candidates might not be interested in a 2-year emergency fill in position with the US and will ask for a 6 year contract so that even if things go badly in 2026, they have a big buy out figure.
 

ThePrideofShiner

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Home world cup, low pressure, get to live in the US.
Low pressure?

Well, the real top coaches are in the club game. And the best one who isn't currently with a club - Klopp - just said no. So there's that.

Among the managers willing to coach the international game? You can sell them on the talented group of young players and a World Cup on home soil. This squad could make a run and become massively popular, which would set you up for years into the future. That said, the top international candidates might not be interested in a 2-year emergency fill in position with the US and will ask for a 6 year contract so that even if things go badly in 2026, they have a big buy out figure.
Interesting. I appreciate the insight. If we bombed out of the 2026 Cup I can't even imagine the discourse around this team.
 

Cellar-Door

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Low pressure?
.
Compared to club soccer or a top nation... yes? If Gregg had been the manager in Colombia or at a club in the top flights he would have been run out of town on a rail months ago. The US simply does not have the level of public pressure that most top level jobs have,
 

Jed Zeppelin

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I'm just an angry dummy but Renard seems like the natural choice to me as a guy with a lot of experience managing mid-level international sides with a decent amount of success who you'd theoretically expect to be open to taking the job.
 

Zososoxfan

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Coaching the USMNT can be bigtime exposure for a manager like Gallardo who has shown he has real chops, but hasn't been getting good offers in Europe. Similarly, a young or inexperienced manager, or a manager at a smaller club, might look at it as a way to improve their credentials.

In addition, the relative security in the US is probably attractive to some managers.
 

67YAZ

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Just looked it up - Bora is still alive and working as a club advisor in China. Think he can do the job one more time?
 

teddykgb

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I don’t know why all these club manager names are being thrown about. International management is a step down for anyone with real job prospects and you generally see old timers and wash outs. Klopp was always a ludicrous dream, Tuchel is the same. Almost the whole list above is a pipe dream. Renard makes sense, he manages international football.

If you want to shop at the table of managers you’ve actually heard of, I mentioned Pellegrini a month or two ago, he’s old enough to maybe want to make a switch. Van Gaal is probably self centered enough that you might convince him that making a mark in American football would bolster him so maybe you get get him interested. Mancini might have been an option after Italy and before going to the Saudi league. Ranieri I think is not signed anywhere? These old timers are the types you might get but they also might not have the energy for the job. I just think it’s really weird people think these managers in their prime are going to come manage an international team, especially one as poor as the USA. It’s one thing to take the Brazil job or something but these big names aren’t realistic options
 

rguilmar

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Manuel Pelligrini currently is at the pinnacle of club football. He manages the greatest entity in the history of humankind. Why would he leave such an amazing job for this mess???

In all seriousness, does the USMNT job still have the Chicago requirement? Because there is no frickin way that Pelligrini swaps Seville for Chicago.

I agree with @teddykgb (but not about Pelligrini) that a club manager probably isn’t the right fit. Most of them get paid a lot more than international managers. There is a massive difference between club managing and international managing. Different pay scale, very different job. I’d rather we look into managers with international managing experience.