112515_isi_berhaltergregg_mlsml100315070 Mike Lawrence/isiphotos.com
USMNT breaking news

After months of speculation, Berhalter formally named USMNT head coach

It is finally official. The United States national team finally has a head coach as Gregg Berhalter has been named to the post after months of speculation. ASN's Brian Sciaretta is here with the news
BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
December 02, 2018
6:00 AM
IN A MOVE that has seemed like a foregone conclusion for weeks, if not months, U.S. Soccer today finally announced that Gregg Berhalter is the new head coach for the United States men’s national team. The news finally brings a sense of stability to a program that has been unsettled for over two year years since 2018 World Cup qualifying took a downturn under Jurgen Klinsmann at the start of the Hexagonal round.

Berhalter, 45, is a long-time veteran of American soccer as both a player and a coach. Born in New Jersey where he grew up in Tenafly, Berhalter attended St. Benedict’s Prep which was a national powerhouse in high school soccer. After a collegiate career at the University of North Carolina, Berhalter embarked on a career abroad that lasted from 1994 through 2009. As a central defender, he played with Zwolle, Sparta Rotterdam, Cambuur Leeuwarden, Crystal Palace, Energie Cottbus, and 1860 Munich.

He eventually returned to the United States to finish his playing career with the Los Angeles Galaxy from 2009-2011. After that time he embarked on a coaching career – first with Hammarby in Sweden and followed by the Columbus Crew SC.

As a player, Berhalter’s best achievement came in 2002 when he was an integral part of the United States national team at the World Cup where it advanced to the quarterfinal before being eliminated in a close 1-0 loss to Germany.

U.S. Soccer will have a lot invested in Berhalter given the significant setbacks the team has suffered since the 2014 World Cup. But over the year since the failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, U.S. Soccer has undergone a significant period of change that included a new president in Carlos Cordeiro and the hiring of its first general manager in Earnie Stewart.

Now the federation is hoping that Berhalter can mold a new generation of young players into a winning product on the field.

“After a very thorough process, I am absolutely convinced Gregg is the right man to lead the National Team program moving forward," Stewart said. "He ticks all the boxes with his background as a person, a successful coach and an accomplished former international player.”

U.S. Soccer decided on Berhalter after Stewart, along with Chief Sport Development Officer Nico Romeijn and Chief Soccer Officer Ryan Mooney, developed a profile with what they wanted the new head coach to resemble. Stewart consulted with eight national team alums who had over 100 national team caps and served as captain for at least five games.

They also created a list of 10 Base qualifications for the jobs and six added value qualifications.

BASE Qualifications

1) U.S. Soccer "Pro" or UEFA "A" Coaching License
2) Professional experience as a head coach with a top flight club or senior national team.
3) Excellent Communication Skills
4) Ability to build cohesive support team
5) Organization schedule with attention to physical periodization
6) Understanding of and experience using data analytics
7) Proven track record handling all aspects of team oversight
8) Open minded and innovative
9) Calm and confident sideline behavior
10) Known for implementing a recognizable playing style

Added Value qualifications

1) Knowledge of American soccer landscape and good understanding of the player pool
2) Experience as a head coach in different environments
3) Ability to speak multiple languages
4) Understanding CONCACAF and FIFA
5) Has worked with multiple staff members and can manage/delegated accordingly
6) Extensive experience in tournament formats as a player and/or head coach

Berhalter holds both a U.S. Soccer PRO License and a UEFA “A” License and has served as both the technical director and head coach of the Columbus Crew since 2013.

At Columbus, Berhalter was successful given his team’s budget constraints and off-field issues such as the team’s controversial ownership group that threatened to relocate the team to Austin before eventually agreeing to sell the team. During that time, the Crew had a smaller budget compared with the rest of the league and still made the playoffs for three of the past four seasons.

Now Berhalter will be stepping into a high-profile job with the pressure of turning around a team that badly needs a spark and whose fanbase is starved for success and progress.

"This is a tremendous honor,” Berhalter said. “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.”

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