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Gregg Berhalter to return as USMNT head coach

Gregg Berhalter USMNT coach
Berhalter will return as the USMNT’s head coach after this summer’s Gold Cup (Francisco Seco/AP Photo).

Gregg Berhalter to return as USMNT head coach

Gregg Berhalter is set to return as the head coach of the U.S. men’s national team. His contract will run through the 2026 World Cup, beginning after the conclusion of the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup.

Berhalter led the U.S. to a Round of 16 finish during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The U.S. performed well in Qatar despite having the second youngest team at the tournament. The team finished with five points after positive performances against England, Wales and Iran, tying a U.S. record for most points in a World Cup group stage.

Besides doing well in the World Cup, Berhalter also won the 2021 Concacaf Nations League and the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup.

However, despite Berhalter’s success as a manager, his contract was not initially renewed following the World Cup. This was due to an investigation into a domestic violence incident from 1992 that involved him and his wife, Rosalind.

During the World Cup, Berhalter gave Gio Reyna a limited role, angering both Gio and the Reyna family. The Reyna family then informed U.S. Soccer about Berhalter’s past incident following comments made by Berhalter about Gio at a leadership summit.

After U.S. Soccer’s investigation, however, Berhalter was cleared and remained a candidate for the USMNT head coaching job.

Berhalter’s rehiring comes following a half-year head coaching search in which over 10 candidates were interviewed for the position. Berhalter’s case was likely helped by multiple players endorsing his return, including Walker Zimmerman, Timothy Weah and Christian Pulisic.

His return as the USMNT head coach makes sense considering the success he has brought the teamand the culture he has built amongst the players.

However, why would you have a half-year-long coaching search if you are just going to go with the same guy you already had? It makes absolutely no sense. All this coaching search did was waste time and resources to bring the team right back to where it already was.

I understand that U.S. Soccer needed to hire a new sporting director. I also understand that U.S. Soccer was going after high-profile targets such as Zinedine Zidane. But hiring the same guy who was already in charge of the team after a long head coaching search just makes the whole thing look like a massive waste of time.

However, I do think that rehiring Berhalter is a good decision. He has built a positive culture and playing style that is producing results on the field. The team’s 3-0 victory over Mexico in the Nations League on Thursday is a testament to the work that Berhalter has done with the group. Even though he wasn’t on the sideline, he has put the pieces into place over the last few years.

Ultimately, the players love him, and he has proven that he can get results. Now, he has been given the keys once again. Hopefully, Gregg Berhalter is the right man to take this team to new levels ahead of the 2026 World Cup.

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