Gregg Berhalter has been fired after a seven-year tenure as the head coach of the USMNT following a disastrous Copa America group stage exit.

Berhalter, who led the USMNT to two Gold Cups and a Nations League, failed to beat a top-25-ranked team outside of CONCACAF. US Soccer is expected to name Berhalter’s replacement ahead of their September friendly against Canada.

Berhalter took over the USMNT job after Bruce Arena’s resignation in December 2018. He led the USMNT into the World Cup for the first time since 2014, taking them to the round of 16. Berhalter finishes his stint in Chicago with 44 wins, 15 losses, and 13 ties. His biggest accomplishment with the USMNT was winning back-to-back Nations League titles over Canada and Mexico. He also won one Gold Cup in 2021.

Berhalter led USMNT to a woeful group-stage exit

Berhalter began to face criticism after the 2022 World Cup. US Soccer let his contract expire amid a scandal between Berhalter and star Gio Reyna’s family. After an investigation surrounding Gio Reyna’s lack of playing time, Berhalter was rehired to bring success at the 2024 Copa America.

Berhalter faced significant pressure to keep his job after an unimpressive Copa America performance. Despite beating Bolivia in its opener on home turf, the United States suffered back-to-back losses at the hands of Panama and eventual semi-finalists Uruguay.

Copa America 2024 was the United States’ best chance to prepare as they host the 2026 World Cup with Canada and Mexico. However, Berhalter’s side looked tame in attack, overly reliant on its star attacking players to shine individually. The team lacked discipline throughout the tournament and saw moments of sloppy defense. Berhalter has been accused of coddling his players, and it showed throughout the match — an unmotivated USA side that seemed content with defeat at times.

The United States needed a win over Uruguay to advance to the knockout round after its loss to Panama. However, despite the urgency of the situation and their evident attacking power, the United States offered little in attack. Although a controversial Mathias Olivera strike made the difference, the USMNT didn’t create enough chances to score.

Berhalter faced criticism after the exit

Berhalter faced mass criticism after the USMNT’s exit from Copa America. The national team’s biggest supporter groups called for his firing over social media. Fans chanted ‘Fire Gregg’ during their loss at Arrowhead Stadium.

Days after the loss, US Soccer announced Berhalter would continue with the USMNT for the 2026 World Cup.

“When I started this search, my focus was on finding someone with the right vision to take this program to new heights in 2026,” Crocker said. “Gregg has that vision. He has the experience and growth mindset on and off the field to move this team forward.”

Statements from US Soccer executives and Berhalter

However, Berhalter will no longer be the team’s head coach. After a ‘comprehensive’ post-Copa America review concerning Berhalter’s tactics, Crocker relieved Berhalter of his duties. US Soccer confirmed that they started their search for a new manager already.

“We are deeply grateful to Gregg for his commitment the past five years to the Men’s National Team and to U.S. Soccer,” Crocker said. “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.”

Berhalter also issued remarks after today’s decision. “The Copa America result is extremely disappointing and I take full responsibility for our performance,” Berhalter said. “Our approach and process was always focused on the 2026 World Cup and I remain confident that this group will be one of the great stories in 2026.”

Potential Berhalter USA replacements include high-profile managers such as Thierry Henry, Jurgen Klopp, and Mauricio Pochettino. But, it’s uncertain when Crocker and US Soccer will announce a new head coach. LAFC’s Steve Cherundolo and Columbus Crew manager Wilfried Nancy are likely candidates.

The United States will return to action, likely with a new coach, on September 7th in a friendly against Canada.

Photos: Imago