U.S. Soccer officials are setting the bar high in their search for a new USMNT head coach. The governing body officially fired Gregg Berhalter on Wednesday after a poor showing at Copa America 2024. Despite hosting the tournament on home soil, Berhalter’s side failed to even qualify for the knockout round.

Even before Berhalter was let go, many American soccer fans were calling for the coach to be replaced. The premier target for the position in recent weeks has been former Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp. The German is widely seen as the top available potential candidate for the USMNT position. After more than eight years with the Reds, Klopp recently stepped away from the club.

Many assume hiring the German as the USMNT coach is just a pipe dream. Nevertheless, U.S. Soccer is reportedly going after Klopp. In fact, according to The Independent, the governing body has already officially approached the former Liverpool manager. While discussions between the two sides have only just begun, the initial contact is undoubtedly good news for USMNT fans.

U.S. Soccer technical director claims to be better prepared to make USMNT coaching call

The biggest question regarding Klopp is whether or not the coach would be willing to take the USMNT job. The German recently left Liverpool because he needed a break from the stress. Nevertheless, there is certainly less work involved with a national team than with a club.

National teams only get together at select times throughout the calendar year. Managing a club, on the other hand, undoubtedly deals with more day-to-day stress, especially with big teams. A previous report also suggested that Klopp would be particularly interested in managing the USMNT.

Along with gauging Klopp’s willingness to join the Stars and Stripes, there are also questions regarding U.S. Soccer’s ability to find the right candidate. Matt Crocker, the technical director of the organization, previously ignored a majority of the fans by bringing back Berhalter last summer. The move was met with immediate backlash and has backfired.

Crocker, however, now claims that he is more prepared to make a better judgment call. “I think I’m 12 months into the program now. I’ve been in the environment… I think I’m a lot clearer and a lot more confident in what I see,” the exec told Yahoo‘s Henry Bushnell. “And also doing the reviews, both with Gregg and with [former USWNT manager] Vlatko [Andonovski], I’m a lot clearer on what I think we need going forward.”

“So, I think now I’m in a better place to have much more of a targeted search, where I’ll be more inclined to go hard and go early with specific candidates that I feel meet the criteria that we’re looking for.”

Hiring Klopp would galvanize USMNT fans ahead of the 2026 World Cup

While the talks with Klopp are at an early stage, the German is undoubtedly the first choice to replace Berhalter for many Americans. Confidence and morale concerning the USMNT are both extremely low at the moment. Potentially grabbing Klopp, however, would galvanize the team’s fan base.

It would also be a much-needed marquee signing ahead of the 2026 World Cup as well. The tournament is set to be hosted in 16 cities across North America. Although five of these venues are split between Canada and Mexico, a majority of the competition will be played here in the States. Klopp manning the USMNT sidelines during the major tournament would certainly be a big statement.

Along with being a major signing, Klopp’s tactics would also seem to suit the Americans as well. While Berhalter was a bit too conservative in his coaching approach, the German would not be afraid to take risks with the USMNT. The Stars and Stripes may lack the top talent that Klopp had at Liverpool, but he would bring an attractive and attacking style to the current group.

While initial contact has just been made, USMNT fans, and the players, will be crossing their fingers that the German soon officially enters the fray.

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