US Soccer announced Sporting Director Earnie Stewart and USMNT General Manager Brian McBride are leaving the federation. Stewart will move to Eredivisie club PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands, the country of his birth and his home as a player.
According to US Soccer CEO JT Batson, the decision to overhaul the USMNT and US Soccer had no impact from the ongoing investigation into Gregg Berhalter.
In fact, US Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone said Brian McBride stated his intention to leave US Soccer before the 2022 World Cup. He stayed on through the World Cup and slightly beyond to help the transition between roles.
Following the 2022 World Cup, US Soccer began mapping out a full long term plan for US Soccer and the USMNT. That includes preparations for the upcoming 2023 Women’s World Cup, the 2024 Olympics and the 2026 World Cup. On the latter, this leaves the USMNT without a sporting director, general manager and head coach before the biggest tournament in the history of the side.
US Soccer hired a firm named Sportsology to oversee the recruitment of a new sporting director. Moreover, Parlow Cone added that Sportsology will be reviewing the total structure of US Soccer. That could be a change in the roles and responsibilities of a sporting director or general manager.
Stewart and McBride leave vacancies in US Soccer
It is certainly a time of considerable change in US Soccer, for better or for worse. US Soccer wants to fill the sporting director position so it can name a new head coach for the USMNT. As of now, Anthony Hudson is the interim head coach of the national team.
Cindy Parlow Cone did not name a definitive timeline on naming a sporting director. That being said, she mentioned they hope to announce one before the Women’s World Cup this summer.
The incoming sporting director, whomever that may be, will be responsible for naming the next USMNT head coach. For what it is worth, Gregg Berhalter remains a candidate in the hunt for that role. Parlow Cone and Batson maintained that nothing changed in terms of Berhalter’s investigation, as that is being conducted independently.
Major changes at US Soccer
Generally speaking, tenures at the international level are shorter. That is particularly true with head coaches, as in the last four World Cups the side competed in, it had four different coaches.
Earnie Stewart was the first sporting director for US Soccer. He took on that role in the summer of 2019. Brian McBride had a storied career as a US international. The next GM of the USMNT will help the head coach on depth charts, monitoring players across the globe, driving technical alignment between youth teams and so on.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Icon Sportswire
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