USMNT and Gregg Berhalter: Everyone can now move on


The USSF have finally announced the hiring of Gregg Berhalter as the USMNT head coach. The search has been a debacle, but at least now everyone can move on.

The U.S. Men’s National Team were an embarrassment. Failing to qualify for the World Cup is a humiliating failure. But what proceeded it may arguably have been even worse.

Bruce Arena resigned immediately after his team failed to qualify for the World Cup. That was in October 2017. It is now December 2018 and Gregg Berhalter, former Columbus Crew head coach, has just been announced as the future spearhead of the USMNT.

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The year-long limbo in the meantime has been managed by Dave Sarachan. It was an impossible job. Sarachan still didn’t necessarily do a good one. But he wasn’t exactly given a chance.

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While Sarachan was attempting to span the gap between the Jurgen Klinsmann-Arena era to whoever was to come next, it was up to the USSF to find and implement a succession plan. It only took them 13 months and a rather messy interview process.

According to a wide range of reports, the USSF did not even bother interviewing key prospective candidates like Peter Vermes, Tata Martino or Jesse Marsch. Make what you will of the ultimate decision to hire Berhalter, the fact that they did not even give themselves the opportunity to survey many of the top potential options seems odd at best and downright negligent at worst.

But now the rough, mismanaged, inexplicably longwinded and narrow-minded search for a head coach is finished. Berhalter is at the helm and his era is about to begin.

That means, mercifully, that all can move on from the lurching between nothingness that U.S. soccer was suffering from. And Berhalter is the type of head coach around which everyone can unite and support.

Although there may have been better candidates in some people’s eyes, Berhalter is somebody who will have a very clear, concise and concrete plan. With the Crew, Berhalter has implemented very defined tactics. His players understand them innately and can then execute it on the pitch. And it has led to the Crew upsetting some far superior teams in recent years, including wins against Atlanta United and D.C. United in the playoffs in the past two seasons.

Berhalter will arrive with a plan, that much is sure. Whether it is a good plan, remains to be seen. Whether it is the best plan that the USSF could have found, no one really knows at this point. But there is now a plan in place, and that gives the USMNT something to unite behind and work towards.

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And that means that everyone can now move on, which is a good thing for all involved.