Report: Gregg Berhalter to Be Announced as USMNT Manager 'Next Week'

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistNovember 23, 2018

Columbus Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter directs his team against the New York Red Bulls during the first half of an MLS soccer game, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018 in Harrison, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Adam Hunger/Associated Press

Columbus Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter reportedly could be named manager of the U.S. men's national team next week.

According to Doug McIntyre of Yahoo Sports, the tactician is finalising an agreement with U.S. Soccer, potentially bringing an end to the lengthy search for a replacement for Bruce Arena after his departure in October 2017.

Per the report, former FC Dallas manager Oscar Pareja also interviewed for the job, but Berhalter has long been seen as the most likely option.

There have also been links to former Spain and Real Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui. He has denied contacting U.S. Soccer, but Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl believed he was trying to save face:

Grant Wahl @GrantWahl

Note, also, that when I contacted US Soccer about the intermediary's approach for Lopetegui, they could have issued a denial but chose to say no comment.

The USMNT have been without a head coach for over a year following the departure of Arena, who had no future with the team after the Stars and Stripes failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The long absence of a head coach has been a source of constant embarrassment, and ESPN's Taylor Twellman couldn't believe it has taken this long when he spoke ahead of the September friendly against Mexico:

According to the report, Berhalter has drawn interest from the Los Angeles Galaxy, so U.S. Soccer are under some pressure to move in a hurry. 

Berhalter has coached the Crew since 2013, taking the team to the play-offs four times and the MLS Cup final once, losing to the Portland Timbers. He's regarded as one of the best young American coaches in the game, but not everyone is a fan of the USMNT's reported hire:

Phil Schoen @PhilSchoen

Can anyone out in the t-sphere tell me what Gregg Berhalter has actually accomplished in his coaching career to even be considered for the #USMNT job? And what would he have done differently to significantly change the display we saw from the US vs England? #JustAsking

Whether he's the right fit remains to be seen, but American fans will likely still be happy that the long wait is finally over.

The team has been directionless for most of 2018, winning just one of their last eight matches, so some positivity to close out the year is sorely needed.