New USMNT head coach to be hired by end of 2018

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The next head coach of the U.S. men’s national team will be hired and begin working toward qualifying for the 2022 World Cup before the end of the 2018 calendar year, per new USMNT general manager Earnie Stewart.

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Speaking on Thursday, for the first time since he was installed as the new head of the men’s program, Stewart provided the public with the first concrete update regarding U.S. Soccer’s search for a new head coach since Bruce Arena resigned following the Yanks’ failure to qualify for this summer’s World Cup last October. Dave Sarachan has been in charge of the USMNT for every camp in the interim.

Stewart said he has a list of six or seven candidates in mind, and denied speculation that Columbus Crew SC’s Gregg Berhalter is the favorite at this point. No one has interviewed for the job as of yet, but once the process begins, things could move quickly. November friendlies against England and Italy are one reported target date for the new coach to make his debut.

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Nico Romeijn, the U.S. Soccer Federation’s chief sport development officer, and Ryan Mooney, USSF’s chief soccer officer, will join Stewart in the interviewing process. Stewart does not have the power to hire (or fire) a coach directly, but his recommendation to U.S. Soccer’s board of directors will (presumably) carry a lot of weight.