GENK, Belgium – It didn’t end the way he wanted. But it is over.
Dave Sarachan confirmed his 13-month stint as interim head coach is now over and U.S. Soccer is now expected to announce a new permanent head coach in the coming days.
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Speaking after he sent out the youngest USMNT side in the modern era for their 1-0 defeat (courtesy of a 94th minute goal) to Italy in Genk, Belgium on Tuesday, Sarachan was asked by Pro Soccer Talk if that was his final game in charge.
“It was my last game. I haven’t been told that, but it is evident there is going to be a change in the very near future,” Sarchan said. “I feel as though this has been a very good year for the program and I feel as the leader over the last 12 months of the program, I feel as though we have moved it forward. It may not look like that to everybody on the outside but to look back on the games we played, the players we’ve exposed to this level, that we brought forth. I am certain it is going to pay dividends down the line. For me, I feel as though when the next person comes in, they are going to have a great starting point. That makes me feel good and the program feel good.”
Sarachan is a fine man and he’s done exactly what was asked of him. If not more.
As the president of U.S. Soccer, Carlos Cordeiro, and the new USMNT GM, Earnie Stewart, looked on from the back of the press conference room at the Luminus Arena, Sarachan seemed emotional as he delivered his final comments as interim head coach of the U.S.
His 12 games in charge saw him finish with a 3-5-4 record, with defeats against the Republic of Ireland, Brazil, Colombia, England and Italy the blots on his copybook.
Sarachan was handed the reins last October after the USMNT’s failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, and he was tasked with one thing: play the kids.
He did, giving 23 players their debuts over the past 13 months and the average age of the team who played against Italy was 22 years, 71 days.
The long-time assistant of Bruce Arena was given an extremely tough situation last fall and in the last 12 games he has had a mixed set of results.
But that is to be expected as he brought in youngsters who were barely playing on their club teams and threw them up against some of the biggest nations on the planet, especially in the last few months.
With Sarachan out, it is all about who is next.
That announcement is inching ever closer for U.S. Soccer who are now on the clock.
History will be kind to Sarachan, but whoever is up next has a huge job to turn this program around.