Gregg Berhalter fired as US men’s national soccer team coach

Gregg Berhalter fired as US men’s national soccer team coach


Gregg Berhalter will no longer be the coach of the U.S. men’s national soccer team, the U.S. Soccer Federation announced Wednesday.  

“I want to thank Gregg for his hard work and dedication to U.S. Soccer and our Men’s National Team,” U.S. Soccer president Cindy Parlow Cone said in a statement. “We are now focused on working with our Sporting Director Matt Crocker and leveraging his experience at the highest levels of the sport to ensure we find the right person to lead the USMNT into a new era of on-field success.”

FOX Sports’ Doug McIntyre was the first to report that Berhalter was out as USMNT coach.

The decision came more than a week after the team’s bitterly disappointing performance in Copa America 2024, which was the USMNT’s last significant international tournament before the U.S., Canada and Mexico host the 2026 World Cup. U.S. Soccer had hoped to build momentum toward that World Cup with an impressive Copa America showing. Instead, the program was forced to make a major change in leadership.

“Our immediate focus is on finding a coach who can maximize our potential as we continue to prepare for the 2026 World Cup, and we have already begun our search process,” U.S. Soccer sporting director Matt Crocker said.

According to the U.S. Soccer Federation’s most recent federal tax filing, Berhalter made $2.3 million during the 2022 calendar year, including a $1.4 million base salary and $900,000 in bonuses. Berhalter was signed to a contract that ran through the conclusion of the 2026 World Cup.

Berhalter finishes his nearly six-year USMNT tenure with a coaching record of 44 wins, 17 losses and 13 draws in 74 matches. During Berhalter’s tenure, the USMNT won two Concacaf Nations League titles, the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup and advanced out of the group stage of the 2022 World Cup. However, the squad — hailed as a “golden generation” featuring players such as Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, Tim Weah and Sergiño Dest — could not attain a signature win against a world soccer powerhouse during Berhalter’s tenure.

Following the 2022 World Cup, Berhalter’s contract was allowed to expire after the parents of Gio Reyna, unhappy with their son’s playing time, reported to U.S. Soccer and then went public with details of a 30-year-old domestic violence incident involving Berhalter and his then-girlfriend, now wife, Rosalind. U.S. Soccer launched an investigation into the incident, which occurred in 1992 when both Berhalters were soccer players at North Carolina. Berhalter was cleared to remain a candidate for the USMNT coaching job after a U.S. Soccer investigation, and in June 2023 Berhalter was back as USMNT coach.

Berhalter was coach of Major League Soccer‘s Columbus Crew from 2014-2018 before being hired as USMNT coach.

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How the USMNT performed in Copa America

Their fate was decided in a matter of five minutes. The U.S. men’s national soccer team gained a slight sense of hope to advance in the tournament when their game against Uruguay remained scoreless and Bolivia tied Panama 1-1 in Orlando, which would give the Americans a tiebreaking edge.

Five minutes later, Uruguay scored. Panama scored quickly after, and once more, to make the cut deeper and beat Bolivia 3-1.

Uruguay and Panama advanced to the Copa America quarterfinals out of Group C. Argentina and Canada advanced out of Group A, while Venezuela and Ecuador edged Mexico in Group B, and Colombia and Brazil advanced out of Group D to the quarterfinals.

The USMNT made a splash in its Copa America opener, beating Bolivia 2-0 following a goal and assist by Pulisic.

But the Americans’ game against Uruguay was a must-win after a chaotic 2-1 loss to Panama in their second group game. Standout midfielder Timothy Weah earned a red card in the 18th minute, forcing the USMNT to play 10 vs. 11 for most of the Panama match. Although Folarin Balogun scored his second goal of the tournament in the 22nd minute, Panama scored in the 26th and 83rd minutes to steal the victory.

Playing against Uruguay without Weah and injured goalie Matt Turner, the U.S. kept the game scoreless for the first half. Uruguay’s Mathías Olivera scored in the 66th minute.

Prior to the tournament, the USMNT played two drastically different friendly matches — a 5-1 loss to Colombia on June 8 and a 1-1 draw against Brazil on June 12.

The matches were a precursor to a frustrating Copa America run, leaving USMNT in search for new leadership at a critical time for the sport in the country.

Contributing: Nancy Armour and Steve Berkowitz, USA TODAY

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