USMNT makes Jesse Marsch its top manager target as marathon coaching search nears conclusion
- Berhalter left after World Cup
- Hudson became interim manager
- Marsch ready to take over full-time
WHAT HAPPENED? The USMNT has determined that Jesse Marsch is the best candidate to fill its long-term managerial position, according to 90min. Marsch, born in Wisconsin, has been without a job since Leeds fired him earlier this year. His personal connection with new U.S. Soccer sporting director Matt Crocker is said to be a factor in his potential appointment.
U.S. Soccer has spent the past four months addressing controversy and dealing with the exits of prominent figures. An investigation into World Cup boss Gregg Berhalter and the family of Gio Reyna hung over the program for an extended period, while previous U.S. Soccer sporting director Earnie Stewart and general manager Brian McBride departed.
AND WHAT'S MORE: Marsch has yet to sign any contract with the USMNT, so the move is not a done deal. But he is reportedly on the verge of joining the Stars and Stripes in place of Anthony Hudson after Nations League matches in June.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: There had been some momentum for Berhalter to be brought back on a new contract, however U.S. Soccer's sporting director appointment was always expected to make the final call. Crocker's affiliation with Southampton, the club that nearly hired Marsch after he left Leeds, made the progression towards choosing the manager more likely.
"We are going to be a nation that is going to be feared and a nation that wants to move forward into a home tournament that we can really attack and, obviously, the fans, the community have got a great part of play by being our 12th player behind the scenes," said Crocker in a news conference last week.
IN THREE PHOTOS:
THE VERDICT: The most obvious candidate appears to be the favorite. At this point, the Marsch and USMNT partnership makes too much sense. There’s still plenty to be done before an appointment is made, of course, with Crocker still having plenty of due diligence to do, but Marsch understandably remains top of the list, even if more candidates could emerge by the summer. Crocker could, though, want a coach in before then with key competitions looming. Is Marsch willing to give up the European dream to coach the national team on home soil? We’ll see, but there may not be a more natural fit for the job on the road to 2026. - Ryan Tolmich, USMNT correspondent
DID YOU KNOW? Berhalter holds the USMNT record for best winning percentage among coaches with at least five games of experience, while Bruce Arena is the nation's all-time coaching wins leader by a wide margin.
WHAT NEXT FOR THE USMNT? There will be Nations League and Gold Cup games this summer for the senior squad, but Crocker, billed as a player development guru, will also be interested in the upcoming U20 World Cup.
While it was speculated that no managerial appointment would be made until after the Gold Cup, it now appears that U.S. Soccer could accelerate its timeline.