'Not even watching' - USMNT players in frustrating limbo as Stars and Stripes probably won't have new manager for Gold Cup, says Alexi Lalas
- Lots of squad competition
- But no timetable for permanent manager
- Makes upcoming games less consequential for players
WHAT HAPPENED? The USMNT plays Mexico on Wednesday before Nations League and Gold Cup fixtures this summer. Typically, these games would allow players to move up the pecking order with an eye towards the next World Cup - Matt Turner, for example, used summer action two years ago to usurp Zack Steffen as starting goalkeeper.
But without a replacement for interim manager Anthony Hudson lined up, the would-be auditions for players in positional competitions may lose some meaning. Pundit and former Stars and Stripes competitor Lalas suggested there will be a potentially damaging period of uncertainty that extends through the summer.
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WHAT THEY SAID: "There is a chance that the next USMNT coach and staff will not even be watching Wednesday's [USA vs Mexico] friendly," wrote Lalas on Twitter.
In a separate tweet, he added: "Looks like [no coach for Gold Cup]. The position(s) of Sporting Director and/or General Manager have to be filled first as these individuals will be leading the selection of the next coach. 1,150 days until the 2026 World Cup."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: While it was expected that a USMNT hire was not imminent, there had been hope of some sort of momentum in the coming months. Lalas, who is well-connected with U.S. Soccer, seems to believe the waiting game is stuck in the first stage for the foreseeable future. His frustration is clear - both for the players and for the chances of finding team success in upcoming competitions.
IN THREE PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT? The USMNT will play Mexico in an exhibition on Wednesday night, mostly using MLS players with the exception of AC Milan outcast Sergino Dest.
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