I'd like to see Gregg Berhalter coach the USMNT four more years - MLS manager Josh Wolff
- Berhalter took USMNT to World Cup last 16
- Contract expired amid ongoing investigation
- Former assistant Wolff wants him back at helm
WHAT HAPPENED? Interim manager Anthony Hudson took the reins on a caretaker basis for the USMNT's January friendlies with controversy swirling. U.S. Soccer had just elected not to re-sign Berhalter amid ongoing investigations into a past domestic violence incident with his wife, which the coach said was only brought to light as a part of a blackmail scheme.
While the lack of news regarding a new candidate has caused frustration in some quarters, Wolff - who spent a year as Berhalter's assistant - thinks the 2022 World Cup coach has done more than enough to qualify him for the role.
WHAT THEY SAID: "There are a lot of things that Gregg has done extremely well. I’d like to see another four years of what that looked like. It was quite promising," Wolff told The Athletic.
AND WHAT'S MORE: Wolff also spoke in more general terms about the USMNT, adding that he eagerly awaits a time when the U.S. fully transitions from "holding on for dear life" in big matches to taking control. He said Berhalter helped that evolution continue with bright moments in Qatar.
"I mean it’s real evolution when you go and play England and dominate," he said. "When you go against Holland and they’re adjusting to you. The flexibility of defensive structures, it looked like a club team. That’s tactical aptitude. That’s utilizing the players they have. I think we have to have coaches that still fit that ideology. It can’t just be built around muscle and hustle and defending and set pieces. You have to have the education to develop that, the ability to recruit players. The ability to galvanize people from outside our region that are potential U.S. players, that’s also a big part of it."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: In a further indication of just how closely tied major soccer figures in the U.S. have become, Wolff's club was until last month directed by former USMNT star Claudio Reyna, father of current USMNT forward Gio. The Reynas were accused of blackmailing Berhalter with information regarding a domestic violence incident from 1991. Reyna resigned fromhis role at Austin FC - though the club indicated his job change wasn't related to the controversy.
IN THREE PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT? Despite Wolff's calls for the return of Berhalter, such a move appears unlikely at this stage. Interim boss Hudson will take charge for the foreseeable future, with the USMNT coming up against Grenada and El Salvador in March's Nations League fixtures. A permanent solution could come later this year.
This page contains affiliate links. When you subscribe through the links provided, we may earn a commission.
Sign up here for MLS Season Pass through Apple TV and watch every MLS match, including the playoffs!