December 6, 2023
Who’s up for U.S. Soccer’s most essential job?

When Earnie Stewart was employed in 2018 as the primary nationwide group common supervisor, males’s or ladies’s, in United States Soccer federation historical past, it was a reasonably apparent alternative.

Stewart was a unicorn. No different potential candidate got here wherever near checking so many containers. The previous U.S. midfielder had spent the earlier 12 years establishing himself as a profitable, revered government with golf equipment each in Europe and MLS. He’d performed in three World Cups for the USMNT and, as a twin citizen (Dutch mother, American serviceman dad) who grew up within the Netherlands, he had intensive contacts on either side of the Atlantic. When Kate Markgraf turned the world champion ladies’s first GM the next yr, Stewart was promoted to sporting director overseeing each packages.

Stewart left final month for PSV Eindhoven. His alternative is something however apparent. Former U.S. defender Oguchi Onyewu is one intriguing title within the combine, FOX Sports activities reported on Monday. However a number of extra skilled potential candidates, together with Philadelphia Union sporting director Ernst Tanner and his Sporting Kansas Metropolis counterpart Peter Vermes, declined to be interviewed. Garth Lagerwey, the nation’s most profitable soccer government, simply turned the CEO of Atlanta United and is not more likely to go away.

A number of different potentialities are additionally gainfully employed both by MLS or European golf equipment and may not need to go away their present jobs and/or transfer to Chicago, the place U.S. Soccer is headquartered. Whereas Sportsology, the consulting agency employed to spearhead the search, has forged a large web, there aren’t that many viable, gettable candidates. A remaining determination is anticipated as early as this month, in keeping with a number of sources.

Listed below are some that may very well be thought-about.

Oguchi Onyewu

Present/most up-to-date job: Secretary common of Belgian second tier membership Royal Excelsior Virton.

Why he is sensible: Good, younger and impressive, Onyewu begangaining entrance workplace expertise as quickly as his adorned 15-year enjoying profession led to 2017. Like Stewart, he is additionally performed and labored within the U.S. and abroad.

Why he may not: The the 40-year-old is perhaps slightly too inexperienced at this early stage of his government profession. In accordance with one supply, he has not but been interviewed for the job.

Kate Markgraf

Present/most up-to-date job: USWNT common supervisor

Why she is sensible: If Stewart cango from males’s GM to USSF soccer czar, why not Markgraf? A member of the enduring 1999 World Cup-winning squad, Markgraf has by all accounts been distinctive in her function.

Why she may not: With Australia/New Zealand simply 4 months away, the timing could not be worse for Markgraf to should recruit a coach for the lads.

Fredi Bobic

Present/most up-to-date job: Sporting director, Hertha Berlin

Why he is sensible: The German has led three Bundesliga golf equipment since 2010, is aware of the U.S. effectively, speaks good English and, not least, is accessible.

Why he may not: Though he is clearly certified, there’d nonetheless be a major studying curve for Bobic – probably an insurmountable one.

Carlos Bocanegra

Present/most up-to-date job: VP and technical director, Atlanta United

Why he is sensible: The longtime USMNT captain has occupied one of many highest profile MLS jobs since 2016, serving to lead Atlanta to the 2018 MLS Cup title.

Why he may not: Bocanegra’s hiring report features a pair of large flops in Frank de Boer and Gabriel Heinze. With Stewart’s successor charged with filling the USMNT’s teaching place vacant, that is a pink flag.

Tim Bezbatchenko

Present/most up-to-date job: President, Columbus Crew

Why he is sensible: Bezbatchenko, 41, has received MLS Cups in Columbus and Toronto and is thought to be one of many league’s brightest younger executives.

Why he may not: Whereas he negotiated offers with main European golf equipment whereas with TFC, Bezbatchenko has by no means labored exterior of North America or throughout the worldwide sport.

Oliver Bierhoff

Present/most up-to-date job: Germany nationwide group director

Why he is sensible: Bierhoff oversaw Die Mannschaft’s 2014 World Cup win. He is additionally out there, having being fired following Germany’s group stage elimination from Qatar 2022.

Why he may not: First spherical exits at consecutive World Cups have taken a number of the shine off the 54-year-old. He’d even be costly, and would wish time to be taught the nuances of the American sport.

Ali Curtis

Present/most up-to-date job: SVP of competitors, MLS Subsequent Professional

Why he is sensible: The Duke graduate changed Bezbatchenko as Toronto’s common supervisor and had a profitable two-year spell because the New York Reds Bulls sporting director, for whom he signed future U.S. World Cup gamers Tyler Adams and Aaron Lengthy, earlier than that

Why he may not: Like Bezbatchenko, Curtis has spent his complete profession in MLS and has no earlier nationwide group ties.

fChris Henderson

Present/most up-to-date job: Chief soccer officer, Inter Miami

Why he is sensible: Henderson the youngest member of the pioneering 1990 World Cup squad, has been a profitable government in Miami and Seattle, serving to the latter win MLS Cups in 2016 and ’19.

Why he may not: Working for Inter house owners David Beckham and the billionaire Mas brothers, Henderson is in a great spot in South Florida. He additionally has a younger household he may not need to uproot.

Dane Murphy

Present/most up-to-date job: Technical director, Nottingham Forest

Why he is sensible: Murphy’s resume is intriguing. Forest, which he left final yr, earned promotion to the Premier League on his watch, and the previous D.C. United and Actual Salt Lake staffer additionally beforehand ran Barnsley. He is each of the U.S. system and an entire outsider to the federation, one thing that may very well be a plus.

Why he may not: Simply 36, Murphy is a bona fide up-and-comer in England — no small feat for an American. He may decide to attend and search different alternatives there.

John Thorrington

Present/most up-to-date job: Common supervisor, Los Angeles Soccer Membership

Why he is sensible: LAFC has received two Supporters Shields, an MLS Cup and reached a CONCACAF Champions League remaining below Thorrington’s management. He frolicked with golf equipment in Europe and MLS throughout his enjoying profession and in addition earned 4 USMNT caps.

Why he may not: The 43-year-old runs a billion-dollar enterprise in his present place, one thought-about among the many most fascinating in North America.

André Zanotta

Present/most up-to-date job: Chief soccer officer, FC Dallas

Why he is sensible: A famous expertise mill, FCD produced present nationwide teamers Kellyn Acosta, Reggie Cannon, Jesus Ferreira, Weston McKennie and Ricardo Pepi, and Dallas’ enjoying model below Zanotta intently resembles the USMNT’s scheme throughout the 2022 World Cup cycle. 

Why he may not: The Brazilian has no silverware to indicate for his nearly 4 years in Texas.

Doug McIntyre is a soccer author for FOX Sports activities. Earlier than becoming a member of FOX Sports activities in 2021, he was a workers author with ESPN and Yahoo Sports activities and he has lined United States males’s and girls’s nationwide groups at a number of FIFA World Cups. Observe him on Twitter @ByDougMcIntyre.

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