U.S. Soccer Looks For Footing Two Years After Trinidad & Tobago Loss
Two years have passed since the USMNT lost to Trinidad and Tobago, failing to qualify for the '18 World Cup and "sending the U.S. Soccer Federation tumbling into turmoil," and the "fractured foundation that precipitated that loss hasn't been repaired," according to Rachel Bachman of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The USSF has been "operating for more than a year without knowing who its next CEO will be," and many of the federation's youth national team coaches and technical staff "have left and haven't been replaced." A string of the men's team's "shaky results have called attention to the fact" that manager Gregg Berhalter's older brother is USSF Chief Commercial & Strategy Officer Jay Berhalter, who also is "widely reported to be a leading candidate to become U.S. Soccer's CEO." USSF Chief Communications Officer Neil Buethe said that there were "no conflicts of interest in having brothers serving in two of the federation's highest-ranking positions because Jay Berhalter has nothing to do with the technical department." However, Dynamo manager and former USMNT MF Tab Ramos said that Jay Berhalter has "played a broader role behind the scenes than his job title suggests," and that he "often waded into matters of soccer staffing." U.S. Soccer "has seen some successes since the fateful" loss two years ago, namely the USWNT winning their fourth World Cup title and U.S. Soccer President Carlos Cordeiro helping "bring home" the '26 World Cup joint bid with Canada and Mexico (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 12/6).