In a surprising turn of events, the US men’s national team (USMNT) is reportedly set to reappoint Gregg Berhalter as its manager, according to a report by The Athletic on Thursday night. Negotiations are said to be in the final stages, bringing an unexpected twist to the team’s search for a fresh face.
The decision to bring back Berhalter comes as a shock considering the circumstances surrounding his previous departure. However, in a peculiar way, it may not be entirely surprising.
The announcement coincided with the USMNT’s impressive 3-0 victory over Mexico in the CONCACAF Nations League semi-final under interim manager BJ Callaghan. The extended duration of the managerial search had raised concerns among fans and observers alike.
During his previous tenure from 2019 to 2022, Berhalter led the USMNT to triumph in the 2021 Nations League and Gold Cup, guided the team through the last qualifying cycle, and achieved a commendable round of 16 finish in the 2022 World Cup. Furthermore, he holds the highest winning percentage in the nation’s history, boasting a record of 37 wins, 11 draws, and 12 losses.
However, following the team’s World Cup exit in the round of 16 against the Netherlands and the expiration of Berhalter’s contract on December 31, 2022, it seemed likely that the USMNT would embark on a new direction.
Controversy surrounded Berhalter’s relationship with one of the team’s highly regarded young talents, 20-year-old Gio Reyna, who surprisingly received minimal playing time in the World Cup despite being expected to start or contribute significantly. The situation added to the narrative surrounding Berhalter’s departure.
Now, with his potential return, the USMNT faces a significant turning point. The decision to reinstate Berhalter as manager brings both excitement and apprehension as fans await the team’s future under his leadership once again.