Southampton director of football Matt Crocker
has been hired by the U.S. Soccer as the organization's new sporting director, multiple U.S. media reported on Sunday.
Reports in The Athletic
, Washington Post
and Philadelphia Inquirer
said Crocker would be formally named to the role following a two-month search.
Crocker replaces Earnie Stewart
, who stepped down from the job in February to join PSV Eindhoven.
Crocker announced in December he would step down from his Southampton role at the end of the Premier League season. He had been with the club since early 2020 after joining it from the English FA.
He had previously worked at Southampton as manager of the club's academy that produced talents such as Gareth Bale
, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
and Luke Shaw
Crocker joins U.S. Soccer at a time of turmoil in the men's national team, which has been without a permanent head coach since last year's World Cup finals in Qatar.
World Cup coach Gregg Berhalter
's contract expired after the tournament, but his future was thrown into question after an investigation into decades-old allegations of domestic violence.
Those allegations emerged in the wake of Berhalter's treatment of Borussia Dortmund's Gio Reyna
at the World Cup.
U.S. Soccer have said there is no reason not to consider Berhalter for re-appointment, but Crocker will head the hunt for the U.S. national team head coach.
"U.S. Soccer's process for determining who will serve as sporting director is ongoing," the federation said in March. "The Sporting Director will lead the process of determining who will serve as head coach of the men's national team." Anthony Hudson
has served as an interim head coach for the U.S. team. rcw/js
© Agence France-Presse