Matt Crocker: Aim is to have new USMNT coach in place by the end of summer

Matt Crocker won't officially take over as U.S. Soccer's new sporting director until Aug. 2 but around then is when he might be wrapping up the process of hiring a new U.S. men's national team head coach.

There is no date set for when the new U.S. men's national team coach must be hired but he said in a U.S. Soccer Q&A that the "aim is to have our new coach in place by the end of summer, although it’s possible that club circumstances could impact the timeline.”

Crocker outlined where things stand in the hiring process.

To begin with, he said the process includes having "a diverse group of voices involved" and identifying "the qualities and characteristics" the USMNT head coach needs.

“What we have is a list of candidates who based on our initial research we think will fit the profile,” Crocker said. “We already have had a number of conversations with some of the candidates. In some instances a candidate may hold a current position, in which case we must be very respectful to their clubs and always make sure any communication begins with them. Our next steps will be to conduct more thorough interviews and continue what we have outlined as a robust evaluation process.

In interviews after his immediate hiring, Crocker said how a coach does in leading the USMNT over the next three years with, notably, the Copa America in 2024 and World Cup in 2026 is important but what he described as "the legacy piece" was equally important.

“As I have said, we think this decision is critical not only for the next three years but also for the legacy that this coach will leave on the future of the program,” Crocker said. “We intend to be thoughtful and thorough in our evaluation and our selection."

And the timetable?

"The plan is to conduct a series of interviews in June and narrow down the list of candidates," he added. " From there, we will engage the finalists in another evaluation activity.”

Crocker did not specify what he meant by "club circumstances." Coaches needing to decide sooner between competing offers? Coaches becoming available because their relationship with their club changes?

In the meantime, Anthony Hudson will remain in charge of the USMNT for the Concacaf Nations League (June 15-18) and Gold Cup (June 26-July 16).

Like in 2021 when the USA swept both tournaments, the Concacaf Nations League should feature one team, almost all foreign-based players, while the Gold Cup should feature a team of mostly different players. Many of the USA's foreign-based stars will be moving to new clubs over the summer.

Crocker will be spending the next two months moving his family to Chicago from England, where he is finishing up as the director of football operations at relegated Premier League club Southampton.

His other immediate federation priority is assisting with the USWNT's preparations for the Women's World Cup, which kicks off July 20.

Crocker said he has talked with USWNT GM Kate Markgraf and Coach Vlatko Andonovski in the past few weeks and met with players Lindsey Horan and Becky Sauerbrunn.

"I’m here to support their work in any way I can as they finalize their preparations for the camp in July before heading to Auckland to start the World Cup," he said in the Q&A. "Vlatko has some tough decisions on the final roster, and I know he and Kate are following all of the players in NWSL closely. We’ll continue to keep in touch as much as possible in the coming two months."

19 comments about "Matt Crocker: Aim is to have new USMNT coach in place by the end of summer".
  1. Donald Lee, May 25, 2023 at 1:27 p.m.

    I don't know this guy at all.  I don't trust anything I think about him to be accurate.  But he reminds me of so many European gentlemen I have encountered over my life who come to America to educate us soccer stupid yanks.  Faultlessly slick and polished so many of them are really only good at avoiding blame, blaming others, sounding smart, but offering no real knowledge and insight. The English and Euro game is rife with a titled class that inherit their position and status and keep it through carefully avoiding blame and actually imparting little quality at all.  They prosper in America as the "soccer expert" because of their accent.  Few realize just how un-meritocratic European/English soccer is hidden behind the wonderfully meritocratic pro/rel.

    I sure hope this guy is not one of them.   This idea that European "experts" know what we need here in America is so counterproductive to what we need to do.  We need to building a larger more experienced soccer community with American leaders out of American soccer. If he is really interested in leaving a meaningful legacy he will build a solid FO team of purely American talent that makes his presence here unnecesary.


  2. humble 1 replied, May 25, 2023 at 6:17 p.m.

    re-inventing the wheel.  Interesting take.  Much of the framework of the singular country we live is was designed and implemented by persons not born here.  We are doing ok.  For me, past failures by foreigners working in soccer here should be traced to the Americans that hired them.  There was very little accountability at USSF previously.  This is maybe where we should be taking a closer look.  Do we have the right process to select and renew leadership at USSF?  Maybe we look closer at this.  Have nice day.   

  3. Santiago 1314 replied, May 26, 2023 at 3:36 p.m.

    Don, You and I Agree on something TWICE this Year.!!!
    Next thing you know; "Dogs and Cats Living Together.!!!"

    Dr. Peter Venkman:
    This city is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions.

    What do you mean, "biblical"?

    Dr Ray Stantz:
    What he means is Old Testament, Mr. Mayor, real wrath-of-God type stuff.

    Dr. Peter Venkman:

    Dr Ray Stantz:
    Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies. Rivers and seas boiling.

    Dr. Egon Spengler:
    Forty years of darkness. Earthquakes, volcanoes...

    Winston Zeddemore:
    The dead rising from the grave.

    Dr. Peter Venkman:
    Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together - mass hysteria

  4. Santiago 1314 replied, May 26, 2023 at 3:48 p.m.


    Just a Re-Post from when they Hired Gooch....

    Santiago 1314, May 11, 2023 at 10:51 a.m.

    We were Told:
    That we Needed to Hire a Sporting Director;
    Then we would Hire a GM for the XXSenior Team;
    Then we would Hire a Coach for the XXSenior Team;
    Instead we have a NEW Level of Bueracracy Created,
    Which has Only SLOWED Down the Process and Wasted More TIME and MONEY

    5/26/23   But, by Hiring someone who will Not be able to Start until Aug 1... We have set the Program back by 3 Months... 2 Major Tournaments to Integrate and Co-ordinate the Team... FRUSTRATING.!!!
    We should have had a Coach by June 1....

  5. humble 1 replied, May 26, 2023 at 4:44 p.m.

    Santi, generally in my experience, haste makes waste. Old worn out over used saying that so often rings true.  We did OK with all the delay with Ernie and Greg.  We are not in such a bad spot.  Far better than 2017.  I was at the WC in 2018.  3 weeks all across Russia, Sochi, Samara, Rostov, Moscow.  Did not see a single American except when I stopped by the broadcast booth in Red Square.  Klinsmann legacy.  Bureauracy is a necessary evil, and frequently blamed for things that are very much decisions certain people made.  The key is always in your bureaucracy to have (1) people that are experts (2) accoutability.  To that end, I don't think Gooch hurts, he helps, potentially, we will see.  No rush, do your homework, make good decisions, be accountable.   

  6. Santiago 1314 replied, May 26, 2023 at 9:44 p.m.

    Humble: I like the Gooch hire... I think you are correct about Hire The Best. 

    But, There doesn't seem to be "A Plan" or Any Explanation for the Levels of Bureaucracy and Additional Expenditures that should be BOD Reviewed and Approved IN SUNLIGHT.!!!

  7. John Foust, May 25, 2023 at 2:07 p.m.

    A bit disheartening that the newbie's most recent resume entry is as director of football operations at ... a team entering relegation. So much for aspiring to a winning tradition ...

  8. R2 Dad, May 25, 2023 at 3:08 p.m.

    It's my hope that this guy, coming from a program known for it's player development, understands the need for instructing players on advanced fundamentals. US coaches are really poor at this, mostly because they've never played at a high level and/or don't know how to demonstrate these basics. US youth players don't play pickup soccer, so there are specific holes in their experience and understanding about their game. At the U12 level, at the Nats level, our coaches (sadly) need a laundry list of topics, techniques and habits that make players better. Instead of how to create better cone drills and how to give a better halftime team talk, or whatever the latest coaching trend is this month.

  9. frank schoon, May 25, 2023 at 4:02 p.m.

    Not impressed! I'm afraid he'll pick an American coach, instead of getting a top flight coach who has played the game at the highest level and knows the details of the game ,backwards and forwards and will bring with him a staff of former greats than can assist our players with more inside details...

    Have no idea why they picked this guy, worse, an Englishman. England is not known for developing great players....Where do you even see an English player play on the continent, or even for that matter a great English coach....I'm afraid we're getting the same ole' runaround as last time...

  10. frank schoon replied, May 25, 2023 at 4:37 p.m.

    Ruud van Nistelrooy just quit as coach of PSV. Perhaps, Earney Stewart who let Crocker know.......

  11. Bob Ashpole replied, May 25, 2023 at 6:20 p.m.

    Frank, USSF is not looking for a top-flight coach. They are looking for someone who will do as they are told. Some bosses see hiring someone better qualified than themself as a threat to their own career. So they hire people who will make them look better, even though some of them may be unaware of their own prejudices. People who put mission before their own careers typically don't advance high in organizations.

  12. frank schoon replied, May 26, 2023 at 8:15 a.m.

    Bob, good point....It's like that Charlie tuna commercials. They are looking for "Tuna that 'tastes good' not look good"

  13. Chance Hall, May 25, 2023 at 4:09 p.m.

    Really disappointing that we are bringing in an English coach to "teach" us how to play soccer. I hope he isn't the stereotypical English coach that thinks Americans don't know how to play soccer. Why aren't we training up American coaches for this position??? American soccer is different from European soccer. When are we going to learn?

  14. Vasken Karakozian, May 25, 2023 at 6:20 p.m.

    I read all the brilliant comments.
    And my reply is I Tottaly agree.
    I can't think of any further things to say.
    I am totally tired of the especially English so called experts. But then again, who is hiring these people. What is the Background of the US federation people who are doing the hiring. At the current and past trend , I really can't see more significant advances by the US National Team. Ask 10 people if they even have heard of the Words of US N. T.
    finally, as long as there is No pick game interest, like Basketball for example, and the continuation of ignorance of Latino Culture will hurt Soccer. Even the Latino interest is and will wane in the coming years.

  15. humble 1, May 25, 2023 at 6:25 p.m.

    I am ok with Mr. Crocker and wish him the best.  Can't please all the people all the time.  Accountability is the key for USSF.  At every level.  Give him a chance - hold him accountable.  I am sure he's OK with this.  I am not going to criticize his choice for coach before he makes it.  There is much more to Mr. Crocker than South Hampton going down.  He has a bio/CV.  I think he's qualified for the job.  Let's make sure he has all he needs to do the job.  One of my observations in youth soccer as an outsider is all the secrecy, kids training, not telling, parents talking behind others backs, in front of their kids no less, there is a bit of cancer in youth soccer.  I've seen in the two states my son played extensively.  We need to flush this out.  C'mon in.  Do you best.  We all pitch in.  This is why I was not happy with Klinsmann's body of work - it was poor.  The results were not good.  Berhalter did better.  Not many will acknowledge this - but he leaves, if he's done, with the cuboard full - of young players with tournament experience and trophies - Klinsmann left us - with the cuboard bare.  Bottom line.  Best of luck to Crocker.  Let's not stab him in the back.  Let's give him all he needs to do the job - and - hold him to account.  We need him to be a huge success!  C'mon!  

  16. Tom G, May 25, 2023 at 7:49 p.m.

    For a large organization with a large portfolio of teams and a rich balance sheet, and many highly paid executives, it's pathetic that they do not practice well proven & off the shelf succession planning practices for key positions. Where are their board of directors or trustees? Pathetic corporate governance. disappointing too.

  17. Vince Leone, May 25, 2023 at 8:57 p.m.

    I wish that the first criteron for any US Soccer job is that the person not be English. If we are going to insist on hiring foreigners, let's start hiring Mexicans.

  18. humble 1, May 26, 2023 at 4:56 p.m.

    English taking a big hit here - our biggest challenge in soccer is not the English - or the Dutch (Frank!) - it's us - bloody Americans.  I've met a lotta good English soccer and rugby folks here. There are plenty in the college coaching ranks - queitly doing their thing - Syracuse coach McIntyre, just won NCAA D1 mens cup  - very good coach - you'd count yourself luck to play for him - Coach Heaney, U of NC Willmington - legendary coach - great leader - my player did thier ID Camp last summer - top notch across the board.  Many of you could add to this list - so please - in every group there are some bad apples - but we got a lot of winners - our problem is - us.  I am confident Mr. Crocker will help us build on where we are today.  We have the raw material - just we keep getting in our way.  It was not the English that made the sh*t storm in our boys locker room post WC - that was us - all us. C'mon!   

  19. Vince Leone, May 26, 2023 at 8:48 p.m.

    I think US Soccer should make priority #1 doing a better job of recruiting Mexican Americans, and I think recruiting Mexican American coaches and staff would make that a lot easier.

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