After a nearly 14-month search, U.S. Soccer has finally found a new manager for the USMNT, and it is Gregg Berhalter.
Dave Sarachan's run as interim coach is over, as Berhalter takes control of the team with the goal of getting back to the World Cup after the U.S. missed the 2018 competition. it was the first time since 1986 the USMNT failed to qualify for the tournament, and it led to the end of Bruce Arena's tenure as the manager. The cycle, of course, began with Jurgen Klinsmann at the helm, and the U.S. opted not to go with another big-name foreign manager, instead turning to Berhalter, a New Jersey native with coaching experience in MLS and abroad and a long playing career for the U.S.
With a fresh face coming in to take control of the national team as it gets ready to turn the chapter for the start of a new era, here is some important information to know about the new coach.
1. He was the manager for the Columbus Crew for the past five seasons
Berhalter was the manager and sporting director for the Columbus Crew starting on Nov. 6, 2013. He guided the team to the playoffs in four of his five seasons, and in 2015, the Crew reached the MLS Cup final. They dropped that contest to the Portland Timbers 2-1.
2. He was a former defender for the USMNT
From 1994-2006, Berhalter suited up for the national team. He was part of the 2002 and 2006 World Cup teams and the 1999 and 2003 Confederation Cup squads.
3. He was once a player-assistant under Bruce Arena
In 2011 while playing for the LA Galaxy, Berhalter got his coaching career started up as a player-coach under Arena. The squad went on to capture the MLS Cup title that season after going 19-5-10 in the regular season.
4. He was almost a World Cup hero for the USMNT
When the United States faced Germany in the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup, Berhalter had a shot at glory in the 50th minute. With the U.S. trailing 1-0, Berhalter had an opportunity off a corner kick to level the game. His shot appeared to hit the arm of Torsten Frings, who was standing on the goal line and prevented the shot from crossing for a goal. However, officials did not call an infraction–which would have resulted in a red card for Frings in addition to the equalizing goal–and the USMNT lost the contest 1-0, getting eliminated from the tournament.
5. He's played and managed for teams across the globe
During his 18-year playing career, Berhalter spent time in the Netherlands (1996-2000), England (2000-2002) and Germany (2002-2009), before suiting up for the Galaxy (2009-2011) to close out his playing days. He was a scout from 2007-2009 for his German club 1860 Munich, and he coached Swedish club Hammarby IF for two seasons prior to taking over the Crew.