Sporting director? Check. Manager? Not so fast.
U.S. Soccer hired Matt Crocker as the federation’s new sporting director last week, which means the personnel search is now shifting from that position to the U.S. men’s national team’s open head coaching role.
In a press conference last week, Crocker said he wants to get a manager in place “as soon as possible”. What does that mean? Who knows. Your soon is probably not the same as my soon and my soon is definitely not the same as Crocker’s soon. Still, with just three years until the next men’s World Cup, and with no World Cup Qualifying for the U.S. this time around, getting a new hire on board quickly is critical. Games are at a premium. Reps are at a premium. And time is certainly at a premium.
Crocker wouldn’t get into any specific names or potential managerial candidates. But there have been some reports (and some inferences made by this writer) regarding who might be available and interested in the job.
So over the next few weeks, we’re going to imagine a series of worlds in which the USMNT is coached by a host of different potential managers. There’s Jesse Marsch. There’s Thierry Henry. There’s Patrick Vieira. Then there are some out-of-the-box candidates that we’ll get to later this month. We want to answer questions like…what would the USMNT look like under this coach? How would they play? And would this coach be a good fit?
Let’s dive into this first fictional reality: the Jesse Marsch reality.