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Coach of US men’s soccer team fired after failure at Copa America

Gregg Berhalter was fired as coach of the United States men’s soccer team after his team’s first-round elimination from the Copa America tournament raised doubts about whether he was the right person to take over at the 2026 World Cup.

Berhalter’s second stint as coach ended with great expectations 10 months after he returned to the bench, saying his team’s goal was to “change American soccer forever.”

In his second term, the United States recorded seven wins, six losses and one tie, giving him a total record of 44 wins, 17 losses and 13 draws.

Sporting director Matt Crocker has rehired Berhalter and will also make recommendations for his successor. The team will play friendlies against Canada and New Zealand in September.

“Our immediate focus is to find a coach who can maximize our potential as we continue to prepare for the 2026 World Cup and we have already begun the search,” Crocker said in a statement.

Possible successors to Berhalter include Jürgen Klopp, Thierry Henry and Marcelo Bielsa, as well as Jesse Marsch, Hugo Perez, Pellegrino Matarazzo, David Wagner, Steve Cherundolo, Jim Curtain, Massimiliano Allegri and Mauricio Pochettino.

Only 23 months to go until the World Cup comes to the USA for the second time. The Americans will play their opening game on June 12, 2026 in Inglewood, California.

Until then, competitive matches with a full player pool will probably only take place in the CONCACAF Nations League.

Berhalter, who turns 51 on August 1, was the first American to coach the national team after playing for his country in a World Cup.

After stints with the Swedish team Hammarby (2011–13) and the Columbus Crew in Major League Soccer (2013–18), he was hired as coach of the USA in December 2018.

Berhalter led the USA to CONCACAF Nations League titles in 2020, 2023 and 2024 and to another CONCACAF Gold Cup title with a B team in 2021.

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