After a six-month search, the USMNT is bringing back Gregg Berhalter in a move that’s the opposite of inspiring to USA soccer fans on Twitter.
Thursday night had a celebratory mood around the USMNT. Team USA welcomed new addition Folarin Balogun. The lineup fielded against Mexico in the semifinals of the CONCACAF Nations League looked full of exciting young talent. And Christian Pulisic led them with verve to a 2-0 lead early in the second half.
USMNT fans had plenty to be excited about…and one big thing weighing them down.
That’s because just as the game kicked off, reports started to trickle in that the U.S. Soccer Federation was on the verge of hiring a head coach. More accurately, they were set to re-hire the old one.
The Athletic’s Paul Tenorio reported that Gregg Berhalter’s return was “imminent.” Several other publications confirmed that report in due time.
How did the fans on Twitter react to that news? With a collective groan.
USMNT fans let out frustrations over Gregg Berhalter re-hire
Many fans shared Clint Dempsey’s reaction to the news from half time: “I’m confused.”
U.S. Soccer declined to renew Berhalter’s contract after the World Cup amid allegations of domestic violence from decades ago. Those allegations turned out to be part of a larger campaign purportedly fueled by Claudio Reyna and his wife to oust Berhalter after Reyna’s son, Gio, was not heavily featured by Berhalter at the World Cup.
Following an investigation, Berhalter was cleared to remain a candidate for the job he once held while U.S. Soccer explored other options. Nothing came of those other options obviously, as they’ve landed right back where they started.
Berhalter is 37-12-11 as the head coach of the USMNT but he has been criticized for being an uninspiring figurehead for U.S. Soccer, particularly in terms of game management. He was not particularly successful as the head coach of the Columbus Crew in MLS and his performance in the World Cup did little to suggest he is capable of elevating Team USA to new heights.