U.S. Soccer interviews 10-plus candidates for men’s coaching job

Matt Crocker wasn’t supposed to begin his role as U.S. Soccer’s sporting director until Aug. 1. Then English club Southampton, which Crocker was still under contract to through July, allowed him to leave early. And the Welshman has made good use of that extra time, conducting numerous interviews for the vacant coaching position with the men’s national team, sources tell FOX Sports.

Crocker has spoken to more than 10 candidates for the USMNT job, people with knowledge of the conversations said this week. Multiple candidates are American. But many of the hopefuls hail from other countries — France, England, Germany and Spain among them. One coach Crocker spoke to about the role is from Central America, per the sources, who declined to identify the candidates by name out of respect for the process.

U.S. Soccer declined to comment.

Former U.S. defender turned commentator Heath Pearce recently suggested that LAFC coach Steve Cherundolo, his former international teammate, is among those being considered. “Cherundolo, by the way, is being interviewed for that job,” Pearce said last week on CBS’s “In Soccer we Trust” podcast.

Having played and coached in MLS, French national team great Thierry Henry knows American soccer well; Henry has also publicly expressed his interest in the job.

Spanish coach Luis Enrique is a free agent after resigning as La Roja’s manager last year. Same for former France midfielder Patrick Vieira, who could be seen as a fit after working at the top level both in MLS and in Europe. Vieira left English Premier League club Crystal Palace by mutual consent in March.

Later that month, El Salvador boss Hugo Perez — a dual citizen who represented the USMNT at the 1994 World Cup — didn’t exactly say no when asked by FOX Sports if he’d be interested in the job:

One source confirmed that U.S. Soccer officials also recently contacted New Jersey native Pellegrino Matarazzo, although it’s not clear that Crocker was involved in that discussion or if it constituted a formal interview. Matarazzo is under contract with German Bundesliga club Hoffenheim for another two years.

The federation has repeatedly insisted that 2022 World Cup boss Gregg Berhalter remains a candidate to be rehired. Last week, U.S. stars Christian Pulisic and Tim Weah told reporters they hoped that Berhalter would return.

Christian Pulisic stands by Gregg Berhalter: “I think he SHOULD be considered” | SOTU

Then there’s Jesse Marsch, the only American to coach teams in the Bundesliga, Premier League and UEFA Champions League. Marsch, a former USMNT assistant, who in the past has expressed interest in leading his country on home soil at the U.S.-co-hosted 2026 World Cup, is still unattached despite being linked to several club jobs in Europe since being fired by Premier League Leeds United in February.

Asked Tuesday if they’d interviewed with Crocker, neither Berhalter nor Marsch’s representative immediately responded to FOX Sports.

Doug McIntyre is a soccer writer for FOX Sports. Before joining FOX Sports in 2021, he was a staff writer with ESPN and Yahoo Sports and he has covered United States men’s and women’s national teams at multiple FIFA World Cups. Follow him on Twitter @ByDougMcIntyre.

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