Stewart, McBride exit US Soccer, leaving Berhalter in limbo

Jan 25, 2023, 6:25 PM | Updated: Jan 26, 2023, 3:15 pm
FILE - U.S. Soccer Federation sporting director Earnie Stewart stands on the field before the World...

FILE - U.S. Soccer Federation sporting director Earnie Stewart stands on the field before the World Cup group B soccer match between Iran and the United States at the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. U.S. Soccer Federation sporting director Earnie Stewart is leaving to join PSV Eindhoven following the departure of American general manager Brian McBride, a management shakeup that leaves men's coach Gregg Berhalter in uncertainty. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, File)

(AP Photo/Ashley Landis, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — The American men’s national team shakeup that began after a public spat erupted between two well-known families accelerated Thursday when sporting director Earnie Stewart announced he is quitting the U.S. Soccer Federation to join PSV Eindhoven.

Men’s general manager Brian McBride also is resigning, leaving coach Gregg Berhalter in limbo following the expiration of his contract on Dec. 31. Berhalter is under investigation for a 1991 domestic violence incident and Anthony Hudson, one of his assistants, led his first game as interim coach on Wednesday.

Hours later, Austin’s Major League Soccer team said former U.S. captain Claudio Reyna was no longer its sporting director. The Reyna family has been embroiled in a dispute with Berhalter that became public earlier this month, several weeks after the U.S. was eliminated from the World Cup.

USSF President Cindy Parlow Cone said it likely will be many months before the coach situation is sorted out. Sportsology Group, a company that has worked with the Los Angeles Rams and several soccer teams, was hired to lead the sporting director search, review the sporting department and analyze coach candidates. The sporting director will then make the coach decision.

“We’re hopeful that we can fill these two positions by the end of the summer so that the men’s team has plenty of time in preparation for the World Cup in leading up to 2026,” Cone said. “Greg remains a candidate.”

Following the Americans’ round of 16 elimination against the Netherlands on Dec. 3, Berhalter told a management conference in New York that he nearly sent a player home from Qatar for lack of hustle in training. The remarks clearly were about 20-year-old Gio Reyna, a son of Claudio Reyna and former women’s player Danielle Egan Reyna.

The Reyna parents complained to Stewart and McBride about their son’s lack of playing time in Qatar, where he was limited to a pair of substitute appearances.

Danielle Reyna notified Stewart of a 1991 incident in which Berhalter kicked a woman who later became his wife, Rosalind Santana Berhalter, who was Danielle’s college roommate. The USSF hired the law firm Alston & Bird to investigate in a probe that is ongoing. Berhalter has said, “There are zero excuses for my actions that night.”

Stewart, 53, played for the U.S. at the 1994, 1998 and 2002 World Cups and was hired as the first GM of the team in June 2018 as part of a management reorganization that followed the Americans’ failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Stewart recommended to the board in December 2018 that Berhalter be hired as coach.

Stewart was elevated to sporting director of the men’s and women’s programs in August 2019 and McBride, a former American star forward, was hired as GM by Stewart in January 2020.

McBride said he told the USSF of his planned department in October.

“I didn’t want any of the focus off of the team in the leadup or during the World Cup,” he said in a statement.

McBride was a candidate for promotion, saying “another opportunity inside the federation arose” during the tournament and “I spent the last month looking into the position.”

“The position has been put on hold for the foreseeable future,” McBride said, “which leads me to this statement.”

Stewart informed the USSF board of McBride’s departure last week. Cone said McBride will leave on Jan. 31 and it is unclear whether he will be replaced.

Stewart, who born in the Netherlands and grew up there, will depart on Feb. 15 to become PSV’s director of football. The USSF is releasing him from his contract, which ran through 2026, and Cone hopes to hire a replacement before the Women’s World Cup opens on July 20.

“This isn’t the process that we chose to go down,” she said. “I know this moment feels a bit uncertain. … What it actually is is a clean canvas.”

Cone, a former women’s player, became USSF president in March 2020. JT Batson, hired last September as CEO, said the Berhalter investigation had “no impact whatsoever” on the departures. Sporting staff will report to Batson until Stewart is replaced.

Hudson, a former coach of Bahrain and New Zealand, will lead the U.S. against Colombia on Saturday, a pair of CONCACAF Nations League matches in March and likely in June games and the CONCACAF Gold Cup this summer. His tenure is much like Dave Sarachan’s appointment as interim coach from October 2017 until Berhalter was hired.

“On the head coaching job, I will work directly with Sportsology on that to continue to move that search forward,” Cone said. “And then as we bring the sporting director on board, that sporting director will then join me in leading that search. And ultimately, this new sporting director will be tasked with hiring the men’s national team coach.”


More AP soccer: and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]
27 days ago
Joe Jarzynka...
Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]
27 days ago
FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...
Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]
27 days ago
Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...
Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]
27 days ago
FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...
Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]
27 days ago
FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...
Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]
27 days ago
Stewart, McBride exit US Soccer, leaving Berhalter in limbo