It is said that Zinedine Zidane’s rejection of the USMNT’s approach could be a promising sign for the coaching quest

Greg Berhalter’s future as coach of the US men’s national team is in flux, especially now that he was fired by the NFL Investigation to “possibly inappropriate behavior towards multiple members of our staff by individuals outside our organization”.

At a press conference last week, Athletic Director Ernie Stewart confirmed that a performance review was underway and that Berhalter is still a candidateExcept for the results of the independent investigation. But it appears that the federation is also doing its due diligence by reaching out to available candidates. Zinedine Zidane is the latest example as his camp has been contacted by a USMNT representative, according to the French publication. L’Equipe on Saturday.

While this contact probably didn’t include a concrete offer and feels more like a check-in than anything else, it does show that the authorities in the USSF are at least kicking the tires on their options with high expectations like hosting the 2026 World Cup alongside Mexico and Canada. .

Zidane’s name was mentioned in the news because the French national team extended, on Saturday, Didier Deschamps’ contract until the 2026 World Cup. Zidane has always wanted the French job so much that L’Equipe newspaper reported that he rejected attempts from Portugal and Brazil shortly after the Qatar World Cup ended in December. The last approach came from the Americans, who could hire a coach with winning assets to take over. According to the report, France is the only job he will hold at the national team level.

Listen below and follow In Football We Trust: A CBS Sports Soccer Podcast Three former USMNT players cover everything you might want to know about the United States Men’s National Team.

In preparation for the next World Cup qualifying round, federations are already working to fill or reinforce vacancies. Deschamps’ tenure was extended to France, and former Belgium coach Roberto Martinez made a verbal agreement to be Portugal’s next coach. Then you have the uncertain future of the United States after Claudio and Daniel Reina, parents of Gio Reina, who reported 1991 domestic violence between Berhalter and his now-wife Rosalind while they were in school at the University of North Carolina.

Berhalter saw his contract expire at the end of the year. Stewart and the federation may have wanted to keep Berhalter for the 2026 cycle before the drama between the two families, but there’s no harm in putting in the effort or diligence and gauging the interest in the market with other successful candidates. Meanwhile, Anthony Hudson, one of Berhalter’s assistants in the team, will lead the team in the January camp and friendlies against Serbia and Colombia. Hudson is not expected to be a permanent fix for the squad as they look to build on their round of 16 exit against the Netherlands.

With Leeds United manager Jesse Marsh not likely having an option with his hands in the Premier League, the USSR need to put in a wide net to ensure they get the best manager for the job. In this sense, seeing what is available with Zidane is good. It makes you wonder if they also contacted Martinez before he got the job in Portugal. It can also lead to an expanded pool of candidates and a robust interview process for what should be the desired job.

Restoring confidence in choosing the right person for the job requires reaching out to candidates who may be after more prestigious jobs than in the United States. The worst the team could hear is no. And if Zidane had ever said yes, they would have unexpectedly scored a goal for a coach who has won the Champions League, La Liga, Club World Cup, European Super Cup and Spanish Super Cup with Real Madrid. It couldn’t have been much better than that.

But with no faith in the process behind the USMNT, there is still more to be done. It is not enough just to contact the best coaches. The next step is to have concrete discussions about what they can bring to the role before hiring the best person for the job to lead the team to the World Cup.

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