Here’s A List of Coaches Jay Berhalter Could’ve Hired Instead of His Brother Gregg

Posted By Chops on October 17, 2019

Current USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter was under-qualified for the job. He was a year ago, and still is today. He got the job singularly and solely because his older brother, Jay Berhalter, is the #2 or #3 (depending on who you ask) at USSF.

As like with most nepotistic hires, this isn’t going well. And it’s not getting better.

How did we get here?

The original ESPN story about Berhalter’s hiring is making the rounds again after the USMNT laid another 💩, losing to Canada 2-0 in the CONCACAF Nations League. Especially getting attention is the farce of a “coaching search” leading to the hire of Gregg Berhalter that wasted a year of crucial player development:

This is a top down problem. Yes, it starts with the impotent powers that be at US Soccer. But this lack of progress falls squarely on Gregg Berhalter’s slender shoulder. From pulling Christian Pulisic out in the 60th minute on Tuesday night to his sleepy sideline demeanor, lack of urgency, and inability to read the room (like in the below vid), Berhalter is doing himself no favors.


If US Soccer really is focused on fielding the best national program it can, then a coaching search should happen immediately.

Unfortunately, that won’t happen.

Since it might be awhile until Berhalter gets sacked, let’s take a look at all of the coaches our national team could’ve hired instead. Prepare to be maddened.

Coaches the USMNT could’ve had instead of Gregg Berhalter

WARNING: This only gets more aggravating the more that you read.

WhoQualifications at the timeWhy wasn't he hired?What's he done since?
Gregg Berhalter- Played professionally in Europe for 15 years, including with Crystal Palace
- 44 national team caps
- 38% winning average as coach
- Won MLS Cup as player for LA Galaxy
- No trophies or honors as coach
- He was hired. By his brother. - Lost to Venezuela, Mexico (2x), Jamaica, and Canada with no wins of note
Jesse Marsch- Princeton
- 14-year MLS career (321 games)
- 3-time MLS Cup winner as player
- 3-time US Open Cup winner as player
- USMNT player (2 caps)
- USMNT assistant coach
- All-time winningest New York Red Bulls coach
- Led Red Bulls to Supporters Shield
- Not Jay Berhalter's brother
- Also, wasn't interviewed 🤷‍♀️
- Took over Red Bull Salzburg in Austrian Bundesliga
- Improved RBS to the 14th best squad in the world per 538 Global Club Rankings
- First American manager to EVER win a Champions League match
- Almost overcame 3-0 deficit against UCL champs Liverpool AT ANFIELD
Tata Martino- Distinguished 20+ year coaching career
- Coached a little never-heard-of-before club called BARCELONA
- Led Barcelona to a 20-game unbeaten streak
- Built Atlanta United to MLS's most successful new franchise
- Won MLS Cup in 2018
- Heavy experience at national level with Paraguay and Argentina
- MLS Coach of the Year in 2018
- Not Jay Berhalter's brother
- Martino had a "lack of proficiency in English" which clearly held him back at ATLUTD (?!)
- Not Jay Berhalter's brother
- Also, wasn't interviewed 🤷‍♀️
- Took over Mexico's national team
- Mexico has lost once in 15 matches since he took over
- Mexico has not lost to the US once since he took over
Peter Vermes- Imagine Gregg Berhalter, just slightly more successful
- 14 years as a player internationally and domestically
- 66 caps (11 goals)
- 1988 US Soccer Athlete of the YEar
- MLS Defender of the Year
- Soccer Hall of Famer
- Coach of Sporting KC since 2009, with one MLS Cup and three US Open trophies
- Not Jay Berhalter's brother
- Also, wasn't interviewed 🤷‍♀️
- Continues being a more successful MLS coach than Berhalter ever was
Tab Ramos- 14 year playing career internationally (Real Betis) and domestically
- 81 national caps, 8 goals
- Won the 2017 CONCACAF U20 title
- Current head coach of the U20 team
- Not Jay Berhalter's brother
- Also, wasn't interviewed 🤷‍♀️
- Just plugging along
Julen Lopetegui- Played for Real Madrid and Barcelona
- Coached Real Madrid
- Coached Spain's national team
- Lifetime 61% winning record is almost double Berhalter
- Won U19 & U21 championships with Spain (i.e. HE CAN DEVELOP YOUNG PLAYERS)
- Not Jay Berhalter's brother
- Also, wasn't interviewed 🤷‍♀️
- Took over at Sevilla, who will likely qualify for the Champions League

Other than Tab Ramos, is there one coach on that list who wasn’t clearly more qualified than Berhalter?

But we’re kind of stuck with Berhalter, right?

Yeah, basically.

Berhalter has no titles or trophies as a manager. Not in MLS. Not internationally. In MLS, he’s not even a 50% manager. Ultimately, the results he’s getting shouldn’t be surprising. It’s the results he’s been getting his entire career.

But Berhalter, for better or for worse, is going to be the manager until US Soccer decides that the way they approach everything right now is broken. Berhalter is bang average at best, but he’s far from the only problem. The problems run deep up the ranks of the US Soccer men’s program.

In a year when the USWNT dominated play on the field and headlines off of it, is there a more fitting whimper for the men’s program to end their season with than by losing to Canada 2-0?

If you love US soccer and you’re not outraged, you should be. There is enough talent to be competitive. This isn’t about the players. It’s the about the coach and a wayward national program.

Chops Avatar
Written by

Chops is the executive producer of High Press Soccer. He's an unabashed Liverpool fan who will absolutely let that bias seep into his reporting and analysis.

View all posts by Chops
Privacy Policy