Berhalter likely to become US national team coach

The US national team is currently without a permanent head coach. (AFP pic)

NEW YORK: Columbus Crew coach Gregg Berhalter, whose club is on the verge of a fourth Major League Soccer playoff berth in five years, is the leading contender to coach the US national team, according to a Sports Illustrated report.

Citing unnamed sources, the magazine website reported that Berhalter is the likely choice for the job by US men’s team general manager Earnie Stewart, who has said he wants to name a new coach in the next three weeks.

The report said the Los Angeles Galaxy are also interested in Berhalter, 45, who played three seasons as a defender for the Galaxy before retiring after the 2011 campaign.

The Galaxy are guided by interim coach Dom Kinnear after splitting with coach Sigi Schmid last month.

Berhalter guided the Crew into the 2015 MLS Cup final, losing to Portland in the championship match, and to the Eastern Conference finals last year, falling to eventual champion Toronto.

Other potential candidates mentioned in the report were US under-20 coach Tab Ramos, Sporting Kansas City manager Peter Vermes, RB Leipzig assistant coach Jesse Marsch, and Atlanta United coach Tata Martino.

The US national team coach is interim coach Dave Sarachan. He was hired to replace Bruce Arena, who resigned following their failure to qualify for the World Cup.

Arena worked on an interim basis after Germany’s Jürgen Klinsmann was fired. Klinsmann’s firing was due to losses in the first two games of World Cup qualifying.