Jose Mourinho would be a disaster as USMNT’s next coach
Gregg Berhalter’s days are numbered at the helm of the United States men’s national team. Yanks did not win a knockout match in Qatar and Berhalter is under investigation from a domestic violence incident that happened 31 years ago where he admitted to kicking his current wife. US Soccer only learned that it happened when allegations of blackmail stemmed from former USMNTer Claudio Reyna and his wife Danielle, the parents of promising young American player Gio Reyna. And in light of the current U.S. Soccer mayhem, Jose Mourinho could be Berhalter’s replacement.
Mourinho, the current coach of Roma, has expressed an interest in coaching a national team in the past and is on the shortlist to lead the USMNT in the future, according to a report from Talk about world football. His flamboyant coaching style has made him loved by many players and fans and has also disappointed many. Mourinho’s resume at club level is as impressive as anyone’s walk on the planet. Name a big club in Europe and it is likely that Mourinho is the coach of that team. He has patrolled the sidelines at Real Madrid, Chelsea (twice), Manchester United, Tottenham, Inter Milan and Porto in his native Portugal. Who else is on US Soccer’s shortlist? Obviously, it’s not public information, but Headbutt by French legend Zinedine Zidanewho last coached Real Madrid, reportedly didn’t want to be the team’s next coach.
Berhalter does not coach the USMNT during the January camp that begins on Saturday and will not lead the team for either game this week against Serbia or Colombia, the Yanks’ first since the Dec. 3 loss last Netherlands at the World Cup. Assistant coach Anthony Hudson is in charge temporarily. And with the United States participating in the 2024 Copa America deemed likely, if the rollout is not required, the appointment of the right permanent manager for the next World Cup cycle needs to be takes place.
Definitely not a sure bet
Mourinho would be a huge risk. Managing at the national team level is much different from a well-funded club. There is no such thing as buying good players to replace bad ones. Managers can prepare players to match their tactics and push their systems to win the game. That’s in contrast at the international level, where hand-picking the best players qualified to represent their country, then building a system around the best possible lineup. can at any given time be the path to success. That is exactly the criticism that made many USMNT fans angry with Berhalter against Qatar. Still don’t understand why he would prefer Jesus Ferreira as the team’s forward even though there are so many better options. Berhalter’s World Cup system also left Brenden Aaronson and Reyna on the bench in all four games. And that is inexcusable.
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The youngest Reyna allegedly mailed it in during pre-World Cup training, leading to the disgusting reaction from his parents. Berhalter didn’t out the 20-year-old Reyna for his alleged unprofessional behavior to the press on a few occasions, when asked about his inability to integrate into the games. Reyna’s first post-World Cup appearance came on Sunday for Borussia Dortmund and he scored a goal seven minutes after coming on from the bench. If US Soccer can only move forward with the Reyna or Berhalter family, that’s a bit horrible, but expelling Gio is not an option and USMNT will have a new manager to lead the team to the 2026 World Cup.
Leveraging being a co-host of the next World Cup to achieve global glory is a requirement to grow the sport in the country. The 1994 USMNT laid the groundwork for what is acceptable at a World Cup. And the US has only gone beyond that round of 16 once since and has never beaten a non-CONCACAF team in the knockout stages. America’s talent pool today is as deep as ever, and it looks like it’s only growing. Making the right decisions about personnel to make American football forever better is being discussed. And therein lies the dilemma of who will be the next USMNT coach if US Soccer moves from Berhalter.
The USMNT’s pristine scene at the 2026 World Cup features a team coached by an American, possibly even someone who has played for the team before. But what US citizen has coached at the national team level before and that has never happened to the USMNT and has the acumen to succeed? US Soccer must hire an American who has never coached at the international level or a non-American who has coached. And neither does Mourinho, which means he won’t be eligible to coach the Yanks in the future. Mourinho has always been here for a good period of time, not for a long time. And that’s exactly what US Soccer doesn’t need in a new coach.