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US men’s soccer head coach Gregg Berhalter fired after disappointing Copa America exit | CNN

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CNN
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Gregg Berhalter has been fired as the head coach of the United States men’s national soccer team following the squad’s Copa America elimination, the US Soccer Federation announced on Wednesday.

The 50-year-old faced immense criticism after his US squad was eliminated in the group stage of the Copa America this month. That competition is ongoing with all games being played in the United States.

The federation will now search for a new coach to lead the team as it looks toward the 2026 World Cup, which the US will co-host with Canada and Mexico. The federation’s sporting director, Matt Crocker, has begun the search for Berhalter’s replacement, according to US Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone.

“I want to thank Gregg for his hard work and dedication to US Soccer and our Men’s National Team,” Cone said in a federation release.

“(Crocker will) ensure we find the right person to lead the USMNT into a new era of on-field success,” she said.

Berhalter, initially hired in 2018, led the team to the knockout stage of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. His contract was allowed expire at the tournament’s conclusion, and US Soccer announced in January 2023 it had commissioned an independent investigation into allegations of misconduct against him.

Berhalter was cleared by US Soccer in March 2023 following the completion of the investigation. The probe acknowledged an incident of domestic violence between Berhalter and his then-girlfriend in 1992, but determined it was an isolated event with no evidence of similar conduct since. In June 2023 he was given a new contract that was to run through the conclusion of the 2026 World Cup.

Berhalter finishes with a record of 44-17-13 in 74 matches. He also led the squad to a Gold Cup victory in 2021 and two CONCACAF Nations League titles.

Berhalter has “earned the respect of everyone within our organization and has played a pivotal role in bringing together a young team and moving the program forward,” Crocker said in the release.

“Our immediate focus is on finding a coach who can maximize our potential as we continue to prepare for the 2026 World Cup, and we have already begun our search process,” Crocker added.

“US Soccer is committed to doing what is necessary to ensure our success on the pitch and we are dedicated to fostering a culture that leads to winning,” the organization said.

The US got off to a good start in the Copa America tournament in June with a comfortable victory against Bolivia, but then suffered a shock defeat to Panama. The US then lost 1-0 to Uruguay in its final group game – meaning it finished third in Group C, out of the two qualifying places for the knockout stages.

The poor performance piled pressure on Berhalter, with critics questioning whether he still was the right person to lead the team heading into the 2026 World Cup.

The men’s team is next scheduled to play on September 7 in an international friendly against Canada at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City.

CNN’s Ben Church contributed to this report.

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