NFL appoints Matt Crocker as new sporting director of Premier League side Southampton – immediate focus on hiring USMNT coach after Greg Berhalter scandal
- Crocker won’t start full time until August 2 but works before then
- His immediate focus is on hiring a head coach for the United States men’s national team
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American football has appointed Matt Crocker of English Premier League club Southampton as its new sporting director.
Crocker would immediately begin finding the next USMNT head coach despite not starting full-time until August 2.
The United States was without a full-time coach Since Gregg Berhalter’s contract expired on December 31st. Anthony Hudson served as the team’s interim head coach – most recently leading the USMNT to a 1-1 tie with Mexico in Glendale, AZ.
“I am honored and thrilled to join US Soccer as the new Athletic Director,” Crocker said in a press release Tuesday. This is a tremendous opportunity to build an elite program and to help raise the bar for soccer in the United States.
“As athletic director, my immediate focus will be on supporting the women’s national team as they prepare for the upcoming World Cup and appointing a head coach for the men’s national team.”
The NFL announced that Matt Crocker will take over as athletic director on Tuesday
Among Crocker’s most important duties is to head the next head coach of the national team. NFL has not had a permanent coach since Greg Berhalter’s contract expired last year
“These are critical priorities and I also look forward to working with the entire American soccer community, including coaches, clubs and players at all levels, to develop a clear and consistent philosophy of play and to identify and develop talent across the country.”
Reportedly, World Cup coach Berhalter is still in the process of returning to his previous position. According to an in-depth study Yahoo Sports Report This month, US Soccer was “strongly inclined” to re-appoint Berhalter after leading the Stars and Stripes to the last 16 in Qatar last December.
Crocker was with Southampton for three seasons, heading up all three programs at the club – men’s, women’s and youth. Prior to his time on the south coast of England he was Head of Development Teams – including U15 to U20 programmes, overseeing team operations and player/coach education.
Matt brings a wealth of player development experience and has a clear strategy. As we continue to build and strengthen American football, we are confident Matt’s leadership will be instrumental in helping us achieve our goals. “We are thrilled to welcome him to the American soccer family and look forward to working together to continue the growth of the sport,” said Cindy Barlow Conn, President of American Football.
Former athletic director Ernie Stewart left his position on February 15. A Dutch-born former US international, Stewart has returned to his native country to join PSV.
The NFL was reported to endorse Berhalter’s re-signing before Reina’s family revealed past negligence, leading to a feud that has since caused great uncertainty for the USMNT.
He was acquitted and still appears to be a candidate for the role following the completion of an independent investigation into a 1992 domestic violence incident involving his then-girlfriend, Rosalind, although a recent Yahoo report notes that Berhalter is now a “long prospect for rehiring”.
Crocker was with Southampton for three seasons, heading up all three programmes
Ernie Stewart has resigned as sporting director of American football to join PSV on 15 February