Gregg Berhalter Dec 3, 2022; Al Rayyan, Qatar; United States of America manager Gregg Berhalter acknowledges fans after losing a round of sixteen match against the Netherlands in the 2022 FIFA World Cup at Khalifa International Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

In a rather shocking turn of events, Gregg Berhalter is set to return as manager of the United States men’s national team. The news of Berhalter’s imminent return was first reported by The Athletic prior to the start of the team’s 3-0 win over Mexico in the CONCACAF Nation League semifinal on Thursday.

While the U.S. Soccer Federation hired an external search firm to find its next manager, following the expiration of Berhalter’s contract and his perceived exit, they’ve reportedly elected to bring back the coach with the highest winning percentage in USMNT history.

According to ESPN, the deal is close to being finalized and would run through the 2026 World Cup, which is being hosted in North America. As per multiple reports, an official announcement is expected Friday, though The Athletic states that Berhalter is “not expected to coach the U.S. in the Nations League final against Canada on Sunday.” Nor is it currently known whether he’ll be back at the helm for the start of the CONCACAF Gold Cup on June 24.

The decision to bring back Berhalter is a surprise to many considering the circumstances surrounding his exit. He previously led the Americans to 37 wins, 11 losses and 12 draws and qualified for last year’s World Cup with the youngest team in the world. The U.S. had strong showings in the group stage against Wales, Iran and England before being eliminated by the Netherlands in the round of 16. 

Berhalter had been discussing a new contract with former USSF sporting director Earnie Stewart, but that was put on hold when the scandal involving him and Gio Reyna’s family was made public. Upset with their son’s perceived lack of playing time at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the Reynas contacted the USSF regarding allegations that involved Berhalter and a woman who later became his wife, dating back to 1992.

The USSF retained a legal firm, which concluded that retaining Berhalter would not cause any legal risks to the organization. And with the significant support of his players, who have endorsed him being retained on several occasions, the USMNT has elected to stay the course with Berhalter, for better or worse.

Those in the sports world reacted to the massive USMNT coaching news on social media. The response to Berhlater being retained was largely split between feelings of disappointment and contentment from a fanbase that was ready for a new era of U.S. Soccer.

[The Athletic, ESPN] Image from Danielle Parhizkaran/USA TODAY Sports]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.