NEW YORK (AP)Brian McBride is out as general manager of the U.S. men’s national team, U.S. Soccer Federation sporting director Earnie Stewart told the governing body’s board of directors.
Stewart informed the board during his presentation near the end of the board’s executive session on Thursday, a person familiar with the discussion told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Friday because the decision, first reported by ESPN, was not announced.
McBride had held the job for three years. Stewart did not tell the board whether the former U.S. team star will be replaced in the role, the person said.
USSF president Cindy Parlow Cone and spokesman Neil Buethe did not respond to requests for comment.
McBride reported to and supervised former teammates in his role as GM and was involved in controversy with another former teammate.
Stewart, 53, played for the U.S. at the 1994, 1998 and 2002 World Cups and was hired as the first GM of the team in June 2018 as part of a management reorganization that followed the Americans’ failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. He recommended to the board in December 2018 that Gregg Berhalter be hired as coach.
Stewart was elevated to sporting director of the men’s and women’s programs in August 2019, when Kate Markgraf was hired as the first general manager of the U.S. women’s team. McBride, a 50-year-old with 30 goals in 95 international appearances, was hired as men’s team general manager in January 2020 and both he and Markgraf reported to Stewart.
McBride’s departure comes amid a dispute involving Berhalter and the family of U.S. player Gio Reyna that has left Berhalter’s future with the team in question.
Berhalter led the U.S. to the round of 16 at last year’s World Cup, where the Americans were eliminated with a 3-1 loss to the Netherlands.
Berhalter’s contract expired at the end of December and he said he hopes to stay on as coach through the 2026 World Cup, which the U.S. will co-host with Canada and Mexico.
The USSF announced Jan. 3 it had hired the law firm of Alston & Bird to investigate Berhalter after Danielle Egan Reyna contacted Stewart on Dec. 11 and told him of a 1991 incident in which Berhalter kicked Rosalind Santana, the woman who later became his wife. Berhalter issued a statement that he had ”zero excuses for my actions that night.”
Danielle Reyna, a former U.S. women’s player, is married to former U.S. captain Claudio Reyna and is the mother of current midfielder Gio Reyna and the college roommate of Rosalind Santana Berhalter.
Berhalter revealed at a business conference on Dec. 6 that he almost sent a player home from the World Cup for lack of hustle in training, remarks clearly about the 20-year-old Gio Reyna. Claudio Reyna said he told Stewart and McBride he was frustrated with Gio’s World Cup experience.
”We’ve had to deal with a sad and unfortunate situation, but I believe we’re handling it in the right way,” Cone said during the public session of the board on Thursday. She said the investigation ”should be completed in the coming weeks.”
Anthony Hudson, a Berhalter assistant, will be the interim coach when the U.S. starts training Saturday for exhibitions next week against Serbia and Colombia.
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