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Report: Earnie Stewart ‘the favorite’ for U.S. Soccer general manager position

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Philadelphia Union Sporting Director has reportedly impressed the folks at the United States Soccer Federation

Matt Ralph

Could Earnie Stewart be on his way out?

Kristian Dyer is reporting in Metro that the Philadelphia Union Sporting Director “has emerged as the favorite for the general manger position with the United States Soccer Federation.”

Dyer cites a source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, who says “Stewart is believed to be the frontrunner and is in negotiations for the position following an impressive showing during the interview process.”

Depending on how you read the report, it’s either that multiple sources are saying he’s the frontrunner or that one source says he believes him to be the frontrunner.

The Union released a statement, saying “Since Earnie’s first interview with U.S. Soccer, we have respected their process, and as such, we will decline further comment until a decision has been made.”

Stewart, 49, was hired by the Philadelphia Union as sporting director in October 2015 after spending nearly a decade in the Dutch Eredevisie as an executive for NAC Breda and AZ Alkmaar.

During his playing career, Stewart earned 101 caps for the USMNT and appeared in every match for the U.S. at the 1994, 1998 and 2002 World Cups.

Should Stewart leave the position, technical director Chris Albright would be a likely candidate to replace him at the very least on an interim basis. His departure could also put head coach Jim Curtin in a difficult spot since Stewart has continually backed his head coach even through long stretches of poor form, which has included a road losing streak that stretched a full calendar year.

This report comes at an interesting time, considering the USMNT is playing a friendly at Talen Energy Stadium on Monday night. One of the first jobs of the new GM is expected to be to find a replacement for interim USMNT head coach Dave Sarachan.