The United States Soccer Federation has named Earnie Stewart the General Manager of the United States Men’s National Team, the USSF announced in a statement this afternoon. Stewart will leave his post as Philadelphia Union Sporting Director on July 31st, roughly a week prior to the conclusion of MLS’s secondary transfer window.
Stewart has been linked to the job since the search began last year, and reports over the past few weeks suggested that he was likely to become the USMNT’s first general manager. As GM, Stewart’s first task will be to find a head coach to permanently replace Bruce Arena, who stepped down following the U.S.’s failure to qualify for this summer’s World Cup.
“Having played for the U.S. Men’s National Team, I’m honored by the opportunity to return to help lead this rebuilding phase,” said Stewart, who made more than 100 caps for the USMNT. “We have a tremendous amount of young talent and passion in the U.S., and I’m ready to jump in, hire a new head coach and build a culture of success, with the ultimate goal of the U.S. Men’s National Team becoming a world champion.”
Recently elected USSF President Carlos Cordeiro credited Stewart’s “breadth of experience as both a player and a technical director,” calling him “the ideal leader to guide the long-term success of our Men’s National Team program.”
Union Owner Jay Sugarman released a statement on the Union’s website thanking Stewart for his time with the club and addressing the Union’s plan going forward. Below is the latter part of that statement:
Second, I want to express my confidence in our plan going forward. When we set out to define our youth development strategy, one of the tenants of that plan was the belief that we could help develop world-class talent here in Philadelphia – talent that would garner the world’s attention, either playing for us in MLS or eventually transferring on to other clubs abroad. In many ways, Earnie’s move to U.S. Soccer is a result of that very mindset – recognition of the unique development environment and distinctive strategy we have established in Philadelphia.
Over the past two years, we have built institutionalized programming for both our technical vision and our day-to-day technical activity that will guide us into the future. We will continue to execute on that plan at all levels. As Earnie transitions out of his role over the next two months through July 31, we will search for a successor that will continue our progress and lead us to success.
Stewart joined the Union as their inaugural Sporting Director in December of 2015, following the ousting of former Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz. During his time with the Union, the club posted a 27-34-21 record (W-L-D) and made one playoff appearance.
There’ll be more coverage of Earnie’s departure to come, but in the meantime, leave your thoughts in the comments below or in our FanPosts section.