Is Sam Allardyce really willing to take his soccer-coaching talents to the new world?
The former Premier League and England national team manager is interested in coaching the United States men’s soccer team, ESPN’s Mark Ogden reported Tuesday, citing sources close to Allardyce. The USMNT job is vacant, following its failure to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and Bruce Arena’s subsequent resignation as coach.
Allardyce, 63, retired in September 2016 when his one-game, 67-day tenure as England coach ended in a scandal, which appeared serious at the time but ultimately amounted to a minor indiscretion. He previously managed Crystal Palace, Sunderland, West Ham, Blackburn, Newcastle and Bolton in the Premier League, forging a reputation as someone gifted at reversing fortunes of struggling teams.
He also has experience living and working in the United States, having spent the 1983 North American Soccer League season with the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
Allardyce isn’t the only foreign candidate to become Team USA’s next permanent head coach. France Football reports former France coach Laurent Blanc also is “open” to the job, according to Ogden.
Blanc helped France win the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championships as a player. He coached Bordeaux to the Ligue 1 (France first division) title in 2008 and repeated the feat between 2014 and 2016 in each of his three seasons in charge of Paris Saint-Germain. He coached France between 2010 and 2012 and led Les’ Blues to the quarterfinals at Euro 2012.
The U.S. Soccer Federation will name an interim coach in the coming weeks to lead the team in its November exhibition games. The search for a long-term boss is in its infancy but it seems likely to span months and oceans.
Thumbnail photo via YouTube/FATV
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