The president of U.S. Soccer said Monday that the vacant men’s national team coaching position would be filled in November and that the list of candidates had been narrowed to about five.
Sunil Gulati declined to identify the coaches he was considering, but in addition to former Germany coach Juergen Klinsmann, others linked to the position recently have included former Argentina coach Jose Pekerman, former England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson and former Portugal coach Carlos Queiroz.
Within Major League Soccer, Chivas USA’s Bob Bradley, D.C. United’s Peter Nowak and the New England Revolution’s Steve Nicol also are considered possibilities for the short list.
Gulati said about a dozen coaches have been seriously considered for the position.
Speaking at the annual Honda Soccer Symposium at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, Gulati said that the coach selected would be able to speak Spanish or would quickly learn to do so -- part of a planned, multipart initiative by U.S. Soccer to reach out to Latino fans and players who form the sport’s most solid and supportive base in the U.S.
Gulati said he expected to receive an invitation this week from organizers of the prestigious Copa America tournament in South America asking the U.S. to participate in next year’s edition in Venezuela. The U.S. last took part in 1995, when it reached the semifinals under coach Steve Sampson.
The new national coach will have the choice of coaching the U.S. team that will try to qualify for the Beijing Olympics in 2008, or of selecting someone else to coach that team, Gulati said.
He added that the federation would do everything it can to support the South Africa 2010 World Cup, but did not rule out the U.S. making a bid for the 2014 tournament, which is tentatively set for Brazil, although Mexico also has voiced interest.