USMNT GM Earnie Stewart gives first public update on head coaching search

Earnie Stewart took over as USMNT general manager on Aug. 1.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Earnie Stewart spoke publicly for the first time Thursday as the U.S. men’s national team’s general manager, and for the first time since taking change of the USMNT’s coaching search.

Speaking to a group of reporters at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey ahead of the national team’s game against Brazil, Stewart confirmed that he has not yet formally interviewed any candidates for the head coaching job.

He did, though, say he has developed a “profile” of required and desired characteristics that the head coach will bring to the table. He has “spoken to people” throughout American soccer to move the coaching search forward. And the formal interview process will begin “not too long from now.”

Here are the most important notes from Stewart’s media session, including more details on the above:

Key notes from Earnie Stewart’s coaching search update

– Stewart is leading the coaching search along with Nico Romeijn and Ryan Mooney, two USSF officials. They are essentially the search committee. Jay Berhalter, U.S. Soccer’s chief commercial officer – and brother of Columbus Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter – is not involved.

– Stewart said his conversations with people throughout American soccer have been both incoming and outgoing calls. He has reached out to 15-20 people about the direction of U.S. Soccer, its values, and so on. He has also received calls, sometimes through agents.

– Stewart said he is “not gonna sit down with 18 people” for formal interviews. Those will be with a handful of serious candidates – though there is no specific number of candidates who’ll receive interviews.

– When asked what the head coaching “profile” entailed, Stewart mentioned a few pieces. One was a “we mentality” – someone who wants to work together. Another: He wants to hire someone who can manager people as well as soccer games. And then, of course, there is tactical acumen and all the traits that any professional soccer coach must possess.

– Stewart said any talk about a common style of play is about principles, and not at all about strategies, systems or formations. It’s “an overarching view.”

– Stewart refuted the idea that he already has the guy in mind.

– Stewart said the new coach must be able to speak English. Knowledge of the American soccer landscape, market and culture is desired but not required.

– Stewart confirmed that he, as USMNT general manager, reports to USSF CEO Dan Flynn.

– Stewart said the new coach – and other head coaches that U.S. Soccer hires going forward for all of its national teams – will be based in Chicago. The goal is more face-to-face communication – that’s part of the “culture that I believe in,” Stewart said.

Essentially, Stewart doesn’t want a coach if that coach wants to live on the beach.

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Henry Bushnell covers global soccer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Question? Comment? Email him at henrydbushnell@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter @HenryBushnell, and on Facebook.