Students in graduation

Former Gray Bee star expected to make it official later this week

Nov. 29, 2018

Gregg Berhalter ’91, who helped lead St. Benedict’s to its first national championship in 1990 before going on to represent the United States in two World Cups, is expected to be named the next coach of the U.S. National Soccer Team.

Berhalter, who played on the first national title team with current Gray Bee coach Jim Wandling and classmate Claudio Reyna, perhaps the best player America has ever produced, has been the head coach and Sporting Director for the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer since 2013. He is expected to be named USMNT coach later this week or soon thereafter.

“We are very proud of Gregg and his accomplishments in the soccer world,” said St. Benedict’s Headmaster Fr. Edwin Leahy. “All the guys at Benedict’s wish him luck and have all the confidence in his ability to succeed in the future as coach of our national team.”

Berhalter, who went on the University of North Carolina after The Hive and played for three seasons as a Tar Heel before turning pro, began his professional career in the Dutch Second Division. He spent 15 years overseas, also playing in Europe and Germany, before returning stateside in 2009 and helped the LA Galaxy reach the MLS Cup final.

After his playing career, Berhalter, pictured with Claudio Reyna in 2002, started coaching as an assistant for the LA Galaxy for a year before heading back to Europe to coach Swedish club Hammarby IF, becoming the first American ever to manage a professional soccer team in Europe. After a nearly two-year stint there, he once again returned to the U.S. where he started his tenure with Columbus.

Berhalter is taking over the national team duties from interim coach Dave Sarachan, who has guided the team for a little over a year. Sarachan replaced Bruce Arena, who stepped down as the coach of the national team in November 2017 after the Americans failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1986.

The St. Benedict’s grad is slated to begin his stint with the national team in January for a training camp and a pair of friendlies. His initial competitive matches will take place at the CONCACAF Gold Cup in June.