U.S. Soccer Federation President Alan Rothenberg yesterday clarified the status of U.S. national team coach Bob Gansler, saying Gansler's current one-year contract has not been extended beyond its Jan. 31 expiration.

In addition, at last weekend's USSF board of directors meeting, a seven-member panel was established to evaluate the coaches of all U.S. national teams.

Steve Sampson, co-chair of the USSF's coaching committee and a member of the new panel, said the panel will be meeting "in the near future" to discuss a wide range of personnel and philosophical issues but also "to talk about Bob Gansler in particular."

Although Gansler's contract expires Jan. 31, he must be notified by Nov. 30 if he is going to be terminated.

"It is not my present intention to terminate him," said Rothenberg, adding the final decision is his, not the panel's. "He is the coach."

Last week, Rothenberg was quoted as saying of Gansler: "He's there and the expectation is he'll see us through until 1994" when the United States will be guaranteed a position in the World Cup finals because it is the host country.

But Sampson was more cautious, saying the panel intends to examine Gansler's performance fully. He said it would consider his efforts with the U.S. under-20 team, which he led to a fourth-place finish in the World Youth Championship in 1989, as well as with the U.S. national team, which qualified for the World Cup finals for the first time since 1950, but played disappointingly in that competition.

"We have to look at whether the results were justified, given the level of support from the federation," Sampson said. "And we can't look only at the successes of the last few months or the last few years. Rather we also have to look at whether he {Gansler} has what this country needs over the next four to six years, especially the next three years."