As players this week began reporting to U.S. men’s national team training camp — the first since the World Cup and one that’s missing a full-time coach — U.S. soccer’s governing body dismissed the squad’s general manager, Brian McBride, people familiar with the decision said Friday.
Without giving a reason, Stewart told the USSF’s board of directors Thursday during its private executive session that McBride wouldn’t return, said one person, who, like others with knowledge of the situation, spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to comment publicly.
McBride’s status was not addressed by President Cindy Parlow Cone or Secretary General JT Batson during the meeting’s public session.
McBride’s ouster was first reported by ESPN.
The move comes amid turmoil around the men’s program. The USSF is awaiting the results of an independent investigation into Berhalter’s admitted abuse of his future wife when they were freshmen at the University of North Carolina in 1991.
Stewart has also been reviewing the performance of the national team over a four-year cycle led by Berhalter, whose contract expired Dec. 31.
After guiding the United States to the round of 16 in Qatar last month, Berhalter seemed well-positioned for a new contract. But a bizarre controversy involving the families of Berhalter and his longtime friend, former U.S. captain Claudio Reyna, has complicated matters.
The Reynas were upset their 20-year-old son, Gio, did not play a bigger part in the United States’ World Cup run. Berhalter inflamed the situation by criticizing Gio Reyna’s work ethic at a leadership summit in New York three days after the team was eliminated; the event was private, but his comments went public. Danielle Reyna retaliated against Berhalter by telling Stewart of the 1991 abuse incident; at the time, she was soccer teammates and close friends with Berhalter’s future wife, Rosalind.
It’s unclear whether the Berhalter-Reyna imbroglio or consideration of offering Berhalter a new contract played a part in McBride’s dismissal. Reyna, Berhalter, Stewart and McBride were members of the same World Cup squads.
Early this month, Stewart appointed World Cup assistant Anthony Hudson to run an MLS-heavy training camp, which opens Saturday in Carson, Calif., and includes friendlies against Serbia on Wednesday in Los Angeles and Jan. 28 against Colombia in Carson. European-based regulars, including Reyna, are not available because of club commitments.
McBride had succeeded Stewart, who was the general manager for 14 months before supervising all youth and senior national teams for men and women. Stewart’s contract runs through 2026, people close to the USSF told The Washington Post last summer. The federation never formally announced it had extended Stewart’s deal by four years.