US Soccer hires Matt Crocker from Southampton PL as sporting director

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Matt Crocker, Southampton's director of football operations is expected to join the USSF.  (Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Matt Crocker, Southampton’s director of football operations, is set to join the USSF as sporting director. (Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)

The US Soccer Federation will hire Matt Crocker as its next sports director, The Athletic and ESPN report.

The USSF has not confirmed the intended hire. A formal announcement is expected in the coming days, according to the reports.

Crocker, 48, joins the USSF from his role as director of football operations for Southampton in the Premier League. He replaces Earnie Stewart, who stepped down as USSF sporting director in January to join PSV Eindhoven in his native Netherlands.

In his new role, Crocker will oversee 27 US national teams from youth teams to men’s and women’s national teams. One of his first tasks is to look for a full-time USMNT head coach. Interim coach Anthony Hudson has led the team since Gregg Berhalter’s contract expired after last year’s World Cup.

Berhalter is still eligible to return to his position, but his status in limbo continues the conclusion of the investigation in an incident in 1992 in which Berhalter has since admitted kicking his wife now in their feet while they were freshmen in college. The investigation cleared him of any other crime.

Crocker has an extensive history of identifying and developing young talent. He oversaw the men’s, women’s and youth programs for Southampton. Before joining Southampton in his current role in 2020, he spent seven years with the English Football Association, where he oversaw a number of men’s and women’s youth programmes. He announced in December that he would be leaving Southampton at the end of the season in May.

He previously spent time with Southampton from 2006-2013 as academy manager, where he helped develop high-profile players including Gareth Bale and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

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