'It was my last game' - USMNT interim boss Sarachan expects to step aside

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PHILIPPE DESMAZES
The manager expects the federation to name a permanent coach before the U.S. returns in January

U.S. national team interim boss Dave Sarachan says that he expects Tuesday's loss to Italy to be his last game in charge.

Sarachan took over the U.S. on an interim basis last November, stepping in to replace Bruce Arena after the U.S. failed to qualify for the World Cup.

Previously an assistant under Arena, Sarachan was tasked with bringing new blood into the national team while U.S. Soccer searched for a full-time coach.

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That search has taken over a year and, in that year, Sarachan has introduced 20 new players to the national team with debut caps.

However, it appears his time is done as the coach said he expects to step aside following the 1-0 loss to Italy in Belgium on Tuesday.

"It was my last game - I haven't been told that, but it’s evident there is going to be a change in the very near future," Sarachan said. 

"I feel as though this has been a very good year for the program and I feel – as the leader over the last 12 months of this program – I feel as though we’ve moved it forward. 

"It may not look like that to everybody on the outside, but to look back on the games that we’ve played, the players we’ve exposed to this level, that we’ve brought forth, I’m certain it’s going to pay dividends down the line.

"So, for me, I feel as though, when the next person comes in they’re going to have a great starting point."

Under Sarachan, the U.S. amassed a record of three wins, five losses and four draws with the victories coming against Paraguay, Bolivia and, most notably, Mexico. The U.S. also earned draws with powerhouses France and Portugal, but were thoroughly outclassed in meetings with Brazil, Colombia, England and Italy in a run of matches after the World Cup.

Columbus Crew manager Gregg Berhalter is widely seen as the favorite to be named USMNT boss and, with Columbus now out of the MLS playoffs and with Sarachan revealing he's set to step aside, U.S. Soccer is expected to make an announcement soon regarding the direction of the national team.

The U.S. is set to reconvene in January ahead of a friendly against Costa Rica on February 2 at the San Jose Earthquakes' Avaya Stadium.

 

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