LOS ANGELES: US Soccer announced Monday that men’s national team general manager Earnie Stewart was being promoted to sporting director overseeing the men’s and women’s national team programmes.
In further organizational changes, former women’s World Cup winner and Olympic gold medallist Kate Markgraf has been hired as the first general manager of the women’s national team.
US Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro said the appointments were the latest effort in his bid to ensure that “soccer operations are run by soccer experts”.
As the sporting director, Stewart will oversee the federation’s entire sports performance department, which includes the men’s and women’s senior and youth national team programmes.
Cordeiro said the move was designed to make a “more streamlined structure” that would allow greater communication between the programmes.
Stewart, who earned 101 caps for the United States in his playing career, has spent time in executive roles at Dutch clubs NAC Breda and AZ, as well as the Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer before he was named general manager of the men’s team last year.
Markgraf, 42, made 201 appearances for the US women, winning the 1999 World Cup as well as two Olympic golds.
Her first order of business will be overseeing the search for a new women’s head coach. Jill Ellis announced two weeks ago that she would be stepping down from her position after guiding the United States to victory in the World Cup in France.
In addition to overseeing the coaching search, Markgraf will be charged with creating a technical plan and performance standards for the US women’s senior and youth programmes. — AFP