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Becky Sauerbrunn: USWNT is ‘getting close’ to new head coach

Becky Sauerbrunn shakes hands with former USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski. (Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

The U.S. women’s national team is close to having its next head coach.

Veteran defender Becky Sauerbrunn spoke with reporters Monday about the hiring process for the new coach, noting that she’s been kept up to date on the search. Per sporting director Matt Crocker, U.S. Soccer has targeted a December deadline for the hire.

“I have been involved a little bit, but just kind of updated periodically about where they are in the process,” Sauerbrunn said. “I don’t know names of candidates or anything like that, but I was aware of when candidates were being flown in for interviews and that sort of thing.”

Fellow defender Naomi Girma hasn’t been involved with the process at all, she said Monday. Rather, her focus for the September and October camps has been on “coming together as a group and getting a result against two top opponents.”

The USWNT won’t play friendlies in November but will finish the year with two games against China in December. It’s likely that the October camp will be the last camp under interim head coach Twila Kilgore, with the hope that the new coach is available for the December camp.

“We’re getting close and I think that they’ve got a few candidates that they’re very excited about,” Sauerbrunn said. “But for the most part, it’s just been process and knowing where we are in the process.”

Previously, Crocker has been vocal about speaking with “every single player” about what they want to see in the next head coach before making the hire.

“It’s important to listen to the players. There’s a hell of a lot of experience and a hell of a lot of great knowledge within that team, both youth coming through but also from the players who are multiple world champions,” he said in September. “And for me to get the context from them is really, really important.”