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USWNT coaching search: U.S. Soccer lays out timeline for new hire

(John Wilkinson/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

U.S. Soccer is hoping to hire the next head coach of the U.S. women’s national team by December, with an eye toward the 2024 Olympics.

Interim head coach Twila Kilgore will remain in her position for the team’s October friendlies against Colombia, U.S. Soccer sporting director Matt Crocker said Tuesday. When asked for a timeline on TNT’s postgame show following the USMNT’s win over Oman, Crocker pointed to December as the target date.

“Twila will pick up the September and the October camps with the staff,” he said. “And you know, in an ideal world, we’d like to be in a position for the December camp to have the new head coach in place.”

It’s a quick turnaround – quicker than the men’s search, which lasted almost seven months – but speed is necessary with the Paris Olympics less than a year away.

“I fly out tomorrow morning back to Chicago at 6 a.m., and we’re straight back into the search for the women’s head coach’s role,” Crocker said. “Obviously, the men’s head coach hire was really important, and a key part of the job to start with, and now obviously, my focus turns to the to the women’s [team] and the women’s head coach search, and obviously helping Twila and the staff prepare for their event, which is just around the corner in Cincinnati.”

Players have been plenty vocal about what they want to see in the next head coach, with international experience at the top of the wish list.

For Crocker, the ability to make tactical changes during a game is another important attribute that he wants to see in the next coach. He also wants the next coach to be a hands-on presence within U.S. Soccer, including at its Chicago headquarters.

“This is very much a Chicago-based role, someone that’s in and around the office environment 365,” he said. “We want the men’s teams, the youth teams, the women’s teams and the youth and extended national teams. It’s 27 national teams. You want all of them to feel part of something special.”