Earnie Stewart will leave his position as Philadelphia Union sporting director to be the USMNT general manager. (Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports)
CHICAGO – It is official.
Earnie Stewart has been named the first general manager of the U.S. men’s national team, the U.S. Soccer Federation announced Wednesday afternoon.
Stewart, who assumes the role Aug. 1 was introduced during a teleconference with U.S. Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro and CEO Dan Flynn.
Stewart spoke about his pride in returning to manage a team in which he was one of 17 players to earn 100 caps and one of only 11 USMNT players to represent the United States at three World Cups (1994, 1998 and 2000). He has more than 30 years in experience as a player and technical director.
“Having played for the U.S. men’s national team, I’m honored by the opportunity to return to help lead this rebuilding phase,” said Stewart, who in his 14-year international career represented the United States 101 times. “We have a tremendous amount of young talent and passion in the U.S., and I’m ready to jump in, hire a new head coach and build a culture of success, with the ultimate goal of the U.S. men’s national team becoming a world champion.”
Stewart brings 12 years of technical leadership experience, including the last three seasons as Philadelphia Union sporting director.
He earned a reputation of as a successful builder of clubs as he moved up the ranks in the Dutch Eredivise, beginning at VVV Venlo before heading to NAC Breda and then AZ Alkmaar. Stewart’s teams finished in the top three in the league four times and qualified five times for European competition.
“With his breadth of experience as both a player and a technical director, Earnie is the ideal leader to guide the long-term success of our men’s national team program,” Cordeiro said. “ Combined with the structural changes at the Federation that we announced in April, this is a further step in our commitment to ensure that soccer operations are run by soccer experts.”
Stewart was selected for the position of general manager after an extensive selection process conducted by a search committee that included former national team players and current board members Carlos Bocanegra and Angela Hucles, U.S. Soccer CEO and secretary general Dan Flynn, Chief Sport Development Officer Nico Romeijn, Chief Soccer Officer Ryan Mooney and Chief Commercial and Strategy Officer Jay Berhalter.
“Based on the profile of the position and the required skills, Earnie is a natural fit for the General Manager with the Men’s National Team,” Romeijn said.
The son of a U.S. serviceman and Dutch mother, Stewart spent 18 seasons in the Netherlands and the U.S. as a midfielder. For the majority of his professional career, he played for VVV Venlo, Willem II and NAC Breda, and played two seasons for D.C. United, helping the club win the 2004 MLS Cup. He was voted the U.S. Soccer male player of the year in 2001 and was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2011.
“All of us at Keystone Sports and Entertainment are proud to see Earnie Stewart take this step in his career by becoming U.S. Soccer’s general manager of the men’s national team,” Union chairman and owner Jay Sugarman said. “As one of the greatest players in the history of our National Team, Earnie has a passion for growing the sport in this country, and the opportunity for him to do so at the highest level is one that we certainly support.
“As a result of our youth development strategy, we are confident that others are recognizing the quality players that our Academy and Bethlehem Steel FC have developed. U.S. Soccer’s interest in Earnie is indicative of the work that our organization has done in building the sporting foundation of the Philadelphia Union – from our Academy, to a first team seeing meaningful contributions from both Homegrown Players and established veterans. Earnie has earned this opportunity in every sense of the word, and we wish him the best at U.S. Soccer.”