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U.S. set to decide on interim national team coach this weekend - sources

Sebastian Salazar and Herculez Gomez debate whether U.S. players need to be held responsible for their World Cup failure.

The decision on who will manage the U.S. men's national team for next month's friendly against Portugal will be made some time this weekend, multiple sources have told ESPN FC.

U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati said on a conference call with reporters late last week that a decision on an interim manager would be made in "seven to 10 days," and it appears that Gulati intends to stick to that timeline.

Sources have confirmed to ESPN FC an report that U.S. youth technical director and under-20 manager Tab Ramos is reluctant to take over on an interim basis, and instead would prefer to be considered for the full-time job.

If Ramos declines to step in for the Nov. 14 match against Portugal, Gulati will likely be left with selecting someone already on the USSF payroll, including holdovers from the staff of former manager Bruce Arena.

The most likely candidate from that group is longtime Arena assistant Dave Sarachan, who is the only member of Arena's staff with managerial experience at the professional level, having managed the Chicago Fire from late 2002 to 2007.

Gulati could look to current U.S. under-17 manager John Hackworth as an option, but that is unlikely given that Hackworth is occupied by the FIFA U-17 World Cup going on in India, where his team will face England in the quarterfinals on Saturday. If the U17s win that game, Hackworkth will be in India through at least Oct. 28.

Also on Thursday, U.S. Soccer announced that the Portugal game would move from the Estadio Algarve in Faro in the south of Portugal to the Estadio Dr. Magalhaes Pessoa in Leiria, where Portugal will play Saudi Arabia four days earlier.

All proceeds from both matches with go to benefit those affected by nearby wildfires that killed 37 people.

Jeff Carlisle covers MLS and the U.S. national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreyCarlisle.


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