Landon Donovan wants American to be U.S. coach
Landon Donovan says he would like to see an American as the next head coach of the United States men's national team.
U.S. Soccer is expected to name Bruce Arena's replacement this year after Carlos Cordeiro was elected as the federation's new president this month, and Donovan says the USSF should not look abroad.
"Personally, I would like to see an American," he told Sports Illustrated. "I think Americans as a general comment understand the American player better. They understand the league better. They understand the culture better. And it's better for the development of our coaches in this country to have that experience. So there are a few coaches that I think would fit that bill as Americans."
Donovan last played for his country under Jurgen Klinsmann, the German coach who left him off the final squad for the 2014 World Cup.
Klinsmann was fired in November 2016, midway through the U.S.'s World Cup qualifying campaign and replaced by Bruce Arena, who failed to guide the national team to a spot in Russia this summer.
Donovan says there are many candidates now in charge of Major League Soccer teams who deserve a look.
"I think Peter Vermes has been excellent in Kansas City. I got to know him a little bit last year," Donovan said. "[Columbus Crew SC boss Gregg] Berhalter I think has done a really good job with very limited resources in comparison to some of the other teams.
"I think Greg Vanney has been terrific in Toronto. [Former Portland Timbers coach] Caleb Porter has done a great job.
"Times are much different, and now there are a number of good young American coaches who have really done a good job, and they're more in tune with the modern game and I think would be well-suited to coach the national team."
Donovan, who recently came out of retirement for the second time to join Club Leon in Mexico, also said he would be interested in some role within U.S. Soccer, even if he never earns another cap as a player.
"Of course, I have interest to play for the national team. But what I would say is my interest at this point, considering there's no meaningful real games on the horizon -- meaning qualifying or World Cups -- and certainly by that point even if I want to keep playing my body won't allow me to," he said.
"What I would be interested in is helping. And if the idea is that for the next couple years there's going to be a group of young players that are being brought in to get experience and learn, I would love to be there to help them through it.
"Not even necessarily playing, but just being in camp to help them and use my experience. So if that's possible -- and whoever the coach is is interested in that -- I would absolutely love to do that and be a part of that. That would be fulfilling for me."
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