LAFC's Steve Cherundolo denies USMNT coaching rumors

Despite fine league form with LAFC, head coach Steve Cherundolo denies links to the USMNT job vacancy.
Despite fine league form with LAFC, head coach Steve Cherundolo denies links to the USMNT job vacancy. / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

LAFC head coach Steve Cherundolo denied reports that he’s next in line to lead the United States Men's National Team.

The initial reports of Cherundolo’s links to the Stars and Stripes came from ex-USMNT defender Heath Pearce, who claimed on his In Soccer We Trust Podcast that the LAFC talisman was currently in an interview process with the United States Soccer Federation about the job. But Cherundolo has since denied the link completely while addressing media directly.

“The reports are completely fabricated and false. That's all I can say about that. I'm committed to LAFC and I plan on being here a long time.”

Cherundolo’s rise to become one of the top coaches in MLS began in 2022 when he led LAFC to their first MLS Cup title in club history. He also propelled the Black and Gold to their second Supporter’s Shield in four years. The 44-year-old caped off that run by leading the team to their second CONCACAF Champions League final in three years, before ultimately losing 3-1 on aggregate to Liga MX side Leon. 

LAFC currently sit third in the Western Conference, on 26 points through 14 matches played. 

The USSF has been searching for a permanent head coach since Gregg Berhalter’s contract expired at the end of 2022. Recently appointed US Soccer sporting director Matt Crocker has been scouring the globe, looking for the next person to lead the US during this critical time in their history. 

With the 2024 Copa America set to kick off next summer and the 2026 World Cup just a couple of years away, it’s imperative for Crocker to get the next hire correct - something he hopes to be announced by the end of August.

Interim coach BJ Callaghan is currently steering the USMNT after former interim manager Anthony Hudson left his post to take a job as the head coach of Qatar side Al-Markhiya SC. While the USSF looks for a permanent solution, Callaghan will be leading the US in their attempt to defend their titles in both the CONCACAF Nations League and Gold Cup.