While Columbus Crew SC coach Gregg Berhalter has long been considered the favorite to become the next in charge for the US men’s national team, Julen Lopetegui reportedly made a late run at the position only to be rebuffed.
According to Grant Wahl, who cited a source with “firsthand knowledge,” the former coach of Spain, and most recently Real Madrid, reached out to U.S. Soccer through an intermediary to express interest in the position, which has been occupied for more than a year on an interim basis by Dave Sarachan.
However, Wahl reports, U.S. Soccer claimed it was too far along in the process to consider Lopetegui, who guided Spain to the 2018 World Cup, but was let go on the eve of the tournament after reaching a three-year agreement to coach Real Madrid.
A day after a 5-1 loss to Barcelona in late October, Lopetegui was relieved of his duties and replaced by Santiago Solari.
U.S. Soccer could make Berhalter’s appointment official as soon as next week, according to Wahl.