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US Soccer name Earnie Stewart first-ever sporting director of federation

U.S. Soccer have promoted USMNT general manager Earnie Stewart to the federation's first-ever sporting director, the USSF announced Monday. Kate Markgraf has been named as the first general manager of the women's national team.

Stewart will oversee all aspects of U.S. Soccer, including the men's and women's senior and youth national team programs. A search is underway for his successor as USMNT GM. 

"This is a great day for the Federation and for soccer in America," USSF President Carlos Cordeiro said in a statement. "In Earnie Stewart and Kate Markgraf, we're keeping our commitment to ensure that soccer operations are run by soccer experts. With Earnie as Sporting Director and Kate as the first General Manager of our Women's National Team, we have the leaders in place to align our technical approach, develop the next generation of players and win championships."

The move is aimed to enhance player development and more clearly define paths through the national team pyramid. Stewart will also oversee talent identification, high performance and analytics. He was first hired by U.S. Soccer in June of last year as the federation's first-ever USMNT GM. 

"I am thrilled to have this opportunity as we take another important step in our mission to make soccer the preeminent sport in the United States," Stewart said. "I firmly believe that having alignment in all the technical areas and programs of the Federation will fuel ideas, create better understanding and ultimately improve performance. We want U.S. Soccer to be the leaders and drivers of the sport in this country, which also means we have to engage and communicate with participants at all levels. I look forward to the challenge."

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