The duties of new US men's national team general manager Brian McBride have become more clear, as the former star striker enjoys his first week on the new job.
McBride will oversee head coach Gregg Berhalter and the men's national team while reporting to U.S. Soccer sporting director Earnie Stewart. He will be a public figure for the program, one that will be focused on building relationships with players and their clubs throughout the world, as well as recruiting dual-national players. His contract runs through the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
He will also drive the conversation for potentially firing/hiring the head coach of the men's national team, though he will not be the sole decision-maker on that front.
"Hiring and firing by one person is not something we want to govern within the organization," Earnie Stewart told reporters on a conference call Monday. "Brian will be responsible for that and we'll obviously have discussions about that. ... Brian will lead that, if needed, we will act."
While the team recently was given a boost when Dutch-eligible budding star Sergino Dest opted to pledge his allegiance to the USMNT, McBride notes a big part of his duties will be building relationships with young players and their families.
Some notable dual-national youth players in the system include Uly Llanez, Alex Mendez, Sebastian Soto and others. LA Galaxy teenager Efrain Alvarez, who had been involved with the US youth national teams, switched to represent Mexico at the youth level in the last year.
"That is definitely part of the job description and interview process," McBride said. "This is an important subject, it's really high on the necessity list in trying to build relationships early, not only with the player but with the parents. Letting them understand exactly our view of the pathway for (the player), so when it comes time to make a decision, they have a clear understanding of our goals."
Relationships, both at a youth and senior level, are key for the position. Both Stewart and McBride often spoke of relationship-building over the nearly hour-long conversation with media.
“Building those relationships are really important,” Stewart said. “It sounds really easy and really simple, but there’s a lot of time that goes into (relationship building) ... that for me is one the most important and essential parts of this job.”
Stewart also revealed that the program is soon to announce another coaching hire at the youth level.