By Todd Kortemeier | Dec. 02, 2018, 11:50 a.m. (ET)

Gregg Berhalter looks on before the MLS eastern conference semifinals on Nov. 04, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio.

 

He played in Europe like Jürgen Klinsmann, and coached in Major League Soccer like Bruce Arena.

Consider Gregg Berhalter the best of both worlds?

The 45-year-old Berhalter was announced as Arena’s permanent replacement as U.S. manager, more than a year after Arena resigned in the wake of the team’s failure to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Dave Sarachan has been the caretaker manager ever since, seeing the team through 12 friendlies.

Berhalter may not be a known commodity in international soccer, but his name carries a lot of weight in the United States. As a player, he earned 44 caps for the national team and played in two World Cups. An injury kept him out of the Olympic Games Atlanta 1996. He also played much of his club career overseas, playing most of his career with Energie Cottbus and 1860 Munich of Germany. He returned home in 2009 to play for LA Galaxy before retiring in 2011.

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Berhalter then became a Galaxy assistant coach, before becoming a head coach in Sweden with Hammarby IF. After two seasons, Berhalter became the sporting director and head coach of the Columbus Crew. The Crew made one MLS Cup appearance under Berhalter in 2015, but lost to the Portland Timbers. Berhalter finishes his Crew tenure with a record of 74-69-50.

More friendlies are on the immediate horizon for the U.S. men, but the team will then take the field for next summer’s Concacaf Gold Cup. A win would automatically qualify the Yanks for the 2019 FIFA Confederations Cup, a much-needed boost as the team looks to work its way back to World Cup contention.

Todd Kortemeier is a sportswriter, editor and children’s book author from Minneapolis. He is a contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.