Let Erica Dambach Coach The USMNT: An Open Letter To US Soccer

If you’ve ever cared about American soccer, July 10 was a big day for you. Gregg Berhalter was relieved of his duties as the head coach of the United States men’s national team. Six years of mediocre soccer is now in the past.

The United States Soccer Federation (USSF) must look to the future. Several notable names have been tossed around on the internet — Jurgen Klopp, Hugo Perez, Wilfried Nancy, and more.

However, only one soccer coach can save the United States: Penn State head women’s soccer coach Erica Dambach.

Dambach’s an easy choice for the job. She’s coached Penn State for 17 seasons and amassed a record of 274-92-29. She won a national title in 2015, hasn’t missed an NCAA Tournament, has coached an developed some of the best players in the women’s game in college, and much more at Penn State alone. She’s also won a gold medal as an assistant coach with the United States women’s national team and earned some more hardware with the national team through several World Cup and Olympics cycles.

That’s the abreviated version of her resume.

Dambach, admittedly, doesn’t have the same credentials in the men’s game. She’s coached women’s soccer at the highest level but doesn’t have much connection with the men’s side of USSF. However, that wouldn’t be a problem. Coaching is coaching, and Dambach knows coaching.

Even if she doesn’t have experience with the United States men, being a Penn Stater still gives Dambach an in with the group. Did you know US captain and midfielder Christian Pulisic could’ve been a Nittany Lion? Having the shared bond of repping the blue and white with the United States’ best player is all Dambach will need.

Matt Crocker, do the right thing. Erica Dambach is your coach.

Sure, Penn Staters would be missing out on an excellent coach if Dambach took the national team job. She wouldn’t be able to lead the Nittany Lions to the same success she has in a tenure that spans nearly two decades.

However, country always comes before club. As much as I like watching Ohio State walk off the field disappointed, I hate watching England walk off any field happy even more. I’m still worked up about the War of 1812.

There’s an argument to be made that the college game isn’t comparable to the international stage, and that could hold Dambach back. A lack of ball knowledge would lead a less educated soccer fan to believe that coaching in the Big Ten just wouldn’t provide Dambach with the experience necessary to guide the United States forward.

However, the US plays in CONCACAF. A First Team All-Big Ten women’s soccer roster would run through El Salvador like a knife cutting through soft butter. Dambach is more than prepared.

The United States is at a pivotal moment in its soccer development as a nation. The World Cup will be hosted on rich, American soil in two years at the same time some of this country’s best talent is developing overseas. The federation can’t make any mistakes with the hiring of its next coach.

That’s exactly why hiring Dambach is the way to go. Do the right thing, US Soccer. Keep the beautiful game alive in America and let Erica Dambach coach the United States men’s national team.

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About the Author

Joe Lister

Joe is a senior journalism major at Penn State and Onward State's managing editor. He writes about everything Penn State, especially its 10-2 football team. If you want to find him, Joe's usually watching soccer with his shirt off or at the gym with his shirt on. For dumb stuff, follow him on Twitter (iamjoelister). For serious stuff, email him ([email protected]).

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