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USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter says he is being blackmailed

The latest on Gregg Berhalter is....something

The latest on Gregg Berhalter is….something
Image: Getty Images

To suggest that US Soccer is a Byzantine organization would be to suggest that they have all sorts of rules and protocols in place. It rarely feels like they do, and they kind of make things up as they go, most of the time everyone is screaming about protecting their bogus jobs. That’s how Gregg Berhalter can end up with the head coaching job without them interviewing anyone else, even if it’s a highly sought-after position. This helps to completely irritate and poison the atmosphere around the women’s team for years when it should be the beacon of the whole organization. And the guy who takes care of it the most, Carlos Cordeiro, can find the tires try to run for president again!

US Soccer was already extremely strange this month, as Berhalter’s contract expired, and yet there was no announcement that he was leaving, or that there was an extension, or that anyone one had thought of one or the other possibility. The usual January training camp for MLS players is fast approaching, and yet the national team had no manager. We might know why now.

Yesterday Berhalter, with his wife, released a statement accuse someone of trying to blackmail them, then make it clear what they allegedly were blackmailed with. Apparently, when he and his wife were teenagers, they had a drunken argument that ended with Berhalter kicking his wife in the legs. It’s one of the many nuances of domestic violence, and certainly can’t just be dismissed, but it’s also been decades in the past and clearly he and his wife have understood it, moved past it, conditions and continued to live happily ever after.

US Soccer then released his own statement, claiming to have learned of this story a month ago, then alluding to “potential inappropriate behavior towards several members of our staff by people outside our organization”. Which could mean anything, but it’s clear Berhalter is on the ice for a while as US Soccer completes its investigation into… whatever. It would appear that Berhalter tried to prevent any attempts at collar blackmail, yet he is still being barred from the job he may or may not want to keep. But at least he didn’t pay this guy anything. We guess.

Either way, it takes years before the USMNT really has anything to do that matters, so that’s a long time for the whole thing to blow up. It might cloud the air around Berhalter to continue, but again, the men’s team won’t be in the spotlight until maybe the summer of 2024. It’s never easy with these guys. At least US Soccer is promising full transparency, and given how the Yates and NWSLPA reports have gone, they’d do better. But anything is possible with American football, where people throw ducks at balls and nothing is as it seems.

Rumors of Jim Harbaugh at Panthers, NFL whirlwind

So we’re doing all that Jim Harbaugh in the NFL again, huh? Perhaps the Panthers were blown away by Michigan’s complete inability to deal with a QB who could run or by their innovative defensive tactic of blitzing hard while taking cover, creating a bubble of space that TCU has launched for 893 meters.

In the end, Harbaugh probably led Michigan as far as it will go, with back-to-back playoff appearances. That’s about as good as anyone in Ann Arbor could hope for, even if everyone is certain less than eight straight national titles are a miss. Which is strange because they never won a real one.

Harbaugh certainly wins wherever he goes…just enough to break your heart. Which is probably an improvement over the Panthers’ situation, to be fair.

Rangers’ Chris Kreider tries to be cool, fails

And finally, if rocking the puck off the ice on your stick and then dropping it into the net from behind is called ‘The Michigan’, then Chris Kreider introduced ‘The Indiana’ to the world last night:

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