Earnie Stewart is set to become the first general manager in the history of US Soccer, a post that could be announced within the upcoming days should one, final hurdle be cleared.
Last Thursday, Metro broke the news that Stewart – currently sporting director of the Philadelphia Union – was the pick to be the first general manager appointed by the United States Soccer Federation. In the story, later corroborated by Yahoo! Sports and then ESPN.com, Metro said that the USSF and Stewart were in negotiations following several strong interviews.
On Tuesday afternoon, Yahoo’s Doug McIntyre reported that negotiations were in their final stages between the federation and Stewart. Metro has learned that all that is left to be cleared, per multiple sources, is what compensations the USSF owes Stewart.
Now in his third year with the Union, Stewart remains under contract with the MLS club, which would be owed compensation for the loss of their sporting director to the national role. Sources say that the final hurdle is just how much the USSF will pay out Stewart.
A former United States international, Stewart made 101 appearances for the national team as well as putting together over a decade of strong play in Holland and then the final couple seasons of his career in MLS with DC United. After that time period, Stewart transitioned to roles on the technical side with two Dutch clubs before then moving to MLS and the Union.
This past weekend, the Union secured an impressive scoreless draw at Red Bull Arena against the New York Red Bulls. The Union haven’t lost in their last three matches, earning seven points during that stretch to now be within striking distance of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Stewart has pieced together a young team on a budget, including utilizing two teenagers at centerback from their Academy in their Starting XI. The youth movement in Philadelphia could well mirror his work with the national team, a team which must get younger following the tragic failure to qualify for this summer’s World Cup.
On Monday night, two 18-year olds, Timothy Weah and Josh Sargent, scored for the United States in a 3-0 win over Bolivia in an international friendly. The game was played at Talen Energy Stadium, ironically the home of Stewart’s Union club.