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U.S. men's soccer coach fired after Copa exit

Coach Gregg Berhalter of the United States, right, greets his player Chris Richards after losing 0-1 against Uruguay at the end of a Copa America Group C soccer match in Kansas City, Mo., Monday, July 1, 2024. (Reed Hoffman / AP Photo) Coach Gregg Berhalter of the United States, right, greets his player Chris Richards after losing 0-1 against Uruguay at the end of a Copa America Group C soccer match in Kansas City, Mo., Monday, July 1, 2024. (Reed Hoffman / AP Photo)
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NEW YORK -

Gregg Berhalter was relieved of his duties as head coach of the United States men's team, U.S. Soccer said on Wednesday, after a humiliating early exit on home soil at the Copa America.

The United States failed to advance from the group stage ofthe tournament following a shock 2-1 defeat to Panama and a crushing 1-0 loss to Uruguay that immediately cast Berhalter's future into doubt.

"I want to thank Gregg for his hard work and dedication to U.S. Soccer and our Men’s National Team," U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone said in a statement.

"We are now focused on working with our Sporting Director Matt Crocker and leveraging his experience at the highest levels of the sport to ensure we find the right person to lead the USMNT into a new era of on-field success."

The split marks an abrupt reversal of fortunes for Berhalter, who was expected to develop the team as the United States prepares to co-host the 2026 World Cup.

Berhalter, who was initially hired in 2018, led the U.S. to the knockout stages of the World Cup in 2022 but landed in a bitter public dispute with Gio Reyna, one of the team's brightest young stars, just weeks later.

U.S. Soccer engaged in a lengthy search for a new coach as his contract expired a the end of 2022 but rehired Berhalter last June, with the full backing of the players.

Berhalter, the first former national team player to coach the United States at a World Cup, won 44 of his 74 matches as head coach.

(Reporting by Amy Tennery in New York Editing by Toby Davis)

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