Every public appearance that Dave Sarachan makes comes with a caveat. He still hasn't shed the "interim" tag from his tenure as U.S. men's soccer team head coach, and he almost certainly won't for the rest of his tenure.
Some time in the next few weeks, the U.S. Soccer Federation will hire a general manager to run the men's national team. The GM will in turn choose who will be the head coach. That decision will likely be made after the World Cup, so the GM can see which big international names come on to the market during the summer.
Sarachan knows that many fans don't like him. They see him as part of the old guard who failed to qualify for Russia and should thus be thrown in the nearest trash can. But he is still a human being, with pride and ego and a desire to give whatever he can to the national team program. So it is not surprising when he makes the case for himself, even if the odds are against him.
Do you think you'll be considered to keep the national team head coach job after the general manager is hired?
I've never really had any meat and potatoes conversations about that at this point. I think to be fair, they've got a lot on their plate right now, but they always do. The [presidential] election is over; the [2026 World Cup] bid is a big chunk of time to make sure the bid goes in the right direction; the general manager search. I've just got my head down trying to keep this program moving forward, as I started in November. At some point soon I hope to have more of a conversation.
Do you still consider yourself to be in an interim position?
I don't like that term, personally. I hate using the word "interim." I'm the men's national soccer team coach until they tell me I'm not.
I'm not naive to think that I'm a slam-dunk candidate. I try not to even think through that, other than at some point I have to figure out my next move if it's not going to be this. It's on my radar, but I don't dwell on it. I look at this job as my full-time position, which it is. It's always an honor to do this.
I feel since November, when you could arguably say it was rock-bottom in terms of U.S. Soccer and the perception of it, I'd like to think that there's a little more hope with the program, the direction we're going, the exciting young talent that's emerging. And that makes me feel proud, because I think the work kind of speaks for itself at this point. Meaning, young guys are getting minutes.
Results, it's kind of laughable when I read some reporters are talking about, "Is Dave trying to win these games for his career?" That's just nonsense. It's not about that. It's about trying to have a better, more optimistic light on U.S. soccer.